Presidential executive order

/ 19 July 2007

So am I the only one frightened by this? It’s an executive order signed by President Bush on the 17th of July, claiming, among other things, that: <blockquote>“… all property and interests in property of the following persons, 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come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in … </blockquote>

Then it lists the categories of people from whom the US can seize assets, and on the list are:

people who are "... (B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;"

Then it points out that

"For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.

I'm not a lawyer, so I could be reading this wrong, but it seems to me that this is a very dangerous assertion of power. Who gets to determine what counts as "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction"? Does it include people and organizations working to keep Iraqi oil assets in the control of the Iraqi people? I haven't seen anything in the blogosphere about this yet, but hopefully there will be much commentary to come!

UPDATE: Eric found this article in the Guardian about the executive order. I suspect the article is not skeptical enough.