March 16, 2012, without fanfare, President Obama signed an Executive Order titled, “National Defense Resources Preparedness”.
This isn’t a new order. In fact it goes back to the Truman administration (1950). Over the years other presidents have issued similar orders (President Clinton 1994).
So President Obama renewing and updating this order isn’t a big deal…or is it?
You can view the entire Executive Order here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness
But this is what I got out of it: In case of Emergencies and whatnot:
1) President has control over Civil Energy Supplies- oil and natural gas
2) President has control over Civil Transportation- civil as in you and me
3) President has the option to re-new the draft- and not just for military purposes (what other services would need to be drafted?)
At first glance one would think, ‘sure, in times of crisis or National Emergencies the President needs to be able to act without the hindrances and delays of our dysfunctional government systems.’
HOWEVER, look at this:
“The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in PEACETIME and in times of national emergency” (emphasis mine).
So here are the warning bells going off in my head:
1) Is the White House expecting something bad to happen? My answer- YES. Things in the Middle East are heating up. Iran and Israel are at a breaking point and America is too dependent on oil from that region of the world. If the Strait of Hormuz is cut off, the world will be in disarray since 40% of the world’s oil supply comes through that little water way. So yes, our government is preparing. But why isn’t it telling us it is preparing? We are not stupid, we see what is occurring.
2) Is the media down playing this Executive Order? My answer- yes and no. First you have to have your head in the sand to not realize something is going on with our oil prices and in the Middle East. Second, some media coverage has been done on this topic. Not surprisingly the left and right cannot agree on what this Executive Order means. Reading the Huffington Post (left leaning) you will read the facts and hear why it is important for the President to gear up for potential war, after all, other presidents have acted in similar manner. Read articles from the right and you will see our President as taking over powers in unprecedented amounts.
3) Why does this Order specifically say in times of PEACE the President would need these powers, what’s wrong with his normal powers and how we normally operate? We live in a Republic (for those who do not know the difference between a Republic and a Democracy please see my post: http://tcavey.blogspot.com/2011/12/styles-of-government-democracy-vs.html as I am talking about styles of government and not political parties) with elected officials. We have three branches of government so no one branch has too much power (checks and balances). If we give these powers over to one person, are we not moving towards a dictatorship or some other nefarious form of government?
Here is another excerpt that bothers me: “control the general distribution of any material (including applicable services) in the civilian market.”
Any material or services in the civilian market….hmmm… I can certainly understand why many on the right worry what this latest Executive Order means for our society. Liberties are eroding in the name of equality and national safety faster than we can comprehend.
When are we going to realize the government tends to cause more problems than it solves? I’m not saying our President shouldn’t defend us, that’s a huge part of his job. However, why not practice some transparency and make sure this proclamation is brought to the citizens’ attention. Shouldn’t we pat our President on the back for protecting us, why the down play of such an important piece of law? Is it because he is humble or is something else going on? I’ll let you decide.
Questions: What does this mean for you and me? Have you even heard of this Executive Order? Why isn’t our media being less bias (on both sides) and why isn’t this story a headliner, instead of buried beneath rubbish such as the latest entertainment scandal?
For a few slightly biased articles check these out or Google for yourself: