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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Executive Order 13629, Part IV - Gateway To A Police State

This is the final part of the series on Executive Order 13629, given by President Barack Obama on October 26, 2012.  Issued during Hurricane Sandy, Benghazi, and the heat of the election campaign, few probably noticed.  It is, in my opinion, extemely dangerous.  Especially so since many Americans do not trust this man.
For brevity's sake, I am not going to review Parts I, II, and III.  If you aren't familiar with the first 3 posts in this series, please go back and read them, or you can read Part III and get a quick overview that way.

The White House Homeland Security Partnership Council consists of 3 main segments,
  • the Personal Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism,
  • the Steering Committee,
  • and the Council proper. 
The Personal Assistant to the President is the Chair of both the Steering Committee and the general Council.  This person convenes all meetings, determines the agendas and coordinates the work.  This is a very powerful person.

The Steering Committee is made up of deputy agency head level (Presidential appointees) from 19 Cabinet Agencies.  These are State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, Labor, Health & Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veteran's Affairs, Homeland Security, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Environmental Protection Agency, Small Business Administration, and the FBI.  This is essentially a secondary Cabinet.

This is a very exclusive group, driven top-down, suggesting very close involvement of the President.  The Steering Committee provides guidance to the Council, whose members they also select:
"The nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council shall be established by the Steering Committee. Based on those criteria, agency heads may select and present to the Steering Committee their nominee or nominees to represent them on the Council. The Steering Committee shall consider all of the nominees and decide by consensus which of the nominees shall participate on the Council. Each member agency on the Steering Committee, with the exception of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, may have at least one representative on the Council."

(a) The Council shall... [with my comments in blue]
consistent with guidance from the Steering Committee [Read: do the bidding of the Steering Committee]:
(i) 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;  [Read:  The Council will be the eyes and ears of the Steering Committee, prowling for opportunities to seize upon.]
(ii) promote homeland security priorities and opportunities for collaboration between Federal Government field offices and State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders; [read: spread the word that we're looking for a few useful people]
(iii) advise and confer with State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders and agencies interested in expanding or building local homeland security partnerships; [read: make contact with and actively recruit entities looking to expand their influence and willing to be useful]
(iv) raise awareness of local partnership best practices that can support homeland security priorities; [read: Put the federal blessing on and identify these local groups they have empowered]
(v) as appropriate, conduct outreach to representatives of the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement entities with relevant expertise for local homeland security partnerships, and collaborate with other Federal Government bodies; [read: seek out and recruit groups who have the reputation for getting the job done and are willing to play ball]
(vi) convene an annual meeting to exchange key findings, progress, and best practices.  [read: have an annual bash where we can party and brag about our conquests and recruitments]

(b) The Steering Committee shall:
(i) determine the scope of issue areas the Council will address and its operating protocols, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget; [read: we will define the parameters of what we're looking for and what homeland security threats exist, bounded only by our budget]
(ii) establish the nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council as set forth in section 2(b)(ii) of this order; [read: we will handpick those we allow to sit on the Council, so as to be sure that we are getting people who support the President's agenda]
(iii) provide guidance to the Council on the activities set forth in subsection (a) of this section; [read: closely oversee the things the Council members are doing to make sure they are recruiting the "right" kind of people]
(iv) within 1 year of the selection of the Council members, and annually thereafter, provide a report on the work of the Council to the President through the Chair.[read: we will keep the President informed, with the only paper trail being a carefully craftted annual report for him]

Observations and Conclusions:
  1. Everything and everyone mentioned in this Executive Order is inside the Executive branch of government.  There is NO outside accountability, approval, or guidance provided for.
  2. Addressing homeland security threats - no caps, no definition - is generally viewed as a law enforcement job, but this is nearly all-encompassing in its reach. 
  3. The Steering Committee decides how broad the issues of their purview will be, and essentially handpicks the scouts and the recruits to address them.
  4. The broad sweep of this order casts a much wider net for groups "interested in expanding or building local homeland security partnerships", who want to "raise awareness of 'best practices' enforcing homeland security priorities (not threats);
  5. ???
Not proof or even anecdotal, but how easy could this happen:
"Oakland tries to avoid federal control of police" http://www.dailyrepublic.com/usworld/oakland-tries-to-avoid-federal-control-of-police/

Tags: Executive Order 13629, White House Homeland Security Partnership Council, police state, Barack Obama.  Please mention / link to the Conservative Observer AZ. Thanks!

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