Simple disaster management in the public interest?
Or something else more in line with their legacy?
REPORT: FOCUS ON FEMA
By Sander Hicks
for INN Report, Free Speech TV
This was Sander Hicks' debut television
journalism feature story for INN Report.
It was broadcast on the Dish Network,
at 6 PM on Friday, March 28, 2003.
by Tom Kylie,
Line-Produced by Lenny Charles
Edited by Will Walkerstreet
Today's INN Special
Investigation focuses on FEMA, the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, an organization originally
chartered to handle government aid in the event
of natural disasters. However, our report shows
that FEMA has a history of assuming powers outside
of its official mandate. During the Reagan administration,
it was criticized for plans to suspend the Constitution
and impose martial law in the event of "national
crises," such as, "violent and widespread internal
dissent or national opposition to a U.S. military
In an era of diminishing
civil liberties, INN asks, who is FEMA today,
and who elected them?
FEMA's precursor was
the California Specialized Training Institute,
a counterterrorism training center started by
then-Governor Ronald Reagan in 1971. Reagan inaugurated
the idea of utilizing the military and law enforcement
to combat dissent. He hired retired National Guard
General Louis O. Giuffrida to design Operation
Cable Splicer. The Cable Splicer plans were martial
law proposals to legitimize the arrest and detention
of anti-Vietnam war activists and other political
dissidents. At the Army War College in 1970, Guiffrida
had written a proposal that advocated the roundup
and transfer to relocation camps of at least 21
million "American Negroes" in the event of a national
in 1979, under President
Carter, FEMA was officially created with a single
stroke of a pen by Executive Order 1-2148.
However, Ronald Reagan elevated FEMA to intelligence
agency status by giving the National Security
Council authority over the planning for civil
defense policy and security. Reagan created a
senior-level interdepartmental board, the Emergency
Mobilization Preparedness Board,or EMPB, a precursor
to the cabinet-level Office of Homeland Security.
The EMPB was charged with coordinating plans for
Oliver North enters
the story here. He first was a mid-level White
House military attaché assigned to carry
the "Nuclear Football" the briefcase that
can control the unleashing of a US nuclear attack.
But from 1982 to 1984, North was assigned by National
Security Advisor Robert McFarlane to work on the
EMPB. Former General Louis Giuffrida was at EMPB
as well. According to Covert Action Quarterly-
"By forming the Emergency Mobilization Preparedness
Board, Ronald Reagan made it possible for a small
group of people, under the authority of the NSC,
to wield enormous power. They, in turn, used this
executive authority to change civil defense planning
into a military/police version" of domestic control.
at EMPB, North revised contingency plans for dealing
with nuclear war, domestic insurrection and massive
Giuffrida and North
worked to refine and implement Operation GARDEN
PLOT, a plan to suspend the Constitution, in the
event of a national crisis, such as, widespread
internal opposition to a U.S. military invasion
abroad. GARDEN PLOT was actually implemented during
LA's Rodney King Riots in the form of street curfews
as well as in recent anti-globalization protests.
In 1983, at the annual
meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences,
FEMA's General Frank S. Salcedo recommended expanding
FEMA's power even further. As he saw it at least
100,000 U.S. citizens, from survivalists to tax
protesters, were serious threats to civil security.
Salcedo saw FEMA's new frontier as the protection
of industrial and government leaders from assassination,
and the protection of civil and military installations
from sabotage or attack. Notable for stations
such as this one, Salcedo warned against dissident
groups gaining access to U.S. opinion or a global
audience in times of crisis.
FEMA and the Department
of Defense began a continuing tradition of biannual
joint exercises to test civilian mobilization,
civil security emergency and counterterrorism
plans. The Rex-84 Alpha Explan (Readiness Exercise
1984, Exercise Plan), showed that FEMA lead 34
other federal agencies, including CIA, FBI, and
US Treasury, in a massive civil readiness exercise.
It was conducted in coordination with "Night Train
84", a worldwide military command post exercise,
based on multi-emergency scenarios operating both
abroad and at home.
The exercises envisioned
that the previously mentioned 100,000 U.S. citizens,
labelled "national security threats" would be
rounded up and thrown into concentration camps.
FEMA came into direct
conflict with the FBI, whose Director William
Sessions forced Giuffrida to turn over more than
12,000 political dossiers FEMA had assembled on
The FBI's power struggle
with FEMA necessitated damage control. Attorney
General William French Smith finally reined in
the abuses. He publicly admonished Robert McFarlane,
in a letter on August 2, 1984, "I believe that
the role assigned to the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) on the revised Executive Order exceeds
its proper function as a coordinating agency for
He also protested,
"the expansion of the definition of severe emergencies
to encompass `routine' domestic law enforcement".
This public chastisement
necessitated a cleaning of house. FEMA Inspector
General Robert Guffus discovered largescale waste
and dysfunction in his investigation. It's Federal
programs with state and local governments were
badly coordinated. Personell suffered from imprecise
program guidelines, a lack of resources, fiscal
mis-management, unclear assignment of responsibilities,
overlapping job descriptions, inflated training
figures, and a lack of written procedures.
To top it off, FEMA
head Louis Giuffrida was discovered to have spent
$170,000 of agency funds to outfit a deluxe bachelor
pad at the Civil Defense Training Academy in Emmitsburg,
Maryland. He was forced to resign in 1985.
Louis Giuffrida had
run FEMA since 1981. He played a major role in
the transformation of FEMA from a public disaster
management aid to an extension of the military
intelligence state. Yet today, Louis Giuffrida
is not mentioned on the FEMA.gov
website official "History" of FEMA.
After the scandal,
National Security Director Robert McFarlane quietly
removed North from the EMPB and assigned him to
help with conducting unconventional warfare in
Nicaragua. North became overseer of a new wing
of the State Department dedicated to molding public
opinion, the "Office of Public Diplomacy." He
released disinformation on the Sandinista regime
in Nicauragua including a leak that the Soviet
Union was shipping MiG fighter jets to the Sandinistas,
a story that later proved false. North supervised
the "black operations" that funded the Contras
trading and illegal arms sales to Iran, in
violation of Federal law.
Oliver North is today
a "journalist" for cable television's Fox News,
but not everyone views Oliver North as a "hero."
In August of 94, Judge James L. Berry of Clarke
County Circuit Court, in Virginia refused
to re-issue North a carrying permit for a concealed
weapon, citing his conviction for obstructing
Congress during the investigation into the Iran-contra
affair. The judge reasoned, "This court is unable
to ignore his convictions for crimes based on
moral turpitude, even though his convictions were
What is FEMA's role
today? Simple disaster management in the public
interest as per their website? Or something else
more in line with their legacy?
In the months immediately
after 9/11, between 1,200 and 2,000 Muslim, Arab
and South Asian immigrants were detained and held
in secret. Although most have been recently released,
the government refused to divulge the names of
detainees, how many were held, and how many deported.
On August 14, 2002,
Attorney General John Ashcroft was called
a "menace to Liberty" by Jonathan Turley, in the
Los AngelesTimes, for announcing his desire for
camps for US Citizens who are "enemy combatants
Let's take a second
and look at a little background information. What
is Ashcroft's history with civil liberties in
a pluralistic society? The same man who is chipping
away at the Bill of Rights endorsed and supported
the pro-slavery, pro-white, pro-Confederacy magazine Southern Partisan in 1998. Southern Partisan has published praise for Lincoln's assassin, John
Wilkes Booth, as well as "super hero" Nathan Bedford
Forrest, founder of the KKK. In an interview with
them Ashcroft said, "Your magazine also helps
set the record straight. You've got a heritage
of doing that, of defending Southern patriots....
Traditionalists must do more. I've got to do more."
In Summer of 2002,
FEMA published a bid
request for qualified construction companies
to compete for contracts for three $6 million
projects to create temporary cities that can house
massive populations in the event of a disaster.
Published on conservative
website Newsmax, this news was dismissed by FEMA
Spokesman Chad Kolton as "totally bogus." But
when challenged by the publishers on the phone,
Kolton confirmed the essence of the story. The
camps and temporary cities are being planned,
to be built in 2003.
But Newsmax.com makes
the mistake of taking FEMA at their word, when
they report that the creation of sprawling
temporary cities to handle millions of displaced
persons, is just a benevolent effort to become
prepared for the massive displacement of an urban
population in the event of a terrorist attack.
Any serious student of FEMA knows that there have
been plans to impose martial law and round up
100,000 U.S. Citizens who dissent from a program
of permanent war.
What plans does FEMA
really have in mind? INN Report says look at FEMA's
history. Past is Prologue.
MORE INFO ON FEMA:
MORE INFO ON FEMA's REX 84 plans: