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Thread: Homeland Security Contracts For Vast New Detention Camps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Homeland Security Contracts For Vast New Detention Camps

    Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

    Peter Dale Scott
    Jan 31, 2006

    Editor's Note: A little-known $385 million contract for Halliburton subsidiary KBR to build detention facilities for "an emergency influx of immigrants" is another step down the Bush administration's road toward martial law, the writer says.

    BERKELEY, Calif.--A Halliburton subsidiary has just received a $385 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to provide "temporary detention and processing capabilities."

    The contract -- announced Jan. 24 by the engineering and construction firm KBR -- calls for preparing for "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." The release offered no details about where Halliburton was to build these facilities, or when.

    To date, some newspapers have worried that open-ended provisions in the contract could lead to cost overruns, such as have occurred with KBR in Iraq. A Homeland Security spokesperson has responded that this is a "contingency contract" and that conceivably no centers might be built. But almost no paper so far has discussed the possibility that detention centers could be used to detain American citizens if the Bush administration were to declare martial law.

    For those who follow covert government operations abroad and at home, the contract evoked ominous memories of Oliver North's controversial Rex-84 "readiness exercise" 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 activities raised civil liberties concerns in both Congress and the Justice Department. The concerns persist.

    "Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters," says Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military's account of its activities in Vietnam. "They've already done this on a smaller scale, with the 'special registration' detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo."

    Plans for detention facilities or camps have a long history, going back to fears in the 1970s of a national uprising by black militants. As Alonzo Chardy reported in the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987, an executive order for continuity of government (COG) had been drafted in 1982 by FEMA head Louis Giuffrida. The order called for "suspension of the Constitution" and "declaration of martial law." The martial law portions of the plan were outlined in a memo by Giuffrida's deputy, John Brinkerhoff.

    In 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 188, one of a series of directives that authorized continued planning for COG by a private parallel government.

    Two books, James Mann's "Rise of the Vulcans" and James Bamford's "A Pretext for War," have revealed that in the 1980s this parallel structure, operating outside normal government channels, included the then-head of G. D. Searle and Co., Donald Rumsfeld, and then-Congressman from Wyoming Dick Cheney.

    After 9/11, new martial law plans began to surface similar to those of FEMA in the 1980s. In January 2002 the Pentagon submitted a proposal for deploying troops on American streets. One month later John Brinkerhoff, the author of the 1982 FEMA memo, published an article arguing for the legality of using U.S. troops for purposes of domestic security.

    Then in April 2002, Defense Dept. officials implemented a plan for domestic U.S. military operations by creating a new U.S. Northern Command (CINC-NORTHCOM) for the continental United States. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called this "the most sweeping set of changes since the unified command system was set up in 1946."

    The NORTHCOM commander, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced, is responsible for "homeland defense and also serves as head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).... He will command U.S. forces that operate within the United States in support of civil authorities. The command will provide civil support not only in response to attacks, but for natural disasters."

    John Brinkerhoff later commented on PBS that, "The United States itself is now for the first time since the War of 1812 a theater of war. That means that we should apply, in my view, the same kind of command structure in the United States that we apply in other theaters of war."

    Then in response to Hurricane Katrina in Sept. 2005, according to the Washington Post, White House senior adviser Karl Rove told the governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, that she should explore legal options to impose martial law "or as close as we can get." The White House tried vigorously, but ultimately failed, to compel Gov. Blanco to yield control of the state National Guard.

    Also in September, NORTHCOM conducted its highly classified Granite Shadow exercise in Washington. As William Arkin reported in the Washington Post, "Granite Shadow is yet another new Top Secret and compartmented operation related to the military's extra-legal powers regarding weapons of mass destruction. It allows for emergency military operations in the United States without civilian supervision or control."

    It is clear that the Bush administration is thinking seriously about martial law.

    Many critics have alleged that FEMA's spectacular failure to respond to Katrina followed from a deliberate White House policy: of paring back FEMA, and instead strengthening the military for responses to disasters.

    A multimillion program for detention facilities will greatly increase NORTHCOM's ability to respond to any domestic disorders.

    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 Web site.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Will Bush's War on Terror Bring Back Detention Camps?

    New America Media, Commentary, Ronald Takaki, Feb 06, 2006

    Editor's Note: Parallels between U.S. government actions following Pearl Harbor and steps taken after 9/11 -- including a Halliburton contract for U.S. detention centers -- are troubling, the writer says.

    BERKELEY, Calif.--On Jan. 24, the Halliburton subsidiary KBR announced that it had been awarded by the Department of Homeland Security a $385 million contract to build detention centers in the United States. The purpose was to prepare for "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs" in the event of emergencies. What lessons can we learn from the history of detention centers of an earlier war?

    Like the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centers, Japan's military attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, was a shattering experience for Americans. Parallels between these two "days of infamy" have already been widely discussed by politicians and pundits as well as by everyday people. However, most of us today do not know what actually happened to Japanese Americans on the West Coast as well as in Hawaii in the wake of the devastating bombing.

    Shortly after he inspected the still smoking ruins at Pearl Harbor, Navy Secretary Frank Knox issued a statement to the press: "I think the most effective fifth column work of the entire war was done in Hawaii, with the possible exception of Norway." At a cabinet meeting, Knox recommended the internment of all Japanese aliens in the islands.

    Meanwhile, in California, Attorney General Earl Warren pressed federal authorities to remove Japanese from sensitive areas on the West Coast. The Japanese, he declared, "may well be the Achilles heel of the entire civilian defense effort. Unless something is done it may bring about a repetition of Pearl Harbor." Congressman Leland Ford of Los Angeles wrote to the Secretaries of War and the Navy and the FBI Director insisting that "all Japanese, whether citizens or not, be placed in concentration camps."

    Leading the campaign to do exactly that was Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Defense Command. In February, DeWitt sent Washington a recommendation for the mass evacuation of all Japanese: "In the war in which we are now engaged racial affinities are not severed by migration. The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second- and third-generation Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have become 'Americanized,' the racial strains are undiluted... It, therefore, follows that along the vital Pacific Coast over 112,000 potential enemies, of Japanese extraction, are at large today."

    On Feb. 19, in Executive Order 9066, President Roosevelt granted General De Witt authorization for the evacuation and internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were citizens by birth.

    Unlike their counterparts in California, Hawaii's public officials urged restraint and reason. Congressional delegate Sam King advised the military that nothing should be done beyond apprehending known spies. Unlike General DeWitt, General Delos Emmons as the military governor of Hawaii opposed Washington's efforts to evacuate and intern Japanese Americans in Hawaii. Emmons believed that the Constitution guaranteed the right of due process of law to every person, and was determined to base his policies and actions on this principle.

    In a radio address broadcast shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, General Emmons assured Japanese Americans: "There is no intention or desire on the part of the federal authorities to operate mass concentration camps. No person, be he citizen or alien, need worry, provided he is not connected with subversive elements.... While we have been subjected to a serious attack by a ruthless and treacherous enemy, we must remember that this is America and we must do things the American Way. We must distinguish between loyalty and disloyalty among our people."

    Many years after the war, in 1982, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians reported that "not a single documented act of espionage, sabotage or fifth column activity was committed by an American citizen of Japanese ancestry or by a resident Japanese alien on the West Coast." Six years later, the U.S. Congress passed legislation giving an apology and reparations of $20,000 to each of the survivors of the internment camps. Signing the bill into law, President Ronald Reagan admitted that the United States government had committed "a grave wrong."

    Will history repeat itself today as Americans find themselves swept into the hurricane of post-9/11 fears? Engaging in racial/religious profiling, will our government continue to detain and incarcerate Muslims in the U.S. without due process of law? Will it unconstitutionally force them into detention camps to be built by Halliburton? Will our government later regret it had violated their constitutional rights and have to offer them redress and reparations? Or, like General Emmons, will federal officials remember that "this is America" and do things "the American Way"?

    PNS contributor Ronald Takaki, professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of "Strangers From Another Shore: A History of Asian Americans."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #3
    beltman713 Guest
    Get ready Gold, there's a bunk there with your name on it.

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