In a Friday memo that trumps all other Friday memos, President Obama has told Congress that there are still threats in Iraq and has renewed the executive order of "national emergency with respect to Iraq for one more year."

That's sort of confusing right?  Whether the "national emergency" is here or there?  And it's actually both. The White House release notes that the first executive order, made during George W. Bush's presidency in 2003, asked for protection for the "Development Fund for Iraq and certain other property in which Iraq has an interest" and to deal with threats tied to American foreign policy and national security--hence a national emergency based on the situation in Iraq.

Today Obama ordered the renewal of this executive order, which is just a tad bit disconcerting considering we are (were?) supposed to be finished in Iraq. In his official message to Congress today, Obama writes:

Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Accordingly, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to this threat and maintain in force the measures taken to deal with that national emergency. 

Here's the full briefing: 

 

 THE WHITE HOUSE 

 Office of the Press Secretary                                                             

For Immediate Release        May 18, 2012 

 

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: 

 

 Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 

1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national 

emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date 

of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal 

Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the 

emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.  

In accordance with this provision, I have sent the enclosed 

notice to the Federal Register for publication continuing the 

national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq.  

This notice states that the national emergency with respect to 

the stabilization of Iraq declared in Executive Order 13303 of 

May 22, 2003, as modified in scope and relied upon for 

additional steps taken in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 

2003, Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, Executive 

Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13438 of 

July 17, 2007, is to continue in effect beyond May 22, 2012. 

 

 Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the 

restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the 

country, and the development of political, administrative, and 

economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and 

extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy 

of the United States.  Accordingly, I have determined that it is 

necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to 

this threat and maintain in force the measures taken to deal 

with that national emergency. 

 

 Recognizing positive developments in Iraq, my 

Administration will continue to evaluate Iraq's progress in 

resolving outstanding debts and claims arising from actions of 

the previous regime, so that I may determine whether to further 

continue the prohibitions contained in Executive Order 13303 

of May 22, 2003, as amended by Executive Order 13364 of 

November 29, 2004, on any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, 

execution, garnishment, or other judicial process with respect 

to the Development Fund for Iraq, the accounts, assets, and 

property held by the Central Bank of Iraq, and Iraqi petroleum- 

related products, which are in addition to the sovereign 

immunity accorded Iraq under otherwise applicable law. 

 

 

      BARACK OBAMA 

 

 

THE WHITE HOUSE, 

    May 18, 2012. 

 

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