Every now-and-then a dark seceret is leaked in a novel or movie that exposes a subject so controversial that people think that it surely must be fiction. Examples can be found in Tom Clancy books or movies such as Robert Redford’s “Three Days of the Condor” and George C. Scott’s “The Formula”.
Here is where we travel down one such road; Senator Mark Kirk (R. Il.) has proposed an unthinkable and seemingly impossible plan to round up as many as 18,000 black men off the streets of Chicago and imprison them.
Raw Story reports:
“Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) on Wednesday accused Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) of proposing an “elitist white boy solution” to gang violence with his plan for the mass arrests of 18,000 gang members in Chicago.
Earlier on Wednesday, Kirk had joined with fellow Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) in calling on Illinois attorney general nominee Zachary Fardon to focus on street gangs and gun violence. But in an interview earlier this month, Kirk had gone even further with a plan to target members of the Gangster Disciples.
“My top priority is to arrest the Gangster Disciple gang, which is 18,000 people,” Kirk told WFLD. “I would like to a mass pickup of them and put them all in the Thomson Correctional Facility.”
The senator proposed that federal agencies — like the ATF, DEA and FBI — work together to charge members of the gang with “drug dealing” and “murdering people, which is what they do.”
Rush reacted to that plan on Wednesday by insisting it was a “sensational, headline-grabbing, empty, simplistic, unworkable approach.”
Rush told the Chicago Sun-Times that Kirk needed to “see the bigger picture” instead of proposing an “upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about.”
“I am really very upset with Mark,” he said.
In a follow-up statement, Rush explained that his colleague’s “current plan does not include the option to create jobs, provide affordable and safe housing, quality health care and improve schools in urban areas, BUT certainly a plan to incarcerate 18,000 black men is elitist.”
This is not the first time such extreme measures have been proposed as a sort of “final solution” to a perceived problem with minorities or dissidents in the U.S. population. Long before today’s far right-wing loons like Glen Beck or Alex Jones warned of government concentration camps, the plan was leaked in a novel and was called “The King Alfred Plan”.
“The King Alfred Plan was a fictional CIA-led scheme supporting an international effort to eliminate people of African descent. Specifically it defined how to deal with the threat of a black uprising in the United States by cordoning off black people into concentration camps in the event of a major racial incident.
The Plan first appeared in John A. Williams’ 1967 novel, The Man Who Cried I Am, a fictionalized account of the life and death of Richard Wright. In the afterword to later editions, Williams compares the King Alfred Plan to intelligence programs devised by J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960s to monitor the movements of black militants. It also bears similarities to rumors in the early 1950s surrounding the McCarran Act, an anti-Communist law, in which political subversives were to be rounded up and placed in concentrations camps during a national emergency.”
Obviously the author, Williams, had knowledge of such government contingency plans, and leaked the fictional version (King Alfred) in his novel. But the dark truth was revealed is a startling portion of the Iran-Contra investigation of gun and drug-running during the Reagan administration. Here is a line of questioning by Jack Brooks in the hearings:
“Transcripts from the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987 record the following dialogue between Congressman Jack Brooks, Oliver North’s attorney Brendan Sullivan and Senator Daniel Inouye, the Democratic Chair of the joint Senate-House Committee:
[Congressman Jack] Brooks: Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?
Brendan Sullivan [North’s counsel, agitatedly]: Mr. Chairman?
[Senator Daniel] Inouye: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch upon that?
Brooks: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was an area in which he had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.
Inouye: May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I’m certain arrangements can be made for an executive session.
The plan was called “Rex 84” Or “Readiness exercise 84”. Note that “Rex” also means “King”.
The newspaper article Brooks referred to was in The Miami Herald, July 5 1987 and was titled “Reagan Aides And The Secret Government”. a copy of the original article can be found at this link.
Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, was an alleged secretive “scenario and drill” developed by the United States federal government to suspend the United States Constitution, declare martial law, place military commanders in charge of state and local governments, and detain large numbers of American citizens who are deemed to be “national security threats”, in the event that the President declares a “State of National Emergency”. The plan states, events causing such a declaration would be widespread U.S. opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad, such as if the United States were to directly invade Central America. To combat what the government perceived as “subversive activities”, the plan also authorized the military to direct ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels.
Rex 84 was supposedly written by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who was both National Security Council White House Aide, and NSC liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and John Brinkerhoff, the deputy director of “national preparedness” programs for the FEMA. They patterned the plan on a 1970 report written by FEMA chief Louis Giuffrida, at the Army War College, which proposed the detention of up to 21 million “American Negroes“, if there were a black militant uprising in the United States. Existence of a master military contingency plan (of which REX-84 was a part), “Garden Plot” and a similar earlier exercise, “Lantern Spike”, were originally revealed by journalist Ron Ridenhour, who summarized his findings in an article in CounterSpy.
Louis Giuffrida, the author of the plan to round up “21 million Negroes“, worked for then-Governor Ronald Reagan in California:
“In 1971 he left the Army and organized the California Specialized Training Institute for then California Governor Reagan. The institute trained state employees in emergency management and police in counter-terrorism activities.. It was during this time that Giuffrida became friends with Edwin Meese.
He also served as an advisor on terrorism, emergency management, and other special topics for Governor Reagan. He was eventually promoted to the rank of general in the California National Guard.
Giuffrida was confirmed on May 18, 1981. At the time of his nomination Giuffrida was president of the Specialized Management Services Co. and director of the California Specialized Training Institute.
During his tenure at FEMA, Giuffrida developed much of FEMA’s civil defense programs, including Continuity of Government.
Giuffrida was eventually forced out of the agency in 1985 after it was alleged that he spent government money to build a private residence at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland.”
Of course, this has indeed happened before; recall the round-up and internment of Japanese-Americans in World War Two.
But what Senator Mark Kirk is proposing is a peacetime round-up of an entire population of young black men, people who have not been provided with any form of opportunity to better their lot in life. In a country as rich as the United States, the power elite have offshored domestic industry and siphoned the wealth of the nation to the upper levels of privilege and power, creating a permanent underclass.
This is also reminiscent of the current theme of the “School-to-prison pipeline”.
This modern concept suggests that law enforcement be embedded directly in our schools. What would normally be minor infractions committed by a student (such as marijuana possession) would lead more directly to incarceration. With that in mind, consider the privatization of the U.S. prison system. There are clear incentives to have those private facilities filled and staffed as fully as possible, with a profit motive for goods and services provided by a new slave-class of prisoners.
Again, from Wikipedia:
“The pipeline can also be critiqued in terms of neoliberalism, the idea that market forces can organize every facet of society. Because prisons can be privatized and run for profit, and traditional public schools cannot, the market favors sending people to prisons rather than schools—particularly if they are not destined to become part of the high-skilled workforce. (As prisoners, people can be compelled to perform labor anyway.) In keeping with this system, school budgets have shrunk while prison budgets have expanded massively, while even within schools more funding goes to police and less to teachers and children.”
To date, no such round-up of minority youth has occurred. One would assume that such an incident would create huge public outrage, but that doesn’t mean it could not happen. Or perhaps such a plan like this would be intended to provoke a larger revolt, allowing some form of martial law to be implemented.
The “King Alfred Plan” to round up “American Negroes” morphed into the Rex-84 plan to round up any kind of dissidents, The focus of the plan merely changed, but was actually put into existence during the Reagan administration. It no doubt lies waiting to be enacted today.