by Ellen Brown
Prison buses are driving around empty in the Tucson area. Are Wackenhut and the DHS preparing for civil unrest?
On a recent visit to Tucson, where I was invited to give a presentation on monetary reform, I was disturbed by a story of strange goings on in the desert. A little over a year ago, it seems, a new industrial facility sprang up on the edge of town. It was in a remote industrial zone and appeared to be a bus depot. The new enterprise was surrounded by an imposing security fence and bore no outward signs identifying its services. However, it soon became apparent that the compound was in the business of outfitting a fleet of prison buses. Thirty or so secondhand city buses were being reconfigured with prison bars in the windows and a coat of fresh paint bearing the “Wackenhut G4S” logo on the side.
The new Wackenhut operation is shrouded in mystery. It has been running its fleet of empty prison buses night and day, apparently logging miles on a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract. Multiple buses can be seen driving all over town and even on remote desert back roads. Oddly, except for the driver and one escort guard seated in front, these buses are always empty. Wackenhut Services was founded by George Wackenhut in 1954 to provide prison guard services to state and federal governments. Mr. Wackenhut was reported to be something of a brawler himself, having once earned distinction beating up his business partner in a fist fight. Now owned by the Danish corporation G4S, Wackenhut Services has a sinister reputation for hiring thugs. It has been said that it’s hard to tell which is more dangerous, the prisoners or the guards.
Observers originally thought that the purpose of the new Wackenhut operation was to outfit prison buses to be distributed in other parts of the country. But it soon became apparent that none of the buses was leaving the Tucson depot. Recently, a passerby observed what appeared to be a training operation there. In what seemed to be strange activity for 10:30 PM on a Saturday night, the depot yard was fully illuminated, the entire fleet of buses was up and running, and drivers and guards were scrambling around the yard. The question is, what were they training for? Wackenhut has never officially announced itself to the community, and the local news media have never mentioned its presence. Hiring has been discreetly conducted via the Internet, and an apathetic general public has taken little notice.
Among the few who have noticed, one theory is that the prison bus depot is simply infrastructure for border security. But if so, where are the illegal aliens? Why are these buses always empty? What is the alleged justification for burning thousands of gallons of diesel fuel to run thirty decrepit, smoking buses night and day without passengers?
There is another interesting piece to this puzzle. On the desolate plain between Phoenix and Tucson is a tiny town called Florence, Arizona, which features a population consisting largely of prisoners. For decades, Florence has been the home of two of the largest county and federal prisons in the state; and in 2007, a vast new DHS prison was built there as well. Like the Wackenhut buses, this shiny new facility, which literally disappears into the horizon, has gone unannounced and unnoticed by the general public. A new facility for imprisoning illegal aliens? It is hard to imagine such expensive infrastructure being built for that purpose when U.S. policy has been to simply return illegals to their home countries.
Fraud and waste aside, this mysterious activity has sinister implications. Why the obvious secrecy?
Since the World Trade Center disaster in 2001, the Department of Homeland Security has grown to monster proportions, claiming a projected $50 billion of the federal budget in 2009. DHS includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which earned notoriety in 2005 for its gross mishandling of the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. Al Martin, a retired naval intelligence officer and former contributor to the Presidential Council of Economic Advisors, has linked the remilitarization of FEMA to the civil unrest anticipated along with economic collapse. He wrote in a November 2005 newsletter called “Behind the Scenes in the Beltway”:
“FEMA is being upgraded as a federal agency, and upon passage of PATRIOT Act III, which contains the amendment to overturn posse comitatus, FEMA will be re-militarized, which will give the agency military police powers. . . . Why is all of this being done? Why is the regime moving to a militarized police state and to a dictatorship? It is because of what Comptroller General David Walker said, that after 2009, the ability of the United States to continue to service its debt becomes questionable. Although the average citizen may not understand what that means, when the United States can no longer service its debt it collapses as an economic entity. We would be an economically collapsed state. The only way government can function and can maintain control in an economically collapsed state is through a military dictatorship.”1