Glenn Beck, Popular Mechanics "debunk" FEMA camps
About a month ago, Glenn Beck of Fox News breathlessly announced on another of their shows that he was looking into the issue of FEMA camps and said that he couldn't disprove them (link; contemporaneous leftwing reaction here and at mediamatters.org/countyfair/200903160021).
Now, Beck is back on the attached video... and he's "disproved" them. His debunking was conducted with the assistance of James Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics. That magazine - a frequent link target of Glenn Reynolds - just screams "establishment tool"; there's more on them here.
First, I've been hearing about FEMA camps for years and years. Over a decade ago there were several sites that supposedly had pictures of such camps. In fact, there was supposedly one in the local Verdugo Mountains. While I avoid the Verdugos because they're more developed than even Griffith Park, enough people don't avoid them that if there were a camp there no doubt it would be difficult to keep it hidden. Other evidence that was provided was not in the least convincing.
That said, earlier this year Alcee Hastings introduced legislation to build emergency FEMA facilities on abandoned military bases. And, the "REX 84" program is documented (description here, Oliver North testimony here, search for more). And, over three years ago, Halliburton got a contract to build "temporary detention and processing capabilities... in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs..." KBR had had a similar contract from 2000 to 2005. (On an ironic note, far-left supporters of illegal immigration called facilities like those "concentration camps" a couple years ago).
This issue is like so many others where different interests are playing different types of games mostly involving semantics. When you say "FEMA camps", do you mean "multi-use facilities that could in fact be used to hold Americans even including against their will in case of an epidemic or similar", or do you mean, "Obama has a plan to put his enemies in camps and send them to the showers"? Beck and his friends at Popular Mechanics seem to be disingenuously pretending that the issue is just about the latter when there are legitimate concerns about the former.
UPDATE: There's more on the "debunking" here.