by Gary D. Barnett
While the concept of government-run, military-style detention centers is not a new idea, another and new step toward this end has recently taken place. Should we be worried and watchful? I think we all should be very worried, and that without a doubt this plan should be stopped in its tracks before it goes any further! These are the united States after all, not communist Russia or Nazi Germany of old.
On January 22nd, 2009, just a couple of days after the new "ruler" (Obama) took the place of the old "ruler" (Bush), Alcee Hastings (D) of Florida introduced a new bill; H.R. 645: National Emergency Centers Establishment Act. This bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services. The bill is "To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations." This bill introduced by Congress combines Homeland Security, national emergency centers and the military in one package. The makings of this toxic concoction could prove to be dangerous to liberty.
According to the bill, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish not fewer than 6 national emergency centers on military installations. Supposedly, these centers are to provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster. I emphasize emergency and disaster due to the fact that these terms, while not defined in this bill, are defined, as referenced in Sec. 6, in Title 42 > Chapter 68 > Subchapter 1 > U.S. Code 5122. "The definitions are as follows:
1. Emergency. "Emergency" means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.
2. Major disaster. "Major disaster" means any natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, winddriven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought), or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States, which in the determination of the President causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under this chapter to supplement the efforts and available resources of States, local governments, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby.
In addition to these definitions, local governments, federal agencies, public facilities and private non-profit facilities are also defined. It is evident given these additional definitions that the government has jurisdiction anywhere and everywhere, and for any given reason. Actually, after reading all the definitions that are relevant to this bill, it is very apparent that there are really no rules at all. On the president’s say alone, these centers can be activated. This is not acceptable!
In my opinion, the wording and so-called intent of this bill will make it easier for Congress to gain support from the masses. This is certainly not unusual nor is it coincidental, but in this case it could be deadly. It will be sold as a panacea for natural disasters like Katrina and of course, for "national security." It will also, if passed, open up previously closed military bases; that an easy sale, due to the fact that those who were once working on these bases are clamoring for relief. Since these bases already exist, and the infrastructure is fully in place, the proponents of this bill will not have to request as much taxpayer money at the onset. It will be sold as an inexpensive way to protect Americans from all harm. The requested amount of money for this project according to the bill is $180,000,000.00 for each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010; a total of $360,000,000.00. This is but a mere pittance compared to the trillions being awarded by government to their favored campaign contributors. This in my opinion is by design.
This bill comes at a time when federal combat troops have already been deployed domestically; that an atrocity in and of itself. This happened on October 1st of 2008 when the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team went under day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies, including terrorist attacks. In addition, 20,000 more troops are to be positioned inside the U.S. soon. If one were to connect the dots, it is easily discernable that these things are not coincidental. One does not have to be a conspiracy nut to see the "slippery slope" we’re on considering the linking of the military, Homeland Security, domestic disaster and emergency and government holding centers.
Add to this the current economic debacle caused fully by the government and the Federal Reserve, and what is to be expected? Citizens are losing jobs, losing their savings and retirement assets, losing their homes and the conditions continue to worsen as government continues to spend and inflate to protect their buddies on Wall Street and in banking. Is civil unrest a possibility in our future, and if so, what will be the consequences?
Considering the timing of these events that I’ve mentioned here, is this government expecting the worst and in turn preparing for civil disobedience? I obviously can’t say for sure, but I think studied precaution is advisable.
It is not out of the question that given the current state of affairs and the very real possibility of a long-term depression on the horizon, that crime rates may escalate, inner cities may implode, mass discontent may gain ground and civil unrest might be the result. Should it get to this, or even be expected to get to that level, what will government’s attitude be? Will our "civil servants" do the right thing and quit spending, quit nationalizing the private sector, quit destroying our money, and return to sound policies? If not, what then?
It is apparent to me that this bill if passed is not for safety or security, but for the real possibility that many Americans will have to be rounded up in the future. Considering all that has already happened and is continuing to happen, what other conclusion can be reached? This is simply legislation to allow control and restraint of the citizenry should that be necessary according to the all-powerful government. The timing is eerily suspicious and the intent alone is loathsome. This bill, as well as all other containment measures proposed by the government, could set the stage for a true police state. This scenario is simply too disastrous to consider, much less allow!
March 6, 2009
Gary D. Barnett [send him mail] is president of Barnett Financial Services, Inc., in Lewistown, Montana.
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