Imagine for a moment that you are sound asleep in your bed when suddenly out of nowhere, armed men invade your bedroom, take you into custody without reading you your rights, and transport you to the airport for a flight to Liechtenstein where you will be tried for a crime you didn’t commit.
Upon arrival in Lietchenstein you insist that you have not done anything wrong, and after days (or maybe even months) you convince the authorities that a mistake has been made and they set you free. They offer you no explanation and they make no apology. In fact, once they set you free you have no evidence one way or the other that any of these events even took place, well, except for the fact that you are now standing on a street corner in Vaduz with no money in your pocket, no identification, and no way to get home.
Thank goodness nothing like that can happen in the United States of America. Right?
Think again. While my hypothetical example above may be a little far fetched, it’s no longer an impossibility thanks to President Barack Hussein Obama.
Before we get into his signing of Executive Order 13524 on December 16th, we need to look back to Executive Order 12425, which was signed by then President Ronald Reagan on June 16, 1983.
Executive Order 12425 states,
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.
President Reagan gave INTERPOL the authority to conduct investigations here within the United States, but the exceptions he specified denied them immunity for their actions while on U.S. soil and required them to produce records when demanded by U.S. courts. These exceptions were not unreasonable, were they?
Our U.S. Constitution offers specific protections from, and current U.S. Law requires certain actions to be taken by, law enforcement. President Reagan was just making sure that INTERPOL followed the same set of rules that law enforcement within the United States was required to follow.
Executive Order 12425 has remained largely intact with the exception of a slight amendment made by then President William Jefferson Clinton in 1995. Executive Order 12971, which amended Executive Order 12425, stated,
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities upon the International Criminal Police Organization (‘‘INTERPOL’’) it is hereby ordered that Executive Order No. 12425 be amended by deleting, in the first sentence, the words ‘‘the portions of Section 2(d) and’’ and the words ‘‘relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes’’.
President Clinton’s amendment put Section 2(d) which dealt with customs duties and internal revenue taxes back into play, but did not change the status of any of the accountability or immunity exceptions that President Reagan had put in place. That all changed on December 16, 2009 when President Barack Hussein Obama signed Executive Order 13524 which rescinds every exception that President Reagan put in place to protect the American people.
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.
Until December 16, 2009, INTERPOL activity within the United States was subject to the same scrutiny as any other law enforcement within our borders.
Every single law enforcement entity within the United States of America is required to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests. INTERPOL is not, they can no longer be required to produce records pertaining to their investigations. Defendants, their defense lawyers, and the court itself will no longer have access to the documents being used to prosecute them.
Every law enforcement officer within the United States of America is bound by the same laws and regulations as you, and I, and every other citizen of the United States. INTERPOL agents are not, thanks to President Obama and Executive Order 13524 they are immune from prosecution of any kind for their actions taken on U.S. soil.
On December 16, 2009, with a simple stroke of his pen, President Barack Obama single-handedly endangered our national sovereignty and wiped out our Constitutionally guaranteed rights where trials are concerned.
Sure, my hypothetical example might sound a little bit extreme to some people, but Executive Order 13524 opens the door for much larger (and extreme) cases in the future. If certain provisions of the Patriot Act stepped on our rights as Americans, Executive Order 13524 allows INTERPOL to wipe their feet all over us, with no protection of our rights, and no accountability afterward.
Take a moment to ponder the direction our country is taking before you find yourself on that street corner in Vaduz with no way to get home. That is, if there’s still an America to come home to.