Executive Order to Takeover ‘Civil Transportation’ Asserts Dictatorial Power Over the U.S. Economy

By Terri Hall l March 21, 2012

On March 16th, Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on National Defense Resources Preparedness, which effectively gives the President and members of his cabinet dictatorial power to commandeer ‘civil transportation,’ even in peacetime, under the banner of national security. The Executive Order based on the Defense Production Act of 1950 builds on a Presidential Directive, PD 51, signed by George W. Bush. Obama takes it further in shocking detail.

In short, Obama’s Executive Order authorizes a government takeover of virtually all resources, both natural and industrial , in the name of ‘national defense’ – emerging technologies, all energy resources including oil, gas, solid fuels, renewable energy (even solar and wind!), pipelines, electricity, agriculture, food, farm equipment and resources, fertilizer, food resource facilities, health resources (all drugs, medical devices, and facilities), WATER, and, of course, the means to transport all such resources – civil transportation.

Considering Marxists believe all means of production and all resources belong to the State, the power this Executive Order grants the President and his un-elected cabinet, by fiat, is staggeringly anti-American and anti-freedom. Under this single Executive Order Obama can take over all of our nation’s national resources, including labor and the entire private sector economy, and re-allocate them and ration them back to us, however he sees fit.

In Part VIII Sec. 801, it defines civil transportation:

a. “Civil transportation” includes movement of persons and property by all modes of transportation in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce within the United States, its territories and possessions, and the District of Columbia, and related public storage and warehousing, ports, services, equipment and facilities, such as transportation carrier shop and repair facilities. “Civil transportation” also shall include direction, control, and coordination of civil transportation capacity regardless of ownership. “Civil transportation” shall not include transportation owned or controlled by the Department of Defense, use of petroleum and gas pipelines, and coal slurry pipelines used only to supply energy production facilities directly.

The heads of the listed federal agencies can literally takeover contracts and, essentially, the private sector economy, to re-allocate materials and facilities in the name of national defense. Moreover, Obama’s Executive Order mandates the specified government departments to develop plans and promulgate regulations – growing government larger.

Part II Sec. 201 states:

“…to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:…(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation.

(b) The Secretary of each agency delegated authority under subsection (a) of this section (resource departments) shall plan for and issue regulations to prioritize and allocate resources and establish standards and procedures by which the authority shall be used to promote the national defense, under both emergency and non-emergency conditions.

(e) ….Upon such approval, the Secretary of the resource department that made the finding may use the authority of section 101(a) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(a), to control the general distribution of any material (including applicable services) in the civilian market” (emphasis added).

Obama’s Executive Order leaves nothing untouched as it takes control of production and distribution of all facets of the U.S. economy. It can also collect data on the Nation’s workforce and ‘redistribute’ the labor market.

Part VI Sec. 601(a) states: “The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of other agencies, as deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Labor, shall: (1) collect and maintain data necessary to make a continuing appraisal of the Nation’s workforce needs for purposes of national defense…”

It continues in 3(i): “…the effect of contemplated actions on labor demand and utilization; (ii) the relation of labor demand to materials and facilities requirements; and (iii) such other matters as will assist in making the exercise of priority and allocations functions consistent with effective utilization and distribution of labor” (emphasis added).

The Order can also force taxpayers to guarantee loans for private industry.

Part III Sec 301 reads: “the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense, as defined in section 801(h) of this order, is authorized pursuant to section 301 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2091, to guarantee loans by private institutions.”

If slapping tolls on the Nation’s freeways and selling off our public infrastructure to private and largely foreign companies (whom the public cannot hold accountable) aren’t bad enough, try having the President’s unelected bureaucrats takeover ALL ‘civil transportation’ for its own purposes, even in peace time, in the name of ‘national defense.’ The threat all of these policies pose to our freedom to travel is obvious. Americans can no longer afford to remain ignorant of government power-grabbing at all levels, across party lines, and at a breathless pace, as has occurred during the Obama administration.

Obama’s Executive Order combined with his New Year’s Eve signing of H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to ostensibly fund the Pentagon, while granting the president explicit authority for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens during time of war and national emergency, is tantamount to high tyranny and an abrogation of our constitutional rights. Perhaps, Jonathan Turley, a liberal constitutional attorney, said it best when he criticized Obama writing in the British newspaper the Guardian, “The American way of life is defined by our constitution and specifically the Bill of Rights…the insistence that you do not intend to use authoritarian powers does not alter the fact that you just signed an authoritarian measure.”

Of course, this President and many before him always take care to frame their power-grabbing in tones of patriotism, national security, or by simply declaring “it’s for the children.’ But we MUST recognize such threats to our freedom and liberty. We cannot fall for clever platitudes that amount to putting lipstick on a pig. There’s a reason for the rise in calls for limited, smaller government – when those in power think no one’s looking, they’ll steal every last vestige of our freedom!

Terri Hall is the founder of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), which defends against eminent domain abuse and promotes non-toll transportation solutions. She’s a home school mother of eight turned citizen activist. Ms. Hall is also a contributor to

SFPPR News & Analysis.