Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reagan and Bush's Not-So-Secret War: Part Three

The plan , reflecting the Reagan- Meese scheme for dealing with Black activists in California, called for the detention of hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens. Environmental activists, supporters of asylum for refugees, and opponents of nuclear energy were also to be watched. On April 18, 1984, President Reagan authorized FEMA to carry out a readiness exercise to see if it could implement the plan. The exercise also went by the name RX84-Bravo ( also Alpha Explan, or Readiness Exercise 1984). It involved practicing to round up 400,000 imaginary aliens. The exercise was coordinated on the fifth floor of FEMA headquarters where heavy metal doors were installed and only certain personnel were admitted. The rationale for the North Plan was that if the US invaded Nicaragua, thousands of Latinos would cross into the US from Mexico and would have to be rounded up. The more likely rationale was that a plan was needed for rounding up dissidents.

General Louis Giuffrida developed a list of 12,000 people from F.B.I. files he thought should be watched. It soon became the basis for a list that was projected to grow to a database of 100,000. names. F.B.I. director learned of this and demanded that the 12,000 files be returned. The files were returned, but FEMA kept copies and retained its data base even though Congress had been led to believe otherwise. The database was kept in conjunction with a continuity of government plan that Oliver North was detailed to develop in 1981. North was working directly under Vice President George H.W. Bush. One aspect of it was what The New York Times called its “Doomsday Plan, which included 20 super secret black programs to be used in the event of a nuclear war. It is interesting that when George W. Bush admitted he authorized spying on the telephone calls of American citizens he linked it to the continuity of government plan. Few in the press picked up on this remark.1

The North FEMA Plan became intertwined with a Continuity of Government Plan that was also developed by the Reagan administration. The Continuity of Government plan was authorized in National Security Decision Directive 55, January, 1983. Charles Allen, deputy director of the C.I.A., was to run it. It is said that when allen first met North, he joked, “Let's see now. Our job is to throw the Constitution out the window.''

There were some private firms involved in it that were run by former C.I.A. people, George Bush’s “ C.I.A. without the C.I.A..” 2

FEMA’s control center is located at Mount Weather, on Route 601 outside Berryville, Virginia. The skeleton of an emergency government exists there, and FEMA, over the years, has been given extraordinary powers that could be used in a national emergency. Most of these powers were conferred by Richard Nixon on February 10, 1972 in E.O. 11490---before FEMA even existed.

Ronald Reagan expanded upon the emergency program by creating Rex 84 Bravo, created by NSDD 52, a program for detaining dangerous foreign immigrants and US citizens likely to assist terrorists. It was similar to a plan Reagan’s staff developed in California while he was governor. The program was supervised by Kenneth de Graffenreid, special assistant to the president, and seems to have been underway by 1984. About 100 detention facilities have been built. Some of them could hold upwards of 20,000 people. Blue Lists were developed containing names of people to be detained. The four chief centers are at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Fort Drum, New York, Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., and at Camp A.P. Hill in Virginia.

However the most interesting place is a deserted facility in Indianopolis for which Congress keeps appropriating money for reconstruction.
It has been disclosed that the Army’s Civilian Inmate Program was being used to provide labor to build detention facilities. It appears that most camps are in the west, but one was found at Tobyhanna, PA. However, it describes itself now as only being interested in disaster relief. It is still building detention facilities. During a joint hearing on Iran/Contra, Representative Jack Brooks tried to publicly raise the North plan, but Senator Daniel Inouye succeeded in moving the matter to executive session. 3

No comments: