The inimitable Representative Alcee Hastings (D-Fl), has introduced HR 645 (www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-645), a bill requiring the Homeland Security Department to establish at least six “six national emergency centers” at military facilities in the U.S., for reasons of emergency preparedness, for housing “large numbers of individuals” for “an extended period of time” but also to “to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security” (Section 2.b.(4)). These sites will eventually be transferred from the Department of Defense to the Department of Homeland Security.
Jerome Corsi at WorldNetDaily (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=87757) has taken note of this bill but I have not yet seen it discussed elsewhere. I am assuming that “other appropriate needs” include detention of prisoners relocated from Gitmo but, given the totalitarian direction The One Party has taken and the language of HR 645 that refers to “large numbers of individuals” and “extended periods of time,” it is fair to ask if detention of political opposition will also become an “appropriate need.” This question is especially urgent since a Bush Administration Executive Order NSPD-51/HSPD-20 of May 2007 also gives the President the authority to declare a national emergency and take over the direction of all governmental bodies, from federal to tribal, without even consulting Congress (Also reported by WorldNetDaily at (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55825).
President Obama’s desire to create a “civilian national security force” is a well-known fact. He has let us know in no uncertain terms even before being elected that “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set[.]…We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.” Equally well known is his impatience with a Constitution with enumerated powers. I imagine that, to him, NSPD-51/HSPD-20 is a G-dsend.
Imagine this civilian security force (read “people’s militia” or “Sturmabteilung”); well armed, I am sure, owned by The One Party and responsible only to The One, running these emergency centers…
At the very least, this bill needs extensive modifications to protect American civil liberties. I would propose at least the following:
- Opposition to the sitting government and political party in power, no matter how widespread, shall never be construed as a national emergency.
- The national emergency centers shall never be used to confine people specifically because of their political views or political party affiliation.
- In order to continue receiving funding for the Department of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall report to Congress each fiscal quarter that the national emergency centers are being used in accordance with the above guidelines, and that they are not being used in any manner that would abridge the rights of United States citizens.
Not that such language would ever deter any determined community organizer, but it sure is worth trying.