Glenn Beck: FEMA camps debunked

GLENN: Oh, yeah. Here's our here's, you know, the usual update for you. Third most listened to show in all of America. I'm, you know, basically a rodeo clown and I'm glad you're here. Welcome to it. It's the Glenn Beck program. That would make me Glenn. Jim Meigs is the editor in chief of Popular Mechanics. Popular Mechanics is obviously a very well respected magazine, and I first stumped across Popular Mechanics' debunking ability on the 9/11 conspiracy, and they did such an amazing job with that, I mean, they nailed that closed. Any of these 9/11 Truthers who I've been telling you for years are dangerous wait a minute, there's evidence now about the guy in Pittsburgh possibly being associated with just rumors being associated with 9/11 Truthers? Huh, that's weird.

Anyway, so Jim Meigs and Popular Mechanics did that. I think I snapped about, when was it, Stu, three months ago? About two months ago I snapped on the air and I said, can we stop with the FEMA camp thing. Well, my crew went to work on it and they said, Glenn, we can disprove this, this and this because those things exist, you know, here, here and here. And I said, wait, wait, wait, wait, what? You are telling me we can't prove it but we can't disprove it?

When I got to work the following day and we were supposed to have it on the TV show, I realized that we didn't have any film, we didn't have any pictures. And I said, no, no, no, no, no, it can't be just one man's opinion. I want pictures. I want proof. If they exist, I want pictures. If they don't exist, I want to know what those pictures that you see on the Internet actually are. That's when we called Jim Meigs, Popular Mechanics. He is with us now. Hi, Jim.

MEIGS: Hi, Jim, how are you today?

GLENN: I am really looking forward my staff has seen all of the pictures and the video that you have taken. You guys actually went out to one of these FEMA camps, right?

MEIGS: That's right, one of the most popular videos online showed the facility. And when you see the footage, I think you'll find it really eye opening how big the gap is in reality between what the claims are that are made online and what the much more mundane reality is in the real world.

GLENN: Okay. Let's I don't even know where to I don't even know where to start here. I know there's a lot you have stuff that we can't, obviously because we're radio we can't show you now, but all of these are going to be we're going to cover all of these pictures and the video tonight, right?

MEIGS: Yes.

GLENN: Okay.

MEIGS: And what we try to do is the same thing we did with the 9/11 conspiracy theories. We can't tell you every we're not trying to tell you everything that FEMA's doing. Instead what we're doing is we're taking the claims that the conspiracy theories themselves make and we're just saying you claim that this barbed wire fence hides a big FEMA prison camp? Well, let's look and see what this picture really is. Let's send a crew. Let's just really establish what the facts are. And so we take the examples that are most popular on the Internet and just look and see if they're true or false.

GLENN: Okay.

MEIGS: And we go into it with an open mind, but we often find that the reality that's being presented by these groups is so far from the truth.

GLENN: Jim, what I found just on my own initial, I finally said, you know what, it's worth looking into was that there are things that, you know, in executive orders and FEMA laws, et cetera, et cetera that if you push it to the crazy extent, if you push it to, well, yes, the whole world is breaking down and we've gone into martial law that they do have the ability to do some of these things. True or false?

MEIGS: Well, it depends what the things are that you're talking about. The

GLENN: Well, not gassing Americans.

MEIGS: Well, one thing you see picked up a lot on these sites is a lot of old executive orders going back to the Kennedy administration and those have been revised and tightened up over the years but specifically none of these executive orders can overturn the Constitution, and in fact under the Reagan in the Reagan years a lot of the executive orders were unified and specifically with a specific statement that nothing therein is intended to violate the Constitution.

GLENN: Okay.

MEIGS: So, you know, it's important to remember that even a president can't do that. I do think people worry sometimes about the abuse of federal power and power accumulating in various situations. I think that it's important for people to be vigilant about that, which is precisely why things that are dishonor are terrible exaggerations don't really help that cause. They make people who are worried about abuses of executive power just look silly and, in fact, these are important issues that we should always be vigilant about.

GLENN: And this is why I've been saying on the air that we cannot we've got to be very careful. Somebody sent me some stuff from Nancy Pelosi that Nancy Pelosi apparently said, you know, all these really we've got to seize property and everything else. And I said and I called this person back and I said, where did you get this? And they said, well, you know, it comes from a good source, it's from a friend of mine; he said he checks it out. And I said, I don't believe any of these. If they are, I'm leading television with these on Monday, but I can't believe. Send them to the brain room. None of them are true. None of them are true. So we have to be able to be reasonable and actually talk about facts. So I'm going to play a little bit, and you'll see all of this on television, but this is from one of the most watched YouTube things on the FEMA camps. It is a gated building. It runs about 30 seconds and I want to I'll play a little bit. You'll see this on television, but here's a little bit of what you see on YouTube.

VOICE: This small building is the only way into a particular fenced area. Inside this building we see more of the motion activated detectors, electronic turnstiles and prison bars. All of the renovations to this property have involved putting in new fencing, electronic turnstiles, concrete flooring in unused warehouse buildings and putting in large gas furnaces on buildings that were never heated anytime in the past 20 years.

GLENN: Putting in large gas furnaces. Holy cow, Jim. So this place exists.

MEIGS: Yes.

GLENN: You found it.

MEIGS: Yes, we did.

GLENN: You saw the footage, you went back and went into those same buildings that they went into and what did you find?

MEIGS: Well, we didn't find Auschwitz which is the implication of that video. And I think it is what we found is that it's a train repair facility just as the sign on the gate says. But, you know, if you look at the world from a certain perspective, any chain link expense is going to look suspicious to you and

GLENN: Well, my neighbors didn't like one.

MEIGS: But sometimes if you just knock on the door and ask to be let inside, they are happy to let you in and show you around. That's exactly what we did. It's an ordinary Amtrak facility. What's particularly interesting, that video is almost 15 years old and

GLENN: This has actually come out during the Clinton administration, right?

MEIGS: That's exactly right. And what we see often is that nothing really goes away on the Internet and something can be debunked, disproven or just be totally out of date and yet someone will pull it up, they will reedit it, they will put it into new context and someone will come along and see it. And these things often look very credible. They look like they are produced by news organizations or, you know, if you go to these websites, they have lots of facts and figures and maps and things that look very legitimate and so it takes a little bit of effort sometimes to dig down and say, okay, what is the source of that and in some cases you need to go pick up the phone and go visit a facility and see for yourself and see that the reality's really not as scary as it it's being portrayed.

GLENN: They had scary gates, we'll show you the deal. They had prison bars and these turnstiles that were leading right into what they claimed were gas chambers.

MEIGS: Yes, actually those turnstiles aren't there anymore but that was a, it was a work facility and that was there. They had some kind of magnetic pass cars or something like that to let people around.

GLENN: When you say work facility, that was for the Americans that were taken when they were to work?

MEIGS: That was for the people who were repairing the trains and if you think about it

GLENN: Why would they need prison bars and turnstiles like that?

MEIGS: Well, the turnstiles to me look a lot like the turnstiles they have to get into the New York subway.

GLENN: Trains. Interesting that that happens to be a common theme here, also used by Hitler, trains.

MEIGS: If you want to look at the world that way, you know, everything leads back to Hitler. But if you also think about it

GLENN: My vegetable garden doesn't.

MEIGS: But if you also think about it, a train facility actually is a fairly highly ought to be a fairly highly secure environment. There's a lot of expensive equipment in there and, you know, we know today that terrorists have targeted public transportation around the world. So the notion that they were controlling access to the workers coming in and out isn't really so strange.

GLENN: Tell me. There's two other camps that you've covered. One is a camp that we have photographic evidence of.

MEIGS: Yes.

GLENN: In Wyoming.

MEIGS: Yes.

GLENN: Tell me about that.

MEIGS: The yeah, this comes up on a number of websites and there's some satellite imagery showing of various buildings and identifying them as a prison camp somewhere in Wyoming and

GLENN: May I, may I just ask, Jim, is it true that this is a prison camp, it is a concentration camp where most likely horrors are going on?

MEIGS: That is absolutely true. And as you often see in conspiracy theories, there is a grain of truth to this. But they left out one detail. The prison camp is not in Wyoming. It's in North Korea.

STU: (Laughing).

MEIGS: And the pictures were

GLENN: Okay, all right. Stop Meigs, stop with your spin. Is it true that there are horrors going on in this camp most likely? It is run by "The government" and it is a concentration camp.

MEIGS: It's all true.

GLENN: It's all true. It's all true. Okay, North Korea, Wyoming, they got one thing wrong. But the rest is true!

MEIGS: And Glenn, I guarantee you the segment of dialogue between you and me right there will be clipped and excerpted and the rest of our conversation will be cut out and that will be on a website by tomorrow.

GLENN: Exactly right. That's exactly right.

MEIGS: Because we've seen this happen again and again where people will make a statement, it gets edited down so that it seems to mean the exact opposite of what the people were trying to say. And that's recirculated endlessly on these conspiracy websites.

GLENN: I mean, do you think it's responsible for the editor in chief of Popular Mechanics to be calling for an arms insurrection like you just did?

MEIGS: Right, and when did you stop beating your wife.

GLENN: Okay.

MEIGS: This is a particularly interesting one. Actually there's some evidence that these pictures might have originally appeared online as part of a hoax, but again nothing ever disappears on the Internet and so what happens is they get picked up, they get reprinted, they get passed from hand to hand. So somebody just digging into this you know, a lot of people are interested in this for perfectly valid reasons. There's nothing wrong with being concerned about the direction of the political situation. There's nothing wrong with being suspicious about FEMA or any other branch of the government. That could be healthy.

GLENN: Yes.

MEIGS: But when people dig in and look at this information without subjecting it to any kind of scrutiny and without being

GLENN: But, you know, Jim, nobody has, nobody has the time. I mean, I look at stuff and you have to use common sense and say, okay, well, this doesn't sound right. But most people don't can't call the editor in chief of Popular Mechanics and say, hey, can you find and track down these prison camps.

MEIGS: That's true to some extent. But you know what? There have been cases where ordinary citizens have looked at these lists and they said, hey, that one, that's near my house. And one case up in Maine, a guy drove over to one of these sites that was near his house and sure enough, it was an old Air Force base that had been decommissioned and now it's run by the fish and game department and you can get in there and go hiking, you know, fishing. I mean, it's

GLENN: So hang on just a second. You are saying that you are saying that live, organic life is caught with hooks on these campsites?

MEIGS: It's I know the outrages never cease.

GLENN: It never, it never does. And next I'm going to hear that you say this same life is, you know, hit sometimes in the head and killed with a hammer.

Okay. So Jim, who is the woman that made the tape and we heard her voice a minute ago where she said spooky stuff and it scared me.

MEIGS: Yes.

GLENN: Who is she?

MEIGS: I believe her name is Linda Thompson. I've got to double check that last name. I've got it in my notes here.

GLENN: Okay.

MEIGS: Linda Thompson. She was one of the leaders of the militia movement. You remember the militia movement, you know, the black helicopters and the idea that, you know, our

GLENN: This is right after Timothy McVeigh if I'm not mistaken.

MEIGS: It led up to Timothy McVeigh. He was certainly a part of that and it continued into the Nineties and among other things that she promoted was the idea that her followers needed to go to Washington and start shooting senators. And a lot of people in the militia movement even kind of renounced her as being too extreme. But again no one

GLENN: Hold just a second. Wait, wait. Wait, wait. I just want that to sink in. So the lady making the tapes on the FEMA camps.

MEIGS: Right.

GLENN: Is a woman that was kicked out of the militia movement that said go kill senators because she was too extreme?

MEIGS: I don't know if anybody can really be kicked out of a loose movement like that but, yes, there was some

GLENN: Right, yes, okay. We want to get our facts right that she wasn't excommunicated. They just kind of went, yeah, don't really talk to her; shun her a little bit because she's crazy.

MEIGS: Right. But what's interesting is here's this video she made ages ago, and a lot of this is actually kind of repurposed. A lot of this fear about prison camps originally started when the UN was going to come and do this. Well now after Katrina we've got a new villain. You know, FEMA is the all purpose villain and certainly FEMA has plenty to answer for, but the but you'll see the same things reemerge with kind of in new bottles. And so here you see this fear that there's going to be some kind of takeover of our government. A lot of it honestly goes back to the movie Red Dawn. Do you remember Red Dawn?

GLENN: Yes, I do.

MEIGS: And it's a very enjoyable movie but it's a movie. And I think sometimes you see it's maybe shaped people's world views a little more than any movie should.

GLENN: Isn't there, isn't there one of these FEMA camp things that actually has footage from that movie?

MEIGS: There may be. I haven't seen that clip yet but, you know, people will take this stuff, they will reedit it. So people might be looking at listening to Linda Thompson's voiceover from this footage that she made and think it's a newscast or they don't exactly know where it comes from. And again it can sound credible if all you do is just look at a video on YouTube.

GLENN: Okay. From Popular Mechanics, Jim Meigs. And he is going to be with me tonight and you are going to see the A/B comparison. You are going to see what they say and then you will see Popular Mechanics cameras going out to verify, either say yes it is or no, it's not. So much more tonight on the Fox News Channel at 5:00 Eastern time. Jim, thanks a lot.

MEIGS: Thanks, Glenn.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


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There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

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Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


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But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


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John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


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Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


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A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


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Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


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And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


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When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


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"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


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-AND-

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Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


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At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


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Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


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This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


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It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.