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America First Party
1630 A 30th Street #111
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Recent Executive Order Violates 5th Amendment "Due Process" Rights
Boulder, CO -- The America First Party expresses alarm at the President's recent executive order "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq," which decrees sweeping power to deprive persons of property, without notice, and without the constitutionally required "due process of law."
Under this order, an American who unknowingly gives a contribution to a group fronting for combatants in Iraq, but with the sincere intention of providing only humanitarian relief, can have his entire worldly assets seized without recourse to a hearing or appeal. If a lawyer then provides him with pro-bono legal services, then he can also have his assets frozen. If the original victim then continues to work for a living, according to the order, anyone who receives his services is equally exposed to the risk of losing control over all their assets.
The order allows the Treasury Secretary broad discretion to freeze assets of individuals who have not been charged with crimes, by making subjective judgments about them. It allows him to judge an individual or entity "to pose a significant risk of committing" an "act or acts of violence" that "threaten the peace or stability of Iraq." In other cases, the Secretary may also judge persons to have "materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for ... acts of violence." Property of all such persons is then "blocked, and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in." Not mentioned in the order is any provision for return of properties, or for due process by which affected parties can appeal the administration's action.
AFP National Chairman Jonathan Hill stated: "The Executive Order, and the Carter era law which President Bush uses to justify his actions, also impacts people who would go to the assistance of affected parties by providing funds, goods, or services to them, or even persons who might unwittingly receive payments, goods, or services from the targeted person. Here again, the order makes no due process provision."
A people are not free when they live in fear of an abusive government. Therefore, the America First Party takes a strong stand against the rise of government powers and laws that allow for the people to be penalized in fines and property seizures without due process of law -- a 5th Amendment right of all people under U.S. jurisdiction.
Jonathan Hill, National Chairman, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 4
John Schweingrouber, Press Secretary, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 2