German disputed Treasury Department spokeswoman Molly Millerwise's depiction of the order as a narrowly-focused measure against supporters of the Iraqi insurgency. "She's saying this doesn't affect (legitimate) charitable donations. Actually, it directly does." The order skips right over a relevant citation: section 203b(2) (pdf) of the International Economic Emergency Powers Act, which specifically denies to the president the ability to "regulate or prohibit ... donations, by persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, of articles, such as food, clothing and medicine, intended to be used to deal with human suffering." The order accepts the other restrictions applied by IEEPA, intended to protect, among other things, postal communications and legitimate journalism from unilateral executive restriction.
And that leads to to the broader problem with the order, according to Gerson: "the complete lack of due process" for those accused of violating it. Once someone's assets are frozen, there's no conviction, no appellate process. A better way of stopping terrorist finance, he says, would be "to bring them into court, and do something that would expose their activity... the idea that the executive can seize whatever he wants on his own volition with no sort due process cuts against American principles -- exactly the principles we're trying to get these other countries to follow."