Forget FEMA Camps. Hello, FEMA Gestapo

Forget FEMA Camps. Hello, FEMA Gestapo November 7, 2012

Janet Porter (formerly Folger) is one of the nuttiest of the wingnuts, as she demonstrated on a radio show after Hurricane Sandy. Old and busted: FEMA concentration camps. New hotness: a FEMA army sent out to “crush dissent” with a billion bullets and 2500 vehicles armed with machine guns:

Is it a standing army to stifle dissent? That’s what some think the real purpose is for the new group that the government calls FEMA Corps. In September, the Department of Homeland Security graduated its first class of 231 students, consisting of 18 to 24 year olds who were recruited from the President’s AmeriCorps volunteers.

Some question whether they are really part of a new civilian security force that President Obama has called for in speeches. Reasons for the concern include FEMA’s 2,500 new armored vehicles that come complete with slots for machine guns.

I know it sound’s unbelievable, but so does the fact that Homeland Security has purchased more than one billion bullets this year.

It’s time to take a closer look into FEMA Corps!

Just more of the usual right wing paranoia. The fact that none of their terribly dystopia predictions ever actually happen seems to do nothing to dampen their enthusiasm for the next one.

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  • unbound

    Yeah, I was caught up in a small FEMA convoy on Sunday. The horrible people were hauling supplies and generators. I’m sure there was some way to make them into weapons once they got to New Jersey…

  • D. C. Sessions
  • Scott Hanley

    231 AmeriCorps volunteers? You’d need better than that just to control Lenawee County.

  • katkinkate

    Wasn’t it the Republicans who built those FEMA camps in the first place?

  • blf

    … a new civilian security force that President Obama has called for in speeches.

    This may be because I live in France and so rarely hear / read any of the speeches, et al., but WTF is she blithering on about here?

    … FEMA’s 2,500 new armored vehicles that come complete with slots for machine guns.

    I assume FEMA having any armored vehicles is fantasy (the best I can image is a central repository with a few available for loan in the case of rather extreme rioting, but even that seems quite a stretch…). And aren’t slots — useful for other reasons besides shooting — a more-or-less standard feature of armored vehicles?

    (Also wonders what type of “armored vechicles”?)

  • eric

    I know it sound’s unbelievable, but so does the fact that Homeland Security has purchased more than one billion bullets this year.

    That’s because DHS include the Border Patrol, Coast Guard, and Secret Service, you dope.

    Last I recall, conservatives were calling for more border security and border patrol agents. You seem to be alarmed because you got what you wanted.

  • eric

    I assume FEMA having any armored vehicles is fantasy

    I assume so too.

    Though maybe FEMA is using/borrowing surplus CBP or Coast Guard vehicles to save money. If one part of DHS has surplus jeeps and another part needs jeeps, that would be a sensible thing for DHS to do. (I’m just speculating here and have no information that that’s true.)

  • Chiroptera

    You know, I almost wish that Obama had lost the popular vote and won in the electoral college. Then these nuts would go really crazy, do some sort of stupid ass “Second Amendment solutions” bullshit, and the US security forces would finally have to deal with them once and for all like the terrorists that they really are deep inside.

    Okay, I don’t really wish that. But — jesus! — people are worried about the Tea Party finally electing its fascists to power and finally eliminating that pesky democracy once and for all. Me, I think an equally likely possible way for democracy to end in the US is that a non-Tea Party government finally has to invoke some sort of “state of emergency” to finally eliminate the obstructionists.

    But I tend to be a paranoid sort.

  • Well, with some of the wingnuts channeling “Red Dawn,” local police forces may need some Federal support.

  • savagemutt
  • So how exactly are 231 students going to drive and operate 2,500 armored vehicles?

  • So how exactly are 231 students going to drive and operate 2,500 armored vehicles?

    The armored vehicles are drones, of course.

    That isn’t so funny if you are Afghani …

  • keith

    Eric @6

    Exactly. Cut taxes so that government is not sustainable, then go apeshit over deficits.

    Demand stronger security/defense, then worry about an armed government.

  • Yeah, FEMA having armoured vehicles, soooooo scary!!! So, when are Porter and her ilk going to scream about all the police forces that have armoured vehicles these days, including former US military ones? Shouldn’t she be worried about Sherrif Bill down the road using that APC his department got from the feds to crash into her house and take her away?

  • wscott

    Re FEMA armored vehicles: Like the bullets, the armored vehicles were purchased by DHS, which as pointed out includes several law enforcement agencies. As paranoid ramblings go, this one isn’t even terribly creative.

  • F

    (Also wonders what type of “armored vechicles”?)

    Cars with doors?

  • jaranath

    I’ve actually been waiting for the fringe to pick up on this. I frequently work with FEMA, and have known about the FEMA Corps for a good while now.

    It’s beyond hilarious–the running joke among my colleagues is that no one who actually knows FEMA would ever credit them with the capacity to operate death camps. But more amusing to me is how utterly mundane, boring, and typically-frustrating-FEMA-ish this Corps actually is. See, originally FEMA had a large staff of part-time employees kept on call for disaster duty. These are the people who provide the bulk of staffing for disaster field offices, recovery centers, who do damage assessments, community information (passing out fliers about how to apply for aid), etc. Very often they are retirees from fields like emergency management, construction, engineering, local government…any field that gives them some relevant skills. An old construction guy is perfect for estimating how much damage a home took in a tornado.

    This reservist staff operated under some fairly loose and flexible organizational rules, which was blamed (partly correctly) for some of the staff availability problems in Katrina and Rita. So a major overhaul has been in the works for some time now, and is finally coming into effect. The new system is much more rigorous, looking more like a full-time position, despite still functioning as part-time. The employees generally don’t like the new system and some parts of it have been handled very clumsily and without much forethought, but I’m not going to bore you with that. Partly to make up for the lost flexibility, a new category has been created, the aforementioned FEMA Corps. But as stated, it’s kind of a volunteer thing, not really attractive to anyone trying to have an income.

    You’re probably asleep by now, and that’s my point: This is so incredibly mundane. However, one change is worth mentioning: As with some corporate reorganizations, one part of this overhaul involved having all current reservists re-apply for their new, redefined jobs through the Federal jobs portal. I thought THAT was going to cause a freakout for sure. “OMG FEMA is hiring thousands of employees for a ‘totally new’ division!!!” Instead, the fact that they latched onto the FEMA Corps, a small crew of what are effectively interns, is hilarious.