KBR, the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton Co. was awarded a $385 million 1-year contract (with 4 1-year options) from the Department of Homeland Security to establish “temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.”
“We are especially gratified to be awarded this contract,” an executive vice president, Bruce Stanski, said in a statement, “because it builds on our extremely strong track record in the arena of emergency management support.”
It’s amazing someone can stand up and say something like that, given the historical facts. Sigh.
So, the question is, why do we need concentration camps in the US, and who’s really gonna sit in them??
Terrorists? Immigrants to be deported? Victims of natural (or unnatural) events? Poor people? Old people? Whoever doesn’t sign up for the drug benefit written by the insurance industry? (the last a lame attempt at humor, sorry)
American citizens culled for one of the rapidly-developing “new programs”?
What kind of programs require major expansion of detention centers, each capable of holding 5,000 people?
Let’s ask the Bush administration exactly what it means by the “rapid development of new programs,” which might require the construction of a new network of detention / labor / concentration camps across the United States!
“Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters,” says Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military’s account of its activities in Vietnam. “They’ve already done this on a smaller scale, with the ‘special registration’ detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo.”
Peter Dale Scott, author of Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina, suggests that it could be a preparation for conditions of martial law, and notes that a multimillion program for detention facilities “will greatly increase NORTHCOM’s ability to respond to any domestic disorders.”
…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. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called this “the most sweeping set of changes since the unified command system was set up in 1946.”
The NORTHCOM commander, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced, is responsible for “homeland defense and also serves as head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)…. He will command U.S. forces that operate within the United States in support of civil authorities. The command will provide civil support not only in response to attacks, but for natural disasters.”
John Brinkerhoff later commented on PBS that, “The United States itself is now for the first time since the War of 1812 a theater of war. That means that we should apply, in my view, the same kind of command structure in the United States that we apply in other theaters of war.”
…NORTHCOM conducted its highly classified Granite Shadow exercise in Washington. As William Arkin reported in the Washington Post, “Granite Shadow is yet another new Top Secret and compartmented operation related to the military’s extra-legal powers regarding weapons of mass destruction. It allows for emergency military operations in the United States without civilian supervision or control.”
For an excellent, but chilling overview of some of the possibilities here (including labor camps, dissident and “Fifth Columnist” roundups, and so on), take a look at “Bush’s Mysterious ‘New Programs’” by Nat Parry, Consortium News, posted February 23, 2006. at AlterNet.