Skip to comments.Official flushes 'anthrax' down Capitol toilet with tourists nearby
Posted on 06/09/2010 11:13:41 AM PDT by epithermal
An official flushed a white powder from a plastic bag labeled Anthrax down a toilet at the Capitol while hundreds of tourists milled around nearby.
Capitol Police, who heard about Saturday's incident at the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) only later that day, said that instead of breaching security in this way, the tour guide supervisor who handled the powder should have left it alone and informed security.
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...
Great, now all the CHUDs and alligators in the DC sewers will get anthrax...
Despite the grumbling of the capitol police and a violation of operating procedures... I applaud the tour guide supervisor. I have been on a bunch of these types of calls. They have all been hoaxes. At least this time the hoaxer didn’t get the satisfaction of disrupting thousands of people and shutting down the government. Someone with a little common sense sure saved everyone a lot of trouble.
Of course he will be slapped hard by the police and probably lose his job. We have a system that slaps down people with common sense. But what are the chances that a real terrorist is going to send a bag with white powder and labled it anthrax? We waste so much time and resources on obvious hoaxes on the one in a billion chance that they might actually be something real. It ties up resources and lets the real terrorists how vulnerable we are to fake emergencies so that they can distract us while they actually pull off something real.
Call in the EPA. Use the government against itself. This is what the Left has done with Saul Alinsky.
Leftists are outraged at calls to end the EPA (not environmental policies, but an unelected legislative order). Put them on the cleanup and bill the parks department.
“Not my job”.
Good enough for government work.
By NBC17, NBC17, 1 day, 14 hours ago
Updated: Jun. 8 11:14 am
http://mync.com/site/52397/ RALEIGH, N.C. -
The State Capitol Building was closed to the public Tuesday after it was evacuated when an employee found an envelope with a white powder substance.
Staff and the public were evacuated late Monday afternoon when an employee opened an envelope containing a white powdery substance.
Gov. Beverly Perdue’s spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said an administrative assistant to Chief of Staff Britt Cobb opened the envelope shortly before 3 p.m. Monday.
Police and Perdue’s staff asked visitors to leave the 170-year-old building, which includes offices for Perdue and the old House and Senate chambers. A hazardous materials team arrived to investigate the envelope. Two workers who handled the letter also were being checked out.
Perdue was in the old House chamber when the envelope was found, signing legislation requiring insurance companies to cover the cost of hearing aids for children.
Pearson said she knew of no threats associated with the envelope.
Pearson says only a couple of staff members were exposed and were examined as a precaution.
NBC-17 reporter Steve Sbraccia said the incident happened in close proximity to Gov. Perdue’s office. She was taken out through an emergency exit and was never in any danger.
The public visiting the building were also never in any danger, Pearson said.
The capitol building remained closed while the state lab works to identify the substance, then decontaminates the building if needed.
The Capitiol Police Chief Scott Hunter told NBC-17 the letter with the mysterious powder had no return address on it.
He also said his investigators are working with the state lab to obtain a so-called “clean-copy” of the document so that they can look for evidence on it which can be used to help determine who sent the letter and why
Because it was a hoax substance.
What would you have done? Evacuated DC? Convened the Security Council? Declared DEFCON 2?
“I don’t get this. A visitor’s center supervisor finds a plastic bag with the word *ANTHRAX* written on it and containing a white powdery substance. The supervisor casually flushes the bag down a toilet. No one seems to think this is a problem. Mmmkay.”
Why would a terrorist label the bag “ANTHRAX”? It was an obvious hoax screaming for attention. I have responded to a lot of these calls. In my job I have to jump through a whole lot of hoops and follow protocol. There would be an entire incident command structure set up... people in encapsulated suits... and a huge disruption all over a juvenile prank. The bigger the deal made the more that it encourages copycats. I am telling you that we don’t have the resources to treat every obvious hoax this way. A guy with a little common sense saved everyone a whole lot of trouble. He should get some sort of award as far as I am concerned... of course if I was on duty today I would be having to tell you something different.
Janet Napolitano is thinking to herself that everything worked the way it should.
Zero is probably saying, “Hey, when’s my new pack of “anthrax” comin’ in? WHAT?! They flushed my coke down the toilet? Quick call the damn plumber and let me know who flushed so I can kick his ass!”
Geeze, my youngest son just happened to be at the Capital Building on Saturday.
An official flushed a white powder from a plastic bag labeled Anthrax down a toilet at the Capitol while hundreds of tourists milled around nearby.It's been a couple decades or so since I last milled around the Capitol as a tourst...
I guess we should be seeing the OSHA and EPA fines come rolling in any moment now...
I don't know. Why did a terrorist/terrorists label his letters that way in 2001? Those 4 letters to Daschle, Leahy, the NY Post and NBC weren't a hoax.
That said, I'm just as sick as everyone else is of overreaction as the official policy--by the manual, with no room for judgment calls. I totally agree with you that the current protocol is ridiculous. I don't know that there's an easy answer, especially given the nature of bureaucratic organizations. Even if they were to allow for judgment calls, that STILL has to quantified, defined, and spelled out in the manual--basically defeating the whole point. And once they spell it all out and identify all the typical signs of an obvious hoax for the manual and the training sessions, what's to prevent a terrorist from packaging his materials to comport?
Thank you. I'm encouraged by the fact that, given your post and your screen name, there are actually people working in the field with a bit of common sense.
It seems that every day we are collectively given the chance to roll our eyes at the actions of those in the emergency response field.
I play a game called "Geocaching," wherein someone will hide a container with a log book in a (hopefully) innocuous public area and post the coordinates online. Many, many times, someone unfamiliar with the game will find the container, or witness a player retrieving, signing, and replacing the container, and call the authorities.
Even in cases where the container is clearly labeled as a geocache, and/or a few clicks on geocaching.com would confirm the container as a geocache, the authorities opt, instead, to call in the bomb-squad.
Under the guise of "better safe than sorry," (the zero-tolerance cry of the mental midget) all manner of expensive equipments, procedures, and actions are brought to bear in order to render a harmless container.....harmless.
I'm not sure if it's an effort to justify budget, flex authoritative muscle, or what...but it's a waste of taxpayer money, and un-necessary.
Anytime the system is activated and a bunch of chiefs show up, a small problem or even a non-problem such as the “geocaching” you mention is guaranteed to turn into a giant fiasco. I recently was training a new member of the team and he became frustrated even by the tediousness of our drills. Unfortunately, any event that actually turns out to be real is going to be thoroughly reviewed and scrutinized by dozens of armchair experts afterwords.
So we have got to make sure all the T's are crossed and I’s are dotted.
In our litigious society almost no amount of risk is tolerated even when the simple answer is quite obvious. We literally have pages of paperwork that needs to be filled out during the event, and dozens of scene management positions to fill... all in the name of safety. In reality often the safest course of action would actually have been decisive and quick action.
I have been to so many events that could have been safely and efficiently handled in just minutes that have drug out into hours and hours. I have also responded to events where my crew and I have managed to solve a problem and cancel the other units before the fiasco had a chance to really get going.
These white powder events are some of the worst when it comes to causing huge amounts of disruption over absolutely nothing. Typically they take place at High Schools and even though we generally can say with 99% certainty that it is nothing within minutes. School has to be shut down and the kids are sent home early which is exactly the result our young “terrorists” were hoping for.
Even after we jump through all the hoops and even after it has been shown nine different ways that there was never any threat to anyone... we still have hysterical parents accusing us of taking unnecessary risks with the “children”. Mothers and fathers are found breaking down, sobbing at school board meetings, city council meetings and anywhere someone has a video camera. “I was so afraid when I found out my little 16 year old boy was in danger! Why! Why! Why, do these terrible things have to h-a-a-a-a-p-e-e-n? How can we ever feel safe again?”
As a society we need to grow up. We had a guy visiting us from Israel last year. They deal with real terrorism all of the time. He had lost several of his buddies because what the real terrorists do is blow up one bomb then when everyone shows up to help the victims they blow up another bigger bomb and kill all the rescuers. These guys learn to differentiate between real danger and hoaxes quickly or they sometimes die. He told us their secret was a very keen sense of situational awareness and a whole lot of “common sense”. Unfortunately, following strict protocol designed more to limit liability than for actual safety and filling out reams of paperwork on-scene keep some of our most experienced people busy with crap rather than using their skills of observation.
Well that's my rant! Please don't ask me what I did at work yesterday!