[Clips] Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

R. A. Hettinga rah at shipwright.com
Tue Feb 7 07:07:35 PST 2006

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  Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 09:30:15 -0500
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  From: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah at shipwright.com>
  Subject: [Clips] Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps
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  Pacific News Service > News >

  Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps


  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

  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 .

  R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
  The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
  44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
  "... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
  [predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
  experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'
  Clips mailing list
  Clips at philodox.com

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R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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