Ordinary Citizens Labeled Terrorists?
Thu Sep 23, 2004 14:54

MILITARY STUFF FOR LOCAL COPS - Ordinary Citizens Labeled Terrorists?
I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but I really worry about the gearing up what used to be America's peace officers to be 'homeland' soldiers. This has been going on for some time, military sharing their weapons and training with cops to fight citizens as if we are the enemy. FEMA has suggested names for training exercises that suggest we are all "wackos". This is as subversive to the cause of freedom as anything I have witnessed over my many years. I don't see anyway out of this mess but a massive tax revolt, a peaceful resistance to funding our own capture and control.

I'm no 'wacko' terrorist, just a very worried grandmother.
Kay Lee

Mock attack will test terrorism response Muskegon Chronicle/September 20, 2004
By Lynn Moore

Terrorists will strike a busload of students in the Whitehall area on Tuesday, killing more than a half-dozen and sending dozens more to hospitals.

It's not a crystal ball that allows such a disaster to be foreseen. It's all in the plans -- disaster preparedness plans, that is.

The disaster won't be real, but it will look real, and the participants -- including students, emergency room personnel and firefighters -- will act as if it's real.

The exercise, one that is becoming familiar in the post 9/11 era, is part of attempts by emergency responders and Muskegon County school districts to prepare for the worst.

The exercise, which will involve the aftermath of a supposed explosion on a school bus at 9:30 a.m. at Durham and Holton-Whitehall roads in Whitehall Township, is being funded by homeland security grants awarded to several area school districts and Muskegon County.

Local school district transportation directors instigated the exercise because they wanted to test their abilities to respond to emergencies, said Tom Spoelman, transportation consultant for the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District. They eventually hooked up with Muskegon County Emergency Services, and planning for the event has been under way for about a year, Spoelman said.

The exercise will test not only school transportation directors, but also the Muskegon County Emergency Operations Plan, which involves many agencies throughout the county.

About 60 middle and high school students from Reeths-Puffer and Whitehall public schools will be part of the exercise, according to Kristin Tank, public information coordinator for the MAISD. Local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, human service agencies, transportation services and medical services will participate.

Students from Muskegon Community College and Reeths-Puffer will assist in applying makeup to add to the reality of the gruesome scene. Between 200 and 300 people will observe the exercise, including school bus drivers, school administrators, emergency personnel and evaluators from agencies across the state who will provide feedback.

The exercise will simulate an attack by a fictitious radical group called Wackos Against Schools and Education who believe everyone should be homeschooled. Under the scenario, a bomb is placed on the bus and is detonated while the bus is traveling on Durham, causing the bus to land on its side and fill with smoke.

The exercise will begin with the bus -- an out-of-service vehicle donated by Ravenna Public Schools -- on its side, having been placed there by Dale's 24 Hour Towing Service, which is donating its time and resources. Fire departments will respond and test their abilities to get at victims inside a mangled bus.

Hackley and Mercy General both will be able to test their new emergency rooms, each of which will get between 15 and 20 "victims." Eight or nine deceased students, represented by mannequins, will be transported to the county morgue, Tank said.

Frantic parents will be part of the staged disaster, flocking to schools and hospital emergency rooms.

The exercise is similar to an event staged a year ago at Heritage Landing that involved a mock chemical disaster, which also was the supposed work of terrorists and tested the county's emergency preparedness.

White Lake Fire Authority Chief Bob Phillips said his department is lucky to be heavily involved in Tuesday's exercise by virtue of the location planners chose.

"The potential exists (for a devastating incident) every day the school buses are on the road," Phillips said. "It's not something that happens a lot, but it's something we need to be trained in.

"That's what we're hoping for is to learn what works and what doesn't work before an incident actually happens."



Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 8:45 AM
Subject: THE EARLY BRIEF - Chemical Attack Treatment Ok'd

Chemical Attack Treatment Ok'd
Associated Press
September 23, 2004
WASHINGTON - A chemical-attack treatment that many American allies have had for years will now be available to emergency responders in the United States under an Army decision announced Wednesday by the product's manufacturer.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion for Army use in April 2003, a move that also gave the Army control over whether other federal agencies and state and local governments could buy it. For over a year, the Army declined to make the lotion available to first responders, saying more testing was needed.

On Wednesday, its manufacturer, O'Dell Engineering, said the Army had concluded the product was safe for use by emergency responders at all levels of government. Those now able to acquire it range from local police and fire departments to federal agencies such as the State Department and the U.S. Capitol police.

Other NATO countries have long stockpiled the lotion, also known as RSDL, to treat victims of chemical attacks. The Canadian military developed it several years ago to neutralize mustard gas, sarin and other chemical agents. Emergency responders in Japan acquired it after the 1995 sarin-gas attacks in the Tokyo subway system.

In the United States, however, "the protocol for treating victims of a chemical attack would be copious quantities of water," said Rand Sweeney, director of U.S. government contracting for O'Dell Engineering. "The problem that they have is water does not neutralize the chemical agent."

RSDL comes as a lotion-soaked sponge packaged in a foil pouch that can be carried and ripped open to wipe on the skin after a chemical attack, giving first responders a treatment option beyond soap and water. Under the Army decision, emergency responder agencies can acquire 21-milliliter packets of the lotion.

The Army action, which required modifying its contract with O'Dell to allow sales of RSDL to other agencies, comes after lobbying by two companies involved in the RSDL sales and after members of Congress questioned the delay in making the lotion available to state and local governments.

Until the Army signed off, O'Dell, a Canadian-based company licensed by the Canadian government to sell the lotion, was barred from even advertising it to state and local governments in the United States. The Army said more testing was needed to determine such matters as whether it was safe to use with solutions containing bleach; high concentrations of chlorine can cause combustion when put in contact with some substances.

Frustrated by the delay, O'Dell and its U.S. business partner, New York state-based E-Z-EM Inc., began lobbying lawmakers and the Army earlier this year, and they were considering seeking FDA approval themselves to sell the lotion to first responders.

Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., who has a company in his district, AngioDynamics, that makes a component of RSDL, said making the product available was important to first responder preparedness and for jobs. Sweeney, who asked the Army several weeks ago why state and local governments couldn't get the decontaminant, expressed some concern with the delay.

"We need to continually press, push, communicate with each other at all levels of government and all sectors in our society just to be sure we are on the same pages and we do know what's out there" in terms of anti-terrorism products, Sweeney said.

Those hoping to acquire RSDL include the New York Police Department's counterterrorism bureau. Its deputy medical director, Dr. Dani Zavasky, said removing contaminated clothes and using soap and water is a quick way to provide initial treatment to victims, but the lotion would be useful especially after showering because it would neutralize any chemical agent that penetrated the skin.

Sweeney said the company would work with the Homeland Security Department to determine how best to make RSDL available to state and local governments, including whether communities at greatest risk for terror attacks should get it first and whether Homeland Security should buy it and distribute it to communities.

E-Z-EM has estimated the product, packaged in a pouch that can treat one person, would cost roughly $20 to $22 per pouch.

The Army is continuing to conduct field tests on RSDL and must finish those before it and other branches of the military will provide it to troops. The tests include evaluating the ruggedness of its packaging, its ability to decontaminate personal equipment, its use at high and low temperatures and its compatibility with other products used in the field, an Army spokesperson said.

Sound Off...What do you think? Join the discussion.

District sorry for homeschooler-terrorist link
Security drill concocted scenario with 'Wackos Against Education'

Posted: September 23, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

A school district that participated in a terrorist-attack response drill apologized for using a scenario in which children were threated by a fictitious radical group that believes everyone should be homeschooled.

The made-up group, called Wackos Against Schools and Education, was invented by the local government emergency services director.

The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, or MAISD, in Michigan said it "shared the disappointment of others" when it learned Tuesday's preparedness drill referenced home schoolers as the fictitious group responsible for a mock disaster.

"We apologize," the district said in a statement. "The MAISD and local districts were not aware of the scenario, and it was not shared with students or parents who took part in the exercise."

Dan Stout, chief deputy of Muskegon County Emergency Services, said the scenario was constructed in his office.

A sample scenario was required in order to receive the necessary federal funding to stage the event, he said.

The district said the exercise was "unfortunately clouded by the choice of this fictional group."

"As educators, we believe that the first and most important teacher is the parent, whether in home schools, public schools, or non-public schools," the district said. "We all work together to ensure a safe and secure environment for our children to live and grow."

The statement concluded: "We sincerely regret offending homeschool educators. We believe that all parents are educators and do important work at home with their children."

The exercise in Muskegon, Mich., using $5,000 of homeland-security grant money, simulated a situation in which a bomb on board a bus full of children knocks the vehicle on its side and fills the passenger compartment with smoke.

Stout told WorldNetDaily the choice of the fictitious group certainly was not meant to offend homeschoolers.

"I don't think there was any particular objective other than to just have a name," he said in an interview immediately after the event Tuesday.

A WND reader who saw a story about the exercise in the Muskegon Chronicle, however, said he was "outraged" at the characterization of the terrorists.

Stout said the general idea for the type of group came from the website of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, which suggests group names such as "Wackos Against Recreation" and other such "causes."

In a written apology issued yesterday, Stout said the fictional group he concocted had nothing to do with any real homeschool population.

"Homeschool students and former students are a very important part of our nation," he said. 'This scenario will not be used again."

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