Monday, January 2, 2012

This Is A Bit Paranoid...

But I am sure if this had come out of the Bush Administration, the left would have been using its control of ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN to make sure that everyone was aware of it.  The January 2, 2012 American Thinker reports on some curious aspects of a federal government request for proposal concerning the building of Responder Support Camps:

In a nutshell, there seems to be a solicitation of bids occurring for the staffing of FEMA camps within 72 hours of implementation by an order from either Homeland Security or the president.  This situation begs to be investigated, with special consideration paid to the motives of the present administration.

I went to the source, the, and searched for the solicitation number HSFEHQ-10-R-0027, titled National Responder Support Camp.
When I look at the solicitation, it appears to be a pretty legitimate request: how quickly can you build camps for emergency responders to live in to provide emergency services in the event of a disaster?  What concerns the author of the American Thinker article is that there are parts of it that don't sound all that voluntary:
Perimeter fencing or barricades is required to be six feet high, enclosing the camp, with all traffic in or out to be recorded on a daily log and with security restricting all traffic and access.  The contractor shall also provide fencing and barricades around areas which are "off limits" to occupants.  ID Badges are required and are either blue or red, depending on the carrier is temporary or considered an occupant of the camp.
My reading of the solicitation does seem to fit the emergency responder camp description--but I confess that there are parts of this that do not seem to make a lot of sense.  Is it possible that whoever wrote this used an existing solicitation for some sort of prisoner of war camp?  I find that a more plausible explanation than that the Obama Administration is planning to set up concentration camps for terrorists (including Tea Party Republicans, whom V.P. Biden said "acted like terrorists.")  Still, it says a lot about the left's partisanship that they choose to ignore this slightly worrisome solicitation, while making all sorts of bizarre claims about how Bush was going to suspend the 2008 elections.


  1. Additional less paranoid thinking:

    This is very possibly in response to the May 22nd Joplin, Missouri tornado. This more than a minimum EF5 tornado damaged or destroyed more than 7,000 units of housing (that figure includes a lot of apartments, including mine (although as the "after" photo of the complex shows I was lucky to be in one where only the top floors were outright destroyed)).

    All of a sudden we had thousands of Displaced People vying for housing along with rescue and recovery workers and to this day recovery is constrained by housing for construction workers. Generals tend to fight the last war and all that, but being able to better serve a city or region that was devastated like Joplin is legitimate.

    (One might also note that by definition concentration camps are not fancy affairs except at the parameter.)

  2. Ah, just found some harder figures, in this article by the city's best and most accurate reporter it was stated that "approximately 4,000 [ residential dwellings ] were catastrophic losses." 7,500 total were damaged; some fraction of these (e.g. roof damage) would have required evacuation for a while.

    Another factor in terms of being able to house recovery workers: the school district lost about half its buildings including the high school. For some time the old high school was used as a significant medical facility. because we lost one of our hospitals (could have lost both and a lot more lives, they were less than a mile from each other...).

  3. "Force Protection" is a paradigm that accompanies (or should) any emergency response for critical incident management. This sounds very much like force protection logistics.

    A six foot tall fence does not seem remotely connected to any standard for restraining prisoners. A six foot fence is to demarcate and discourage entry; it would nevery be used for serious imprisonment.

  4. rfb: echoing your Force Protection point, another detail from the Joplin tornado is relevant: 18,000 vehicles were outright destroyed.

    That fence and the badge based security system would be necessary in various scenarios where the less moral were looking for a replacement vehicle; you don't want your recovery workers to be worried about their personal vehicles or property.