Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The North Plan and Its Descendants in Recent Years

FEMA agency has continued to acquire more and more extensive powers, especially in recent years. In 2006, FEMA employed Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root to build more detention facilities at a cost of $385 million. The old North facilities were usually old military bases and thjey were originally set aside to deal with leftist illegal immigrants, whom North had fear4ed were sent to secretly invade the US to help the Nicaraguan contras. The new legislation says the new detention and processing facilities are for illegal immigrants “or to support the rapid development of new programs.” 1

In January, 2006, the Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton’s Kellogg, Brown and Root a contract for $360 million to build detention facilities to be used in “new programs.” In May, 2001, President George W. Bush resumed these planning tasks and placed them under Vice President Richard Cheney, who had supported North’s efforts when he was a Wyoming Congressman in the 1980s. Later a Northern Command of the US Army(CINC-NORTHCOM) was created to assist with homeland defense within the US. In 2007, it rerquested power to create special operations units similar to those being deployed in Iraq. Some wondered why commandos and special intelligence squads were needed within the United States. 2 In 2010, Amy Goodman found evidence that military people were spying on peace people in Olympia, Washington and that these activities continued after George W. Bush left office. It is likely these activities were coordinated out of Northern Command.

Early on, FEMA began a campaign to show that the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 really did not bar use of troops to quell civil disturbances. It might be added that Congress gave George W. Bush the power to suspend the Possee Comitatus Act of 1878. 3

Expansion of North Plan under George W. BushThe second Bush administration’s Patriot ACt provided in section ( 605) which created a permanent and secret Homeland Security force known as the “United States Secret Uniformed Division.” When it thought it had good reason could arrest people without warrant. It would also function at special events of national significance (SENS), which it was free to designate itself.

This new provision is the more worrisome when it is recalled that on January 6, 2003, President Bush signed an executive order permitting himself to set aside habeas corpus and the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits using troops in domestic situations. He did not invoke this power when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, but it remains on the books. This provision was lifted from a 1982 plan by Lt. Colonel Oliver North to give FEMA a new mission.”

The act was overwhelming extended in March, 2006 after some “legislative hocus-pocus” which changed little but provided a “figleaf” of a compromise which enabled moderates and most liberals enough cover to join the stampede. Then in October, Bush signed Senator John Warner’s National Defense Authorization Act further swept aside the restraints of the old Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act of 1807. The president’s power to declare martial law framed in the context of national emergencies “other conditions in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred….” During the duration of the exercise of this authority, he must advise the Congress what he is doing at fourteen day intervals.

In 2002, the Bush administration established the Northern Command at Peterson Air Base in Colorado. Like other commands, it was headed by a CINC, a proconsul or regional commander in chief who does not answer to service secretaries or his service chain of command. This new command was given the task responding to terrorism and preventing the introduction of weapons of mass destruction into the United States.

Even in World War II, there was no domestic command because there was a fear that such a centralized command would not be healthy for the future of democracy. No sooner was this command established and the Pentagon started studying ways to prevent itself from being limited by the Posse Comitatus Act. In 2003, the administration also proposed that the military and C.I.A. be given power to subpoena information from credit card companies, libraries, banks, telephone companies, e-mail providers, and internet providers. The proposal did not include judi C.I.A.l oversight. 4 The Washington Post reported that Norcom had developed plans for declaring martial law in fifteen different situations. In late 2003, General Tommy Franks said that “the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government” if mass destruction is ever visited upon the United States. Leading neocon theorist Terry Leeden has said that in such a situation “preserving liberty may require the role of a single leader—a dictator….”

Three years before that, MSNBC reported that Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), a new Pentagon spy agency, had look into 1500 separate civilian’suspicious incidents” over a ten month period. One was a Quaker meeting that was planning to protest military recruiting in schools in the Los Angeles area.

George W. Bush signed Defense Authorization Act of 2007, which included in Section 5122 language giving the president and Secretary of Defense the ability to deploy National Guard troops in the states regardless of the wishes of governors. Section 526 reversed traditional posse comitatus legislation by requiring governors to obtain federal permission before using the Guard. Some might find this troubling, the mores so when it is recalled that in January 2006, Congress gave Kellogg, Brown, and Root $385 to build more “temporary detention and processing facilities,” to augment those build under Ronald Reagan.

In 2007, President George W. Bush moved to resurrect the North scheme with a document entitled “National Continuity Policy,” National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51. It required presidential assistant for homeland security Frances Fragos Townsend to develop a full plan within 90 days. There were “classified Continuity Annexes.”5

No comments: