Monday, July 23, 2007

Sorry, back to politics

OK, sorry, I said that I was not going to go all political any more and try to just do nice posts, but Udge just had to go and point something out that I missed. Yea, takes one of those darn furriners to tell us red blooded Americans that we are doing something wrong.

I’ve complained about the erosion of our civil liberties for the past six years. After 9/11 this president has had the attitude and ability to restrict so many facets of our lives that it is really disgusting to me. OK, if you feel ‘safer’ living in a police state then good for you, but I thought America was the land of the free and the brave, not the restricted and scared.

The latest item of concern is Executive Order 13303. This order gives the Secretary of the Treasury the right to freeze the assets of someone believed to be (that’s believed to be, not convicted or charged or anything specific) an enemy of the state. It’s initially worded to only affect those threatening the stability of Iraq, but there is no restriction on only those threatening Iraq, which means that it can be applied to anyone. Not only does it freeze the assets, but it also makes it illegal for anyone to give any type of support to somebody so affected.

I know, you’ll say ‘well, shouldn’t we prevent people from supporting the enemy? This will not affect me’. But the first application of the Patriot Act back in 2001 was not against anyone dealing with overseas entities or threats to the security of our country; it was applied to politicians back where I lived in San Diego, thought to be accepting bribes when dealing with zoning regulations on strip clubs. Yes, there have subsequently been several convictions of bribery, but for an act that was supposed to keep terrorists from blowing things up and killing people it was really widely applied.

What does that mean? Well, if applied as was the Patriot Act, it could mean that the county commissioner down the street from me could come under investigation for how he votes at the next zoning meeting. If a Federal prosecutor becomes involved, as in the cases in San Diego that spread to Las Vegas, this order could be applied. My neighbor could have all of his bank accounts, house, cars and all assets seized. With no court order, no conviction, no indictment, no court review, no appeal. And it would be illegal if I gave him a meal or even let his wife and kids sleep in my guest room, so I could then have all of my assets seized as well. Don’t think it can happen? Well, come on, I can see the affects the patriot act had on my neighbor. And this government does not have a very good track record at restricting the application of rules as promised.

So, our white house can issue Executive Orders without congressional approval or the review of anyone. And these orders can be worded so that they apply to anybody in any situation. I have no doubt that the next step is to issue orders that make it illegal to tell anybody about the order. There are similar things out there, some part of the Patriot Act – where somebody under investigation is prevented from saying anything, or even being told they are being investigated. This has resulted in businesses being served and torn apart, and the person involved is not even permitted to talk to their lawyer about what has happened. If they do both the lawyer and client can be arrested and prosecuted. Don’t say no, it has already happened here in Las Vegas, but of course it is illegal for me to even talk about it myself.

Discussed further at the Muckraker. If you want to you can read the Official text.

Not happy with what YOUR government is doing? Well, do something! Tell your freekin’ Congressman that you are not happy. Yes, I know you will be ignored. But still, speak up. And most importantly, vote next time! I don’t care who you vote for (well, yes I do) but at least get off of your butt and be part of the process. Hopefully King George will not further defy the constitution and will be voted out. Yes, I can just see some big ‘attack’ just before the elections, and in order to protect our nation all elections will be put on hold and the country put under martial law. It’s not something beyond Cheney’s thoughts.

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