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FEMA Detention Site Plans Exposed


By Mark Anderson

If, God forbid, Americans are ever rounded up in large numbers during a natural or manmade disaster, where could they be detained? Well, perhaps look no further than the school building next door, the office building around the corner or the stadium downtown. And besides existing military installations, state fair grounds, horse stables, airports “and maybe even a hotel” also could be used as detention centers.

That’s according to Restore the Republic’s Gary Franchi at Freedom Law School’s recent Health & Freedom Conference. Franchi was one of several speakers who gathered at the Airport Hilton in Ontario, Calif., March 12-15 to talk about cutting-edge developments in health and politics.

Many vigilant Americans have become aware of some apparently underutilized military facilities and other installations around the nation that seem designed to detain large numbers of people but are largely empty.

Unsubstantiated rumors and urban legends have been circulated, and Franchi was careful not to overstate this issue. But he said there is cause for considerable concern in these post-9-11 days when the normal patriotic impulses of Americans are being relabeled as radical or even on par with terrorism by federal agencies.

Franchi told the conference audience that on April 1, 1979, under Executive Order 12127, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created but it unfortunately was “no joke” for April Fools Day. Just as FEMA was absorbed nearly 25 years later by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FEMA at its birth absorbed the Department of Defense civil-preparedness functions that designated schools, office buildings and other structures as atom bomb “fallout shelters” starting in the 1950s during the Cold War days with the Soviet Union.

DHS, created on the direct recommendation of the 9-11 Commission, that purported to deeply study what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, says, under its “Goals and Objectives” statement (Part VI), that its mission is to “protect our nation from dangerous people.”

Now under the DHS umbrella, FEMA’s three basic objectives, according to its own policy, are: national emergency recovery, continuity of government and “to combat perceived threats to the social and political order,” Franchi emphasized.

He showed an aerial picture of “FEMA City,” the drab barracks set up in Florida after Hurricane Charlie. These cookie-cutter mobile homes were “free housing with nosebleeds,” Franchi said, referring to the effects of chemical fumes emitted from the shoddy building materials.

The area, courtesy of FEMA, became a crime haven. Any genuine public benefit was marginal at best.


Fast-forward to Highland Mall in Austin, Texas, claimed by FEMA in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a place to put Louisiana refugees entering Texas. The New Orleans Superdome itself was “another
private building used to house refugees,” Franchi added.

Given the ongoing “war on terror” and the threat to the people’s liberties that can arise from “anti-terror” measures, combined with steep economic decline and the procedures and policies that FEMA and DHS have developed or are still developing, Franchi says the situation looks grim unless Americans protest now and show they are informed of, and actively opposed to, potential plans to imprison large numbers of people, lest Americans bite the dust the way the USSR people did when they were sent to brutal labor camps amid political turmoil and the demonizing of “unlawful” political beliefs.

Pointing to the World War II detention of thousands of Japanese-Americans, Franchi said the detaining of Americans has already happened. Recall that during Woodrow Wilson’s days, many notable war dissenters were imprisoned in a nation supposedly dedicated to free speech. So it’s only a question of circumstance, as Franchi sees it.

The FBI’s Project Megiddo in 1999, the Missouri Information Analysis Center “militia” report from February 2009 and the April 2009 DHS report Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, are among the reports that have tried to tie Americans’ concerns and beliefs to supposed violent tendencies, so these linkages can be transformed into the “truth” and used to arrest political dissidents, just like what happened in the early 20th century, said Franchi.

He added that the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has long tried to influence law enforcement and legislation, has issued yet another report that follows a similar tack. His research is in the documentary Camp FEMA. “We cannot let these people . . . intimidate us; we are sovereign U.S. citizens, and nothing is going to stop us from [resisting] this tyranny,” Franchi said, noting that public television stations may help.
* For a great primer on FEMA camps, get a copy of AFP’s special report Concentration Camps in America. One copy is $3, six copies are $10 and 40 or more are 50 cents each. Send check or money order to AFP at 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Suite 100, Washington, D.C. 20003.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the deputy editor for American Free Press. Together he and his wife Angie provide many photographs of the events they cover for AFP. Mark welcomes your comments and inputs as well as story leads. Email him at at

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(Issue # 13, March 29, 2010)

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