Fake News Events And Federal HSEEP Drills

Editor’s Note: The following set of observations by Independent Media Solidarity members and MHB reader Paul Bennett is especially insightful and in our view warrants a separate post. Since the Sandy Hook massacre event this site has provided copious documentation that the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program [HSEEP] training has been implemented by local and regional authorities to conduct routine training with the objective of inclusion in the given area’s news cycle. Awareness of HSEEP and related programs has resulted in many alternative media and independent researchers actually tracing alleged mass casualty events to such drills and drawing public attention to a potential relationship. 

The record reveals how particularly during the Obama administration some of these events were seized upon by political groups to promote gun control legislation, generate fear of “angry white supremacists,” and so on. Further, as the videos below suggest and as the “crisis actors” theory first postulated, massive federal funding toward HSEEP has prompted an entire industry to emerge and service local bureaucracies and their first responder staff conducting such events.

By Paul Bennett

Fake News is its own reward. That is, there does not need to be a “reason”, or policy change, behind the faked news item. Debating the possible purpose of a fake media event is a complete waste of time.

Most of the time these drills are concocted by local authorities along with the local media, and generally following HSEEP protocol. From time to time the mass media outlets, NGO’s and politicians may decide that your local drama fits into their larger campaign, in which case they will invade en masse, but the vast majority of fake news is designed to stay on the back pages.

HSEEP drills do not require that Homeland Security be present. HSEEP training teaches everyone how to run a professional drill suitable for broadcast as real news. HSEEP, when run often, will train the police how to protect a crime scene, guide the media how to best present a crime scene, and advise the local authorities how to best suppress the investigation. All these skills are required to successfully complete a HSEEP drill. If the drill is not newsworthy then it was not a real drill.

Of course there will be mistakes. That’s why you run the drills. The first run is bound to be sloppy. There will be plot holes. There will be unauthorized observers. There will be bloopers, blunders and contradicting evidence. But there is nothing that can’t be explained away to an obliging and cooperative public. The cranks can be ignored or threatened as the case may be. The whole point of HSEEP is that each drill is unique, using local scenery, local authorities, local personalities and their relatives.

The most successful HSEEP communities will have drills on a weekly basis, and larger cities will be able to run HSEEP drills routinely on a daily basis. HSEEP funding will ensure that no HSEEP community has to suffer to fulfill their HSEEP duties. Federal contacts for siting larger government installations now require that HSEEP protocol be implemented in the surrounding towns and cities. Any state interested in attracting federal investment will have to prove their competence with HSEEP protocol.

Run HSEEP often and attract federal funding for parks, infrastructure improvements, whatever your community needs. HSEEP communities capable of coordinating interlocking drills is a longterm Homeland Security goal. Every community eventually will be forced to run drills, as state and federal funding will be contingent upon active participation with HSEEP methodologies. Early adopters will benefit from additional guidance and funding. Latecomers may find themselves underfunded and under-rewarded.

 


HSEEP Actor Information Sheet and Waiver Form

(April 30, 2013)

From FEMA Homeland Security Emergency Exercise Evaluation Program Volume IV. 998_Actor (Word Doc)
FEMA Homeland Security Emergency Exercise and Evaluation Program April 2013 Overview and Guidebook (pdf)

Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman, featured in the Boston Marathon bombings event. Image: CBS

Actor Information Sheet

The Actor Information Sheet should be distributed to actors before the exercise and should accompany the Actor Waiver Form. This information sheet is provided as an example only and should be modified to suit the jurisdiction’s needs as well as the exercise scope, type, and scenario. For example, if decontamination will not be part of the exercise, actors do not need to be instructed to wear bathing suits.

Please read and understand the following points; they will ensure that your participation in this exercise will be safe and enjoyable. If you have any questions, please contact [Actor POC].

1.     The day will be long and tiring.

You need to be at the site by [time], and you will probably not finish until after [time]. If you have any health concerns or medical conditions, please tell [Actor POC] before the start of the exercise. Health or medical concerns will not necessarily disqualify you from participating.

2.     You must be at least 18 years old and sign a waiver to participate.

If you are not 18 and are not in the military, parental permission is required to participate. The waiver form (included) must be turned in before the exercise to [Actor POC].

3.     Eat a good breakfast before arrival.

It is your responsibility to eat a well-balanced meal before arriving at the exercise, [just in case you miss some of the food provided.]

[Exercise officials are planning a snack and limited beverages before the exercise. Volunteers transported to hospitals will be given a snack before being returned to the exercise site. Volunteers who do not leave the exercise site will be released before lunch.]

4.     Transport yourself to and from the exercise site.

You are responsible to transport yourself to [exercise location]. A map is attached for your convenience. If you carpool with another volunteer, there is no guarantee that you will be returned to the exercise site at the same time.

5.     Be on time!

Please do not arrive late. It is difficult to begin the exercise if actors are not in place.

You will most likely be released by [time]. However, you may finish earlier or later. Volunteers transported to hospitals will be returned to the exercise site.

6.     Wear layers of old clothes and a bathing suit.

Wear clothes that can be removed and a bathing suit underneath. Wear clothes that you do not mind getting wet, dirty, stained, or torn. You will get wet.

7.     There will be no place to keep personal belongings.

Bring your driver’s license, keys, and a sense of humor. Do not bring cameras, jewelry, items you don’t want to get wet, large sums of money, or uninvited friends or volunteers.

8.     Don’t overact.

It is very important to play your assigned role the best you can, but this does not mean you should overact. Overacting can be dangerous for yourself and the emergency workers in the exercise. When you arrive at the exercise site, you will be assigned an injury or role and will be briefed about your roles and what will happen during the exercise. If you do not know how to play your role or have questions about the briefing, ask the volunteer coordinators. If you are assigned the role of a psychologically distressed person, please act upset, not out of control.

9.     If you get hurt or have a real problem, say “This is a real emergency.”

You must use the phrase “This is a real emergency” to tell exercise staff members that you have a real problem and are not just acting.

10.     You must check in and sign out.

When you arrive in the morning, you will sign in and be assigned an “injury.” A victim tag will be placed around your neck. This card must be returned at the checkout station. Do not remove or allow anyone to remove this victim tag during the exercise, even at the hospital. When the exercise is over, return your victim tag with the questions completed on the back.

Please be sure you understand all of these points. If you have any questions, please contact [Actor POC]. We would like to ensure your safety and preparedness for this exercise.

On behalf of [Agency/Jurisdiction] and all of the participants in the exercise, thank you for volunteering. It will be an interesting and enjoyable day and, as a result, our community will be better prepared to face real challenges in the future.

[Protective Marking]

Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)

                                                                                                                    [Full Exercise Name]

Actor Information Sheet                                                                    [Exercise Name Continued]

AREA MAPS
Figure 1. [Map Title]
[Insert map]
Figure 2. [Map Title]
[Insert map]

[Protective Marking]

Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)

                                                                                                                    [Full Exercise Name]

Actor Waiver Form                                                                            [Exercise Name Continued]

Actor Waiver Form

On behalf of [Jurisdiction], we thank you for volunteering to be a simulated casualty for our preparedness exercise. The event is scheduled for [date]. Actors should report to [location] at [time].

Exercise Overview

You will be participating as a mock victim of a [scenario]. You will be triaged and either directed or taken to an area where appropriate decontamination will occur, potentially including cutting of your clothing. You will be washed and reclothed. Alternative garments will be provided. Please wear a bathing suit, shorts, and T-shirt, and bring a change of clothes and towel. We would appreciate your wearing loose-fitting and easily removable shoes. It is recommended that you do not wear jewelry. Jewelry and personal items will be removed during the decontamination process, bagged, and given to you to carry as you go through the decontamination line.

Before the event, you will be given a complete orientation to the incident site, the type of injury or symptoms you should simulate, and what actions are expected of you.

Please eat a meal and drink plenty of liquids before you come. After the event, food and refreshments will be available for you. Restrooms also will be available for your convenience.

Please Print Name, Sign, and Date

I, _______________________________________, agree to participate in the [sponsor name]-sponsored exercise on [conduct date]. I agree to go through the decontamination process. I will hold harmless [Jurisdiction] and any other agency or its members participating in this exercise. I understand that all reasonable and customary safety measures will be performed to try to prevent injury or harm to me.

Signature:

Date:

Signature of parent or guardian (if under 18):

Date:

[Section Title]                                                       1                                                 [Jurisdiction]

[Protective Marking]

[Protective Marking]


HSEEP Hospital/Victim Breakdown List and Public Information Media Release

(May 29, 2013)

From HSEEP Vol IV,
1030_Hospital (Word Doc)

[Protective Marking]

Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)

                                                                                                                    [Full Exercise Name]

Hospital/Victim Breakdown List                                                        [Exercise Name Continued]

HOSPITAL/VICTIM BREAKDOWN LIST
The Hospital/Victim Breakdown List should contain the hospitals that are participating in the exercise, the number of actor victims that will be prestaged at each hospital (if applicable), the number of actor victims that will be transported from the exercise site to each hospital, and the number of victim actors that will be exhibiting various levels of symptoms.

[Hospital Victims at Hospital Victims Transported from Site Mild/Moderate Severe Severe/Trauma Psychosomatic]

Hospital

Victims at Hospital

Victims Transported from Site

Mild/Moderate

Severe

Severe/Trauma

Psychosomatic

Total

1 [Jurisdiction]
[PROTECTIVE MARKING]

From HSEEP Vol. IVDocument (Word Doc)

Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)

                                                                                                                    [Full Exercise Name]

Public Information/Media Release                                                     [Exercise Name Continued]

PUBLIC INFORMATION/MEDIA RELEASE

[Date]
[The Public Information/Media Release should be disseminated to the public and/or media before exercise conduct. It should contain a brief overview of the exercise, including the purpose and scope of the exercise, a synopsis of the scenario (without identifying the threat/hazard/ agent), and participating agencies/organizations.]

Introduction
[Agency/jurisdiction]’s exercise is a [exercise type]. This exercise will focus primarily on preparing emergency responders to effectively respond to [scenario].

As part of the exercise, the [agency/jurisdiction]’s response to the incident will be examined as well as its interaction with other agencies and assets that will respond. Evaluators will offer comments, which will be compiled in an After Action Report and Improvement Plan with recommendations for future training, equipment, and response procedures.

Purpose
The purpose of this exercise is to provide participants with an opportunity to evaluate current response concepts, plans, and capabilities for responding to a [scenario]. The exercise will focus on key local emergency responder coordination, critical decisions, and integration of the State and Federal assets necessary to save lives and protect the public following a [scenario].

Scope
This exercise is a [length of play] interagency exercise focused on the [scenario]. It will be conducted in a no-fault, no inspection, learning environment as a valuable training tool for response personnel.

Scenario
[Provide a brief description of the scenario.]

Participants
The following agencies and organizations will participate in the exercise:
• Agency
Contact Information

For more information on this exercise, please contact:
[Exercise Point of Contact]

1 [Jurisdiction]


FEMA/DHS 12/14/12 Plan for “Mass Death of Children at a School By Firearms”

(October 8, 2014)

Document Originated on October 8, 2012

By James F. Tracy

A newly discovered Federal Emergency Management-Department of Homeland Security document designated “For Official Use Only” reveals plans for a “Site Activation Call-down Drill Exercise Plan,” otherwise known as a “Mass Casualty Drill.”

The plan, created on  October 8, 2012, explicitly references a scenario where the “Mass Death of Children at a School By Firearms” is followed by a “Suicide or Apprehension of [an] Unknown Shooter.”

The 20-page document further instructs the “Use of Media” to be employed for “For Evaluation” and “for Information Distribution.”

Download drill-site-activation-call-down-exercise-plan (PDF)

While the date for the drill is marked “December 14, 2012” on the document’s cover page, on page 12 under Chapter 2: Exercise Logistics, the event is scheduled one day earlier. “The Preparation for Mass Casualty Drill will be conducted on 12/13/12 beginning at 8:00AM. Exercise play is scheduled until the exercise director/Controller determines that the exercise determines that the exercise objectives have been met. Everyone must sign in with Controller upon arrival.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR4Snb-TYUs

The instructions emphasize, “All Spoken and Written Communication will start and end with the statement, “THIS IS A DRILL.”

At a minimum, the attached materials will be disseminated only on a need-to-know basis, and when unattended will be stored in a locked container or area offering sufficient protection against theft, compromise, inadvertent access, and unauthorized disclosure.

The document instructs parties to direct queries to FEMA’s “Point of Contact” person, Executive Director Tom Romano.

Is this a plan for what came to be widely-known as the Sandy Hook School Massacre? No location for where the exercise is to take place appears on the document. Yet in July 2014 Wolfgang Halbig announced that Connecticut State Troopers intimated to him that the Sandy Hook event was “scripted,” and that some had submitted false affidavits on what had taken place that day.

Also, on December 14, 2012 two similar exercises were apparently transpiring in very close proximity to Newtown. At roughly 9:00AM an “Active shooter drill” exercise commenced in Carmel Connecticut, 45 miles away from Newtown. “By grim coincidence, even as the terrible events were unfolding in Newtown on Friday morning,” the Southeast Brewster-Patch reported,

 the Putnam County Emergency Response Team (“ERT”) happened to be assembled for regular training in Carmel, and team members were at that very moment engaged in a mock scenario of an active-shooter in a school. The ERT is comprised of specially trained and heavily armed officers from the Sheriff’s Office and the Carmel and Kent Police Departments.  When news broke of the Newtown shooting, the Putnam County ERT commander called Newtown Police and offered to have the ERT respond to the Sandy Hook school, but that response was not needed because Connecticut police had already secured the scene.

Ashley Tarr, “Sheriff: Putnam Officials to Talk School Safety This Afternoon,” Southeast Brewster-Patch, December 18, 2012.

A second federally sponsored “course” with the stated goal of “enabl[ing] participants to improve their community’s mitigation and emergency operations plan specifically regarding the needs of children,” was slated for December 14, 2012 in nearby Bridgeport, CT.

Some other curious observations:

A HSEEP Training Course was held in 2010 at 18 Riverside Road, Sandy Hook, CT, with Tom Romano listed as the Contact Person.

The International Movie Data Base lists ABC News coverage of the Sandy Hook event, complete with “cast” including Kaitlin Roig, Paul Vance and Barack Obama, lists a broadcast date of December 12, 2012.

Other relevant entries from the Sandy Hook Massacre Timeline:

December 14, 2012

9:35AM [Estimate]
In the Sandy Hook library three faculty members hear noises and move 15 or so students to a storage closet in the library filled with computer servers. “Hold hands. Be quiet,” one teacher tells the children. One child questions “whether there are pots and pans were clanging. Another thought he heard firecrackers. Another worried an animal was coming to the door,” the Washington Post reports. “They were children in a place built for children, and the teachers didn’t know how to answer them … ‘It’s a drill,’ said a library clerk named Mary Anne Jacobs.” Eli Saslow, “Sandy Hook Massacre: Teachers Sought to Soothe Children in Moments of Terror,” Washington Post, December 15, 2012.

December 17

A special broadcast of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s syndicated television program is devoted to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Oz asks “Louie,” a Sandy Hook 3rd grader, “what you remember from that day.” “I remember that a lot–a lot of policemen were in the, uhm, school,” Louie responds. “Uhm, well, a lot–I was like [pause] hiding under–when we were having a drill we were hiding under, like … ” As Louie hesitates and takes several deep breaths, his mother nudges him while Oz taps the boy on the shoulder and changes the subject. “Take your time. There’s no hurry. Let me ask you, What would you like to say to your teachers?” Semuj1, Hurry–D/L Dr. Oz Interview, Sandy Hook Third Grader Louis ‘Having a Drill‘ – National TV,” Youtube, February 4, 2013; See also The Dr. Oz Show, “Dr. Oz Visits Newtown,” n.d.

January 13, 2013

Attorney Alexis Haller, Noah Pozner’s uncle, authors and submits a detailed memorandum to the Obama Administration’s White House Task Force on Gun Violence on behalf of the Pozner family. ” The eight-page document “proposes a range of [state, federal and local] legislative reforms to help prevent another targeted school shooting … The proposals … are based upon conversations within the family, consultations with school security experts, independent research related to prior school shootings, and discussion with legal professionals to focus on criminal law.” The statement urges linking gun control measures to mental health diagnoses, federal grants for school security system upgrades, and mandatory lockdown drills at public schools. Alexis Haller, “Memorandum from The Maternal Family of Noah Pozner to The White House Task Force on Gun Violence,” January 13, 2013.

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5 thoughts on “Fake News Events And Federal HSEEP Drills”

    1. Some of those documents are still online. The links have been retained to note that the US government agency chose for one reason or another to take the specific pages/docs down.

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