There is a story online about a job description for Internment Resettlement Specialist. I looked it up on http://www.goarmy.com and found it on the “Careers and Jobs” page. Some folks are really upset because one of the responsibilities for one who advances in this career is to “Provide command and control, staff planning, administration/logistical services, and custody/control for the operation of an Enemy Prisoner of War/Civilian Internee (EPW/CI) Camp.” I guess you can see the upsetting part is “Civilian Internee”? Given that Obama wants to know if we say anything “fishy” about his healthcare plan and some people are concerned about the flu vaccine being forced on us, among other things, this has put some folks just about over the top. Keeping in mind that God is in complete control of my life so whatever happens is for a purpose and, that there is a really neat organization of law enforcement and military folks (even firefighters) who will not trample our rights (see http://oathkeepers.org/oath/), I did a bit of digging. Here is what I learned:
The Department of Defense defines a “Civilian Internee” as, “1. A civilian who is interned during armed conflict or occupation for security reasons or for protection or because he has committed an offense against the detaining power. 2. A term used to refer to persons interned and protected in accordance with the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in time of War, 12 August 1949 (Geneva Convention).”
We are doing this overseas right now. And remember we had US citizens of Japanese descent in camps during WWII? I don’t think our government would be able to pull off anything like that again-at least not right now. This is not a statement on any ‘war’ that we have going on right now but, this isn’t a new job and it is a necessary job. And, we could say it only applies during war so it’s not to haul us off if we don’t want to evacuate for a disaster. However-
There is a bill, HR 645 – National Emergency Centers Establishment Act, which calls for emergency centers to be set up on military bases. Here is the section of the bill which tells us how many centers and why:
SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY CENTERS.
(a) In general – In accordance with the requirements of the Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish not fewer than 6 national emergency centers on military installations.
(b) Purpose of National Emergency Centers – The purpose of a national emergency center shall be to use existing infrastructure-
(1) to provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster;
(2) to provide centralized locations for the purposes of training and ensuring the coordination of Federal, State, and local first responders;
(3) to provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations; and
(4) to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
That last part is disturbing. Well, some other parts are as well since this spring Texas thought it was necessary to “clarify” the law so that it plainly says if we refuse to evacuate during a mandatory evacuation order we may be “forcibly removed” from our homes.
Now for some good news. According to GovTrack there are about 10,000 bills and resolutions introduced in congress during each two year session. This is the third go-round for this bill. It has been introduced each time by Rep. Alcee Hastings [D-FL]. He’s never had more than 2 or 3 cosponsors. And the bill, like most bills, has never made it out of committee.
What can we do about this? Keep your eye on this bill and if it gets out of committee let your representative know what you think about it. If you live in his or one of the cosponsors districts and he or she runs for congress again and you don’t like this bill, then shout it from the rooftops. Help his or her opponent (if they are a good choice) to win. Another thing is don’t take FEMA money if you suffer damages from a disaster! If we accept the money we get the strings. There are other sources of help available.
Now, to follow the advice of Ludwig Von Mises, who said, “People must fight for something they want to achieve, not simply reject an evil”, I think we ought to throw our support behind H. R. 450 – The Enumerated Powers Act. This bill calls for congress to show where the constitution grants authority for bills and laws that they pass. It was introduced by Rep. John Shadegg [R-AZ] and has 48 (FORTY-EIGHT!) cosponsors. It was introduced on January 9, 2009, and it is still in committee. There are two committees assigned to this bill: the Judiciary Committee and the House Rules Committee. My congressman is on one of these committees. If yours is, you can contact him or her and ask that they deal with this bill and get it out for a vote. If your congressman is a cosponsor let them know you appreciate it. If H. R. 450 could be passed then things like H. R. 645, along with nearly 9,999 other bills and resolutions would not even be brought up.
Addendum, September 8, 2009: H. R. 450 has a companion bill in the senate, S. 1319. It was introduced by Senator Thomas Coburn [R-OK] and so far has 21 cosponsors. This bill is also in committee.
Addendum, September 16, 2009: H. R. 450 now has 51 cosponsors in the house.