Press TV Covers FEMA

(PRESS TV)   In light of the recent popular protests in various parts of the world — particularly in Egypt — some conspiracy theorist have hinted at the possibility of the US government using FEMA camps to hold potential protesters.

Some of these theories suggest that the government is prepared to turn FEMA camps into “concentration camps” holding “civilians” deemed a potential threat to the US government.

Such claims prompted Press TV to take a closer look at FEMA and its activities:


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by a Presidential Order on 1 April 1979.

FEMA had one original concept when it was created, to assure the survivability of the United States government in the event of a nuclear attack on the nation.

It was also provided with the task of being a federal coordinating body during times of domestic disasters, such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes.

Some people have referred to it as the “secret government” of the United States. It is not an elected body, it does not involve itself in public disclosures, and it even has a quasi-secret budget in the billions of dollars.

The National Governor’s Association asked President Carter to streamline the nation’s disaster response mechanism.

Like the George W. Bush effort to bring agencies under the umbrella of Homeland Security, Carter created FEMA to combine the efforts of dozens of agencies. But just as Homeland Security has done with Katrina, the new FEMA bungled its first tests with the Washington Post reporting, “The new anti-disaster agency is on the verge of becoming a disaster itself.”

Prior to 1950, the federal government stayed out of local disasters for the most part, with only an occasional congressional appropriation when absolutely necessary. But in that year, Congress gave the president the power to declare disasters and dispense monetary aid.

Controversy surrounding FEMA

Not surprisingly, with the advent of FEMA, the number of national disasters began to balloon. However, it was not until Hurricane Andrew in August of 1992 that FEMA began to morph into what it now is.

A lot of money went to the victims of Andrew, but politicians were beginning to see the potential in natural disasters. A community college got a new parking lot. Miami Beach got new art deco lifeguard stands. The then-governor of Florida, Lawton Chiles, obtained $25 million for a new prison that had nothing to do with the hurricane.

FEMA was not created under Constitutional law by the Congress. It was a product of a Presidential Executive Order.

FEMA has the power to suspend laws, move entire populations, arrest and detain citizens without a warrant and hold them without trial, it can seize property, food supplies, transportation systems, and can suspend the Constitution.

In 2004, the federal government used hurricane aid money to pay funeral expenses for at least 203 Floridians whose deaths were not caused by last year’s storms, the state’s coroners have concluded.

As of 2008, FEMA had only spent about 6 percent of its budget on national emergencies; the bulk of their funding had been used for the construction of secret underground facilities to assure the continuity of the government in case of a major emergency, foreign or domestic.

Executive Orders associated with FEMA

Here are just a few Executive Orders associated with FEMA that would suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These Executive Orders have been on record for nearly 30 years and could be enacted by the stroke of a Presidential pen:

* EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

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

* EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

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

* EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into 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 operate a national registration of all persons.

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

* 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, inland waterways and public storage facilities.

* 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 and economic or financial crisis.

* 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.

* EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.

* EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.

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