On Glenn Beck's Jan. 7 show, he was rightly puzzled regarding the exact purpose of President Barack Obama's Dec. 16 signing of an executive order "DESIGNATING INTERPOL AS A PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION ENTITLED TO ENJOY CERTAIN PRIVILEGES, EXEMPTIONS, AND IMMUNITIES."
Beck spoke for a host of other government watchdogs when he said on the air: "We've been asking ever since it was signed: Why? Who can tell me what special interest group asked for this? If it were about terror, why not tell us that when he signed it? This Congress attacks our CIA and FBI, but Interpol gets immunity? Why? It makes no sense."
Glenn, I agree. But I think I recently have seen behind the veil on the White House's covert mission and mystery with Interpol.
The rest of Obama's executive order reads: "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words 'except those provided by Section 2(c), Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act' and the semicolon that immediately precedes them."
Critical here is Obama's deletion of Section 2C exceptions, which come from the United States International Organizations Immunities Act: "Property and assets of international organizations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation. The archives of international organizations shall be inviolable." (As ThreatsWatch noted, "Inviolable archives means INTERPOL records are beyond US citizens' Freedom of Information Act requests and from American legal or investigative discovery.")
But why, at this point in U.S. history, would the White House want Interpol to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the regulations of search and seizure? White House and Interpol officials contend that the only reason for Obama's executive order was to update Ronald Reagan's 1983 executive order to accommodate Interpol's permanent residency and bring equity to its standing among other international organizations.
Many in the conservative world have accused Obama of extending Interpol's legal exemptions for the purpose of empowering a global police force, but I believe there's a much closer goal and strategic reason he gave this presidential edict. And it dawned on me when I read seven words said by Interpol spokeswoman Rachel Billington, who explained to The New York Times the applicable location of the president's executive order: "It's only for the New York office."
"Only for the New York office"? Mm.
Is it possible the Obama administration specifically and soon plans to use Interpol's New York office for some covert purpose that would require Interpol's exemption from having its property or records subject to search and seizure?
Is it merely coincidental that Obama signed this executive order and that New York is the feds' city of choice in which to place 9/11 terrorists on trial in federal court?
Is it merely coincidental that Obama signed this executive order and that the feds now have the close proximity of Interpol archives that are exempt from American legal and investigative discovery and the Freedom of Information Act requests by the media and U.S. citizens?
Is it merely coincidental that Obama signed this executive order and that Interpol's U.S. central operations office is under the umbrella of and within our own Justice Department's offices? (Interpol -- which was started in 1923 and is made up of 188 country members, including the U.S. and Yemen -- has its bureau in the Department of Justice.)
Is it merely coincidental that Obama signed this executive order and that an Interpol spokeswoman explained that "it's only for the New York office," whose five staff members now have access to law enforcement information submitted by other countries that no U.S. authority, official, agency or citizen can view for any reason (without Interpol's waiver)?
Again, ThreatsWatch hit the nail on the head: Immunity from search and seizure "cannot be understated, because this immunity and protection -- and elevation above the US Constitution -- afforded INTERPOL is likely a precursor to the White House subjecting the United States under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). INTERPOL provides a significant enforcement function for the ICC, just as our FBI provides a significant function for our Department of Justice."
If international terrorists' criminal records are allowed to pass through or be housed temporarily in New York's Interpol storage bin, they will be as safe as the gold at Fort Knox. Al Capone's vault had nothing on Obama's new Interpol repository!
Of course, it's not too late for the White House to be transparent and confess exactly why Obama granted Interpol's exemption from search and seizure laws at this critical point in the war on terror. What we do know now, however, is why the wisdom of President Reagan limited Interpol's immunities and why Obama's deletions of Reagan's executive order should have stayed intact for this international law enforcement agency.