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Ten Months before 9/11 the Pentagon organizes an emergency drill or "scenario of a terrorist attack using a passenger plane on the Pentagon." Rumsfeld states under oath he did not know about


Contingency planning

Pentagon MASCAL exercise simulates scenarios in preparing for emergencies

by Dennis Ryan

MDW NEWS 3 Nov 2000
www.globalresearch.ca 3 April 2004

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RYA404A.html

Editor's note:

The following report published in Military District of Washington http://www.mdw.army.mil/.html   10 months prior to 9/11 casts light on a military exercise which consisted in establishing the scenario of a terrorist attack using a passenger plane on the Pentagon.

This report serves to refute claims by the Bush Administration that they could have predicted that an airplane could be used in a terrorist attack. In the words of Condoleeza Rice at her 16 May 2002 Press Conference:

RICE: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile." (for complete transcript http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/RIC206A.html

In the words of Sec Donald Rumsfeld in testimony at the 9/11 commission in March 2004:

BEN-VENISTE: ... So it seems to me when you make the statement, sir, that we didn't know that planes might be used as weapons in the summer of 2001, I just have to take issue with that.

RUMSFELD: Well, I didn't say we didn't know. I said I didn't know. And if I just was handed a civil aviation circular that people did know. And they sent it out on June 22nd, 2001.(for complete transcript http://globalresearch.ca/articles/COM403B.html

What was the underlying purpose of the staged exercise in late October 2000. 

Was it intended to prevent an actual terrorist attack on the Pentagon, or was some other objective being served. 

In the words of one commentator: '

"Was this drill  a coincidence, or was it planning for something the Pentagon already KNEW was going to take place?" (http://www.halturnershow.com/MASCAL.html )

Who ordered the holding of this exercise?

Rumsfeld's statement under oath at the 9/11 Commission suggests that "he did not know" about an exercise which had been ordered by the Pentagon's Emergency Management Team and involved a large number of Pentagon staff.


Michel Chossudovsky, 3 April 2004



Exercise Simulations The fire and smoke from the downed passenger aircraft billows from the Pentagon courtyard. Defense Protective Services Police seal the crash sight. Army medics, nurses and doctors scramble to organize aid. An Arlington Fire Department chief dispatches his equipment to the affected areas.

Don Abbott, of Command Emergency Response Training, walks over to the Pentagon and extinguishes the flames. The Pentagon was a model and the "plane crash" was a simulated one.

The Pentagon Mass Casualty Exercise, as the crash was called, was just one of several scenarios that emergency response teams were exposed to Oct. 24-26 in the Office of the Secretaries of Defense conference room.

On Oct. 24, there was a mock terrorist incident at the Pentagon Metro stop and a construction accident to name just some of the scenarios that were practiced to better prepare local agencies for real incidents.

To conduct the exercise, emergency personnel hold radios that are used to rush help to the proper places, while toy trucks representing rescue equipment are pushed around the exercise table.

Cards are then passed out to the various players designating the number of casualties and where they should be sent in a given scenario.

To conduct the exercise, a medic reports to Army nurse Maj. Lorie Brown a list of 28 casualties so far. Brown then contacts her superior on the radio, Col. James Geiling, a doctor in the command room across the hall.

Geiling approves Brown's request for helicopters to evacuate the wounded. A policeman in the room recommends not moving bodies and Abbott, playing the role of referee, nods his head in agreement.

"If you have to move dead bodies to get to live bodies, that's okay," Abbott says as the situation unfolds .

Geiling remarked on the importance of such exercises.

"The most important thing is who are the players?" Geiling said. "And what is their modus operandi?"

Brown thought the exercise was excellent preparation for any potential disasters.

"This is important so that we're better prepared," Brown said. "This is to work out the bugs. Hopefully it will never happen, but this way we're prepared."

An Army medic found the practice realistic.

"You get to see the people that we'll be dealing with and to think about the scenarios and what you would do," Sgt. Kelly Brown said. "It's a real good scenario and one that could happen easily."

A major player in the exercise was the Arlington Fire Department.

"Our role is fire and rescue," Battalion Chief R.W. Cornwell said. "We get to see how each other operates and the roles and responsibilities of each. You have to plan for this. Look at all the air traffic around here."

Each participant was required to fill out an evaluation form after the training exercise.

"We go over scenarios that are germane to the Pentagon," Jake Burrell of the Pentagon Emergency Management Team said. 'You play the way you practice. We want people to go back to their organizations and look at their S.O.P. (standard operating procedure) and see how they responded to any of the incidents."

Burrell has coordinated these exercises for four years and he remarked that his team gets better each year.

Abbott, in his after action critique, reminded the participants that the actual disaster is only one-fifth of the incident and that the whole emergency would run for seven to 20 days and might involve as many as 17 agencies.

"The emergency to a certain extent is the easiest part," Abbott said. He reminded the group of the personal side of a disaster. "Families wanting to come to the crash site for closure.

"In this particular crash there would have been 341 victims.


Ryan is a staff writer with the Fort Myer Military Community's Pentagram.

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