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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emptywheel @KailiJoy They could extort donations on a vote by vote basis?
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emptywheel @raynetoday They've got video of assassin's car. @jason_corcoran
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emptywheel @DanMyer82366100 Which remarkably didn't outlast Hash Bash? @MichiganHist
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emptywheel @onekade 3) Strong reporting there's a financial dragnet. And lots more confirmation of poss uses. @csoghoian
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emptywheel @onekade Sure. But we have 1) official FBI confirmation of explosives precursor 2) DOJ IG confirmation Internet = most orders @csoghoian
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emptywheel @DanMyer82366100 Huh. It was 18 in NY and VT until just before I got there. And I'm younger than you. @MichiganHist
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emptywheel @onekade Sure. But a BIG mistake activists made last time was in only focusing on phone dragnet. This is not that. @csoghoian
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emptywheel @onekade I think getting at hackers via traffic rather than content. But don't think metadata like that, either.
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emptywheel @onekade But as I noted, the reporting on this was unreliable.
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emptywheel @onekade Ask @csoghoian. I think rather than getting content they're tracking who's coming in where.
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emptywheel @DanMyer82366100 Drinking age was lower back then, I imagine. I RTed that just to hear from someone who knew it at that time @MichiganHist
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emptywheel @onekade The smart people think they're using it to get data flow.
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