Thursday, July 26, 2007

Executive (out of) Order

There's something wrong with our system of government when the separation of powers between the executive and the legislative branches can be so out of whack. A recent Executive Order, "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq," appears to be another blatant power grab in an incessant string. This one empowers the Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of Defense to freeze the assets of an individual or group that is suspected of "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq" or "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people."

Where is the public outrage?

Stephen Pizzo, in his article in the, likens this latest erosion of our liberties to the classic analogy of a frog sitting in a pot of water that is slowly brought to a boil. It's just going to sit there until it's cooked.

Taken by itself, this latest executive order is merely turning up the heat by a few degrees.

Another favorite of mine is Executive Order 13422, which was signed by Bush last January and is now taking effect. This one places a political officer -- a commissar -- into Federal regulatory agencies in order to make sure that newly created regulations will reflect the wishes of the President.

How about another executive order, which states our position on torture in relation to the now-quaint Geneva Convention? It's okay as long as we don't do it with the express purpose of degrading and humiliating.

How about warrantless wiretaps?

So what's a poor legislative branch to do? Cite members of the President's staff for contempt? Guess what -- the Department of Justice, which happens to be under Alberto Gonzales, has said that it won't enforce any contempt citations against all of the President's men.

The heat is on, as Stephen Pizzo suggests.

Got some time on your hands? Check out this Wikisource listing of all of Bush's executive orders. The first one is a real stroll down memory lane.

1 comment:

Nic said...

I'm a little lost here. I thought that Congress had to approve any laws or executive orders BEFORE the President signed them? When did he start skipping Go and still collecting $200? Or did they just neglect to mention that in that Political Science class that the govenerment says I had to take to meet general education requirements?