Brian Holmes on Mon, 8 May 2006 09:55:38 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Gladio USA

Here's an article from Pacific News Service:

Americans, check out what the departing Bush team is leaving 
behind for you. - BH


Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

News Analysis/Commentary, Peter Dale Scott,
New America Media, Feb 08, 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 

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.

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