Obama: Executive Order 3/16/12 – National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order – Some EO History

This Executive Order (EO) (as yet unnumbered) dated last Friday  provides for the continuity of Government in the case of a National Emergency and puts in place the planning for “preparedness.” The words Martial Law do not appear in the title of the EO, but a quick read makes it clear that confiscation of property can be ordered in certain circumstance.  The question is, why do we need this order? Below you will see that we already have similar direction in place and have had for many years.  What is different about this one?  It would take many hours for me to figure it out in detail, so I’m hoping someone else who follows Executive Orders or national defense directives, will write about why this one is needed.

UPDATE 3-22-12: Read the latest update on redefining the meaning of National Defense here.

Here’s my inexpert opinion: Obama clarifies in March 2012 EO, that in the case of an National Emergency the government can take everything you have: your food and water and weapons, your manufacturing, construction businesses and farms, and their equipment and supplies , the country’s energy, our civil transportation. They can abscond with your fertilizers. The Government can expand or modify your privately owned business, force Government-owned equipment into your facility, and hijack your labor field. UPDATE: AND they can do this at anytime of an emergency or in times of peace (continue below the graphic).

Click the pic for information on this 1933 Executive Order

Sec102.  Policy.  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.  The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness.  The authorities provided in the Act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States.

The question: if we are not “capable” in times of peace of “contributing” when there is an emergency, what are the Government’s limits, based on their authority under this document (and yes, similar docs have been signed by many other presidents), but it is something we should ponder.

UPDATE: As I continue to research this EO, I read and hear a lot of hysteria on the blogosphere, and I am not entirely dismissive of that hysteria, but the truth is, without deep research into every Executive Order, Presidential Directive and Proclamation, we haven’t a clue. The Purpose and Policy leads me to believe the EO authorizes the analyzation (assessment) of our preparedness. The authority to “Implement,” before an emergency, is not as clear. This provision is particularly unclear:

be prepared, in the event of a potential threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements;to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements;

If found that we do not have the capabilities, services and critical technology, what action can the Government take to provide it? [end UPDATE]

The various Cabinet Secretaries will give their “findings” of need, which may wander into another Department’s purview, but if two Secretaries disagree, the president will make the final decision. The Order guarantees necessary “loans” from private institutions.

Government seizing water is always a concern to me. This order clarifies:

(n)  “Water resources” means all usable water, from all sources, within the jurisdiction of the United States, that can be managed, controlled, and allocated to meet emergency requirements, except “water resources” does not include usable water that qualifies as “food resources.”

Canada Free Press notes Government agents have been “visiting farms with GPS devices, so they know exactly where to go….”

 This Executive Order, under Sec. 803, revokes in its entirety Executive Order 12919 of June 3, 1994 titled National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness, and revokes sections 401(3) (4) of Executive Order 12656 titled Assignment of Emergency preparedness Responsibilities. In the March 2012 Order, the word “commercial” has been deleted from same language in 12919 401(4).

The March 2012 order says:

1) Nothing in the Order “affects the authorities assigned under Executive Order 12472 of April 3, 1984.” Order 12472 was signed by Reagan and is titled “Assignment of national security and emergency preparedness telecommunications functions and has been amended several times.

2) The Order also states it does nothing to affect Executive Order 11858 of May 7, 1975 – EXCEPT in Section 802 of this Order. Executive Order 11858 is titled Foreign Investment in the United States.

3) My take on Section 802, is that powers delegated to the Secretary of Treasury CAN BE re-delegated, and allows subpoena power, and denies “fixing compensation,” whatever “fixing compensation” means in this context.

George W. Bush issued at least two Martial Law Executive Orders and it is important to note that there are differing types of Martial Law, when, how and from whom martial law can be declared.

At least one of Bush’s asked Department heads for contingency plans in the event of a “decapitating” attack, meaning, according to the Washington Post, a nuclear bomb attack in Washington, D.C. without any prior warning. The crux of the one Bush Order is planning across the U.S. in the event of government in D.C. being destroyed.

Washington Post on the Bush Order:

After the 2001 attacks, Bush assigned about 100 senior civilian managers to rotate secretly to locations outside of Washington for weeks or months at a time to ensure the nation’s survival, a shadow government that evolved based on long-standing “continuity of operations plans.”

Since then, other agencies including the Pentagon, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA have taken steps to relocate facilities or key functions outside of Washington for their own reasons, citing factors such as economics or the importance of avoiding Beltway “group-think.”

InfoWars an analysis on the Bush EO here.  portions were classified, Congress unable to view it.

May 2007, in Bush’s The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive:

…also places the Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of domestic “security”, was signed earlier this month without the approval or oversight of Congress and seemingly supercedes the National Emergency Act which allows the president to declare a national emergency but also requires that Congress have the authority to “modify, rescind, or render dormant” such emergency authority if it believes the president has acted inappropriately. Source: InfoWars

In January 2010 Obama issued another Executive Order to establish The Council of Governors specifically to convene in the event of a national disaster.

Under both Republican and Democrat Congresses, Executive Orders have been derided, examined and fought. Executive Orders find their legality in the “implied powers doctrine,” but should in theory, be based on constitutional responsibilities or on statute. A recent example is Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta telling the U.S. Senate that the President has/had the authority to send troops into war zones without Congressional authority, specifically referring to Libya and Syria, based on, according to Panetta, the responsibility to protect the Nation. Generally that protect points to vital interests of livelihood, quality of life and physical protection of American soil. Neither Libya or Syria affects a national interest of the U.S. It now remains to be seen what Congress does about Panetta and his in-you-face power grab on behalf of the Department of Defense and Barack Obama.

The following comes from a 1999 U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules testimony on Executive Lawmaking (the numbering and paragraphing are mine for easier reading):

The options available to Congress in the face of an executive order it opposes are constrained by the nature of a system that requires legislation emerging from the Congress to be signed or allowed to become law by the President.

1) The Congress may seek to nullify, repeal, revoke, terminate or de-fund an executive order, but each such action requires the eventual concurrence of the President (most likely the same President that issued the order in the first place).

2) The Congress may also seek to repeal the underlying statutory authority upon which a particular executive order was based. If the underlying statute is repealed, any ensuing executive order based upon that law is no longer valid.

3) Another tool available to the Congress is to seek to implement a sunset or termination date for statutory authority upon which an executive order is based. In this way, when the sunset date is reached, it is up to Congress to determine whether to renew the provision or let it die.

4) A major tool in the arsenal of the Congress with regard to executive orders lies in the power of the purse. Congress may withhold funds for the implementation of an executive order, thereby directly challenging the President’s ability to put in place a particular policy…

5) Remedy also exists in the judicial branch, in instances where the legitimacy of an executive order is challenged. There have been, however, only two occasions – once in 1952 and once in 1996 – when executive orders were struck down by the courts.

When President Truman seized steel mills to end a labor dispute, the matter ended up at the Supreme Court:

The Court found that an executive order must be based either on an act of Congress or directly on the Constitution itself. In an important concurring opinion, Justice Jackson established a framework for assessment of executive orders, which includes three “tests” to determine the legitimacy of such an order. That opinion reads, in part:

“When the President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its maximum, for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate. In these circumstances, and in these only, may he be said (for what it may be worth) to personify the federal sovereignty. . .

“When the President acts in absence of either a congressional grant or denial of authority, he can only rely upon his own independent powers, but there is a zone of twilight in which he and Congress may have concurrent authority, or in which its distribution is uncertain. Therefore, congressional inertia, indifference or quiescence may sometimes, at least as a practical matter, enable, if not invite, measures on independent presidential responsibility. . .

“When the President takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb, for then he can rely only upon his own constitutional powers minus any constitutional powers of Congress over the entire matter. . .”

President Clinton’s EO 12954, disallowing contracting with any company replacing striking Union members, was struck by SCOTUS.

Clinton’s EO 13083 tried to revise Reagan’s EO on “federalism” and the powers of state and local authorities. He eventually withdrew the EO after Governors, state legislators and city officials mounted opposition.

I find one House Resolution to “Restore Separation of Powers” legislation, introduced in 1999 by Congressman Ron Paul. It went exactly nowhere.

In my opinion, to clean up illegal and abusive Executive Orders, we must first legislate that the Executive Office and the DOJ provide the constitutional or statute power behind the Executive Order.

Update: Read more on the March 2012 Executive Order at Hot Air: Power Grab or Mere Update? and at Legal Insurrection: No Martial Law.

More at Grumpy Opinions: Don’t Panic…Yet!.

Linked at The Desk of Lady Liberty 1885 – thank you!

Linked at Nebraska Energy Observer – thank you!

Linked in SENTRY JOURNAL’S amazing new weekend news round-up. Seriously folks, you can find everything worth finding here.

Linked at The Lonely Conservative – thank you!

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook

  • kathleen

    Thank you Maggie.

    • Thank you! Kathleen for stopping by and reading.

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  • Geo

    This is going to be the longest, hotest summer we have seen in decades. Since the sixties. We continue down the Greek path of self destruction, the economy is still falthering and could crash at any time, unemployment setting records for longevity, record numbers leaving [giving up] the workforce. No foreseeable limits on Oil and Gas prices. The unions facing some major curtailments in benefits and retirements. OWS has started to raise their ugly heads again. Tension in the Middle East. Us in Afghanistan, Israel in the Middle East and Iran on a slow and steady march toward nuclear power. Two national political conventions on the horizon. A President that has already proven that he will resort to anything to accomplish his goals, including ignoring the law and the Constitution.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    I predicted this guy was going to rule and Legislate by Executive fiat if lost the mid term elections [thereby Congress] and he has. He has gone “unchecked” by the Congress. Republicans seem afraid to engage him and seem content to just go along. If he loses this coming November . . . stand back you haven’t seen anything yet.

    We no longer have “Three Co-Equal” Branches of Government. For years the Judiciary has grabbed power and legislated. Now the Executive Branch has seized everything with a liberal Judiciary lingering in the background on the bench just waiting to be called upon.

    These are very dangerous times!

    • Geo, these are indeed dangerous times. All we needed to know about Barack Obama was all over the internet (and all over my blog). His connections told the story. Outside of the press refusing to tell the story and let voters decide, Congress did nothing, and continues to do nothing. They seem fine with their authority diminished to the level of fools. It will definitely be a rough ride through the rest of the year. I pray whoever our nominee is, that every one who refuses to vote for Barack Obama will get behind the GOP candidate – no matter what.

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  • I, too, posted on this, but posted only a link. I was that dumbfounded!

    How are we going to get back control of our country from BHO The Power Grabber?

    • AOW, If we can win the election, we will then have a massive task to utilize what we now know we need from those who represent us. Yes, this one wasn’t easy. I didn’t plan to wake up to an EO that is tied to others going way back. I only tried a little bit:-)

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  • Maggie, there’s a reason I turn to your blog first when I hear about something and want to know more about it, and want the most accurate information possible. This post is a good example. Reasoned, in-depth, and clear to read. Thanks for this, you’re the best.

    Like many many others I believe that the coming months will be unlike any our country has ever seen. Without trying to sound melodramatic, I will just say that I would not put anything at all past the cabal calling themselves our administration.

    • Pup, that is the nicest comment. Thank you so much. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Yes, someone else commenting here today said this would be a long hot summer with all the Occupiers gearing up again, two conventions, the wars, Iran. It goes on and on. You’re not melodramatic. It’s just that today we know. Without a doubt we know that we have the illegal, corrupt administration ever, or at least in my lifetime. Even with problems many years ago, Congress today is very different. There is no control vested anywhere but in the Executive Branch.

      • “There is no control vested anywhere but in the Executive Branch.”

        Exactly. That’s what’s different, and frightening. God bless America.

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  • David

    With the expanded Patriot ACT and now this latest Executive Order, virtually declaring Martial Law, these acts are tantamount to a declaration of war on the private citizens of America. Yet the Congress has done absolutely nothing to protect us from them. The media have done absolutely nothing to expose these and atrocities on the Constitution. No one has effectively challenged the outrageous abuse of governmental power which goes on unabated day by day.
    If the President has the power to unilaterally enact such laws via Executive Power abuses then tell me why he won’t simply eliminate the 2 term rule to hold the office of the president beyond 2 terms? Congress and the media have already proven to be directly or indirectly complicit in helping him, so why not? After all that we have seen so far tell me it’s not possible for this president to hold office for the next 30 years? Absolutely nothing and no one so far has stopped his advancement of government or stopped any of his communist programs. In fact more and more dictates are being enacted at the will of this regime without any opposition.
    And while all of this is going on the regime is working very injudiciously against the States trying to protect their borders and trying to protect the integrity of their voting process.
    What can we do but be a witness to the demise of our nation right before our very eyes? If our 535 elected officials in Congress are unable to enforce the Constitution or maintain any checks or balances in our government then what are we to do? If our media are hell bent on the total destruction of our nation then what are we to do?
    The very fact that our nation is in this dilemma indicates a much larger problem that merely who holds the office of the president. It’s apparent that a vast number of elected officials are derelict in their sworn duties and must be replaced by Constitution conscious Americans. The entire body of government must be gone through with a fine tooth comb and be shed of it’s lice. The American people must make their collective voices heard more than loud and clear as to our demand for Constitutional adherence by all those sworn to uphold it. The Tea Party seems to be doing their part but it’s still not enough. Other Americans from other groups must also speak loudly and clearly on this subject.
    There is a way to get our nation back on the right track but still we are from from it. Unless and until we can unite in enough force to counter the obnoxious Marxist takeover that’s evident in nearly every aspect of America we will lose our nation sooner than most would like to think. No truer words apply to this than Aesop’s “United We Stand and Divided We Fall”. We the people must first choose the proper course of action for ourselves or continue to follow as sheep to our own sheering and subsequent slaughter. We’ll see but there’s already a lot of money riding on apathy.

    • David, he can try to abolish the two terms. Our country will come undone if he does. The great danger is our Congress, as you say. We have to win this election. We just have to. “money riding on apathy” – indeed.

  • Maggie and everyone who reads this article. I never used to think this country could be taken over. I don’t think that this morning. From what I’ve seen over the past three years, it can happen within hours, if this country has a willing law enforcement and a willing military.
    I recently watched a video on youtube, of part of a movie, of just one incident that took place in Athens Tenn. in I think it was, 1946, when a corrupt county sheriff, to ensure his re-election, to keep his criminal enterprise in place, stole the ballot boxes, with the help of 200 of his highly armed deputies. The returning vets from World War 2, armed themselves, from weapons at a local armoury and they laid siege to the Sheriff’s jail. They eventually blew the door to that well defended stone building and arrested all inside.. the sheriff escaped out the back door, and re-took their county. Is this something that’s in our future? Man I hope not.

    • David Lemon, wow what a story. This is why the Oathkeepers are so important to our society. And the Second Amendment. I’ll look for the Athens, Tenn. video.

      • It’s amazing.. there’s even a plaque in Athens that commemorates this incident. Funny how you never hear anything about this today.. just an obscure movie, and Youtube video.

        • David Lemon, I watched the Athen’s video last night. I plan to post it as soon as I get caught up with breaking news. What a story.

      • I think I sent you the link on this..

  • David

    Those brave Tennesseans didn’t have the New Black Panthers, ACORN, Eric Holder’s Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security, The Patriot Act and the new “Martial Law” Executive Order to contend with either. How many thousands of voting stations will be spread out over the country for the 2012 General Election? How many of the hundreds of thousands of known fake or illegitimate voter registrations will actually make it to votes? To make matters worse the Media and the Democrat Party are absolutely aligned in support of this voting corruption. In addition, The Congress has failed to support the States rights to take their necessary legal steps to ensure the integrity of their voting process. The Justice Department has in fact restricted the States from exercising their Constitutional rights to that end as well. Lastly, the pure number of people dependent on the Government for a living today as compared to 1946 is staggering. As an aside note, remember we have an administration that attempts to prosecute U.S. Navy Seals for allegedly punching a terrorist in a combat zone. Heaven help anyone who tries to enforce a fair election this November as those Americans did seemingly eons ago.

    • David, the prospect of the voter fraud we will face in this election is staggering. I hope the GOP is ready for it.

      • Voter fraud isn’t a problem in Madison County Montana.. Where it is, what can concerned citizens do? It’s so agrivating that the dead still vote.. or Micky Mouse has a vote..

        • David, I’m reading that all of need to volunteer to be poll minders. If an area needs them, the GOP will likely know and put us to work.

          • Then I need to contact the GOP here and volunteer for that..

            • David Lemon, they may not need it in your area, but who knows.

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  • People need to be concerned about the EO as it is a power grab. The EO can be used in times of Peace… Read it http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness No National Emergency required.

    Audio resource that goes through EO section by section… http://youtu.be/myPENDAJdE0

    • Montana, thank you for the links, and for taking the time to read and join the conversation. I’ll check them out.

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