FEMA concentration camps
|Some dare call it|
FEMA concentration camps exist in the mind of a particularly loopy bunch of conspiracy theorists (or Deus Ex players who really need to put down the mouse and keyboard), who believe that mass internment facilities have been built across the continental United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in preparation for a future declaration of martial law.
Though exact claims about the purpose and nature of the camps vary from one crank to another, a common trope is that they will be used to detain dissenting US citizens after the consolidation of the North American Union in preparation for the establishment of a one-world government. The camps allegedly come complete with boxcars for moving people around and plastic coffins for burying them. (Why not just burn the corpses Nazi-style? Or, since the proponents of this theory also seem to think environmentalists are the root of all evil, wouldn't the bad guys be using biodegradable boxes? ...what? They've got to be environmentalists - boxcars are a form of mass transit. Wake up, sheeple!)
FEMA, naturally, is the shadow government which will run the show after the puppet government dissolves through a series of executive orders issued by the President. The idea that FEMA could pull off enough of a masterstroke to seize power is surprisingly widespread, considering their massive display of incompetence during Hurricane Katrina.
There are several videos purporting to show footage of the camps, as well as shots of ominous-looking fences and webpages listing locations of over 800 camps, allegedly all fully guarded and staffed full-time despite being completely empty. In addition to the utter implausibility of such a massive conspiracy being kept totally silent, the evidence is damaged somewhat by the fact that the videos and pictures actually depict everything from National Guard training centers to Amtrak repair stations to North Korean labor camps.
The FEMA camp conspiracy theory has been alluded to by Republican leadership candidate Michele Bachmann, though she did not say FEMA. Glenn Beck, who to his credit later backpedaled and hosted a debunking segment featuring a
government shill guest from Popular Mechanics, promoted the theory as well. Still, the theory remains popular among the survivalist community and the militia movement, and there's no shortage of adherents on the Internet.
So far the only flaw in this otherwise brilliantly executed conspiracy was the mistake of publicly advertising jobs to work at the camps. It's always the small details the conspirators slip up on.
The idea that the US government is planning to intern masses of people has some history: In the 1980s, opponents of Ronald Reagan's Central America policy on the left thought that FEMA was planning a mass roundup of them just before the imminent U.S. invasion of "Nee-ka-hah-gua." Barely skipping a beat, it became a theory on the right-wing black helicopter/militia circuit in the '90s, among Alex Jones followers and truthers in the 2000s, and today by the more insane opponents of the Obama administration.
 Internment in the past
There has been one time in America's history when the government did send its own citizens to internment camps. During World War II, about 110-120,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from the West Coast to internment camps in the interior of the country, on the grounds that they would act as a fifth column against the American war effort. Privately, many white farmers on the West Coast also viewed it as a way to get rid of their Japanese competitors. This incident is often brought up by those who claim that the government has the will to do it again (occasionally claiming that some of the planned FEMA camps are renovated Japanese internment centers), neglecting to mention the fact that the backlash against internment very quickly sapped that very will. The USA also deported many Native Americans to Oklahoma, but they weren't US citizens at the time.
 See also
- FEMA Camps, Skeptic Project
- FEMA concentration camps? The militia good times are rollin' again by Dave Neiwert
- ↑ FEMA CONCENTRATION CAMPS: Locations and Executive Orders
- ↑ The intrinsic implausibility of people simply being able to walk up to the sites of heavily-guarded camps that the "gummint" wants to keep secret, videotape them, walk away unmolested, and disseminate the videos without any consequences, is apparently not considered, even though it flatly contradicts the central premise of the conspiracy theories in question.
- ↑ Even when FEMA actually did lock up Katrina survivors in a trailer park and refused to let them speak to the media, the local news did report on it, as did FAIR.
- ↑ Popular Mechanics - Debunking FEMA Camp Myths
- ↑ Crooks ans Liars: Michelle Bachmann warns of politically correct re-education camps for young people
- ↑ Video and transcript of Beck's show debunking FEMA camps.
- ↑ Why is National Guard recruiting for 'internment' cops?, WorldNutDaily