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Executive Order 13629: A National Security Hybrid

November 5, 2012
By Lee DeCovnick

B.H. Obama has issued 139 executive orders since becoming president.  Some are fairly benign; many are deeply troubling, specifically as to the wholesale consolidation of emergency powers into the office of the presidency.  The newest executive order is a breathtaking assault on entire sections of Constitution and the rights, freedoms, and liberties of all Americans, carefully hidden within the stultifying and banal language of bureaucratic doublespeak.

On October 26, 2012, eleven days before our national election, with tropical depression Sandy bearing down on thirteen East-Coast states and the Libyan disaster still a smoking morass of obfuscation, cover-ups, and unanswered questions, the White House’s Friday news dump included EO 13629.  Titled “Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council,” this EO should chill the freedom-loving souls of all Americans.

Not surprisingly, the MSM has not mentioned EO 13629 — not anywhere.  No mention in the NY Times, the Washington Post, or on any of the alphabet news and cable networks.  The blogosphere, liberal and conservative (except Hannity), has had almost no mention of EO 13629.  This EO was purposefully buried by the White House and ignored by the alternative press.

Have I got your attention?  Then I’ll invite you to leave American Thinker for a couple of minutes and read the EO for yourself (only 1,232 words), and then return here.

All right, show of hands — who almost fell asleep digging through the tons of gravel to find the nasty gems?  Yeah, me too.  It takes a very close reading of this EO to understand what is actually going on here.

Let’s first look first at paragraph three:

The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe “we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing.” This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States.

A couple of things stand out.  The EO quotes “The National Security Strategy,” an Orwellian document released by the White House in May of 2010 that advocates, in so many words, the end of American sovereignty and the ascendancy of a U.N.-based “transnational government.”  It’s most famous line includes “We are now moving beyond traditional distinctions between Homeland and National Security.”

What to make of the line “… we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States”?  What an eerie phrase: “all-of-Nation.”  A Google search shows that phrase was also used in the “National Strategy For Biosurveillance,” a tyrant’s Christmas wish list, that was a July 2012 White House document, and Presidential Policy Directive 8, a FEMA directive on National Preparedness from March of 2011.  Odd and troubling coincidences, to say the least.

Bottom line: the National Security Strategy encourages partnerships with non-governmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations.  Got it.

So what exactly is the EO plan for these partnerships?

There is established a White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to foster local partnerships — between the Federal Government and the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement — to address homeland security challenges.

The actionable clause: “to address homeland security challenges.”  We’ll get to the chest-beating 900-pound gorillas in the room in a moment, but two significant items immediately demand our attention.

Did you notice that “homeland security” was not capitalized?  It is usually referred to as the “Department of Homeland Security.”  The usage in the EO of homeland as noun, but not a proper noun, is not a mistake.  Yellow-highlight that line; we will return to it later.  Also, the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are not specified as necessarily being of American origin or even of a pro-American outlook.  They could also refer to foreign NGOs, as these are prominent progressive political activist groups that are strongly supported by the American-hating Byzantine bureaucracies of the U.N. and EU.

Let’s move on.  Membership of this Council is quite specific and requires a surprisingly narrow skill set:

… the Council shall be composed of Federal officials who are from field offices of the executive departments, agencies, and bureaus (agencies) that are members of the Steering Committee established in subsection (c) of this section, and who have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships to address policy priorities.

So Council members must come from the field offices of the executive departments and have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships.  Council members, except those whose agency already deals with security issues, evidently are not required to have a background in security, law enforcement, criminal justice, or the judiciary system; all that is required is an ability to develop and institutionalize partnerships.  Is the council carefully recruiting government bureaucrats who can train, mold, and imprint a bureaucratic mindset onto these partners for the Council’s purposes?  If not, what is meant by “institutionalize”?  And why are the recruited members supposed to be selected from “field offices” rather than the usual Potomac swamps?

Closely reading this EO feels like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, blindfolded.  Perhaps that was that the intent.

Let’s go on.  Okay, these White House Council members are selected by the Steering Committee.  Huh?  What Steering Committee?

The Steering Committee shall include a representative at the Deputy agency head level, or that representative’s designee, from the following agencies:

(i) Department of State;
(ii) Department of the Treasury;
(iii) Department of Defense;
(iv) Department of Justice;
(v) Department of the Interior;
(vi) Department of Agriculture;
(vii) Department of Commerce;
(viii) Department of Labor;
(ix) Department of Health and Human Services;
(x) Department of Housing and Urban Development;
(xi) Department of Transportation;
(xii) Department of Energy;
(xiii) Department of Education;
(xiv) Department of Veterans Affairs;
(xv) Department of Homeland Security;
(xvi) Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
(xvii) Environmental Protection Agency;
(xviii) Small Business Administration; and
(xix) Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Notice that this Steering Committee and thus the Council has no congressional or judicial representation — i.e., no representation from the other co-equal branches of government.  No constitutional checks and balances.  The EO sets no term limits, no overview process, and no restraints on policies, authority, and structures.  Is it normal for the government to tightly integrate such group into the structure of government itself?  Well, yes — on some social and political issues such as voter registration or global warming, as examples.  But this EO goes far beyond the accepted governmental role in integrating such organizations because the purpose of this bastardized conglomeration is homeland and national security, not a typical social or political issue.  This EO is simply a blank check to build an executive-branch bureaucracy that actually plans to transform and integrate selected extra-governmental NGOs, foundations, and community-based organizations into a robust and unaccountable national security hybrid.

Americans need to be continually vigilant — this EO could swiftly metatasize and do untold damage to our nation and its people.  Anyone else think that this EO is flagrantly unconstitutional?  It gets worse.

The Council shall be chaired by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism …

That would be John Brennan, a veteran CIA apparatchik, Obama’s loyal terrier, and America’s current “terrorism and drone” czar.  Brennan supports reaching out to the “moderate elements” of Hezb’allah and has an exceptionally rocky relationship with the truth and reality in discussing this administration’s Middle East policies.

And more bad news:

At the invitation of the Chair, representatives of agencies not listed in subsection (c) of this section or other executive branch entities may attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate.

That is Washington bureaucratese for the Obama czars.  So, will the Steering Committee be well-represented with Obama’s hand-picked czars?  Why not?  No one will be looking.

Finally, what is the stated mission of the Council?

… advise the Chair and Steering Committee members on priorities, challenges, and opportunities for local partnerships to support homeland security priorities, as well as regularly report to the Steering Committee on the Council’s efforts …

And what are the homeland security priorities this Administration seeks to implement?  In web searches through some nasty swamps, using homeland with a lowercase h, I stumbled on this site.  An answer, not surprisingly, was found in a report from a George Soros-supported foundation, the Center for American Progress.  This all but forgotten February 2008 report, “Homeland Security Policy Priorities for the Next Administration and Congress,” includes this “Key Action” item that was pretty interesting.

Create a civilian homeland security corps.

Finally the penny drops.

We recall this quote from Obama’s July 2, 2008 speech:

We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

Let’s turn our attention to the pair of 900-pound gorillas sitting in the room, and why they are important.

First, our immediate concern should reflect that this EO’s bastardized security hybrid is hardly unique in modern history.  The German Schutzstaffel, the infamous SS, and the Soviet KGB, Committee for State Security, both began as hybrid security organizations.  They were deliberately created outside traditional governmental roles, exclusively for the consolidation and implementation of power on behalf of a single individual.  We should not forget that Americans and their forefathers have experienced and soundly rejected such authoritarian abuses, such as the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism.  But only the naive can believe that such a breakdown could not happen here in 21st-century America.

Second, the list of NGOs, foundations, and community-based organizations ripe for “institutionalization” would likely read like a Democratic who’s-who of hard-left organizations.  Is there any doubt that this administration and its czars would seek partnerships with La Raza, ACORN and its renamed offshoots, Move On, PETA, the Center for American Progress, Media Matters, CAIR and other Islamic organizations, the Sierra Club, AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and the AFT and CTA?

As these groups may become institutionalized into a national security hybrid, new orders will come down from the council, and information will flow up to Washington.

The new homeland security corps primary mission would likely become the monitoring and reporting of unacceptable political and social activities — city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block, house by house.

Could this corps become a latter-day Gestapo, heavily armed with cell-phone technology, linked databases, personal tablets, and bio-identification card readers?

We all can read this EO.  Some may have different interpretations of what they have read.  Considering the well-established trend of B.H. Obama’s cold disregard of constitutional checks and balances, and both the longstanding desire and a short-term need to create a White House framework for a domestic-security apparatus, EO 13629 may be forever linked in history with such infamous documents such as the Wannsee Protocol and the recently revealed files of the Spanish Inquisition.

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by ANDY STERN: Obama’s other Buddy

China’s Superior Economic Model

The free-market fundamentalist economic model is being thrown onto the trash heap of history.

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By ANDY STERN

Andy Grove, the founder and chairman of Intel, provocatively wrote in Businessweek last year that, “Our fundamental economic beliefs, which we have elevated from a conviction based on observation to an unquestioned truism, is that the free market is the best of all economic systems—the freer the better. Our generation has seen the decisive victory of free-market principles over planned economies. So we stick with this belief largely oblivious to emerging evidence that while free markets beat planned economies, there may be room for a modification that is even better.”

The past few weeks have proven Mr. Grove’s point, as our relations with China, and that country’s impact on America’s future, came to the forefront of American politics. Our inert Senate, while preparing for the super committee to fail, crossed the normally insurmountable political divide to pass legislation to address China’s currency manipulation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama all weighed in with their views—ranging from warnings that China must “end unfair discrimination” (Mrs. Clinton) to complaints that the U.S. has “been played like a fiddle” (Mr. Romney) and that China needs to stop “gaming” the international system (Mr. Obama).

As this was happening, I was part of a U.S.-China dialogue—a trip organized by the China-United States Exchange Foundation and the Center for American Progress—with high-ranking Chinese government officials, both past and present. For me, the tension resulting from the chorus of American criticism paled in significance compared to reading the emerging outline of China’s 12th five-year plan. The aims: a 7% annual economic growth rate; a $640 billion investment in renewable energy; construction of six million homes; and expanding next-generation IT, clean-energy vehicles, biotechnology, high-end manufacturing and environmental protection—all while promoting social equity and rural development.

Some Americans are drawing lessons from this. Last month, the China Daily quoted Orville Schell, who directs the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society, as saying: “I think we have come to realize the ability to plan is exactly what is missing in America.” The article also noted that Robert Engle, who won a Nobel Prize in 2003 for economics, has said that while China is making five-year plans for the next generation, Americans are planning only for the next election.

The world has been made “flat” by the technological miracles of Andy Grove, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. This has forced all institutions to confront what is clearly the third economic revolution in world history. The Agricultural Revolution was a roughly 3,000-year transition, the Industrial Revolution lasted 300 years, and this technology-led Global Revolution will take only 30-odd years. No single generation has witnessed so much change in a single lifetime.

The current debates about China’s currency, the trade imbalance, our debt and China’s excessive use of pirated American intellectual property are evidence that the Global Revolution—coupled with Deng Xiaoping’s government-led, growth-oriented reforms—has created the planet’s second-largest economy. It’s on a clear trajectory to knock America off its perch by 2025.

As Andy Grove so presciently articulated in the July 1, 2010, issue of Businessweek, the economies of China, Singapore, Germany, Brazil and India have demonstrated “that a plan for job creation must be the number-one objective of state economic policy; and that the government must play a strategic role in setting the priorities and arraying the forces of organization necessary to achieve this goal.”

The conservative-preferred, free-market fundamentalist, shareholder-only model—so successful in the 20th century—is being thrown onto the trash heap of history in the 21st century. In an era when countries need to become economic teams, Team USA’s results—a jobless decade, 30 years of flat median wages, a trade deficit, a shrinking middle class and phenomenal gains in wealth but only for the top 1%—are pathetic.

This should motivate leaders to rethink, rather than double down on an empirically failing free-market extremism. As painful and humbling as it may be, America needs to do what a once-dominant business or sports team would do when the tide turns: study the ingredients of its competitors’ success.

While we debate, Team China rolls on. Our delegation witnessed China’s people-oriented development in Chongqing, a city of 32 million in Western China, which is led by an aggressive and popular Communist Party leader—Bo Xilai. A skyline of cranes are building roughly 1.5 million square feet of usable floor space daily—including, our delegation was told, 700,000 units of public housing annually.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government can boast that it has established in Western China an economic zone for cloud computing and automotive and aerospace production resulting in 12.5% annual growth and 49% growth in annual tax revenue, with wages rising more than 10% a year.

For those of us who love this country and believe America has every asset it needs to remain the No. 1 economic engine of the world, it is troubling that we have no plan—and substitute a demonization of government and worship of the free market at a historical moment that requires a rethinking of both those beliefs.

America needs to embrace a plan for growth and innovation, with a streamlined government as a partner with the private sector. Economic revolutions require institutions to change and maybe make history, because if they stick to the status quo they soon become history. Our great country, which sparked and wants to lead this global revolution, needs a forward looking, long-term economic plan.

The imperative for change is simple. As Andy Grove pointed out: “If we want to remain a leading economy, we change on our own, or change will continue to be forced upon us.”

Mr. Stern was president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and is now a senior fellow at Columbia University’s Richman Center.

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