Seasoned observers understand that, in official Washington, the so-called "death of a thousand cuts" technique is the preferred means of stealthily undermining, and ultimately defeating, initiatives and institutions too strong to be taken on via a frontal assault. The Obama administration appears intent on applying this approach of inflicting myriad attacks on the essential ingredient of American exceptionalism - our sovereignty - in ways that seem individually innocuous but that will, over time, surely prove lethal to our Constitution and country.
Mr. Obama's recent Executive Order 12425 is a case in point. Issued with no fanfare on December 17th in the run-up to the Christmas holidays, this document amends an earlier order promulgated by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. The Reagan directive granted the International Criminal Police Organization (popularly known as Interpol) limited immunity with respect to its operations inside the United States. Mr. Reagan, however, ensured that Interpol was subject to constitutional protections (notably, the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures) and U.S. laws (including the Freedom of Information Act).
By contrast, the Obama executive order strips away those limitations, granting the international law enforcement agency blanket immunity from official and private efforts to assess its activities in the United States. The question is why?
To date, no explanation has been forthcoming from the Obama administration, despite a rising chorus of questions from legislators, pundits, talk radio show hosts and concerned citizens. The best we have so far is, as was noted by Andy McCarthy, the former, highly accomplished federal prosecutor and author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad, in his column at National Review Online, an after-the-fact statement by Ron Noble, Interpol's Secretary General. He declared: "It's international custom that international organizations are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. We're no different than any other international organization."
Unfortunately, as Mr. McCarthy trenchantly observes, what Noble calls "international custom" is another name for "‘customary international law,' so beloved by transnational progressives."
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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