NLE 2-08 will involve the very highest levels of Homeland Security
the US Northern Command. Both "Homesec" and "Northcom" were established
by the Bush administration in the wake of 9/11 to take control of the
nation in the event of another terrorist attack. They will be joined by
FEMA in the May
1-8 exercise, which is one of the two largest terror drills
scheduled this year.
On Thursday, May 1, the exercise begins in Washington, when an
explosion collapses the Alaska Way viaduct in downtown Seattle and
damages surrounding buildings. Twenty minutes later, terrorists explode
a highjacked tanker ship filled with highly toxic chemicals at the
Seattle Ferry Terminal. Deadly gas soon permeates downtown Seattle.
Emergency responders come in waves. Police and firemen, first to
arrive, are quickly overwhelmed. The state deploys its 22-member Civil
Support Team, a National Guard unit, to assess the damage and
coordinate support. Later, 100 soldiers from a chemical battalion based
in Yakima arrive to rescue, decontaminate and treat survivors. Finally,
5,000 troops arrived to handle logistics and security.
On Monday, May 5, the scenario shifts to Oregon where VX, the most
toxic nerve agent ever synthesized, erupts from the Umatilla Army Depot.
The next day, terrorists blow up a chemical tanker in Ferndale,
Washington. The county sheriff requests national support, and a Marine
Corps chemical warfare detachment from Ft. Lewis, Washington responds.
According to sources at Northcom, NLE 2-08 will involve "robust
with "surprise injects" of unanticipated events in which participants
are "stretched to the limit" and have "everything thrown at them except
the kitchen sink." All of this makes it easier for the exercise to "go
live" by having a real catastrophe occur.
the Pacific Northwest scenario is playing out, Washington, DC will be
simulating a catastrophic hurricane as part of the same exercise. It
wouldn't be much of a stretch to suggest that this puts Dick Cheney
back in the bunker he occupied during 9/11.