Well this an interesting, yet all too expected turn of events that was likely timed for the holidays when fewer would be paying attention, and the passing of the order itself would likely be swept away in a fervor of Christmas shopping coverage, if even acknowledged in its true capacity by the dying MSM -- which was no doubt the intention.
"The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons."
To many (hopefully most) the irony is shockingly apparent in the idea of the US government giving itself the authority to seize "all property and interests in property," of those they themselves deem to be responsible for "serious human rights abuse." As the United States government is currently responsible, along with Saudi Arabia, for the ongoing genocide in Yemen, the absolute decimation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria (and many others), and is currently killing civilians at unprecedented rates. Most importantly, the US government is carrying out drone strikes and bombing campaigns, which are acts of war, that Congress never approved, the UN never authorized and doing so in sovereigns countries without the approval of the local governments. This is the literal definition of a "human rights abuser."
The beginning of executive order reads:
I (President Trump) hereby determine and order:
All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order;
(ii) any foreign person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General:
(A) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse;
(B) to be a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in:
(1) corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery; or
(2) the transfer or the facilitation of the transfer of the proceeds of corruption;
(C) to be or have been a leader or official of:
(1) an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, any of the activities described in subsections (ii)(A), (ii)(B)(1), or (ii)(B)(2) of this section relating to the leader’s or official’s tenure; or
(2) an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order as a result of activities related to the leader’s or official’s tenure;
When you read down this list, it is like a checklist of the very things the US government is surreptitiously, and in some cases overtly, carrying out around the world. This is indeed redefining hypocrisy, and is all happening under the premiss that this is a “National Emergency.” The National Emergencies Act allows such unilateral leeway, and that is exactly the point. All the current administration must do is deem something a "national emergency" and all pretense of the "democracy," it so forcefully claims to be, goes right out the window - for your protection of course.
Looking at this through the lens of those who - just could never imagine that its "altruistic" government body would ever dream of using an order such as this to carry out its ambitious and nefarious political goals - this is seen as a good step used for putting a stop to bad things. And that would certainly be the case, if the intent behind it was completely benevolent. However, our very own checkered history paints quite a contradicting story to the one painted in the lofty mind of the nationalist, blindly state-loving Trump enthusiast. It is not my desire to feed into the divide that such a sentence creates, as I am acutely aware that such a sentiment does not sum up all of the many varied types of individuals who are currently in lock-step with "Trump's Plan" for America. Yet, that is the specific type of individual I am referring to in this case. The point being, that despite one's blind hope for the best possible scenario, the reality of human ambition and desire, that all too often drives these moves, is what this nation's past, both recent and long ago, has clearly shown us is the dominate force.
In another sense, and more to the design and verbiage of this order, some believe this is the first step in tackling the issue of the Clintons and Podestas. And while I certainly hope so, as we all should, I feel that this was meant to feed into exactly this hope, this "master plan” theory of "the indictments," the "Q Anon" scenario, etc. And while the many caught up in this hope eagerly await something that will likely never materialize, this will much more likely be another way to enforce the US will on its political enemies around the world that it arbitrarily decides to name a “human rights abuser,” such as Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela. One can certainly bet that it will not include such verifiable human rights violators as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and many other US allies that seem to get “overlooked” in these condemnations.
Many argue this order applies only to people, and not countries. While that may be the case, these bills, acts and executive orders always have a way of evolving into what certain groups and entities need them to be. The order reads:
(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;
(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and
(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States
"Entity" in this case means many things, among them “corporation,” and many would argue that countries are corporations in today's corporate dominated world, in particular the United States, and there are many valid points in such an argument. Regardless, these terms can be (and always are as history has shown) bent to suit whatever meaning is needed in the moment. Or, in this case, could simply be applied to a head of state, such as Bashar al Assad in Syria, and in many ways would effectively "justify" yet another US intervention/regime change. I do however acknowledge that much of that theory is hypothetical and entirely based on past actions of gross manipulation and deceit, yet does little to quell the obvious and inherent hypocrisy involved throughout this order.
Furthermore, as is the modern political way, much of the most ominous aspects of the order include verbiage that is wildly open to interpretation, so as to be used in whatever way suits its wielder at the time, and which is what independent media always attempts to point out. This is typically followed by those blindly and naively arguing that we "misunderstand what the real intentions are, and that it would never be used in such a nefarious manner," except that is almost always is, and two perfect examples are the Patriot act and the Liberty Act.
Another interesting aspect in this executive order, is that it oddly tucks in a backward way of enforcing the type of all-encompassing immigration ban that many feel Trump is trying to usher in (again, should it be used in this manner) and there are plenty of arguments for why less immigration is not necessarily a bad thing. But this, in classic US fashion, is a very backhanded way to accomplish this.
(Sec. 2.) The unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 1 of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and the entry of such persons into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, is hereby suspended. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).
There will no doubt be those who argue, as I said before, that it cannot be used in this way, or that this is our misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Yet all of these points hinge on what they deem to be the "detrimental," "corrupt" or a "human rights abuser." The very people now overrun with corruption, fraud and political bias, are the ones who will decide who and what this applies to. Not to mention the vast majority with close ties to the military industrial-complex, which will no doubt wildly benefit with the type of rifts, and subsequent interventionism this will create - for humanitarian reasons of course.
And in a broad stoke, the below sections authorize the Secretary of Treasury and Secretary of State to essentially pass any regulation, take any action, or adopt any rule "that may be necessary" to carry this order out:
Sec. 8. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including adopting rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to me by IEEPA and the Act as may be necessary to implement this order and section 1263(a) of the Act with respect to the determinations provided for therein. The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States. All agencies shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to implement this order.
Sec. 9. The Secretary of State is hereby authorized to take such actions, including adopting rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to me by IEEPA, the INA, and the Act as may be necessary to carry out section 2 of this order and, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the reporting requirement in section 1264(a) of the Act with respect to the reports provided for in section 1264(b)(2) of that Act. The Secretary of State may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States consistent with applicable law.
At the end of the day, anyone who has been paying attention has seen the gross misrepresentation of past legislation that is always sold to the American people. Yet some would still argue, or rather, still want to believe, that these always stem from a desire to do good, but are then manipulated and used with bad intent by malicious actors within the government. Either way, it should be plain for all to see (who truly want to look) that orders exactly like this one are almost always used in a way that the American people did not expect, and for the benefit of the few. And more to the point, allow sweeping power to politicians who then abuse said power in ways we all too often never see until years past, and is given cover under the premiss that to even suggest that the US government would do anything, or take any action that might not be in the best interest of the people, is downright un-American, and should be called out with a passion, and likely today, a Russian-agent. Those who actually believe in such absurd notions, are simply ignorant of the very past that led this country to its currently tattered state. And that is not un-American, that is simply the truth.
Sources: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-blocking-property-persons-involved-serious-human-rights-abuse-corruption/, https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0243