October 30, 2012
In a five day ’counter-terrorism summit’, Halo Corp., in association with Homeland Security, will be hosting a training demonstration and simulation in San Diego. Attended by “hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, firefighters and others”, the summit will hone ’emergency response training’… (Hundreds of military, law enforcement and medical personnel will observe the Hollywood-style production of a zombie attack as part of their emergency response training. But who is the REAL target?)
Halloween is a fearful and unnerving time for some. For others, it’s a night to put on costumes and banish evil beings.
During a mock ’Zombie Apocalypse’ as held by the defense industry and Homeland Security, those two ideas can come together.
In a five day ’counter-terrorism summit’, Halo Corp., in association with Homeland Security, will be hosting a training demonstration and simulation in San Diego. Attended by “hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, firefighters and others”, the summit will hone ’emergency response training’:
The five-day Halo counterterrorism summit is an approved training event by the Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Areas Security Initiative, which provide funds to pay for the coursework on everything from the battleground tactics to combat wounds to cybersecurity. The summit has a $1,000 registration fee and runs Oct. 29-Nov 2.
But the public need not worry about the combined training of military and public law enforcement, for this summit will purportedly be “just having fun”, according to Joe Newman, spokesman of the watchdog organization Project on Government Oversight. The event is conveniently timed to fall over Halloween, and the enemy will be the undead.
According to the AP:
An untold number of so-called zombies are coming to a counterterrorism summit attended by hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, firefighters and others to prepare them for their worst nightmares.
[…] Hundreds of military, law enforcement and medical personnel will observe the Hollywood-style production of a zombie attack as part of their emergency response training.
In the scenario, a VIP and his personal detail are trapped in a village, surrounded by zombies when a bomb explodes. The VIP is wounded and his team must move through the town while dodging bullets and shooting back at the invading zombies. At one point, some members of the team are bit by zombies and must be taken to a field medical facility for decontamination and treatment.
“No one knows what the zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do,” [Brad Barker, president of Halo Corp] said. “If a law enforcement officer sees a zombie and says, ’Freeze, get your hands in the air!’ What’s the zombie going to do? He’s going to moan at you. If someone on PCP or some other psychotic drug is told that, the truth is he’s not going to react to you.”
In what has become a familiar scenario of creeping militarism in local police forces in the US, these joint training scenarios do little to convince observers that the police and emergency professionals see the general public as friendlies, and instead are actively training to view people as potential ’terrorists’, ’enemies’, ’threats’, and finally, ’unavoidable casualties’. Barker casually equates the behavior of mythical undead corpses with drugged humans. Where can other such comparisons lead? What about an angry, agitated protestor? What about panicked families during natural disasters?
It seems the words ’Zombie Apocalypse’ can easily be replaced with ’Civil Unrest’.
Is ’Zombie’ the new code word for ’civilian’?
What are they REALLY training for?
Alarmingly, Brad Barker, president of host firm Halo Corp, says:
“No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it’s going to be a federal incident, so we’re making it happen.”
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