Executive order aimed at stopping organizations supporting terrorists in Iraq Posted by: McQ
on Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I just got off the phone with a Senior Administration official who answered some questions about the purpose of the Executive Order I posted below.
It is actually an attempt to fill a gap in existing Executive Orders (EO). There is an existing EO aimed at senior foreign regime personnel. And one aimed at the terrorists themselves. This particular EO is designed to bridge the gap between those two and is aimed at people, groups and organizations who are engaged in supporting violence in Iraq.
The estimate is that between January and July of this year, 4,000 Iraqis have died as a result of that violence. This is just one more in a number of efforts to stop that violence and one which General Petraeus sees as a critical tool in that regard.
It is estimated that 70% of foreign fighters, who make up the bulk of the suicide bombers in Iraq, transit through Syria. The intent of this effort is to identify those groups enabling and funding that process and to freeze their assets, thereby crippling their ability to further fund the violence.
The Dept. of Treasury (which heads the effort), in conjunction with the Departments of State and Defense, is responsible for identifying these groups. It is done through multiple sources of intelligence and they make a determination as to whether an organization poses a threat based on that intelligence.
US financial institutions, both inside and out of the US, are then asked to freeze, without warning, whatever assets can be assigned to the group or organization. As this official told me, when this is done by the US, other financial institutions tend to go along with it as well. And yes, there is an appeal process, where a group can appeal to have its assets unfrozen. But again, the initial action is taken after careful scrutiny of multiple intelligence sources.
It isn't just aimed at foreign fighters either. Those supporting, training and supplying extremist Shia or Sunni militias are also targets of this EO. The point here is that the shadowy organizations which don't fit under either of the previous EOs, but are hip deep in supporting those who are engaged in acts of violence in Iraq against both our troops and Iraqi citizens, are now the target of a very powerful new tool.
I wonder why this took so long. Hmm, does it apply to companies with subsidiaries doing business with Iran? Given the 50 plus Iranian rockets we’ve found pointed at our base in Iraq, and the EFP devices we’ve captured, not to mention the Iranians...