Militarization And Annexation
Of North America
By Stephen Lendman
19 July, 2007
the Bush administration's imperial aims and permanent war on the world,
add the one at home below the radar. Its weapons include the WTO, NAFTA,
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, CIA, NSA, NORTHCOM, militarized
state and local police, National Guard forces, paramilitary mercenaries
like Blackwater USA, and all other repressive instruments of state power
and control. They target the people of three nations slowly becoming
one headquartered in Washington. That's the apparent aim of those in
power here wanting one continent, "indivisible" minus old-fashioned
ideas like "liberty and justice for all" we used to believe
in when, as kids, we recited our "Pledge of Allegiance." They
now have a whole new meaning. They're just words drummed into young
minds hoping they'll still believe them when they're old enough to know
There may be a greater scheme
for the planet ahead, but this article only focuses on what we know
about and how it's unfolding so far. It has a name, in fact, several,
but they all aim for the same thing - one nation, indivisible, where
three sovereign ones once stood, headquartered in Washington.
The Security and
Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) or "Deep Integration"
North American Union
SPP was formerly launched
at a March 23, 2005 meeting in Waco, Texas attended by George Bush,
Mexico's President Vincente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.
It's a tri-national agreement hatched below the radar in Washington
containing the recommendations of the Independent Task Force of North
America. That's a group organized by the powerful US Council on Foreign
Relations (CFR), Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), and Mexican
Council on Foreign Relations. It advocates greater US, Canadian and
Mexican economic, political, social, and security integration with secretive
working groups formed to devise non-debatable agreements that, when
completed, will be binding beyond the power of legislatures to change.
It's also taking shape without public knowledge or consideration.
From what's already known,
SPP unmasked isn't pretty. It's a corporate-led coup d'etat against
the sovereignty of three nations enforced by a common hard line security
strategy already in play separately in each country. It's a scheme to
create a borderless North American Union under US control without barriers
to trade and capital flows for corporate giants, mainly US ones. It's
also to insure America gets free and unlimited access to Canadian and
Mexican resources, mainly oil, and in the case of Canada water as well.
It's to assure US energy security as a top priority while denying Canada
and Mexico preferential access to their own resources henceforth earmarked
for US markets.
It's also to create a fortress-North
American security zone encompassing the whole continent under US control
in the name of "national (and continental) security" with
US borders effectively extended to the far reaches of the continent.
The scheme, in short, is NAFTA on steroids combined with Pox Americana
homeland security enforcement. It's the worst of all possible worlds
headed for an unmasked police state, and it's the Bush administration's
notion of "deep integration" or the "Big Idea" meaning
we're boss, what we say goes, no outliers will be tolerated, public
interest is off the table, and the people of three nations be damned.
It's also the next step in
what GHW Bush had in mind when he delivered his "Toward a New World
Order" speech to a joint session of Congress on another September
11 in 1990. At the onset of the "crisis in the Persian Gulf,"
he said "We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment (offering)
a rare opportunity to move toward....a new world order" free from
"the threat of terror....and more secure...." He spoke of
a "new world....struggling to be born....quite different from the
one we've known." He masked his intentions in language of peace
and the pursuit of justice while preparing for war on Iraq and the region
that's gone on for over 16 years with no end in sight. A new Bush administration
is bringing that "New World Order" to the North American continent.
Unless it can be stopped, the streets of Boston, Baltimore and Buffalo
may one day look like occupied Baghdad or Bogota when drug barons clash
and Colombia's US-financed military and paramilitaries step in.
Establishing hard line security
initiatives is key to making SPP's "deep integration" trade
agenda work. It's being planned at a time of Washington's cooked up
"war on terrorism" scheme unleashing imperial dreams not possible
without the public traumatized enough to go along. Intended is a ramped
up militarized police state of enhanced border and homeland security.
It's based on the phony notion that doing business and protecting the
national interest and public welfare require tough measures in place
to secure them at a time of threatening global terrorism.
As outlandish as it sounds,
the scheme is moving ahead toward implementation. It threatens Canadian,
Mexican and US national sovereignty and priorities, and their people
and ours are none the wiser about it. NAFTA is a glimpse of what's ahead.
It's record in 12.5 years has been disastrous with huge numbers of job
losses and growing insecurity in three countries. SPP guarantees more
of the same on steroids with small businesses hurt as well. They continue
being trampled by corporate giants they're no match for. Many go under
or are bought out if they survive. They and working people aren't part
of the SPP process, and their concerns aren't being addressed and are
guaranteed to worsen as this initiative advances.
Its doing it at secret meetings
like the one from September 12 - 14, 2006 in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
It was co-chaired by three former high officials of the participating
nations including a leading US cold warrior as Reagan Secretary of State,
George Shultz. He has all the credentials SPP needs as a former Bechtel
president and current board member also holding memberships at the hard
right Hoover Institution and American Enterprise Institute, the Committee
for the Liberation of Iraq, and the Committee on the Present Danger
military lobbying group.
They were part of a high-powered
group of present and former government officials; top military-industrial
complex representatives, Big Oil and other corporate executives; leading
policy analysts; high-ranking military brass; and a single Wall Street
Journal self-styled Latin American expert editorialist known never to
let facts conflict with the state and corporate interests she represents.
She's a frequent target of this writer, and by now likely knows it -
Mary Anastasia O'Grady.
Except for O'Grady, no journalists
attended, and no press releases followed the meeting with its carefully
scripted agenda and controlled media blackout. Yet veteran Canadian
publisher, author, activist and former political candidate Mel Hurtig
managed to get hold of the attendee list and published it online. He
also posted topics discussed including: "A Vision for North America"
(but not a people-friendly one), "A North American Energy Strategy"
(for US energy security at the expense of Canada and Mexico), "Demographic
and Social Dimensions of North American Integration," and "Opportunities
for Security Cooperation" (aka Pox Americana).
Washington dominates the
planning at all meetings with its interests getting primary attention.
Along with what's mentioned above, efforts are to create uniform business
practices and standards, ease the flow of US products into Canada and
Mexico, remove labor constraints, and eliminate unwelcome environmental
standards or restrictions interfering with the primary consideration
Also on the agenda is getting
Canada and Mexico to allow more privatization of state-run enterprises
like Mexico's nationalized oil company, PEMEX, and eventually open up
Canada's medicare health care system to private investment. The US can't
negotiate this way with its western European, Chinese or Japanese trading
partners but can easily pressure most developing nations to go along
with policies harming their own people, and neighboring accommodating
ones like Canada, so long as their elite leading players share the benefits.
In February, 2007, a set
of SPP private sector priorities were laid out by the North American
Competitiveness Council (NACC) that serves as an official tri-national
SPP working group. It was created at the March, 2006 second annual SPP
summit in Cancun, Mexico. The group is composed of representatives of
30 giant North American companies, with powerful US ones like GE, Ford,
GM, Wal-Mart, Lockheed Martin, Merck and Chevron running things the
way Orwell described in "Animal Farm" where "All animals
are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
NACC's recommendations centered
on "private sector involvement" being "a key step to
enhancing North America's competitive position in global markets and
is the driving force behind innovation and growth." It mentioned
"border-crossing facilitation, standards and regulatory cooperation,
and energy integration (with a top priority of) improving the secure
flow of goods and people within North America." These issues and
others were discussed above explaining what they're really all about,
not the usual code language hiding their real purpose.
Without using the word, NACC
stressed the importance establishing policies for maximum profits. Its
report said "Every measure that adds to the cost or time to cross
borders within North America is in effect a tax on enterprise, a tax
on investment (fair taxes in both cases), or a tax on jobs (a slap at
high wages) across the region, which ultimately results in incremental
costs for the consumers in all three countries (untrue as cost savings
accrue to bottom lines, not consumer pockets)." Also mentioned
was the need to make the North American economy "work better (and
strengthen) the security and well-being of citizens" without mentioning
the "citizens" NACC has in mind are dominant corporate ones
and the privileged only and doing it means hard line restraint on the
SPP wants "to cut red
tape and give consumers better access to safe, less expensive, and innovative
products" that only "red tape" can help assure. Regulations,
it says "impede the efficiency and competitiveness of businesses
in all three countries" except ones giving them a competitive advantage
and even though regulations, in fact, serve (or should serve) to protect
consumers, not harm them.
Recommendations in the report
call for specific action in these sectors in the order the report listed
them. It placed last the one of greatest importance, energy, but here's
the order priority given: food and agriculture, financial services,
transportation, protection of intellectual property rights and lastly
energy integration specifically emphasizing Canada's vast oil sands
that make its overall reserves second only to Saudi Arabia.
Canada aims to triple its
oil sands production by 2015 to three million barrels daily to feed
America's insatiable energy appetite these resources are earmarked for.
Mexico's oil is also targeted, but the report hides NACC's aim for state
oil company PEMEX to be opened to private investment saying only while
the country is "blessed with abundant reserves, (it) faces major
challenges in attracting capital" needed to realize their potential.
NACC wants Mexico to "increase the competitiveness in (its) energy
sector" without saying it wants it privatized so foreign investors
can plunder them for profit.
It also wants governments
and the private sector to "work together effectively in strengthening
the competitive position of enterprises" in all three countries
saying, in effect, end all restrictions on how we do business even if
it harms your nations, people and environment. It made 50 total recommendations
it wants mostly accomplished before the end of 2008 with some longer
range ones targeting 2010. They cover the range of issues discussed
above and specific ones listed below:
-- developing "national
critical infrastructure protection strategies" with rules providing
for legal protection;
-- enhancing emergency management
and disaster planning;
-- implementing planned land
clearance projects, meaning less for the people and more for corporate
-- putting in place more
business-friendly border security practices, meaning militarizing the
-- further simplifying NAFTA
rules-of-origin requirements, meaning no restrictions on regional trade
even for unsafe products;
-- simplifying the NAFTA
certification process and requirements aiming at their total elimination;
-- ending the consumer-protective
US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS);
-- removing regulatory standards
and practices that impede trade even if doing it harms consumers;
-- working toward a goal
of uniform global regulatory standards and practices regardless of the
consequences or concern about national sovereignty;
-- easing cross-border tax
burdens forcing consumers to pick up the difference;
-- cooperating in identifying
common financial regulatory concerns, then work to eliminate them;
-- agreeing to unrestricted
air cargo transport services between the US and Mexico;
-- completing a coordinated
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Strategy aimed at protecting them
and keeping their prices high;
-- developing an initiative
against counterfeiting and piracy; and
-- collaborating on expanding
the supply of highly skilled people in the energy sector throughout
North America and building a model to be applied to other knowledge-intensive
sectors such as financial services.
NACC denies what's pretty
clear about about its aims. Saying its recommendations aren't meant
to "threaten the sovereign power of any of the three countries,"
there's no doubt that's the central objective. It wants a North American
Union headquartered in Washington with policies in place benefitting
corporate giants at the expense of working people. They'll be hammered
by greater job losses, fewer social services, and a loss of personal
security under militarized police state conditions in the name of "national
(continental) security" in the age of concocted global terror threats.
North American Future
This is another secretive
effort with the same objective run by the US-based conservative Center
for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). It held closed-door
meeting roundtables of Canadian business leaders in Calgary as part
of a project by this name. CSIS former American political heavyweights
are involved including Sam Nunn, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Harold Brown,
William Cohen, Henry Kissinger and others. The agenda involves preparing
a final report to the US, Canadian and Mexican governments by September
30 expected to recommend the benefits of integrating the three nations
into a single political, economic and security bloc.
What's known has activist
groups upset including the Council of Canadians and Coalition for Water
Aid. They're protesting what they say amounts to a sub rosa effort for
corporate interests to control Canada's huge fresh water supply, estimated
at one-fifth of the world's total. They want Canadian energy and other
LIke NACC, CSIS carefully
states its aims in what it's made public so far, showing the goals of
both efforts are the same. CSIS's North America Future 2025 Project
is its research effort to help policymakers "make sound, strategic,
long-range policy decisions about North America, with emphasis on regional
integration." It cites "six areas of critical importance to
the trilateral relationship: labor mobility, energy, the environment,
security, competitiveness and border infrastructure and logistics."
This is all familiar terminology to be discussed in "seven closed-door
roundtable sessions (with) 21 (to) 45 individuals - with an equal number
from each nation."
They kicked off in Roundtable
I discussing "Methodology of Global and North American Projections"
followed by each of the above listed six "critical" areas.
Protesters are planning to be at the third trilateral SPP summit Canadian
prime minister Stephen Harper will host August 20 and 21 in Montebello,
Quebec. They'll target SPP overall as well as the Harper government's
efforts to advance the corporate-friendly "Trade, Investment and
Labour Mobility Agreement" (TILMA) as one more nail in the coffin
of Canadian national sovereignty.
The agreement between Alberta
and British Columbia took effect April 1, 2007 and mandates harmonizing
regulations and standards between the two provinces, removing barriers
to economic development. Saskatchewan is now being targeted to sign
on as efforts advance overall for a borderless North America with schemes
like TILMA being used as stepping stones along the way to achieve it.
TILMA for all Canada will allow Canadian companies the right to challenge
any provincial laws conflicting the NAFTA provisions.
SPP North American integration
will go much further, of course, and Joseph Watson reported "Globalists
to Formally Propose Merger of US, Canada (and) Mexico" in his July
5 Prison Planet web site article. In it, he says CSIS "political
heavyweights" will formally propose a North American union to Congress
at summer's end after the conclusion of their seven secret roundtable
meetings to devise it. It will contain provisions explained above that
spell doom for the sovereignty of the three participating nations. Their
leaders want them to become one in service to corporate giants' strategy
for greater profits at the public's expense. A further aim is to harmonize
regulatory standards with the European Union (EU) in a new transatlantic
economic partnership that moves things closer to corporate America's
dream of a militarized borderless world run by them.
The North American
SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO)
This is another organization
set up to facilitate the designs of NACC and the North American Future
2025 Project for continental integration. It's a trilateral provincial,
state and local government coalition aligned with the goals of corporate
giants in three countries. As its name suggests, it aims to develop
an international, integrated, secure superhighway running the length
of the continent. If built, it would extend from Winnipeg, Manitoba;
Edmonton, Alberta; and Windsor, Ontario, Canada through Kansas City,
San Antonio and Laredo, Texas into Neuvo Laredo, Guadalajara, and the
ports of Manzanillo, Colima and Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.
It's planned to be a comprehensive
energy and commerce-related jugular vein-sized artery for transportation,
trade and strategic resources like energy. According to NASCO documents,
DHS will be in charge of monitoring the entire system through high-tech
sensors and trackers as a further step to securing the continent for
business at taxpayers expense. This is part of the massive infrastructure
planned for North American integration. If completed, it'll be a boon
to business at the expense of the environment and working people throughout
the continent, always the ones to lose from grandiose schemes like this
Mexican President Felipe
Calderon wishes to revive former President Vincente Fox's PPP that flopped
but didn't die. It's a multi-billion dollar development scheme to turn
Southern Mexico and Central America, all the way to Panama, into a colossal
free trade paradise displacing indigenous people, destroying their culture
and sacred corn, and harming the environment for profit. Fox earlier
and Calderon now want to induce private investment by shamelessly handing
over to them the region's natural resources, including its oil, water,
minerals, timber and ecological biodiversity.
The idea is to rip into the
area with new ports, airports, bullet trains, bridges, superhighways,
25 hydroelectric dams, new telecommunication facilities, electrical
grids, and a new Panama Canal - for starters, with more development
to follow. Also envisioned is opening the country's wildlife reserves
for bioprospecting with a huge giveaway to giant seed, chemical and
drug companies and connect everything with new highways linking Mexico
to Central America and no doubt would connect to the proposed NASCO
superhighway. The idea is to develop and facilitate business throughout
the region - meaning indigenous people have to leave to make way for
it, like it or not, which they don't and will fight it.
The area planned for development
is enormous and so far stalled. It covers 102 million hectares with
64 million inhabitants in eight countries, few of whom will benefit
from a naked scheme to exploit. It masquerades as infrastructure, private
development and more without consent of the people the way it's always
done. It's the reason the plan went nowhere so far. It's irrelevant
to the poor, rural South who'll lose everything so corporate predators
can take their land and livelihoods for private gain. They then want
to sell back to the people what's already theirs like Chiapas' fresh
water. It's 40% of Mexico's total and the reason Coca-Cola is dying
to get hold of it. It would also destroy the last significant tropical
rain forest in Chiapas' Montes Azules Integral Biosphere in the Lacandon
jungle where the government wants to remove native Mayans from lands
belonging to them.
Enter Felipe Calderon. On
April 9, he held a one-day conference in Campeche, Mexico attended by
the presidents of all Central American countries except Belize and Nicaragua,
who sent their prime minister and vice-president respectively. Washington
no doubt is pushing this scheme as it would be a development bonanza
for US corporations if implemented and a huge opportunity for many others
if ever completed.
Militarizing A Continent
As A First Step
No nation is more militarized
today than America. It spends more on national defense and homeland
security than all other nations combined. Add to those budgets all others
related to defense, still others for intelligence and covert actions,
plus the net interest cost attributable to past debt-financed defense
outlays and it totals over $1 trillion for FY 2007 according to one
analyst's estimate and heading way above that in FY 2008 if current
budget proposals pass and become law which is almost certain.
Canada and Mexico are expected
to share the load as part of Washington's "war on terrorism"
and are doing it. Supporting Washington is central for Canada's Stephen
Harper conservative administration. It includes adhering to the 2002
Binational Planning Agreement allowing US military forces to enter Canada
on its own discretion, set up shop, and exercise authority over Canadians
in their own country. Harper's more hard line than his predecessors.
He believes Canadian political and business interests depend on it,
and he's committed to serving them no matter how ordinary Canadians
feel about it. He's submissive to Washington and has been massively
ramping up military spending with plans to increase it over 50% above
2005 levels to $21.5 billion annually by 2010.
That's chump change by US
standards but a major commitment for a nation traditionally spending
at far lower levels. Canada faces no outside threat so spending hugely
on its military, unlike in the past, defies tradition and public consensus
favoring social spending that's being cut to pay for it. It's also contrary
to Canada's traditionally eschewing militarism and foreign wars unlike
its southern neighbor's thriving on them since the nation's founding.
Business interests, not national
security or the public welfare, drive Harper's agenda. America accounts
for 87% of Canada's exports, and Canadian businesses are closely allied
with US ones. In many instances, it's as subsidiaries with US corporations
owning 20% of Canada's non-financial sector, 33% of its oil and gas
industry, and many Canadian defense companies linked to US ones as subsidiaries
or in a sub-contracting capacity. Canada's influential Department of
National Defense (DND), its new Chief of Defence Staff, General Rick
Hillier and defence minister Gordon O'Connor are on board with Harper
as well. They're committed to ramping up the nation's military spending
and linking with America's "war on terrorism." It gives them
more power to lock in even more as SPP advances and outlines a plan
for it across the continent.
Mexico has its part to play
as well. With threats and fear-mongering, it's using drug-related violence
as a pretext for cracking down on simmering unrest wherever it surfaces
with plenty of US military aid to do it. The scheme is to quiet and
cow millions in the country opposing democracy, Mexican-style. It made
National Action Party (PAN) Felipe Calderon president in a process decided
before people ever voted last July 2 the way it's always worked in Mexican
politics. It's got parts of the country, like Oaxaca, in open rebellion
against its state governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (known as URO).
It also made the country
a tinderbox of discontent with growing numbers in it fed up with sham
elections, decades of repression, deepening poverty and an entrenched
system of privilege for the rich and powerful. Mega-billionaire Carlos
Slim just passed Bill Gates by $8.6 billion to become the world's richest
man in a country with the second largest number of billionaires in Latin
America after Brazil and among the top ten in the world with the greatest
number of them. The US tops all nations by a wide margin with far more
in New York and Los Angeles alone than anywhere else.
Calderon to their rescue
to make his own richer. He's got 30,000 troops stomping on the people
and fighting Washington's wars on Mexico's streets and along its near-2000
mile northern border. He also has to protect state oil company Pemex
after a series of July explosions attacked the company's gas pipelines
in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. It affected 800 companies
incurring losses of $5 - 10 million a day and caused 5000 people to
be evacuated from 20 surrounding communities.
A group called the Popular
or People's Revolutionary Army (EPR) claimed responsibility saying it
demands release of two men detained unjustly in Oaxaca in May and held
as political prisoners. The group's communique also said the attacks
were part of a "national campaign against the interests of the
oligarchy and of this illegitimate government (in power from the stolen
2006 election) that has been put in motion." It's another sign
how polarized Mexican society is with those losing out in it striking
In the US, poverty is growing
and the wealth disparity is unprecedented. However, things are much
worse in Mexico. It has the world's fourth largest number of millionaires,
but poverty's been rising since the 1970s, and since the mid-1980s the
nation's poor have been reeling under the affects of IMF-imposed structural
adjustment policies mandating large-scale privatizations and wage restraints.
Then came NAFTA in 1994. It devastated millions of Mexicans, forced
many north to survive, and may by one estimate eventually displace 10
million small farmers from their land (plus their families) into poverty
assuring they'll head north in desperation.
Today nearly one-third of
Mexicans live on $2 or less a day, and millions can't afford basic needs
like enough food, decent shelter and medical care when sick. It didn't
help that Felipe Calderon allowed staple corn prices to skyrocket causing
tortilla prices to spike by 50% in most regions devastating impoverished
consumers. They can't afford the staple they rely on, and small Mexican
corn producers are even less able to compete with subsidized imports
that wasn't possible post-NAFTA.
These are the issues generating
mass civil unrest and disobedience that simmer beneath the surface when
they're not visible on the streets like in Oaxaca since last May, 2006.
It's gone on in spite of harsh efforts to crush it violently with Federal
Preventative Police (PFP) and military forces launched against it on
the pretext of fighting drugs traffickers and terrorism.
Calderon's 30,000 Mexican
troops are also in a third or more of the nation's states, civil rights
are suspended and widespread abuses are reported because the military
got a mandate to "use all necessary force to resolve disturbances
and return peace to society." That's just a hint of what's coming
across Mexico and the continent under full implementation of SPP that
won't tolerate opposition and will crack down hard against it. Mexican
law now allows it after passage of the draconian "International
Terrorism Law" criminalizing dissent, calling it terrorism, and
imposing harsh sentences for using "violence against persons, things,
or public services that spread (enough) alarm or fear in the population....to
threaten national security or pressure authorities to take certain determinations."
The press is also targeted
with prohibitions against "publish(ing) or distribut(ing)....photos
or images without the express consent of those featured," a condition
impossible to meet. Social protests may be criminalized as well with
resistance movements like the Zapatistas and Oaxacan Popular Peoples'
Assembly (APPO) labeled terrorist organizations and their leaders subject
to 40 year mandated prison terms if charged and convicted. And President
Calderon wants Mexico's Congress to pass an amendment giving him constitutional
powers to tap phones and search private residences without first obtaining
court-ordered approval under any conditions he claims is "urgent."
Mexico's hard right Supreme
Court of Nacional Justice (SCJN) is supportive. Last year it declared
Mexico's military can aid police in cases of public security that can
be anything the state says it is. The Court also ruled law enforcement
officials need no court-ordered warrants to search and seize in "flagrant
situations" that can also mean anything and that violates the American
Convention of Human Rights adopted as Mexican law.
Then there's Calderon's war
on drugs and the cartels that's, in fact, a war no different than Colombia's
war on dissident resistance groups like the FARC and ELN. Like Plan
Colombia, Washington has a similar one for Mexico, so call it what it
is - Plan Mexico with tens of millions in funding, equipment and technology
to back it up. Also call it US-supported and funded state terrorism
in a grand scheme to militarize the country and crack down on dissent
and resistance to authoritarian rule at the federal, state and local
levels. It's partnered with Washington in its phony "war on terrorism"
to maintain order, crush opposition and incarcerate anyone interfering
or in the way.
US military elements already
operate inside Mexico freely and covertly, and a 1994 Pentagon briefing
paper, declassified under FOIA, hinted at a US invasion if the country
became destabilized or the government faced the threat of being overthrown
because of "widespread economic and social chaos" that would
jeopardize US investments, access to oil, overall trade, and would create
great numbers of immigrants heading north.
Plans are in place and are
playing out to snuff out trouble before it spirals out of control, and
the proposed US immigration bill was to provide funding for it through
stepped up militarization. But even with the bill defeated, the money's
coming and US forces will follow if needed. Congressional budgeting
calls for millions in Mexican military aid and massive new border detention
centers for up to 30,000 detainees for starters with two notorious ones
discussed below already operating. What's planned on the border will
also likely show up anywhere in all three SPP countries to defuse social
discontent by disappearing a large new political prisoner population
into black holes of repressive incarceration. That's SPP's promise and
scheme to create police state North America making the continent safe
for corporate interests by revoking ours.
Hutto Texas Immigrant Prison Detention Centers
The Willacy immigrant detention
center at Raymondville, Texas, is oppressive enough to be called "Ritmo."
It's run by the private for-profit MTC Corporation and is currently
the largest immigrant prison in the country in the remote southern tip
of the state. It cost $65 million to build, is a "tent city,"
and is ringed by barbed wire and 14-foot high chain-link fences. It
currently holds over 2000 immigrant detainees under repressive conditions
including 23 hour a day lockdowns in 10 windowless hothouses. Entire
families are incarcerated there, fed poor or insufficient food, given
inadequate and delayed medical care, and treated inhumanely in unsafe
conditions for extended periods lasting months.
Conditions overall are abusive,
disciplinary punishment harsh, with detainees having to put up with
no partitions or doors separating five toilets, five sinks, five shower
heads and eating areas where some days detainees lack utensils and eat
with their hands. Lights are kept on round the clock, clothing is inadequate,
and on cold days detainees are kept outside for an allowed daily hour
in short-sleeved uniforms with no warm protective clothing like blankets,
sweat shirts or jackets.
The Hutto Residential Center
is another immigrant detention center in Taylor, Texas currently holding
around 400 prisoners including 200 children and infants. Few detainees
here or at other immigrant prisons committed crimes or were charged
with any, yet they're treated like criminals because they were forced
here to survive NAFTA and DR-CAFTA inflicted job losses. They're victims
of US repressive trade policies but are treated like criminals made
to suffer retribution for exploitative state practices committed against
Post 9/11, the Homeland Security
Act of 2002 was passed establishing the repressive Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) and in March, 2003 its largest investigative and enforcement
arm - the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). It's
charged with protecting public safety by identifying and targeting "criminal"
and "terrorist" threats to the country that include Latino
and other desperate for work undocumented immigrants forced to come
here to survive.
ICE was established to apprehend
them at the border or hunt them down relentlessly once here. It has
four integrated divisions, one of which is policing our southern border
and conducting terror-raid undocumented immigrant worker roundups with
those apprehended headed for abusive detention at facilities like Raymondville
and Hutto. There and at other facilities like them, ICE-detained immigrants
number around 28,000 on an average day with totals heading for 30,000
or more by year end.
Hutto is run by Corrections
Corporation of American, the largest for-profit private prison operator
in the country. It has 64 facilities in 19 states and the District of
Columbia with a capacity for incarcerating over 69,000 inmates. It's
reputation is unsavory based on former prisoner accounts of severe abuse,
inadequate medical and educational services, poor or noxious food and
overall inhumane conditions including rat and roach-infested cramped
centers, inadequate basic hygiene, rapes, beatings and deaths at their
The Hutto facility in Taylor,
Texas houses immigrant detainees. It's particularly notorious for treating
young children no differently than adults, including some too young
to know where they are or why and older ones with no idea why they're
detained at all. Conditions are made worse by abusive guards and uncaring
The daily routine is stultifying
and cruel. Families are awakened at 5:30AM and allowed 30 minutes to
bathe and dress. They then get 20 minutes to eat food that's often poor
quality, inedible, and/or inadequate. If children haven't finished in
time, their food is thrown out and they're left to go hungry.
Following meals, prisoners
are returned to their cells, aren't allowed out, denied sleep during
the day, and forced to sit and endure boredom to pass the time. No books
are allowed, and frequent head counts are taken throughout the day to
assure no one escaped. Educational facilities for children are pathetically
inadequate at one hour a day in which practically nothing is taught,
and conditions and treatment overall are so bad the ACLU sued DHS Secretary
Michael Chertoff on March 6 on behalf of 10 abused children at Hutto.
The US District Court judge hearing the case, Sam Sparks, set an expedited
trial date for August, agreeing with the plaintiff that detainee treatment
at Hutto fails to meet federal standards.
Police State Justice for Everyone
Post-9/11, Muslims and Latino
immigrants have been targeted by the Bush administration, falsely charged
with terrorism and other crimes, and subjected to abusive harassment
and persecution. They've been victimized by mass roundups, detentions,
prosecutions and deportations the result of baseless claims they threaten
national security. If full-blown SPP security measures are implemented,
anyone challenging, or seen threatening, state authority may henceforth
be subjected to similar harsh treatment. It's practically that way now,
but expect lots worse ahead. The rule of law will be weakened or ignored,
civil liberties and essential human needs further eroded, and state
and corporate power tightened enough to be in full control.
Dissent no longer will be
tolerated, and anyone seen as a threat in an age of a "war on terrorism"
will be targeted, just as Muslims and immigrants are today. Preparations
are in progress for mass detentions with Halliburton the beneficiary
of a DHS contingency contract worth up to $385 million to build US-based
detention centers. Their stated purpose is for "detention and processing"
in case of an "emergency influx of immigrants....or to support
the rapid development of new programs (for planned) expansion facilities
(able to hold 5000 or more persons)."
This language provides cover
for planned concentration camps targeting anyone for indefinite detention
as a perceived enemy of the state or threat to national security any
time henceforth. The idea is to have facilities ready in case martial
law is declared for any reason. It might include the kind of major "terrorist"
attack DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff practically signaled is coming
later this summer to a Chicago Tribune editorial board July 10. ABC
News also hyped the story citing a new FBI analysis of Al-Queda messages
warning of "continued messages that convey their strategic intent
to strike the US homeland and US interests worldwide (that) should not
be discounted as merely deceptive noise." The rest of the corporate
media jumped on the story as well to prepare the public for full militarization
of the country if what Chertoff and a number of intelligence analysts
believe is virtually certain ahead.
The Pentagon is ready if
it comes with an action plan prepared in a DOD document called "Strategy
for Homeland Defense and Civil Support." It envisions an "active,
layered defense" both within and outside the US pledging to "transform
US military forces to execute homeland defense missions in the....US
homeland." It lays out a strategy for increased reconnaissance
and surveillance to "defeat potential challengers before they threaten
the United States." It also "maximizes threat awareness and
seizes the initiative from those who would harm us."
These are ominous developments
signaled with very dangerous language. It suggests the likelihood of
an impending terror attack severe enough to warrant suspension of the
Constitution followed by martial law. It means anyone may be considered
a threat to national security and detained indefinitely with or without
evidence to prove it. It further empowers the state, through the military,
to act preventively through mass roundups and detentions. No one will
be safe or spared if targeted and will be subject to police state justice
granting them none.
A full-scale militarization
of the country can be implemented any time on what a 1988 Reagan era
Executive Order 12656 called any "national security emergency"
defined as "Any occurrence, including natural disaster, military
attack, technological or other emergency, that seriously degrades or
seriously threatens the national security of the United States."
Other repressive legislation's
already in place as well. Under Patriot and Military Commission Acts
justice, constitutional rights are severely weakened, and we're all
"enemy combatants" stripped of our habeas and due process
rights, subject to indefinite detentions, denied our right to counsel
and at the mercy of military tribunal justice with no right of appeal.
Welcome to North America's
Security and Prosperity Partnership guaranteeing it to elitist interests
by denying it to the people of three nations. They're to be parts of
the new "united continent of America," or North American Union,
run by dark forces in Washington that won't move out when a new president
moves in January 20, 2009.
Stephen Lendman lives
in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site
at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Steve Lendman News and Information
Hour on The MicroEffect.com Saturdays at noon US central time.
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