Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Left and Right – Beck to the Examiner - Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory

The notion that the Federal Government is building “internment” camps for United States Citizens who may openly revolt against the government has been getting a good deal of traction in recent weeks. One would think that this brouhaha began a few weeks ago with Glen Beck, radio talk show host and Fox News Commentator. In an appearance on Fox and Friends, where Beck stated that he was unable to debunk the rumors of FEMA camps

What are FEMA camps? Some contend that FEMA camps are military bases that have been transformed into detention centers in order to accommodate U.S. Citizens should the need for martial law arise. This thesis is based upon a FEMA “REX 84”, which stands for: Readiness Exercise, 1984, or a preparedness exercise that was put into place in 1984 under the Reagan Administration. FEMA routinely coordinates with other Federal Agencies in preparation for the next “Katrina”, an example of a one such exercise is available here at FEMA. The language used in several FEMA Readiness Exercises does use the language “foreign or domestic terrorist”, which may be taken out of context by those who are not familiar with the term “homegrown terrorism” (See London Subway Bombings).

This concept of interring United States Citizens in military camps is not owned by those one would consider “right of center”, consider an article by William Cormier on OpEdNews. pleading with the President to incarcerate Chuck Norris and Company.

Maybe I was wrong; it appears that the FEMA internment camps will serve a purpose - and that’s to house those who are attempting to undermine our own government. The people have spoke, loud and clear, and President Obama is our new President - and that is the will of the majority of the people of America.

Mr. Cormier is referring to Chuck Norris’ participation in a Glen Beck Exercise called: “We Surround Them”. The premise: empower average American Voters by reminding them that elected officials work for the people (nothing new there), further, Beck does not confine his vitriol to Democrats, rather all parties involved in partisanship practices.
From Glen Beck.com:

Do you watch the direction that America is being taken in and feel powerless to stop it?

Do you believe that your voice isn’t loud enough to be heard above the noise anymore?

Do you read the headlines everyday and feel an empty pit in your stomach…as if you’re completely alone?

If so, then you’ve fallen for the Wizard of Oz lie. While the voices you hear in the distance may sound intimidating, as if they surround us from all sides—the reality is very different. Once you pull the curtain away you realize that there are only a few people pressing the buttons, and their voices are weak. The truth is that they don’t surround us at all.
We surround them.

So, how do we show America what’s really behind the curtain? Below are nine simple principles. If you believe in at least seven of them, then we have something in common. I urge you to read the instructions at the end for how to help make your voice heard.
The Nine Principles
1. America is good.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

As far as one is able to discern, nothing contained within the above appears to be insurrection or “treasonous” as Mr. Cormier ascertains.

What of Mr. Norris? Cormier cited an article form the Examiner which, in turn, used an article that Chuck Norris wrote for World Net Daily. In that article, Norris discusses his appearance on a Glenn Beck Radio segment, in which he noted he would run for “President of Texas”. He also outlined his intent to host a “We Surround Them” party. The Examiner then attributed the “We Surround Them” concept to Norris, not Beck, and the rest, of the Daily Kos blogs ran with it as “gospel”.

Conclusion: There is nothing wrong with Beck’s concept, (although Mr. Norris may have to wait quite a while before there is an opening for a “President of Texas”), bringing together groups of Americans and reminding them that we the people, put the legislatures and the administration in office and are perfectly capable of making changes (legally through elections). There is a problem when practices put into effect under the Reagen Administration are used as fodder for alarmists on both sides of the political blog spectrum.

Next Bill introduce in the 111th to come under intense scrutiny House Bill 645, introduced by by Democrat Alcee Hastings of Florida. The Bill’s intent is to establish military housing for those displaced through natural disasters.

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