By SHARON K. GILBERT
January 12, 2009
ACCORDING to a White House press briefing, held on January 9th, tomorrow is the day when top officials in D.C. will participate in “a three hour exercise intended to familiarize the incoming administration with domestic and international incident management procedures used by the current administration.”
This brief statement was then followed by a question from an attending reporter (referred to as ‘Mark’ in the transcript):
Q And the exercise you mentioned earlier with the transition officials — is that an attack simulation?
MR. STANZEL: It is — I won’t go into the details of it, but it is an exercise scenario, a hypothetical scenario that is designed to test and tax the capabilities of the federal government, and is one to bring about a lot of discussions about how the government would respond in that type of situation. So I’m not going to go into the details of it, but it is a scenario — a disaster scenario where the government would be very much tested.
Q Is it done in the Sit Room?
MR. STANZEL: I don’t have the exact location, but I don’t believe it will be in the Sit Room, but we can get back to you on that.
Q And are Obama and Biden taking part, or just senior staff?
MR. STANZEL: I’ll decline to speak for their team, but it will be senior level officials.
Does this strike anyone else as odd? Bush will meet with his cabinet for the very last time on Tuesday morning as he winds down his presidency. Will the cabinet be involved in the ‘exercise’? What ‘hypothetical situation’ is being implemented tomorrow? It must be a major stressor, since it is designed “to test and tax the capabilities of the federal government”.
Consider this: Joe Biden is in Iraq now. We’re assuming that Obama is in D.C., and he might even participate in this ‘exercise’. Certainly, his top people will be involved. Remember also that a number of ‘drills’ were taking place in New York on 9/11 — and at least one of these involved a plane crashing into a building.
So, why is the White House being so tight-lipped about the ‘scenario’ being played out tomorrow? Usually, these drills are spelled out in advance, so that citizens KNOW it’s a drill. A recent nuclear drill took place in Indianapolis (not far from our place), and the military even had a website that anyone could access–including real time updates as to each phase of the operation.
Why is this DC event so ‘hush-hush’? Is something ‘planned’ about to ‘go live’? Let’s pray it doesn’t.