Don Allen All FEMA part 10/1010 Feb 92 00:21:00 AREA:HUMAN
VIA: QEcho 2.66a
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According to Reynolds, such laws as the Defense Industrial
Revitalization and Disaster Relief Acts of 1983 "would permit the
president to do anything from seizing the means of production, to
conscripting a labor force, to relocating groups of citizens."
Reynolds says the net effect of invoking these laws would be the
suspension of the Constitution.
She adds that national emergency powers "permit the stationing of the
military in cities and towns, closing off the U.S. borders, freezing
all imports and exports, allocating all resources on a national
security priority, monitoring and censoring the press, and warrantless
searches and seizures."
The measures would allow military authorities to proclaim martial law
in the United States, asserts Reynolds. She defines martial law as the
"federal authority taking over for local authority when they are
unable to maintain law and order or to assure a republican form of
A report called "Post Attack Recovery Strategies," about rebuilding
the country after a nuclear war, prepared by the right-wing Hudson
Institute in 1980, defines martial law as dealing "with the control of
civilians by their own military forces in time of emergency."
The federal agency with the authority to organize and command the
government's response to a national emergency is the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA). This super-secret and elite agency was
formed in 1979 under congressional measures that merged all federal
powers dealing with civilian and military emergencies under one
FEMA has its roots in the World War I partnership between government
and corporate leaders who helped mobilize the nation's industries to
support the war effort. The idea of a central national response to
large-scale emergencies was reintroduced in the early 1970s by Louis
Giuffrida, a close associate of then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan and
his chief aide Edwin Meese.
Reagan appointed Giuffrida head of the California National Guard in
1969. With Meese, Giuffrida organized "war-games" to prepare for
"statewide martial law" in the event that Black nationalists and
anti-war protesters "challenged the authority of the state." In 1981,
Reagan as president moved Giuffrida up to the big leagues, appointing
him director of FEMA.
According to Reynolds, however, it was the actions of George Bush in
1976, while he was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA), that provided the stimulus for centralization of vast powers in
Bush assembled a group of hawkish outsiders, called Team B, that
released a report claiming the CIA ("Team A") had underestimated the
dangers of Soviet nuclear attack. The report advised the development
of elaborate plans for "civil defense" and post-nuclear government.
Three years later, in 1979, FEMA was given ultimate responsibility for
developing these plans.
Aware of the bad publicity FEMA was getting because of its role in
organizing for a post-nuclear world, Reagan's FEMA chief Giuffrida
publicly argued that the 1865 Posse Comitatus Act prohibited the
military from arresting civilians.
However, Reynolds says that Congress eroded the act by giving the
military reserves an exemption from Posse Comitatus and allowing them
to arrest civilians. The National Guard, under the control of state
governors in peace time, is also exempt from the act and can arrest
FEMA Inspector General John Brinkerhoff has written a memo contending
that the government doesn't need to suspend the Constitution to use
the full range of powers Congress has given the agency. FEMA has
prepared legislation to be introduced in Congress in the event of a
national emergency that would give the agency sweeping powers. The
right to "deputize" National Guard and police forces is included in
the package. But Reynolds believes that actual martial law need not be
Giuffrida has written that "Martial Rule comes into existence upon a
determination (not a declaration) by the senior military commander
that the civil government must be replaced because it is no longer
functioning anyway." He adds that "Martial Rule is limited only by the
principle of necessary force."
According to Reynolds, it is possible for the president to make
declarations concerning a national emergency secretly in the form of a
Natioanl Security Decision Directive. Most such directives are
classified as so secret that Reynolds says "researchers don't even
know how many are enacted."
Throughout the 1980s, FEMA was prohibited from engaging in
intelligence gathering. But on July 6, 1989, Bush signed Executive
Order 12681, pronouncing that FEMA's National Preparedness Directorate
would "have as a primary function intelligence, counterintelligence,
investigative, or national security work." Recent events indicate that
domestic spying in response to the looming Middle East war is now
Reynolds reports that "the CIA is going to various campuses asking for
information on Middle Eastern students. I'm sure that there are
intelligence organizations monitoring peace demonstrations."
According to the University of Connecticut student paper, the Daily
Campus, CIA officials have recently met there to discuss talking with
Middle Eastern students.
The New York Times reports that the FBI has ordered its agents around
the country to question Arab-American leaders and business people in
search of information on potential Iraqi "terrorist" attacks in
response to a Gulf war.
A 1986 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) document entitled
"Alien Terrorists and Other Undesirables: A Contingency Plan" outlines
the potential round-up and incarceration in mass detainment camps of
U.S. residents who are citizens of "terrorist" countries, chiefly in
the Middle East. This plan echoed a 1984 FEMA nationwide "readiness
exercise code-named REX-84 ALPHA, which included the rehearsal of
joint operations with the INS to round up 40,000 Central American
refugees in the event of a U.S. invasion of the region. One of the 10
military bases established as detainment camps by REX-84 ALPHA, Camp
Krome, Fla., was designated a joint FEMA-Immigration service
Recently, FEMA has been criticized in the media for inadequate
response to the October, 1989 San Francisco earthquake. What the
mainstream press has failed to cover is the agency's planned role in
repressing domestic dissent in the event of an invasion abroad.
Source: The Guardian, Jan 16 1991
The Guardian is an independent radical news weekly. Subscriptions are
available at $33.50 per year from The Guardian, 33 West 17th St., New
York, NY 10011
from the Radical_Politics conference on
The NY Transfer BBS 718-448-2358 & 718-448-2683
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