October 30, 2012
Hurricane Sandy’s blustery entrance and exit gave the New York Times the opportunity to climb up on its soapbox and celebrate FEMA and large government. It also provided the establishment’s Newspaper of Record the chance to slam Romney for his insincere campaign rhetoric on states’ rights.
“It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning. FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen,” the Times writes.
Oddly, the Times characterizes FEMA as a “properly functioning federal agency” despite the fact most of its budget has found its way into “black” and classified projects. In short, it is a front for secret government operations. A 1992 study by the Cox Newspapers Group found that during 1982-1992 FEMA’s budgets included only $243 million for disaster relief but $2.9 billion for black ops, according to Harry Helms, author of Inside the Shadow Government: National Emergencies and the Cult of Secrecy.
“Not only is it the most powerful entity in the United States, but it was not even created under Constitutional law by the Congress,” writes Harry V. Martin.
Since Carter’s pen stroke in 1979, we have learned quite a bit about FEMA, none of it reported by the New York Times, however.
During the Reagan regime, the agency acquired a new mandate, namely COG, or Continuity of Government. In April, 1984, Reagan signed Presidential Directive 54, authorizing FEMA to conduct a simulation of a “state of domestic national emergency,” codenamed Rex 84, or Readiness Exercise 1984. Rex 84 called for suspending the Constitution, declaring martial law, placing military commanders in charge of state and local governments, and detaining large numbers of American citizens considered to be “national security threats.”
Rex 84 was based on a plan cooked up at the Army War College by FEMA boss Louis Giuffrida. It proposed the detention of 21 million “militant” Americans. The military had concurrent plans to impose martial law, most notably Operation Garden Plot and Lantern Spike.
Congressman Jack Brooks attempted to explore Rex after reports about the secret program surfaced in the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987. During the Iran-Contra Hearings, Brooks mentioned Rex 84 as he questioned Col. Oliver North, who was both National Security Council White House Aide and NSC liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the principal author of the Rex 84. Brooks was cut short by Senator Daniel Inouye, who said any mention of the program “touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area.”
“One aim of the Rex 84 exercise was to determine what types of national emergency would be severe enough to persuade the majority of Americans to accept even a temporary suspension of normal Constitutional government. Among the severe enough situations identified by the Rex 84 group were a nuclear attack, imminent threat of nuclear war, massive terrorist attacks in the United States, simultaneous rioting in major American cities, a widespread natural or environmental disaster, and a devastating economic depression,” writes Harry Helms.
“The crux of the problem is that FEMA has the power to turn the United States into a police state in time of a real crisis or a manufactured crisis. Lt. Col. North virtually established the apparatus for dictatorship.” explains Harry V. Martin. “Only the criticism of the Attorney General prevented the plans from being adopted. But intelligence reports indicate that FEMA has a folder with 22 Executive Orders for the President to sign in case of an emergency. It is believed those Executive Orders contain the framework of North’s concepts, delayed by criticism but never truly abandoned.”
The New York Times repeats the falsehood that FEMA is all about natural disasters when a closer examination of the “agency” reveals what its true purpose is – not hurricane relief (which has consumed only a fraction of its budget) but the continuity of a secret government most Americans know little or nothing about. The New York Times is one of its most trusted and reliable propaganda outlets.