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


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

Rural Broadband

Over the next few years it will be interesting to watch the development of broadband access in rural areas. Today’s actions are intended to increase access and pave the way for more rapid broadband development. Unfortunately, my view is these actions are going to be thwarted, at least somewhat, by the FCC doing away with net neutrality rules earlier.

Maybe the growing support in Congress for legislation to restore net neutrality will mitigate the challenges ahead.

Official Titles and Links:

Executive Order and Memorandum dated January 8, 2018

Election Commission Terminated

I find it interesting that the first official presidential action of the year is a kind of admission of failure – not exactly the most common sort of behavior from this POTUS.

Other than the standard rhetoric that goes with any executive order, the following quote is the whole order.

Executive Order 13799 of May 11, 2017 (Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity), is hereby revoked, and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is accordingly terminated.

I say is good riddance!

Now we will need to be aware of the more clandestine ways this administration and the Republican party will continue to pursue voter suppression. As I noted in my post on the original order, that is the real reason behind the commission in the first place.

Official Title and Link: Executive Order on the Termination of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity

Executive Order dated January 3, 2018

Two Actions Before Break

Yesterday POTUS 45 signed two routine actions – one executive order and one proclamation – before he left for Florida for several days over the holidays. Nothing much to say on either one.

Official Titles and Links:

Executive Order and Proclamation dated December 22, 2017

Blocking Property of Individuals

I have not looked into this deeper yet, but it appears to be a continuation of previous orders based on the Magnitzky act (as well as other laws). The list of individuals in the Annex to the order is shorter than I expected it to be and only includes a few Russians.

Executive Order Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption

Executive Order dated December 21, 2017

Four on 7th and 8th

Since my last post, four actions have been signed by POTUS 45.

On December 7th, the standard remembrance of Pearl Harbor proclamation was issued.

The following day, two proclamations and an executive order on various issues were signed. Nothing of great import, as far as I can tell.

Official Titles and Links:

Proclamations and Executive Order signed December 7 and 8, 2017