In 1982, President Ronald Reagan issued National Security Directive 58 which empowered Robert McFarlane and Oliver North to use the National Security Council to secretly retrofit FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to manage the country during a national crisis. The 1984 "REX exercises" simulated civil unrest culminating in a national emergency with a contingency plan for the imprisonment of 400,000 people. REX 84 was so secretive that special metal security doors were installed on the FEMA building's fifth floor, and even long-term officials of the Civil Defense Office were prohibited entry. The ostensible purpose of this exercise was to handle an influx of refugees created by a war in Central America, but a more realistic scenario was the detention of American citizens. STATE OF EMERGENCY Under "REX" the President could declare a state of emergency, empowering the head of FEMA to take control of the internal infrastructure of the United States and suspend the constitution. The President could invoke executive orders 11000 thru 11004 which would: 1- Draft all citizens into work forces under government supervision. 2- Empower the postmaster to register all men, women and children. 3- Seize all airports and aircraft. 4- Seize all housing and establish forced relocation of citizens. FEMA, whose black budget comes from the Department of Defense, has worked closely with the Pentagon in an effort to avoid the legal restrictions of Posse Comitatus. While FEMA may not have been directly responsible for these precedent-setting cases, the principle of federal control was seen during the Los Angeles riots in 1992 with the federalization of the National Guard and during the siege at Waco, where Army tanks equipped with flame throwers were involved in the final conflagration.
Below from the lesson plans of a 6th grade teacher................
We were forced to leave our homes and businesses with little or no warning. People lost everything they had for all their lives. It was really cruel and harsh. We arrived at the camp in the middle of a snowstorm wearing our summer clothes. We lived in tar-paper barracks where sand and dust came in through cracks in the walls, windows, and floors. After living in well-furnished homes with every modern convenience, this was an abominable existence.
The camp was surrounded by barbed wire. Guards with machine guns were posted at watchtowers, with orders to shoot anyone who tried to escape. Why was our government doing this to us? We were patriotic citizens, anxious to prove our loyalty.
Answer the following questions concerning the above diary entry. Elicit varied student responses.
Who might have written this?
Where was this person?
When was it written?
What were the circumstances under which it was written?
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Questions and comments about this lesson may be directed to: Jo Lyn Stricklin.