Thursday, July 19, 2007

5th Amendment Repealed, Americans Don't Notice

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The information below has been garnered from Slashdot, UK's Guardian, and CNN.

Tuesday, there wasn't even a fuss. Wednesday, the world was a little different. By executive order, the Secretary of the Treasury may now seize the property of any person who undermines efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq. The Secretary may make his determination in secret and after the fact. The new authority will only be used to go after terrorists.

The order gives the Secretary of the Treasury the right to immediately and without notice freeze all assets of anyone suspected of either directly or indirectly attempting to undermine the Iraqi government as well as anyone who has financial dealings, directly or indirectly, with such people. The language is ridiculously broad and does appear to violate the 5th amendment. It appears that if you, say, donate to a charity that the Bush administration determines is trying to undermine the Iraqi government, all of your assets can be frozen. The language is very broad and open to interpretation by the Secretary of the Treasury, who serves at the pleasure of the President. This is absolutely begging to be abused.

I love you guys. American reality is better than American television.

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