By Dave Lindorff
What on earth was the CIA doing putting plastic high explosive charges on schoolbuses and in hidden places in a Virginia public school in a "test" of K-9 dogs reportedly belonging to the Agency itself?
The story of the secret "test" broke because an alert mechanic doing a routing check on one of the Loudon County School District's schoolbuses found a package of what turned out to be plastic explosive, packed in a plastic-wrapped wrapper, jammed down in among some of the rubber hoses and electric wires around the engine. It had allegedly "fallen" from where it had originally been placed, was missed by the dogs and their handlers, and remained where it was stuck for two days, while the bus was unwittingly used to deliver some 26 young children to and from school on eight separate bus runs totaling 145 miles of driving.
I called the CIA's "public information" office on Friday to ask for clarification as to why the CIA, which does not have a domestic policing function, would be operating, and testing, a K-9 bomb-detecting unit, given that such tasks in the US would appropriately be handled either by state and local police agencies, or by the FBI or the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). The office, though it was mid-day, was not answering its phones, and only had a voice mail recording, on which I identified myself as a reporter, left my contact information and requested a response on deadline. No surprise: I was not called back with an answer, and do not anticipate receiving one from an agency that is infamous for its secrecy. (The standard CIA response in my experience, when I've received one at all, is: "We have no response to that question.")
Still, even for a notoriously opaque and obtuse government agency, this is a truly bizarre incident that demands for answers.
If the goal is testing the ability of dogs to detect hidden explosives, there is no need to run that test in a real school and in the engine compartments of real buses that transport children, or to place such charges, as the CIA also reportedly did, in hidden locations inside a school building. (Actually, since what's being tested is the dog's smelling ability, actual C-4 packs weren't needed either -- only objects that had been in contact with the compound, or wrappers from the charges.) People may benefit in training exercises when the tests are tricked out to appear more real-life, but dogs don't need that kind of reality-theater environment to test their skills. Any old bus, or for that matter a rental truck, could have been used for the job...
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the collectively-run, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/3108
(Article changed on April 2, 2016 at 15:12)