Saturday, February 11, 2006

The USMZ

If you had thought the Bush administration was solely focused on preparing for military exercises against a nuclear Iran, this little item ought to shake up that notion.

Since Katrina, Bush has long been gunning for a declaration of martial law. In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, Rove told Governor Blanco to consider martial law and the White House tried to get Blanco to cede control of the state National Guard to federal control.

And it now appears that they are preparing for what they expect and hope to be an inevitable day: the next terrorist strike that will allow them to declare martial law. Via MCM's News from Underground, Pacific News Service has just detailed a nation-wide network of detention camps, all to be built courtesy of a Homeland Security contract to none other than Halliburton subsidiary, Kellog, Brown and Root (KBR). For all intents and purposes, the plan looks to be the wet dream of Michelle Malkin.

The $385 million contract was awarded to KBR to provide "temporary detention and processing capabilities." Though the conditions of use appear to be open-ended, any such facilities that may come out of this effort could be used for "an emergency influx of immigrants," or other emergencies like "a natural disaster." For anyone familiar with how some of the Katrina victims were shunted off to FEMA razor-wire zones, chances are this is not a place anyone will want to be detained. But to the Bush administration, poor victims of disasters and enemies of the state are not so disparate that they can't be accomodated by the friendly folks at KBR.

As Daniel Ellsberg notes,
Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters. They've already done this on a smaller scale, with the 'special registration' detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo.
Indeed, post-9/11 saw uber crypt-dweller Michael Chertoff, then with the Justice Department, order the summary detention of hundreds of Muslim men in various parts of the country. This was something for which the DoJ's Inspector General roundly rebuked Chertoff, calling his actions "indiscriminate and haphazard." Chertoff sluffed off the criticism and was duly installed as Secretary of Homeland Security, the same department that has just awarded the detention center contract to KBR. As Mike Whitney says, these unlawful detentions were designed mostly to set a precendent:
Chertoff effectively rescinded the Bill of Rights to pursue his blinkered witch-hunt. His actions made no one any safer, nor were they intended to. They were designed to show how easily legal protections are eviscerated during a national emergency. Don't think Chertoff and co. haven't monitored the affects of hysteria on public sensibilities. For the Bush team, demagoguery is the primary tenet of good governance.
In concert with the existence of such detention camps, the Department of Defense has already drawn up its own plans for the use of US military forces on US soil, something only possible under martial law:
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.
But after all the exposure this administration has been getting lately about various and sundry secret programs and plans, David Neiwert seems intent on adopting a "wait and see" attitude about this, advising calm and restraint from anyone who might see some worry in the development of a DHS nation-wide network of detention camps:
if there is a legitimate need for these preparations, then they should proceed -- but only with complete transparency. The potential for abuse that such facilities create requires real openness on the part of the government, and genuine oversight and accountability.
Complete transparency? I am uncertain whether Neiwert is simply being naive, ignorant or joking. And I know he's not ignorant, but how much more naive can some liberals be?

Let's just tally this up, shall we? I have detailed here already, the plans in the upgraded Patriot Act [which, incidentally, was originally authored by ... Michael Chertoff] for a national police force, the SSUD, under the direct control of the White House, five year jail terms for "disrupters" of public events, we've got a nation-wide domestic surveillance program, ethnically-based detentions without due process, extraordinary rendition, secret prisons, a soon-to-be network of domestic detention camps and a domestic military deployment plan by the DoD. How much more fucking transparent could things be?

If I didn't know better, I'd swear Neiwart was running for office as a Democrat.

3 Comments:

Blogger Cernig said...

great post! Definitely one for the next Instahoglets round-up.

Regards, C

7:13 PM  
Blogger TDGsKat said...

>>"a nation-wide network of detection camps"

I assume you meant to type 'detention'. Ordinarily, typos don't bug me, but since this word is integral to the whole point of this blog, I thought you might want to fix it.

8:19 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

sorry. done.

12:55 AM  

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