Back in the USSR

Back in the good old days of the USSR the Soviet government assiduously targeted domestic enemies to such an extent that the NKVD later known as the KGB was given quotas for nightly arrests.  They would come in the night and arrest people then sweat their victims to get them to denounce other people, “Give us the names!” was their nightly watchword to the terrified prisoners, male and female, young and old.  In this way literally millions of people who had done nothing more than try and keep their heads down were rounded up and sent to the Gulag, the vast network of concentration camps stretching from West to East across the vast Russian and Siberian tundra.  They even had special prisons for the children whose parents were incarcerated.

Those were the lucky ones, for certain values of “lucky.”  Many  millions more were summarily shot and buried in huge mass graves.  So pervasive was this practice that the NKVD agents complained of how far outside the cites they had to drive the meat wagons to find virgin ground in which to bury the dead.  The Soviet government even paid a special medical benefit to the executioners for repetitive strain injuries to the hand that fired the pistol into the back of the head of the victims.

The nature of the Soviet’s totalitarian system demanded mass murder, and it was the same for every single Communist regime whether under Soviet control or not.  It was a way to keep the population too terrified to revolt against the monstrous injustices that crushed the lives of ordinary Russians.  It worked for over 70 years.  The justification for all this blood was the necessity of preventing a counter revolution.  The regime, and the Great Leader, were all knowing, all powerful and always right in everything they said and did.  Anybody who so much as hinted otherwise was deemed and Enemy of the People and dealt with accordingly.

Now the current administration has laid the groundwork for a similar kind of terror right here in the good old USA.  Oh, to be sure, they won’t start out with mass executions, but the mass murder is now only a matter of time.  Yesterday your Irascible Correspondent discussed Cancel Culture as the Gulag without the wire.  Now the Revolutionary Junta in DC has taken the next logical step.  The American Thinker carries the story of what has been done and what it means.

On April 15, Preident Biden signed an Executive Order on Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation. Contrary to its title, this EO is not about Russia. It is designed to allow the Biden administration to deprive American citizens and organizations of their rights and property by arbitrarily linking those persons to real, imagined, or vaguely defined activities of the Russian government.

The Biden administration unilaterally makes the determination and requires neither criminal acts nor intent. The punishment is blocking assets and a prohibition on any dealing with the accused person. Spouses and adult children of individuals found guilty by accusation under this EO are punished, too.

The EO was preceded by some distracting maneuvers, both diplomatic (hostile rhetoric toward Russia) and military (sending naval ships toward the Black Sea and recalling them back, as if dealing with Russian threats). Thus, many people assumed that the EO was directed at Russia, and completely missed the fact that it is directed at dissent here, at home.

Over the past four years, the Democrat Party, Fake News, and Big Tech have been frequently portraying their opponents as Russian trolls or Russian misinformation operators. The Russian collusion narrative, initially invented to overthrow the Trump administration, has been used to smear many conservative movements. Now this effort has been crowned by an Executive Order.

Biden’s administration has been recently pushing so many other radical changes, such as packing the Supreme Court, eliminating the filibuster, restricting Second Amendment rights, etc., that the real ramifications of this new EO went completely unnoticed. In my opinion, this EO is the most dangerous of them all. It allows the Biden regime to eliminate its opposition, quickly and quietly.

Section 1 of the EO enumerates prohibited activities and defines guilty persons as those “determined” by the Secretary of Treasury and/or Secretary of State in consultation with the Attorney General to be:

(a)(ii) responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, any of the following for or on behalf of, or for the benefit of, directly or indirectly, the Government of the Russian Federation:

(A)  malicious cyber-enabled activities;

(B)  interference in a United States or other foreign government election;

(C)  actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the United States or abroad; 

(D)  transnational corruption;

Some of the language in this EO borrows from another: EO-13224 – Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism. George W. Bush signed EO-13224 on September 23, 2001, in response to 9/11.

However, Biden’s EO is as similar to Bush’s EO as an atomic bomb is to a sniper rifle. Bush’s EO targeted financing terrorism. It defined terrorism clearly and narrowly. It minimized legal jeopardy to US persons. It did not strip away the standard for criminal liability requirements of action and intent. It did not target spouses or children of accused individuals. Additionally, Bush made a legally meaningful promise to use it with due regard to culpability and the Bush administration used it with restraint. Even so, Democrats criticized it harshly, opposed it, and fought it in courts.

In contrast, Biden’s new EO is directed mostly at US persons. It criminalizes speech and political activities, based on whimsical and arbitrary definitions. The Biden administration can define “malicious activities,” “democratic processes or institutions,” and the activities that undermine them as it wants.

The Biden administration is also free to interpret what constitutes “interests of the Russian Government.” Such broad and vague language allows the Biden regime to select US citizens and political organizations arbitrarily, and then deprive them of their property and rights without anything reminiscent of due process. The EO does not even require that anybody commit an actual crime somewhere. False cyber-attribution or fake bounty claims are sufficient. Biden’s remarks to the EO showed no regard to the culpability of any targeted US citizens or other persons.

Leftist pseudo-elites have been eager to ban speech based on allegations that such speech may be beneficial to Russia. Such ideation has been present among Big Tech influencers for a long time. This EO effectively gives Big Tech, banks, and credit card companies a new pretext to deplatform conservatives and anyone else who opposes the Biden regime by claiming that they are now engaged in illegal activity.

Biden’s EO appears to allow the Democrat party to deny Americans the right to advocate against it in future federal elections. This might be accomplished through a “determination” that Russia is interfering in elections against democratic candidates. Thus, any US citizens who also oppose Democrats could be found to acting for Russia’s benefit, directly or indirectly.

The list of prohibited activities justifying a Biden administration “determination” to deprive American persons of their property and other rights (referred to here as a “Deprived Person”) states:

 [a] (iii) to be or have been a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of:
…   (C)  an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;

Unprecedently, Biden’s EO targets children and spouses:

[a] (v)    to be a spouse or adult child of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (a)(ii) or (iii) of this section;

and countless associations:

[a] (vi)   to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of:

(A)  any activity described in subsection (a)(ii) of this section; or

(B)  any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order …

[a] (vii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, … any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

Notice the infinite reach these subsections afford. Those connected to a “Deprived Person” can receive the same designation, and so on. There is no limit to the number of iterations.

“Deprived Persons” essentially become untouchables, as dealing with them in any way is expressly prohibited without additional determinations:

Sec. 2.  The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include:

(a)  the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and

(b)  the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Giving legal representation, hosting the website, selling food, and giving medical care to a “Deprived Person” is automatically prohibited. Section 4 prohibits transactions that “cause a violation” of this EO, even absent intent or knowledge. This serves as a hint to preemptively cut ties with anyone the Biden regime targets.  Go read the original Executive Order here.

You might recall that twice during the early part of Immaculate Barry’s administration they set up and promoted web sites and phone numbers where loyal citizens could snitch on family, friends and neighbors who spoke against The One’s person or policies.  In both cases the attempt was a dismal failure and was soon dropped.  I denounced myself on both those occasions, but nothing came of it.  I’ll bet a tin of sardines against a day old taco that within six months similar public service messages will be aired urging “loyal” citizens to denounce anybody who speaks ill of the regime.

For now it is quietly advancing under the radar.  You can bet that the Liars for Hire in the MSM don’t want to noise this one about, it would shock and horrify most Americans.  No, they will go about implementing this quietly, under the radar.  They will go against the noisy ones first, such as Rudy Giuliani.  Then they’ll come after the rest of us.

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