Jack Anderson on gov. Y2K preps.greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
on go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
Monday, May 3, 1999 The government's secret Y2K plans By Jack Anderson, and Jan Moller
The story our government doesn't want you to know was broken not by a major TV network or national newspaper. It was encapsulated instead by a front-page picture, which ran in February on the front page of a small Virginia paper called "The Potomac News."
Captioned "Y2K riot training," the photo depicted a Marine private trying to "force herself backward through a line of Marines during a civil unrest exercise at Quantico Marine Corps base" outside Washington.
In this case, unfortunately, a picture was not worth a thousand words. In fact, a Quantico spokesman denied the story and says the Marines were not, in fact, preparing for civil unrest. But the reporter (and photographer), Dave Ellis, stands by his story.
"They told me what the exercise was about and then asked me not to report it," he told us. "(The Marines) were worried that people would think they were painting helicopters black and training for a huge government crackdown at the millennium."
Such is the great dilemma behind preparation for the phenomenon know as Y2K: No one knows exactly what will happen to our technologically dependent lives when computer dates roll forward from "99" to "00" at midnight on Dec. 31. Yet planning for the worst-case scenario carries the danger of inciting panic and becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy.
This might explain why most military folks we talked to claimed no knowledge of any Y2K-specific preparations. But we have learned that the U.S. military is quietly planning a sophisticated social-response network in case civil unrest should erupt. It was confirmed to us recently by Sen. Robert Bennet, R-Utah, who chairs a special Y2K Technology Problem Committee.
"This problem is everywhere and nowhere all at once," Bennett told us. "We can only take a snapshot of portions of infrastructure and attempt to provide the most accurate information we can. But there is simply not sufficient time to understand where all the problems are going to surface, so we must be practical and prepare for the worst."
In the worst-case scenario, public alarm spreads rapidly as vital services such as health care, public safety and utilities are temporarily disrupted by computer breakdowns. The stress, of course, is on "temporary." Most experts suggest that people prepare for Y2K like they might prepare for a winter storm.
Thomas Barnett, director of the Y2K security project, says his team has been coaching every branch of the military -- indeed even the Marines -- since last fall, planning drills and simulating Y2K breakdowns. Just this week, Barnett plans to take some military and FBI people to the World Trade Center to develop possible responses to a stock market crash.
Later this month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will also hold a national "table top" simulated scenario drill -- similar to the "war games" played out in the military -- which will pull together all emergency and military resources. FEMA, along with the National Guard, is responsible for coordinating state and local responses to Y2K problems while the State Department will cover international social problems.
But it is a small agency within the FBI, quietly created by Janet Reno recently, that will be the federal authority for any national Y2K repercussions. The agency, The National Domestic Preparedness Office, is now up and running -- and preparing -- despite the fact they don't officially exist; Congress has yet to approve its budget.
) 1999 Deseret News Publishing Co.
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
-- Ed (email@example.com), October 01, 1999
Thomas Barnett, director of the Y2K security project...
And... The Naval War College...
(for the dot mil challenged)....
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 01, 1999.
What does one have to do to get into a dot mil? I'm up for a "challenge."
-- semper paratus (email@example.com?), October 01, 1999.
Funny, when I try to click on the http:// www.nwc.navy.mil/dsd/y2ksited/y2ksite.htm link I get back a message that Netscape is unable to locate the server.
-- Quizzical One (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 02, 1999.