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By Mark Anderson

A bill introduced on Jan. 22 of this year “to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations,” as the text of HR 645 actually states as its central purpose, could conceivably be geared toward creating what many Americans have feared in recent years—detention centers, or concentration camps, on American soil.

These fears are more acute these days due to the imploding economy, swine flu scares and other fear factors—real, imagined or concocted—that could lead to food runs, bank runs, and other signs of civil unrest that may spark a government crackdown.



Thus, AMERICAN FREE PRESS, in dealing with an issue that includes speculation and unverified sightings of these detention facilities, takes a cautious approach to monitor this issue. AFP obtained a copy of HR 645 and determined that the bill had just two cosponsors as of July 13. On Feb. 6 it was referred to the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities. It apparently has not moved.

So, the bill’s status regarding potential passage appears to be nearly “dead in the water,” but there is much more to this subject than HR 645, whose sponsor is U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Florida Democrat whose career has been mired in controversy and wrongdoing.  Regardless of its status, the bill’s text reads like it’s mainly about emergency recovery for first responders, various other local, state and federal personnel and the general public—although the Defense and Homeland Security secretaries, not just emergency management agencies, are directly involved in decisionmaking. The bill calls for “not fewer than six national emergency centers on military installations,” which would be located in designated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regions. The bill specifies “a preference for designation of closed military installations.”


There are many of these since a special panel, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, began to close bases when the “ColdWar” with the USSR ended.

The bill also states it would provide for creating facilities “capable of hosting the infrastructure necessary to rapidly adjust to temporary housing, medical and humanitarian assistance needs. . . .”

But whenever closed military installations are not available, the bill’s wording says that the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security “shall jointly designate portions of existing military installations . . . as national emergency centers.”

Notably, the use of former military bases, or parts of operational ones, is what many observers say is apparent when they venture out to view U.S. detention facilities that reportedly have already been built, HR 645 notwithstanding. Martial law could be right around the corner, some fear, pointing to 15 executive orders that—if ever implemented—would give the federal government control over all communications, food, transportation and almost everything else imaginable.  Thus, the big picture regarding this issue is disturbing, but also is unclear. A lengthy list of about 800 alleged detention centers/concentration camps has circulated on the Internet for several years. AFP west coast correspondent Anthony Hilder, an author and filmmaker, said in March 2009 (see AFP news video posted at that a Russian-made film, Concentration Camps in America, claims to have solid proof that such camps are a reality and are sitting empty, awaiting some sort of major civil breakdown—be it another terrorist attack or mass influx of illegal aliens—that would justify a limited or full-scale use of such facilities, many of which are said to have guard towers, barbwire, various barracks and other menacing surroundings.

Hilder himself said that, of the places on the list, perhaps 40 percent are actual camps, in his estimation.

In the Midwest, for example, the list of camps includes everything from a former hospital across from the Crown Point, Indiana county jail—the hospital is reportedly 80 percent vacant and is thought to be a Federal EmergencyManagementAgency holding facility—to the highly scrutinized former Amtrak repair facility in Marion County, Indiana near Indianapolis, where the rail lines, the high razor-wire fencing, the huge vacant buildings, color-coded zones allegedly designed for processing incoming people, helicopter landing pads and other physical features suggest to observers that this is among the largest detention centers in the continental United States.

Another large facility is claimed to be in Alaska at, or near, Elmendorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage, with a capacity of 500,000. The biggest of them all is said to be just outside of Fairbanks, which is described as having a capacity for 2 million people, with mental health facilities.

AFP will continue probing this subject while checking out facilities across the nation.

Interestingly, HR 645’s sponsor, Rep. Hastings, is a former federal judge who is one of only six judges ever to be impeached by the U.S. Congress—which is no small distinction in a nation where federal impeachment efforts rarely get past first base. Previously a practicing attorney, Hastings spent 10 years as a federal judge until 1989 but was impeached, convicted and removed from office for corruption and perjury. “He was the sixth federal judge to be impeached and removed from office in American history,” hisWikipedia online profile states.  The 23rd District Democrat, first elected to the U.S.  House in 1992 and never seriously challenged for his seat since then, was impeached for some early shenanigans that caught up with him. Back in 1981, he was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for a lenient sentence and the return of seized assets for 21 racketeering counts against Frank and Thomas Romano. Hastings also was charged with perjury in his testimony about the case. So in 1988, the Democraticcontrolled House took up the case, and Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury by a resounding vote of 413-3. He was then convicted by the Senate in 1989.

Prior to his impeachment, he was acquitted by the jury in the Romano case after his alleged co-conspirator, William Borders, refused to testify in court (resulting in a jail sentence for Borders).


EXECUTIVE ORDER 12148 created the Federal Emergency Management Agency that is to interface with the Department of Defense for civil defense planning and funding.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 12656 appointed the National Security Council as the principal body that should consider emergency powers. This allows the government to increase domestic intelligence and surveillance of U.S.  citizens and restrict the freedom of movement within the United States of civilians and grant the government the right to isolate large groups of civilians. The National Guard could be federalized to seal all borders and take control of U.S. air space and entry ports.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all transportation.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all fuel depots and power plants.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into federal work brigades.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the postmaster general to run a national registration.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including ones in the commercial service.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, waterways and public storage.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions or crises.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

MARK ANDERSON is a longtime newsman now working as a corresponding 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 # 30, July 27, 2009)

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