A Google Alert recently brought my attention to the fact that I had, somehow and without my knowledge, suddenly joined the ranks of conspiracy theorists who believe that FEMA is building concentration camps throughout the United States to inter and kill law-abiding citizens. I wondered if perhaps I’d been mixing my Bloody Marys a bit strong. But then I noticed what site the article was on: PrisonPlanet.com, run by Alex Jones. Alex didn’t personally write the article – he was out running around with his strait jacket flapping half open, cackling like a banshee, pursued on foot by guys in white suits – it was written by Chuck Baldwin.
If you don’t know him, Chuck Baldwin is one of the more legitimate faces of the “Government is out to kill us all” conspiracy theorist crowd. Chuck was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the hardcore conservative Guns-n-Bibles Constitution Party. Chuck wrote:
Even Mr. Skeptoid himself, Brian Dunning, grudgingly acknowledges the probability of the existence of internment camps on U.S. soil. As with the retired Air Force colonel referred to above, Dunning senses nothing sinister about the existence of the camps, and he doesn’t address the numbers part of the story, but he does admit the plausibility of their existence.
Dunning wrote, “When I first heard the FEMA Prison Camp conspiracy story, it seemed ridiculous and paranoid at face value. But when I finally dug in to research it, I started by searching for the origins of the rumors, and found to my surprise that nearly all of the legal foundation and precedent for such a plan does in fact exist.”
I did say that in my episode. The legal precedent does in fact exist that would permit the President to erect prison camps and throw in American citizens. It’s surprising when you read the details, but it shouldn’t be when you connect the dots and see how it’s used, both in intent and in practice. These acts (which are matters of public record) are what permitted the National Guard to step in during the LA Riots, and I didn’t hear the conspiracy theorists complaining about it when it was saving their asses from wild mobs. It also permitted the military to be deployed to assist in Hurricane Katrina, though it need not be reiterated here what a clusterfucked travesty of incompetence that turned out to be.
Where Chuck jumps the tracks is his analysis that I “acknowledged the probability of (the camps’) existence”. Meaning, I said there probably are such camps. This is basically the opposite of what I concluded, so I figure Chuck either quoted mined without listening to the full episode, or didn’t care and simply used my name to add credibility to his position. Wrong, Chuck. I was pretty clear that I thought those who believe the government has such camps are delusional. Here are a few of my actual conclusions from the episode:
To a responsible skeptic, the other examples of government behavior that we have constitute pretty poor support for the existence of domestic concentration camps.
Times change. (The WWII internment of Japanese Americans) would never happen today, and although the government technically has the same powers to do it now as it did then, it’s not realistic to be concerned about it recurring.
I don’t remember anyone electing a politician who wants to throw millions of Americans into prison camps.
To make effective electoral decisions, you need to maintain a healthy skepticism, and not go off the deep end and suppose that every Halliburton contract is a slippery slope leading to Americans being gassed in military concentration camps.
If you see barbed wire around a train yard, consider the possibility of other explanations (like the train company doesn’t need stuff being stolen) before you conclude that the Illuminati are out to kill you.
Chuck, for the record, I’ve seen no plausible evidence and don’t believe for a moment that FEMA maintains a single prison camp in readiness with the intent of locking up and/or executing law-abiding American citizens. We all agree that they shouldn’t, including lefties, righties, cats, and redwood knurls. I hope that’s clear enough, so please don’t use my name anymore to promote your, or Alex Jones’, sensationalized paranoia. Thank you.