(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
While the footage below may or may not be of the internment camps in question (and I think it probably isn’t), I applaud its producer’s efforts in the face of the main media’s failure to inform the public.
That day has come with the Military Commissions Act of 2006. It provides the basis for the President to round-up both aliens and U.S. citizens he determines have given material support to terrorists. Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Cheney’s Halliburton, is constructing a huge facility at an undisclosed location to hold tens of thousands of undesirables.
To begin, “Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law,” puts the internment camps in a historical context.
During the McCarthy period of the 1950s, in an effort to eradicate the perceived threat of communism, the government engaged in widespread illegal surveillance to threaten and silence anyone who had an unorthodox political viewpoint. Many people were jailed, blacklisted and lost their jobs. Thousands of lives were shattered as the FBI engaged in “red-baiting.” One month after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, United States Attorney General John Ashcroft rushed the U.S.A. Patriot Act through a timid Congress. The Patriot Act created a crime of domestic terrorism aimed at political activists who protest government policies, and set forth an ideological test for entry into the United States.
In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of the internment of Japanese and Japanese-American citizens in Korematsu v. United States. Justice Robert Jackson warned in his dissent that the ruling would “lie about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.”
Then, last year the following was reported in an article entitled “Rule by fear or rule by law?”
Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of “new programs” require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?
Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies,” gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to “a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order.”
The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of “terrorist” organizations, or who speaks out against the government’s policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.
What should be drawn from all this? That is, that internment camps were either only planned to be constructed or refurbished, or that internment camps were in fact constructed or refurbished for the purposes of detaining “immigrants” or “enemy combatants.” Add to this, the fact that FEMA was preparing to use religion to subdue any resistance to martial law; and/or, resistance from being removed from one’s own home to an undisclosed location.
“Also, it seems the changes to the Insurrection Act have survived the conference because the Pentagon and the White House want it. It is easy to see the attempts of the President and his advisors to avoid the debacle involving the National Guard after Hurricane Katrina, when Governor Blanco of Louisiana would not give control of the National Guard over to President and the Federal chain of command. Governor Blanco rightfully insisted that she be closely consulted and remain largely in control of the military forces operating in the State during that emergency. This infuriated the White House, and now they are looking for some automatic triggers–natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or a disease epidemic–to avoid having to consult with the Governors.
There’s not much left to say. As more and more details surface and as more and more people become aware, I do sincerely hope that the last administration is held accountable for war crimes.
Yet another memo gives Bush not only the right to call any US citizen an “enemy combatant” and hold him or her indefinitely – a danger we knew about, and one that we have tried hard to alert citizens to, a warning that has seemingly penetrated collective consciousness. The newly released memo demonstrates that was the very surface of the powers over US citizens Bush claimed. For three years when I have cautioned citizens about this power Bush invoked to seize US citizens as “enemy combatants” I reassured them that he did not yet have the power to torture US citizens, “only” drive them mad through prolonged isolation in a navy brig. Well, this memo asserts Bush’s right to do whatever he wants to innocent US citizens in this kind of custody, and rejects the notion that Congress would have any role in how US citizens are held or treated — say, by the hypothetically deployed military – on US soil. It seems also to claim the right to hold innocent US citizens in domestic military custody while Bush has the right to do anything he wants to them. Anything he wants. Remember this is an administration in which Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and Cheney have now been proven by Jameel Jaffer’s revelations in Administration of Torture to have known about and okay’d not just waterboarding as a policy but ok’d the discretion for interrogators to use tactics such as electrodes attached to genitals, sexual assault, threats against family members, suffocation, the beating of prisoners’ legs to “pulp,” and in some cases the covering up of their murders. This memo gives Bush the authority to do those things if he wants to innocent US citizens.
I said in the beginning that the footage in the video probably isn’t of internment camps for two reasons. One, I don’t think the levels of government involved would let it be known, much less video taped. Two, I’m betting Kellogg Brown & Root spent the money lavishly on themselves. Otherwise, why the Establishment of Civilian Inmate Prison Camps on Army Installations, or the preservation of the “notorious internment camps where Japanese-Americans were kept behind barbed wire during World War II?” Refurbishment would be cheaper, because they could cut corners.
On the other hand, perhaps the footage in the video was in fact footage of internment camps.
Unlike the people kept at Guantanamo Bay, each man is being kept in a different naval brig because of his U.S. citizenship. Both are being held without bail, criminal charges, access to attorneys or the right to remain silent.
If Padilla and Hamdi are feeling lonely, they may soon have company. Attorney General Ashcroft and the White House are considering creating a military detention camps for all U.S. citizens deemed by the administration to be enemy combatants.
Internees in this special camp will be treated just as Padilla and Hamdi have been so far — as if they did not possess the basic, traditional rights that can be invoked by U.S. citizens suspected of crimes. Even persons accused of treason have the right to these protections. (The Rosenbergs, to take one example). But according to the government, Padilla, Hamdi, and other American citizens interned in the camps do not.
Sheehan outlined a government plan code – named “Rex 84.” In the event of a U.S. invasion of Central America, Rex 84 provides for apprehehending four hundred thousand “illegal aliens” and incarcerating them at detention camps at key army defense commands throughout the nation.
I hope we finally learn history’s lessons and apply them in earnest. For if we don’t, let us say that the genocide and the slavery that infected the New World, the hubris of Manifest Destiny, the current economic crisis with all of its social consequences, and the current climate change crisis with all of its social consequences are just too much for us. Are they, really? That is the question we all need to be asking ourselves. If it really is all just too much for us to apply the precepts of unity while simultaneously respecting each other’s cultural and geographic boundaries, then history has already shown us what the alternative is.