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October 15th, 2007

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01:36 pm - The truth about Topoff 4
My good friend Daire works as a clerk at the Portland Office of Emergency Management, which is coordinating the simulated disaster drill going on this week. It's pretty clear that the entire thing is a exercise in security theater that will do little or nothing to prepare for an actual emergency, and equally clear that terrorism preparedness in cities as small and nationally insignificant as Portland is complete idiocy.

However, putting all those issues aside, Daire also mentioned regularly having to answer phone calls from people worried about everything from actual releases of radiation to Portland schools being locked down, to the entire exercise being used to implement martial law in Portland. With luck, such concerns will sound as silly to everyone reading this as it does to both my friend Daire and I. However, I've had the misfortune to see all manner of insane speculations and outright lies on various conspiracy sites, and while some of them claim to have super-sekrit information unknown to anyone outside of the innermost reaches of government, such claims don't make their information any less insane. Sadly, the madness of the last 6 years and the fact that our government is actually run by people who are both responsible for previous unimaginable events like the ghastly response to hurricane Katrina and who (if they weren't so thankfully inept and inclined to believe their own lies) would be happy to take dictatorial control of the US has made even the craziest claims far easier than they were to believe 7 years ago. As a result, I also know a number of people have seen some of these sites and are genuinely worried.

As someone with actual inside information, there is nothing to worry about, other than possibly some bad traffic on the northern outskirts of Portland proper (where all this is taking place). With luck, one of the major results of the seemingly inevitable (and much needed) Democratic victory in 2008 will be the relegation of new conspiracy theories back under the rocks where they belong. It's currently far too easy to believe in them because our government is in the hands of people who are honestly dangerous.
Current Mood: busybusy

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)

Psst - That's *northern* outskirts of Portland...

... not the eastern. FYI.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Psst - That's *northern* outskirts of Portland...

Looks at map... quite corect. Thanks.
Date:October 15th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)

The truth about military drills

TOPOFF 4 and Vigilant Shield 08: a view from the "feverish fringe"

By Warren Pease
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Oct 8, 2007, 01:02
Go to Original

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." --George W. Bush, Aug. 5, 2004, in a rare moment of unscripted candor.

Mass media is fond of creating labels and lumping people of certain philosophical or political persuasions into groups of designated societal misfits, all carrying some pejorative nickname intended to clearly define the borders between "them" and "us."

This helps the citizenry distinguish between the members of certain marginalized -- and therefore untrustworthy -- groups who take a somewhat jaundiced view of the actions and motivations of authoritarian institutions, and the great American mainstream that can always be counted upon to internalize and recite the most preposterous nonsense as long as it carries the official stamp of institutional authority and mass media approval.

A recent case in point: a group based in Portland called the Oregon Truth Alliance aired their concerns and objections regarding a series of upcoming anti-terrorism/national security drills scheduled to take place in their city this month. They were rewarded for their efforts in an October 2 editorial in The Oregonian, the local daily, that snickered:

It's hard to know what's scarier: the idea of responding to a terrorist attack in Portland or the idea that the government is using a drill as a pretext to seize power, declare martial law and, possibly, attack Iran. The average Portlander doesn't give much thought to either notion, but a feverish fringe sees a disaster drill as evidence of a future police state . . .

At issue is a series of simulations scheduled to begin October 15 in Portland (as well as in Phoenix and Guam) that has caused much concern among locals, ranging far beyond the "feverish fringe" of activists, a convenient "them" to which The Oregonian would prefer to attribute exclusive ownership of such imbecilic notions.

But surprise, surprise. The mainstream is waking up and it's not particularly fond of what it's seeing. Thanks to occasional peeks behind the curtain that reveal unprecedented levels of corruption, insatiable lust for oil and power and disdain for the Constitution, the lines are blurring between "us" and "them" on many issues involving the conduct of the Bush administration.

These days, particularly in this bluest of blue cities, many people of varying political viewpoints are united in their concerns over possibly nefarious government-sponsored exercises and maneuvers, particularly when they're taking place in their own backyards.

Fears and objections notwithstanding, though, Portlanders are being asked to welcome thousands of armed strangers -- from the DHS, FBI, DoD and other federal security agencies, NGOs, National Guard, local law enforcement -- as they gather to enact a week's worth of anti-terrorism drills called TOPOFF 4 and Operation Vigilant Shield 08.

TOPOFF 4 (short for "top officials") is an exercise that simulates (we hope) the detonation of a "dirty bomb" near Portland's Steel Bridge. Vigilant Shield 08 simulates (we hope) imposition of martial law to control the civilian population in the aftermath of the radiological event.

Why Portland?

Read the rest at Online Journal
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)

Re: The truth about military drills

I'm perfectly willing to believe Shrub and company may have had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks, but to be perfectly honest, the speculations surrounding Topoff, just like the speculations on how the US government was behind the the September 11 attacks or that the WTC fell because of planted explosive charges instead of airplane impacts are paranoid nonsense. I'm honestly sorry for you if you believe this stuff.
Date:October 16th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)

Re: The truth about military drills

I am honestly sorry for anyone who does NOT believe "that stuff." We sunk the USS Maine in Havana harbor to start the Spanish American War. Nero burned Rome and blamed the Christians. Hitler had the Reichstag burned and blamed his enemies.

For pure physical evidence of controlled demolition, I refer you to http://www.ae911truth.org. That is Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. I challenge you to look at our evidence, even with an almost closed mind. You may watch the free video, 911 Mysteries, at Google video.
[User Picture]
Date:October 16th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)

Re: The truth about military drills

For pure physical evidence of controlled demolition, I refer you to http://www.ae911truth.org. That is Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

I did you more than a year ago, and my conclusion was that the fact that anyone believes this nonsense is proof of the tragically poor state of science education in the US. To start (because listing all the obvious fallacies found in this and similar pages is honestly not worth my time), no, burning jet fuel won't melt steel. However, at less than half the temperature of burning jet fuel, steel has lost 60% of its structural strength, and that strength loss increases as temperatures rise. Weaken metal sufficiently, and buildings collapse. In short, the sort of evidence on that site is suitable only for the ignorant, the deliberately blind, and the insane. I have no idea which one you are, and I don't much care.

I do wonder who you might be given that your lj just came into existence today and all you have done with it is post your rantings in my journal. Are you someone I previously banned?
[User Picture]
Date:October 16th, 2007 11:29 am (UTC)
*claps loudly*

Thank you for the voice of common sense!!!

I am glad that not everyone on the left has turned into a PCT (Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist.)

I was starting to lose respect for fellow progressives as a group based on some of the things I've heard them saying.

For the record, I consider myself to be a Libertarian progressive (Libertarian socially, progressive on health care and social programs).

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