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Oldsmobile writes "On Monday, June 19, about 4,000 government workers representing more than 50 federal agencies will say goodbye to their families and set off for dozens of classified emergency facilities stretching from the Maryland and Virginia suburbs to the foothills of the Alleghenies. They will take to the bunkers in an "evacuation" that sources describe as the largest "continuity of government" exercise ever conducted, a drill intended to prepare the U.S. government for an event even more catastrophic than the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The vast secret operation has updated the duck-and-cover scenarios of the 1950s with state-of-the-art technology -- alerts and updates delivered by pager and PDA, wireless priority service, video teleconferencing, remote backups -- to ensure that "essential" government functions continue undisrupted in an emergency."
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  • Credibility gap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mostly a lurker ( 634878 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:26PM (#15466869)
    When the emergency preparedness procedures are woefully inadequate in cases where the responsible agencies are operating from their regular offices, why should I believe they would be effective when staff are trying to react in a situation of real chaos.
  • Is the men to women ratio favourable in Dr Strangelove's eyes? I mean, of course every many would have to perform his 'duty to his country' often with many women to repopulate the earth, but I think they can all suck it up and deal with it.
  • Tinfoil hat time! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ruiner13 ( 527499 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:33PM (#15466911) Homepage
    What if there is an asteroid about to hir Earth and the governement knows this and planned a "drill" to evacuate people underground that really isn't a drill. It would save people not on the list from trying to get there :)

    Ok, conspiracy theory over!

  • As we were instructed during my Navy boot camp: find a shielded spot, sit down, place your head between your knees, and kiss your 4ss goodbye...

    Nobody should be surprised by this. I mean, surely I wasn't the only one that noticed that the Federal governments first response after 9/11 was to protect itself (i.e. Federal buildings, etc.)? State, County, and City governments were left to fend for themselves until the Fed had its ass covered; us mere citizens don't get squat, if you don't count the 'protection' we get from TSA airport screeners, the Patriot Act, and other catchy-titled programs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:05PM (#15467089)
    How far the future are you looking where "Should Iran wake up one day and decide to nuke Washington" be possible? I mean, they'd have to develop a nuclear weapon, a long-range delivery system (Arguably harder than making a small fission device), weaponising their little pop-gun fission device so their long range delivery system can carry the thing (Very hard) and then be Bat Shit Crazy enough to use it, hoping that the US don't simply shoot it out of the sky before it gets to them. Then they'd be turned into the world biggest sheet of glass.

    I mean, I'm all for sensationalist propoganda and fear based war-mongering, but that's some pretty futuristic fture you've got there.
  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:22PM (#15467187) Homepage
    If you were a corrupt, failing administration what a perfect cover to launch some type of coup. Speaking hypothetically, of course. Say you were a neo-conservative right wing type, I'm sure you could find a pretext for sweeping aside Congressional oversight and an "activist" judiciary. But when to pull it off? When most government officials were safely out of harms way in "secret" locations. In case any of you liberal types didn't like the idea of a neo-conservative monarchy.

    All you'd need to happen with the execs were safely away is some cooked up "terrorist" attack, maybe a series of dirty bombs going off coupled with a financial crisis. Good excuse to roll the military out into the streets.

    Nah, couldn't happen here, right? Just because something similar happened...well, several times in the past is no reason to think it could ever happen here.

  • by mrraven ( 129238 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:22PM (#15467188)
    "Agency planned exercise on Sept. 11 built around a plane crashing into a building
    Wed Aug 21, 7:45 PM ET

    By JOHN J. LUMPKIN, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - In what the government describes as a bizarre coincidence, one U.S. intelligence agency was planning an exercise last Sept. 11 in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of its buildings. But the cause wasn't terrorism -- it was to be a simulated accident.

    Officials at the Chantilly, Virginia-based National Reconnaissance Office had scheduled an exercise that morning in which a small corporate jet would crash into one of the four towers at the agency's headquarters building after experiencing a mechanical failure.

    The agency is about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the runways of Washington Dulles International Airport.

    Agency chiefs came up with the scenario to test employees' ability to respond to a disaster, said spokesman Art Haubold. No actual plane was to be involved -- to simulate the damage from the crash, some stairwells and exits were to be closed off, forcing employees to find other ways to evacuate the building.

    "It was just an incredible coincidence that this happened to involve an aircraft crashing into our facility," Haubold said. "As soon as the real world ( news - Y! TV) events began, we canceled the exercise."

    Terrorism was to play no role in the exercise, which had been planned for several months, he said.

    Adding to the coincidence, American Airlines Flight 77 -- the Boeing 767 that was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon ( news - web sites) -- took off from Dulles at 8:10 a.m. on Sept. 11, 50 minutes before the exercise was to begin. It struck the Pentagon around 9:40 a.m., killing 64 aboard the plane and 125 on the ground.

    The National Reconnaissance Office operates many of the nation's spy satellites. It draws its personnel from the military and the CIA ( news - web sites).

    After the Sept. 11 attacks, most of the 3,000 people who work at agency headquarters were sent home, save for some essential personnel, Haubold said.

    An announcement for an upcoming homeland security conference in Chicago first noted the exercise.

    In a promotion for speaker John Fulton, a CIA officer assigned as chief of NRO's strategic gaming division, the announcement says, "On the morning of September 11th 2001, Mr. Fulton and his team ... were running a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building. Little did they know that the scenario would come true in a dramatic way that day."

    The conference is being run by the National Law Enforcement and Security Institute.


    On the Net:

    National Reconnaissance Office: []

    Central Intelligence Agency ( news - web sites): []

    National Law Enforcement and Security Institute: [] "

    Although his link is from "prison planet" the original article is from AP.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:22PM (#15467196) Journal
    Weren't government agencies practicing for the exact same situation as 9/11 just prior to it happening?

    I might need a tin-foil hat here, but it just seems to convenient that they are having a 'practice run' like they were practicing before 9/11.

  • Re:Tinfoil hat time! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by czarangelus ( 805501 ) < minus city> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:23PM (#15467205)
    I thought the exact same thing... I wonder if there's a big terrorist attack coming. I never used to be this paranoid... *sigh*
  • by gmezero ( 4448 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @02:26PM (#15467527) Homepage
    that have occured since & including 911, have also coinsided with a massive government/military training drills (911 and london)... and the since the U.S. is building up a strike force for what appears to be a July attack on Iran... the conspiracy side of me is going "Hmmm...." in an ominous tone. we need to be digging out our grand fathers bomb shelters for a "camping trip" with the family? Sigh...
  • State-of-the-art (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:00PM (#15468256)
    /., and no-one comments (that I've seen) on the technology aspect? So the country has gone to hand in a heckbasket, and the government is relying on pagers and videoconferences? Anyone know anything about a secure, hardened alternate government infrastructure out there waiting for such a scenario?

    (Interesting: the two capchas I've gotten so far posting to this thread have been "harbored" and "feared" - how do it know?)
  • by TACNailed ( 753439 ) on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:04AM (#15470264)
    A: There are 4000 people running this country.
  • by bhiestand ( 157373 ) on Monday June 05, 2006 @10:51AM (#15472283) Journal
    Padlock? You want them to get out that easily?

    I say weld these steel doors shut and dump few (or not so few) tons of fresh concrete on the top.

    And put some fence around the place, marked "Nuclear Waste Dump".

    You forgot to mention the part about actually storing nuclear waste there. It really would kill three birds with one stone.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.