Senate will have a closed-door session on Y2K next week : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

A quote from the Deseret News of Utah:,30013066,00.html


The closer that Jan. 1, 2000, comes, the more serious some of the warnings issued by Bennett's committee are becoming.

In fact, the Senate has even scheduled a highly unusual, closed-door Senate session next week where all senators will hear in secret some updates on threats posed by the problem.


-- Kevin (, February 26, 1999


Since the links to Deseret News articles vanish quickly...,1249,30013066,00.html?

Wednesday, February 24, 1999

Will Y2K breed instability abroad?

Bennett tells panel terrorists may try to take advantage of it

By Lee Davidson

Deseret News Washington correspondent

WASHINGTON  Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, says he tries not to sound like Chicken Little when he talks about the year 2000 computer bug. But he delivered some ominous warnings Tuesday. He said the bug will breed instability abroad; terrorists may try to take advantage of it; U.S. soldiers who respond might lack basic electricity, phones, transportation and water; and U.S. defense computers are at high risk of infection by viruses possibly placed by myriad Y2K contractors now working on them.

If that's not enough, the CIA also reported that Russia's early warning system has Y2K problems that may make it incorrectly conclude it is under attack. Also, key power, oil and banking systems abroad could easily fail. That came in a hearing before the Senate Armed Service Committee on Tuesday and in a report written by the Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, which is headed by Bennett. The closer that Jan. 1, 2000, comes, the more serious some of the warnings issued by Bennett's committee are becoming. In fact, the Senate has even scheduled a highly unusual, closed- door Senate session next week where all senators will hear in secret some updates on threats posed by the problem.


Even as Bennett tried to deliver some good news in testimony Tuesday, it "We will have problems in this country with respect to Y2K, but they will be manageable. And we will get through them without seeing the end of Western civilization as we know it," he said. "However, overseas I am becoming increasingly concerned that many of our trading partners and our military allies will be sufficiently behind the curve that we will have serious problems." About governmental instability abroad, he said, "Y2K will breed it. . . . Terrorist groups may want to take advantage of that" as power, water, transportation, telephone and military computers and weaponry abroad could fail. He said his committee expects the height of instability will not come on Jan. 1, 2000  but actually a month or so later as various possible failures compound each other. He warned that the U.S. military needs to prepare to handle such instability. He said the military of many U.S. allies is also "behind the curve," and the U.S. military may be called upon "to pick up the slack" in countries such as Korea and Japan. He said soldiers may lack basic utilities and support in such places, so contingency plans are needed. Bennett also warned that because the Defense Department had a late start in fixing its Y2K problem, it contracted out much of the work to people who had only quick background checks. He said that increases the possibility of enemies infecting computers with viruses that may not show up for years, or installing "back doors" that could give them easy access to U.S. military secrets. Military officials said they have been aware of the possibility and have tried to control it. Meanwhile, CIA Deputy Director John A. Gordon backed up many of Bennett's warnings about problems abroad at the hearing. "We think the Russians may have some Y2K problems in the early warning systems that they use to monitor foreign missile launches," he said. "These could lead to incorrect information being provided by such systems, or system outages." Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, also said he worries about Russian security systems, and whether Y2K problems might lead to nuclear theft and proliferation. Gordon also said some older Soviet nuclear reactors are vulnerable to Y2K and could crash vast power networks. And he said oil and gas pipelines in many countries  which export to the United States  might be shut down by Y2K problems. Meanwhile, Bennett's committee finished a report based on a year of hearings saying U.S. industries such as health care, oil, education, farming, food processing and construction are seriously lagging on computer repairs. It also warned that international ports and airports are far behind in Y2K efforts. And many Asian and Latin American countries hit hard with recent economic problems have not had the money needed to fix Y2K problems. Meanwhile, Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Dianne Feinstein, D- Calif., introduced a bill Tuesday they hope said may reduce lawsuits from Y2K problems  so that companies can put their time and money into fixing bugs instead of suing over them. It would place a three-month waiting period on Y2K suits to allow litigants to try to settle out of court. It also limits punitive damages to help discourage suits.

-- Kevin (, February 26, 1999.

Closed-door huh. Anybody got a "freedom of information act" request form? <:)=

-- Sysman (, February 26, 1999.

Closed-door Senate session. Surely not. Hey, I thought this was all well in hand and that we didn't have anything to worry about.

Oh! I know what it is. Everything's going to be okay they're just planning a big HUGE New Years Eve party for us. Yes, that's what it is. It couldn't possibly be anything else. Watch out for those boxes of blowers, tooters, streamers, balloons, hats, and bubbly to be covertly stockpiled around our communities. Right at the last minute they'll surpirse us +++++ shhhh! remember to act shocked and surprised +++ just like you didn't know a thing about it. Co's it's gonna big the biggest New Years BASH ever!!!!!!!

-- Why (, February 26, 1999.

Closed Door Senate Hearings...

I thought the reason for having a Senate/House of Reps was that we, the American people, had someone to represent us. Someone qualified in each area of the country to represent those people who vary in culture from region to region.

Now the people we elect to represent us are taking the whole show and making it secret. I know it's not the first time but now the issue is Y2K and publicly the government can't be ahppier with it's progress.

So what is up folks? Can't we be trusted to hear what your talking about behind closed doors??

I am truly appalled. The next thing your going to hear is that presidential elections are going to be held behind closed doors.

-- (, February 26, 1999.

In fact, the Senate has even scheduled a highly unusual, closed-door Senate session next week where all senators will hear in secret some updates on threats posed by the problem."

And so it begins.

-- a (a@a.a), February 26, 1999.

Ah, but we fragile children can't ever be allowed to hear and know anything that would cause us to be afraid and do something stupid like "depend on ourselves". Goodness' sake...we might get the idea that we don't need them, that we never needed them, and then what would happen to all those beleagered servants, the real recipients of government welfare. They'd have to look for a real job. This closed door stuff digusts me, and I rarely have what could pass for contempt,...but this is it,..the real deal.

Stay asleep. Consume. Reproduce. Got "archy?"

-- Donna Barthuley (, February 26, 1999.

... Bennett also warned that because the Defense Department had a late start in fixing its Y2K problem, it contracted out much of the work to people who had only quick background checks.

*Big Sigh*

Ive been trying to get a copy of this weeks CIA testimony to the Senate Armed Services, but even with Declans help, no can do ... yet.

What frosts me is approved Congressional press people attending that meeting we give a hard copy of the report, so THEY could report on it, but we the people who PAY for the darned things cant get access to a digital copy!


There. I vented.

I even fired off an e-mail to Senator Bennett (nothing back yet) and ...

... the Senate Web Master about it. My reply? ...

Subject: Re: Question -- Help w/link Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 11:48:22 -0500 From: (webmaster)

Each Committee decides whether to post prepared testimony -- to my knowledge no Committee is posting hearing transcripts. You must contact the Armed Services Committee for information on the hearings they hold. You can access their web site via the Senate Home Page (click on Committees on the top navigation bar). Cheri Allen Senate Webmaster

How dya like them apples?

Im so annoyed, I could probably spit straight!!


-- Diane J. Squire (, February 26, 1999.

Where's fly? Maybe we can get him on one of the Senate chamber walls. Geez. Our tax dollars working hardly. Anyone know when the last "highly unusual, closed-door Senate session" was held? I guess the only thing we can hope for is a leak of some kind. Sigh.

Kevin: Thanks for picking up on this, and also for the hotlink on the other thread.

-- Rob Michaels (, February 26, 1999.

The last time the Senate held closed hearings was during the impeachment trial of W. J. Clinton - that really worked out well too.

-- Laurane (, February 26, 1999.

Laurane: LOL. Yeah, I know - My post should have been clearer. I was wondering about less recent times when this has happened and the reasons why, especially pre-Clinton.

-- Rob Michaels (, February 26, 1999.

Diane: Yep. It's a good thing they have the ability to give themselves pay raises, cause its very clear they would not be getting any otherwise.

-- a (a@a.a), February 26, 1999.

Declan recently pointed out that much of the y2k discussion in DC is behind closed doors. Senators are basically a decent lot when it comes to security issues. You can bet that there are good reasons to go behind closed doors or they would not do it. HOWEVER, having said that, the fact that it has got to be behind closed doors is alarming and frightening in itself. Their discussions may involve military security which I can do nothihng about, therefore I don't worry about it. On the other hand, their discussions may involve domestic infrastructure, which I can do something about. Sam's Club needs a y2k section so I don't have to walk all over the store to gather this crap. By the way, it's too late to assuage my concerns. Two months worth of closed door meetings pretty much spoils the potential credibility of anything which might follow.

-- Puddintame (, February 26, 1999.

To all ; My new thought process concerning Congress," JUST SAY NO TO CONGRESS " What ever they want, we just say no ! From now on ! Furie...

-- Furie (, February 26, 1999.

What are those good reasons I'm to be sure of Puddintame? The rules of logic call that a fallacy named Audiatur et altera pars; this means that people argue from assumptions which they don't bother to state. In valid discussion all the premises of an argument are stated explicitely. It is not strictly a fallacy to fail to state all of your assumptions; however, it's often viewed with suspicion.

So state the premises that we can all agree on...I'm not sure "they have good reasons for closed session" is one of them.

-- Donna Barthuley (, February 26, 1999.


I think the good reasons Puddintame gave was "when it comes to security issues."

At least that's how I understood the statement.

-- Deborah (, February 27, 1999.

Hey folks. This is serious stuff. If the report weheard was the good news, what is the bad news?

-- PNG (, February 27, 1999.

Donna, I'm not well versed in the language of philosophy, but the unstated assumption problem that you mention is, to me, one of the stickiest areas of logic of logic and expert opinion. I guess what I was taliking about in the post above is not logic in a technical sense. It's just my experience in life that if the Senators went behind closed doors, it was probably for the protection of militarily sensitive information or other information which a wise benevolent leader would want to control. My guess is that if you or I were in the Senate, we would probably have gone along with that decision as distasteful as it is. But please don't misinterpret my post. I think the fact that the discussions are behind closed doors is a bad omen. Potentially very bad. And, yes, I wish that I could know exactly what was and will be discussed. I trust myself more than I trust the Senators.

-- Puddintame (, February 27, 1999.

'Seems to me that Y2K is tightly connected in Washington with the whole "Critical Infrastructure Protection" efforts. Head over to for some interesting reading on what's up with the military these days. Something's brewing, that's for sure. Closed door sessions don't surprise me a bit on this thing. Not that I like them.. . .

-- FM (, March 01, 1999.

I agree completely with Puddintame and PNG.

If I must trust anyone in government to be concerned about my need to know, it's Senator Benett, as he's the only one so far in the gov. who has given us any relatively realistic picture matching what we've all collectively come up with in our extensive research and poking into government/business/media sites.

I've been harboring the same gut-feeling as what Puddintame is saying since Benett said there was a need to inform the public but not panic them. As PNG said, if Senator Benett's report is fit to disclose to us then it's the "good news" side of the coin, and that is panickish enough. Now I'm left to think that what they must discuss behind closed doors would surely send me to my Y2K retreat and hole up there right now. I only have to use a little imagination with the knowledge we all have on this forum...

-- Chris (, March 01, 1999.

Yep. If they have to go behind closed doors to discuss the military preparation and security issues regarding Y2K -- well, that in itself just confirms the connections our various threads have been weaving.

The Info Stalkers meet the Night Stalkers, literally and metaphorically.

At least it's gotten to the point where they realize they need "secrecy" measures. When will they realize what is *most* needed is honest preparation information dispensed to everybody internationally?

Remember, the web of military & FEMA et al "safety nets" are nowhere near compliant either. The blind lead the blind fishing ...

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, March 01, 1999.

To continue the above:

...the blind leading the blind on an ice-fishing expedition as they wakl across the South Pole icefields.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, March 01, 1999.

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