Monday, July 23, 2007

Stop making me defend Bush

The Gun-Toting Liberal has a post up today expressing outrage over a recent executive order that freezes the assets of, and prohibits aid or donations to, groups or individuals seeking to undermine the government of Iraq.

GTL's up in arms because, on his reading, people could find themselves in trouble for even tenuous links to organizations on Bush's enemies list.

But this isn't as big a deal as GTL makes it sound. It simply extends existing practice regarding anti-U.S. terrorist activities to cover activities aimed at the government of Iraq. And it doesn't criminalize donors -- it simply prohibits them from donating to such groups or individuals.

If you read the referenced laws, you'll find that he's merely exercising authority granted him by Congress, specifically section (b)(2)(A).

One can disagree with the underlying assertions -- whether we are properly in the midst of a "national emergency", whether the identified groups are actually terrorist supporters, how donations of humanitarian aid "seriously impair" Bush's ability to deal with terror.

But his legal authority is clear. He declared a national emergency regarding Iraqi reconstruction efforts back in May 2003, and later amended it in various fashions.

If you've got a problem with it (and I don't, unless and until we find problems with the execution -- for instance, that the list of groups and persons is overbroad) contact Congress. They're the ones who gave him the authority.

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