At The Intercept, we believe in holding those in power accountable, and our mission couldn’t be more urgent right now. With Donald Trump and his cronies consolidating power, we’ve launched a weekly podcast: Intercepted. Every week, I will bring on guests and colleagues to discuss the most pressing stories—those unfolding in public and the ones hidden in the shadows.
This is taken from the podcast “Intercepted Podcast: President Trump’s Cabinet of Killers and Why Orange Is the New Anti-Black” and the section on Executive Orders:
Intercept’s historian, Jon Schwarz:
“Executive orders can be extremely good. The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order from Lincoln. Harry Truman used an executive order to abolish racial discrimination in the military. Executive orders can also be extremely bad. FDR used an executive order to create the legal authority for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt: When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, our West Coast became a potential combat zone.
“Truman used another executive order at the start of the Cold War to create loyalty tests for government employees, which was really the birth of McCarthyism.”
Joseph McCarthy: The thing that the American people can do is to be vigilant day and night to make sure they don’t have Communists teaching the sons and daughters of America.
“If you look at modern executive orders, you’ll see that presidents claim their authority is based on two things. First is Article 2 of the Constitution, which gives them executive power, and requires that they take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and then a claim that they are in fact executing some specific law passed by Congress. In the case of Donald Trump’s executive order, shutting the door temporarily or maybe otherwise on refugees and immigrants from seven countries, it was the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
DJT: It’s not a Muslim ban, but we are totally prepared. It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports. You see it all over. It’s working out very nicely, and we’re going to have a very, very strict ban, and we’re going to have extreme vetting.
“If you don’t like what Trump did, the good news is that the Supreme Court has famously said about executive orders that, “when the President takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb.” And it looks like that’s what Trump was doing here, because the law he cited bans discriminating among immigrants on the basis of a person’s place of birth or place of residence.”
Do you see what he says? Trump based his unconstitutional order on the Immigration and Nationality Act, but the Act says you may not discriminate. This is why the judge in Seattle overturned and stayed the order.
One more thing: This podcast also discusses the killing of civilians by the CIA and U.S.-backed (aka, armed) groups who have waged terrorism in the Middle East, Africa, and other places across the globe. It is this fact that has emboldened our enemies. They may have attacked us anyway, but this sickening behavior by our government–a government that We The People put in power through stupidity, ignorance, and apathy–only gives them a legitimate reason to do so. The rest is religious, dogmatic rhetoric that they don’t even believe or follow.