Why the name?


The name Rex84 is my memorial to a really stupid and evil plan that we hope died with the Reagan years and to an ironic postscript.

Here's the short version.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), founded 1979 to the Civil Defense program, answers to the President, via the National Security Council. A Miami Herald article published 5 July 1987 reported that U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, then employed to draw up national security contingency plans, often met then FEMA director Louis O. Giuffrida between 1982 and 1984. They allegedly discussed FEMA's role in the event of civil unrest and the imposition of martial law. Giuffrida produced a plan for mass roundup and imprisonment of subversives, recycled from a plan he had devised in 1970 for the Army War College in case of an uprising of black militants.

The Miami Herald got a copy of the 2 Aug 1984 memo detailing the plan, to be included in an Executive Order or National Security Directive that President Reagan was supposed to sign. According to various right-wing web pages, this is NSDD 58. The Herald story says it's unclear whether it was signed.

REX-84, according to the Winter 1990 (#33) issue of the Covert Action Information Bulletin, was a series of simulations designed to coordinate the various agencies, civilian and military, needed under the above arrangement. One of these wargames was called REX-84/Night Train.

While taxpayer money went to set all this up, FEMA itself lost the ability to do its ostensible job, which was to be of some use during a real emergency. The CAIB cites a memo to this effect written by then Attorney General William French Smith. Eight years later, FEMA proved itself useless after Hurricane Andrew struck Florida in 1992. Habitat For Humanity showed them up. FEMA was subsequently overhauled.

The concentration camps reportedly mentioned in the Giuffrida plans were probably never built, though various right-wing websites claim to have photos. The irony is that these people probably worship Ollie, who hosts a whiny right-wing radio show, and attribute the putative REX-84 camps to Clinton and his secret UN/New World Order army.

Sure, we can laugh about it now.

A good source for all this is the Miami Herald July 5 1987 edition, available online.


"Some of President Reagan's top advisers have operated a virtual parallel government outside the traditional Cabinet departments and agencies almost from the day Reagan took office, congressional investigators and administration officials have concluded."

If you want more, it costs $1.95 to download the article.

Another article is this one


It basically quotes the Covert Action Information Bulletin, #33. In those days, the CAIB and the Christic Institute gave the best lowdown on Reagan-Bush mischief, domestic and foreign. Unfortunately, they turned a blind eye to the dreariness of Castro and the Sandinistas and the murderousness of Shining Path (Peru) and M-19 (Colombia). I don't miss the Cold War. Rebel groups you could actually like, such as the Zapatistas, were years in the future.


So what?