After learning recently that President Barack Obama had, on Dec. 17, quietly amended Executive Order 12425, I decided to find out what impact, if any, it might have on Americans. At first blind to the potential ramifications of the amendment, I was startled at what I found once the pieces of this disturbing political puzzle started falling in place.
In order to understand the amendment, I had to first look at the original version of Executive Order 12425 signed by President Ronald Reagan June 16, 1983. The wording of that EO appears below:
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), the portions of Section 2(d) and Section 3 relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes, 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.
Note that President Reagan cites the United States International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945 and notes the exception of Section 2(c), the portions of Section 2(d) and Section 3 relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act.
Next, I looked at Executive Order 12971 which was signed by President Bill Clinton Sept. 15, 1995. It removed from the first sentence of EO 12425 the words, “the portions of 2(d) and” and the words “relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes”.
Finally, I looked at the language below that President Obama used to amend EO 12425:
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.
Rather than delve into the nitty-gritty details of every amended section (i.e., 2(c), 2(d), 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Act, I’ll simply refer you to the Act and then get to the heart of the matter.
According to Steve Schippert at Threats Watch, the Obama amendment to EO 12425 results in the following:
- It grants INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) a new level of full diplomatic immunity afforded to foreign embassies and select other “International Organizations” as set forth in the Act; and
- By removing language from President Reagan’s 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body now operates – now operates – on American soil beyond the reach of our own top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Others agree: In his piece at National Review Online, Andy McCarthy asks the troubling questions that deserve the nation’s full attention:
Why would we elevate an international police force above American law? Why would we immunize an international police force from the limitations that constrain the FBI and other American law-enforcement agencies? Why is it suddenly necessary to have, within the Justice Department, a repository for stashing government files which, therefore, will be beyond the ability of Congress, American law-enforcement, the media, and the American people to scrutinize?
More to come, I’m sure.