1997 FEMA Emergency Response Manual. (Front Cover)
If you believe the corporate media, FEMA is simply a bungling and inept emergency management agency and its director, Michael Brown, according to the Washington Post, is simply an "accidental director" and "the failed head of an Arabian horse sporting group who was plucked from obscurity to become President Bush's point man for the worst natural disaster in U.S. history" and, as the Boston Globe notes, "got the job through an old college friend who at the time was heading up FEMA.... Brown -- formerly an estates and family lawyer -- this week has made several shocking public admissions, including interviews where he suggested FEMA was unaware of the misery and desperation of refugees stranded at the New Orleans convention center." In short, the corporate media would have us believe Brown is a clueless lawyer and former horse trader and FEMA an unresponsive federal bureaucratic leviathan wrapped up in red tape. But this does not explain the following:
FEMA refused evacuation help from Amtrak; it turned away experienced fire fighters and first responders; it turned back Wal-Mart supply trucks; refused to allow the Red Cross to deliver food; blocked a 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid; turned away generators and other equipment (see this page with links to news stories). In other words, FEMA went out of its way to deny aid and allow people to die from dehydration, starvation, and lack of medicine and medical help. In addition to denying aid, and thus killing an as of yet (and possibly forever) unknown number of people, FEMA is attempting to control media access to the worst natural disaster in American history (see Journalist Groups Protest FEMA Ban on Photos of Dead). Moreover, journalists and photographers have been assaulted by troops and had their notebooks and cameras confiscated (see The Eye of the Hurricane by Matthias Gebauer).
Regardless of all the corporate media hype, FEMA was not created to respond to natural disasters and help American citizens (in fact, it is an unconstitutional construct, created by Executive Order, and draws its "lawful" facade not from the American people, but the fact Executive Order 12148 was published in the Federal Registry). "FEMA has only spent about 6 percent of its budget on national emergencies, the bulk of their funding has been used for the construction of secret underground facilities to assure continuity of government in case of a major emergency, foreign or domestic," writes Harry V. Martin.
"General Frank Salzedo, chief of FEMA's Civil Security Division stated in a 1983 conference that he saw FEMA's role as a 'new frontier in the protection of individual and governmental leaders from assassination, and of civil and military installations from sabotage and/or attack, as well as prevention of dissident groups from gaining access to U.S. opinion, or a global audience in times of crisis.'" In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a lot of criticism is focused on FEMA, but this is not the first time the agency has taken heat for "dropping the ball" after natural disasters. Martin writes:
FEMA's deceptive role really did not come to light with much of the public until Hurricane Andrew smashed into the U.S. mainland. As Russell R. Dynes, director of the Disaster Research Center of the University of Delaware, wrote in The World and I, "...The eye of the political storm hovered over the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA became a convenient target for criticism." Because FEMA was accused of dropping the ball in Florida, the media and Congress commenced to study this agency. What came out of the critical look was that FEMA was spending 12 times more for "black operations" than for disaster relief.
It spent $1.3 billion building secret bunkers throughout the United States in anticipation of government disruption by foreign or domestic upheaval. Yet fewer than 20 members of Congress, only members with top security clearance, know of the $1.3 billion expenditure by FEMA for non-natural disaster situations. These few Congressional leaders state that FEMA has a "black curtain" around its operations. FEMA has worked on National Security programs since 1979, and its predecessor, the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency, has secretly spent millions of dollars before being merged into FEMA by President Carter in 1979.
One such black op was REX-84 (Alpha Explan, or Readiness Exercise 1984), exposed by the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987, and described as "a secret government within a government." Iran-Contra criminal Oliver North "worked closely with FEMA to redraw national contingency plans dealing with nearly everything from nuclear attack to civil insurrection," explains totse.com (FEMA: Blueprint For Tyranny).
"FEMA's action plan included the declaration of martial law, suspension of the Constitution and aggressive moves against dissenters. A trigger could be 'violent and widespread internal dissent.' This plan and its failure to clearly define a national crisis caused Attorney General Smith to issue an official protest. The Herald reported that on Aug. 2, 1984, Smith emphatically expressed to National Security Advisor Robert 'Bud' McFarlane his alarm over FEMA's 'expansion of the definition of severe emergency to encompass "routine" domestic law enforcement emergencies.'" Under Reagan, Louis O. Giuffrida, "a stealth-obsessed ex-California National Guard officer who preferred to be addressed according to his former rank in that organization," as Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen describe him, oversaw FEMA.
During the late sixties and early seventies, Giuffrida served as then California governor Reagan's terrorism advisor and at Reagan's request founded the California Specialized Training Institute, a school for police and military commandos. "Giuffrida and [Edwin] Meese (then Governor Reagan's chief assistant) helped develop a plan to purge California of its militant and peaceful protesters," Vankin and Whalen write. "Operation Cable Splicer, a variation of the Army Garden Plot, a 'domestic counterinsurgency' scheme, spied on suspected radicals and marshaled maximum force to squash riots and legitimate demonstrations alike."
It appears Hurricane Katrina has provided FEMA with an excuse to "dry run" its unconstitutional powers in New Orleans, rounding up "refugees" (now called "evacuees") and "relocating" them in various camps. "Some evacuees are being treated as 'internees' by FEMA," writes former NSC employee Wayne Madsen. "Reports continue to come into WMR that evacuees from New Orleans and Acadiana [the traditional twenty-two parish Cajun homeland] who have been scattered across the United States are being treated as 'internees' and not dislocated American citizens from a catastrophe. Some FEMA facilities are preventing these internees from leaving on their own. Reports of mandatory registration and the issuing of FEMA ID cards suggest that FEMA, an agency that is rife with right-wing security goons and severely lacking in humanitarian workers, has other motives in treating poor and destitute American citizens as prisoners in their own country." Call it REX-84 revisited.
"The disaster that struck New Orleans and the southern Gulf Coast has given rise to the largest military mobilization in modern history on US soil. Nearly 65,000 US military personnel are now deployed in disaster area, transforming the devastated port city into a war zone," writes Bill Van Auken. "While no doubt incompetence and indifference played a major role [in the supposedly bungled aid effort], there is also strong evidence that aid was deliberately withheld by the White House and the Pentagon as part of a strategy for asserting unfettered military control over the city.... the US ruling elite and both major parties have used September 11 as the pretext for implementing far-reaching attacks on democratic rights and breaching legal barriers -- such as Posse Comitatus -- against the use of military force against the American people." Van Auken mentions "that US military's Northern Command had developed a series of 'war plans' for the military 'to take charge' in domestic crises" allegedly in response to "supposed terrorist attacks, including the detonation of a nuclear device in a major American city" and "the catastrophe that struck New Orleans provided ideal conditions for testing the plans out."
Finally, as a corollary of the FEMA-Pentagon operations in New Orleans (as opposed to the soft and squishy and apparently endless corporate media spin about displaced people finding solace in private homes and humanitarian shelters), see Don Nash's Refugees from New Orleans behind barbed wire in Utah and I just got back from a FEMA Detainment Camp, the latter posted by a Christian man who attempted to deliver aid to Louisiana "refugees" (or detainees) in Oklahoma and was turned away by FEMA bureaucrats.
Halliburton has over the past few years received very lucrative contracts with the Federal Government and the Black Op Overseers from FEMA to build several Camps, they claim, for some unseen future threat from mass illegal immigration. This is a laughable cover story when you realize that the Federal Government and the Bush Administration has done almost nothing to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing our borders. If they are so afraid of some 'Mass Exodus' from Mexico into the U.S., then why don't they secure the border instead of spending millions on containment camps? The answer to this becomes painfully obvious when you read Oliver North's
declassified REX 84 documents.
This is not about containing illegal immigrants, this is about controlling domestic 'dissent'. FEMA has also consistently attempted to use the immigration issue as a means to implement NATIONAL ID CARDS, which are the first step towards the RFID chip. Neithercorp will be watching FEMA and every move it makes, and we also call on anyone with important information pertaining to FEMA and its activities, or anyone who is in proximity to any of the 800 FEMA CAMPS to write to us so that we may compile enough data to put them on ice for good.
10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North
Peter Dale Scott, New America Media| March 1 2006
Related: Gulags For American Citizens In Final Planning Stages
Editor's Note: A recently announced contract for a Halliburton subsidiary to build immigrant detention facilities is part of a longer-term Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists." Scott is author of "Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). He is completing a book on "The Road to 9/11." Visit his website
The Halliburton subsidiary KBR (formerly Brown and Root) announced on Jan. 24 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps. Story Here
Two weeks later, on Feb. 6, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the Fiscal Year 2007 federal budget would allocate over $400 million to add 6,700 additional detention beds (an increase of 32 percent over 2006). This $400 million allocation is more than a four-fold increase over the FY 2006 budget, which provided only $90 million for the same purpose.
Both the contract and the budget allocation are in partial fulfillment of an ambitious 10-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named ENDGAME, authorized in 2003. According to a 49-page Homeland Security document on the plan - (Google Endgame PDF)
Its goal is the capability to "remove all removable aliens," including "illegal economic migrants, aliens who have committed criminal acts, asylum-seekers (required to be retained by law) or potential terrorists."
There is no question that the Bush administration is under considerable political pressure to increase the detentions of illegal immigrants, especially from across the Mexican border. Confrontations along the border are increasingly violent, often involving the drug traffic.
But the problem of illegal immigration cannot be separated from other Bush administration policies: principally the retreat from traditional American programs designed to combat poverty in Latin America. In Florida last week, Democratic Party leader Howard Dean attacked the new federal budget for its almost 30 percent cut in development aid to Latin America and the Caribbean.
In truth, both parties have virtually abandoned the John F. Kennedy vision of an Alliance for Progress in Latin America. Kennedy's hope was that, by raising the standard of living of Latin America's poor, there would be less pressure on them to emigrate to the United States.
That vision foundered when successive administrations, both Democratic and Republican, contributed to the overthrow of democratically elected governments in Brazil, Chile and elsewhere, replacing them with oppressive dictatorships.
Since about 1970, the policies of the U.S.-dominated International Monetary Fund have also aggravated the problem of poverty in the rest of the world, especially Latin America. U.S. programs abroad, like programs at home, are now designed principally around the concept of security -- above all for oil installations and pipelines.
In consequence, the United States is being redefined as a vast gated community, hoping to isolate itself by force from its poverty-stricken neighbors. Inside the U.S. fortress sit 2.1 million prisoners, a greater percentage of the population than in any other nation. ENDGAME's crash program is designed to house additional detainees who have not been convicted of crimes.
Significantly, both the KBR contract and the ENDGAME plan are open-ended. The contract calls for a response to "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs" in the event of other emergencies, such as "a natural disaster." "New programs" is of course a term with no precise limitation. So, in the current administration, is ENDGAME's goal of removing "potential terrorists."
It is relevant that in 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced his desire to see camps for U.S. citizens deemed to be "enemy combatants." On Feb. 17 of this year, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke of the harm being done to the country's security, not just by the enemy, but also by what he called "news informers" who needed to be combated in "a contest of wills." Two days earlier, citing speeches critical of Bush by Al Gore, John Kerry, and Howard Dean, conservative columnist Ben Shapiro called for "legislation to prosecute such sedition."
Since 9/11 the Bush administration has implemented a number of inter-related programs, which had been planned for secretly in the 1980s under President Reagan. These so-called "Continuity of Government" or COG proposals included vastly expanded detention capabilities, warrantless eavesdropping and detention, and preparations for greater use of martial law.
Prominent among the secret planners of this program in the 1980s were then-Congressman Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who at the time was in private business as CEO of the drug company G.D. Searle.
The principal desk officer for the program was Oliver North, until he was forced to resign in 1986 over Iran-Contra.
When planes crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Cheney's response, after consulting President Bush, was to implement a classified "Continuity of Government" plan for the first time, according to the 9/11 Commission report.
As the Washington Post later explained, the order "dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time long-standing plans."
What these managers in this shadow government worked on has never been reported. But it is significant that the group that prepared ENDGAME was, as the Homeland Security document puts it, "chartered in September 2001." For ENDGAME's goal of a capacious detention capability is remarkably similar to Oliver North's controversial Rex-84 "readiness exercise" for COG in 1984.
This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary "refugees," in the context of "uncontrolled population movements" over the Mexican border into the United States.
North's exercise, which reportedly contemplated possible suspension of the United States Constitution, led to questions being asked during the Iran-Contra Hearings. One concern then was that North's plans for expanded internment and detention facilities would not be confined to "refugees" alone.
Oliver North represented a minority element in the Reagan administration, which soon distanced itself from both the man and his proposals. But that minority associated with COG planning, which included Dick Cheney, appear to be in control of the U.S. government today.
Please read more on the History Of FEMA here Thank you to Giordano of Neithercorp forums for this research.