Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Friday, April 14, 2006

What of the $385 Halliburton contract for American internment camps?

It's a question that's been on my mind recently, given a spate of articles suggesting that China will indeed allow 38,000 undocumented immigrants who've been denied US citizenship to return to China.

"US, China close to deal on repatriating 39,000 illegal immigrants - UPDATE"

"Growing expectations for Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States":
Illegal immigrants. “We've reached a meeting of the minds and a common approach on the issue of repatriation of illegal migrants with China,” U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said. There currently are some illegal 39,000 Chinese immigrants in the United States.
While this comes as a relief of sorts, that Chinese won't be held in US internment camps with their families, Peter Dale Scott over at New American Media says that the camps could be used to detain not just immigrants but also dissenting American citizens:

The contract -- announced Jan. 24 by the engineering and construction firm KBR -- calls for preparing for "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs" in the event of other emergencies, such as "a natural disaster." The release offered no details about where Halliburton was to build these facilities, or when. . . . . .

"Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters," says Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military's account of its activities in Vietnam. "They've already done this on a smaller scale, with the 'special registration' detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo."
I think that this is entirely possible if Bush declares martial law. This contract has 2 upsides for Bush and his cronies:

1) it makes his nearsighted hunting buddy Dick Cheney and his former company Halliburton a nice bundle of cash, since you have to have a continuous war either domestically or abroad (think a variation of Orwell and the constant war with Eurasia, I mean Eastasia, no, Eurasia) to keep folks distracted from slumping economy, impending housing bubble burst, high unemployment and underemployment, distrust of Republican cronism and corruption, etc. and

2) you can get your ass sent straight to jail/internment if you don't like how things are. God forbid you actually have an informed opinion about what's going on. Between so-called "special reigstration" and Chinese internment camps in the US it's a stellar time to be an Asian American social justice activist.

Steve Gilliard has a different idea of what they might be used for: as a holding place for our Iraqi allies once they get kicked out of their homes. After all, you need to be able to distinguish between the "friendly" boat people and those who wish to do us harm:
This will be the new home for our Iraqi allies when they are forced from their homes. It's not code, it's what it says, preparing for the second wave of "boat people". If the US wat in raw ends ugly, Iraqis who worked with anyone connected with the West will have to leave with us. Because if they don't, they will be murdered in a way close to what happened in Rwanda.

Bush is unlikely to be planning to detain citizens, but instead, sorting through the thousands of new American citizens from Iraq, sorting out who's a spy, who isn't. You need camps for that. Also time to sort out who will sponsor these people. And to keep the nutters away from them.

Bush may be talking up Iraq, but someone else is planning for a collapse.
Neither option provides me with much hope or confidence. I think the best thing to do is to just try to gut this contract, since it's a "contingency contract." Best way to do this is before they start building.


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