December 23, 2009

Not News: Obama EO Removes Restrictions on INTERPOL

WhiteHouseEOpic1209Here are some examples of Executive Orders issued by President Obama that have received New York Times or Associated Press coverage:

  • NYT, October 29 — “Obama Order Strengthens Spy Oversight” (the browser window title is “Obama Moves to Roll Back Bush Changes to Intelligence Oversight Board”).
  • NYT, October 2 – ”Obama Prohibits Federal Employees From Texting While Driving for Work.”
  • NYT, March 10 – ”Obama Lifts Bush’s Strict Limits on Stem Cell Research.”
  • AP, October 5 – ”Obama Puts Gov’t on Greenhouse Gas Diet.”
  • AP, November 10 – ”US starts effort to boost hiring of veterans” (the window title at the Boston Globe is “Obama encourages federal hiring of veterans”).

Here is an Executive Order (Number 13524) issued last week that, based on searches at the Times (on “Interpol” and “executive order” in quotes) and the AP (“interpol“; “executive order” in quotes), respectively, has not been covered:

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.

Uh, this seems a little more significant than a ban on texting.

Given the obsession news organizations and Congress had with certain provisions of the Patriot Act and supposed invasions of privacy during Bush 43′s presidency, it’s more than a bit outrageous that an Executive Order such as this would go unaddressed by both groups, especially when you see exactly what it does to Ronald Reagan’s original EO 12425 of 1983 as it has stood since it was amended in 1995 (the italicized text represents what Obama’s EO removes):

International Criminal Police Organizations

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), 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.

President Clinton’s EO 12971 in 1995 had already removed the following bracketed text from Reagan’s original — ["the portions of Section 2(d) and Section 3 relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes,"].

The point of this post is that if the establishment media were interested in performing their public watchdog function, someone in the press somewhere would have reported on the issuance of this EO. Instead, it was first noted by blogs and real watchdog groups. Andy McCarthy’s cite at the Corner is how I learned of it.

I’ll leave discussing the possible merits, demerits, and implications of the EO to commenters.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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2 Comments

  1. There aren’t any merits to this EO, none. And if anyone says there are they are delusional.

    By the way, that first NYT headline of an Obama EO should really read, “Obama Order Increases Intrusion And Hindrance Of Anti-Terror Spying Efforts.”

    Comment by zf — December 23, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

  2. [...] from last week: “Not News: Obama EO Removes Restrictions on INTERPOL.” It’s still not news, as [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — December 29, 2009 @ 7:47 am

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