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WHY ARE THERE BOMBS AND CHEMICALS ON ROUTE 50?Remember on the ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 when the Coast Guard held some make-believe high-speed boat chase — they were chasing Osama bin Laden, on the actual Potomac River! — with guns shots and radio screams but didn’t bother to tell a single human being beforehand that it was a drill? Never will such miscues happen again! See, this time around, we know in advance that hundreds of emergency response officials are going to waste insane amounts of resources on a pretend 24esque high-speed Osama Chase tomorrow across all of Northern Virginia, so it’s okay! And if all goes as planned, homeland security teams will be prepared for the real Al Qaeda-coordinated triple-bomb/chemical weapon spill on Route 50 car chase scenario, scheduled for a Christmas release.

And just to make this article as surreal as possible, for good measure, of course the main dude’s name has to be Mark Penn:

Hundreds of police officers, fire and rescue personnel, FBI agents and hospital workers will respond to a simulated terrorist attack in Northern Virginia to test the region’s emergency response system Saturday morning.

“This is the largest full-scale exercise we’ve had in this region,” said Mark Penn, Alexandria’s emergency management coordinator and co-director of the day’s events.

A “bomb” on the tracks north of Crystal City will result in damage to a rail car carrying hazardous materials, leaving multiple burn victims. A second simulated bomb will go off at a Park and Ride near the Dulles Greenway and Old Ox Road, and a third will detonate between the parking lot and the station platform at the Virginia Railway Express Rippon Station in Woodbridge. In Fairfax County, a police chase will end when a truck carrying bombs and chemicals overturns near Route 50 and the Fairfax County Parkway. Volunteers will act as victims in need of medical attention.

Exercises and play scenarios are the cornerstone of first-response readiness, and local jurisdictions are adept at working together on everyday emergencies such as car crashes and house fires, Penn said.

A widespread disaster presents additional challenges as incident commanders across the region attempt to assess patients’ needs and allocate limited resources accordingly. In addition, they have to be able to coordinate with hospitals so some trauma centers aren’t overloaded while others sit empty, and hospitals have to be able to deal with a surge of patients.

“A truck carrying bombs and chemicals.”

This is bullshit. Have they even thought this out? What are they going to do when Tony Almeida comes back from the grave and turns “heel” on Jack Bauer and steals a canister of the bombs and chemicals from the truck and then threatens to vaporize the chemicals into the atmosphere with a new robot device, killing upwards of 300,000 civilians — and that’s before he uses the bombs. He could sell those bombs for a profit to any number of rather unsavory global corporates! Didn’t it occur to any idiot at DHS to consider how the GODDAMN PROFIT MOTIVE figures into Tony Almeida’s thinking??

(While all of this is happening tomorrow, Osama will just nuke us.)

‘Disaster’ Will Test Readiness [Washington Post]

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