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Letter to the Editor: Dictatorial Powers

With three presidential signatures, President Barack Obama has assumed dictatorial powers that have alarmed many Americans.

On New Year’s Day, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act to fund the Pentagon. Slipped into this bill is an explicit “authority” allowing him to “indefinitely detain U.S. citizens,” according to Jonathan Turley, a writer for the UK Guardian newspaper. Mr. Turley says this story, buried by the American media, is “one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties” in American history. He reveals that President Obama first “insisted that he signed the bill to keep funding for the troops.” However, “that spin ended after Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., disclosed that it was the White House that insisted there be no exception for U.S. citizens in the indefinite detention provision.” To this day, the Obama administration has blocked any court review of this issue.

Then, too, on March 8, President Obama signed his name to H.R. 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, officially making it a federal offense to cause a disturbance at certain political events, essentially criminalizing protests throughout the country. This bill, labeled the Trespass Bill, makes it easier to arrest and prosecute anyone who enters a restricted area under the jurisdiction of the Secret Service, which could include sports events, state funerals, inaugural addresses and NATO and G-8 summits. Could this act be used to stop the free speech of protesters who are against President Obama’s policies?

Finally, on March 16, with little fanfare in the mainstream media, the Obama administration issued an executive order that cited the powers given to the president by the Defense Act of 1950, as well as additional presidential and executive powers over sectors of the U.S. economy in times of war and peace. The order entitled “The National Resources Preparedness Act” gives the president complete control over all the resources in the United States, including energy, production, transportation, food and even water, under the auspices of national defense and national security.

According to Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, the idea of this (NDRP) is nothing new, but what is different about this new act is it has broadened the definition of national defense and has incorporated the Stafford Act, which gives the president unlimited authority in civil situations, subjected to checks and balances. According to Joseph Klein of the Daily Mailer, the order gives agency heads the authority to issue regulations and allocate resources, and the order is especially over-reaching with the energy sector.

Today, many Americans are concerned about President Obama’s over-reaching powers and motivations. Is he preparing us for war with Iran or is he preparing us for martial law? Will he pick and choose what is a national emergency and will he take over industries, such as oil companies?

One thing is clear: President Obama and his administration have greatly expanded their powers and want to control our lives, liberties and properties. We must stand up to this tyranny and replace President Obama and his administration in November.

Diana Thorn
Carpinteria

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