Mr. President, I Object to Yemeni President Hadi’s Rule and Your Chilling New EO Even More
But: please tell Ms. Clinton and Mr. Geithner that they’ll have a tough time freezing my assets; like anyone paying attention to the stock market and about-to-fail banks, I buried what little cash we have…well, never mind where I buried it. Unless, of course, you know already from the constant monitoring of ‘potential dissidents’ you’re engaged it. Yes; I did tell our kids where to dig if we die soon, or…get sent to some gulag of your choice.
We do understand that, as Pepe Escobar says, your ME (and NATO/AFRICOM/GCCC’s) foreign policy is essentially based on “Long Live Our Gulf Bastards”, but for Allah’s sake: Hadi? The sole candidate on the ballot after Saleh ‘stepped down’ last year? His former (US-backed) Veep? Get real, Mr. President.
The directive you issued today, according to the WaPo’s Karen deYoung says that your whiz-bang Executive Order gives:
“…the Treasury Department authority to freeze the U.S.-based assets of anyone who “obstructs” implementation of the administration-backed political transition in Yemen.
The unusual order, which administration officials said also targets U.S. citizens who engage in activity deemed to threaten Yemen’s security or political stability, is the first issued for Yemen that does not directly relate to counterterrorism. (my bold)
Unlike similar measures authorizing terrorist designations and sanctions, the new order does not include a list of names or organizations already determined to be in violation. Instead, one official said, it is designed as a “deterrent” to “make clear to those who are even thinking of spoiling the transition” to think again.
The official was authorized to discuss the new order on the condition of anonymity.”
(That last sentence: Obama officially approves and unofficial, anonymous LEAK; pretty funny altogether.)
So, let us get this straight: Timmeh and Hillary get to decide if I, or any of us, are Thinking Negative Thoughts or Raising Objections to your backing of one more Gulf tyrant, right? And if they think we’re undermining the stability of Your Government in Yemen by objecting to the fact that this further curtails self-determination by Yemeni citizens…our bank accounts can get frozen? Let’s see what Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill have to say about it, okay?
“In other words, the U.S. Government will now punish anyone who is determined — in the sole discretion of the U.S. Government — even to “indirectly” obstruct the full transition of power to President Hadi. But what if someone — a Yemeni or an American — opposes Hadi’s rule and wants to agitate for a real election in which more than one candidate runs? Is that pure political advocacy, as it appears, now prohibited by the U.S. Government, punishable by serious sanctions, on the ground that it “obstructs” the transition of power to Hadi? Can journalists who report on corruption or violence by the Hadi regime and who write Op-Eds demanding a new election be accused, as it seems, of “threatening Yemen’s political stability”?
Jeremy Scahill, who has reported extensively from Yemen over the last year, reacted to the news of this Executive Order this morning by writing: ”This Executive Order appears to be an attack on Americans’ 1st Amendment Rights and Yemenis’ rights to self-determination“; he added: ”apparently the 1st Amendment had an exception about Yemen in it that I missed.” He then asked a series of questions, including: “What if a Yemeni citizen doesn’t believe in a one candidate ‘election’ and is fighting to change their government? US sanctions?” and ”How would Obama define an American citizen as ‘indirectly’ threatening the stability of Yemen’s government?” and “what if an American citizen doesn’t support Yemen’s government and agitates for its downfall? Sanctions from US Treasury? Wow.” Marcy Wheeler has some typically astute points to make about this as well.”
Greenwald chronicles the up-and-down money trail of US financial aid over the past year, and also calls ‘bullshit’ on de Young’s final White House stenographic statements attempting to pretend this is ‘business as usual’:
“Obama administration officials compared the order to one the president issued in 2009 against anyone threatening the agreement that installed a transitional government in Somalia.
In 2006, President George W. Bush issued a similar order regarding Ivory Coast in West Africa.”
Small wonder, then, that you have been working directly with the Department of Homeland Security to quash the Occupy movement, which embodies the principle that this country was mean to be one Big Free Speech Zone.
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
~Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)
Just sayin’. Mr. President. Ah, the dangers of the ‘well-respected man’.