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FEMAís Plan for Mass Destruction Attacks: Of Course Itís True
Christopher Ruddy
Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2002
Let me state for the record that FEMA is moving ahead with plans to create temporary cities that could handle millions of Americans after mass destruction attacks on U.S. cities.

Though the agency has denied the program to some of our readers and has made misleading claims about NewsMaxís original story to members of the press, the basic facts of the story remain unchallenged.

In early July, NewsMax first reported in our e-mail news service, Insider Report, the story "FEMA Preparing for Mass Destruction Attacks on Cities," revealing that FEMA was seeking bids from three major real estate and/or engineering firms to help prepare for the creation of the emergency cities, using tents and trailers Ė if an urban area is attacked by NBC (nuclear, chemical or biological) weapons.

Since that report, several NewsMax readers and members of the press contacted FEMA and asked them if the NewsMax story was true.

These readers reported to us that FEMA has categorically denied the story.

For example, my friend Jonathan Kemp, who hails from an illustrious California family (his father was a director of Standard Oil of California), called FEMAís Washington office and was told by a public affairs officer, "The news report about FEMA building the temporary cities to house disaster refugees is totally bogus."

NewsMax, of course, told its readers it stood by the story.

In late July, I called FEMA and spoke with public affairs officer Chad Kolton.

I explained to Mr. Kolton that it was improper for the agency to claim that NewsMax had fabricated this story.

Mr. Kolton denied that there was any claim by FEMA that the NewsMax story was baseless, only that it was "factually inaccurate."

He made that claim without having read the NewsMax story, which he asked me to e-mail to him.

As I pointed out to Mr. Kolton, FEMA has put out a bid notice for the program to build the temporary cities (they call it "temporary disaster housing"). The bid is not only a matter of public record, it also is available on the federal governmentís Web site.

Note: You can read a synopsis of the bid by clicking here. A lengthier explanation of the program is available online at: http://www1.eps.gov/spg/FEMA/OFM/ORPD/Reference-Number-EMW-2002-TAC/listing.html

The Emergency Housing Cities

On June 19, FEMA posted a special bid notice for one of the agencyís largest contract awards ever Ė offering contracting firms $300 million for a five-year contract to simply prepare plans to create temporary housing on a scale never before imagined, and then stand by.

This is reportedly one of the largest contracts ever awarded by FEMA for a disaster preparedness program.

The name of the program is entitled "Standby Technical Assistance for Disaster Related Operations."

The bid notice states, as NewsMax first reported, that three real estate/engineering firms will be selected for the program.

The firms will be required to provide "technical support, consultant and project management resources" with the specific duty to "provide project management resources and expertise to support the Disaster Housing Program."

According to the bid notice, the firms need to have professionals, including engineers, architects and other real estate-related experts.

According to a source familiar with the current bid, the program is a major expansion of a smaller program FEMA has had for temporary housing in case of disasters.

The Standby Technical Assistance program bid offering never mentions "mass destruction attacks" or terrorist preparedness.

Instead, the bid noticeís "Statement of Work" sets out a broad mandate for the firms being contracted, stating that "The Contractor shall be required to provide support capability for all types of disasters with emphasis on riverine and coastal flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, and tsunamis."

The bid states: "... the firm must have at least one permanent and adequately staffed and equipped office located in the Washington Metropolitan area, and two (2) additional offices in other geographic locations within the United States with the capability supporting deployment operations in the event that one area is incapacitated."

The real purpose of the Standby Program was made clear to potential contractors at a meeting held on July 10 at the Department of Education headquarters in Washington.

FEMA officials met with the representatives of firms seeking the bids. Approximately 100 people attended the meeting.

FEMA officials made very clear that the purpose of one of the most massive undertakings in the agencyís history was to prepare for potential mass destruction attacks on U.S. cities.

Sources who attended the meeting tell NewsMax that most of the meeting dealt with how the firms should handle biological, chemical and nuclear disasters.

After he had reviewed the NewsMax story, I again chatted with Mr. Kolton. He identified the factual "inaccuracies" in NewsMaxís story.

One was that NewsMax reported the contracted firms need to be prepared for creating such cities by January of next year. Mr. Kolton said the firms only need be hired by January of 2003.

NewsMax reported that FEMA told contractors it had ordered tents and trailers for temporary housing. Mr Kolton said the tents and trailers have not been purchased yet. (That may be the case, but FEMA does currently possess tents and trailers for disaster housing.)

These are minor points Ė and a far cry from claiming the NewsMax story was "totally bogus" or "riddled with inaccuracies," as some members of the press have been told.

In fact, Mr. Kolton agreed that the program includes preparation for terrorist mass destruction attacks, though the FEMA bid notice specifically avoids using such language.

He stressed that the Standby Program is being implemented to prepare for "all types of disastersĒ including terrorist ones.

Asked why the bid notice conveniently forgot to mention the potential for terrorism, though it must be among the highest priorities for FEMA, he again stressed that the language does include that possibility Ė though the programís main focus, he said, is on natural disasters.

What natural disaster had caused such a need for the largest program of its kind ever in the history of FEMA?

In decades of emergency response, why, all of sudden, is FEMA set to spend $300 million just for architects and engineers over the next five years simply to be on "standby"?

This $300 million doesnít include the probable billions that would be needed for infrastructure and labor to implement the emergency cities.

What natural disaster would require FEMA to create emergency cities in different geographic areas of the U.S. at the same time?

Kolton responded that FEMA could foresee two Category 4 hurricanes slamming into two distinct parts of the East Coast at about the same time.

The evidence is clear that FEMA is preparing for mass destruction attacks. There is nothing wrong with this program, and in fact, the agency has a duty to disclose its plans to the public.

Far from panicking the public, I think the public would be happy to learn that the U.S. government Ė our government Ė is preparing for potential terrorist acts. FEMA should be applauded for thinking ahead. It has nothing to hide.

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