Executive Order 13603 – President Obama is NOT coming for your pinto beans!
I hate to let a few facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory, but here goes.
There has been an urban legend circulating that President Obama signed an executive order that “authorizes” him to seize preppers’ food storage (and a host of other evil things). We need to bury this rumor because it simply makes preppers look ridiculous when we are debating it. Don’t we have enough to worry about? There are very real concerns we need to prepare for: pandemic, solar flare, a terrorist attack on our infrastructure, a rogue state EMP weapon, economic collapse, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, Miley Cyrus videos. There are all kinds of things that could bring about the end of the world as we know it. Let’s worry about preparing for those things and not fall prey to internet fear mongers.
Executive Order 13603 is not an insidious government plot to redistribute your food preps. Nor, is it even unusual!
What is an Executive Order?
The President cannot make laws – Only Congress can do that. The President, as the head of the executive branch of our government, implements and enforces the laws that Congress passes. The president issues an Executive Order (EO) to give guidance to the executive branch on how to implement and enforce the laws and how to conduct the government’s business. Executive Orders frequently are controversial – after all, this is America and we agree on little! If the President issues an EO telling the Justice Department to aggressively enforce a law – or not to – you can bet that someone will squawk.
Because these EOs are written by the President’s staff and attorneys, they are frequently filled with “legalese” and do not generally make for light reading.
History of Executive Order 13603:
On September 8, 1950, Congress enacted the Defense Production Act of 1950 in response to the start of the Korean War. The Act did three basic things: 1. it empowered the President to require businesses to sign contracts with the government deemed necessary for national defense; 2. it empowered the President to issue regulations and orders necessary to allocate materials, services and facilities to promote national defense; and 3. it empowers the President to ensure that scarce or critical materials are available for national defense. (An example of this would be the strategic petroleum reserve.)
Since 1958, several Presidents have issued Executive Orders related to Defense Production Act, including Dwight Eisenhower (EO 10789 in 1958), William Clinton (EO 12919 in 1994), George W. Bush (EO 13286 in 2003) and Barack Obama (EO 13603 in 2012). In fact, President Obama’s EO 13603 is almost identical to Clinton’s EO 12919. The EO was left largely unchanged by the Bush administration, whose amendment was mostly to update the EO because of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
There is absolutely nothing in this executive order (which has, in essence been in effect since the Clinton administration) that implies that the government may seize a private citizen’s food – or anything else. The gist of the law and the EOs is to enable the government to streamline the procurement process (e.g., to avoid a time consuming bidding process) to buy resources and get contracts in an emergency.
That’s it. No conspiracy to seize your #10 cans of Mountain House lasagna here. (And, oddly, nothing about martial law, but I digress.)
Now, what we have seen is a few hysteria-nuts trying to scare preppers. “Obama is going seize your food storage, declare martial law, send you to a FEMA death camp and then he is going to redistribute preppers’ food storage to the unprepared sheeple.” (Or similar versions of this same ridiculous scenario.) They attach a link to the EO – which is a few pages of dense “federalspeak” – and many people figure that these people must know what they are talking about, even if they don’t see where it says all this.
Enough is enough. It really annoys me that somebody would spout off this organic fertilizer and scare people – we have enough to be scared about already. If you are not sure who to believe, take the time to read the Executive Order (link below), the previous EOs (links below) and even the Defense Production Act of 1950 (link below). You’ll find what I found. Absolutely nothing.
President Obama is only able to perpetrate the above dastardly deeds upon you to the extent that any other President since Eisenhower might have. There is no law against prepping and there is no executive order that the government is going to take your preps. Period.
Preppers: Don’t fall prey to fear mongers’ rumors and urban legends – there is enough to fear from facts alone!
Now, can we get serious and start preparing for zombies or something around here??
- Executive Order 13603 – National Defense Resources Preparedness (March 16, 2012)
- Executive Order 13286 – Amendment of Executive Orders, and Other Actions, in Connection With the Transfer of Certain Functions to the Secretary of Homeland Security (February 28, 2003)
- Executive Order 12919 – National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness (June 3, 1994)
- Executive Order 10789 – Authorizing agencies of the Government to exercise certain contracting authority in connection with national-defense functions and prescribing regulations governing the exercise of such authority (November 14, 1958)
- Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, 50 U.S.C. App. 2061 et seq.
Good Articles on the Executive Order 13603 “Controversy”:
- Snopes: National Defense Resources Preparedness
- The Ready Store: Would New Executive Order Seize Your Food Storage?
- WND: Executive-order panic: Martial law in U.S.?
For more “Conspiracy Busting” please see the following article!