E. Camayd-Freixas / US Immigration Reform and Its Global Impact & History Commons – 2018-12-11 23:09:00
Trump Echoes Washington’s Secret Plans to
“Shut Down Government” and “Suspend the Constitution”
“I would be proud to shut down the government for border security. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”
— Donald J. Trump, December 11, 2018
Oliver North’s Garden Plot:
The Government’s Secret Plan for Martial Law
To Suspend Constitution in Response to a
“Mass Exodus” across the US/Mexican Border
US Immigration Reform and Its Global Impact:
Lessons from the Postville Raid
E. Camayd-Freixas / Palgrave MacMillan (2013)
[Excerpt] — From 1982 to 1984, Oliver North, serving as NSC liaison to the newly created Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA, est. 1979), worked with FEMA directors in drafting Rex 84 (Readiness Exercise 1984): a COG [Continuity of Government â€“ EAW] secret contingency plan that called for suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the United States over to FEMA, appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law during a national crisis â€“ understood to be nuclear war, violent and widespread internal dissent or national opposition against a military invasion abroad.
The plan included surveillance of political dissenters and preparations for the detention of up to 400,000 refugees, undocumented aliens, or US residents and citizens, in response to “national security threats” such as a “mass exodus” from across the Mexican border or domestic “civil unrest” in protest against a possible US invasion of Central America.
Rex 84 had its roots in a larger preparedness plan that had been in place since 1968 â€“ the US Army Civil Disturbance Plan, codenamed “Garden Plot” â€“ drafted after the 1967 “race riots,” sparked by police brutality and opposition to the Vietnam War, in Harlem, Watt[s], Newark, Detroit, and over 160 predominantly black neighborhoods across the country.
Garden Plot broadly targeted “racial unrest, anti-draft and anti-Vietnam demonstrations, ‘core city’ and ‘blue collar’ neighborhoods,” focusing intelligence on “percentage and distribution of the minorities population” and “indicators of potential violence” such as “high unemployment, income disparities, declining rapport with local officials,” as well as “migrations of large numbers of minority groups.”
Army and National Guard troops were deployed various times under the plan during the 1960s and 1970s. On May 4, 1970, at Kent State University, the Ohio National Guard, using tear gas and M1 military assault rifles with bayonets, opened fire against a crowd of unarmed student protestors, killing 4 and wounding 9 others, in what became known as the Kent State massacre.
During the 1971 May Day Protests in Washington, DC, mover 10,000 army troops, 2,000 national guardsmen, and 5,000 metropolitan policemen illegally arrested over 12,600 Vietnam War protestors, in the largest mass arrest in US history. Thousands were detained without food or water at a makeshift detention center set up in RFK Stadium. All but 79 arrestees were later released without charges. A class action lawsuit for violation of constitutions freedom of assembly forced the federal government to pay a historic compensation.
By the 1990s, troops were superseded by paramilitary riot police at major events, such as the Rodney King riots, the Seattle WTO riots, the NAFTA summit in Miami, and various political conventions.
Context of ‘1987: Senator Bars Oliver North from
Answering Question about Suspension of Constitution’
Members of the Reagan administration run a secret shadow government that operates outside of official channels and circumvents Congressional oversight. The Miami Herald reports in July 5, 1987:
“Some of President Reagan’s top advisers have operated a virtual parallel government outside the traditional cabinet departments and agencies almost from the day Reagan took office, Congressional investigators and administration officials have concluded.”
Figures involved in the secret structure include Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, National Security Adviser William Clark, CIA Director William Casey, and Attorney General Edwin Meese.
Secret contacts throughout the government act on the advisers’ behalf, but do not officially report to them. The group is reportedly involved in arming the Nicaraguan rebels, the leaking of information to news agencies for propaganda purposes, the drafting of martial law plans for national emergencies, and the monitoring of US citizens considered potential security risks.
The secret parallel government is tied to the highly classified Continuity of Government (COG) program, originally designed to keep the government functioning in times of disaster.
From 1983 to 1986, North reportedly leads the parallel structure from his office in the Old Executive Office Building across from the White House. Sources tell the Miami Herald that North’s influence within the shadow government is so great that he can alter the orbits of surveillance satellites to monitor Soviet activity, launch spy aircraft over Cuba and Nicaragua, and “become involved in sensitive domestic activities,” which apparently include monitoring US citizens with sophisticated surveillance software (see 1980s).
The existence of the secret structure is uncovered during investigations into the Iran-Contra affair, but the details of the shadow government are never fully disclosed.
During the hearings, Representative Jack Brooks (D-TX) is prevented from questioning North regarding his involvement (see 1987). In a secret memo to the chairmen of the Iran-Contra committee, Arthur Liman, chief counsel to the panel, writes that behind the arms scandal is a “whole secret government-within-a-government, operated from the [Executive Office Building] by a lieutenant colonel, with its own army, air force, diplomatic agents, intelligence operatives, and appropriations capacity.”
Some officials interviewed by the Miami Herald believe the group of advisers first formed during the late stages of Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign (see October 1980) . . . .
As a part of the plan to ensure Continuity of Government (COG) in the event of a Soviet nuclear strike or other emergency, the US government begins to maintain a database of people it considers unfriendly. A senior government official who has served with high-level security clearances in five administrations will say it is “a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.”
He and other sources say that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core, and one says it was set up with help from the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Alleged Link to PROMIS — The database will be said to be linked to a system known as PROMIS, the Prosecutor’s Management Information System, over which the US government conducts a long-lasting series of disputes with the private company Inslaw. The exact connection between Main Core and PROMIS is uncertain, but one option is that code from PROMIS is used to create Main Core.
PROMIS is most noted for its ability to combine data from different databases, and an intelligence expert briefed by high-level contacts in the Department of Homeland Security will say that Main Core “is less a mega-database than a way to search numerous other agency databases at the same time.”
Definition of National Emergency — It is unclear what kind of national emergency could trigger such detention. Executive orders issued over the next three decades define it as a “natural disaster, military attack, [or] technological or other emergency,” while Defense Department documents include eventualities like “riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, [and] disorder prejudicial to public law and order.”
According to one news report, even “national opposition to US military invasion abroad” could be a trigger.
How Does It Work? — A former military operative regularly briefed by members of the intelligence community will be told that the program utilizes software that makes predictive judgments of targets’ behavior and tracks their circle of associations using “social network analysis” and artificial intelligence modeling tools.
“The more data you have on a particular target, the better [the software] can predict what the target will do, where the target will go, who it will turn to for help,” he will say. “Main Core is the table of contents for all the illegal information that the US government has [compiled] on specific targets.”
Origin of Data — In 2008, sources will reportedly tell Radar magazine that a “host of publicly disclosed programs . . . now supply data to Main Core,” in particular the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs initiated after 9/11. [Radar, May 2008.]
President Reagan announces the creation of the Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board (EMPB) “to improve mobilization capabilities and interagency cooperation within the federal government to respond to major peacetime or war-related emergencies.”
The board will study emergency preparedness responsibilities and make policy suggestions to the president, the National Security Council (NSC), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to the White House, the new board consists of “representatives from 22 federal agencies at the deputy secretary or under secretary level, and is chaired by the assistant to the president for national security affairs.”
A full-time secretariat, chaired by a senior official from FEMA, is to oversee the EMPB and the implementation of its recommendations. The board will consist of 11 separate working groups: industrial mobilization, military mobilization, food and agriculture, government operations, emergency communications, civil defense, social services, human resources, health, law enforcement and public safety, and economic stabilization and public finance.
The EMPB will later be criticized for becoming overly powerful and militarizing the nation’s emergency management programs. National security affairs expert Diana Reynolds will later comment:
“By forming the EMPB, Ronald Reagan made it possible for a small group of people, under the authority of the NSC, to wield enormous power. They, in turn, used this executive authority to change civil defense planning into a military/police version of civil security.” [White House, December 29, 1981.]
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop plans for implementing martial law in the event of a national emergency. The plans are developed under the highly classified Continuity of Government (COG) program, which is designed to ensure the survival of the federal government in times of disaster.
As a member of the National Security Council (NSC), North is assigned to the Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board (EMPB), formed by President Reagan to coordinate civil defense planning among the NSC, FEMA, and White House (see December 29. 1981).
According to the Miami Herald, the martial law plans would “suspend the Constitution in the event of a national crisis, such as nuclear war, violent and widespread .” [Emphasis added â€“ EAW] Sources will claim North is involved in a major domestic surveillance operation as part of the COG program (see 1980s and 1980s or Before). During investigations into the Iran-Contra affair, Representative Jack Brooks (D-TX) will be barred from asking North about his involvement with the plans and the secret program (see 1987).
During the hearings on the Iran-Contra affair, Representative Jack Brooks (D-TX) puts a question to National Security Council officer Colonel Oliver North about a secret plan he has developed to suspend the constitution and intern people in the event of an emergency (see 1982-1984). Referring to a recent article in the Miami Herald, he asks: “Colonel North, in your work at the NSC, were you not assigned at one time to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster.”
However, Senator Daniel Inouye (D-H), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Iran-Contra, immediately cuts Brooks off, saying, “I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area, so may I request that you not touch upon that, sir.”
Brooks pushes for an answer, saying: “I read in Miami papers and several others that there had been a plan by that same agency [FEMA] . . . that would suspend the American Constitution. I was deeply concerned about that and wondered if that was the area in which he [North] had worked.” Nevertheless, no answer is allowed to be given. [US Congress, 1987; Radar, May 2008]
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