October 28, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a little noticed [an Internet search revealed exactly one reference to the measure] Executive Order, released via a low-key announcement on the WH website on Friday - Executive Order -- Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council - President Barack Obama established a broad-based framework through which his administration is seeking to establish all manner of "partnerships" and "relationships," with states, localities, NGOs...you name it
All of this has been done under the guise of enhancing U.S. national security.
Given this president's already demonstrated malfeasance is dealing with national security matter - the current cover-up in the Benghazi terrorist attack being only the most recent - we fear this unprecedented, ill-defined and legally questionable order will be used to further tighten the iron grip this administration is placing on American society.
As with the president's healthcare law, the latitude granted to bureaucrats in this measure is really rather breathtaking.
1. The "Steering Committee," contains representatives of nearly every cabinet level department in government and it may be expanded to include just about anything, " At the invitation of the Chair, representatives of agencies not listed in subsection (c) of this section or other executive branch entities may attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate."
2. The entire process seems beyond review of either House of Congress. Nominations, selection criteria, etc., all are done internally and in an opaque manner.
3. The function of this "Partnership Council," are per this statute entirely undefined within set parameters as is its scope, " Mission and Function of the Council and Steering Committee. (a) The Council shall, consistent with guidance from the Steering Committee..."
4. All that can be said at this point is that there has been no declaration or finding by either Congress or the Executive Branch that such a "Council," was needed. There was zero public debate, Congress being out, quite conveniently for Mr. Obama.
5. We note additionally that there seems to be no provision whatsoever for funding this entity, whatever form it may choose to take.
What we have here is a massive expansion of federal power, created by executive fiat that is potentially so overreaching that in our opinion has great potential to be of serious concern to all American citizens. If there were indeed a need for such a governmental structure, the administration could have easily laid out its case, presented it as legislation, had it subjected to examination and hearings, if deemed necessary, by the applicable committees and then gone on to a vote by both Houses of Congress.
Instead president Obama sneakily waited until Congress was out of town campaigning and then without any fanfare too this action. As has been the MO of Team Obama, it has once again acted in a cavalier and we believe Constitutionally questionable manner to establish another federal bureaucracy with few if any limits as to what its actual mandate may be.
The Department of Homeland Security is a dysfunctional nightmare of a bureaucracy, all manner of unrelated departments and agencies all crammed together under one heading and led by a complete incompetent, Janet Napolitano, who is intellectually incapable of even comprehending the Rube Goldberg apparatus over which she presides. She lacks honestly, organization and managerial expertise. Her agency is an amalgam of overlapping jurisdictions, many of which have no place in what is supposed to be the central clearing house for maintaining the security of the American people.
Under her shameful watch we have seen all official language referring to Islamism, jihadism, terrorism removed from Washington's official language. She has developed no overall strategy whatsoever in dealing with the threats posed by asymmetrical warfare undertaken by Islamic extremists. Yet on top of this smoldering train-wreck we have laid another layer of meddlers thanks to this president, who acts as if Congress and the Judiciary doesn't exist.
This is not a healthy direction for a representative republic to take and we call upon Congress to immediately review this entire matter as soon as comes back into session.
Below the text of Mr. Obama Friday night raid on American liberty.
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ESTABLISHING THE WHITE HOUSE
HOMELAND SECURITY PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to advance the Federal Government's use of local partnerships to address homeland security challenges, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. The purpose of this order is to maximize the Federal Government's ability to develop local partnerships in the United States to support homeland security priorities. Partnerships are collaborative working relationships in which the goals, structure, and roles and responsibilities of the relationships are mutually determined. Collaboration enables the Federal Government and its partners to use resources more efficiently, build on one another's expertise, drive innovation, engage in collective action, broaden investments to achieve shared goals, and improve performance. Partnerships enhance our ability to address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources.
The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe "we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing." This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States.
Sec. 2. White House Homeland Security Partnership Council and Steering Committee.
(a) White House Homeland Security Partnership Council. There is established a White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to foster local partnerships -- between the Federal Government and the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement -- to address homeland security challenges. The Council shall be chaired by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (Chair), or a designee from the National Security Staff.
(b) Council Membership.
(i) Pursuant to the nomination process established in subsection (b)(ii) of this section, the Council shall be composed of Federal officials who are from field offices of the executive departments, agencies, and bureaus (agencies) that are members of the Steering Committee established in subsection (c) of this section, and who have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships to address policy priorities.
(ii) The nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council shall be established by the Steering Committee. Based on those criteria, agency heads may select and present to the Steering Committee their nominee or nominees to represent them on the Council. The Steering Committee shall consider all of the nominees and decide by consensus which of the nominees shall participate on the Council. Each member agency on the Steering Committee, with the exception of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, may have at least one representative on the Council.
(c) Steering Committee. There is also established a Steering Committee, chaired by the Chair of the Council, to provide guidance to the Council and perform other functions as set forth in this order. The Steering Committee shall include a representative at the Deputy agency head level, or that representative's designee, from the following agencies:
(i) Department of State;
(ii) Department of the Treasury;
(iii) Department of Defense;
(iv) Department of Justice;
(v) Department of the Interior;
(vi) Department of Agriculture;
(vii) Department of Commerce;
(viii) Department of Labor;
(ix) Department of Health and Human Services;
(x) Department of Housing and Urban Development;
(xi) Department of Transportation;
(xii) Department of Energy;
(xiii) Department of Education;
(xiv) Department of Veterans Affairs;
(xv) Department of Homeland Security;
(xvi) Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
(xvii) Environmental Protection Agency;
(xviii) Small Business Administration; and
(xix) Federal Bureau of Investigation.
At the invitation of the Chair, representatives of agencies not listed in subsection (c) of this section or other executive branch entities may attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate.
(d) Administration. The Chair or a designee shall convene meetings of the Council and Steering Committee, determine their agendas, and coordinate their work. The Council may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Council members or their designees, as appropriate.
Sec. 3. Mission and Function of the Council and Steering Committee. (a) The Council shall, consistent with guidance from the Steering Committee:
(i) advise the Chair and Steering Committee members on priorities, challenges, and opportunities for local partnerships to support homeland security priorities, as well as regularly report to the Steering Committee on the Council's efforts;
(ii) promote homeland security priorities and opportunities for collaboration between Federal Government field offices and State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders;
(iii) advise and confer with State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders and agencies interested in expanding or building local homeland security partnerships;
(iv) raise awareness of local partnership best practices that can support homeland security priorities;
(v) as appropriate, conduct outreach to representatives of the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement entities with relevant expertise for local homeland security partnerships, and collaborate with other Federal Government bodies; and
(vi) convene an annual meeting to exchange key findings, progress, and best practices.
(b) The Steering Committee shall:
(i) determine the scope of issue areas the Council will address and its operating protocols, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget;
(ii) establish the nomination process and selection criteria for members of the Council as set forth in section 2(b)(ii) of this order;
(iii) provide guidance to the Council on the activities set forth in subsection (a) of this section; and
(iv) within 1 year of the selection of the Council members, and annually thereafter, provide a report on the work of the Council to the President through the Chair.
Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) The heads of agencies participating in the Steering Committee shall assist and provide information to the Council, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to implement this order. Each agency shall bear its own expense for participating in the Council.
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof;
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or
(iii) the functions of the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties, and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
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