Eileen Sullivan of the AP reports:
The fourth Top Officials exercise — dubbed TOPOFF — takes place during the week starting Oct. 15. The program costs about $25 million a year and involves the federal government's highest officials, such as top people from the Defense and Homeland Security departments.This is the fourth such exercise, ostensibly designed to locate problems which need to be addressed.
According to an internal department briefing of the coming exercise obtained by AP, a dirty bomb will go off at a Cabras power plant in Guam; another dirty bomb will explode on the Steel Bridge in Portland, Ore., impacting major transportation systems, and a third dirty bomb will explode at the intersection of busy routes 101 and 202 near Phoenix.
The third exercise in the series happened two years ago. But the report that not even been released!
And a detailed report from the second exercise has been withheld from the states, supposedly for security reasons.
Eileen Sullivan's article details the government's refusal to share the information. If this series of exercises is intended as a learning tool, then who's learning? And what are they learning about?
Sullivan doesn't dare approach the more difficult questions raised by these terror exercises.
The military exercises that were running during the attacks of September 11, 2001, appear to have provided just the environment necessary for the attacks to succeed. And the exercises which were happening in London during the bombing of July 7, 2005, precisely mirrored both the timing and the location of the four bombs!
So it's only natural for people to be worried about unspeakable questions:
What if something like that happens again?
What if once again a terror drill turns out to be a terror attack?
Will we lose hundreds of thousands or millions of people to radiation poisoning?
Will we lose the rest of our civil liberties?
Will martial law be declared?
Will we retaliate -- against Iran?
Is it crazy to raise warnings about such things?
Or is it even crazier to remain quiet about them?
If a bomb actually exploded in Portland or Phoenix or Guam (or more than one of these) during the exercises, such explosion(s) could be used as a pretext for aggressive action against the American people, or against a foreign country (Iran, for instance). But even if they weren't, it would be best for everyone to know what had been happening at the time, wouldn't it?
After 9/11 it took more than a year to find out about the war-games that were going on that day.
We knew about the London terror drills on the very day of the 7/7 attacks.
This time -- and from now on, every time -- we are better off knowing in advance.
You may not agree with me, but that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.