the Defense Production Act of 1950, which mobilized America for the Korean War.

During the Korean War, President Truman signed a similar executive order

“Basically that law granted the Executive branch of government broad authority in the economy: to compel businesses to sign contracts to produce goods for the national defense, to set wage and price controls, especially on raw materials, and to even requisition property that might be useful for national defense.

“The Act,” writes Dougherty, ”has been reauthorized and passed through Congress many times, most recently in 2008 by President Bush, who had previously re-authorized it in 2003. President Clinton did the same in 1994.”

Bill Clinton signed a similar executive order

However, this time, it has caused enormous concern:

“President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order on March 16 giving the White House absolute control over all the country’s natural resources in case of a natural disaster or during a time of war,” writes Joe Wolverton for the right-of-center New American magazine. “In the order, the National Defense Resources Preparedness Order, the President granted to himself the authority to approve the dispensing of all domestic energy, production, transportation, food, and water supplies as he deems necessary to protect national security.”

The Executive Order “also contains a vague reference in regards to harnessing American citizens to fulfill ‘labor requirements’ for the purposes of national defense,” notes Brandon Turbeville of the website Global Research. “Not only that, but the authority claimed inside the Executive Order does not only apply to National Emergencies and times of war. It also applies in peacetime.”

Chris Kitze of the website Before It’s News, explains: “This Executive Order was posted on the web site on Friday, March 16, 2012, under the name National Defense Resources Preparedness.

In a nutshell, it gives the president the power to take just about anything deemed necessary for ‘National Defense,’ whatever they decide that is. It’s peacetime, because as the title of the order says, it’s for ‘Preparedness.’

“Under this order the heads of these cabinet level positions; Agriculture, Energy, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Defense and Commerce can take food, livestock, fertilizer, farm equipment, all forms of energy, water resources, all forms of civil transportation (meaning any vehicles, boats, planes), and any other materials, including construction materials from wherever they are available. This is probably why the government has been visiting farms with GPS devices, so they know exactly where to go when they turn this one on.”

Kenneth Schortgen Jr., writing in the Finance Examiner newspaper, writes, “Executive Orders created for national defense and national preparedness are not new in American history, but in each instance they brought about a Constitutional crisis that nearly led standing Presidents to hold dictatorial power over the citizenry.”

Calm down, writes Ed Morrissey at the website HotAir:

“We’re getting a lot of e-mail this weekend about an executive order issued on Friday afternoon by President Obama titled ‘National Defense Resources Preparedness.’ While the timing of the Executive Order is curious — why send it out on a Friday afternoon when an administration is usually trying to sneak bad news past the media? — the general impact of it is negligible. This Executive Order simply updates another Executive Order (12919) that had been in place since June 1994, and amended several times since.

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