CIVILIAN DETENTION CAMPS
"It is extremely easy for us to say that the German people, for instance, even under the threat of physical violence, shouldn’t have allowed their government to do what it did. But we of the United States, under no intimidating threats and with a long history of individual freedom, did not stop this forced evacuation which took place over a number of months and subjected many thousands of local citizens not only to bewilderment and misery of barren, crowded barracks but to large, permanent losses in the form of hard earned businesses and properties; sudden amputation of plans and hopes; disillusionment about their citizenship in America. If we ask ourselves why we did not stop it, and listen to the reasons we start to put forth, perhaps we may understand why similar questions asked Germans about ‘stopping Hitler’ are in reality too vague and inadequate to be helpful."
"Knowing what those camps meant to people caught up in the event of the 1940’s, knowing the shame that afflicts the American people as we look back on the incarceration and dislocation of a people because of their race, [or political beliefs], we can only feel repugnance and fear at the fact that today we have locations available for another round-up [1970’s and again in 1999] and that we live under a law which would permit another mass detention of people without any proof that they had committed any illegal actions."
Source: Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives, Prohibiting Detention Camps, March 18, 1971, Pg. 93.
U.S. Detention Camps During WW II
The socialist experiment with detention camps began during the era of 1931 – 1948 in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Stalin exterminated 7 – 10 million people in civilian detention camps from 1931 – 1933, and another 10 million between 1934 – 1939. Hitler opened Dachau on March 9, 1933, and Auschwitz in Poland in January, 1940. It has been determined that by the end of World War II as many as six million people died in Hitler’s detention camps. On August 24, 1939, the FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover met with FDR to develop a detention camp program in the United States.
Some people today will remember the detention camps which were setup in the United States immediately after President Roosevelt declared war on Japan and formally entered World War II. What many don’t realize is that the Japanese were not the only people who were forced to go to these camps. Germans, Italians, and Mexicans were also sent to these camps during WW II. It should be said that the camps in the United States were not the death camps which were so feared in Europe, yet these people were denied their Constitutional rights when the federal government forced them into the camps.
Immediately after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the government began discussions concerning what to do with aliens that were from countries that were now considered enemies of the United States. There was an immediate call to evacuate the Japanese from the west-coast states of California, Oregon, Washington and the state of Hawaii.
Over the next two months, the public’s attitude toward the Japanese rapidly deteriorated. In February of 1942 the government began registering enemy aliens and large-scale "spot" raids were conducted to seek out potential dissidents and evidence of espionage. In the next four months the raids produced little in the way of proof that Japanese residents were plotting against the United States.
Due to the increasing anti-Japanese sentiment unemployment among the Japanese soared, reports of personal attacks grew, desperately needy were denied relief funds, and the Japanese were refused licenses to operate businesses. They were also subjected to heavy travel restrictions.
By the middle of February 1942, it was decided to begin to evacuate all persons of Japanese lineage and all other aliens whose presence would be considered dangerous to the defense of the United States. It was estimated that 100,000 enemy aliens would be involved in the evacuation. (NOTE: to this day the United States government still looks upon this forced evacuation as a voluntary evacuation.) It should be said that there were people in the government and the military that thought that these evacuations were wrong and should not be instituted, but their objections were ignored. On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which ordered the evacuations to begin.
One month later on March 18, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order
9102 which established the War Relocation Authority. It ordered the establishment of this agency in the Office of Emergency Management to manage the evacuation. The Authority quickly began planning the building of ten relocation camps that would house over 110,000 people.
The Quakers helped the Japanese in the days prior to their evacuation. They helped to pack the few possessions they were allowed to take with them. They also made arrangements to find storage facilities for their personal possessions which the Japanese left behind. The Quakers also assisted in selling businesses and homes which the Japanese were forced to leave behind, and they found ways to ensure that the Japanese would get their money. The Quakers even attempted to provide protection for properties which were not sold. Their assistance did not stop there. They continued to maintain contact with the detainees in the camps as a means of counteracting the demoralization and fear which overcame many of the detainees.
Two of these camps which received trainloads of evacuees were located in Arizona. One was the Colorado River Relocation Center, which housed 18,000 people at its peak, and operated from April 1942 – March 1946. The other was the Gila River Relocation Center that held 13,000 people, and it was in operation from May 1942 – February 1946.
The government had set up the camps in block formations with each block having 14 barracks. Each barracks measuring 20 feet by 100 feet. Each block had one mess hall, one recreation center, laundry facilities, and separate men and women bathrooms. The camps also had cold warehouses, repair facilities, administration offices, schools, a library, facilities for religious services, medical facilities, and a post office. The detainees were allowed to have gardens and raise livestock.
One of the better known civilian detention camps during World War II, was at Crystal Lake, Texas. News articles and a documentary were made detailing life at Crystal Lake. The Crystal Lake camp has been referred to as a concentration camp, but it was not. The camp was occupied by people of Japanese and German decent, who had immigrated to the United States prior to the beginning of WW II.
After World War II, the detainees of these camps filed lawsuits, and brought grievances before Congress because of the violation of their civil rights, which these people had suffered because of these forced evacuations and detainment. In 1988, President Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. The purpose of the law was to acknowledge and apologize for the wrongs done to these people that were forced to live in the detention camps. To date, restitution has been paid to approximately 80,000 Japanese-Americans, yet the federal government still considers the evacuations as "voluntary".
The Detention Act of 1950
In 1950, Congress, concerned about communism, passed the Detention Act of 1950. The Detention Act of 1950 (the "Act") can be found in the series of books called the "Statutes at Large" in any law library. This law gave the government the capability to arrest and detain those people or groups which were deemed to be subversive and a threat to the government of the United States, and hold people in detention camps around the country.
As the concern over the conflict in Korea grew, Congress’s anxiety over the existence of communist groups located in the United States also grew. A survey was ordered to assess available confinement facilities in the United States. The Department of Justice recommended that the camps located at Army and Airforce bases, and former prisoner-of-war camps, be made available to be used as detention camps. It was also determined that it would also be more cost effective to repair existing camps than it would be to build new camps. In 1952, Congress appropriated $775,000 for the activation and rehabilitation of six camps.
These six camps were located at : Florence, Arizona; Wickenberg, Arizona; Avon Park, Florida; Allenwood, Pennsylvania; El Reno, Oklahoma; and Tule Lake, California. After the Korean conflict ended, the need for these camps also ended. In 1959, Tule Lake Camp was turned over to the General Services Administration. Wickenberg Camp was turned over to the city. Avon Park Camp became the Avon Park Correctional Institution. Twenty acres of the Florence Camp became a Federal detention center for people serving short sentences. El Reno remained under the control of the Bureau of Prisons. Allenwood Camp is now used as a regular federal prison camp for minimum security prisoners.
By the end of the 1960’s, sixteen bills had been submitted to repeal the "Act". The public opinion was growing against the "Act" in that the public felt that the government could not be trusted to protect the civil rights of those people arrested under this law. One portion of the Detention Act of 1950 which was the cause of great concern read:
Sec. 103. (a) Whenever there shall be in existence such an emergency, the President, acting through the Attorney General, is hereby authorized to apprehend and by order detain, pursuant to the provisions of this title, each person as to whom there is reasonable ground to believe probably will engage in, or probably will conspire with others to engage in, acts of espionage or of sabotage,
The problem with the above section is that it violates the civil rights of those arrested. It is unacceptable to arrest someone on the suspicion that someday that person may break the law. There were other short comings to the "Act". They included:
Though this law was never actually used, it caused a great deal of concern as when people around the country became aware of its dangers. In the late 1960’s, minorities and particularly the Japanese community turned to Congress in an attempt to get the law repealed. It wasn’t until 1970 that any real attention was given to repealing the "Act". The fear among many Americans was that this law might become an instrument for apprehending and detaining people that held unpopular beliefs and views.
On September 14, 1970, the Internal Security Committee held a hearing on the "Act". At the end of the hearings the committee reported that it had a bill which would not repeal "the Act" but would simply amend it. This bill went nowhere because the 91st Congress adjourned before a ruling was granted. When the 92nd Congress reconvened, over 150 members of Congress supported an effort to have the "Act" repealed.
Since the Vietnam era the federal government has been focusing on ways to control civil unrest. Executive orders, Department of Defense Directives, and laws have been written addressing the issue of the military assisting in controlling civilian disturbances. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been given greater and greater authority and power over these matters to such a degree that even minor civil disturbances today may come under the jurisdiction of FEMA.
In the early 1980’s, President Reagan, the Department of Defense (DOD), and FEMA began to change the role that FEMA would play in the security of the United States. In 1983, it was recommended that FEMA expand its role to include survivability training, imposing martial law, controlling civil disturbances, and placing greater emphasis on protecting the country from foreign threats and domestic terrorism.
REX – 84
(Readiness Exercise 1984)
In 1981, FEMA and the DOD began training exercises to test plans for civil mobilization, civil security, and counter-terrorism. The REX – 84 exercises were established under the premise that FEMA might have to detain a large number of refugees, crossing the Mexican/U.S. border in a mass exodus as a result of a war in Central America (remember the Iran-Contra Affair). REX – 84 also provided for the closing of military bases around the country, of which some would then be turned into detention camps. One of the ten military bases that were setup as detention camps, was Camp Krome in Florida. This camp was designated as a joint FEMA – Immigration Service interrogation center.
REX – 84 coordinated 34 federal departments and agencies to conduct a civil readiness exercise during April 5 – 13, 1984. In the combined exercise, REX – 84 Bravo, FEMA and the Department of Defense led, among other agencies, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Secret Service, the Treasury, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Veterans Administration, through the exercise to test military preparedness in civil defense.
The training exercise included the use of the military to control civil disturbances, major demonstrations, and strikes, which would affect government operations and resource mobilization. It also included exercises in fighting terrorism, conducting large movements of the population, and imposing martial law.
Several months after REX – 84 had been completed, it was suggested that Executive Order 11490 should be amended to give FEMA greater control in national emergencies. Serious concerns were raised over these amendments. Some of the concerns included:
Operation Garden Plot
Operation Garden Plot refers to federal military assistance given to local and state law enforcement agencies during times of civil disturbances to control the civilian population. It was a spin off of Rex-84. This operation is also referred to as Oplan Garden Plot, Garden Plot, MACDIS (Military Assistance to Civil Disturbances), and Garden MACDIS. This operation was first made public in the mid-1980’s.
The United States Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, or Operation Garden Plot, is a direct support operation for the Army, Airforce, Navy, and Marines with airlift and logistic support to respond to civil disturbances. The airlift force will be composed of MAC organic airlift resources, aircraft from the USAF, air reconnaissance, and airborne psychological operations.
This operation will target people or groups the government considers "disruptive elements". It defines "disruptive elements" as resistance groups, tax protesters, right wing extremist groups, people who will be considered non-conformists, or people who simply protest governmental actions such as Martial Law. Its activation will be deemed necessary when local or state authorities cannot maintain law and order. Deadly force may be permitted against any group or person perpetrating what the Federal government will consider civil disorder.
Furthermore, Operation Garden Plot also provides for federal troops and the National Guard to combine their efforts with United Nation troops while conducting operations. The cement that pulls all this together is Presidential Decision Directive – 25 (PDD-25). Though PDD-25 is classified, an executive summary is available and discusses the relationship between the United States troops and the United Nations forces in operations here and abroad.
One such example for the use of Operation Garden Plot occurred on April 29, 1992. California experienced the worst riots since the 1960’s in Los Angeles. It began as a small disturbance and quickly accelerated into a full-blown riot that killed 44 people, injured hundreds of others, and cost close to one billion dollars in property damage. The riots were so overwhelming that the L.A. police in many instances would not attempt to stop the rioters. They left citizens to defend themselves and their property.
The governor of California directed the National Guard to mobilize and assist the local police. On May 1, 1992, President Bush signed Executive Order 12804, ordering federal troops in to assist the National Guard and local police. The plan they followed was the Department of Defense Civil Disturbances Plan (Operation Garden Plot). The operation included such agencies as LAPD Emergency Operations Center, City Command, the Sheriff’s office, FBI, and the ATF.
Today, what could possibly happen in this country to activate such an operation? The federal government could initiate Operation Garden Plot if there were serious social unrest, political turmoil, or an economic disaster resulting in civil disturbances that local and state authorities could not control. Could Y2K be such an event?
Today, under a state of national emergency the President, after declaring Marshal Law, would give FEMA the authority to take control of the internal infrastructure of the United States and suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Congress would be prevented from conducting hearings over the actions of the President or FEMA, for six months or until the President lifted marshal law. Today the Executive Order that establishes this authority is Executive Order 12919 (see Appendix), and combined today with DODD 3025.12, FEMA would be empowered to hold civilian detainees in detention centers. They could also use the detainees as civilian labor which would be monitored by the Department of Defense, but supervised by the FBI. Also, FEMA’s Federal Response Plan as amended in June of 1999 also makes mention of Operation Garden Plot.
It is estimated that there are between 160 – 190 detention (internment) facilities in the United States, each capable of housing between 10,000 to 300,000 civilians. Most of these camps are located on active military bases, or closed military bases which have been converted to detention facilities. Very few lists of such facilities are available to the general public, and with good reason. It simply makes sense to keep these facilities secret in order to reduce the repercussions that would be experienced from such knowledge. The lists that can be found are vague, old, and incomplete.
Photos do exist of detention camps at Camp Grayling in Grayling, Michigan; Fort Dix, New Jersey; and the Federal Transfer Center-Temporary Facility at Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Miscellaneous pictures have been taken of other sites showing empty fields with ten foot fences topped with razor wire creating holding pens. These sites also have stadium lighting and guard towers surrounding the sites. The question that should be asked is who are these holding pens for, because cattle do not climb fences, and they don’t need guard towers?
Operation Cable Splicer
Operation Cable Splicer is a Department of Defense operation for the orderly take- over of local and state governments. The development of this operation had its start while President Ronald Reagan was governor of California. Governor Reagan enlisted the assistance of the head of the state’s National Guard to put an operation together, which would assist the government during times of civil unrest. This condition required the declaration of Martial Law. It’s purpose was to legitimize the arrest and detainment of anti-war protesters and political troublemakers during the Vietnam era. Initially the operation was presented to the public disguised as a program to protect against civil disturbances. Its’ stated purpose was to:
and prosecution followed to:
This operation involved three different scenarios, which justified its use in controlling civil disturbances and ultimately taking over government functions in an emergency. The scenarios are:
Does Operation Cable Splicer still exit today? Yes it does! After a Y2K meeting held in the city of Wayne, Michigan, on September 16, 1999, a Lieutenant from the Michigan State Police Emergency Management Division was asked if he was aware of Operation Cable Splicer. He said that he was, and did not appear happy that he was asked that question.
He was also asked why stickers were being placed on the back of some highway signs in such a manner that they could be read as a code, and that if someone knew the code he could follow the stickers to police stations and/or prisons. He fumbled with his response and tried to say that these stickers were simply bar codes used to identify a sign if a sign was damaged and had to be replaced. The problem with his answer is that not all highway signs have these stickers on them.
Prior to 1878 it was not unusual for civilian law enforcement agencies to call for military support to assist with enforcing civilian law. After the Civil War, southern states called for an end to this practice, citing abuses and oppression by the military. In 1878, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act, which was to stop the use of federal troops in civilian law enforcement matters. Yet today, through DoD Directives, Executive Orders, and Federal laws, the Federal government has steadily increased its authority over what should be strictly local law enforcement issues, on the premise that these laws protect the government from violating the Posse Comitatus Act. In essence what they have done is to allow the federal government and the DoD to supply the equipment, the training, and the personnel to (figuratively speaking) hold the gun as long as someone from a local or state police agency pulls the trigger.
Waco is an example of a local law enforcement problem, which the federal government and the DoD should have allowed local police agencies to handle. When a government sends groups, which act as if they are immune to prosecution like the Nightstalkers and the FBI, into a civilian situation, it is inevitable that tragedies such as Waco and Ruby Ridge will occur. At Waco these groups were responsible for the death of 80 people, of which 23 were children. It means nothing to have Attorney General Janet Reno accept responsibility for what happened at Waco if she does not have to worry about any consequences.
Local and state governments can request federal assistance through federal representatives of the FBI and FEMA. If the request is approved, which during Martial Law will be a given, those federal troops approved to assist in controlling civil disturbances will remain under federal control, but will be overseen by the FBI and FEMA.
Should this country experience a national emergency, whether real or fabricated, that grows into a perceived crisis situation, the President, through Executive Order 12919 may declare Martial Law, and federal resources will be committed with or without local or state requests. It should also be noted that FEMA will take control of all aspects of the government infrastructure, the Constitution will be suspended, and in fact this country will be under the control of a military dictatorship.
Should the course of future emergencies lead to the above action, it will most assuredly result in civil unrest throughout the country, and the DoD will institute operations Garden Plot and Cable Splicer.
It should also be noted that if the President turns the control of the federal government over to FEMA, he will be in clear violation of Article 4, Section 4, of the Constitution for the United States of America. Article 4, Section 4 reads:
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."
Furthermore, Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution reads "or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened)". Remember that if the President declares Martial Law, Congress will be suspended, and the President and FEMA will be able to institute what-ever laws they feel necessary. They could even finish instituting the New World Order in this country.
The Constitution provides for a republican form of government and FEMA is not a republican form of government. It is not elected by the people to govern this country, it is an organization setup by people in government with questionable motives, that are corrupt, without morals or ethics. This country did not need FEMA during World War I, World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam, and it is not needed now. What is needed is a government that does not create problems in order to justify their unconstitutional acts. What is needed is a government that not only knows the Constitution, but also upholds and obeys the Constitution and its protections.
The following documents have been included so that the citizens in this country can read for themselves just what the Federal government, the Department of Defense, FEMA, and the FBI, have been planing for many years.
Posse Comitatus Act
Forty Fifth Congress. Session 2, Chapter 263
Section 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise , for the purpose of executing laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section and any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Approved, June 18, 1878.
February 16, 1962
Executive Order 11000
Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions to the Secretary of Labor
(To be enacted when E.O.12919 goes into force)
Section 1. Scope. The Secretary of Labor (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary) shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering civilian manpower mobilization, more effective utilization of limited manpower resources including specialized personnel, wage and salary stabilization, workers incentives and protection, manpower resources and requirements, skills development and training, research, labor-management relations, and critical occupations. These plans and programs shall be designed to develop a state of readiness in these areas with respect to all conditions of national emergency, including attack upon the United States.
Sec. 2. Functions. The Secretary shall: