Saturday, July 21, 2007

Letter to a Senator

My letter to MN Senator Norm Coleman:

Dear Senator Coleman,
The last time I wrote a Senator was in the third grade. We brought our cursive skills to bear on such major inquiries as, "Is being a Senator fun?" and, "Do you have any pets?" As I enter my senior year in college, I'm afraid I couldn't write you a letter in cursive even if I had the envelope to mail it. My inquiry, however, is no less critical.

I just read the President's executive order of 17 July, entitled, "Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" (available online at Senator, this thing scares me to death. I could site the nebulous criteria by which all of a person's property may be seized, such as, "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq," or, "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq." I could point to the arbitrary process by which such seizures are adjudicated: "any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense [...]". I could note that the Secretaries of State and Defense need only be engaged in "consultation" and not in "agreement." I could decry the lack of any compensation or recourse for the seizure of some or all personal property. I could call foul over this Administration's many assertions that voicers of objection to this war, including some of your co-workers, are "aiding and abetting the enemy" and could then be "determined", by extension, to be "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq."

Thankfully none of that is necessary. I'm spared the many citations that the above arguments would require. Good thing too, because I hate doing bibliographies. No, the only reference I need is cited easily enough. A simple parenthetical citation, the kind I've been doing since the third grade, is all I require: "[No person shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." (US Const., amend. V).

Norm, this Executive Order is as unconstitutional as they come. You're my elected official. You're my voice and hands in federal government. Say something. Do something. For the love of private property, please make this the fastest Executive Order to crash and burn in history of Executive Orders which quickly crashed and burned. Please, Senator. I love my country, I love my constitution, and I love my stuff. Don't let Bush take them all.

Warmest Regards,
Scott Peterson
Apple Valley, MN by way of New York, NY