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“…today, in addition to being Tax Day, is Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts and the day on which the Boston Marathon is run. Why is this relevant to homeland security? As I wrote in and op-ed in the Boston Globe a few years ago: Today thousands of runners and hundreds of spectators are unwittingly taking part in a planned disaster.”
So while the public thinks of the Boston Marathon as a yearly sporting event, the government views it as a yearly disaster planning/counter terrorism exercise. Since these exercises have been carried out from at least 2007 to 2012, it seems perfectly reasonable to believe they would have had similar drills this year. In fact a local Boston news station, Local15TV.com, covered a reliable eyewitness report of this kind of drill taking place at the time of the event. University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach, Alastair Stevenson, told the local newscasters that, “They kept making announcements on the loud speaker that it was just a drill and there was nothing to worry about. It seemed like there was some sort of threat, but they kept telling us it was just a drill.”
“At the start at the event, at the Athlete’s Village, there were people on the roof looking down onto the Village at the start. There were dogs with their handlers going around sniffing for explosives, and we were told on a loud announcement that we shouldn’t be concerned and that it was just a drill. And maybe it was just a drill, but I’ve never seen anything like that — not at any marathon that I’ve ever been to. You know, that just concerned me that that’s the only race that I’ve seen in my life where they had dogs sniffing for explosions, and that’s the only place where there had been explosions.”
This presentation put out by Richard Serino, the former Chief of Boston EMS, describes some of the aspects of these, “planned disasters.” It is titled, “Marathons – A Tale of Two Cities and the Running of a Planned Mass Casualty Event.” The document itself is not dated but the URL includes the year 2008. Under the section titled, “Collaboration” it recommends utilizing, “special events and drills as opportunities to plan and train together…” The subsection titled, “Working with the Media,” states, “Their mission is to get a story. Building a longstanding relationship with journalists and reporters ensures that they get the right story and that they serve as a resource when needed.” Serino was appointed by Obama as FEMA’s Deputy Administrator in 2009.