(Claire Bernish) Operation Gotham Shield has been reported by a growing number of media
outlets as this month’s reason for Americans to panic over the
government’s latest plot to kill off its citizenry by conducting a mock
detonation of a dummy nuclear device over the skies of New York City —
nothing to see here, folks.
by Claire Bernish, April 22nd, 2017
Operation Gotham Shield is nothing more than a routine interagency test of disaster preparedness — but for some less than meticulous media organizations, it is sufficient reason to induce panic — if only due to the National Nuclear Safety Administration’s logo emblazoned multiple times on the government’s PowerPoint presentation.
Nothing about this long-planned routine test of coordination among agencies in a disaster scenario — apart from its incidental timing amid tensions between the United States and, well, multiple nuclear-capable foes — screams impending ‘false flag,’ time to duck and cower in a corner, for something wicked from the State this way comes.
But, as Internet hysteria goes, facts can be quickly eclipsed by the juiciness of another dubious U.S. government plot — never mind the most cursory of online searches proves alarm over Operation Gotham Shield unfounded — and outlets republishing the hyperbolic alarm, downright derelict of duty.
So, to give cooler heads an actual chance to prevail, the following illustrate ample cause to deliberate — before sharing another bullshit-for-clicks farce meant only to manipulate your worst fears — when plenty of legitimate threats already exist.
Just consider these points prevention against an embarrassing lesson in headline-sharing — for Operation Gotham Shield and well into the future.
1. A Big Lie Shares — A Big, Scary Lie Goes Viral
If it bleeds, it leads describes how media outlets prioritize news items arousing fear — typically anything portraying death and destruction — over those lacking a sensationalistic quality. Although it’s not entirely clear which outlet first capitalized on the operation’s catastrophe preparedness premise, the nature of the operation quickly turned to fuzzy predictions of a generally imminent disaster.
Voice of Reason — a pointed oxymoron, in context — appears to have been the catalyst for others to posit worst case scenarios concerning the mundane interagency preparedness exercises. With the basics of Gotham Shield out of the way, Voice of Reason suddenly departed from basic logistics of the plan, reporting,
“During this exercise, 4 nuclear devices, 2 of which are rendered ‘safe’ during the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Vital Archer Exercise, and one successful 10kt detonation in the NYC/NJ area, along with one smaller detonation on the U.S./Canadian border are to take place.”
Except, that’s not true. At all. But Voice of Reason’s tone inserted, albeit clinically, the idea inactive megabombs would be detonated near massive population concentrations. Other outlets known for pushing stories largely fabricated from a foundation of simple facts soon followed that lead — including notorious disinformation disseminator, Superstation 95, and conspiracy theory focused, The Event Chronicle.
2. No Bombs Will Fall on Gotham
While conspiracy-minded known fake sites — and a few of those more level-headed — posited the Gotham exercise seemed suspiciously timed amid deteriorating relations for the U.S. in the Middle East and Asia. Talk of nuclear war — once relegated to the annals of the Soviet, Cold War era — frequently dot the bleeding leads of even the corporate press.
Reports warned the public to exercise caution because, when it comes to Operation Gotham Shield, no one knows what to expect.
But that’s not true.
As the Eastern Region Helicopter Council stated in a March 27 announcement on the operation,
“On Tuesday April 25th 2017, at 0800 the Gotham Shield Exercise will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ. This exercise will simulate a large scale terrorist attack on the NY/NJ metropolitan area with MetLife Stadium serving as a triage/collection point for victims and emergency response personnel. This will be a large scale event with numerous federal, state, county and local agencies participating. It should be very similar in size and scope to the Operation Red Zone drill of 2011.”
To reiterate, “Gotham Shield Exercise will take place at MetLife Stadium.”
3. Remember Operation Jade Helm?
In early 2015, rumors a massive, joint military drill in the U.S. named Operation Jade Helm would act as a cover for the Government to impose martial law. Small-government states where this enormous drill was slated to take place had a particularly difficult time accepting the sizeable influx of troops wouldn’t ultimately — as is a commonly mentioned fear among so-called conspiracy theorists — round up civilians and detain them in FEMA camps.
InfoWars’ Alex Jones, not known for being light on paranoid rhetoric, signaled to viewers the military forces were being “trained to basically take over” the country.
So warped had Jade Helm become in the minds of many, clarifications on the nature of that exercise from U.S. Army Special Operations Command did nothing to quell public fear and concern.
Of course — just like Operation Gotham Shield will, when the drill concludes — Jade Helm did not lead to the takeover of the United States by its own military, nor anyone else, as Jones quietly ceased spewing vitriolic paranoia, and the whole mess faded from memory.
4. Simulations Eerily Mimic Real Life
That Gotham Shield is, in particular, a simulation exercise for a critical disaster immediately led to warnings of an impending false flag event — because it’s happened before.
The Free Thought Project reported on November 18, 2015, just after a coordinated terror attack in Paris, France, “In what can be described as an extremely strange ‘coincidence,’ Paris-area emergency personnel and ambulance crews were taking part in a simulated emergency exercise on the very same day the Paris terrorist attacks took place.”
Indeed, as Bloomberg reported at the time, “During Friday’s exercise, trauma specialists used a centralized dispatch system to set priorities and direct victims to the ER best equipped to treat their injuries. Ambulance services made sure they were ready to roll, and hospitals verified that surgeons and staff could be quickly summoned to treat arriving victims.”
Beyond Paris, training drills oddly timed to actual catastrophes have been occurring for some time — in fact, the horrific events of September 11, 2001, also had a twin exercise, as The Free Thought Project continued:
“During the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (NORAD) was in the midst of a training exercise called Vigilant Guardian, which ‘coincidentally’ simulated planes being hijacked by terrorists.”
5. Please. Google It. Seriously.
We have entered America’s newest era of heightened propaganda, pertaining mostly to its obscenely bloated Military-Industrial Machine and the empire’s perpetual push toward war — but propaganda is only as effective as its reach. These attempts by the State to manipulate the minds of the citizenry depend in large part on you falling for the seemingly far-fetched and implausible, or any number of other means and methods in which your gullibility is necessary.
“Spreading misinformation, false reports, and surreptitious propaganda does nothing to further the cause of truth — and, in fact, serves more to harm the credibility of legitimate reports in opposition to the dominant State narrative,” The Free Thought Project reported. “Social media, however, has provided plenty of dry tinder for faulty info to spread like wildfire — either by the haplessly unaware, or by those with motives to ensure it quickly disseminates to cast doubt in the public mind.”
Faulty information on Gotham Shield has already spread like lightning — Voice of Reason’s abrupt fabrication of the exercise’s actual plans, that bombs will be dropped on New York City and elsewhere, absolutely qualifies as disinformation.
While these five points are specific to Operation Gotham Shield, dissecting any news item or swirling controversy does not require a team of researchers to ferret fact from fiction — simply use the search engine of your choice.
As President Trump capriciously flip-flops his animosities for other nations — leading the U.S. to the brink of war simultaneously with Syria, Russia, North Korea, and too many more — bellicose posturing by politicians is matched in enthusiasm only by their corporate media bullhorns.
We, as the people of this nation and planet, have an obligation to be responsible with the information spread online and elsewhere — and we have far more legitimate, pressing issues which deserve our devotion, than creating and propagating a nonexistent, but ever-elusive threat.
Of course, the possibility always exists a bomb could hit or an attack could take place in the areas where Gotham Shield will unfold — but, until then, those training in the exercise will only be better prepared to handle the aftermath.
About The Author
Claire Bernish began writing as an independent, investigative journalist in 2015, with works published and republished around the world. Not one to hold back, Claire’s particular areas of interest include U.S. foreign policy, analysis of international affairs, and everything pertaining to transparency and thwarting censorship. To keep up with the latest uncensored news, follow her on Facebook or Twitter: @Subversive_Pen.
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