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"TOPOFF 4" and Vigilant Shield: October 15-19

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rowan Wolf       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Starting tomorrow Portland, Oregon (and Phoenix AZ, and Guam) will be the site of a "simulated" terrorist attack with a "dirty bomb." A radioactive substance is scheduled to be released so that live tracking of the plume can be observed and integrated into the exercise. According to a source I have who is in the exercise, the supposed release in the Pearl District is inaccurate. Where the release will occur is "top secret." When I pressed, my source stated that "some things have not been made public, and he wasn't going to leak the information." According to the Oregon Fact Sheet on the exercise:
The Scenario The T4 full-scale exercise is based on National Planning Scenario 11 (NPS-11). Terrorists have planned attacks in Oregon, Arizona, and the U.S. Territory of Guam. They have brought radioactive material into the United States. The first of three coordinated attacks occurs in Guam, with the detonation of a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD), or "dirty bomb," causing casualties and widespread contamination in a populous area. Within hours, similar attacks occur in Portland and Phoenix. An RDD is not the same as a nuclear attack. Rather, it is a conventional explosive that releases radioactive material into the surrounding area. Although it does not cause the type of catastrophic damage associated with a nuclear detonation, an RDD causes severe problems in rescuing victims, providing emergency care, and managing long-term decontamination.
TOPOFF stands for "Top Officials" and is a Homeland Security exercise costing about $2.5 million for Portland and surrounds funded by Congress. While state agencies have been preparing for the exercise for two years, there has been no effort to prepare Portland's citizens for either the exercise or a real emergency. Periodic public broadcasts of what to put in an emergency kit aside, one would think that the state would have taken advantage of the funding to prepare for an actual emergency. TOPOFF 4 is a "full scale exercise," meaning that first responders are included in the drill. Some people are quite nervous about the exercise, and I would be the last to say that they are overly paranoid. Certainly it is difficult for a "full scale exercise" to be realistic if there are not real people panicking. We'll see as the exercise runs for five days. However, TOPOFF 4 is not the only major "exercise" that is occurring October 15-20. Also running will be Vigilant Shield 2008. This is a six day martial law exercise being run by NorthCom. The NORTHCOM Fact Sheet on Vigilant Shield states"
National Level Exercise 108 will include the simulated detonation of three radiological dispersal devices within the USNORTHCOM and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility. These exercise events and others are designed to test the full range of incident management response procedures at the local, state, and federal levels. Purpose: Exercise VIGILANT SHIELD 2008 and National Level Exercise 1-08 will provide local, state, tribal, interagency, Department of Defense, and nongovernmental organizations and agencies involved in homeland security and homeland defense the opportunity to participate in a full range of exercise scenarios that will better prepare participants to prevent and respond to national crises. The participating organizations will conduct a multilayered, civilian led response to a national crisis.
In other words, Vigilant Shield is running in coordination with TOPOFF 4. However, Vigilant Shield appears to be bigger as "These linked exercises will take place 15 - 20 October 2007 and are being conducted throughout the United States with several partner nations (Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom), as well as the Territory of Guam.." It seems like a strong possibility that the three TOPOFF sites may be targets for martial law "exercises," and possibly beyond that. According to the NORTHCOM fact sheet, NORTHCOM is "conducting multiple homeland defense and critical infrastructure protection events." These "events include "aerospace" defense and control, as well as inter-agency coordination. So, NORTHCOM will be testing response and "missile defense" which likely means a number of military jets in the air, and "bogies" on air controller's screens. If this sounds hauntingly familiar, it should. Massive "exercises" were also occurring on September 11, 2001 (see also Complete 9/11 Timeline). While this has been left out of most of the corporate media renditions of that day, those who have bothered to look at the full story are well aware of those events. The level of the TOPOFF & Vigilant Shield exercises presents a distraction, and possibly an opportunity, for other things to happen. Whether that is a "terrorist" attack, or an opportunity to launch "surgical strikes" at the "Axis of Evil" remains to be seen. Unlike some folks, I actually think that practicing emergencies is theoretically a good idea. Fire drills, tornado drills, etc. can help individuals and communities meet such events more readily. However, I have found no reason to trust those currently in power, and the scope of these exercises makes me quite leery. Not to mention that Vigilant Shield has a 2008 title (Vigilant Shield 2008) and I am pretty sure this is 2007. The Oregon Truth Alliance has produced a Citizen's Pocket Guide to TOPOFF 4 & Vigilant Shield 08 which I recommend that everyone take a look at.


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Rowan Wolf is an activist and sociologist living in Oregon. She is the founder and principle author of Uncommon Thought Journal, and Editor in Chief of Cyrano's Journal Today.

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