Even-odd is a dice game where you can lose fabulous amounts of money and wreck your life.  Now that Mr. Bush is thinking proactively, and using precise language, I feel so much better:  except, only on one-half of the mix:

On July 17, President Bush signed an Executive Order that further closes the gaps for those who would aid and support an insurgency in Iraq.  The text of the Order is here

This new order apparently fills a gap in economic sanctions/prosecution of aid and support to the enemy.  Here is an explanation to Congress of its antecedents, scope and importance:

I issued this order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. In these previous Executive Orders, I ordered various measures to address the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in that country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq.

My new order takes additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315 by blocking the property and interests in property of persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people. The order further authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to designate for blocking those persons determined to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person designated pursuant to this order, or to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

I delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, the authority to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of my order. I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.

Now, here are my questions:

1. Not sweeping enough: If this Executive Order is designed to fill in gaps, then why in the world does it not include the words “and Afghanistan” after every incidence of the word “Iraq”?

It just so happens that the drug trade in Afghanistan has been nowise any healthier than it is today, with record-breaking crops.  And Afghanistan and ISAF security forces are having to contend with the consequences of income from that trade, in the form of a new insurgency personnel, strategy, p.r. campaign, and weaponry.  If anywhere some blocked funding would be required, it would be in Afghanistan.

2. Too sweeping: The language of this order covers everything in such a way that a donated box of paperclips to the wrong person might put one under prosecution.  I wonder what affect it will have on philanthropy in general, as well as to the rule of law.  I’m pretty sure the U.S. government doesn’t have enough money to prosecute everyone with a mis-guided gift of paperclips, but I’m concerned about the rule of law here, which is a principle above economic-rational government decisions: surely that is a contradiction in terms anyway.

Roll the dice: will you donate to Iraq refugees or not?  Will the terrorists come from Iraq or not?  What do we do next?  It’s a crap shoot.

Further Reading:
Federal Judge Strikes down Part of E.O. 13224 on Terrorist Finance–November, 2006

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