9/11

Disaster Preparedness And Response Funding Has Plummeted Since 2008

Any police, fire, or public health officials reading this who have been on the job since the early 2000s? Remember after 9/11, when the federal government made tons of money available to state and local governments to bolster disaster preparedness and response capabilities? I remember it clearly, as I used to help obtain these funds for the fire department I used to work at.

Since leaving the public safety field, I’ve heard a lot of this funding has dried up. According to a UPI piece I just finished reading, it looks like I heard right. From their website on January 9:

U.S. disaster funding distribution is deeply inefficient, with huge cash infusions disbursed after a disaster, only to fall abruptly later, researchers say.

Dr. Jesse Pines, director of the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences… said the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York City and Washington prompted large increases in government disaster preparedness funding to help communities respond and recover after man-made and natural disasters. However, this funding has dropped considerably since 2008

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

How considerable? I pulled up a paper from The Institute of Medicine Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events (January 7 final submission date) which Dr. Pines helped author. From the piece entitled “Value-Based Models for Sustaining Emergency Preparedness Capacity and Capability in the United States”:

The Department of Homeland Security administered 5 key grant programs to state and local governments during the period 2002-2007. These programs were to include the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP), the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP), the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS), and the Citizen Corps Program (CCP). The total appropriation for these five programs increased from $315.7 million in federal year (FY) 2002 to $1.66 billion in FY 2007…

In addition to the five key DHS-funded programs, HHS administered the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP). From FY 2006 to FY 2007, these programs received more than $2.1 billion in grants to all 50 states in addition to U.S. territories and 4 metropolitan cities (New York, New York; Washington, DC; Los Angeles, California; and Chicago, Illinois)…

From FY 2008 to FY 2013, appropriations have been falling for emergency preparedness. For example, in FY 2010, Congress appropriated $3.05 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for preparedness grants to “strengthen out nations’ ability to prevent, protect, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters and emergencies.” In FY 2012, this appropriation was reduced to $1.35 billion- a 56 percent cut. During the same period, FEMA pre-disaster mitigations grants declined from $100 million to $35.5 million- a 65 percent cut. SHSP funding was reduced from $2.06 billion in FY 2003 to $354.64 million in FY 2013- an 82 percent cut. UASI was less affected but nevertheless was reduced from $596.35 million in FY 2003 to $558.74 million in FY 2013. Funding for seven key initiatives in DHS totaled $3.08 billion in FY 2003. By FY 2013, DHS funding was focused on only three categories of funding totaling $968.38 million- a total percentage cut of almost 70 percent…

The decline in [PHEP] funding from 2008 to 2013 has been slightly more than 17 percent, with a total of 31 percent since FY 2004…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Disasters don’t wait until there’s money in the till again, so it’s incredibly disappointing to hear of these cutbacks. As was pointed out earlier in the paper:

Since the September 2011, 2001, attacks, there have been periodic but unremitting public health emergencies across the United States. Weather events such a Hurricane Sandy, H1N1, the Boston marathon attack, and outbreaks of foodborne illness from Salmonella and E. coli serve as examples of major local and national public health emergencies demonstrating that no community is immune…

And what if a major terrorist attack occurs? Fine time for funding to be cut with that prospect looming. Consider what a distinguished Harvard professor whose work I first became familiar with back in graduate school said at a forum in April 2007. From Graham T. Allison, director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and author of Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe:

This debate asks how likely is it that terrorists will explode a nuclear bomb and devastate a great American metropolis. In the judgment of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, the likelihood of a single nuclear bomb exploding in a single city is greater today than at the height of the Cold War. Nuclear Terrorism states my own judgment that, on the current trend line, the chances of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next decade are greater than 50 percent. Former Secretary of Defense William Perry has expressed his own view that Nuclear Terrorism underestimates the risk.

From the technical side, Richard Garwin, a designer of the hydrogen bomb who Enrico Fermi once called, “the only true genius I had ever met,” told Congress in March that he estimated a “20 percent per year probability with American cities and European cities included” of “a nuclear explosion—not just a contamination, dirty bomb—a nuclear explosion.” My Harvard colleague Matthew Bunn has created a probability model in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science that estimates the probability of a nuclear terrorist attack over a ten-year period to be 29 percent—identical to the average estimate from a poll of security experts commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar in 2005.

“The chances of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next decade are greater than 50 percent.”

By the way, Nuclear Terrorism was published back in July 2005.

I wonder what Dr. Allison would say America’s odds are now eight-and-a-half years on?

It’s only a matter of time before the next major man-made or natural disaster happens on U.S. soil. While public safety and public health personnel will strive to do all they can to lessen the impact of such events, ongoing cutbacks could have possibly impacted planning and preparedness for the incident and the overall response.

Keeping all this in mind, there’s probably no better time than the present for Americans to step up and take charge of their own emergency preparations.

You can read that paper (.pdf format) over on the Institute of Medicine website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

“Experts: U.S. disaster funding deeply inefficient.” UPI.com. 9 Jan. 2014. (http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2014/01/09/Experts-US-disaster-funding-deeply-inefficient/UPI-52981389329033/). 16 Jan. 2014.

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FBI Director: ‘Risk Of That Spectacular Attack In The Homeland Is Significantly Lower’ Than Before 9/11

I heard that FBI Director James B. Comey was on Capitol Hill yesterday speaking before Congress. I was curious to find out what he had to say about potential terrorist threats out there. Timothy M. Phelps reported on the Los Angeles Times website yesterday:

The terrorist threat to Americans is greater overseas than at home and is significantly lower than before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, continuing a years-long trend, U.S. officials told a Senate committee Thursday…

“Because we took the fight to the enemy and got our act together in the last 12 years in very, very important ways, the risk of that spectacular attack in the homeland is significantly lower than it was before 9/11,” Comey told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Randy Beers shared Director Comey’s assessment and was quoted by the Times as saying:

The dispersion of the Al Qaeda brand in North Africa, in Yemen, in Somalia and in other places- and as it is appearing to manifest in Syria now- means that the kinds of activities that will be undertaken are likely to be undertaken overseas, rather than directed against the homeland.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

While what Comey and Beers said makes sense concerning terrorist activities are more likely to be directed at American interests overseas, I can’t help but think this is only for the time being. From what I’ve taken away from Middle East terror experts, it’s just a whole lot easier for the bad guys to stay local and fight Americans in Afghanistan, for example, than attempting to infiltrate the U.S. homeland and pull something big off there. And according to the Associated Press on November 3:

Washington is expected to keep about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, provided the security agreement is signed and includes immunity from prosecution by Afghan courts.

So this scenario might continue on for a while.

Still, it must remembered that Al-Qaeda’s stated objective still remains the following (as noted by the Director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Graham T. Allison, in a Council on Foreign Relations debate back on April 20, 2007):

Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith has stated al-Qaeda’s objective: “to kill 4 million Americans—2 million of them children—and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Which, if you think about, really leaves Al-Qaeda no choice but to attack the U.S. ‘homeland” sooner or later in order to achieve such numbers, provided they have the capability of doing so of course.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Phelps, Timothy M. “Officials say terrorist threat on U.S. soil is declining.” Los Angeles Times. 14 Nov. 2013. (http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-us-terrorist-threat-declines-20131114,0,2603061.story#axzz2kj9HI8Ps). 15 Nov. 2013.

“American, NATO officials offer mixed reports on readiness of Afghan troops ahead of withdrawal.” Associated Press. 3 Nov. 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/11/03/american-nato-officials-offer-mixed-reports-on-readiness-afghan-troops-ahead/). 15 Nov. 2013.

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One World Trade Center Terror-Resistant?

Yesterday, Chicagoans found out that New York City’s One World Trade Center will unseat Willis (formerly Sears) Tower as the tallest building in the country once it’s completed.

By the way, when did the skyscraper’s name change from “Freedom Tower” to One World Trade Center?

Chris Kokanes reported on the CNN website back on March 27, 2009:

“We’ve referred to the primary building planned for the site as One World Trade Center — its legal name and street address — for almost two years now, as well as using the name the Freedom Tower,” said Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority, in a statement released to CNN. “Many will always refer to it as the Freedom Tower, but as the building moves out of the planning stage and into full construction and leasing, we believe that going forward it is most practical to market the building as One World Trade Center.”

Okay. Seeing that Al-Qaeda attacked the original 1 World Trade Center (North Tower) and 2 World Trade Center (South Tower) in 1993 and 2001, I suspect the 1,776-foot building might very well be a mouth-watering target for these terrorists, perhaps wanting to demonstrate to the world they can keep such an iconic structure from rising from the ashes of its predecessors.

Which leads me to ask another question- what terror-resistant features are built into the new One World Trade Center?

Mara Grunbaum wrote on the Discover magazine website on September 8, 2011:

Security measures begin at ground level with a 186-foot base built to withstand a blast more powerful than the 1993 car bombing, which, according to the NYPD, was equivalent to 900 pounds of TNT. While the frame of the Twin Towers was erected entirely of steel, the base of the new building, as well as a core running up its center, will be forged from 5.4 million cubic feet of concrete, enough to fill 60 Olympic-size swimming pools. The concrete mix can withstand pressure of up to 15,000 pounds per square inch and is the toughest ever used for a New York City building. Its strength comes from a combination of reinforcing steel rods, a newly developed mix of materials, and a high-tech curing process. The chemical reactions that bolster concrete as it hardens are very sensitive to temperature, so as the mix is poured, engineers drop in microchip thermometers that wirelessly relay temperature readings.

The building’s surrounding steel frame will be just as tough. When planes struck the Twin Towers in 2001, the floors located just below the impact buckled beneath the weight above, setting off a domino effect that led to a total collapse. One World Trade will feature beams and columns welded and bolted together to distribute the weight, so that if any two columns fail, the rest can pick up the slack.

Grunbaum also added that of the 70 elevators planned, 5 will clock-out at 23 miles per hour, taking only 1 minute to reach the top floor of the 105-story skyscraper.

While I’d like to think these anti-terrorism features at the new One World Trade Center building won’t be tested by the bad guys, something tells me they very well might be.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Kokenes, Chris. “Owners drop Freedom Tower name for new WTC skyscraper.” CNN. 27 Mar. 2009. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/27/no.freedom.tower/). 13 Nov. 2013.

Grunbaum, Mara. “The New WTC Tower: Tough on Terrorists, Easy on the Eyes.” Discover. 8 Sep. 2011. (http://discovermagazine.com/2011/oct/06-new-wtc-tower-tough-terrorists-easy-eyes#.UoQumeL4Lq9). 13 Nov. 2013.

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Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 Public Safety, Religion, Security, Terrorism, War No Comments

What Effect Have (Post-) Apocalyptic-Themed TV Shows And Films Had On The Prepping Movement?

“i friggin LOVE “doomsday preppers”!”

-Milla Jovovich, American model and actress of Resident Evil-fame, Facebook post, November 24, 2012

Back in February 2012, the Daily Mail (UK) reported that “as many as three million Americans now fall into the category dubbed ‘preppers’- people who are making detailed plans for the end of the world as we know it.”

(Editor’s note: Most mainstream media outlets drop that “as we know it” bit out, which is a shame as there’s an important distinction to be made between preparing for the “end of the world as we know it” as opposed to the actual “end of the world” where such activity may be thought of as futile. Kudos to the the British publication for keeping this scenario “intact.”)

That the ranks of individuals taking up preparedness have grown significantly in the last couple of years while (post-) apocalyptic-themed television shows and big screen productions simultaneously exploded in popularity is probably not coincidence. As a matter of fact, it’s something the National Geographic Channel, as part of an upcoming “Blog Carnival,” is currently exploring. The American cable and satellite television channel wants to know what effect these TV shows and films have had on the prepping movement.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a strong correlation between the two. As more shows and movies of the (post-) apocalyptic genre were aired/released for public viewing, I can’t help but suspect increasing numbers of Americans bought into the idea of prepping.

I have a feeling the seed for prepping was already planted before watching such shows and films in many cases. Scientific and technological advancements in the Information Age have increased Americans’ knowledge of potential man-made and natural disasters beyond events fresh in the mind of many such as 9/11, 2005′s Hurricane Katrina, the Panic of ’08, 2012′s Hurricane Sandy, and April’s Boston Marathon Bombings. Viewing such productions on a TV in the family room or at a local movie theater might have made such threats feel closer to home, thereby prompting action.

So the TV shows and films may have served as some sort of prepping recruitment vehicle. Yet at the same time, the preppers portrayed in such media have more often than not been of the extreme sort. These individuals probably aren’t a good representative of your typical prepper, if only because there are many different kinds of preppers out there.

Not surprisingly, I’ve noticed a number of production companies and cable/satellite television channels have come under fire because of the way preppers are portrayed. I can understand why this is, as some believe such depictions only serve to fuel ridicule and potential persecution of preppers by a number of parties including the mainstream media and the government. However, keep in mind that cable/satellite television channels and production companies are part of the entertainment industry, where these extreme prepper types can be quite entertaining to watch (cha-ching!). Those behind the ridiculing and potential persecution of American citizens for merely fulfilling the federal government’s recommendations as it concerns household emergency preparedness should keep this in mind as well.

At the end of the day, it must be pointed out that preppers actually perform a major public service in the event of a community/regional/national emergency. That’s right. Think about it. Preppers strive to be able to take care of themselves, family, friends, and even neighbors in many cases in the event of a real crisis. That’s one less person or group of people public safety agencies need to attend to in a significant emergency, where resources are typically stretched thin already. Because preppers can assume this “sheepdog” role, police, fire, and other groups can focus their limited amount of resources on others (more often than not, those who didn’t prepare).

One might even argue here it should be the civic duty of Americans to prep if they can.

Imagine if every American household had a couple of weeks of emergency food, water, and other supplies socked away in case of emergency. The next time a man-made or natural disaster reared its ugly head, think how much smoother the emergency response might be, especially when compared to those recent events I listed earlier.

Returning to the National Geographic Channel’s question as to what effect (post-) apocalyptic-themed TV shows and films have had on prepping, despite often portraying more extreme prepper types (it’s just show business!), it’s my belief such productions have increased the ranks of preppers in the United States, thereby assisting public safety agencies across the United States in the event of a real disaster as preppers should be able to take care of themselves and a number of other individuals in many cases, freeing up limited resources to be applied elsewhere in the emergency response.

Thank you for doing this preppers!

And production companies and cable/satellite TV channels like the National Geographic Channel- go ahead and give yourselves a nice pat on the back as well.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Brady, Tara. “Fill the pool with fish and stockpile the guns: Up to THREE MILLION ‘Preppers’ in the U.S. are prepared for for the end of the world.” Daily Mail. 11 Feb. 2012. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2099714/Meet-preppers-Up-3-MILLION-people-preparing-end-world-know-it.html). 20 Oct. 2013.

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Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri Urges Attacks On United States

“One of the great intellectual failures of the American intelligence community, and especially the counterterrorism community, is to assume if someone hasn’t attacked us, it’s because he can’t or because we’ve defeated him.”

-Michael Scheurer, retired Central Intelligence Agency officer who tracked Osama bin Laden as Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (“Alec Station”) from 1996 to 1999 and later as a special advisor to the unit from 2001 to 2004

The successor of Osama bin Laden in Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released an audio speech a day after the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. The leader of the Muslim terrorist organization urged followers to attack the United States homeland. Ellie Buchdahl reported on the Daily Mail (UK) website on September 13:

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri urged small-scale attacks inside the United States to “bleed America economically”, adding he hoped eventually to see a more significant strike, according to the SITE monitoring service.

In an audio speech released online a day after the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 strikes, Zawahiri said attacks “by one brother or a few of the brothers” would weaken the U.S. economy by triggering big spending on security, SITE reported.

At the same time, Muslims should seize any opportunity to land “a large strike” on the United States, even if this took years of patience.


“Al Qaeda calls for attacks inside United States”
Daily Mail Video

As I blogged back in June 2011, Ayman al-Zawahiri still has a point to prove concerning doubts over the operational capabilities of the terrorist organization and his leadership abilities.

Someone or some group answering his call for an attack within the United States would be a nice feather in his cap (turban actually) as Al-Qaeda attempts to plan/carry out their own operations while simultaneously fighting for survival.

Here’s hoping all individuals/groups involved fail big time. God Bless America.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Buchdahl, Ellie. “Al-Qaeda calls for fresh wave of terror attacks inside U.S. to ‘bleed America economically’” Daily Mail. 13 Sep. 2013. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2419911/Ayman-Al-Zawahiri-Al-Qaeda-leader-calls-terror-attacks-America-boycott-U-S-goods-bleed-America-economically.html). 17 Sep. 2013.

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Remember 9/11

“On September 11 of each year since 2001, I have asked my students to write their memories of the day that robbed this nation of its innocence. I have received heartfelt missives each year, some filled with fear because of our nation being attacked or because of relatives serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. Some have expressed their patriotism and love of the U. S. in words that would bring tears to the eyes of anyone who has served this country.

It has been the source of some of the best student writing I have ever seen, but my students will not be writing about their memories of 9/11 this year.

They don’t remember it.”

-Randy Turner, a Joplin, Missouri, English teacher, writing on the Huffington Post website, September 6, 2011

Lest we forget,

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

9-11 Heroes Stamp

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September 11 ‘Million Muslim March’ Inviting ‘False Flag’ Operation?

“False flag” events. Covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations which are designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities.

Something many Americans readily dismiss as existing within the realm of conspiracy.

Yet history is full of such incidents.

Tomorrow is the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. And it’s also the day the “Million Muslim March” is scheduled to take place in the streets of the nation’s capital. From the American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC) website:

“MAMAF – Million American March Against Fear” Join AMPAC on a Historic Moment on 9/11/13 for Establishing the Humanity and Justice through Civil Rights Movement

AMPAC National News: Washington DC, Feb 2013

Brothers and Sisters In The Struggle For Peace and Justice,

On September 11th, will you stand in peace with us?

Event: MAMAF – Million American March Against Fear on 9/11/13

AMPAC – The American Muslim Political Action Committee AMPAC in cooperation and solidarity with MANDAA – Movement Against the National Defense Authorization Act, NDPAAC – National Democratic Party Asian American Caucus, NYDPAAC – New York Democratic Party Asian American Caucus, NABAB – North American Bangladeshi Association for Bangladesh, MDPAAC – Missouri Democratic Party Asian American Caucus, CLA – Community Leadership Affairs, SACC – South Asian Chamber of Commerce, Mosque Care, DC Area 9/11 Truth Movement ,A&E – Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth Movement, MMAT – Muslim Marching Against Terrorism, MD Rabbi Alam – the Founder of AMPAC, Richard Gage – the Founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth Movement, Dr. Kevin Barrett – the National Spokesperson for Muslim Think Tank, and The March Against Drones (MAD) will be gathering on the National Mall, and then launching a march on the halls of power.

We invite you to stand with and join us to Rally Against Fear at 12 noon on The National Mall, then the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House, to hold truth to power at the three major branches of American government.

We ask all individuals and organizations working for peace to attend this collective action to tell our Government leaders we want transparency and policies of peace. In the past 12 years since 9/11 the United States government as failed to protect and promote Constitutional liberties and human life, here and abroad. We feel that accountability in government has been ignored and the time has arrived to collectively speak truth to power.

Speaking will be experts and individuals on the lack of transparency and questions plaguing 9/11, steady erosion of domestic civil liberties, drone policy and the very dire effect of these on of plight of American Muslims here at home, and Muslim communities globally in the scope of U.S. imperialism, and the modern face of resistance to unmanned aerial surveillance and warfare.

At 2:00 pm we will embark from the Rally Against Fear, and onto the March Against Drones. The march will go from the rally point between 7th and 14th Streets on the National Mall to the Capitol building, around the Capitol, and onto the street between the Supreme Court and Congress. We will rally there, in the streets, for about 15 minutes, and then we will continue. We will take Constitution to Pennsylvania Avenue and down to the White House, where we will rally again in the street between Lafayette Park and the North Lawn.

This will be a professional, positive, and proactive event for the whole family, as we expect very soon for the National Park Service to grant us the permit we requested. At 2:00 pm we will embark from the Rally Against Fear, and onto the March Against Drones. The march will go from the rally point between 7th and 14th Streets on the National Mall to the Capitol building, around the Capitol, and onto the street between the Supreme Court and Congress. We will rally there, in the streets, for about 15 minutes, and then we will continue. We will take Constitution to Pennsylvania Avenue and down to the White House, where we will rally again in the street between Lafayette Park and the North Lawn.

We will have water available for anyone that needs it, we know it is a healthy march, but we feel it will call due attention to the issues at hand, and that it is worth the challenge. We hope you do too, and we sincerely hope you bring your good energy, your friends and family as well, and you stand up and speak out with us. Love, light, and solidarity to you!

I know that the official name of the event is the “Million American March Against Fear,” or MAMAF. But it really began as the “Million Muslim March.” Dr. Kevin Barrett wrote on the PressTV.com website back on January 31, 2013:

AMPAC will be forcefully announcing its presence with a “Million Muslim March” on the White House on September 11, 2013. The goal, announced at AMPAC’s press conference in New York:

“We at AMPAC (American Muslim Political Action Committee) are planning a historic event for 9/11/13. One million Muslims will march to Washington D.C. and demand that our civil rights be protected by our government. We are demanding that laws be enacted protecting our First Amendment rights. We are asking President Obama to fulfill his promise from his first campaign for the Presidency of a transparent government. Lastly we are asking for the establishment of a real 9/11 Commission to reveal the truth to the American people.”

Anyway, while a Muslim-focused march scheduled to take place on the anniversary of a day where 19 Muslim extremists murdered 2,996 people is not surprisingly thought of by a number of Americans as being in bad taste, I respect the marchers’ right to free speech and hope it goes off without any harm to participants.

There may be more to Wednesday’s event though that meets the eye. You see, there’s a part of me that thinks such an occasion is ripe for a possible “false flag” operation being conducted in conjunction with it.

How so?

Well, if some group of Muslim extremists wants to get moderate Muslims on-board with their platform (example: force out U.S./Western interests from the Middle East), they might carry out an attack on the event and hope the blame falls on anti-Muslim Americans and the U.S. government (criticized for the massive failure in public safety).

Or if some group desires more American involvement in the Middle East (particular Israeli entities), they might carry out a “false flag” attack on the march, anticipating retaliatory activity by Muslim extremists and a subsequent U.S. response to that.

Another scenario, perhaps somewhat “out there,” would be an entity attacking the march in hopes certain groups in America today- Tea Partiers, libertarians, militias, even preppers and survivalists- get blamed and subsequently feel the heat from the federal government.

I have to stress this point again- I wish no harm comes to those participating in the Million American March Against Fear tomorrow. But I guess I’m the one who has the “Fear,” fear that the event presents ideal conditions for a “false flag” event to take place.

And if the “Million Muslim March” takes place without incident- fantastic. But my fear will remain a similar opportunity arises in which a “false flag” operation can be carried out.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Barrett, Kevin. “Muslims to march on White House next September 11th.” PressTV.com. 31 Jan. 2013. (http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/01/31/286487/million-muslim-march-on-white-house/). 10 Sep. 2013.

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9/11 Anniversary Terrorism Threat

This Wednesday marks the 12th anniversary of 9/11. And according to the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they do not have any specific information concerning a terrorist attack being planned for the occasion. From the Associated Press right before the weekend:

The government is aware of no credible or specific information that points to any terror plot tied to the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, according to a new confidential threat assessment from the FBI and Homeland Security Department obtained by The Associated Press.

The new assessment, dated Thursday, said that intelligence agencies remain concerned that Al Qaeda and its affiliates are committed to carrying out attacks on Western targets. But it said there was no information pointing to any known plot. The bulletin made no mention of Syria, even as President Barack Obama sought congressional approval to use military force against the Syrian government.

Then again, the September 11, 2001, plot was pretty much under the radar too, figuratively and literally.

Remember, as I blogged back in June 2011, Osama bin Laden’s successor in Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, still has a point to prove concerning doubts over the operational capabilities of the terrorist organization and his leadership abilities.

At the same time, I can’t help but suspect Al-Qaeda might wait to see if the United States attacks Syria, at which point they- along with other terror groups- will attempt to retaliate “in defense of the Muslim faith.”

Stay frosty in the coming days…

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

“FBI, Homeland Security: No credible or specific intel of threat tied to 9/11 anniversary.” FOX News. 6 Sep. 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/06/fbi-homeland-security-no-credible-or-specific-intel-threat-tied-to-11/). 9 Sep. 2013.

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U.S. To Attack Syria After U.N. Inspectors Depart?

If U.S. President Barack Obama decides to dust off the old Bill Clinton foreign policy playbook and lob cruise missiles at Syria, I suspect an attack would take place soon after United Nations’ chemical weapons inspectors depart the country.

Meaning sometime later tomorrow or soon thereafter.

Patrick J. McDonnell reported on the Los Angeles Times website within the last hour:

The United Nations chemical weapons inspection team in Syria was reported to have wrapped up its field work Friday and was preparing to leave the war-torn country on Saturday.

And seeing that it’s Labor Day weekend in the United States and the poll watchers at the White House know not all Americans are on board with an attack, I suspect it has a good chance of taking place before many people return to work on Tuesday.

Something to note here. Just like those several weeks that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban had to prepare and squirrel away assets between 9/11 and the start of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, I’m guessing the Syrian government and military have been doing the same.

High-value targets (HVTs) in downtown Damascus are being/have been transformed into daycare centers and prayer halls, I’m guessing.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

McDonnell, Patrick J. “U.N. chemical weapons inspection team wraps up work in Syria.” Los Angeles Times. 30 Aug. 2013. (http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-un-inspection-team-wraps-up-work-in-syria-20130830,0,1139009.story). 30 Aug. 2013.

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Pentagon-Contracted Report: ‘None Of The 104 Commercial Nuclear Power Reactors’ In U.S. ‘Is Protected Against A Maximum Credible Terrorist Attack’

Remember all those commissions and panels that convened after 9/11? They put forth all these recommendations that would make the United States “safer” from terrorism.

Problem is, you can churn out as many recommendations as you want, but if they’re not being implemented

From the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project (NPPP) at the University of Texas at Austin last Thursday:

AUSTIN, TX– August 15, 2013– More than 10 years after the 9/11 hijackers considered flying a fully loaded passenger jet into a Manhattan area nuclear reactor, U.S. commercial and research nuclear facilities remain inadequately protected against two credible terrorist threats– the theft of bomb-grade material to make a nuclear weapon, and sabotage attacks intended to cause a reactor meltdown– according to a new report prepared under a contract for the Pentagon by the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project (NPPP) at the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, and released today.

Available online at www.NPPP.org, the report, titled “Protecting U.S. Nuclear Facilities from Terrorist Attack: Re-assessing the Current ‘Design Basis Threat’ Approach,” finds that none of the 104 commercial nuclear power reactors in the United States is protected against a maximum credible terrorist attack, such as the one perpetrated on September 11, 2001. More than a decade after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, operators of existing nuclear facilities are still not required to defend against the number of terrorist teams or attackers associated with 9/11, nor against airplane attacks, nor even against readily available weapons such as high-power sniper rifles.

Of particular concern, the NPPP report finds:

• Some U.S. nuclear power plants are vulnerable to terrorist attack from the sea, but they are not required to protect against such ship-borne attacks. Reactors in this category include Diablo Canyon in California, St. Lucie in Florida, Brunswick in North Carolina, Surry in Virginia, Indian Point in New York, Millstone in Connecticut, Pilgrim in Massachusetts, and the South Texas Project.

• Another serious terrorism danger is posed by three civilian research reactors that are fueled with bomb-grade uranium, which is vulnerable to theft to make nuclear weapons. These facilities are not defended against a posited terrorist threat, unlike military facilities that hold the same material. The three reactors are at the University of Missouri in Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is located just two dozen miles from the White House in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore suburb of Gaithersburg. The facilities are supposed to convert to non-weapons-grade, low-enriched uranium fuel. But they will continue to use bomb-grade uranium, and remain vulnerable to terrorist theft, for at least another decade, according to the latest schedule…

“None of the 104 commercial nuclear power reactors in the United States is protected against a maximum credible terrorist attack.”

Whew! It’s a good thing Al-Qaeda is “decimated.”

You can read the entire NPPP press release on their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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On TV: American Doomsday

Last Wednesday I mentioned that until my “In Print” series of posts returns (next week maybe), I’ll be talking about TV shows related to the blog’s focus.

Last week it was Preppers UK: Surviving Armageddon 1 & 2.

This week, it’s American Doomsday.

American Doomsday premiered on the National Geographic Channel back on November 8, 2010. From the Nat Geo website:

Explorer: American Doomsday

America’s Doomsday plan. It’s the government’s strategy for its darkest hours – developed years ago, but never used until 9/11.

For a better description of what the show’s about, from the DVD:

America’s Doomsday plan. It’s the government’s ultimate playbook, with a strategy for even the darkest hours—developed when Cold War tensions were high, but never used until 9/11. In American Doomsday, fly in an E4-B—the president’s command, control, and communications center for times of national catastrophe; go inside the secret bunker used by government officials on September 11; and witness how the luxurious Greenbrier Resort became a critical, top secret congressional bunker.


“Inside the Doomsday Plane”
YouTube Video

The show’s producer, Charles Fitzgerald, discussed his experience with the material on the Nat Geo TV Blogs section of the National Geographic website back on November 5, 2010:

My research for ‘American Doomsday” uncovered what I first saw as a Stranglovian world of nuclear paranoia, secret bunkers and elaborate “Doomsday” plans. It was bizarre.

But digging deeper I realized that America’s Doomsday plans were born of a very real and legitimate fear that if the Soviet Union launched a surprise nuclear attack, the nation as we know it may cease to exist.

Many Americans are aware of parts of the Doomsday plans. We’ve seen them in action, but probably don’t realize it. For example, we know that during the State of the Union, one member of the cabinet stays away from the Capitol; that on 9/11, Air Force One, with President Bush on board, flew a seemingly random pattern around the country; that Vice President Cheney frequently visited undisclosed locations after 9/11. It turns out that all of these are part of a massive plan to preserve our government’s very existence in times of trouble.

I watched the show last week, and found it incredibly interesting and informative. In an era where the federal government often appears to many to have its head stuck up its butt, it’s good to know that WTSHTF, there’s a plan in place for the continuity of government here in the United States.

American Doomsday investigated the following plan components:

• The “Nightwatch,” or “Doomsday Plane,” program operated out of Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska
• The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) out of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado
• The High Point Special Facility inside Mount Weather, near Bluemont, Virginia
• The Greenbrier just outside of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
• Site R (Raven Rock Military Complex) on Raven Rock, a Pennsylvania mountain

From the looks of it, Uncle Sam is prepared for doomsday.

I doubt the same can be said for most Americans.

You can watch the entire show on the National Geographic website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Glenn Beck: ‘We Are The First Responders’

Glenn Beck, the conservative radio/television host, political commentator, and author, gave the keynote address at the National Rifle Association’s 2013 national convention that just wrapped up in Houston. Beck, who I actually met and spoke to briefly when I was in Dallas at the end of March for the FoodInsurance™ “Ready, Set, Prep” Summit, pointed out the following concerning the term “first responders” as he spoke about different firearms that “tell the story and teach the story of the 2nd Amendment.” From his speech:

9/11- Walter Reaver’s Revolver

September 11th, 2001. A moment in history that will define this generation. While victims were running away, men, were running into those buildings. Amazing men like young Walter Weaver, a member of the NYPD and an NRA life member. He was last seen in the World Trade Center trying to rescue people. He was in the lobby trying to free people trapped in an elevator. A servant fighting for the individual’s freedom until the very end.

After the towers fell and the nation mourned, we sifted through the rubble, this is all that was left as a reminder of Walter Weaver. A silent token of liberty.

Walter Weaver, I’m sure wouldn’t want to be called a hero.

He was simply an American.

He was an example of what we all should be—men, who just do the right thing when time calls our name.

When there is an emergency or trouble we are the ones that should run to help. We must be the action on the other end of the 911 call.

I don’t know, but I believe Walter Weaver would tell you that he wasn’t trained to be hero by the police academy.

But he was raised in a culture that taught him about self-sacrifice and to always do the right thing, even when no one else is watching. He had those things long before he wore a uniform.

How many of us can say that.

Good cops, bad cop, it doesn’t mean you take all the badges. It’s the people, not the badge.

As good as the policemen in our country are. When you are in trouble the average police response rate is 8 minutes; most crimes take less than one.

If a responsible citizen with a gun had been in that movie theater in Colorado, or if members in the audience in that theater were allowed to bring their gun into the theater and not leave them locked in their cars, how many lives would have been saved?

How many of the mourning, children would instead have been able to spend time over breakfast with their mom or dad this morning if someone good was allowed to have a gun?

While our politicians from the local to the federal level have spent us into oblivion, and our public services are being obliterated and our police force is being cut.

I will no longer accept the media falsehood nor reinforce it by calling our brave men and women in blue on our cities and streets first responders. It’s time for America to recognize WE are the first responders.

They are the 2nd responders, we are the first responders.

When there is trouble let us be the first on the scene to help.

Let us be the first responder when someone is sick or hungry or frightened.

Let us be the first to share our bread with the hungry; Let us be the first to open our hearts to the homeless poor; Let us be the first to remove the yoke of injustice.

I don’t know what America will choose. But for me and my family, I choose to stand with courage. I choose to stand with selflessness. I chose to stand with God with Malice toward none and charity to all.

That’s who we are.

Forget what the media says, I know that’s who we are.

You can read Glenn Beck’s entire speech here on GlennBeck.com.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Escape From New York’ Preview

Season 2 of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series continues tonight with episode 6, “Escape from New York,” which airs at 9 PM ET. From the Nat Geo Channel webpage for the TV show:

With recent storms such as Sandy, New Yorkers now more than ever need to have escape plans in case they need to flee. NGC cameras follow three New Yorkers as they plot their routes out of the city, literally escaping the grid to reach safety.

Once again, the National Geographic Channel provided me with an advanced screening opportunity of the episode, and it didn’t disappoint. As a matter of fact, it really hit close to home as I too live in a large U.S. city (Chicago).

There were three preppers featured in “Escape from New York.” First up was Cameron Moore in Brooklyn, a college student studying for medical school. Cameron told viewers:

I’m preparing for a meltdown at the Indian Point Nuclear Facility.

Next up was Margaret Ling in Harlem, who told viewers:

I’m preparing for a catastrophic hurricane.

Finally, there’s Jay, a Wall Street bond trader, who explained:

I’m preparing for another terrorist attack.

All three preppers fear what might happen in New York City should TSHTF. From the show:

That’s why for these three New York preppers, at the first sign of trouble, survival comes down to one objective.

CAMERON: Get out of New York City.

JAY: Leaving Manhattan as soon as possible.

MARGARET: Grab my bag and just jet out.

They’ve also paired with a mentor to help them refine their plan. Krav Maga instructor Matan Gavish, preparedness expert Aton Edwards, and urban survivalist Shane Hobel. Now, over the course of one night, all three preppers will put their bug out plans into action for the first time and attempt to escape New York.

The first prepper introduced in the episode was Margaret Ling. In this segment, Margaret, who wears a backpack full of survival supplies every day, revealed that she was concerned about a major hurricane hitting the “Big Apple.” Ling told viewers:

I know I don’t want to be sent to a shelter. And I plan to get out of the city and make my way up to the mountains in upstate New York close to Canada. The last and worst case scenario is walking the entire distance to safety up in the mountains.

Margaret is paired with Krav Maga Academy founder and chief instructor Matan Gavish to help get her prepared.


“Doomsday Preppers: Lollipop Lolliprep”
Nat Geo Channel Video

The second prepper the show focused on was Cameron Moore. In this segment, Cameron shared his fears about an Indian Point Nuclear Facility meltdown and the potential for radiation escaping the facility. He informed viewers:

When TSHTF, I will bug out.

Cameron worked with International Preparedness Network executive director Aton Edwards to help him with his preps.

Finally, there’s Jay (no surname given). Jay was in Manhattan on September 11, 2001. And the Wall Street bond trader realizes New York City remains an attractive terrorist target. He told viewers:

I don’t think it’s going to end. I don’t think that we’re going to wake up all of a sudden one day and all of a sudden we’re not going to be a target to terrorists around the world. A dirty bomb is, without question, an option for terrorists out there.

From the show:

If terrorists detonate dirty bombs across Manhattan, as Jay fears, he’s instructed his wife Mindy and their 6-year-old daughter to get ready to flee the city.

Should TSHTF, Jay’s goal is to get out of the financial district and get back to his family as soon as possible. Jay paired up with Mountain Scout Survival School founder and instructor Shane Hobel to come up with a plan to make that happen.

With the three preppers coming from the same area of the country and attempting a simultaneous bug out, this particular episode was more like a TV special. A TV special for urban preppers. According to the U.S. Census earlier this year, more Americans are living in cities now than ever before. And perhaps it’s because I live in a major American city that I found “Escape from New York” particularly interesting. Although that bike “borrowing” bit was a little over the top. Still, good stuff overall.

And I applaud National Geographic Channel for not removing Doomsday Preppers from the air due to some in the press possibly trying to link preppers with last week’s school shooting.

Blamethrowers. Precisely what the world needs more of these days.

Enjoy tonight’s episode. For more information, please visit the Doomsday Preppers page on the National Geographic Channel website here.

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9/11: Lest We Forget


“WTC Attack September 11, 2001 from New York Police Helicopter – Leaked Footage”
YouTube Video
(Warning! Language)

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Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 Middle East, Public Safety, Religion, Terrorism, War No Comments

Al-Qaeda Terror Threat Downplayed On Eve Of 9/11 Anniversary?

Since I started blogging in 2007, I’ve noticed that complacency seems to be growing over a major terror attack by Al-Qaeda. I guess it’s only natural, considering the amount of time that has passed since September 11, 2001, and the successive blows suffered by the leadership of Al-Qaeda and their affiliates. Still, security was heightened in the U.S. with the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 and in Great Britain with the 2012 London Olympics. But as September 11 rolls around again tomorrow, and being informed that the terror group is big not only on anniversaries but on raising the bar on casualties, I sense a huge degree of complacency as it concerns another terror attack in the United States tomorrow and down the road. From the Christian Broadcasting Network website today:

Authorities are warning of the danger of a “lone wolf” attack a day ahead of the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

So far, however, there have been no warnings for law enforcement across the country to be on high alert.

According to a new law enforcement bulletin, the successful targeting of al Qaeda leaders has led to a decline in threats of a 9/11-style attack from the terrorist group.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

At least the concern over a “lone wolf” attack still remains. But Al-Qaeda is like the Rodney Dangerfield of terrorist organizations these days- can’t get no respect. Look at these recent headlines on some mainstream media websites:

“Terror takes back seat; Americans safer now”

-From the Associated Press on Yahoo! News, September 8, 2012

“Never have so few been able to frighten so many”

-Philly.com (joint project of The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News, September 9, 2012)

“On anniversary of 9/11, fear is present but not all-consuming”

-The Boston Globe, September 10, 2012

There’s even this out of Hong Kong:

“Americans stop fretting about the threat of terrorism”

-South China Morning Post, September 10, 2012

I loathe Al-Qaeda as much as any other American. But let’s not call the outcome of the game (Al-Qaeda is now kaput) while it’s still in the early innings, as the next generation of terrorists- inspired by the American response and presence in the Middle East after 9/11- start to replace their predecessors who have been captured, incapacitated, and killed.

As such, keep watching your six, because I don’t think Al-Qaeda is all out of bullets just yet.


Rodney Dangerfield, “Rappin’ Rodney” (1983)
YouTube Video

Source:

“Authorities on Alert for 9/11 ‘Lone Wolf’ Attack.” Christian Broadcasting Network. 10 Sep. 2012. (http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/September/Authorities-on-Alert-for-911-Lone-Wolf-Attack/). 10 Sep. 2012.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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