by Jorge Maspons
I am a student of American History and of American Government. Since I was still in Cuba I admired this great experiment in freedom called the American Republic. No one in history had ever done what the Founding Fathers of this nation did: Established a new nation based on the highest ideals with liberty and divided the powers of government in such a way that no one or no institution could take all the power and thus turn the nation into a totalitarian country. They believe in full individual liberties and the least amount of Government possible, only the necessary to maintain law and order. They thought that as long as the citizens did not harm anyone, there was not limit as to how far they could go in their dreams.
But as great and beautiful the United States are, and as the Constitution says "to create a more perfect Union..." this great experiment in freedom will last only as long as the American people are willing to believe that the purpose of the Federal Government is to simply guard this precious freedom and protect our lives and property. Many Americans have discovered how to "vote for themselves benefits from the Public Treasure." Americans must remember their heritage if we are to survive as a free nation.
This is an article about "Executive Orders." I am not going to explain every single detail on this subject for it would take volumes, but I am going to attempt to show what these orders are and why they are so dangerous and why this practice of issuing Executive Orders must stop if we are to survive as a free people in the coming years.
I like to begin with a little fiction: In Tom Clancy's novel, "Executive Orders," a terrorist crashes into the Capitol Building killing the President, Vice President and most members of Congress, and the Supreme Court. A big news day. Somehow, Clancy's main-character, ex-Marine, ex-CIA guy, Jack Ryan, finds himself appointed President. Besides having to deal with the Iranians, who are about to attack the world with the Ebola virus, Jack is also driven from within to effect massive reforms of the entire Federal Government system. One crisis after another, everyday. Some time later almost in the end of the book, he has finished the job, by mostly applying the powers of legislating by Executive Orders.
What are Executive Orders and what is now also known as PDD's (Presidential Desicion Directives)? Supposedly, these orders are only issued to government agencies and department heads and other employees within the Government. In reality, this is not the case. Thirty days after it is published in the Federal Registry, and Executive Order becomes law if it is not challenged by the Congress of the United States therefore bypassing the Constitutional law-making process. In all the years of the Republic, I have not seen one of these EO checked by the Congress.
Article II of the United States Constitution is cited as the basis for this practice of issuing Executive Orders. But this power is vaguely defined and very much abused; it is the least specific and yet far-reaching powers that the Presidents have assumed for themselves, particularly William Jefferson Clinton. Later in this article I will name several of the Executive Orders issued by Clinton. If this abuse of executive power by the President continues, we will be well on our way down the road to dictatorship.
The Constitution of the United States was written as a result of a Convention called to simply revise the Articles of Confederation in 1787. The delegates ended up writing a whole new Constitution because they thought they needed a little more authority by the central government in order to maintain the necessary force to defend the new nation. However, some delegates, including George Mason from Virginia refused to sign the new document unless there was a "Bill of Rights" included which would specifically list our individual rights. This is how the first 10 Amendments came into being and all are restrictions upon the Federal Government, not the individual citizen. All powers given to the Federal Government are specified and enumerated. In speaking of the separation of powers, James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 47: "No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that....the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands...may justly be pronounced the very defition of tyranny."
Now, then, What are these "implied powers" cited in the previously mentioned Article II of the Constitution? These are incidental powers or subordinate given to the President for him to fulfill his Constitutional duties as Commander-in-Chief and also to see that "the laws are faithfully executed." Thus here we have their basis for these executive orders, implied from these "implied powers." Today, these orders or proclamations have become the law without Congressional approval. Today, "with the stroke of a pen," executive orders become part of the law of the land. Some may harmless and have some appropriate uses while most are violations of the United States Constitution and threaten our very own freedom.
Modern Use of Executive Orders: I would advice the reader who wants to know more about this subject to look and read the "War Powers Act of 1917." Until then, at the time of the First World War, Executive Orders were very few and relatively simply. This new law gave the President wide powers to enact policies as they pertained to our enemies. A very important part of this law excluded American Citizens, however, later in 1933, the new President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt called for a special session of Congress to introduce legislation to amend the War Powers Act of 1917 and included all American citizens as part of this law. Here we find the so called power to call for national emergencies and inact laws to deal with these emergencies. This amendment was passed by the Congress in less than forty minutes. President Franklin wasted no time in declaring that The Great Depression was a "National Emergency" and began issuing Executive Orders that in reality brought us the "New Deal." (Interesting Note: Later, during World War II, the Census information was used to issue laws that permitted the rounding-up of Americans of Japanese ancestry and placed them in concentration camps.)
While Congress still retains the power to pass laws and appropriate money, the President has acquired the power to create or enlarge Federal agencies, issue regulations, control imports and exports, financially bail out foreign governments, make land use decisions, prohibit financial transactions, deploy troops at home and abroad, and create and implement controversial national policies completely on his own. Some of these actions are outline in secret documents never provided to Congress or the public that may conflict with stated or official policies of the Executive Branch. (1)
Although Presidents have used executive orders in the past, some of the Clinton executive orders, in contrast to those of his predecessors, have been drafted in almost complete secrecy, without any input from Congress, state or local governments or businesses and individuals that would be affected by them. President Clinton is also the first President to use executive orders and presidential directives to aggressively pursue the military, social and economic agenda of international organizations such as the United Nations. A secret presidential directive assigns our troops to the U.N. and places them under foreign command. One Clinton executive order, issued in compliance with a U.N. resolution, actually closed down a U.S. organization, throwing its employees out of work and taking its web site off the Internet. In other cases, the Clinton-Gore Administration has decided that U.N. ratified treaties take precedence over U.S. law and the U.S. Constitution. Some of the executive orders enable U.N. representatives to evade civil or criminal prosecution for violations of the law and the Constitution which may occur on American Soil. There were some who said the impeachment trial of President Clinton would result in a weakened presidency. On the contrary, this presidency is stronger than ever. The Clinton-Gore Administration is "strong" to the point of being a real and present danger to our citizens, our Constitution and our nation. (2)
As I write this article, the 2000 Presidential Election is still undecided and most likely it will take the Supreme Court to make the final decision. Should Al Gore be declared President, we will continue to see more of this abuse of power and indeed we may have reach the point of no return. At the end of the article I will list several good sources of information for the reader on executive orders; my hope is that the American people will educate themselves more on this subject; it is imperative if we are to turn the tide on the side of freedom.
Following I will name several of the most recent Executive Orders and give a brief explanation of each. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of these laws. I will also concentrate on Clinton's Executive Orders since he is the current President and are the most dangerous ones.
1. PDD-25 A very, very dangerous executive order. It is a "Sovereignty Sellout" This document was signed by President Clinton on May 3rd, 1994, but thus far no one except the Clinton Administration's top officials and some favored members of Congress have been allowed to see it.
2. PDD-62 On counter terrorism, laid the groundwork for a recent FBI report disclosing agency surveillance of peaceful, pro-Second Amendment groups and individuals, and smearing opponents of the U.N., including some Christians, as violence-prone and crazy.
3. PPD-63 In the name of protecting government computers, PPD-63 has laid the groundwork for FIDNET, the Federal Intrusion Detection Network, which foresees Orwellian surveillance of private e-mail, enabling the feds to track how private citizens use the Internet.
4. Executive Order 13087, Homosexual Rights. Signed on May 28, 1998 to advance the agenda of the homosexual lobby, one of Clinton's strongest supporters. It awarded special protection to homosexuals.
5. Executive Order 13112. (Invasive Species) Issued in February, 1999, this order prevents "invasive species" from entering public property Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center in Virginia, cautioned that alien species is defined as any species, "including seeds, egg spores or other biological material capable of propagating those species that are not native to the ecosystem. Thus, alien species could be defined to include a farmer's cattle or even the family dog.
6.Executive Order 13107. "Implementation of Human Rights Treaties." This calls on the U.S. Government to implement portions of anti-family, pro-abortion U.N. Treaties to which the U.S. now is, or may become, a party.
7. Executive Order 13061. The President designated 14 rivers as federal property -part of America's heritage- to be seized by the Federal Government regardless of whether they run through private property.
8. Executive Order 12852. "Council on Sustainable Development." Sustainable Development is a U.N. buzzword meaning control over the consumption of resources like food, energy, fossil fuel, air conditioning, meat, frozen and convenience foods, suburban housing and kitchen appliances. These items are not considered "sustainable," or supportable, and federal and local agencies are being set up to ensure that Americans "sustain" the environment.
9. Executive Order 13083. signed by Clinton in May 1998. An attempt to repeal federalism -the Constitutional principle that reserves many powers to the states rather than the Federal Government. There is much more to this one that I can write about.
10. Executive Order 13132. Similar to 13083. Definitions and policy were strengthened, and restrictions were placed on federal agencies in the new order. But to enact new orders and regulations. They were only required to consult state officials when developing policies that have federal implications. They assault on the 10th Amendment, which prevents the Federal Government from usurping states' powers, remains. If the new order is allowed to stant, the states could become subject to the national government.
Needless to say, these "Executive Orders" are totally opposed to the Founding Fathers' ideals and and to what they meant to do when they established the Republic. They despised tyranny and certainly, if they could see what some are doing today by attacking the Constitution they so carefully framed, they would be very sad. These Executive Orders have been used in the past by many Presidents, and in my opinion, all are un-Constitutional. However, President Clinton have drafted his Executive Orders in almost complete secrecy for political reasons to implement illegal policies and perhaps even cover-up scandals.
I keep thinking about those last moments in the Constitutional Convention when the delegates signed the document and sent it to their respective states for ratification. When Benjamin Franklin stepped out, as he was leaving the State House in Philadelphia, a lady approached him and asked: "Dr. Franklin, What have you given us"? to which question, Franklin wisely answered: " A REPUBLIC, Madam, if you can keep it." It is interesting how much we hear today about "Democracy" instead of "Republic." For Franklin and the other Founders, these words were complete opposites.
Unless Americans return to a serious study of their own history and decide that we are no longer going to tolerate this kind of government abuse and begin to once again depend on God and ourselves instead of the state, we could be in serious trouble in the years ahead.
References and Acknowledgments
(1) Mr. Cliff Kinkaid, America's Survival, Inc. www.USASurvival.org Report "Crimes Against the Constitution." used with permission. P.O. Box 146, Owings, MD 20736 (I highly recommend this site and Mr. Cliff Kinkaid)
(2) Same as Number 1 above.
Executive Orders: For PPD-25, please see "Sovereignty Sellout" by John F. McManus, www.thenewamerican.com Volume 10, Number 14 July 11, 1994 for a complete report. For PDD-62 and PPD-63, see the above cited "Crimes Against the Constitution." For the rest of the Executive Orders, I thank Mrs. Beverly LaHaye and "Concerned Women for America."
I recommend the following sites/organizations for a more information on Executive Orders. www.conservativeusa.org/exec.order htm
The Liberty Committee, www.thelibertycommittee.org
The Honorable Ron Paul. This is a good place to get information