July 28th, 2002 – 4:42 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

The article this excerpt comes from is from 1999, and it discussed the possiblity of internment camps being used for Serbian-Americans in the event of war with Yugoslavia. Chillingly enough, much of what it discussed can even more easily be applied to the current “war on terrorism”:

“In early 1984, when the Reagan administration was contemplating full- scale military intervention in Central America to bring about the overthrow of the Nicaraguan Sandinista regime and to defeat the leftist FMLN guerrillas in El Salvador, a group of National Security Council personnel was assigned to draft contingency plans for domestic security and anti-terrorist actions in the event of such a war. Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver North was in charge of this effort, which included a secret plan to suspend the US Constitution, declare martial law, and appoint military commanders to run state and local governments.

The NSC team, together with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), carried out a training exercise, called Rex ’84 Alpha, from April 5 to April 13, 1984, to rehearse the measures which would be necessary at the onset of a US war in Central America. Rex 84 simulated a mass roundup of Central American immigrants in the United States, clearly modeled on the World War II detention of Japanese-Americans.

Together with these Nicaraguan-Americans, Salvadorean-Americans and Guatemalan-Americans, Oliver North proposed to arrest ‘known communist terrorists.’ He did not list which organizations and individuals would fall in this category, but it would undoubtedly have included members and supporters of many socialist, antiwar and peace groups. One such group, labeled a suspected “terrorist” organization and subjected to FBI spying and infiltration, was the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), many of whose members were priests, nuns and other liberal Catholics.

Under the terms of National Security Decision Directive No. 52, issued by Reagan on April 6, 1984, as many as 400,000 people were targeted for arrest and confinement in former US Army bases–four times the number of arrests carried out by the Roosevelt administration during World War II. This for a war in which the ‘enemy,’ the impoverished countries of Central America, was just as unlikely to ‘land on our shores’ as Milosevic. (For a fuller account, see the Bulletin, July 7, 1987, the Miami Herald, July 5, 19 and 26, 1987, and the pamphlet Labor Must Act on Iran-Contra Crisis, available from Mehring Books.)”

Read the full article here.

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