Monday, September 19, 2011

Obama Orders Sweeping Sanctions and Regime Change in Syria Without Congress


Once again President Obama has used the authority vested in him in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergencies Act to impose sweeping sanctions against a sovereign nation without Congressional approval.

On August 18th, 2011, Obama signed Executive Order 13582: Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions With Respect to Syria, which authorizes the seizure of all Syrian-owned property and interests in property in the United States.  It also bans exports of U.S. services to Syria, the import of petroleum from Syria, and any new investment in Syria or those who support them.

The following actions are now prohibited:
(a) new investment in Syria by a United States person, wherever located; 
(b) the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any services to Syria; 
(c) the importation into the United States of petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin; 
(d) any transaction or dealing by a United States person, wherever located, including purchasing, selling, transporting, swapping, brokering, approving, financing, facilitating, or guaranteeing, in or related to petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin; and 
(e) any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by this section if performed by a United States person or within the United States.
The sweeping unilateral sanctions also permit the President to seize property without notice of those who sponsor or provide material assistance to Syria.  In the case that such a person should have Constitutional protections, Obama declared "there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination" because of his powers during a national emergency.