July 1, 2009
A press release buried on the FEMA website, dated June 30, 2009, announces a meeting between FEMA administrator Craig Fugate and Maj. Gen. Yair Golan of the Israeli Defense Forces Home Front Command. “I look forward to working with my Israeli counterpart as co-chair of an emergency management work group to improve emergency management practices in both countries,” said Fugate. “These partnerships are critical in ensuring that we are incorporating best practices and also working towards greater public preparedness.”
|TOPOFF exercises concentrate on terrorist attack scenarios.|
The Israeli National Emergency Management Authority and FEMA partnership was established under “an emergency management work stream workgroup established under a 2007 Memorandum of Understanding with DHS,” according to the press release. FEMA representatives attended the national preparedness exercise Turning Point 3 in Israel on June 1, 2009, and Israel sent observers to the TOPOFF 4 national exercise in the United States, as well as personnel to participate in FEMA emergency management training.
TOPOFF, or Top Officials, is billed as “the nation’s premier terrorism preparedness exercise” by the Department of Homeland Security. “Thousands of federal, state, territorial, and local officials engage in various activities as part of a robust, full-scale simulated response to a multi-faceted threat,” the DHS website explains.
Later this month, FEMA will hold National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09). “NLE 09 will be the first major exercise conducted by the United States government that will focus exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery,” according to the FEMA site.
Turning Point 3 is a “war simulation” conducted by Israel’s IDF and Home Front Command. “The five-day drill, to be coordinated by the Defense Ministry together with the Home Front Command, is intended to test Israel’s preparedness at all levels, from the government down to the citizen in the street. It is also meant to check the coordination between local authorities and the various military and other organizations involved,” Arutz Sheva notes.
As we noted in April in regard to NLE 09, these coordinated exercises are inappropriate, considering the fact there has not been a terrorist attack on the United States since September 11, 2001.
[efoods]The DHS and FBI have shifted from so-called Islamic terrorism — well documented as a manufactured threat — to “homegrown” terrorism. In recent months, the DHS has characterized patriot groups, pro-life and anti-illegal immigration activists as “rightwing extremists” threatening the homeland. In the wake of several violent incidents attributed to “white supremacists,” the corporate media has stepped up its mantra that patriot groups and extremist “lone wolves” are a threat.
Although not specifically mentioned in the FEMA factsheet, NLE 09 will also include exercises designed to round-up and intern suspected terrorists. Under REX 84 and other operations, FEMA, in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies, trained to detain large numbers of American citizens.
Israel has plenty of “best practices” experience in rounding-up “terrorists” in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. As noted by human rights groups, Palestinian detainees are held, often for indefinite periods, on secret charges at locations that are rarely disclosed to their families. Most of the Palestinian detainees have never been charged, never been tried, and never have seen a lawyer, according to Mitchell Kaidy, writing for WRMEA. In the 1980s, the Israeli Landau Commission discovered that Israeli security police tortured prisoners not only to extract information but to extract confessions.
Israel is now sharing this experience with their American partners under the guise of “emergency management.”
In addition to “exercising” mass detainments, NLE 09 will concentrate on preparing various governmental bodies and organizations for a “Code Red” alert, in other words full martial law. In 2003, then DHS secretary Tom Ridge told CBS News: “If we simply go to red… it basically shuts down the country,” meaning that civilian government bodies would be closed down and taken over by an Emergency Administration. The Israeli Defense Forces Home Front Command is designed for the same purpose.
“In turn, code red alert would trigger the ‘civilian’ Homeland Emergency response system, including the DHS’ Ready.Gov instructions, the Big Brother Citizen Corps, not to mention the USAonWatch and the Department of Justice Neighborhood Watch Program which have a new post 9/11 mandate to ‘identify and report suspicious activity in neighborhoods’ across America,” Michel Chossudovsky wrote in 2005.
Since 2005 and the election of Barack Obama, the government has made strides in creating a Big Brother Citizen Corps. In addition to passing the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act — the foundation for Obama’s “civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded” as the U.S. military — Democrats are pushing H.R. 675, a bill that would amend title 10 of the United States Code and extend to civilian employees of the Department of Defense the authority to execute warrants, make arrests, and carry firearms.