Rep. Grindley letter Challenged : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I thought the Grindley letter and e-mail important and sent it out on my is a response I got back. What do you think? Spin? Disinformation? Useful? Wrong? Thanks.

Two days ago, I sent out a letter that was reportedly written by Georgia State Representative George Grindley. Among other things, the letter claimed "Koskinen, the Nations Y2K czar, has instructed each state to prepare their contingency plans to include 18 cities without power for 3 weeks." I didn't have time to verify the authenticity of the letter or the claims therein, but Steve Davis of Coalition 2000, did. Here is his response...

David Sunfellow


Saturday, July 10, 1999 >From Steve Davis Coalition 2000

I am writing to debunk the George Grindley story and to tell you all the real behind the scenes story - first hand. The George Grindley story is not new nor accurate as far as I can tell. When I first heard it I found it strange and asked John Koskinen if it was true. He said it was not and that he wished that he knew where it was coming from. I believe him. At that time I tried to spread the word that it was not verified. It appears that this urban myth has now surfaced again as so many often do.

I have been all over the country talking to business and government people working on preparedness - this story does not jive with what I am hearing at all. I was just at the Y2K Public Safety Roundtable that Mr. Koskinen held with FEMA, DOJ and numerous sector representatives. I was there representing civic preparedness. There were numerous presentations and workshops based on scenarios. There were no such recommendations made by anyone (JK included). In general, everyone was discussing issues, scenarios, and preparedness; however, no one seemed to know what the appropriate level of preparedness was. They did note that many small towns and agencies were still doing absolutely nothing.

The official guidance is still that the national infrastructure will hold but to assess your local situation and prepare accordingly. Human behavior issues are as much a concern as technical failures.

While I am writing to debunk this story, I am very concerned that the public reassurances given by FEMA and at many public meetings (and now at CC's) have been a detriment to preparedness. I have talked to many state and county level officials (both emergency managers and CIO's) who are not taking Y2K preparedness seriously. One state emergency manager recently said "No one told me that I need to do anything". In one county, the CIO says everything is fine while emergency managers are trying to organize preparedness efforts. I think that this situation stems from reassurances and the current state of media coverage.

As I have said numerous times "We need a clear preparedness message".

I do not want to go through the "how long to prepare for" issue again. However, the issue of "what are we preparing for" is a real and serious one inasmuch as it is stopping people from getting started. I understand that the federal message seems to be set in stone but I also know that there are many messages in the federal domain that support serious preparedness actions. Our challenge is to get Y2K preparedness to be acceptable on a broad basis, both for emergency managers and the public. Let's see if we can agree by basing our message on FEMA's own words:


>From the draft Y2K Operations Supplement to the Federal Response Plan:

"The effects of the Y2K Conversion may have a rapid onset and could potentially impact every State in the US as well as every county."

"The interdependent nature of vulnerable systems could result in an incremental or cascading series of impacts. Loss of functionality in one essential service could cause significant disruptions in other essential services."

"This hazard has the potential to adversely affect all levels of government, both in day-to-day operations as well as in response to the consequences of other natural or technological disasters and/or emergencies that could occur concurrently."

>From FEMA's "Contingency and Consequence Management Planning for Year 2000 Conversion - A Guide for State and Local Emergency Managers"

"Yet, the complexity and inter-relationships of the automated systems supporting our daily life, the global reach of some systems, and the varying rates at which Y2K repairs are being made, make it difficult to accurately predict all the possible Y2K situations we may encounter. With less than a year to go until the century date change occurs, the emergency management community must prepare to minimize the potential impacts of Y2K problems on public safety and health."


I think we all see the threat from both local and global problems significant enough to take seriously. We only need to convince the rest of the world. I would like to see us address this issue head-on and have a united position that we can all use to encourage serious attention and preparedness.



David Sunfellow Founder & Publisher NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE)

NHNE: eMail: Web: Phone: (520) 282-6120 Fax: (815) 346-1492

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-- seraphima (, July 11, 1999


Why don't they just ask Rep Grindley?

Apparently he has been more than willing to confirm the truthfulness of the account and even correct the circumstances.

Does someone have a link to that thread that can help me out?

Mike ===================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, July 11, 1999. c3 Mm

-- Link (herey@go.Mike), July 11, 1999.

Proof that OutingsR can copy, cut and paste from Doomers too --

Definitely NOT "hear say" - verbatim quote, heard it directly (live) from the source, with Brett following up separately. Spoke to him on air for several minutes, and can confirm his knowledge and reliability.

Or would you rather hear it from Mr. K.? Is he more reliable for some reason?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, March 03, 1999

-- OutingsR (us@here.yar), July 11, 1999.

Outages That Could Last Up To Several Weeks

-- (how@many.weeks), July 11, 1999.

Curiouser and curiouser. I emailed Rep. Grindley the other day ( but have not yet heard from him; it might be that he is overwhelmed these days with other people seeking "confirmation" of this true/untrue story. Or he might simply choose not to answer me, for whatever reason.

In the earlier threads, it was gradually made clear that Grindley never actually said that Koskinen personally told him or anybody else that Georgia should prepare for the *possibility* of having as many as 18 cities go without power for as long as three weeks; allegedly, somebody else on the conference call made this statement to an aide of the Georgia state CIO, who then passed it along to Rep. Grindley, who is reportedly the head of the state's Y2K task force. (I asked Grindley in my email if the original informant was actually a member of Koskinen's staff or not.) What is evident, unless the entire story is an utter fabrication in the first place, is that Grindley was convinced the feds privately were considerably more worried about Y2K than they were letting on in public. That's hard to prove or disprove, obviously, since roundtable discussions would naturally tend to adhere to the public policy statements.

I'm inclined to agree that there probably isn't that much concern even in private about some sort of national infrastructure collapse (if there really is such concern, it would be more likely the fear of a major, coordinated cyberterrorist attack on the entire grid system rather than worry about Y2K itself); at the same time, however, unless one can also somehow debunk the on-camera comments by D.C. Y2K project manager Marion Hanley on "60 Minutes" a month ago or the June 30th "Bloomberg News" article reporting the remarks of Cameron Daley, chief operating officer of TAVA (remarks since independently corroborated by Drew Parkhill of CBN News; check out the open forum at, then I think we must concede that there probably is indeed some behind-the-scenes concern about the *possibility* of significant regional Y2K threats to some infrastructure. Hanley's and Daley's comments roughly correlate with some of the scenarios that Grindley supposedly said the feds are worrying about: regional power outages *possibly* lasting as long as several weeks.

-- Don Florence (, July 11, 1999.

OK, I got a reply from Rep. Grindley tonight. I lack the technical knowledge and probably also the browser capability (am using an old browser version still) to copy/paste the actual email, but if anybody wants to email me directly, I'll be glad to forward a copy, which also includes attached a copy of my original inquiry email. I asked a lot of pointed questions, most of which Rep. Grindley, understandably enough, was not in a position to answer; nevertheless, his reply is of interest and tends to bear out my remarks in the post above.

The body of Rep. Grindley's email quoted in full, with a few bracketed comments by me:

"Thanks for your note. I do not have answers for all your questions, but I will do my best. As was reported apparently in a recent e-mail from me, the actual source of the three week comment was not koskinen himself, but another. The identity of the person will be hard for me to track." [N.B. The informant was reportedly on a conference call.]

"As far as the power grid, my information centers around possible cyber terrorism attacks that would be the most effective in conjunction with Y2K. The answers here are across the board, but a high ranking member of a power company did explain to me the relative ease of shutting down portions of the grid. Keep in mind these are not my areas of expertise, I am simply repeating explanations conveyed to me."

Another alarming statistic was related to me recently. A high level remediation expert here in Georgia tells me there is little remediation going on at all in small to medium companies here. Most seem to be falling back to the fix on failure option. The possible consequences of this on a widespread basis, could be devestating [sic]. I would like to confirm this with others across the country." [N.B. The latest National Federation of Independent Businesses report I've seen suggests that nationally some 20-25% of small businesses have adopted a FOF policy; those numbers could vary considerably by state. Of course, many of those adopting FOF might be mom-and-pop businesses; in their eyes, it might seem cheaper and easier to fix a program on failure rather than go through inventory and assessment procedures. Still, by one definition, a small business can have as many as 2,000 employees, whereas a medium-sized enterprise has 2,000 to 20,000 employees. Furthermore, we have to be concerned about supply lines and JIT inventories; at least some of these FOF outfits might be suppliers to the big boys, though my impression is that many major corporations are now pressuring their critical suppliers to come up to speed on Y2K.]

"I hope this helps." [N.B. It did.]

-- Don Florence (, July 12, 1999.

Rep. Grindley confirmed the accurracy of the email concerning a three week power outage.

I contacted Rep. Grindley on Thursday, July 8, 1999 and posted the following to the original thread.

John Davis ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Below is an email I sent to Rep. Grindley this morning concerning a three week power outage. His reply preceeds my email John Davis


From: [] Sent: Thursday, July 08, 1999 11:50 AM To: John Davis Subject: Re: Confirmation Request


Thanks for writing. The comments originated from a statement some time ago. Mike Hale, the C.I.O. of Georgia is responsible for Y2K remediation of the state. In actuallity, it was an aid of his who participated in a conference call with koskinen. It was a participant who suggested this, not John himself. The rest of the e- mail is correct. George

----- Original Message ----- From: John Davis To: Sent: Thursday, July 08, 1999 9:16 AM Subject: Confirmation Request

Rep. Grindley,

The email shown below has been posted on the Internet and has been attributed to you. Please confirm or deny its authenticity.

Also, is the reference to without power for 3 weeks correct?

Thank You, John Davis

From: george grindley[] Sent: Saturday, March 06, 1999 11:47 PM To: Subject: Y2K is more serious than some might think

Dear Sylvia,

As the chairman of the state of Georgias Y2K taskforce for the State House, I have studied the possibilities and contingincies closely. I have had many conversations with National leaders such as Congressman Steven Horn, Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr, to name a few. There are facts that the Government doesnt want you to know. Steve Koskinen, the Nations Y2K czar, has instructed each state to prepare their contingency plans to include 18 cities without power for 3 weeks.

The Department of Defense is quite concerned about our power grid on that New Years Eve. The chances are good that there will be attempts made by outside sources to shut our grid down. This system was never encrypted, nor designed to keep experts out.

Sylvia, I must say here that God alone knows how bad or uneventful that evening will be, but we must way the risk of preparation with the risk of non preparation.

Please call me if I may be of assistance to you.

Yours in service,

George Grindley State Representative, District 35 Marietta, Georgia

-- John Davis (, July 08, 1999.


-- (, July 12, 1999.

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