Cyber Command

I learned something about the military command structure as a result of reviewing the most recent memorandum. I’m sure most of us have heard of CENTCOM, but now I know more what it is. Various command operations are designated “unified” under central command because they call for cooperation of several or all of the armed forces branches.

Yesterday, the Cyber Command unit was designated as a new unified command. That makes sense in our current world of cyber activity. I suspect McMaster and Kelly were key players in instigating this change.

Official Title and Link: Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense

Memorandum dated August 18, 2017

Two Actions August 15

Yesterday two official actions were taken by POTUS 45. One was a routine continuation of past actions dating to 2001 and the other was an executive order regarding infrastructure. The latter was to be the focus of his press conference and intended to be the story that dominated the news cycle.

That did not happen because he “went rogue” and proved again who he really is.

Official Titles and Links:

Memorandum and Executive Order dated August 15, 2017

Signing Statements

The occasion of the signing of the “Russia sanctions” legislation after some bluster to the contrary, was a reminder that I need to, at least occasionally, check for presidential signing statements attached to signed legislation.

I have already written about the first signing statement. Since then there has been only one other before August 2nd, when POTUS 45 actually signed two statements on the same bill!

I’ll take them in order. On June 6 a brief signing statement was attached to the DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act. It essentially says in the law Congress exceeded its authority and infringes on the constitutional authority of the president.

There was some speculation among the media about whether or not the president would sign the sanctions bill (H.R. 3364) because of his apparent close relationships with Russia. In the end he signed the bill, but in an unusual action he attached two separate signing statements. I am wondering if when the Government Publishing Office publishes this online there will only be one official version, because they are similar with the typical “there are unconstitutional provisions in the law” objection.

What I missed in most of the media reports was the bill including Iran and Korea as well as more rigorous Russia sanctions.

Official Titles and Links to statements attached to H.R. 3364:

Signing Statements dated August 2, 2017

Two Memoranda July 29

Not much has been posted in the past week, but a few days ago two memoranda related to continuing Lebanon as a national emergency situation were posted. One was the official notice for the Federal Register and the other a letter to Congress indicating the same.

As I have written before, designations of national emergency with regard to various countries or situations around the world automatically expire after 90 days unless the president issues notice of continuance. The emergency with regard to Lebanon was originally issued August 1, 2007 and has been continued since.

Official Titles and Links:

Memoranda dated July 29, 2017

Colombia Drug Trade

I overlooked this memorandum earlier when checking for updates of presidential actions. It dates back a few days.

It is a memo to the secretaries of State and Defense that announces a routine continuation of earlier action of 1995. The Subject: “Continuation of U.S. Drug Interdiction Assistance to the Government of Colombia.”

Official Title and Link: Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense

Memorandum dated July 21, 2017