Obama Amends Executive Order 12425, Placing INTERPOL Beyond The Reach Of American Law?

December 30, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a quiet manner, on December 16 President Obama amended Executive Order #12425.

12425 is a Reagan era document [1983].

Please note item 2[C] detailing an immunity President Reagan explicitly chose not to apply to Interpol in the original order.

"Property and assets of international organizations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation. The archives of international organizations shall be inviolable."

Amended document reproduced in its entirety below [source, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-amending-executive-order-12425 Amendment to Exec. Order #12425].

We find it unusual for this administration to amend an Executive Order that had been in effect through 4 presidencies, Democrat and Republican, over a period of 25 years. Why the hurry and why now?

These changes - "immune from search," "archives...inviolable" - seem to clearly place Interpol above the reach of American law and immune from the reach of FOIA , Congressional oversight and media inquiry

Since Interpol performs various investigative duties including those related to the International Criminal Court, the changes in 12425 seem to clear the way as a first step to placing the United States under the jurisdiction of the ICC [as noted by Threats Watch] allowing Interpol to without restriction conduct investigations of U.S. citizens, organizations, etc.

We tend to agree that this move apparently clears the deck if, as some are speculating, the Obama administration broaches the very sticky issue of signing the Rome accord, which would place the U.S. under ICC jurisdiction.

Though this matter seems to be fraught with serious implications, among the MSM, only Jake Tapper at ABC News has shown any interest.

He notes on his Twitter page [see, http://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/7167692544] that he repeatedly raised the question with the WH Press Office, to no avail until, it seems that they had no choice but to deal with it, "i've asked the WH twice now about the executive order the president signed exempting Interopl from certain laws. No response."

According to Tapper's account [see, http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/12/just-what-did-president-obamas-executive-order-regarding-interpol-do.html Just What Did President Obama's Executive Order regarding INTERPOL Do?] the WH considers the issue a non-story, simply legal housekeeping correcting an alleged mistake made in 2004 when Interpol allegedly opened its "first permanent office" in the U.S.

This reasoning is flimsy at best.

If this matter is simply housekeeping, and the problem which amending 12425 now supposedly corrects was of such concern, why did it take 5 years for it to be recognized and dealt with, and why by this administration - especially given the myriad of security issues it is unconcerned about, not the least of which is the continuing policy of sending Yemeni nationals directly from GITMO detention back to the fray in Yemen, whereupon they will have the opportunity to link up with a newly invigorated al-Qaeda?

Moreover if the issue is so mundane and easily explicable why did it take multiple requests for information by Mr. Tapper before the WH responded?

As former Fed prosecutor Andy McCarthy notes in National Review, "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?" [source, Why Does Interpol Need Immunity From American Law?

We will therefore continue to pursue this matter, assuming the WH is willing to go on the record, something - judging from Tapper's experience - not entirely in evidence.

Text of amendment:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
December 17, 2009
Executive Order -- Amending Executive Order 12425

EXECUTIVE ORDER

AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER 12425 DESIGNATING INTERPOLAS A PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION ENTITLED TOENJOY CERTAIN PRIVILEGES, EXEMPTIONS, AND IMMUNITIES

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.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 16, 2009.

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