Monday, May 19, 2008
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) plans to build three new internment camps on both coasts and on the Southwestern border, each of which will house up to 50 men and women in addition to 150 children involved in immigration cases.
The federal government is accepting bids on the contracts from county governments or private companies to build and run the "family detention centers".
The LA Times reports:
The agency calls for minimum-security residential facilities that would provide a "least restrictive, nonsecure setting" and provide schooling for children, recreational activities and access to religious services.
The proposal... says the contractor should structure programs "designed to prevent escapes" and should provide a plan that "monitors resident movement and physically counts residents."
The ICE already runs two of the camps, one of which hit the headlines at the end of 2006 after residents in Taylor Texas held protests outside the facility.
The T. Don Hutto detention center, which is privately run by a company called Corrections Corp. of America, currently interns political asylum seekers who came to the U.S. on legal visas. Most of them are families including pregnant women and children who have never been accused of any wrongdoing but are forced to endure squalid conditions inside literal internment camps.
In 2004 the facility was on the verge of being shutdown due to lack of occupancy but new immigration policies, allied to the burgeoning growth of the prison industry and future plans to detain American citizens on masse, have revived the potential scope of the camp, and a new contract to intern 600 individuals was finalized with immigration authorities in December 2005.
Fury was sparked and charges of overcrowding and poor conditions leveled when it was revealed that an estimated 645 people were being held in the facility which has only 500 or so beds.
Other residents were horrified to witness children playing behind giant mesh barbed wire fences in the camp "playground". When the center opened, children were given hospital scrubs to wear, forced to use communal bathrooms, forbidden to have toys and allowed only one hour of recreation per day, attorneys involved in a legal challenge said.
However, while some residents held vigil protests, locals said that other residents of the town were completely oblivious to the fact that the camp even existed, never mind its function and purpose.
The protests have since died down yet Hutto remains open. A court settlement decreed that children be allowed to wear pajamas, move freely around the center and bring toys into their rooms. Individual bathrooms have also been installed and metal doors have been turned into murals. A swathe of cosmetic alterations that do nothing to counter the facility's status as a fully fledged internment camp in America.
Watch the following short film on the internment center by Matt Gossage and Lily Keber, one of the only public reports on a subject that has otherwise been entirely censored by the corporate news media.
"After the horrible conditions that were revealed at the Hutto facility, it is very disappointing that the government appears to want to produce more immigration prisons for families and children," Ahilan Arulanantham, a staff attorney at the Southern California office of the ACLU told the LA Times.
Suspicions will undoubtedly be cast as to whether the new facilities are part of a wider agenda to set up a network of internment camps that will be used to forcibly detain American citizens under emergency provisions. The pretext for this was set in the summer of 2004, when thousands of protesters in New York for the Republican National Convention were forcibly detained, some for over 24 hours, without charge in an asbestos infested disused bus facility known as Pier 57, or "Guantanamo on the Hudson" as other labeled it.
During the Iran Contra hearings in the 80's, previously classified information came to light about Continuity of Government (CoG) procedures in times of national crisis. The masterminds behind these programs were Oliver North, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and the Rex-84 'readiness exercise' discussed the plan to round up immigrants and detain them in internment camps in the context of uncontrolled population movements across the Mexican border.
The real agenda was to use the cover of rounding up immigrants and illegal aliens as a smokescreen for targeting political dissidents and American citizens . From 1967 to 1971 the FBI kept a list of persons to be rounded up as subversive, dubbed the "ADEX" list.
Since 9/11 shadow government and CoG programs that were outlined in Rex-84 have been activated, including mass warrantless wiretapping of American citizens. The internment camp program is being readied for execution following the announcement on January 24th that Halliburton subsidiary KBR (formerly Brown and Root) had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps.
A much discussed and circulated report, the Pentagon's Civilian Inmate Labor Program, has recently been updated and the revision details a "template for developing agreements" between the Army and corrections facilities for the use of civilian inmate labor on Army installations."
The pretext given for which the camps would be used as reported by the New York Times was stated as, "an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space."
Following the news first given wide attention by this website, that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root had been awarded a $385 million dollar contract by Homeland Security to construct detention and processing facilities in the event of a national emergency, the Alternet website put together an alarming report that collated all the latest information on plans to initiate internment of political subversives and Muslims after the next major terror attack in the U.S.
The article highlighted the disturbing comments of Sen. Lindsey Graham, who encouraged torture supporting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to target, "Fifth Columnists" Americans who show disloyalty and sympathize with "the enemy," whoever that enemy may be.
Respected author Peter Dale Scott speculated that the "detention centers could be used to detain American citizens if the Bush administration were to declare martial law."
Daniel Ellsberg, former Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense, called the plan, "preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters. They've already done this on a smaller scale, with the 'special registration' detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo."
George Bush has declared himself to be dictator and to have supreme power over and above the limitations of the US Constitution. Bush administration officials like Alberto Gonzales have declared Bush to be "above the law." White House advisors are openly discussing the legality of crushing a child's testicles as part of the war on terror. Preparation for the internment of thousands of Americans who are 'disloyal' in times of emergency are afoot.
Under the enemy combatant designation anyone at the behest of the US government, even if they are a US citizen, can be kidnapped and placed in an internment facility forever without trial. Jose Padilla, an American citizen, spent over four years in a Navy brig before being brought to trial.
One of the last acts of Congress in 2006 was to send President Bush a bill that establishes a $38 million program of National Park Service grants to preserve Japanese POW internment camps in Hawaii, California, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. Is this really in the name of historical interest or does it dovetail with programs on the books to intern hundreds of thousands of dissidents in a time of crisis?