From the December 2005 Idaho Observer:
The Harm Principle – FEMA Unmasked
by Clyde Lewis
"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." ~John Stewart Mill
Lately there have been an unprecedented number of natural disasters and political upheavals in the United States. The thoughts and beliefs of the majority of Americans have been challenged. Their emotions stand at a precipice teetering back and forth between stability and thoughts of paranoia and dread.
Critical masses of people have awakened to the realization that perhaps it is time to take a long last look at the America we once knew. It is time we understood that the America of the present is no longer the America of the past, and the future, while under the control of madmen, may become far more frightening than we realize.
The United States just barely understands the fragility of its existence.
I hope that you have been paying attention to what has happened with both the Hurricane Katrina Disaster and the Hurricane Rita dog and pony show.
The corporate media has engineered an interesting story regarding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They depicted the agency as being bumbling and inept, a bureaucratic leviathan wrapped up in red tape during the Hurricane Katrina Disaster.
Names have been called and blame has been thrown around, but we are slowly getting back into the norm of watered-down euphemistic jargon on the nightly news, touting the dependability of government and its ability to save us from ourselves.
The corporate media and the vacuum of leadership in the United States has not given us any real answers as to why FEMA turned away first responders to the tragedy, why it told Wal-Mart supply trucks to go away, and refused aid from the Red Cross.
The only change that has been made as a result is that Michael Brown, the original director of FEMA operations during Katrina, resigned his post. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen later replaced him.
FEMA still is in operation even after it went out of its way to refuse help to the dying, the starving and those that were in need of medical help.
FEMA is still in operation because it did nothing wrong. FEMA was not created to respond to natural disasters. FEMA’s true purpose is to maintain continuity of government during and after a national emergency. It also has the power to suspend the Constitution and declare martial law during any crisis—real or perceived.
FEMA has broad powers in every aspect of the nation in times of crisis or emergency and has been called "The Shadow Government."
According to General Frank Salzedo, chief of FEMA’s Civil Security Division in 1993, "FEMA provides 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."
FEMA has only spent about six percent of its budget on emergency preparedness. The other 94 percent goes into the building of underground facilities and maintaining areas that are designated as REX 84 detainment camps.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 52, authorizing the mass detention of 400,000 people in the event of "civil unrest" protesting a U.S. invasion of Central America. It was part of a plot, code-named Rex-84 Alpha, created by the National Security Council under the direction of Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North. It called for suspending the Constitution, placing the nation under martial law and canceling the 1984 election.
Rex 84 is short for "Readiness Exercise 1984." It was originally a classified plan by the United States federal government to accommodate the detention of large numbers of American citizens in case of massive civil unrest or national emergency.
FEMA, in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies, conducted civil readiness exercises in April, 1984. It was conducted in coordination and simultaneously with a Joint Chiefs exercise, Night Train 84 and Garden Plot, a worldwide military command post exercise including Continental U.S. Forces or CONUS.
The drills and operations were based on multi-emergency scenarios operating both abroad and at home. In the combined exercise, Rex-84 Bravo, FEMA and DOD led the other federal agencies and departments, including the CIA, the Secret Service, the Treasury, the FBI, and the Veterans Administration through a gaming exercise to test military assistance in civil defense.
The exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations and strikes that would affect continuity of government and or resource mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization for the military to implement government ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain unidentified segments of the population, and the overturning of the Posse Comitatus Act, an action that makes the military a police force.
During the Iran Contra hearings, Colonel Oliver North was questioned by Texas Democratic Representative Jack Brooks about the REX 84 program. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, chair of the hearings, reminded Brooks that it was a classified operation and that the hearings were not the place to discuss it.
There are over 600 FEMA camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive detainees. There are other facilities that can be converted into detainment areas if the military and/or FEMA decide to seize the property for operations.
Actions louder than words
After Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama there were FEMA camps on the ready to receive refugees/detainees to be housed and taken into custody by the government.
Many people were told that they were being sent to Houston. However, they ended up in concentration camps thousands of miles from their homes.
There were at least 152 evacuees that arrived at the Camp Williams, Utah, Army National Guard training site. Camp Williams occupies 25,000 acres in northcentral Utah, 26 miles south of Salt Lake City. It sits on the west slope of the Traverse Mountains. The area is a virtual no man’s land near the Utah State Prison.
Many of the victims of the Katrina disaster were taken aboard military planes and none of the frightened passengers knew where they were being taken. All they knew was that they were landing in a strange place complete with soldiers carrying large guns. Barbed wire and watchtowers surrounded the compound.
This is what it is like living in America with the shadow government setting up business during a crisis. The examples of how FEMA and homeland security are behaving in times of natural disasters are only a prologue to what may be in store for the future.
Who’s really in charge?
Reuters reported that, when Hurricane Rita headed for Texas, George W. Bush was planning to arrive to oversee the relief efforts and have another heroic photo opportunity. However, a little change in plans took place and the president detoured to Colorado Springs where the U.S. Northern Command is located.
Apparently, the president felt that he "would just be in the way" of the search and rescue teams and decided to be safe and comfortable at the command center.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that FEMA decided to reposition the search-and-rescue teams from San Antonio closer to where Hurricane Rita was battering Texas and said that they didn’t want to slow down that decision in any way. So the president and his entourage made the decision that they would go straight to Colorado.
On September 25, 2005, President Bush called on Congress to consider a larger role for U.S. armed forces in responding to natural disasters, as he completed what White House aides called a weekend "fact-finding" mission to determine whether the Pentagon needs more control.
The truth behind this watered-down explanation from the White House is that the president wanted to arrive at U.S. Northern Command to oversee the efforts of a military exercise—a military exercise where military troops are called up to police their fellow American citizens.
This exercise was called "Granite Shadow." The military would be mobilized on American soil in order to restore order during a possible terror attack of biological and/or nuclear weapons or during natural disasters such as what has happened with Katrina and Rita.
The Washington Post reported that Granite Shadow is yet another new Top Secret and compartmentalized operation related to the military’s extra-legal powers regarding the policing of American citizens. It allows for emergency military operations in the United States without civilian supervision or control.
The report outlines the preparations for martial law takeover in the U.S. It is alleged that the Granite Shadow is an unclassified name for a classified contingency plan where deployments of "special mission units" will take place in Washington, D.C. and other domestic areas where a real or perceived crisis is taking place.
These "special mission units" include the so-called Delta Force, SEAL teams, Rangers, and other special units of the Joint Special Operations Command.
It is also proposed that Granite Shadow conduct domestic military operations, including intelligence collection and surveillance, unique rules of engagement regarding the use of lethal force, the use of experimental non-lethal weapons, and federal and military control of incident locations that are highly controversial and might border on the illegal.
Standing domestic army
Bush is literally asking Congress to consider overturning the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. The act generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the United States National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or the Congress. Coupled with the Insurrection Act, the powers of the federal government to use the U.S. military for law enforcement are limited.
"Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a Posse Comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both." ~Sec. 1385. - Use of Army and Air Force as Posse Comitatus.
We also are beginning to see the bigger picture as Granite Shadow seems to have many different provisions, potentially including a shifting of federal responsibility for the management of major natural disasters from the Department of Homeland Security to the nation’s top military generals.
We can see that deployment has begun. The disasters have prompted a sense of urgency to test and demonstrate the power of FEMA as the military arm of Homeland Security.
Granite Shadow’s full impact is allegedly going to be felt during the winter of 2005-2006, with full command powers and executive orders to be enacted upon by April, 2006.
From these vague rumors we can only speculate that the winter of 2005/2006 is going to be a rough one, considering the impact of the two hurricanes on our economy and on the ability for people to pay for food and heat this winter.
In the aftermath of the hurricanes, supplies of oil and natural gas have been cut down twice in one month and the price of natural gas will probably rise to $20.00 per unit by Christmas 2005. That would be a 700 percent increase since 2002.
Medical martial law
Also, the winter brings with it the cold and flu season. This year’s disease scare campaign from the Centers for Disease Control is generating fear for an outbreak of the H5N1 virus (avian flu virus).
This news story has been cleverly clouded by the hurricane stories and could very well be the next crisis waiting in the wings. The truth of the matter is that the United States government has been overseeing contingency plans for the next phase of a whole series of disasters, and that is the policing of Americans who may be carriers of a strain of flu.
The Granite Shadow exercise could be seen as a preparation drill for a military response to a possible bird flu pandemic that "experts" say could kill up to 200,000 Americans.
Granite Shadow could also be used to enforce a proposal called the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act. The draft bill has been lingering for some time after the attacks on September 11, 2001. The bill was first recommended as a means to help states protect citizens against bio-terrorist attacks and deal with national defense issues.
However, the bill seems to go much further, calling for new police powers all in the name of controlling epidemics of infectious diseases during public health emergencies.
Under the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, upon the declaration of a "public health emergency," governors and public health officials would be empowered to:
• Force individuals suspected of harboring an "infectious disease" to undergo medical examinations.
• Track and share an individual’s personal health information, including genetic information.
• Force persons to be vaccinated, treated, or quarantined for infectious diseases. This includes arresting, imprisoning and forcibly examining, vaccinating and medicating you and your children without your consent. The government will not be held liable if these actions result in your death or injury.
As with Hurricane Katrina we saw the implementation of REX 84 where evacuees were sent to FEMA camps. If there is a flu pandemic the same procedures would again go into effect. This time the camps would be used for quarantine and as examination facilities.
Literal colonies of sick individuals would be placed in camps far from civilization. The government could mandate that all health care providers report all cases of persons who harbor any illness or health condition that may be caused by an epidemic or an infectious agent and might pose a "substantial risk" to a "significant number of people or cause a long-term disability."
Pharmacists would be required to flag or report any unusual demand or any increased prescription rates that may be caused by epidemic diseases.
All existing state laws, rules and regulations, including those relating to privacy, medical licensure, and property rights, would be suspended. The government would then have the right to seize your house, car, telephones, computers, food, fuel, clothing, firearms and alcoholic beverages for their own use. Once again, they will not be held liable if these actions result in the destruction of your personal property.
The military, with the blessing of FEMA and Homeland Security, can and will control public and private property during a public health emergency, including pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, nursing homes, other health care facilities and communications devices.
The military would be used as a police force to enforce the state’s order, asking for the surrender of any firearms or survival supplies, among other commodities. The state government would then have the right to impose fines and penalties to enforce its orders.
This is all covered with the recent revelation of the Granite Shadow exercise.
The Seven Revolutions
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think tank run by Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski among others, has produced a list of seven trends that will challenge world leaders and cause change until 2025.
Called the "Seven Revolutions," it lists as priorities one and two, population growth and resource management.
Listed in full, The Seven Revolutions are:
1. Population Control
2. Resource Management
4. Information and Knowledge Flow
5. Economic Integration
"Each of these revolutions," wrote the CSIS, "embodies both promise and peril and it is up to every one of us to determine the trajectory that these revolutionary forces will follow."
Editor’s note: With Katrina and Rita we have seen FEMA in action and can say with absolute certainty that the agency’s actions did not prioritize helping Americans in need of assistance. Quite to the contrary, the displaced masses were rounded up, often at gunpoint, and herded like animals to detainment-type facilities where they were kept under guard and treated like criminals. See Sec. 5, 14th Amendment, page 11.