A terrorism drill will be conducted as Congress has required since 2000 and this drill is raising questions about our preparedness especially since the after action report (AAR) from the 2005 drill has not been made public. The lawmakers are concerned because the AAR has not been released and yet we are going forward with the next exercise. How on Earth can we tell if we have improved? Perhaps Congress should think about the ramifications of making an AAR from this kind of exercise public.
Suppose that during the last exercise it was discovered that a major portion of our infrastructure was extremely vulnerable and that it was particularly vulnerable in one area. Now suppose that an event targeting this area would cost a huge number of lives and cause untold millions in damage. Is it really wise to make that information public before corrections can be made to mitigate the deficiency? Having participated in a number of exercises I can state that there is always something wrong and it is not just one something. It is usually a number of things and they all need to be addressed. A drill of that size had to bring out a number of vulnerabilities, none of which should be made public. If we make them public we are basically telling our enemies where they should attack us and how they should go about doing it.
I would think that all the geniuses in Congress would have a grasp of this. They all tout their national security “creds” and yet in this one basic area of operational security (OPSEC) they are unable to see how dangerous releasing the information could be. Either they are dense or they know the ramifications and are trying to score political points. If this is the case they are unworthy of office and should be jailed. Actually, they are unworthy regardless.
Imagine another exercise where the Capitol was breached and the members inside were all killed as part of the extent of play. Imagine that this exercise showed a glaring security problem at the Capitol and one that will take time to correct. How willing do you think members of Congress would be to release that information to the world? That would be the tightest kept secret in America. The New York Times could not pry that one out. Congress would be silent because the consequences of their actions would directly affect them and maybe in a very dangerous fashion. The rest of the citizens in America deserve the same consideration. When it is time, the AAR will be released. Those who have a need to know are aware of its contents. Why don’t we let them do their jobs and Congress can get back to its job.
If Congress is truly worried about timeliness perhaps they should be working harder to pass the budget that is now overdue (as it has been every year for who knows how long). We run on continuing resolutions every year because they can never get the thing done on time so perhaps it is time to reevaluate all the time they take off. It is hard to get anything done when one is never at work. Maybe if they spent less time playing games with radio hosts and worrying about who broke wind down the hall, they could accomplish something.
There is an AAR on the job Congress does and it is called the election. Let us use that time to vote them all out of office and replace them with people who know what they are doing.
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