I’d heard rumors of “FEMA Death Camps” for several years now, and wondered why more people weren’t freaking out about them. I’d seen photos of some, and seen some suspicious things myself, so I figured they existed, but was surprised more people didn’t talk about them.
When I first went searching online, I found quite a few sites that had links to a video, and a Glenn Beck segment supposedly debunking the “Death Camps”. The Glenn Beck segment focused only on the most famous video – a film made in the early 1990’s of an Amtrak repair facility by a woman who was radical (crazy?) enough to be ousted from the conspiracy-militia community. So, to Beck’s credit, he’s right: that video is garbage.
What about all the other photos, firsthand accounts, published memos, testimonials, records, and video that are available online? It seems there is something to the “conspiracy”, and that something is indeed frightening.
I’ve been telling people about current bills that have provisions to be worried about, like the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (S.277), which will give the President the power to shut down the internet (including private networks) if there is a “cyber emergency”. I also wrote about the FCC “diversity czar” and the plot (moving along nicely) to eliminate nationally syndicated talk radio. I’ve warned people that the power the government has to arbitrarily add citizens to the “terrorist watch list” or “no fly list” is spooky, especially when current members of the OA want to use it to create a national “can’t own a gun” list.
Like most Americans, I was split in my feelings on the USA Patriot Act of 2001. On the one hand, it seemed to add additional protections against terrorists, and provided the government with additional told needed to “catch the bad guys”. Unfortunately, when things calmed down, the act was renewed anyway, and we got a new presidency who can use it at their advantage. One of the first things the OA did was to declare a wide range of ordinary – but mostly conservative/republicans & libertarians (the very people who opposed the OA) – “potential terrorists”. In an internal packet titled: “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climates Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”, the OA Homeland Security head declares gun owners, people who stockpile ammunition, people who oppose abortion, returning war veterans, and people who oppose the current administration or are anti-big government “rightwing extremists”. If people who oppose the abuse of our federal government are considered terrorists, the dangerous portions of the Patriot Act are applicable to them. Scared yet?
In my US History class at the college, I learned that other spooky laws are still in effect. The Espionage Act of 1917, which made it illegal to speak out against the government (and try to convince people the war was wrong), or to interfere with the operations of the armed forces (as many now do in trying to stop shipments of equipment to Iraq), is largely still in effect. A handful of laws redefined the reach of the government and protected some rights of the citizens, protecting a little more free speech, but other parts of the law are still in effect. The following year, the Sedition Act of 1918 was added as an amendment to the Espionage Act. It required the US Postal Service to refuse to deliver mail to persons who were “known” to be anti-government, and provided heavy penalties for anyone caught speaking ill of the government, burning a flag, etc. The sedition act largely restricted free speech and freedom of the press. (Fortunately it was repealed in 1920).
In browsing the “FEMA Camp” pages that were available online, I found some texts re-printed on several. One covered executive orders, which have been used to start wars (Clinton in 1999) or systematically round up and incarcerate American citizens based on race (FDR’s infamous Executive Order 9066 that caused the internment of the Japanese and was in response to anti-Asian sentiment in the US during the 1900’s, though was sold to the American people as a necessary protection during a time of war). Some of the specific examples of executive orders it listed are as follows:
Allows the government to take control over all modes of transportation, highways, and seaports.
Allows the government to seize and control the communication media.
Allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels, and minerals.
Allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
Allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
Allows the government to take over all health, education, and welfare functions.
Designates the Postmaster General to operate national registration of all persons.
Allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.
Allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.
Allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways, and public storage facilities.
Specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.
Grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.
Assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.
Allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and flow of money in the U.S.A. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.
* 11051, under JFK, was revoked by Executive Order 12148, which (under Carter) established FEMA.
Carter also issued Executive Order 12170, which froze all Iranian assets within the US (similar to some of the more controversial provisions of the US Patriot Act, with the difference here being that the Act was voted upon by congress, while the EO was not).
This list may not be accurate. I was unable to find some examples, while others have been changed by more recent Executive Orders, or their spookiness superseded by acts of congress. The important thing about the list, however, is that the Presidents of the US have the power to issue Executive Orders, whether or not the citizens agree with the content of those orders. That, in itself, is frightening power.
During WW2, FDR issued Executive Order 9066, which called for the internment of all Japanese-Americans. While itself an unbelievable violation of human rights, the preparation for the internment was itself a terrifying conspiracy. Asian-Americans had been killed, run out of town, and taken advantage of in the Western US since the 1800s. The Chinese “coolies” were abused and treated as less-than-human, despite their contributions to the great railroads and the mining industry. When the Japanese came, they were mostly farmers. In the 1920s and 1930s, various organizations, like the Grange (of which FDR was a member) The government considered the “Japanese Problem” as early as the 1930’s, and even studied some locations for possible prison camps and relocation communities, but those that were considered were determined to have unfavorable (or dangerous) climate shifts (freezing winters, scorching summers). When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, FDR found the excuse he needed, and wasted no time in implementing the round up, ordering facilities be built in the very same areas that had been deemed unfit earlier.
Much of America was largely unaware of the imprisonment of the Japanese, but those who were – mostly those in the big cities on America’s Pacific Coast – either viewed it as a ‘relief’ and took great advantage of the Japanese, buying their properties and belongings – or agreed with the official government position that the internments and relocations were ‘necessary for the security of the country”.
Though we’d like to think “never again”, in 1987, during the Iran-Contra hearings, Lt. Colonel Oliver North told of a
“…contingency plan providing for the suspension of the Constitution, the imposition of martial law, and the appointment of military commanders to head state and local governments and to detain dissidents and Central American refugees in the event of a national crisis.” (Wikipedia: Rex 84)
This plan, called “Rex 84” (Readiness Exercise 1984) was drafted by FEMA, and is an exercise developed to test the government’s ability to detain large numbers of refugees or American citizens in the event of a national emergency. One of the “out-there” excuses for such a plan was that civil unrest and the unstable governments in Central and South America could lead to mass migrations into the United States.
Exercises like Rex 84 had been going on – and continue to go on – in the US. At some point, the government began building camps along the US-Mexico border, and continue to maintain empty camps (manned with guards), and citizens stumbling upon such camps continue to keep the “FEMA Death Camp” conspiracy alive. One such description is as follows:
The first one we observed was in Palmdale, California. It is not operating as a prison at the moment but is masquerading as part of a water facility. Now why would there be a facility of this nature out in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no prisoners? The fences that run for miles around this large facility all point inward, and there are large mounds of dirt and dry moat surrounding the central area so the inside area is not visible from the road. There are 3 large loading docks facing the entrance that can be observed from the road. What are these massive docks going to be loading?
We observed white vans patrolling the area and one came out and greeted us with a friendly wave and followed us until we had driven safely beyond the area. What would have happened had we decided to enter the open gate or ask questions?
This facility is across the street from the Palmdale Water Department. The area around the Water Department has fences pointing outward, to keep people out of this dangerous area so as not to drown. Yet, across the street, the fences all point inward. Why? To keep people in? What people? Who are going to be it’s occupants?
There are also signs posted every 50 feet stating: State of California Trespassing Loitering Forbidden By Law Section 555 California Penal Code. (Terry Kings, afpn.org)
It is fairly easy to find lists of some of these alleged “Prison Camps” and their locations online. The lists are more or less accurate, including known and acknowledged camps like Sand Point Naval Station in Seattle (used in 1999 to house thousands of captured WTO protesters), or the Enemy Combatant war prisoner camp at Fort Dix in New Jersey … and also supposing that some of the internment camps from WW2 will be re-opened, based on part of the orders never being removed. (I doubt these camps will be re-used, as most were torn down and have not been rebuilt, except in part as museums. Communities in these former areas are also likely to be more sensitive to any strange camps being built, so it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense).
In 1995, famed UFO conspiracy “expert” (he was invited to speak at a lot of conventions) Phil Schneider claimed the following in a speech he made in Post Falls, Idaho:
“Recently, I knew someone who lived near where I live in Portland, Oregon. He worked at Gunderson Steel Fabrication, where they make railroad cars. Now, I knew this fellow for the better part of 30 years, and he was kind of a quiet type. He came in to see me one day, excited, and he told me ‘they’re building prisoner cars.’ He was nervous. Gunderson, he said, had a contract with the federal government to build 107,200 full length railroad cars, each with 143 pairs of shackles. There are 11 sub-contractors in this giant project. Supposedly, Gunderson got over 2 billion dollars for the contract. Bethlehem Steel and other steel outfits are involved. He showed me one of the cars in the rail yards in North Portland. He was right. If you multiply 107,200 times 143 times 11, you come up with about 15,000,000. This is probably the number of people who disagree with the federal government. No more can you vote any of these people out of office. Our present structure of government is'”technocracy’, not democracy, and it is a form of feudalism. It has nothing to do with the republic of the United States….I believe we can do better. I also believe that the federal government is running the gambit of enslaving the people of the United States. I am not a very good speaker, but I’ll keep shooting my mouth off until somebody puts a bullet in me, because it’s worth it to talk to a group like this about these atrocities.” (PHIL SCHNEIDER, May, 1995)
Schneider was found dead, under mysterious circumstances, less than a year later. Even so, why believe a UFO conspiracy guy? Schneider was full of tall tales, and some of his claims have been debunked by various individuals. I probably would have scratched out this part of my notes if it weren’t for one tiny little fact: Schneider wasn’t the only one who made these kinds of claims, and many others who did also provided photographic evidence.
The stories are pretty much consistent. Someone hired a contractor somewhere to build some box cars outfitted with shackles. These cars were painted white and positioned around the country at the supposed “concentration camps” or left on remote extensions of railroad track in the wilderness. Hunters have allegedly stumbled upon them, and politicians and government-wary law enforcement, military and politicians have pointed them out and questioned their purpose. According to some reports (which often involve conversation with foreign troops stationed within the US), these cars are part of a United Nations contingency plan. According to others, they are a part of FEMA.
In some stories, they are “two-story” boxcars, as shown in the photo above.
In 1995 the US Air Marshalls and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) joined to form the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transport System (JPATS). JPATS operates one of the largest prisoner transportation systems in the world, and has their own fleets of jets, planes, and ground transportation. According to issues and alibis, JPATS operates on a regular basis in 40 major cities, as well as in all cities as needed.
More reported accounts appear on the issuesandalibis.org page, including the following:
“Reports from Lee Harrington of Valier, MT, who was a professional metal worker informed us of Glascow, MT, summer youth workers who were employed to weld shackles into boxcars in that operation.
They were then shipped west to Glacier and stored on remote sidetracks. Passing through the Blackfoot Indian Reservation in Cutbank, a local Blackfoot Indian, George Bullcalf, spotted these strange boxcars, some with open doors and shackles, plainly visible, passing through the reservation. Interviews conducted in Columbia Falls confirmed that hunters often stumbled upon such boxcars on remote train spurts in that wilderness region. “
In New Hampshire, the “Live Free Or Die” state, a spokesperson for a watchdog group claimed to have seen three-tiered white railroad cars fitted with shackles.
One of the best sources of these stories (and probably where those I just cited came from originally) is a post on the Portland Independent Media Center (portland.indymedia.org) website. Numerous claims are made, including an email (purporting to be from an executive at Gunderson) claiming there is a $1000 reward for photographic proof of the Gunderson boxcars. If you wade through the thread, you can also find a post by someone claiming to be a Gunderson employee who said the three-tiered cars are used to transport automobiles, and the “shackles” are dimples where brackets are welded in to allow goods to be tied down.
I don’t know what to believe about the boxcars. By themselves, this conspiracy is a little thin. I remember in the 1980’s there were rumors about the “White Train” that would go through town at night carrying nuclear waste from Hanford to INEL, and it had a distinct whistle. Whenever I’d hear the whistle, I’d jump out of bed and run down the road to the hill overlooking the railroad, trying to see the train. I frequently saw white containers, but I see those same containers now, and I don’t think they are what I thought they were as a child. Maybe “white boxcars” is part of the paranoid mythology, like “men in black” or “black helicopters”.
When considered alongside the mysterious fenced in camps, and within the context of the law – what the government is permitted to do, it really isn’t that surprising that there could be white boxcars for transporting large groups of prisoners. I’ve watched Seattle police operate out of boxcar-like containers before & they have “paddy wagons” of similar size (though usually painted the local police colors). We also know, since Katrina, that the government has access to a lot of portable housing and supply vehicles.
I don’t buy into this “New World Order” conspiracy business, though. It’s likely these things are related to FEMA or Homeland Security because those are some of the government agencies assigned to this sort of things. I don’t think these were created as part of a Bush conspiracy (despite what the Left said a few years ago) because they were already around in the 1990’s. I think it is better for people to document and spread the evidence and lay off the super-conspiracy. Most of the time, the truth turns out to be far more terrible.
US Army document: Installations – Civilian Inmate Labor Program (Army Regulation 210-35)
The more I study and learn, the less I believe some of this conspiracy. There are definitely “camps” or low-security imprisonment areas, but most of these are accounted for on public lists. When you really investigate the boxcar sightings, you’ll find more evidence and “eyewitness accounts” that explain them away, down to the tiniest detail.
It won’t make me cool or anything, but I believe our government is just and honest. That doesn’t mean our “politicians” are, but the programs and approved projects and structures are fair. If there is any truth to these stories, it is for good reason that these things exist.
– IR, September 2010