Libertarian-minded American citizens increasingly are scrutinizing the training and development of a virtual civilian army under the guise of public service and voluntarism. On Aug. 13, a new class of 231 FEMA Corps members graduated to assist the U.S. government in future disaster preparedness, whether state sponsored or natural. These members trained at the Corporation for National and Community Service and will be leaders at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness where they will be assigned specific roles ranging from community relations to disaster recovery center support.
Described in “governmentese”, the CNCS is a federal agency that “engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.” Susanne Posel of theintelhub.com explains, “They utilize local communities for the sake of public-private partnerships to rework the structure of those communities to serve the needs of the federal government…By implanting pro-government propaganda and using rural resources for the benefit of private sector corporations under the guise of ‘fostering civic engagement’, the CNCS revisions the American landscape to reflect their agendas as directed by the U.S. government.”
In March, FEMA and CNCS jointly launched a five-year agreement and partnership to establish a FEMA-devoted unit of 1,600 service corps members within AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, solely devoted to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. FEMA Corps members will serve for a 10-month term with an option to extend for a second year.
The program will prepare thousands of young people for careers in emergency management and related fields. The first members began serving in August, and the program is expected to reach full capacity within 18 months of inception. CNCS’s broader agenda encompasses six broad “priority” areas of government activity – disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families – under the language of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009.
Among politicos suspicious of all things progressive, FEMA is regarded as the “secret government of the United States”, and CNCS as an instrument of training for the army that will step in to regulate public life in event of a national emergency providing pretext for such eventuality.
As described by Harry V. Martin of educate-yourself.org, FEMA “has more power than the President of the United States or the Congress, it has the power to suspend laws, move entire populations, arrest and detain citizens without a warrant and hold them without trial, it can seize property, food supplies, transportation systems, and can suspend the Constitution. … Originally conceived in the Richard Nixon Administration, it was refined by President Jimmy Carter and given teeth in the Ronald Reagan and George Bush Administrations.”
“FEMA was created in a series of Executive Orders. A Presidential Executive Order, whether Constitutional or not, becomes law simply by its publication in the Federal Registry. Congress is by-passed. Executive Order Number 12148 created the Federal Emergency Management Agency that is to interface with the Department of Defense for civil defense planning and funding. … Here are just a few Executive Orders associated with FEMA that would suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These Executive Orders have been on record for nearly 30 years and could be enacted by the stroke of a Presidential pen:
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.
“EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.”
By contrast, CNSC’s representation of FEMA’s mission scope seems much more limited, even benign:
“to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.”