Guantanamo Again

Yesterday the one action posted – an executive order – is a continuation of authorization of continuous detention of some individuals deemed a threat to national security. The order also voids the order of 2009 when then president Obama ordered the closing of the Guantanamo base in Cuba.


Official Title and Link: Presidential Executive Order on Protecting America Through Lawful Detention of Terrorists

Executive Order dated January 30, 2018

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Odd Proclamations

Two actions titled proclamations posted yesterday appear to be a bit out of the ordinary. They are in fact imposition of tariffs on some specialized products being imported – one for solar panels, the other for washing machines – aimed at China.

News reports of these actions have been numerous, so I will not go into any more detail here.


Official Titles and Links:

Proclamations dated January 23, 2018

FISA Signing Statement

Apparently the only real reason this signing statement was attached to the bill is to complain that it did not extend the FISA powers permanently instead of the six year reauthorization this bill allowed.

There is an extended section of the statement that refers to additional protections for Americans, but that seems to me to be a smoke screen for the complaint about it not being permanent. Autocrats want permanence.


Official Title and Link: Statement by the President on FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017

Signing statement dated January 19, 2018

Sanctity of Human Life Day

According to this brief article, the original designation of this day was done by proclamation of President Reagan in 1984 as a bold declaration in support of the anti-abortion movement. The date chosen, January 22, 1984, was the eleventh anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court.

Reagan and his immediate successor continued the annual proclamation. Presidents Clinton and Obama did not continue the practice, but G.W. Bush did.

Although POTUS 45 was in office in time to do so last year, this year is the first time he has issued a similar proclamation.

So far, this is the first proclamation I can recall reviewing (dating back to November 2016) that is so blatantly partisan. It is, in effect, issued for a minority of the current American population.


Official Title and Link: President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Proclamation dated January 19, 2018

Religious Freedom Day

This designated day appears to originally have been set by a joint resolution of Congress in 1993 and proclaimed for the first time by then president George H. W. Bush.

The date chosen is the anniversary of Virginia passing a religious freedom act in 1786. Written by Thomas Jefferson, it became the model for the first amendment to the constitution.


Official Title and Link: President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 16, 2018, as Religious Freedom Day

Proclamation dated January 16, 2018

Actions of January 9

Three actions were signed on January 9, 2018. Two appear to be routine memoranda, the other an important executive order.

The memorandum to the Secretary of State is simply delegation of authority, but the significant part is the topic:  handling religious freedom abroad.

The executive order is, in my opinion, an important and much needed initiative, given the perpetual nature of the wars we remain involved in worldwide. It provides for automatic enrollment in V.A. programs for veterans as they begin the transition from uniformed service to civilian life. I only hope this program will be well designed and fully funded. With this congress, the funding may be less than is necessary for successful implementation and operation. NPR ran a story on January 10 that is a good summary of the program, including some of the caveats.

I find the memorandum to the Director of National Intelligence so confusing that I don’t know if I really understand the point of it. As best I can decipher, it orders development of better procedures for sharing information by national intelligence agencies with local, state, etc. authorities.


Official Titles and Links:

Memoranda and Executive Order dated January 9, 2018