Obama’s Yemen EO Still Lets Our Spooks Pay the Targets of the EO

As I noted earlier, Obama just signed an Executive Order ostensibly targeting the US assets of those who undermine Yemen’s stability, potentially including US citizens who do so. I’ve been comparing this EO to one of the analogous ones pointed out in Karen DeYoung’s article on the EO: one issued against Somalia in 2010 (h/t to Daveed Gartenstein-Ross for the link).

The EOs are very similar, including the language potentially targeting US citizens. But there are some interesting differences.

As DeYoung pointed out, the Yemeni EO, unlike the Somlia one, does not include an annex with named targets, even though the EO itself speaks of “certain members of the Government of Yemen.” As such, this EO seems to be a threat with consequences, not an immediate sanction.

The Yemen EO also uses slightly different language in the clause targeting those who materially support those destabilizing the country. Whereas the Somalia EO includes those who provide “logistical” or “technical” support, the Yemen EO includes those who provide “technological” support. So make sure you don’t serve as webmaster for someone Hillary Clinton thinks is destabilizing Yemen.

The most interesting difference, IMO, is this clause, which appears in the Yemen EO but does not in the Somalia one.

Sec. 5. Nothing in section 1 of this order shall prohibit transactions for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof.

In other words, while Obama doesn’t want you, or Ali Abdullah Saleh’s leave-behinds, or the AP to destabilize Yemen, he reserves the right for US government employees, grantees, or contractors to do so. Which presumably means, as happened in Afghanistan, we are and plan to continue paying some of the people who are in violation of this EO.

I wonder. Among all the adjectives we might use to describe the Saudis, do we use “grantee” among them?

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JimWhiteGNV Renovation update: new sofa and loveseat arrived! http://t.co/Zm1DmHf0a6
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @wolmanj @Popehat FWIW, I am fine w/this OTHER than the video. That just never looks good in hindsight. Never. #AudioOnly
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @wolmanj @Popehat And, I am betting, just one JA instead of two and a bailiff.
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @wolmanj @Popehat No, Jay is right. the judge and parties are, as far as I know, in the actual courtroom. Just no reporter
JimWhiteGNV #Gators come in with numbers 1, 3, 14 and 45. Should be a good year... https://t.co/EiciGufiZC
JimWhiteGNV RT @JulieDiCaro: Brennan: Hardy remains unapologetic, yet will be cheered on Sunday. Sigh http://t.co/2PgORmo0gp via @usatoday
bmaz @wolmanj @ScottGreenfield @Popehat Been doing O/A's+trials on audiotape for decades in municipal courts w/o a recorder. It the "video"...
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @Popehat Exactly. And I even had competent hair back then. Still hated it. Total nightmare now.
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @Popehat "Excuse me video camera, can you read that back to me"? How does that work??
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @Popehat I was involved in couple of early Court TV trials. Fucking hated seeing the thing in video. Blergh.
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @Popehat How you boys feel about having your every bullshit O/A be on video in lieu of cold script? http://t.co/GCc7sY5SBD
bmaz @HoltenMark About the LAST thing in the world I want is a public video of every court argument I make. I know how to play to a transcript.