New Orleans: Dress Rehearsal for American Lockdown

September 24th, 2005 - by admin

Carolyn Baker / – 2005-09-24 08:57:11

(September 13, 2005) — The war has come home to America, right here, right now and so have myriad questions so disturbing that most Americans, even if they know what the questions are, are terrified to ask:
Why is Blackwater USA, the principal mercenary force outsourced by the Pentagon to fight in Iraq, now patrolling the streets of New Orleans?

Why the disgraceful, ghastly slowness of response by the federal government to the Katrina disaster? Why FEMA’s destruction of communication lines and implacable refusal to allow food, water, and medicine into the city? (, September 6).

Why have reconstruction and clean-up contracts conveniently fallen, with perfect timing, to Halliburton and Bechtel, the two US corporations most infamous for their expertise in rebuilding Iraq and worldwide whatever the US military has blown up?

Mainstream media and the Internet are abuzz with stories of FEMA’s “gutting” by the federal government as the agency became part of the Department of Homeland Security, as if FEMA were some sort of altruistic savior who could have rescued New Orleans if only it had been granted sufficient funding. In reality, FEMA’s obstruction of assistance, not only from the likes of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and several European nations, but from humanitarian organizations inside the United States is mindboggling. For a complete list of efforts blocked by FEMA see:

In order to begin answering the endless disturbing questions, we must understand what FEMA actually is. In Sheila Samples’ excellent September 10 article (, she emphasizes the origins of FEMA in the 1980s under its architect, Oliver North. North’s Operation Rex 84, or Readiness Exercise 1984, was a plan by which the the federal government would accommodate the detention of large numbers of American citizens during times of emergency.

Through Rex-84, an undisclosed number of concentration camps were set in operation throughout the United States, for internment of dissidents and others potentially harmful to the state. Existence of the Rex 84 plan was first revealed during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987, and subsequently reported by the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987. (

Disaster Relief vs. Population Management
For decades since North’s operation was disclosed, many dissidents have assumed that as in Nazi Germany, concentration camps were being secretly constructed for the incarceration of Americans. While this may be more than merely an assumption, there has been little speculation about what specific purpose such camps might serve — until the Katrina disaster. In the aftermath of the South Coast hurricane, we saw massive numbers of evacuees relocated throughout the nation.

Particularly since 9-11, FEMA has been very little about disaster relief and very much about “population management.” Katrina has underscored what the federal government and virtually all Americans already knew—the chaos that results from natural disasters. What the federal government knows, but most Americans don’t know is the pandemonium that will result as the consequences of Peak Oil exacerbate.

In the United States, all non-organic food growers use commercial pesticides and fertilizers on agricultural products. These have either a petroleum or natural gas base, thus insuring that as petroleum and natural gas prices increase, so will food prices. Moreover, what happens when trucking companies go belly up from gas prices, when truckers can no longer afford fuel, and when their axles break because interstates are in dis-repair as a result of the prices or shortages of the petroleum needed to build roads?

What happens when the housing bubble bursts, when massive unemployment engulfs the nation, and when hundreds of thousands or millions of people must walk away from their mortgaged homes? Add to this, the likely crashing of the US dollar and the certainty of more natural disasters. Anarchy may not even approach the description of such a scenario. Enter FEMA’s mandate and machinery, thanks to Blackwater, to maintain order.

“Peak Oil” Will Require “Demand Destruction”
One of the harshest realities of Peak Oil — but as old as the infanticide practiced by ancient civilizations — is “demand destruction”, also known as population control. In a recent article, Mike Ruppert explained its integral role in a global energy crisis:

“Demand destruction” has become a priority not only to mitigate Peak Oil but also to mitigate global warming. The United States, with 5% of the world’s people, consumes (wastes) 25% of the world’s energy. How do you destroy demand? You collapse the economy. Homeless, unemployed “refugees” (what a cold, depersonalizing term) don’t buy gas, take trips, fly on airplanes or buy consumer goods (made with energy and requiring energy to operate).

They don’t use air conditioning because they can’t afford it. They are the embodiment of Henry Kissinger’s infamous term “useless eaters,” a phrase from the Nazi vocabulary. If energy demand destruction, as acknowledged by the Bilderbergers and the CFR [Council On Foreign Relations], is a priority, then the only – I repeat only – beast that must be tamed is the United States.

As we witnessed the American Apartheid of relocating masses of African-Americans to cities throughout the nation, how chilling was FEMA’s promise of a $2,000 debit card for each person, then its decision to give these “useless eaters” a check for $2,000 when most have neither a checking account nor personal identification!

In addition, the very fact that so many of these individuals are living from paycheck to paycheck, on the brink of homelessness, underscores the likelihood that many of them will be forced into bankruptcy which may accelerate freefall into homelessness as the Bush Administration’s Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act becomes law on October 17.

Bush’s ‘Banckruptcy Abuse’ Act
Remember the Patriot Act—that 300-page piece of legislation passed in the middle of the night on October 26, 2001 which almost no members of Congress had a chance to read? You know, the one that shredded the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? How appropriate that the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act will become law almost four years to the day after the Patriot Act was passed.

It appears that FEMA did not think this one through, but alas, things are not necessarily as they seem. Certainly, the ruling elite would not intentionally arrange for millions of indigent evacuees to suddenly “litter” the streets of America. A more likely scenario could be debt servitude. I can already hear the FEMA offer that no penniless refugee could refuse: “We’d like to give you a job helping to clean up New Orleans or the South Coast. We can’t pay you minumum wage, however, since the President cancelled minimum wage by Executive Order. We also notice that you have quite a bit of debt, but never fear, we will give you the opportunity to ‘work off your debt’ by coming to work for us until you debt is satisified.”

Will this be Readiness Exercise 2005, 2006, 2007, ad infinitum?

Deregulating the Diaster Response
With every national emergency, the fascist agenda of this government will come more clearly into focus. On September 10, Tom Curry listed in his article, “Hurricane Spawns Flurry Of Deregulation,” ( the Bush Administration’s most recent rulings in the name of hurricane and oil supply relief:

• Starting last Wednesday and until next Wednesday, the federal Department of Transportation has eased rules on how many hours truckers can drive when transporting fuel.

• The Environmental Protection Agency has suspended until next Thursday certain federal fuel standards in response to possible diesel and gasoline shortages. The suspended rules are designed to combat high ozone and sulfur emissions.

• Bush has ordered suspension of provisions of the Jones Act, which requires transport of petroleum, gasoline and other petroleum products on US-flagged ships while operating in US coastal waters.

• Senate Environment and Public Works chairman Sen. James Inhere, R-Okla., said Congress would need to waive a law that limits federal emergency road building funds to $100 million per state per emergency and that limits full federal funding to 180 days.

• The House unanimously passed a bill allowing the Department of Education to waive the repayment requirement for low-income college students who received Pell grants. Normally if a college student drops out of school, he must pay back the unused portion of his Pell grant.

• On Thursday, Bush suspended the Davis-Bacon law on all federally financed construction in areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. That law requires the federal government to pay the “prevailing wage” on construction projects, which is often higher than the local minimum wage. Suspending Davis-Bacon will allow the government to pay lower than prevailing wages, and Bush said, “will result in greater assistance to these devastated communities and will permit the employment of thousands of additional individuals.”

• House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, saw a need for a new energy bill as a result of the hurricane. “When one hurricane, as massive as it was, can knock out about 20 percent of our (oil and natural gas) facilities, it shows how vulnerable we are,” he said. In order to expand the long-term US oil and gas supply, DeLay wants to open parts of the country that are currently off-limits to oil and gas drilling. Large swaths of the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts are under a federal moratorium on oil and gas exploration until the year 2012.

Congress does not need to approve these decisions. They have been pronounced by fiat, frighteningly reminiscent of Hitler’s unilateral directives in Germany in the 1930s. As Sheila Samples notes, FEMA has not been gutted; it is the Patriot Act on crack!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

© Copyright Carolyn Baker,, 2005