By Captain Eric H. May
Forward and Forewarning
The satiric article below is only hypothetical, an attempt to write what could be the news on Friday, October 19, 2007, a week from now. According to official sources and official media, an attack like the one I will describe is not a matter of if, but of when. They do not present it as a possibility but as a probability, and even as an inevitability. I have often wondered — and often written — about how it is that they can be so sure of what’s in our future. Given that they are so sure, though, it seems prudent to present this plausible scenario to an interested public.
A Nuclear Nightmare — The Portland Plot
By Rosy Palmer
Portland, OREGON (10/19) — Oregon City, Oregon became ground zero for the latest attack by Islamic terrorism against American freedom when its Old Oregon City Bridge on the Williamette River was shattered by a “dirty nuke” radiological dispersion device at 10:19 a.m. (PST).
Federal officials have ordered Oregon National Guard troops, supplemented by private security contracting firms, to lock down Interstate 205, to the north and west of the radiological contamination zone, which is dispersing and defusing as it travels southeast into mostly agricultural areas.
“It could have been much worse,” said Army Captain Amy Rice, a spokesperson for the US Northern Command, which has sent civil support teams to the area to do a detailed assessment of damage and estimate mortality rates. “This could have been inside the Portland city limits, or the radiation could have blown there, had it not been for the prevailing northwesterly wind, which is blowing it all to the southeast.”
“Our current estimate is that fewer than 200 Oregon City residents are dead so far,” she said, “but another 2,000 will likely die from radiation poisoning within the next 72 hours.”
“Military and contractor forces are moving into the contamination zone to extract those who are unable to move themselves to decontamination sites,” Rice added, “but we ask that the public be as patient as possible, because official personnel are wearing full protective gear to avoid becoming casualties themselves, and wearing all that equipment slows things down considerably.”
She concedes that as many as 20,000 people have been exposed to radioactive fallout, and their survivability will depend on their levels of exposure.
Vice President Dick Cheney was in nearby Portland when the catastrophic attack occurred, observing the massive federal exercises TOPOFF and Vigilant Shield, which were to conclude today. Ironically, the dual exercises were simulating exactly the kind of incident that occurred in Oregon City, 10 miles southeast of Portland.
“We’ll extend the mobilization of all federal, state, local and tribal personnel indefinitely,” Cheney said at a hastily summoned press conference early this afternoon, in which he announced the implementation of National Security Presidential Directive 51, signed into effect by the Bush administration May 9 in anticipation of the kind of terror attack we experienced today.
“We had a pretty good idea that something was up as early as the spring,” he said, “and Secretary Chertoff said as much in July when he said that he had a gut feeling we would come under attack.”
Several reporters asked the vice president whether TOPOFF and Vigilant Shield, exercises preparing for a Portland dirty nuke attack, were being held here because of advanced knowledge that the Portland area was being set up. Cheney refused to answer, citing national security considerations. In August another terror exercise, Noble Resolve, simulated a nuclear attack on the Portland area.
“I’m not going to aid and abet terrorism by letting the terrorists know how much we knew or know about what they were doing, are doing, or may still be doing,” he said. “There has been far too much conspiracy speculation already, and it’s criminal under the circumstances we face today. We are doing our best to keep things under control, to better protect the public and ensure the continuity of constitutional government.”
Portland city police are leading a newly designated “Patriot Posse,” which federal officials have tasked with carrying out a dragnet operation against terrorists and terror enablers in the city. For the most part arrests, assisted by Homeland Security, FBI and private contractors, have been orderly. In a few notable instances, though, suspects have resisted arrest by the heavily armed police forces, and as many as a dozen suspects are reported dead, along with two law enforcement officers. Anonymous insiders suggest that private contractors have been “trigger-happy,” and that the two dead police officers were shot from behind by overzealous assistants who “lack fire discipline.”
“I want to assure the public that everything we are doing is completely legal and absolutely necessary,” Cheney said, “and every one of the individuals we have arrested was first officially declared an enemy combatant by informed counter-terrorism officials.”
Military roadblocks have been set up around the city of Portland and, in the interest of public safety, no travel beyond the cordon is allowed at present. By tomorrow officials hope to have a functional system by which Portlanders can apply for permission to travel out of town, after passing through armed checkpoints.
Cheney affirmed that emergency detention centers were being set up in the area, but declined to specify where, citing national security considerations.
“Let’s just say enemy combatants will be taken care of and leave it at that,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot about what to do and not to do to ensure co-operation from terrorists and their enablers, and the public can rest assured that we’ll get to the bottom of this, one way or another.”
Conspiracy theorists are a major problem in keeping control of the catastrophic situation, according to Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, who just arrived in Portland this afternoon to assist Cheney in maintaining domestic order. Chertoff would not confirm rumors that Homeland Security personnel are responsible for a nationwide shutdown of Internet service providers, as well as international telephone services.
“I’m not going to dignify rumor mongering and conspiracy theory with either attention or answers,” Chertoff said. “Every front line first responder is doing everything possible to protect our American freedoms.”
Various conspiracy theory leaders in the Portland area have been rounded up, leading to speculation that they may have been involved in what is coming to be called The Portland Plot. They include Theresa Mitchell, host for KBOO public radio’s Presswatch; Patti Woodard, moderator of the Portland Nuclear Inquest; and Ginny Ross, founder of Oregon Truth Alliance. KBOO has taken over by military public affairs personnel, while PNI and OTA have been shut down for subverting public order. Members of all three groups are said to be in hiding.
At the time of the terrorist attack on Oregon City, President George W. Bush was in Texas playing golf in a charity event with his brother, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and his father, former president George H. W. Bush. Upon receiving the news, the family was immediately moved to a secure location by Secret Service personnel. Before leaving, though, the younger Bush president read a prepared statement to the accompanying media:
“Thanks to the foresight of some dedicated members of this administration, America will weather the nuclear storm. The evil-doers who will hope to enslave us with terror have only filled us with a noble resolve to free the world of them. It is our national mission — and my personal mission — to protect the American people and punish those behind The Portland Plot. We will avenge our tragic losses by attacking the terrorist governments who assisted in these attacks. I ask the public to stay informed about what is happening in our nation by turning to established and trusted patriotic media sources. I further urge the public to report to their local police any Internet terrorist enablers who try to undermine our national security by spreading outrageous conspiracy theories about this terrorist attack, which was carried out by radical Islamists. God bless America as we struggle to create a new world order in a new American century.”
Afterword and Advisory
Lest anyone think that I am encouraging a public panic on the day before TOPOFF and Vigilant Shield, be assured that the nuclear scenarios envisioned by official sources predict far worse results than those I have hypothesized. On April 15, Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing on Meet the Press, worried aloud that we might be hit by a nuclear attack that could kill a million people. An attack against Iran, triggered by a catastrophic event in United States, has already been prepared by CONPLAN 8022, which was put into effect through the efforts of Dick Cheney in 2005. My inferences on the extent of police powers and domestic detentions are derived from NSPD 51 — the details of which have been withheld from Congress despite repeated requests to view them by Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon and the House Homeland Security Committee.