Pardon me, but I simply can’t get very upset over this story:
Documents from an Ohio National Guard (ONG) training drill conducted last January reveal the details of a mock disaster where Second Amendment supporters with “anti-government” opinions were portrayed as domestic terrorists.
The ONG 52nd Civil Support Team training scenario involved a plot from local school district employees to use biological weapons in order to advance their beliefs about “protecting Gun Rights and Second Amendment rights.”
Portsmouth Chief of Police Bill Raisin told NBC 3 WSAZ-TV in Huntington, West Virginia that the drill accurately represented “the reality of the world we live in,” adding that such training “helps us all be prepared.”
Internal ONG documents provided to Media Trackers after repeated delays provide further context to what WSAZ-TV reported last winter.
In the disaster-preparedness scenario, two Portsmouth Junior High School employees poisoned school lunches with mustard gas, acting on orders from white-nationalist leader William Pierce.
The ONG team discovered biological weapons being produced in the school, requiring activation of containment and decontamination procedures.
Participants in the disaster drill located documents expressing the school employees’ “anti-government” sentiments, as well as a note identifying Pierce as the fictional right-wing terrorists’ leader.
ONG’s 52nd Civil Support Unit participated in a similar drill involving left-wing terrorists with Athens County first responders last year; public officials apologized for that training the next day in response to complaints from local environmentalist groups.
It is well-known that our military has a cadre of professionals that are dedicated to the very important roll of developing plans for various levels of military engagement against all known or suspected enemy threats. What is slightly less well known is that this group is responsible for developing plans to ruthlessly destroy our friends and allies as well. We do, in fact, have plans somewhere to send the Airborne Cavalry into Calgary, and go “Red Dawn” on Reykjavík.
Are we really all that surprised that the military has contingency plans for tackling threats in NORTHCOM as well as the other military commands?
While the latest attempted domestic terrorist attacks that I recall were both left-wing in nature—the Occupy Cleveland bridge-bombing plot and gay rights terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins‘s spectacular failure to carry out mass shootings at the offices of Family Research Council and Traditional Values Coalition—it is the job of planners to make contingency plans for all sorts of threats, and that will occasionally include making people on both ends of the domestic political spectrum the bad guys from time-to-time in scenarios such as these.
Frankly, my biggest bone to pick with the scenario (PDF), is that the attack was at once needlessly complex (using both ricin and the liquid form of mustard gas) and inefficient, while the discovery of the lab seemed entirely contrived (dead suspect found at scene of chem/bio lab with incriminating documents).
The brief mention of a hinted-at motive (a copy of a CNN news article about the NRA and Obama) simply provides a possible motive for the attack. I found it incidental “color,” and hardly anything to get worked up about, especially considering the fact they used a left-wing group as their culprits in the prior year’s drill.
Update: As it seems from the comments that many won’t actually click through to read the documents of the scenario that Media Trackers Ohio so dishonestly represented, allow me to link the document that Media Trackers claims is proof that the National Guard was targeting Second Amendment supporters.
A single-page print copy of that one old news story was one minor detail in the overall scenario featuring dozens of people. I’m willing to bet that the majority of those participating didn’t even know it existed as part of the scenario package.