Conservatives Have Every Right to be Concerned Regarding Obama’s Internet Control Executive Order
The President’s Executive Order was signed a week after the date broadcasters were supposed to file their reports on the November test of the Emergency Alert System.
The Emergency Alert System had never before been tested on a national basis. Americans are used to hearing the signature grating call tones on their radio with the message that “this is only a test” because radio stations and television stations are required, by the FCC, to be tested on a regular basis. There are times that localized weather incidents cause the alert system to be used to warn citizens of possible impending disaster, and these work, mainly because the “daisy chain” system works. A signal is sent down the line to the places where the people would be affected, and the warning is provided.
However, the national test was obviously not done because of impending weather, since any weather wouldn’t be completely national. Also, the test in November tested only the daisy-chain, and did not test Common Alerting Protocol, or CAP, introduced by President Bush as an IP based system, expanding the ability for the Government to alert citizens via the internet and mobile devices in his Executive Order 13407—Public Alert and Warning System. Bush’s EO established IPAWS, or, the Integrated Public Alert Warning System, which allows the Federal Government, State Governments, even local governments and authorities, provided they submit to training by FEMA and apply and receive permission, to alert the public in times of crisis via the internet, mobile devices, and all traditional communications, simultaneously.
But the system is not clearly in place, yet.
So, considering that the alerting systems were to be put into place as a result of the Bush Administration, the fear that President Obama, through executive order, might be trying to seize control of the internet, must be silly overreactions of liberty-loving right-wing extremists, right?
No, this Executive Order does more than what might be construed as continuing and improving a Bush policy. This Executive Order assigns Janet Napolitano the authority to close or seize radio stations, and therefore, the internet during a time of crisis. So what? Of course if we are under attack, we would like to be kept informed by our Executive Branch in the event of a nuclear attack.
However, the wording in Obama’s Executive Order is vague as to what exactly constitutes a crisis.
In the Executive Orders made by Reagan, mentioned in Obama’s, it is made clear under what conditions National Security and Emergency Preparedness, (NS/EP) necessitates governmental action. Executive Order 12472, which the new Obama EO revokes, tells of wartime needs of governmental communication with the people, as well as non-war crisis. It also describes under what statutes or previous orders and policies Reagan had the power to establish the National Communications System. Obama’s EO has none of that, in fact, the wording is extremely vague.
Reagan’s order reads like this:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 151), the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2061), the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2251), the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5121), Section 5 of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977 (3 C.F.R. 197, 1978 Comp.1), and Section 203 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 (3 C.F.R. 389, 1978 Comp.2), and in order to provide for the consolidation of assignment and responsibility for improved execution of national security and emergency preparedness telecommunications functions, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. The National Communications System.
Bush’s order, establishing IPAWS reads like this:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), and the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended (6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.), it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy.
Whereas Obama’s reads like this:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy.
The name of the Reagan’s Executive Order differs very slightly with the Executive Order Obama signed to revoke it.
Executive Order 12472–Assignment of national security and emergency preparedness telecommunications functions
Executive Order — Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions
As you can see, only the word ‘telecommunications’ was replaced with ‘communications,’ highlighting the change in the ways we communicate.
Throughout Obama’s EO, phrases are borrowed from both Reagan’s EO and Bush’s EO.
The NCS Committee of Principals shall:
(1) Serve as the forum in which each member of the Committee may review, evaluate, and present views, information and recommendations concerning ongoing or prospective national security or emergency preparedness telecommunications programs or activities of the NCS and the entities represented on the Committee;
Obama’s changes it to:
The views of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications policies, programs, and capabilities.
As for Bush’s EO, Obama consistently seeks permissions granted by law, whereas Bush’s EO is in complete deference to established law.
In Obama’s EO, there is no mention of terrorist attack, or warning the American people or even the word war, yet, the order is for emergency preparedness and gives the Executive Branch the power to enable all communications simultaneous connection with a Presidential address.
Also, the mission statement of each EO warrants scrutiny. Reagan’s established a National Communications System:
“in order to provide for the consolidation of assignment and responsibility for improved execution of national security and emergency preparedness telecommunications functions, it is hereby ordered as follows:”
Bush’s mission statement reads as follows:
It is the policy of the United States to have an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive system to alert and warn the American people in situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other hazards to public safety and well-being (public alert and warning system), taking appropriate account of the functions, capabilities, and needs of the private sector and of all levels of government in our Federal system, and to ensure that under all conditions the President can communicate with the American people.
While Obama’s reads thusly:
The Federal Government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions. Survivable, resilient, enduring, and effective communications, both domestic and international, are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local, territorial, and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the public, allies, and other nations. Such communications must be possible under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies, and improve national resilience. The views of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications policies, programs, and capabilities.
It is important to consider the expansion of power via Obama’s EO to inform “the public, allies, and other nations.” It is also a diligent exercise to consider the use of the phrase, “under all circumstances.”
I can continue to analyze the differences in all three Executive Orders, and I will if asked, but the main problems associated with this new quietly signed Executive Order for conservatives and those who look to Constitutional basis is the following;
Obama signed an Executive Order that requires Janet Napolitano to assist and carry out the determinations of John Brennen and John Holdren, with deference to Brennen’s assessments.
Therefore, considering the political world view of the three major players in Obama’s EO, and considering the vagueness of his order, conservatives have a right to be concerned.
First, Brennen’s assignment as The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, reminds the conservative that he is a huge proponent and leaker of the government’s policy regarding drones.
Second, Holdren, The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, is remembered as being in favor of sterilization via water systems and abortions to contain population growth with concern towards global warming. A report says, “The people who are concerned about Holdren, quite frankly we didn’t do enough homework.”
And Third, Napolitano is well remembered as the one suggesting that right-wing extremists are to be considered as domestic terrorists in a directive identifying threats to the regime, writing,
“A movement of rightwing groups or individuals who can be broadly divided into those who are primarily hate-oriented, and those who are mainly antigovernment and reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority. This term also may refer to rightwing extremist movements that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”
The integration of both Reagan’s and Bush’s Executive Orders to meet the current communications systems, allows Obama to use vaguery, combined with his adminsitration’s propensity to use current law to erode personal privacy, also overrides recent legislation concerning the control of the internet.
Conservatives have every right to be concerned.
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Snyder said Wednesday that he unconditionally supports expanding the state's Medicaid rolls by roughly 470,000 people. There are 1.9 million people receiving benefits now.
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The ever-illogical argument that insuring more people will actually cost less. "But health care providers and advocates for the uninsured argue that the state will actually save money -- as much as $1 billion in the first decade -- if fewer residents have to rely on expensive emergency room facilities to address non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries."
Susan Dumass is really quite pedestrian. "The only thing standing in between 450,000 low-income Michiganders and health insurance is Tea Party Republicans' deep-seated hatred of Obamacare."
This week, Michigan’s Rick Snyder became the sixth GOP governor to propose expanding his state’s health insurance program to cover more low-income residents, in line with the Democratic administration’s strong recommendation.
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