Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"New Year" Could Have A Whole New Meaning

Imagine waking up on New Years Day - perhaps just a tad hungover - to the sight and sound of two strange men rifling through your sock drawer. Imagine that you learn - during the course of your loud, indignant demands - that they are Russian policemen from INTERPOL. Now imagine that you do not live in Moscow or St. Petersburg but Manhattan or perhaps Boise, Idaho.

Then, imagine your outraged frustration upon learning that your own local police are powerless to help you and, further, that you have virtually no recourse in restitution or retribution, and that as you clean up the mess they've made of your quarters, your only option is to grin and bear it. They can't be touched.

Think it can't happen here? Think again. For some inexplicable reason, President Barack Hussein Obama has decided to erase the restrictions put in place by President Ronald Reagan that have previously prevented this very scenario from occurring in America.

Diplomatic immunity has been something that diplomats have enjoyed around the globe for quite some time now, but more obviously here in the United States, home of the United Nations building. The city of New York has been, shall we say, particularly inconvenienced by this protocol as a result of the audacity of that immunity, mostly in the form of unpaid tickets by foreign dignitaries who cannot be prosecuted.

While there have certainly been cases where family members of these diplomats - or in some cases, the diplomats themselves - have committed more serious crimes which were equally immune from prosecution, they are too few to have had a dramatic impact on our society. I'm sure that more than one cop has been driven to distraction by the frustration of it all, but there has been no lasting or noticeable impact on the lives of ordinary Americans. That may all be about to change.

On December 17th, 2009 U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama signed Executive Order 13524 which significantly amends Ronald Reagan's Executive Order 12425, much to the detriment of the nation to which Obama swore an oath on January 20th. That oath on Inauguration Day to serve the American people and protect their constitution has been betrayed by one swift stroke of the Presidential Pen.

Reagan's Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983 was a protective measure against possible abuses of the 79th Congress' International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945. Known in its final Congressional form as Pub.L. 79-291, the Act was responsible for the freedoms that today's foreign diplomats enjoy. Reagan's order was a safeguard against those same immunities being applied to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), which was initially included en toto under the umbrella of Pub.L. 79-291.

Perhaps realizing that - for 38 years under the Act - INTERPOL officers had the authority to operate unimpeded within our borders, Reagan issued Executive Order 12425 to disqualify the organization from the same protections as their more benign counterparts, the diplomats. Those 38 years posed little threat of actual INTERPOL activity on our shores by virtue of the difficulty of travel, but now anyone can be in another country within hours.

The original Pub.L. 79-291 was enacted to protect visiting diplomats from harassment by a countries law enforcement bodies. That seems a reasonable motion since we didn't want our own emissaries harassed abroad. They were all subsequently considered "untouchable", a status that, as I mentioned above, has been taken to extremes but has not altered our way of life. Then Reagan issued Executive Order 12425:

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, including Section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669, 22 U.S.C. 288), it is hereby ordered that the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), in which the United States participates pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 263a, is hereby designated as a public international organization entitled to enjoy the privileges, exemptions and immunities conferred by the International Organizations Immunities Act; except those provided by Section 2(c), the portions of Section 2(d) and Section 3 relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act. This designation is not intended to abridge in any respect the privileges, exemptions or immunities which such organization may have acquired or may acquire by international agreement or by Congressional action.
The sections highlighted in red are the provisions that President Reagan put in place to ensure that international police were not free to usurp our Constitution using the same privileges as diplomats, and are the very protections that Obama has removed with his Executive Order 13524.

Why would the POTUS reverse a predecessor's order that was specifically designed to protect the people from Constitutional abuses? Why would the POTUS issue an order that freed INTERPOL to operate unfettered in our country while our own law enforcement is severely hamstrung - albeit thankfully - by that very document?

And the biggest question of all is, why is this story such a non-story in a nation where the press hammered away for months at "warrantless wiretaps" directed at the genuine enemies we face?

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1 comment:

God Of Bacon said...

And I should worry about terrorists because...