Department of Defense Procedures to Shut Up Civilians-Unproven!

Department of Defense Procedures to Shut Up Civilians-Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded link to a video posted on YouTube that warns a manual for Interment and Resettlement Operations by U.S. Department of Defense.  The narrator on the video alleges that the operations will be used on citizens in the U.S.

The Truth:
The manual appears to be real and was dated 12 February 2010 but it is what the narrator of the video calls “leaked.” We have no indication that it is a current policy of the Department of the Defense (DOD) or that the government has policies in place to incarcerate U.S. Civilians.
This manual was found by reference number “FM 3-39.40” on an official military publications site.  That site requires a DOD approval certificate log, which we do not have at the time of this writing to authenticate the “leaked” copy with the official manual.
Another unofficial copy of the manual was found posted on the Internet where anyone can download and read.  Click to download manual.

It is possible that the narrator is spinning a conspiracy theory that the government is out to get us from his interpretation of this manual.  The video’s allegations could be a misinterpretation of what is written in the manual because branches of the DOD are part of the logistical team that are used throughout the world when natural disasters strike.

The preface of the manual states that the military police operations could be called in to assist in disaster relief efforts both nationally and abroad:
Military police conduct I/R operations during offensive, defensive, stability, or civil support operations. I/R
operations include military police support to U.S. military prisoner and detainee operations within operational
environments (OEs), ranging from major combat operations to humanitarian-assistance missions in support of a
host nation (HN) or civil agency.

On page 14  the manual there is a flow chart that shows that “Displaced Civilians” (DC) come under resettlement operations and not classified as “Detainees.”   Yet, there is a classification for “Civilian Internees” (CI) who fall under the Detainee category.  In this context. an enemy combatant affiliated with a terrorist cell would come under the category of CI where the victim of a flood or earthquake whose home or city was destroyed could come under DC.  Under the heading of DC are included refugees, migrants, expellees, internally displaced persons, evacuees and stateless persons.

Flow chart found on page 14 of the manual

Civilian Internee (CI) is defined in the manual on page 17:

1-10. A CI is a civilian who is interned during armed conflict, occupation, or other military operation for
security reasons, for protection, or because he or she committed an offense against the detaining power. (JP
3-63) CIs, unless they have committed acts for which they are considered unlawful combatants, generally
qualify for protected status according to the GC, which also establishes procedures that must be observed
when depriving such civilians of their liberty. CIs are to be accommodated separately from EPWs and
persons deprived of liberty for any other reason.

Displaced Civilian is not defined but the manual does describe how they should be treated on page 33:

2-10. Military police units may be required to support the collection and control of DCs. In offensive,
defensive, and stability operations many of the fundamentals are similar to that of handling detainees, but
the focus is typically different. The handling of DCs is also a mission that may be performed in support of
disaster relief or other emergencies within the United States or U.S. territories during civil support
operations. As such, local, state and federal agencies are primarily responsible for handling DCs with the
U.S. military in a support role. When a state of emergency is declared, the state’s national guard may be
called to assist with DCs under the control of the state governor or they may be federalized and conduct
operations as federal U.S. military forces. (See Titles 10 and 32, U.S. Code [USC].)

It is important to keep in mind that such a manual was designed to handle an unlimited number of possible scenarios where agencies under the  U.S. Department of Defense play a role.

The video also alleges that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) would be involved.   In the event of a natural disaster in the U.S. these agencies would be involved.  FEMA provides the Incident Command System training for all US agencies involved in response missions.  FEMA comes under the blanket of the DHS.
updated 03/12/13