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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.

Source

Sierra Club Challenges Md. Natural Gas Terminal

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Sierra Club said Thursday it will try to block an energy company’s plan to export liquefied natural gas from the booming Marcellus Shale formation.

Virginia-based Dominion Resources Inc. is seeking to export 1 billion cubic feet per day through a terminal it owns in Maryland.

A previous legal settlement dating to the 1970s gives the Sierra Club the ability to reject any significant changes to the purpose or footprint of the existing natural gas terminal in Cove Point,
Md.

The environmental group says the export project could result in major damage to the Chesapeake Bay and nearby Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland.

Dominion says the Cove Point terminal is well-situated to export gas from the prolific Marcellus Shale region, which lies beneath Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Ohio and other states.

“The damage that this project would bring to the Maryland coast as well as the disastrous effects of the fracking boom on communities in states like Pennsylvania make it clear that exporting liquefied natural gas is bad news for Americans’ air, water and health,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the
Sierra Club.

Exporting liquefied natural gas, or LNG, would drive up the cost of domestic natural gas, Brune said, reversing the effects of a natural gas boom that has driven U.S. prices to 10-year lows.

Thomas F. Farrell II, president and CEO of Dominion Resources, said the company intends to go forward with the project.

“We have reviewed the various regulations, agreements and rulings from various regulatory bodies governing the site and are confident that we will be able to locate, construct and operate a liquefaction facility at Cove Point,” Farrell told reporters.

Dominion will design the plant to minimize damage to the environment, Farrell said.

The dispute over the Maryland plant comes as federal regulators have approved the first large-scale natural gas export facility in the United States.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cleared construction of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, La., last week. The facility, owned by Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc., will chill natural gas into a liquid that can be shipped on tankers, allowing U.S. producers to export natural gas overseas for potentially huge profits. An existing LNG import facility at the Louisiana site will be converted also to handle imports.

The push for exports represents a turnaround from just a few years ago, when U.S. companies were seeking to build LNG terminals that would receive natural gas from other countries.

Those plans changed as improved drilling techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, allowed drillers to gain access to natural gas wells that were hard to reach in the past.

Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, involves blasting mixtures of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to stimulate the release of gas. It is often combined with horizontal drilling, which can increase production far beyond a vertically drilled well.

Brune, of the Sierra Club, called on the Energy Department to review potential dangers of fracking. No federal agency has fully analyzed or disclosed such dangers to the public, he said.

Gas companies say fracking has been used safely for decades.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)Source

Dominion: Sierra Club Will Not Block Cove Point Liquefaction Project (USA)

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Dominion said yesterday it is confident that its existing agreement with the Sierra Club and the Maryland Conservation Council permits the company to build a natural gas liquefaction plant proposed for its Cove Point facility in Lusby, Md.

Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and CEO, said:

“As with any project of this magnitude, we would expect some opposition from various special interest groups. The Sierra Club, which is a party to an agreement restricting activities on portions of the Cove Point property, has previously expressed its opposition to all LNG export facilities.  We have reviewed the regulations and agreements governing the site and are confident we can locate, construct and operate a liquefaction plant at Cove Point. The project can be built within the footprint of the existing facility without amending the agreement involving the Sierra Club and the Maryland Conservation Council. Dominion plans to design, build and operate the facility with minimal environmental impacts.”

Farrell said that by adding on to an existing facility, the Cove Point project would have less environmental impact than other liquefaction projects proposed for greenfield sites. He also noted that the Cove Point facility has been cited many times for its environmental stewardship, such as for the restoration of the 190-acre Cove Point freshwater marsh, a Maryland Natural Heritage Area along Chesapeake Bay.

Dominion announced earlier today it is moving forward with its natural gas liquefaction project at Cove Point. At the end of March, Dominion signed binding precedent agreements with two companies, one of which is Sumitomo Corp., a major Japanese corporation with significant global energy operations. Between the two shippers, the planned project capacity of about 750 million cubic feet per day on the inlet and about 4.5 million to 5 million metric tons per annum on the outlet, is fully subscribed. Construction is expected to begin in 2014, with an in-service date in 2017, pending receipt of necessary approvals, negotiating binding terminal service agreements with the shippers and successful completion of engineering studies.

Economic studies filed with Dominion’s federal approval applications anticipate a number of significant benefits from the project, including:

  • An average of 750 construction workers would be employed during three-plus years of construction. There will be between 2,700 and 3,400 jobs associated with the project in Calvert County alone at the peak of construction activity.  Benefits to the natural gas and other industries would support another 14,600 jobs once the shippers begin natural gas exports.
  • About $1 billion annually of additional federal, state and local government revenues would be generated directly and indirectly.
  • Owners of the natural gas rights would receive an estimated $9.8 billion in royalties from production of natural gas over the life of the project.
  • The natural gas exports would lower the U.S. trade deficit by $2.8 billion to $7.1 billion annually.

Source

USA: Sierra Club Opposes Cameron LNG Export Plans

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The Sierra Club filed a formal protest to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday, challenging a proposal to export billions of cubic feet of domestic natural gas from a facility on Lake Charles in Cameron Parish, LA.

The Sierra Club’s protest challenges natural gas companies’ efforts to secure liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses without acknowledging its damaging effects. DOE is currently studying the effects of exporting as much as a fifth of the domestic gas supply, and the Sierra Club calls for similar studies of the public health and environmental damage caused by increased fracking.

The Sierra Club’s challenge contends that the Cameron export proposal would lead to increased air and water pollution in Louisiana and Texas and raise domestic natural gas prices. The filing calls for a full Environmental Impact Statement to study the extent of this proposed facility’s environmental damages before DOE makes any final decisions. Weighing these threats is particularly important because the oil and gas industry currently exploits numerous loopholes and exceptions in federal safeguards, putting the health and safety of Americans at risk.

This filing is the fifth protest the Sierra Club has brought before DOE and other regulatory bodies, opposing LNG export facilities. The other challenges were filed against Cove Point, MD, Sabine Pass, LA, Coos Bay, OR, and Freeport, TX.

Source

USA: Environmental Groups Join Forces Against LNG Fracking

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Yesterday multiple environmental organizations called on the US President’s chief environmental advisor asking for a full environmental analysis of plans to export liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The letter to the Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency sounds the alarm that the agencies considering these export plans are not analyzing or disclosing the environmental impacts of the increased hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ that would be necessary to support major LNG exports.

Exporting liquefied natural gas means more dangerous fracking, a secretive and toxic part of the production process that the Sierra Club has no confidence in,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.With the health of our communities and our environment at stake, it’s up to our leaders at EPA and other agencies to keep their commitment to protecting Americans from the toxic threats to our air and water that come with liquefied natural gas.”

LNG facilities like the one proposed for Cove Point are intended to ship natural gas extracted in this country off to foreign lands, said Michael Helfrich of Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper. “The result is that gas drillers can ship American gas overseas in order to make more money, but this increases the price of natural gas for us, and our communities and environment get ravaged by the shale gas “gold rush”, including thousands of miles of new pipelines and new compressor stations through the Susquehanna Watershed. It may be a win for the gas drillers but it throws the idea of American energy independence out the window.”

Gas drilling is devastating the communities where it is happening; the claim of environmentally friendly fracking and shale gas drilling is just another expensive messaging campaign” says Maya van Rossum of the Delaware Riverkeeper.People are losing their drinking water, their clean air, their health, and the beautiful landscapes they call home. The assertion of cheap gas and energy independence is just another marketing campaign – drillers are investing heavily in building and expanding LNG facilities in order to ship American extracted gas overseas. Americans are suffering all of the pollution and harm from gas drilling while foreign countries get to use the gas and drillers get to reap the profits. It’s a lose lose for Americans.

On February 7th, 2012, The Sierra Club filed the first formal objection with the Department of Energy against the export of domestic gas produced from fracking. This objection called the export proposal an unwise plan which would make a dirty fuel even more dangerous and would cost families money by raising gas and electricity prices. The Sierra Club also intervened in proposals for LNG export facility permits in Sabine Pass, LA and Coos Bay, OR.

The letter is signed by the Sierra Club, the Columbia Riverkeeper, the Delaware Riverkeeper, Earthjustice, Friends of Living Oregon Waters (FLOW), Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper and the Rogue Riverkeeper.

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