Friday, February 24, 2006

Welcome to Camp - Part Two

Going back as far as the Clinton years, if not to the Ollie North Iran Contra scandal period, we've heard rumblings of detention camp building stories from both Republicans and (more recently) Democrats. Fortunately, most of that came from Alex Whatsisface and other, less provable sources.

On February 6, a Long Beach, CA online newspaper called The Press-Telegram featured a column by Tom Hennessy about a new government contract awarded for the building of "temporary detention facilities."

"Appearing on page A5, the story said the federal government had awarded a $385 million contract for the construction of "temporary detention facilities." These would be used, the story said, in the event of an "immigration emergency."

Jamie Zuieback, an official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), explained such an emergency like this: "If, for example, there were some sort of upheaval in another country that would cause mass migration, that's the type of situation that the contract would address."

That sounds a tad fuzzy, but let's concede that the camps do have something to do with immigration, illegal or not. In fact, there already are thousands of beds in place at various U.S. locations for the purpose of housing illegal immigrants.

But for anyone familiar with history U.S. or European the construction of detention camps for whatever purpose should prompt a chilling scenario."

Chilling is a very mild description.

The rest of the column goes on to detail that a Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown and Root, received the contract.

So, detention facilities for some unlikely mass migration? Hennessy ends his piece with a stated desire that we contact our representatives and demand a more full and complete explanation. With this, I completely agree.

Especially in light of the implication of the contract: it's a contingency contract. Which means if there's no emergency requiring said dentention space, Halliburton doesn't get paid.

And as we've learned with Iraq, Halliburton always gets paid.
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