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The Economic and Social Crisis
The financial meltdown has unleashed a latent and emergent social crisis across the United States.
What is at stake is the fraudulent confiscation of lifelong savings and pension funds, the appropriation of tax revenues to finance the trillion dollar "bank bailouts", which ultimately serve to line the pockets of the richest people in America.
This economic crisis is in large part the result of financial manipulation and outright fraud to the detriment of entire populations, leading to a renewed wave of corporate bankruptcies, mass unemployment and poverty.
The criminalization of the global financial system, characterized by a "Shadow Banking" network has resulted in the centralization of bank power and an unprecedented concentration of private wealth.
Obama's "economic stimulus" package and budget proposals contribute to a further process of concentration and centralization of bank power, the cumulative effects of which will eventually resul in large scale corporate, bankruptcies, a new wave of foreclosures not to mention fiscal collapse and the downfall of State social programs. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, America's Fiscal Collapse, Global Research, March 2, 2009).
The cumulative decline of real economic activity backlashes on employment and wages, which in turn leads to a collapse in purchaisng power. The proposed "solution" under the Obama administration contributes to exacerbating rather than alleviating social inequalities and the process of wealth concentration.
Homeland Security's Internment Camps
Directly related to the issue of curbing social unrest, 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. www.govtrack.us...
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."
There has been virtually no press coverage of HR 645.
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.
In the words of Rep. Ron Paul:
"...the fusion centers, militarized police, surveillance cameras and a domestic military command is not enough... 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 need only look at Iceland, Greece and other nations for what might happen in the United States next." (Daily Paul, September 2008, emphasis added)
The proposed internment camps should be seen in relation to the broader process of militarization of civilian institutions. The construction of internment camps predates the introduction of HR 645 (Establishment of Emergency Centers) in January 2009. There are, according to various (unconfirmed) reports, some 800 FEMA prison camps in different regions of the U.S. Moreover, since the 1980s, the US military has developed "tactics, techniques and procedures" to suppress civilian dissent, to be used in the eventuality of mass protests (United States Army Field Manual 19-15 under Operation Garden Plot, entitled "Civil Disturbances" was issued in 1985)
In early 2006, tax revenues were allocated to building modern internment camp facilities. In January 2006, Kellogg Brown and Roots, which at the time was a subsidiary of Halliburton, received a $385 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):
"The contract, which is effective immediately [January 2006], provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs...
The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster. (KBR, 24 January 2006, emphasis added)
The stated objectives of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are to:
"protect national security and uphold public safety by targeting criminal networks and terrorist organizations that seek to exploit vulnerabilities in our immigration system, in our financial networks, along our border, at federal facilities and elsewhere in order to do harm to the United States. The end result is a safer, more secure America" (ICE homepage)
The US media is mum on the issue of the internment camps on US soil. While casually acknowledging the multimillion dollar contract granted to Halliburton's subsidiary, the news reports largely focused their attention on possible "cost overruns" (similar to those which occurred with KBR in Iraq).
What is the political intent and purpose of these camps? The potential use of these internment facilities to detain American citizens under a martial law situation are not an object of media debate or discussion.