Bush's ambiguous executive order on torture got a lot of attention this weekend, but lost in the shuffle was this truly disturbing order, also signed last week. Entitled Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq, this edict effectively criminializes the anti-war movement and acts as a quasi-forfeiture law against pretty much anyone who disagrees with the Great Decider's war plans.
Prof. Michel Chossudovsky notes:
It is intended to "blocking property" of US citizens and organizations actively involved in the peace movement. It allows the Department of Defense to interfere in financial affairs and instruct the Treasury to "block the property" and/or confiscate/ freeze the assets of "Certain Persons" involved in antiwar activities.
The Executive Order ...provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US led war.
One assumes, considering the broad terms used in the order, defining which such persons fall under the act will be determined by our Dictator-in Chief. Hurl your slurs about my paranoia if you must, but it sure sounds to me like Bush just inched a little bit closer to martial law with this one.
Of particular interest in the order is this section defining the illegal acts:
(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;
As Radley remarks, that could be applied rather broadly if done honestly.
You could make a pretty good case that those ""undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction" would include those companies with no-bid contracts that have vastly overbilled U.S. taxpayers for their services, the corrupt cronyists, or even the Bush administration itself, which appointed unqualified Heritage Foundation interns and GOP donors with no expertise to head up major Iraqi government agencies and reconstruction projects.
However, considering who's in charge of the deciding, it's a rather safe bet that your local Friends or MoveOn chapter will be the more likely targets.