Rex 84

Rex 84

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.


Exercises similar to Rex 84 happen periodically. [Diana Reynolds, " [ The Rise of the National Security State: FEMA and the NSC] ," "CovertAction Information Bulletin", issue #33 (Winter 1990).] Plans for roundups 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 persons to be rounded up as subversive, dubbed the "ADEX" list. [cite book| last=Donner| first= Frank| title=The Age of Surveillance: The Aims & Methods of America's Political Intelligence System| location=New York| publisher= Alfred Knopf| year= 1980| pages=166]

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 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. JOAN OF ARC.

: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 rule. [Reynolds, [] ]

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." [cite journal| title=Garden Plot and the New Action Army| journal=CounterSpy| year=1975| first=Ron| last=Ridenhour]

Rex 84 was mentioned during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987, and subsequently reported on by the "Miami Herald" on July 5, 1987. [Chip Berlet, "Right Woos Left", [ ] ] A number of websites and alternative publications that span the political spectrum have hypothesized upon the basic material about Rex 84, and in many cases hyperbolized it into a form of urban legend or conspiracy theory. Rex 84 is sometimes cited as an extension of the fictional King Alfred Plan, a strategy to detain African Americans. 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 liberties activists. [Berlet and Reynolds]

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


External links

Concerns about future civil liberties issues

* [ "U.S. Can Confine Citizens Without Charges, Court Rules," Jerry Markon, Washington Post, September 10, 2005; Page A01]
* [ "Reagan Aides and the 'Secret' Government," Alfonso Chardy, Miami Herald, July 5, 1987.] Also available as photoscans in PDF format [ here] .
* [ "Martial Law Concerns," Congressman Jim McDermott, House of Representatives, March 11, 2003]
* [ Information about Operation Garden Plot, the larger operation of which Rex 84 was a part]
* [ "Foundations are in place for martial law in the US," Ritt Goldstein, Sydney Morning Herald, July 27, 2002]
* [ "The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act: An Assault on Civil Liberties in the Name of Homeland Security," Sue Blevins, Heritage Foundation Lecture #748, June 10, 2002]
* [ "325,000 Names on Terrorism List, Rights Groups Say Database May Include Innocent People," Walter Pincus and Dan Eggen, The Washington Post, Wednesday, February 15, 2006; Page A01]

Critical of conspiracist interpretations

* [ Chip Berlet, "Right Woos Left", Discussion of Rex 84 conspiracy theories.]

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  • Rex 84 — Rex 84, diminutif de Readiness Exercise 1984 est un plan du gouvernement des États Unis[1] visant à tester sa capacité à détenir un grand nombre de réfugiés ou de citoyens américains dans l éventualité d une crise sociale ou d une urgence… …   Wikipédia en Français

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