Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Operation KBR detention camp contracts:

Last Monday night I listened to W. give his immigration speech and actually didn't feel the urge to throw something at the TV. (This is a first.) Of course, I knew there had to be some rub to all his reasonable sounding proposals and I think I finally found it.

Initially, I thought the idea of sending National Guard troops to the border didn't sound all that outrageous, if it was only going to be temporary, but after giving it some thought I have to say it's pretty rotten idea that could lead to unintended consequences in the long run. A case in point is what this jackass Sheriff Joe Arpaio down in Arizona is doing. What if the military starts getting involved in setting up camps a la Arpaio, that begin to resemble Gitmo or the Japanese internment s camps? Right now, the tactics Arpaio is using are pretty popular with the 'get tough on illegals' crowd, some in Congress might a similar approach as a viable solution for the feds.

And who's to say that due to the confusing nature of the borde that battled hardened Guard troops more used to the sweep 'em all up and ask questions later tactics of Afghanistan or Iraq accidently start rounding up people coming across the the border that have a right to do so? The WaPo points out today that, "there were more than 24 million legal pedestrian crossings in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In El Paso alone the same year, there were more than 680,000 pedestrian crossings."

This panicked knee jerk reacted by the the Bush administration to opt for the military default position for every preceived crisis, including 'the bird-flu,' is a sign of weakness, rather than a show of strength. W. sounds more like Hugo Chavez every day.

Naturally, along with the potential political pay-off associated with locking illegals up and making them wear pink underwear, there's also the potential pay-off for W. & CO.'s good buddies Haliburton. The Texas Observer reports that business is bullish on locking up immigrants.

"No matter how the national debate on immigration plays out in Congress...the corporations that have moved into the business of building and operating detention centers are likely to see a steady stream of revenue for years to come...One of the companies to benefit from the government'-building-and privatizing-binge is KBR, a Halliburton Co. subsidiary, which in January was awarded a contract worth up to $385 million to build temporary immigrant detention facilities for the Homeland Security Department in case of an 'emergency influx of immigrants.'"

See, there's an emergency going on, just like in Iraq. We don't have time for no-bid contratcs or any namby-pamby handwringing about whether all those being swept up in this "emergency [detention] situation are actually illegals or not."

In this year's budget W. has asked for money for 6,700 new beds but the Inquirer reports, "Richard L. Skinner, the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, said in a report Friday that the administration hadn't budgeted enough and that it would take nearly 35,000 more jail beds to detain all high-risk immigrants." Who are these "high risk" inmates anyway? I thought we were talking about detaining economic migrants until they can be processed and deported.

Maybe other "high risk" inmates, not neccessarily OTMs, might need to be locked up too. The Army issued a new rule in Jan. of last year that calls for the construction of detention facilities on US military bases, to be run by the Guard and Reserves for "civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps."

Sounds like Olly North's REX-84 Bravo plan or what the governemnt is now calling ENDGAME, a plan according to infowars, "which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."

Of course, W. says rounding all the illegals would be impossible, I believe him don't you? All this talk about military-run detention camps is just contingency planning, right?


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