Emergency Preparedness against the ''Universal Adversary"

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by Michel Chossudovsky

Orwellian “Scenarios”
A recent Report of the Homeland Security Council entitled Planning Scenarios describes in minute detail, the Bush administration’s preparations in the case of a terrorist attack by an outside enemy called the Universal Adversary (UA).
The Universal Adversary, is identified in the scenarios as an abstract entity used for the purposes of simulation. Yet upon more careful examination, this Universal Adversary is by no means illusory. It includes the following categories of potential “conspirators”:

– “foreign [Islamic] terrorists”,
– “domestic radical groups”, [antiwar and civil rights groups]
– “state sponsored adversaries” [“rogue states”, “unstable nations”]
– “disgruntled employees” [labor and union activists].
According to the Planning Scenarios Report:

“Because the attacks could be caused by foreign terrorists; domestic radical groups; state sponsored adversaries; or in some cases, disgruntled employees, the perpetrator has been named, the Universal Adversary (UA). The focus of the scenarios is on response capabilities and needs, not threat-based prevention activities.” (See Planning Scenarios )

The domestic radical groups and labor activists, which visibly constitute a threat to the established political order, are now conveniently lumped together with foreign Islamic terrorists, suggesting that the PATRIOT anti-terror laws together with the Big Brother law enforcement apparatus are eventually intended to be used against potential domestic “adversaries”.
While the Universal Adversary is “make-believe”, the simulations constitute a dress rehearsal of a real life emergency situation:

“The scenarios have been developed in a way that allows them to be adapted to local conditions throughout the country”

Fifteen Distinct Scenarios
The scenarios cover the entire array of threats:

15 distinct threat scenarios to the Security of America carried out by four categories of enemies: Islamic terrorists, radical groups, rogue adversaries and labor activists.

The scenarios simulate operations carried out by the Universal Adversary (UA). They include inter alia a nuclear detonation (with a small 10-Kiloton improvised nuclear device, anthrax attacks, a biological disease outbreak including a pandemic influenza, not to mention a biological plague outbreak. Various forms of chemical weapons attacks are also envisaged including the use of toxic industrial chemicals, and nerve gas. Radiological attacks through the emission of a radioactive aerosol are also envisaged. (See Text box below)
What is revealing in the “doomsday scripts” is that they bear no resemblance to the weaponry used by clandestine urban “terrorists”. In fact, in several cases, they correspond to weapons systems which are part of the US arsenal and which have been used in US sponsored military operations. The description of the nuclear device bears a canny resemblance to America’s tactical nuclear weapon (“mini nuke”) , which also has a 10-kiloton yield, approximately two-thirds of a Hiroshima bomb. That Homeland Security should actually envisage a make believe scenario of large scale nuclear attacks by ‘domestic radicals’ and/or Islamic terrorists borders on the absurd.
With regard to the nerve gas attack scenario, in a cruel irony, it is the same type of nerve gas (as well as mustard gas) used by the US military against civilians in Fallujah.

Building a Consensus
These simulations are applied to sensitize and “educate” key decision makers. The simulated data, the various categories of ‘conspirators”, the types of deadly weapons envisaged in the simulations are part of this knowledge base. The political objective of the Bush administration is to create a broad consensus: a feeling of allegiance and commitment within the emergency preparedness community.
The nature of the adversaries and the dangers of the attacks (ranging from nuclear detonations to nerve agents and anthrax) become “talking points”. In the scenarios, the conspirators including the “domestic radical groups” and “disgruntled employees” are described as being in possession of “weapons of mass destruction”.
In the comprehensive 2005 anti-terrorist TOPOFF-3 exercises , (similar to war exercises, conducted recently under the auspices of Homeland Security) precise data sources were simulated and used to identify potential conspirators.
This “world of fiction” underlying the scenarios becomes real. The data sources “replicate actual terrorist networks down to names, photos, and drivers license numbers.”
The scenarios create for the more than 10,000 TOPOFF-3 participants, a carefully designed “reality model” which shapes their behavior and understanding:

“Planners included the threats they considered most likely or devastating, said Marc Short, a [Homeland Security] department spokesman.”

The “reality model” script of threats and conspirators replaces the real world.
These fabricated realities penetrate the inner-consciousness of key decision makers. The reality model script molds the behavior of public officials, it builds a “knowledge” and “understanding”, namely a shared ignorance regarding the war on terrorism and the “adversaries” who oppose the administration’s war and homeland security agendas.
A world of fiction becomes reality. The scenarios “enable exercise players to simulate intelligence gathering and analysis”, in preparation of an actual emergency situation which, according to the scenarios’ assumptions, would lead to mass arrests of presumed terror suspects.
Fiction becomes fact.
Conversely fact becomes fiction. “Ignorance is strength”. The “scenarios” require submission and conformity: for those key decision-makers at the federal, State and municipal levels, the US government, namely the Bush Administration is the unquestioned guardian of the truth. The outright lies concerning Osama, Zarqawi, the “rogue enemies” of America, “weapons of mass destruction”, not to mention 9-11, are upheld as indelible truths.
What we are dealing with is a process of indoctrination, which develops a new righteousness and which ultimately abolishes the Rule of Law. In the words of Central Command General (ret) Tommy Franks:

“A terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event.” (Cigar Aficionado, December 2003)

“Reality Model” Script based on “Flimsy Intelligence”
The process of emergency preparedness could be launched, even in the case of a threat based on “intelligence”, which proves at some later date to be unfounded. In the scripted “scenarios”, the pictures and IDs of potential conspirators in police data banks are real, leading immediately in the case of an actual emergency to mass arrests.
Known and documented, several of the post-911 terrorist threats were in fact based on fake intelligence. Several of the high profile code orange terror alerts had been fabricated outright. (See Fabricating Intelligence as a Justification for War, See also here)
Acknowledged by Tom Ridge, upon retiring from his position as Sec of Homeland Security:

there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level… Ridge [said] .he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or “high” risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled… There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, ‘For that?’ ” (USA Today , 10 May 2005)

Fake intelligence is part of the disinformation campaign. It plays a key role in building the “war on terrorism” consensus. It builds a justification for war. The national security doctrine rests on the existence of an outside enemy, which threatens the Homeland.
The falsehoods created by this “flimsy intelligence” are embodied in the terror attack “scenarios” and exercises. Lies are transformed into indelible truths. The latter are shared by State officials, private sector decision-makers and “first responders” in a national emergency situation, if and when it occurs.
In other words these Orwellian “scenarios” assume that the various threats must be taken seriously, irrespective of the source of the intelligence or the reliability of the intelligence. The scripted “scenarios” and anti-terror TOPOFF exercises are based on fake terror threats, which requires the production of fake intelligence.

Martial Law
Both the “scenarios” and the TOPOFF-3 anti-terror exercises were barely mentioned in the media. In other words, we are not dealing with a propaganda ploy directed towards the broader American public. The propaganda in this case is targeted. It takes the form of “training” and emergency preparedness:

“We are moving forward in applying lessons learned to anticipate and address all possible attack scenarios,” an F.B.I. spokeswoman said, asking not to be named because her department was not the lead author of the document. “With enhanced law enforcement and intelligence community partnerships, we are able to better detect terrorist plots and dismantle terrorist organizations.” (NYT 26 Feb 2005)

The “Scenarios” were developed for “Use in National, Federal, State and Local Homeland Security Preparedness”. They instill in public and private sector officials and participants a sense of responsibility, duty and awareness in relation to something which is ultimately fictitious.
The “scenarios” and anti-terrorist exercises develop observance and compliance by public officials, law enforcement, intelligence, military and civilian federal and State employees, etc.
Moreover, the scenarios also envisage the circumstances under which Martial Law could be triggered in the case of a threat by the Universal Adversary. In other words, fake intelligence could indeed be used to trigger a martial law situation in America, much in the same way as (deja vu) fake intelligence was used “to fit the policy” of invading Iraq, as revealed in the controversial Downing Street Secret Memo.
In a real life emergency, instructed by the relevant authorities, law enforcement officials would proceed to arrest the Universal Adversary, including members of radical groups, labor activists, etc.
Law enforcement officials would no longer be instructed to uphold the Rule of Law. In fact quite the opposite.
The arrests would be conducted on behalf of officials in high office, who have broken the law, and who are known to have committed extensive war crimes.
In the “reality model” script, the US State, its military-intelligence apparatus and war planning machine become the guardians of the peace. The State is above the law.
The “reality model” script not only sets the stage for Martial Law, it also constitutes an obvious political and legal safeguard against prosecution and/or impeachment of the President and his entourage.
Some 88 members of Congress, in a letter addressed to President Bush, have recently demanded “whether there was a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to “fix” the intelligence and facts around the policy [of waging an illegal war on Iraq] as the leaked document states?”
Under martial law, the Rule of Law is banished. The lies, crimes and atrocities of the real world are substituted by a “reality model” script of fictitious attacks by fictitious “conspirators”. Those who in any way question to existence of the Universal Adversary would themselves be the object of possible arrest or prosecution.

[ published at the Outset of the Report]

While the intelligence picture developed as
part of each scenario generally reflects suspected terrorist
capabilities and known tradecraft, the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) is unaware of any credible intelligence that indicates that such
an attack is being planned, or that the agents or devices in question
are in possession of any known terrorist group.

Financing the Police State Apparatus

A large amount of “real money” from tax payers pockets is used to protect America against a non-existent enemy, the Universal Adversary.

Under the guise of emergency preparedness, the administration has allocated more than of 40 billion dollars to beefing up the police state apparatus, an amount broadly equivalent to the “official” budget of the CIA.

The scenarios and exercises of terror attacks are being used by Homeland Security Sec Michael Chertoff, to push “risk-based planning” as a central theme of the DHS, also with a view to boosting the Homeland Security budget.

Out of the $41.1 billion, some $27 billion are allocated to discretionary expenditures. A hefty $3.6 billion are allocated “to train and equip first responders [i.e. consensus building], such as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.” (www.govexec.com).

A multibillion dollar Domestic Nuclear Detection Office is envisaged, with a mandate to “detect and report attempts [by conspirators] to import, assemble or transport nuclear explosive devices, fissile material, or radiological material intended for illegal use”

The ultimate result (and intent) of these various counterterrorism initiatives, is not to “make America safer” against possible attacks by a non-existent Universal Adversary. Quite the opposite, emergency preparedness is the pretext for the militarization of civilian justice and law enforcement (See Frank Morales, “Homeland Defense” and the Militarisation of America, Frank Morales, Sept 2003. The Homeland Security agenda consists in breaking within America, all forms of social resistance and opposition to the “war on terrorism”.

TEXT Box: “Scenarios” of Selected

Radiological: In this
scenario, the Universal Adversary (UA) purchases stolen CsCl to make an
RDD or “dirty bomb.” The explosive and the shielded 137Cs sources are
smuggled into the country. Detonator cord is stolen from a mining
operation, and all other materials are obtained legally in the United

In this
scenario, terrorist members of the Universal Adversary (UA) group
assemble a gun-type nuclear
device using highly enriched uranium
– used here to mean
weapons-grade uranium – stolen from a nuclear facility located in the
former Soviet Union. The nuclear device components are smuggled into
the United States.

Plague is a
bacterium that causes high mortality in untreated cases and has
epidemic potential. … In this scenario, members of the Universal
Adversary (UA) release pneumonic plague into three main areas of a
major metropolitan city – in the bathrooms of the city’s major airport,
at the city’s main sports arena, and at the city’s major train station.

Anthrax spores delivered
by aerosol delivery results in inhalation anthrax, which develops when
the bacterial organism, Bacillus anthracis, is inhaled into the lungs.
A progressive infection follows. This scenario describes a single
aerosol anthrax attack in one city delivered by a truck using a
concealed improvised spraying device … For federal planning purposes,
it will be assumed that the Universal Adversary (UA) will attack five
separate metropolitan areas in a sequential manner. Three cities will
be attacked initially, followed by two additional cities 2 weeks later.

Agent YELLOW, which
is a mixture of the blister agents sulfur Mustard and Lewisite, is a
liquid with a garlic-like odor. Individuals who breathe this mixture
may experience damage to the respiratory system. Contact with the skin
or eye can result in serious burns. Lewisite or Mustard- Lewisite also
can cause damage to bone marrow and blood vessels. Exposure to high
levels may be fatal. In this scenario, the Universal Adversary (UA)
uses a light aircraft to spray chemical agent YELLOW into a packed
college football stadium. The agent directly contaminates the stadium
and the immediate surrounding area, and generates a downwind vapor

Industrial chemicals: In this
scenario, terrorists from the Universal Adversary (UA) land in several
helicopters at fixed facility petroleum refineries. They quickly launch
rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and plant improvised explosive devices
(IEDs) before re-boarding and departing, resulting in major fires. At
the same time, multiple cargo containers at a nearby port explode
aboard or near several cargo ships with resulting fires. Two of the
ships contain flammable liquids or solids. The wind is headed in the
north-northeast direction, and there is a large, heavy plume of smoke
drifting into heavily populated areas and releasing various metals into
the air….

Sarin is a
human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. Nerve
are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical
warfare agents. … In this scenario, the Universal Adversary (UA)
builds six spray dissemination devices and releases Sarin vapor into
the ventilation systems of three large commercial office buildings in a
metropolitan area. The agent kills 95% of the people in the buildings,
and kills or sickens many of the first responders. In addition, some of
the agent exits through rooftop ventilation stacks, creating a downwind

Chlorine gas is
poisonous and can
be pressurized and cooled to change it into a liquid form so that it
can be shipped and stored. When released, it quickly turns into a gas
and stays close to the ground and spreads rapidly. Chlorine gas is
yellow-green in color and although not flammable alone, it can react
explosively or form explosive compounds with other chemicals such as
turpentine or ammonia. In this scenario, the Universal Adversary (UA)
infiltrates an industrial facility and stores a large quantity of
chlorine gas (liquefied under pressure). Using a low-order explosive,
UA ruptures a storage tank man-way, releasing a large quantity of
chlorine gas downwind of the site. Secondary devices are set to impact
first responders.

In this
scenario, agents of the Universal Adversary (UA) use improvised explosive
devices (IEDs) to detonate bombs
inside a sports arena and create a
large vehicle bomb (LVB). They also use suicide bombers in an
underground public transportation concourse and detonate another bomb
in a parking facility near the entertainment complex. An additional
series of devices is detonated in the lobby of the nearest hospital
emergency room (ER). The event is primarily designed for an urban
environment, but could be adapted for more rural area events such as
county fairs and other large gatherings. Casualty estimates would be
reduced as a function of a reduced target population and less
population density at target points.

The fire
is ignited approximately 1 hour after the start of the entertainment
event. The detonation of explosives is delayed approximately 10 to 15
minutes after the ignition of the fire in order to allow for detection,
evacuation, and response of emergency services providers. The
detonation of explosives at the hospital site will be the hardest to
time for maximum effect and may need to be coordinated by some
communication among cell members. In any case, the hospital device
should be detonated before the arrival of casualties from the
entertainment venue….

The U.S.
food industry has significantly increased its physical and personnel
security since 2001. A successful attack could only occur following the
illegal acquisition of sensitive information revealing detailed
vulnerabilities of a specific production site [by terrorist plant
workers]. However, in this scenario the Universal Adversary (UA) is
able to acquire these restricted documents due to a security lapse. The
UA uses these sensitive documents and a high degree of careful planning
to avoid apprehension and conduct a serious attack.

biological agent is delivered to terrorists (plant workers)…. The UA
delivers liquid anthrax bacteria to pre-selected plant workers. At a
beef plant in a west coast state, two batches of ground beef are
contaminated with anthrax, with distribution to a city on the west
coast, a southwest state, and a state in the northwest. At an orange
juice plant in a southwestern state, three batches of orange juice are
contaminated with anthrax, with distribution to a west coast city, a
southwest city, and a northwest city.

In this
scenario, members of the Universal Adversary (UA) enter the United
States to survey large operations in the livestock industries. The UA
targets several locations for a coordinated bioterrorism attack on
the agricultural industry
. Approximately two months later, UA teams
enter the United States and infect farm animals at specific locations.

In this
scenario, the Universal Adversary conducts cyber attacks that
affect several parts of the nation’s financial infrastructure over the
course of several weeks. Specifically, credit-card processing
facilities are hacked and numbers are released to the Internet, causing
20 million cards to be cancelled; automated teller machines (ATMs) fail
nearly simultaneously across the nation; major companies report payroll
checks are not being received by workers; and several large pension and
mutual fund companies have computer malfunctions so severe that they
are unable to operate for more than a week. Individually, these attacks
are not dangerous – but combined, they shatter faith in the stability
of the system. Citizens no longer trust any part of the U.S. financial
system and foreign speculators make a run on the dollar.

Source: The Homeland
Security Council, PLANNING
SCENARIOS Executive Summaries
for Use in National, Federal, State, and Local Homeland Security
Preparedness Activities

Appendix: Hyperlinks to The Report

Homeland Security

Executive Summaries

Created for Use in National, Federal, State, and Local Homeland Security Preparedness Activities

The Homeland Security Council

David Howe, Senior Director for Response and Planning

July 2004

To consult the complete document


Adobe Acrobat Version [PDF 313 KB]

Table of
contents and synopsis of “Scenarios” of HSC Report
Response Threads
1: Nuclear Detonation ? 10-Kiloton
Improvised Nuclear
2: Biological Attack ? Aerosol
3: Biological Disease Outbreak ? Pandemic Influenza
4: Biological Attack ? Plague
5: Chemical Attack ? Blister
6: Chemical Attack ? Toxic Industrial Chemicals
7: Chemical Attack ? Nerve Agent
8: Chemical Attack ? Chlorine Tank Explosion
9: Natural Disaster ? Major Earthquake
10: Natural Disaster ? Major Hurricane
11: Radiological Attack ? Radiological
Dispersal Devices
12: Explosives Attack ? Bombing Using Improvised Explosive Device
13: Biological Attack ? Food
14: Biological Attack ? Foreign Animal Disease (Foot and Mouth Disease)
15: Cyber Attack
Scenario Working Group Members


7 June 2005 (revised)
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO506A.html

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