December 18, 2017

Government; the Good the Bad and the…What are They Planning

As I thought about writing this article, a couple different sayings came to mind; “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” and “where there is smoke there is fire”.  Before you read any further, I feel the need to give a couple disclaimers.  First, I do not consider myself a conspiracy theorist.  In fact, I tend to dismiss the vast majority of subjects in the realm of conspiracy, unless there is enough smoke to hint at fire.  At those times, I get as much evidence as I can and use my rational, logical brain to decipher it.

Second, I am not anti-government.  I am just very pro-citizen.  When I say “government”, I mean government as a whole, not just one administration or party, unless otherwise specified.  I actually like idea of government the way it was intended very much; to protect the citizenry and do what it can to encourage “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  Personally, I believe our local, city, county and state government should have a larger role in our lives than federal government should.  I do not believe that the Founders had the behemoth that has become of the federal government in mind.  There are many quotes from the Founders that evidence this.  Here are just two from Thomas Jefferson:

“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

Don’t throw the Baby out with the Bath Water

In case you’re unfamiliar with this idiom, it means: don’t throw out something good when trying to get rid of something bad.  I have noticed a pattern with people who have seen government, over the years, do things that do not align with their beliefs who then become bitter toward government.  These people tend to “throw the baby out with the bath water”, and either forget or overlook that there are some very good things that come from government.

Our taxes are used to fund the strongest military the world has ever seen.  This isn’t to say I am pro war.  I actually wish we would never see another war, ever!  But since there is no chance of that, I want to make sure the hero’s in our military receive the highest training and are as well-equipped as possible.  I also think those who are injured while serving our great nation should be taken care of once they come home.  Taxes also fund the heroes who serve us locally, in police and fire departments all across the nation.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) takes a lot of flak.  Some of it is deserved but not all of it.  Some of the biggest complaints against FEMA came after hurricane Katrina when people claimed that FEMA took too long to respond.  Many people are not aware that the federal government needs to be invited in by the local government.  That invite was slow to come after hurricane Katrina.

“FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.”

I think FEMA’s mission is admirable.  However, I think there is some failure in the execution of that mission.  I have gotten a small glimpse behind the curtain to see how FEMA and local governments work together.  I have seen multiple trailers waiting for possible flooding, ready to go into action if needed.

FEMA also puts out a huge amount of information related to individual preparedness and encourages citizens to have a kit (albeit not enough) and a plan.  I am subscribed to some FEMA emails and have seen many seminars offered online that any citizen can attend for free.

I think one of the best things to come out of FEMA is the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).  Trudee and I went through CERT, which I wrote about here. CERT was created because of the huge response from citizens wanting to help after 9-11.  The training in CERT equips citizens to be able to act in local emergencies and assist authorities.  In Minnesota the CERT team in the county I was trained was activated for the 35W Bridge collapse.  The team was activated again when there was a Minneapolis police officer murdered.  They were activated to form a perimeter and keep people out of it.  The team has also been activated for floods that happen in the spring as well.

I have caught flak for supporting CERT and for having a widget on the right side of the blog so that people can find training near them.  I chock this up to individuals throwing the baby out with the bath water.  The training and knowledge we gained can’t be attained by regular citizens any other way.

 

Where There is Smoke, There is Fire (or at least enough heat to pay attention to)

This may not be the best idiom for this because, while there is definitely smoke, I’m not sure there is fire.  Something is causing the smoke.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has done some things in the last few years that are concerning, especially in the last twelve months.

This portion of the article was very difficult to write about.  Covering things that are often seem as being topics of conspiracy theorists while maintaining an objective position and yet saying that there are some things that are concerning isn’t easy.  I have typed and deleted more sentences than I can count.  I debated even writing this portion, but I think these are things you should be aware of.

I get emails now and then about the government getting ready for martial law, FEMA camps, drones and other type things.  When the rumors of these things started, I blew them off, but in the last year the smoke has gotten thicker.  I’m not going to say “the President and DHS are coming for us”, but the smoke is too thick for me to outright dismiss it.  If you’re one of the people that send me this type of information, please understand that I am not making fun of you at all.  I appreciate it, as some of the articles you send are things I wouldn’t normally get to see.  Please keep them coming!

There is a lot of information that is presented as fact, when it looks like the author is drawing conclusions based on a few pieces of information.  Because of that, I’ll say now that I will only cover topics that I have verified to the best of my ability and I’ll only provide the information and give my opinion of it.  You draw your own conclusions, even if that means you dismiss it.  Like I said, I dismissed it until fairly recently.
 
FEMA Camps, Internment Camps, Labor Camps, Prison Camps

This is one of the items I have dismissed for years but it keep popping up.  There are two documents that are concerning.  The first is “R210-35 Civilian Inmate Labor Program”.  I was able to authenticate this as a real Army training manual.  I wasn’t able to authenticate FM 3-39.40 “INTERNMENT AND RESETTLEMENT OPERATIONS” as a real training manual, although the website Foreign Policy explains that the document is, in fact, real.  It isn’t quite the inflammatory document some make it out to be.  Both documents were created prior to President Obama being elected the first time.  One was written in 2005 and the other has a date of 2010.  I believe that is when it was most recently updated, though I could be wrong.

From “R210-35 Civilian Inmate Labor Program”, its purpose is:

“This regulation provides Army policy and guidance for establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations. Sources of civilian inmate labor are limited to on– and off–post Federal corrections facilities, State and/or local corrections facilities operating from on–post prison camps pursuant to leases under Section 2667, Title 10, United States Code (10 USC 2667), and off–post State corrections facilities participating in the demonstration project authorized under Section 1065, Public Law (PL) 103–337. Otherwise, State and/or local inmate labor from off–post corrections facilities is currently excluded from this program.”

This document is obviously for American citizens.  It speaks about existing prisoners from federal prisons.  It doesn’t look like this document was created for prisoners during martial law.

FM 3-39.40 “INTERNMENT AND RESETTLEMENT OPERATIONS” was largely written for use overseas, but does speak a bit about use on the homeland.

“2-39. Civill support is the DOD support to U.S. civil authorities for domestic emergencies, and for designated law enforcement and other activities. (JP 3-28) Civil support includes operations that address the consequences of natural or man-made disasters, accidents, terrorist attacks and incidents in the U.S. and its territories.

2-40. The I/R tasks performed in support of civil support operations are similar to those during combat operations, but the techniques and procedures are modified based on the special OE associated with operating within U.S. territory and according to the categories of individuals (primarily DCs) to be housed in I/R facilities. During long-term I/R operations, state and federal agencies will operate within and around I/R facilities within the scope of their capabilities and identified role. Military police commanders must closely coordinate and synchronize their efforts with them especially in cases where civil authority and capabilities have broken down or been destroyed.”

The document does have information on how the prison should be set up, where to put towers and the like.  I suppose that information could be used if Posse Comitatus was enacted, which “R210-35 Civilian Inmate Labor Program” references in the “Related Publications” section.

 

National Guard Training For Riot Control, Mass Detentions

Here is an article from SHTF Plan that covers information I have read other places as well. It details how some National Guard troops are being trained to deal with Civil Unrest. Below is one picture from the article, make sure to make note of the sign that reads “Food Now”.

Vigilant Guard

 

My Take

I have read that these camps do exist but are not related to FEMA.  FEMA does not employ enough people to run the camps.  The camps are said to be on military bases.  This way there is already an element of security and prying eyes can’t see inside.  “R210-35 Civilian Inmate Labor Program” does speak about using multipurpose buildings.  This would mean an active base could be turned into a prison camp in short order.

Do they exist?  I hope not.  If there are no active prison camps waiting for civilian inmates, I do believe there are bases picked and plans in place to make prison camps on short notice.  This isn’t conspiracy theory.  The government has plans for just about everything.
 
Police Equipped Like the Military and Training With the Military

There are many cases of joint “Urban Warfare Training” with military and local police agencies.  This brings up many questions, some of which are; since the police and military have different objectives, why are the two training together?  SWAT is usually the premium tactical police unit.  Why would local police agencies need this type of training for other officers?  Since we’re spending millions of dollars a day on a foreign war, why not train there with equipment that is already there?  Why would the military need to train on American soil?

Several local police agencies have used DHS funds to acquire military style equipment.  This also brings up questions.  I can understand some border towns or towns with a high gang population needing some heavier firepower, but the article states that Fargo, North Dakota spent $8 million on equipment that at one time was reserved for military only.
 
Over a 1.5 Billion Rounds

In the last year, DHS has ordered over 1,500,000,000 rounds of ammunition to be delivered over the next five years.  It was reported on Infowars.com that:

“Congressman Timothy Huelscamp revealed this week that the Department of Homeland Security has refused to answer questions from “multiple” members of Congress regarding its recent purchase of huge amounts of weapons and ammunition.

“They have no answer for that question. They refuse to answer that,” Huelscamp said.

“I’ve got a list of various questions of agencies about multiple things. Far from being the most transparent administration in the world, they are the most closed and opaque,” the Congressman added.”

DHS said that it is for their 100,000 officers for use over the next five years.  Some quick math shows that will give each officer 15,000 rounds each, to use over the next five years.  That breaks down to 3000 rounds a year or 250 rounds a month.  That settles it, I want to become a DHS officer!  I also know, from going through our local Citizen’s Academy and other sources, most law enforcement agencies don’t go through that much ammunition in a year, let alone a month!
 
Drones

I don’t remember the year drone attacks started being used on foreign soil, but it was a year or two later before Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born member of al-Qaeda was killed by a drone strike in 2011.  I remember there was a lot of debate on whether or not the President had the authority to order the assassination of an American citizen without that citizen having due process.

To be honest, I had mixed feelings at the time; it’s not like we could send police to his American address to arrest him.  If we asked Yemen to hand him over, we would have been told to hold our breath.  On the other hand, it is a slippery slope, which recently has gotten a lot slipperier.

The Telegraph recently published an article called Barack Obama ‘has authority to use drone strikes to kill Americans on US soil’

Eric Holder argued that using lethal military force against an American in his home country would be legal and justified in an “extraordinary circumstance” comparable to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“The president could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland,” Mr. Holder said.

This is a completely different ball game.  If the offending terrorist is on American soil, we should make every effort to capture them and facilitate due process.  We could send beefed up local law enforcement that has the military style gear and has been training with the military. (tongue-in-cheek)

Seriously, summarily killing an American citizen on American soil without a trial or any due process sounds a lot like Stalin’s Russia when people feared a knock on the door in the middle of the night.  We should do better!
 
Final Thoughts

There are a few other things that I didn’t include because I couldn’t find a source I trusted enough.  If those things are true, then we’re in a lot worse shape than I thought.  If I can confirm them, I will let you know.  I don’t know what all of this means, but there is just too much for it to simply be dismissed.  I’ve spoken before about cognitive dissonance, a term coined by psychologist Leon Festinger in 1954, which is a psychological phenomenon that refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation.  These are often two opposing views.  The things mentioned in this article created cognitive dissonance for me.  The commonly held belief for me is the country I love and served.  The competing viewpoint is what it looks like it might be becoming.  I do not just blame President Obama.  President Bush gave us DHS, among other things.

Add it all up and it’s easy to see why people “throw the baby out with the bathwater”.  It can be hard to remember the good sometimes.

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