The contract of the Halliburton subsidiary KBR to build immigrant detention facilities is part of a ten-year Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists." In the 1980s Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld discussed similar emergency detention powers as part of a super-secret program of planning for what was euphemistically called "Continuity of Government" (COG) in the event of a nuclear disaster. At the time, Cheney was a Wyoming congressman, while Rumsfeld, who had been defense secretary under President Ford, was a businessman and CEO of the drug company G.D. Searle. [1]

These men planned for suspension of the Constitution, not just after nuclear attack, but for any "national security emergency," which they defined in Executive Order 12656 of 1988 as: "Any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States." Clearly 9/11 would meet this definition, and did, for COG was instituted on that day. As the Washington Post later explained, the order "dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time long-standing plans." [2]

What the managers in this shadow government worked on has never been reported. But it is significant that the group that prepared ENDGAME was, as the Homeland Security document puts it, "chartered in September 2001." [3] For ENDGAME's goal of a capacious detention capability is remarkably similar to Oliver North's controversial Rex-84 "readiness exercise" for COG in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary "refugees," in the context of "uncontrolled population movements" over the Mexican border into the United States. [4]

[1] James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies (New York: Doubleday, 2004), 70-74.

[2] "Shadow Government Is at Work in Secret," Washington Post, 3/1/02.

[3] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), "ENDGAME: Office of Detention and Removal Strategic Plan, 2003 - 2012 -- Detention and Removal Strategy for a Secure Homeland;" http://www.ice.gov/graphics/dro/endgame.pdf. (As of this writing, the ENDGAME Strategic Plan is no longer posted on the Internet.) Cf. Peter Dale Scott, "10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North," Pacific News Service, 2/21/06.

[4] Alfonzo Chardy, Miami Herald, 7/5/87.