Garden Plot & Rex 84

Operation Garden Plot is a general U.S. Army and National Guard plan to respond to major domestic civil disturbances within the United States. The plan was developed in response to the civil disorders of the 1960s and is now under the control of the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). It provides Federal military and law enforcement assistance to local governments during times of major civil disturbances.

Garden Plot was last activated (as Noble Eagle) to provide military assistance to civil authorities following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The Pentagon also activated it to restore order during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

Under Homeland Security restructuring, it has been suggested that similar models be followed.

"Oversight of these homeland security missions should be provided by the National Guard Bureau based on the long-standing Garden Plot model in which National Guard units are trained and equipped to support civil authorities in crowd control and civil disturbance missions." Testimony of Major General Richard C. Alexander, ANGUS (Ret.), Executive Director, National Guard Association of the United States, Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing on Homeland Defense, April 11, 2002[1]
Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, is a plan by the United States federal government to test their ability to detain large numbers of American citizens in case of civil unrest or national emergency.

According to scholar Diana Reynolds:

The Rex-84 Alpha Explan (Readiness Exercise 1984, Exercise Plan; otherwise known as a continuity of government plan), indicates that FEMA in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies, along with other NATO nations, conducted a civil readiness exercise during April 5-13, 1984. It was conducted in coordination and simultaneously with a Joint Chiefs exercise, Night Train 84, a worldwide military command post exercise (including Continental U.S. Forces or CONUS) based on multi-emergency scenarios operating both abroad and at home. In the combined exercise, Rex-84 Bravo, FEMA and DOD led the other federal agencies and departments, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service, the Treasury, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Veterans Administration through a gaming exercise to test military assistance in civil defense.
The exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations and strikes that would affect continuity of government and/or resource mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization for the military to implement government ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain unidentified segments of the population, and the imposition of martial law. [1]

Existence of a master military contingency plan, "Garden Plot" and a similar earlier exercise, "Lantern Spike" were originally revealed by journalist Ron Ridenhour, who summarized his findings in "Garden Plot and the New Action Army."[2]

Rex 84 was mentioned during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987, and subsequently reported on by the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987. [3] Nonetheless, the basic facts about Rex 84 and other contingency planning readiness exercises--and the potential threat they pose to civil liberties if fully implemented in a real operation--are taken seriously by scholars and civil libertarians.[4]

Exercises similar to Rex 84 happen regularly.[5] Plans for roundups of large numbers of persons in the United States in times of crisis are constructed during periods of increased political repression such as the Palmer Raids and the McCarthy Era.

For example, from 1967 to 1971 the FBI kept a list of over 100,000 persons to be rounded up as subversive, dubbed the "ADEX" list.[6] This list contained many labor leaders, scholars, and public figures of the time.

In 2008, for the first time an active military unit has been given a dedicated assignment stateside for civil unrest containment. It is assigned to Northcom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.[7]

References

  1. ^ Reynolds, [1]

  2. ^ Ridenhour, Ron (1975). "Garden Plot and the New Action Army". CounterSpy. 

  3. ^ Chip Berlet, Right Woos Left, [2]

  4. ^ Berlet and Reynolds

  5. ^ Diana Reynolds, "The Rise of the National Security State: FEMA and the NSC," CovertAction Information Bulletin, issue #33 (Winter 1990).

  6. ^ Donner, Frank (1980). The Age of Surveillance: The Aims & Methods of America's Political Intelligence System. New York: Alfred Knopf. pp. 166. 

  7. ^ Cavallaro, Gina; "Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1"; Army Times, online, Monday Sep 8, 2008 [3]



See also

External links

Home » Legal Abuse
Original URL: http://www.constitution.org/abus/garden_plot/garden_plot.htm
Maintained: Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 2007/11/15 —