A scary story this morning about the Pentagon's contingency planning for terror attacks on U.S.: The plans would allow for unprecedented U.S. military power unleashed against us Americans right here on our own soil.
But this has a silver lining: If the Bush regime's behavior in Iraq is any indicator, Don Rumsfeld and Jerry Bremer will be handing out wads of cash, and there'll be construction contracts and subcontracts. We'll be rich, beyotch!
I'm talking about "War Plans Drafted To Counter Terror Attacks in U.S.," Bradley Graham's lengthy appraisal in this morning's Washington Post about the aptly named CONPLAN 2000 and CONPLAN 0500.
There's no reason to be at a loss for words. Hey, a CONPLAN is better than NOPLAN at all, which I pointed out in July 2004 is also in the Pentagon dictionary.
It's only fitting that these Pentagon proposals for responding to homeland terror attacks are being strategized in Colorado Springs, HQ of the religious right.
Graham starts this way:
- The U.S. military has devised its first-ever war plans for guarding against and responding to terrorist attacks in the United States, envisioning 15 potential crisis scenarios and anticipating several simultaneous strikes around the country, according to officers who drafted the plans.
The classified plans, developed here at Northern Command headquarters, outline a variety of possible roles for quick-reaction forces estimated at as many as 3,000 ground troops per attack, a number that could easily grow depending on the extent of the damage and the abilities of civilian response teams.
The possible scenarios range from "low end," relatively modest crowd-control missions to "high-end," full-scale disaster management after catastrophic attacks such as the release of a deadly biological agent or the explosion of a radiological device, several officers said.
In the chaos that would ensue after a series of terror attacks, the military would just have to step in to restore order, right? But as any protester knows, "crowd-control missions" are only "relatively modest" when you are not part of the crowd.
In any case, Graham gets down to the heart of this:
- The war plans represent a historic shift for the Pentagon, which has been reluctant to become involved in domestic operations and is legally constrained from engaging in law enforcement. Indeed, defense officials continue to stress that they intend for the troops to play largely a supporting role in homeland emergencies, bolstering police, firefighters and other civilian response groups.
But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources.
The Pentagon's already deeply involved in developing new techniques in urban warfare, which will come in handy right here in the U.S. when "order" needs to be "restored."
If we keep rubbing the planet the wrong way, the likelihood of attacks will just continue to increase. So the military folks at Northcom are simply thinking ahead:
"In my estimation, [in the event of] a biological, a chemical or nuclear attack in any of the 50 states, the Department of Defense is best positioned—of the various eight federal agencies that would be involved—to take the lead," said Adm. Timothy J. Keating, the head of Northcom, which coordinates military involvement in homeland security operations.
Let me be the first to say, Admiral Keating, that I've long admired your work and I'd be willing to serve your administration in any capacity. Personally, Admiral, just between us, I've never had much confidence in our civilian leadership.