FEMA Camps: Just a Conspiracy Theory?
Freedom In Our Time
Businessman Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Syria, stands outside the New Orleans Greyhound station that was converted into an open-air detention center following Katrina. Zeitoun was imprisoned under FEMA jurisdiction after being arrested for "trespassing" on his own property.
New Orleans resident Abdulrahman Zeitoun was with three friends in the living room when the looters came. Like most of the armed criminal gangs afflicting the city in Katrina's wake, the marauders who confronted Mr. Zeitoun wore government-issued costumes.
Before the day's end, the Syrian-born U.S. citizen -- who had spent days paddling through the flooded streets in a canoe, rendering what aid he could to people trapped in their ruined homes -- would be confined in a makeshift detention camp modeled after the notorious facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
No formal criminal charges were filed against Zeitoun. When he protested the denial of his due process rights and rudimentary decencies of living, he was told by the guards that he was under the jurisdiction of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) -- which meant that he was somebody else's problem.
If it hadn't been for an encounter with a Christian missionary ministering to the prisoners -- a man Zeitoun believes was sent in literal answer to prayer -- it's likely that he and at least one of his friends, a fellow Syrian-American, would still be prisoners of the Department of Homeland Security.