Saturday, April 11

March 9th: "National emergency! Venezuela 'extraordinary threat' to U.S.!" April 7th: No threat.

Thirty-three days ago Obama issued an "executive order," which the press secretary of the White Hut appears to have summarized below.  I say "appears to have" because often the press secretary leaves out key provisions of executive orders--at least when they break U.S. laws or take away rights from U.S. citizens.  Since neither appears to apply here, I'm guessing this really is what the EO says.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

FACT SHEET: Venezuela Executive Order

President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela. 
He's "declaring a national emergency" due to the "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security...of the United States posed by...Venezuela."  This sounds really serious!  Lotsa' boilerplate follows, included only to establish the factual record:
The targeted sanctions in the E.O. implement the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, which the President signed on December 18, 2014, and also go beyond the requirements of this legislation.
We are committed to advancing respect for human rights, safeguarding democratic institutions, and protecting the U.S. financial system from the illicit financial flows from public corruption in Venezuela.
This new authority is aimed at persons involved in or responsible for the erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as the significant public corruption by senior government officials in Venezuela.  The E.O. does not target the people or the economy of Venezuela.
Specifically, the E.O. targets those determined by the Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of State, to be involved in:
  • actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions;
  • significant acts of violence or conduct that constitutes a serious abuse or violation of human rights, including against persons involved in antigovernment protests in Venezuela in or since February 2014;
  • actions that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or peaceful assembly; or
  • public corruption by senior officials within the Government of Venezuela. 
The E.O. also authorizes the Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of State, to target any person determined:
  • to be a current or former leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any activity described in the E.O. or of an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked or frozen pursuant to the E.O.; or
  • to be a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela;
Individuals designated or identified for the imposition of sanctions under this E.O., including the seven individuals that have been listed today in the Annex of this E.O., will have  their property and interests in property in the United States blocked or frozen, and U.S. persons are prohibited from doing business with them.  The E.O. also suspends the entry into the United States of individuals meeting the criteria for economic sanctions.
We will continue to work closely with others in the region to support greater political expression in Venezuela, and to encourage the Venezuelan government to live up to its shared commitment, as articulated in the OAS Charter, the Inter American Democratic Charter, and other relevant instruments related to democracy and human rights. 
So, according to this "fact sheet" Obama is "declaring a national emergency" due to the "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security...of the United States posed by...Venezuela."  Sounds pretty serious, eh?

But that was 33 entire days ago.  And six years into the reign of Bullshit Barry, everyone except diehard liberals/Democrats/"progressives" realizes all of Bullshit Barry's statements, pronouncements and declarations come with two things:  an expiration date, and a cadre of advisors ready to change the clear wording of any of those and instead substitute "What that really means is..."

And of course this is classic doublespeak:  Either Bullshit Barry meant what he first said or issued under his name, or else he was lying but wanted YOU to believe him, because it would let him do whatever he wanted to do in the first place.

Example:  "If you like your doctor or your health insurance, you can keep both."

So on April 7th, when a reporter asked Ben Rhodes--who has the lofty title of Obama's deputy national security advisor but whose real value is that his brother is president of CBS news--what prompted the declaration of national emergency and the finding that Venezuela posed an "extraordinary threat to U.S. national security," here's Rhodes' reply, according to Reuters:
"The wording ... is completely pro forma," Ben Rhodes, a national security advisor to Obama, told reporters on Tuesday. "This is a language that we use in executive orders around the world. So the United States does not believe that Venezuela poses some threat to our national security."
Well there's a great snapshot of seriousness and solid thinking by Bullshit Barry's advisors.  It's really quite simple:  The somber words of the E.O. simply don't mean what they say.  It's all "pro forma," you see.

If you think brain-trust Ben Rhodes was speaking for himself, and not accurately presenting the emperor's position, here's ol' Bullshit Barry himself, in an interview with the news agency EFE:
Venezuela is not a threat to the U.S. and the U.S. is not a threat to Venezuela.
      --Bullshit Hussein Obama

The meaning of this clusterfuck can't possibly be lost on our enemies, and it is this:  Bullshit Barry never means what he says, including what he declares in a written "executive order."  So next time he issues one that sounds serious 'n all, you can safely ignore it.

I guess Barry's taken a clue from the mullahs of Iran:  Say and do one thing for "domestic consumption," but tell foreign leaders something else so they know your "domestic" statement was just to fool the rubes.

Except with the mullahs it's the other way 'round:  They tell their own citizens what they really plan to do, while telling Bullshit Barry some opposite, reassuring bullshit story.  So ironically, they're bullshitting the imperial bullshitter.

====
Oh, you may notice that the press secretary's "fact sheet" doesn't mention the number of the executive order--an omission I found curious.  A thorough search of the White Hut's site failed to uncover any mention of the number.  But a Treasury Dept. press release contained a link to the thing, and I've included it here to establish the factual record.  Here's the intro:
EXECUTIVE ORDER - 13692
BLOCKING PROPERTY AND SUSPENDING ENTRY OF CERTAIN PERSONS CONTRIBUTING TO THE SITUATION IN VENEZUELA
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-278) (the “Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act”) (the “Act”), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)) (INA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
     I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the situation in Venezuela, including the Government of Venezuela's erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant public corruption, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I hereby order: 
 Following this sentence is a detailed list that seems to match the statements in the fact sheet.

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