The Fourth and Stealth â€œBranchâ€ of Governance: Presidential Executive Orders
Catherine J Frompovich
“This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.”
…Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father
and Declaration of Independence Signatory
If Ben Franklin were around today, he probably would publish a diatribe about what’s been happening within the form of government that he and his cronies fought so desperately hard to establish: a REPUBLIC. There’s very little today to remind one of a true republic, particularly in the United States of America where neo-patriots are springing up all over the country in opposition to what they perceive is an infringement of their constitutional rights. Ben is often quoted as having answered when asked what kind of country you gave us, with “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Before we proceed, let’s define some forms of government so that we’re all on the same page.
- Republic: country of laws established by consensus
- Democracy: where rule is direct by the people or elected representatives
- Dictatorship: one-man suppressive regime
- Fascism: centralized autocratic government with severe social and economic regimes and enforced suppression to any opposition
However, in the United States there’s a stealth “branch” of governance by laws that are made by only one person with no input from or approval by the U.S. Senate as required by the Constitution. It’s the U.S. President’s power of Executive Orders, something that needs to be rescinded, if ever such power truly were given to a president. My interpretation is that it would not have been granted, as that is what the Founding Fathersâ€”and Mothers, tooâ€”were seeking to circumvent: Dictates of a king!
To appreciate such an awesome lordship privilege, let’s examine some of its history. Conventional wisdom seems to agree that President Abraham Lincoln was the first president to assume Executive Orders [April 15, 1861: Proclamation Calling Militia and Convening Congress] at the outbreak of the War Between the States, the Civil War, when he suspended habeas corpus [a person cannot be imprisoned arbitrarily without legal cause], which was a total disregard for Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution.
Since that time several presidents have suspended civil authority and imposed military authority by executive order. Andrew Jackson imposed martial law during the War of 1812. President Grant in 1872 sent troops into South Carolina to confiscate all arms and ammunition owned by citizens there in violation of the right to bear arms.
President Woodrow Wilson sent the infantry into Colorado in 1914 to disarm everyone including law enforcement and the Colorado National Guard. These are just a few examples that historically support presidents taking executive order privilege seriously.
However, executive orders were elevated to an “art form” when the War and Emergency Powers Act of 1933 placed the USA under a state of emergency and suspended the Constitutionâ€”a state and condition we have lived under all this time and which has never been rescinded, plus three other emergency states mandated by Presidents Harry S. Truman [December 16, 1950] and Richard M. Nixon [March 23, 1970 and August 15, 1971] thereby enabling presidents with their assumed role of lawmaker by executive order.
Interestingly, Senate Report 93-549 [November 19, 1973] has this to say:
“Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency. In fact, there are now in effect four presidentially-proclaimed states of national emergency: In addition to the national emergency declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, there are also the national emergency proclaimed by President Harry S. Truman on December 16, 1950, during the Korean conflict, and the states of national emergency declared by President Richard M. Nixon on March 23, 1970, and August 15, 1971. …
“A majority of the people of the United States have lived all of their lives under emergency rule. For 40 years, freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the Constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws brought into force by states of national emergency. …”
Executive orders automatically become law upon publication in the Federal Register, a daily government publication. That’s it! No one has to see, comment, or approve an executive order, even if it is unconstitutional! How does the U.S. Congress allow that to happen, when in the U.S. Constitution it decrees how lawmaking is to be implemented? The loophole is to be found in the fact that we’ve been living under a state of emergency since 1933. This state of emergency needs to be rescinded so that our constitutional rights can be restored. Perhaps there needs to be a citizen uprising to restore our constitutional rights. Right now, that beloved document is worthless and that’s why politicians are getting away with whatever they can.
The courts in 1937 decreed that treaties, known as executive agreements, signed by presidents do not require consensus or approval by either the legislative (Congress) or judicial (U.S. Supreme Court) branches of the government.
In 2005 the Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement came into being. Its goals are:
- Coordinate our security efforts to better protect U.S. citizens from terrorist threats and transnational crime and promote the safe and efficient movement of legitimate people and goods;
- Expand economic opportunity for all our people by making our businesses more competitive in the global marketplace, cutting red tape, and providing consumers with safe, less expensive, and innovative products; and
- Enhance our common efforts to combat infectious diseases, develop responses to man-made or natural disasters to enhance our citizens’ quality of life, protect our people and our environment, and improve consumer safety. [http://www.spp.gov/myths_vs_facts.asp]
The remarkable spin on this is that supposedly a U.S. president can call in Mexican and Canadian troops to use against and control U.S. citizens. Some people think President George W. Bush “gave away the store” or signed off our sovereignty and constitutional rights. Whether or not that is true is debatable. However, I’ve come across some disturbing information that may prove interesting insofar as the United Nations controlling U.S. citizens. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHGIShZ_ThA&feature=player_embedded
In researching Executive Orders I stumbled upon something that I think needs some light of day shed upon it. Many in the U.S. were traumatized and living under duress this past flu season by the mandates that were flying regarding the H1N1 flu vaccine and vaccinations in general. Back on April 4, 2003, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13295 Revised List of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases that threw up a red flag or two for me.
Section 1. Based upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the “Secretary”), in consultation with the Surgeon General, and for the purpose of specifying certain communicable diseases for regulations providing for the apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases, the following communicable diseases are hereby specified pursuant to section 361(b) of the Public Health Service Act:
(a) Cholera; Diphtheria; infectious Tuberculosis; Plague; Smallpox; Yellow Fever; and Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (Lass, Marburg, Ebola, Crimean-Congo, South American, and others not yet isolated or named).
(b) Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which is a disease associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, is transmitted from person to person predominantly by the aerosolized or droplet route, and, if spread in the population, would have severe public health consequences.
Sec. 2. The Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, shall determine whether a particular condition constitutes a communicable disease of the type specified in section 1 of this order.
Sec. 3. The functions of the President under section 362 and 364(a) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 265 and 267[a]) are assigned to the Secretary.
Sec. 4. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit enforceable at law or equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 5. Executive Order 12452 of December 22, 1983, is hereby revoked.
George W. Bush
Then, on April 1, 2005, President Bush issued Executive Order 13375 Amendment to Executive Order 13295 Relating to Certain Influenza Viruses and Quarantinable Communicable Diseases
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 361(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 264[b]), it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Based upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Surgeon General, and for the purpose set forth in section 1 of Executive Order 13295 of April 4, 2003, section 1 of such order is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new section:
” (c) Influenza caused by novel or reemergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic.”
Sec. 2. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees or agents, or any other person.
George W. Bush
If I’m interpreting these executive orders correctly, it seems that contracting a communicable disease like the flu will make a person subject to “apprehension and detention.” Why? One can’t be sick in one’s own home? There seems to be a more sinister side to these executive orders insofar as setting a ground rule for more than sickness, particularly since the World Health Organization revised the standard medical definition for pandemic with regard to H1N1 as a pandemic that apparently didn’t pan out. It was the pandemic that wasn’t! These executive orders sound more like a control campaign setup for some reasons other than community health considerations. It seems to have earmarks of fascism. And, of course, the president pulls a “have your cake and eat it too” for government routine in the order where it states, “This order is not intended to, and does not, create…”
The amazing part about all the executive orders is the manner in which they start, namely: By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America… as if the Constitution really gave the president executive orders powers. I think we should challenge that because when I studied the Constitution in political science, I never found it. That executive order power is assumed and self-proclaimed.
According to The U.S. National Archives & Records Administration (www.archives.gov), Executive Orders Disposition Tables Index documents Executive Orders from Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) to the current Barack Obama (2009-present), close to 8500â€”yes, eighty-five hundredâ€”executive orders have become the law of the land with NO approval by Congress or dissent by voters.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt holds the all time record: he issued 3,467 Executive Orders. The next closest is Herbert Hoover with over 1,000, and President Gerald R. Ford issued the least: 168.
To get a flavor for some of the edicts proclaimed in Presidential Executive Orders, let’s check out a few:
- E.O. 10995 President Kennedy: Seizure of all communications media and suspension of First Amendment rights.
- E.O. 11490 President Nixon: Presidential control over all U.S. citizens, businesses, and churches in times of emergency.
- E.O. 11921 President Ford: Grants Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to take control over all production and distribution, energy sources, wages and salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institutions during any national emergency, and Congress cannot review the action for six months.
- E.O. 12656 President Reagan: Emergency preparedness responsibilities that includes federal takeover of all local law enforcement agencies, wage and price controls, prohibits moving of assets in or out of USA, controls all means of travel, creates a mandatory armed services draft.
- E.O. 13010 President Clinton: Directs FEMA to take control over all government agencies in times of emergency.
Now let’s see what President Obama signed. His very first executive order was Executive Order 13489 of January 21, 2009 [the day after he took office] Presidential Records that, in essence, sealed any information about him being made public.
- E.O. 13499 Feb. 5, 2009: Further Amendments to Executive Order 12835, Establishment of National Economic Council
- E.O. 13500 Feb. 5, 2009: Further Amendments to Executive Order 12859, Establishment of the Domestic Policy Council
- E.O. 13501 Feb. 6, 2009: Establishing the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board
- E.O. 13503 Feb. 19, 2009: Establishment of the White House Office on Urban Affairs
- E.O. 13505 Mar. 9, 2009: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells
- E.O. 13506 Mar. 11, 2009: Establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls
- E.O. 13511 Sept. 29, 2009: Continuance of Certain Federal Advisory Committees
- Plus numerous E.O.s amending former presidents’ executive orders.
Given these examples, you can now see how this fourth and stealth “branch” of governance works. It’s also a president’s way of increasing government spending without getting the approval of Congress. It’s also a way of encumbering citizens with rules, regulations, and laws they don’t know about but are subject to. Executive Orders could become an autocrat’s dream come true. If you didn’t know, Hitler used his executive orders power trying to change Germany into his Aryan dream world that used directives against one class of people and then spread to other ethnic groups. The world knows it as Nazism. That started out as a promised change for the better but wound up becoming a world war.
When so much power is reserved for and invested in one individual at any stage of a society’s functions, be it in the courts, stock market, medicine, religion, and especially in government, there’s a definite need for change. In my opinion, no individual’s actions should be deemed unaccountable by self-decree.
If my research is correct, the best change of all would be to rescind the War and Emergency Powers Act of 1933 and get out from under the perpetual state of emergency we currently live in and to reconstitute the U.S. Constitution. Maybe those neo-patriots are on to something that many of us are uninformed about. Maybe that’s the reasoning behind having them labeled as “national security threats.”
“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”
Writing always has been in her genes, so when Catherine’s husband became ill, she worked from home as a freelance journalist. As such she wrote and produced two TV shows. One, Turn Off The Violence, was nominated for the 1996 Telly Award. Her work has been published in The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine and other alternative healthcare journals, airline travel magazines, community newspapers, and national magazines.
Now that she’s a widow, she devotes her time to teaching Creative Writing for a school district; consults with aspiring writers to get their works into publication, and helps in the design phase of authors’ books. Catherine also continues her research work in consumer health issues and politics.