Reports have been growing in a variety of factions of the alternative press regarding the growing number of FEMA facilities that are for all intents and purposes concentration camps. Is there anything to these reports, or is it simply another embarrassing example of wild and dangerous speculation on the part of the tin foil hat crowd? In order to understand the answer to these questions, it’s important to understand what a concentration camp is, what the alternative media reports claim the facilities to be, as well as the official explanation for the facilities and the history of civilian containment plans in recent American history.
A concentration camp can be defined as anywhere that a large number of people are imprisoned without due process, especially if they are done so due to political reasons or because they are minorities within the society. Although concentration camps are most frequently associated with the hundreds of such camps that were operated by German Nazis in the last century, it is not necessary to require forced labor or extermination to be considered a concentration camp. For instance, the forced internment of the Japanese within America during World War II technically occurred at concentration camps. These may have been called internment camps, but they fit the definition of a concentration camp.
The reports that are alleging that the hundreds of new FEMA facilities that they claim are being built or renovated nationwide are for the purposes of gathering illegal aliens and visa violators while they are being processed back to their nation of origin, as well as for the purpose of gathering up potential dissenters who are American citizens, who will be subsequently stripped of their citizenship without due process thanks to articles of the 2006 HR 6166, also known as the Military Commissions Act. Many argue that the building of these prisons is but one step in a chain of events deliberately set in motion to strip American citizens of their freedoms.
That’s a pretty bold allegation, and the first step to understanding whether there is anything to the alternative media claims is hearing the official story on the matter. This is a little easier said than done, as nearly all of the writing about this issue is shrill in tone, light on facts, and universally generated by those who are claiming that the facilities exist. Although there articles that point out that X amount of millions of dollars was allocated for facility renovations, it is unclear where this money went, and the individuals making the claims are a far cry from federal accountants. The documentary footage that claims to be of these facilities merely shows facilities that exist off the beaten track and are marked off by barbed wire. Having a security guard tell the camera person to get off the property is not evidence of a conspiracy, nor is playing footage of barbed wire and no trespassing signs to a sound track of Pink Floyd songs terribly convincing.
Part of what fuels the fire for theories about federal programs to quell political unrest is that these programs have been clearly proven to exist. Although they have been around since the history of the nation, many point to REX 84 as recent proof of programs that value the continuity of government over the freedom of its citizens in times of national crisis. This measure was partly discussed during the Iran-Contra hearings during which it was revealed that Lt. Col. Oliver North had participated in working with FEMA to pass a measure that would suspend the constitution during periods of extreme national crisis. In more recent years, the 2007 Defense Authorization Act and Military Commissions Act have caused many to worry what exactly constitutes a national crisis that would be sufficient to institute martial law.
The threat of any federal government to take freedom away from its citizens is a real one, and people are right to be vigilant against this threat. If there are indeed facilities being constructed to house immigration violators, then it is time to answer whether these facilities are concentration camps or simply detainment centers for individuals receiving due process. However, there seems to be very little meat on the bone of their existence outside a haze of vague media reports and shrill internet forums.