Monday, March 26, 2012

            I have received dozens of inquiries about the Executive Order signed by President Obama on March 16, 2012. It is titled the “National Defenses Resources Preparation” order and appears at first glance to be just the reissuing of an order signed by previous Presidents during wartime or when war seemed imminent. It is designed to provide for the efficient allocation of critical resources needed by the military. It is claimed that this order is no different from previous orders and just puts new agencies into the mix such as the Department of Homeland Security.
            However, there are several things that raise my concerns when I read the order.  First, it clearly gives expanded powers to the President in peacetime if there is a national emergency, and of course, the President is the person who will decide what constitutes such an emergency. At that point the President can take control of energy production and allocation as well as food, water, and other resources. It also gives the President the power to control the allocation of health care resources, transportation, and other important areas of the economy. By the way, the President can also reinstate the draft.
            The second major concern I have is that this version of the order was signed by a President who has consistently shown his willingness to ignore the Constitution of the United States in order to get what he wants. It was the White House that insisted that the provisions allowing for indefinite detention of American citizens be included in the National Defense Authorization Act that was the subject of a previous article on my blog. It was also Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, who recently said that it is Obama who determines what the constitutional phrase, “due process of law,” means, not the Constitution itself or the courts.
            Then we have Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense, informing Congress that Obama can commit the United States to go to war if he has International permission instead of the permission of the U.S. Congress that is required by the Constitution. Add this to the fact that Obama has ignored the Congress and the will of the American people when issuing Executive orders, and has ignored direct orders from the Federal courts and we see a President who is consolidating power into his own hands at the expense of the Constitution and the freedoms of Americans.
            These are not the actions of a man who thinks that he will be relinquishing his position in November. They are the actions of someone who is willing to do whatever is necessary to stay in power. Does anyone remember a few months ago when Beverly Perdue, the Democratic governor of North Carolina, suggested that the 2012 elections be suspended for two years to give Congress time to fix the deficit. The national news media ignored the comment or treated it as a joke. Perhaps it was just a bad joke, or perhaps it was one of the trial balloons that Obama is so fond of floating.
            It is important to look at history. Many of the longest ruling dictators allowed elections to be held. They just made sure that they never lost one. It is time for every American to read our Constitution once again and realize what we are losing. You can also read the Executive Order on the White House website at:
Michael Connelly