Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
President Obama by executive order has established a new “Council of Governors” designated to advise on the “synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities in the United States.”
The recent order, posted on the White House website, was accompanied by the explanation that the group is to work “to protect our nation against all types of hazards.” It comes just weeks after the president issue a similarly obscure order vastly expanding INTERPOL’s privileges in the U.S.
The White House said the new council is to include governors and administration officials to review “such matters as involving the National Guard of the various states; homeland defense, civil support; synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities in the United States; and other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.”
However, there was no definition of what would be included in the group’s authority. Can the council recommend “military activities” and can the governors, who already are in command of their own state guard units, mandate activities outside of their areas of jurisdiction? The White House did not respond to WND questions on the issue.
The previous order regarding INTERPOL caused concern for some in the U.S. because it exempts the international police force from such oversight as the Freedom of Information Act in the U.S.
“In light of what we know and can observe, it is our logical conclusion that President Obama’s Executive Order amending President Ronald Reagans’ 1983 EO 12425 and placing INTERPOL above the United States Constitution and beyond the legal reach of our own top law enforcement is a precursor to more damaging moves,” they wrote.
“When the paths on the road map converge – Iraq withdrawal, Guantánamo closure, perceived American image improved internationally, and an empowered INTERPOL in the United States – it is probable that President Barack Obama will once again make America a signatory to the International Criminal Court. It will be a move that surrenders American sovereignty to an international body whose INTERPOL enforcement arm has already been elevated above the Constitution and American domestic law enforcement,” they said.
“For an added and disturbing wrinkle, INTERPOL’s central operations office in the United States is within our own Justice Department offices. They are American law enforcement officers working under the aegis of INTERPOL within our own Justice Department. That they now operate with full diplomatic immunity and with ‘inviolable archives’ from within our own buildings should send red flags soaring into the clouds,” they said.
The new governors panel, which the White House said was called for in the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, will include 10 governors picked by the president as well as the Coast Guard commandant and other officials from the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies.
The White House announcement said the council “will provide an invaluable senior administration forum for exchanging views with state and local officials on strengthening our national resilience and the homeland defense and civil support challenges facing our nation today and in the future.”
Los Angeles Times blogger Andrew Malcolm poked fun at the announcement, writing Obama “has determined that, a) there is an insufficient number of advisory bodies among the gazillion already in existence for the federal government in general and said president and his White House specifically.”
Obama also, Malcolm said, “chooses to ignore the existence of the National Governors Assn., the Republican Governors Assn., the Democratic Governors Assn. and the secure telephones within arms-reach of virtually everywhere said president chooses to sit and/or recline.”
Ultimately, he said, Obama has decided, “One more meaningless advisory body probably couldn’t hurt anything, and might actually look good.”
At Canada Free Press, commentary writer Judi McLeod said, “Like the 30-plus czars running America with neither the people’s nor the congress’s blessings, the Council of Governors is already a done deal.”
Blogger Nicholas Contompasis suggested it was the “first step towards martial law in America” because it sets up the “use of federal troops and the combination of state and federal agencies under the Defense Department.”
Participants on his forum page said the order appears to be in defiance of posse comitatus, which restricts U.S. military action within the United States. One contributor noted the order talks about “hazards” but then addresses only military hazards.
“The very notion of the executive branch (good intentions or not) issuing executive orders/presidential directives that apply to anything or anyone not specifically within the executive branch is tyrannical,” the forum participant said.