Detainment facilities to house American citizens, guarded by armed soldiers or paramilitary troops, will be built by the Department of Homeland Security, under a new bill in the House of Representatives. The National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (H.R. 645)
“to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations”
was introduced in the House by disgraced former Florida judge and now Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL). [Hastings, you will recall, was impeached from his judgeship in 1989 by the House of Representatives for accepting a $150,000 bribe and committing perjury to cover up.]
We recommend using the Open Congress posting of this legislation because it can be annotated with citizen commentary. Alternatively, the GovTrack version is here and the Library of Congress (Thomas) version is here. You can follow the ongoing status of the bill here.
Ostensibly, this legislation is proposed to remedy relocation difficulties from natural or man-made disasters, such as those experienced following hurricane Katrina. That argument is specious, because the Katrina disaster was exacerbated, not by a lack of preparedness, but by the ineptitude of then Democrat-controlled governments of the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisianna (see Katrina’s Timeline). In more recent emergencies, beginning with Gustav, southern states with Republican governors have demonstrated remarkable efficiency in evacuating at-risk populations to civilian facilities such as schools and convention centers (see Here Comes Gustav, Jindal-LA; Gov. Perry Issues Disaster Declaration in Anticipation of Tropical Storm Perry-TX; Florida braces for one-two punch from storms Crist-FL; Governor Barbour Prepares Mississippi for Gustav Barbour-MS). We recall heartwarming pictures of school bus convoys loading threatened residents and their pets, people with dogs and cats in carriers, old folk carrying bird cages. Way to go!
Since the Katrina problem has demonstrably been solved, many are suspicious of this new bill. From Global Research, Canada:
Preparing for Civil Unrest in America
Legislation to Establish Internment Camps on US Military Bases
Directly related to the issue of curbing social unrest, [a] cohesive system of detention camps is also envisaged, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon.
A bill entitled the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (HR 645) was introduced in the US Congress in January. It calls for the establishment of six national emergency centers in major regions in the US to be located on existing military installations….
The stated purpose of the “national emergency centers” is to provide “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster.” In actuality, what we are dealing with are FEMA internment camps. HR 645 states that the camps can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.”…. (emphasis mine)
These “civilian facilities” on US military bases are to be established in cooperation with the US Military. Modeled on Guantanamo, what we are dealing with is the militarization of FEMA internment facilities.
Once a person is arrested and interned in a FEMA camp located on a military base, that person would in all likelihood, under a national emergency, fall under the de facto jurisdiction of the Military: civilian justice and law enforcement including habeas corpus would no longer apply.
HR 645 bears a direct relationship to the economic crisis and the likelihood of mass protests across America. It constitutes a further move to militarize civilian law enforcement, repealing the Posse Comitatus Act.
Law enforcement reporter and policeman Jim Kouri writes in the Washington Examiner:
Obama and Congress to create US emergency centers or prison camps?
The House bill (HR 645) is not even on the radar of members of the elite media. According to critics of the plan, if passed the government will create camps or centers that by their nature restrict the activities of US citizens herded into them…
One critic, political strategist [former CIA analyst] Mike Baker claims the idea of such detention center smacks of forced incarceration in concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany, which Americans find repugnant.
Hastings bill is suspected of attempting to help expand President Obama’s military and law enforcement powers….
“While Obama and his team are making it sound as if they will use the military in a non-combative roll, part of the training being conducted is in urban warfare,” claims political strategist Mike Baker.
“Obama appears oblivious to Posse Comitatus and to the US Constitution when it comes to using the military against civilians within US borders,” he said.
And it is a fact that our military is being retrained for civilian population control. From Army Times — Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1 :
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.
Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home….
It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.
But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities….
They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control….
Prison camps are certainly not unheard of in the United States. During World War II there were three categories of prison camps:
- Japanese-American citizens were interned in facilities on the west coast,
- Axis citizens deported from South America and Axis sailors caught in our ports at the outbreak of war were detained in about twenty INS facilities in the US, and
- German prisoners of war were kept in prison camps on federal land, such as national parks.
When I was a young girl, the family used to go for a car ride in the country on Sundays, and during World War II, we would drive past the local prison camp and look at the young German soldiers, much as we toured the gaily lit houses at Christmastime. Our favorite attraction was located near Fort Niagara, on federal park land in New York State. And the young Germans would stand pressed to the perimeter fence and stare back at us, at the parade of well-dressed people and their fine cars who had come to gawk. After the war, most of them wanted to stay in the US and got jobs here if they could. Willie, the janitor in our apartment building, was one of those newly freed prisoners, and considered his capture one of the best things that ever happened to him, because it brought him to America and eventually a decent way to make a living.
More recently, the illegal immigrants rounded up in the Agriprocessors meat-packing plant raid in Postville, Iowa were kept in a detainment facility. And Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio houses illegal aliens convicted of crime in a detention/work camp, where about 2000 inmates live in tents. But these historical and current examples involve people who have declared war or committed a crime. What about ordinary citizens?
All the legal power required to round up and inter large segments of the United States population already exists — see the list of Executive Orders below, which have the force of law. So the issue of whether Barack Hussein Obama can inter dissident segments of the US population is settled — he can. The only remaining question is whether he would really do that. Now to most reasonable Americans this sounds like the far-right stuff of conspiracy theory. So I will not offer any opinions here. I will just lay some extant facts on the table.
- Obama’s entire formative life — childhood upbringing, cultural milieu, schooling, mentoring, early political career and associations — was almost entirely an environment of socialism, Marxism, communism.
- Among Obama’s social and professional friends, William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn (radical husband and wife team) were prominent. Ayers and Dohrn were and are unrepentent advocates of the Weather Underground, devoted to destroying our government and our way of life. On May 21, 1970 an audiotape recorded by Dohrn announced a declaration of war on the United States. (Copies of four manifestos issued by Dohrn are linked in the references.) Obama’s political career was launched at a party in their Chicago home and his work environment was interlaced with theirs, sharing grant funding and at some points sharing an office.
- Larry Grathwol was an undercover operative for law enforcement who infiltrated the Weather Underground. He discovered not only that Ayers’ intention was the overthrow of capitalism, but that Ayers expected to set up re-education camps, and “eliminate” an estimated 25 million dissident citizens that could not be re-educated (read the transcript of Grathwol’s testimony here).
- During the presidential campaign, Obama announced his intention to set up a civilian national security force (seeing is believing, here’s a video of his speech):
“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve gotta have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded…
What’s the difference? All military officers take an oath to defend the Constitution. A civilian force would report to the executive.
- The current administration, in their DHS Memo Rightwing Extremism Threat Assessment, has listed characteristics that describe most freedom loving Americans, including returning vets, right-to-life and gun rights advocates, people who display the Gadsden flag, those who oppose illegal immigration or are concerned about loss of US sovereignty, or people who cast a third party vote for Ron Paul or Bob Barr. Beyond the DHS memo, we have heard Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and Napolitano demonize people who attended tea parties, calling them rightwing extremists or “unhealthy.” Also, we are aware of their arrogant disdain for people who cling to their religion and their guns.
In July 2002, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was tasked with preparing “emergency, makeshift cities that could house hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans” and given a six-month deadline. This was a response to the 9-11 attacks, and in anticipation of potential terrorist destruction or chemical/biological contamination of American cities. The initiative was understandable, in context, if not optimal. In January 2006 a Haliburton subsidiary was awarded a $385 million contract“for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities/” There are now reported to be over 600 of these facilities completely ready for use.
In view of already established infrastructure, what could be the rationale behind the new legislation, H.R. 645, which suggests six large camps? The existing camps, averaging 12 per state, would necessarily rely on significant numbers of local personnel for services and enforcement. In a country with our traditions of freedom, not enough law officers only loyal to the executive could be found. Reducing the number of camps to six super-camps would make the logistical and staffing problems more tractable, if a totalitarian power grab were to be tried. Just a thought!
In a previous article, we described the two-step process for eroding freedom, namely:
- Use a real or manufactured crisis to induce public fear
- Enact draconian laws (or take Orwellian measures) to remedy the crisis, preying on that fear to leverage increased government control and decreased personal freedom that the public would not normally accept.
If internment were to be carried out, the perpetrators would use a crisis as cover for the action — a terrorist attack, a pandemic, or civil unrest are some possibilities. So it is clear that, however egregious this Democratic administration becomes, civil unrest should be avoided at all costs.
There are two or three legal ways that an enlightened and aroused public can retake control of this country peaceably, which we will examine in a future article. And it is encouraging to keep in mind that totalitarian regimes in other countries have fallen through the peaceful resistance of courageous men like Mahatma Gandhi, Lech Walesa, Václav Havel, and Nelson Mandela. And we have no shortage of patriots.
Here’s a partial list of executive orders that already have the force of law
— The FEMA list of Presidential Executive Orders. All of these were in place before Barack Hussein Obama took the oath of office:
- #10995 by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING TELECOMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS — Seizure of all communications media in the United States.
- #10997 by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR — Seizure of all electric power, fuels, and minerals, both public and private.
- #10998 by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE — Seizure of all food supplies and resources, public, and private, all farms and farm equipment.
- #10999 by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE — Seizure of all means of transportation, including personal cars, trucks or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports and waterways.
- #11000 by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR — Seizure of all American population for work forces under federal supervision, including dividing families as necessary according to governmental plans.
- #11001 by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE — Seizure of all health, education and welfare facilities, both public and private.
- #11002by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL — Empowers the Postmaster General to register all men, women and children in the U.S.
- #11003 by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY — Seizure of all airports and aircraft.
- #11004 by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING CERTAIN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE ADMINISTRATOR — Seizure of all housing and finance authorities, to establish Forced Relocation. Designates areas to be abandoned as “unsafe,” establishes new locations for populations, relocates communications, builds new housing with public (‘tax-payers’) funds.
- #11005 by John Kennedy, 1962: ASSIGNING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION — Seizure of all railroads, inland waterways and storage facilities, public and private.
- #11051 by John Kennedy, 1962: PRESCRIBING RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE OFFICE OF EMERGENCY PLANNING IN THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT — Provides the Office of Emergency Planning complete authorisation to put the above orders into effect in times of increased international tension or economic or financial crisis.
- #11490 by Richard Nixon, 1969: Assigning emergency preparedness functions to Federal departments and agencies — Combines Executive Orders #11001 to #11005 and #11051 into a single Executive Order.
- #11921 by Gerald Ford, 1976: Adjusting Emergency Preparedness Assignments to Organizational and Functional Changes in Federal Departments and Agencies — F.E.M.A. is authorised to develop plans control energy, prices and wages, credit and the money supply to U.S. banks in the event of a ‘National Emergency.’ Congress may not review a President’s decision to enforce a ‘National Emergency’ for six months. (emphasis mine)
- #12656 by Ronald Reagan, 1988: Assigmment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities – The National Security Council given authority to determine requisite emergency powers (increased domestic surveillance, isolation of communites, restriction of movement for groups and individuals in the USA, control of airspace, use of the national guard to enforce laws and seal borders).
- #12919 by Bill Clinton, 1994: NATIONAL DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL RESOURCES PREPAREDNESS – “National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness” delegates authorities, responsibilities and allocations of F.E.M.A.’s Executive Orders for the confiscation of ALL PROPERTY from the American people, and their re-location and assignment to ‘labor’ camps. This Executive Order also supersedes or revokes eleven (11) previous Executive Orders [from 1939 through 1991] and amends Executive Order #10789 and #11790. The declaration of a ‘National Emergency’ by the President may immediately lead to the implementation of all or part of these provisions and if he so desires he may implement martial law, suspend the Constitution, nulify habeas corpus and all other personal liberties and rights.
Related:Santa Monica Mirror — Is Obama Preserving the Constitution?
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is to date, the sole member of Congress willing to raise a public stink. “Apparently, the fusion centers, militarized police, surveillance cameras, and a domestic military command is not enough,” blogged Rep. Paul. “Even though we know that detention facilities are already in place, they now want to legalize the construction of FEMA camps on military installations using the ever popular excuse that the facilities are for the purposes of a national emergency. With the phony debt-based economy getting worse and worse by the day, the possibility of civil unrest is becoming a greater threat to the establishment. One needs only to look at Iceland, Greece, and other nations for what might happen in the United States next.”
“Why”, asks Paul, “are these centers are being constructed on military bases if they’re not for the purpose of rounding up and detaining large groups of people? Obama should explain exactly what is going on. So far, he has not.”
Last fall, we learned who would be doing the rounding up when, for the first time since Reconstruction, U.S troops were deployed within U.S borders. The Third Infantry Division’s 1st Combat Team, trained during multiple tours in Iraq, will “help with civil unrest and crowd control.” According to Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of the U.S. Northern Command, at least two more brigades will be deployed by 2010. The doctrine of posse comitatus, under which U.S. troops shall not be used against U.S. citizens, prohibits detaining us, and Obama needs to explain why letting this program continue, is not a violation of that doctrine.
Wikipedia — Japanese American internment
FindLaw — TOYOSABURO KOREMATSU v. UNITED STATES (the SCOTUS case that affirmed internment)
Wikipedia — The REX 84 Program
Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, is a plan by the United States federal government to test their ability to detain large numbers of American citizens in case of civil unrest or national emergency….
The basic facts about Rex 84 and other contingency planning readiness exercises — and the potential threat they pose to civil liberties if fully implemented in a real operation — are taken seriously by scholars and civil libertarians….
In 2008, for the first time an active military unit has been given a dedicated assignment stateside for civil unrest containment. It is assigned to Northcom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts….
Wikipedia — Operation Garden Plot
Operation Garden Plot is a general U.S. Army and National Guard plan to respond to major domestic civil disturbances within the United States. The plan was developed in response to the civil disorders of the 1960s and is now under the control of the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). It provides Federal military and law enforcement assistance to local governments during times of major civil disturbances…. Under Homeland Security restructuring, it has been suggested that similar models be followed.
SourceWatch — Operation Cable Splicer
Operation Cable Splicer is “the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government. FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and thus will head up all operations. The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation.”
The New Yorker — Making It: How Chicago shaped Obama
Lew Rockwell — America’s World War II Prison Camps
Weather Underground — Communiqué #1 May 21, 1970
Weather Underground — Communiqué #2 June 9, 1970
Weather Underground — Communiqué #3 July 31, 1970
Weather Underground — Communiqué #4 September 18, 1970
Public Broadcasting System — Transcript of interview in 1996 with Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers
Nancy Matthis is the publisher and executive editor of the weblog format news magazine and multimedia outlet American Daughter Media Center.