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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

'We're From Interpol. You're Being Taken to Iran for Trial'

Clearly, the republic is doomed. Witness the end of native police forces in the United States, in the form of an executive order, signed by President Barack HUSSEIN Obama:

Executive Order -- Amending Executive Order 12425

EXECUTIVE ORDER
- - - - - - -
AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER 12425 DESIGNATING INTERPOL
AS A PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION ENTITLED TO
ENJOY CERTAIN PRIVILEGES, EXEMPTIONS, AND IMMUNITIES


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words "except those provided by Section 2(c), Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act" and the semicolon that immediately precedes them.

BARACK OBAMA


THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 16, 2009.


It only looks like gobbledy-gook legalese. That's what he wants you to think. Barack HUSSEIN Obama has signed every citizen in the United States over to the authority of a pro-Muslim organization bent on destroying our very way of life and robbing us of our precious bodily fluids!

Or something like that, anyway.





This is the newest paranoid fantasy on the right. Wingnut Rev. Louis Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition puts it this way:

On December 16, 2009, President Obama secretly signed an Executive Order 12425 (EO) that gives Interpol unprecedented access in America to pursue and prosecute “criminals.” We may as well have given Interpol a badge with 666 on it.

The EO exempts Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) from being accountable to our own law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI.

[...]

Nearly 200 countries work with Interpol, including some of the most ruthless Communist and Islamic tyrannies on earth.


In case you're slow on the uptake (a good bet if you read his site regularly), Sheldon includes this handy graphic:

Crazy wingnut stuff about being arrested and taken to Iran


Of course, the Annenberg Foundation's FactCheck.org says this is all BS. Is Interpol connected to "some of the most ruthless Communist and Islamic tyrannies on earth?" Well, yeah. But those connections are also our connections. Interpol is like the UN, the whole thing hinges on treaties. We're a member of Interpol, along with all but eight nations, because we signed onto a treaty establishing it.

So, is this about the president handing over US citizens to Iran? What do you think? Newsweek's Michael Isikoff explains:

...The Interpol office in New York does indeed get an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act under Obama's order. But as Ron Noble, Interpol's secretary-general, told us last week, there is nothing especially sinister about that: the office has files on suspected terrorists provided by the law-enforcement agencies of its member countries—and those agencies would be loath to share them if they thought their internal reports (including the names of informants, the transcripts of wiretaps, and other confidential evidence) might be made public. (If you think that's unusual, try filing a FOIA request for FBI or DEA files on their current criminal suspects.)


So it's pretty much the exact opposite of what the nutbags on the right are claiming. Obama isn't somehow helping terrorists, he's making life harder for them. If anyone is siding with terrorists here, it's the frothing rightwingers attacking this executive order.

And whose idea was this whole "Interpol taking over America" thing? Some commie terr'ist sympathizer named Ronald Reagan. "Bringing Interpol fully under the International Organizations Immunities Act is a process that was started by President Reagan in 1983," FactCheck.org tells us. "With Executive Order 12425, Reagan declared that Interpol was covered by the act and all of its provisions except a few that had to do with exemptions from paying U.S. income, Social Security and property taxes, and several other issues."

This process has been incremental, since Interpol didn't have an office in the US until 2004. Until then, there was no reason to exempt the organization from taxation or FOIA requests
. So add George W. Bush to the list of people involved in this big conspiracy to hand over US citizens to Iran. If conspiracy theorists bothered to give it even a moment's thought, they might have wonder what, exactly, the EO was referring to as being "further amended." If they had, they might've actually bothered to check.

All of this panic would be hilarious in normal circumstances. It's got all the typical low-wattage minds all freaked out, from Glenn Beck to Chuck Norris. Normally, we could add this to the list of CBSWB (Crazy BS Wingnuts Believe), along with FEMA camps, anti-census nutjobbery, and the idea that President Obama is actually an illegal alien.

But these are not normal circumstances. Since Obama was elected, the right has completely lost their minds. So, since the base is entirely lunatic, establishment Republicans are engaged in a race to the bottom, trying to discover just how insane they can be and still get away with it.

Politico:

[Newt Gingrich] accused the administration of “very quietly” signing an executive order that removes “all American constraints” from the international police force Interpol.

“Freedom of information acts don't apply,” he said. “All the constraints that you as a citizen could use against an American police force, based on a recent Obama-signed executive order, give Interpol — which has relationships with Syria, Libya, with Iran — it gives them all sorts of extra legality in the United States in a way that has never, ever before been offered to Interpol.”

Gingrich said that the Obama administration would provide more leeway to an international force because Attorney General Eric Holder is most concerned with “protecting the rights of terrorists.”

“He lives in a world where somehow the United States is dangerous and the United States government is dangerous,” Gingrich said of Holder.


Maybe he's just trying to beat Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann to the punch.

-Wisco


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