On episode 36 of the Propaganda Report, we analyzed statements made by Governor Deal during two press conferences. One was held on March 27th, three days prior to the Atlanta bridge collapse. The other was on April 3rd, after the bridge collapse. In the March 27th press conference, Deal introduced a large scale emergency response training exercise that was going on all over Georgia. The exercise scenarios described are strangely similar to events that occurred three days later and events that have continued occurring since. Events that devastate Atlanta traffic continue to happen so I’ve decided to put together a timeline of relevant events, and information. I’ll update the timeline as I learn more, or if I remember something that I left out.
March 27th – Governor Deal holds press conference announcing multi-state emergency response training exercise being held all over Georgia. He says emergency response scenarios will include among other things; chemical spills and structural collapses. Based on what we know about other scenarios around the state, the scenarios also included emergency response to fires. The exercises are designed to over stress the system beyond what local resources can handle. This enables them to practice fully integrating with federal officials in their response. Among others, some of the agencies Deal said would be involved were; Department of Homeland Security, EPA, Office of Public Health, and CERT. Governor Deal ends the press conference by jokingly saying he needs to let his team go because “you never know when they’ll have an emergency they need to respond to.” We cover this with Governor Deal’s audio included in episode 36 of the Propaganda Report Podcast.
March 29th – A full scale training exercise is conducted in Albany, Georgia. “Roughly half of Johnson Road was blocked off, while nearby residents, unaware of the exercise, tried to figure out what was going on.” The scenario included a train derailment, erupting fires, a hazmat situation, and more.
“In the Albany scenario, a train consisting of 40 cars — actually 10-12 for exercise conduct — carrying a mixed load, moving west to east on the Georgia/Florida Main Line and intersecting Johnson Road, became disabled near Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany and Johnson Road due to multiple vehicles colliding with one another and the train.”
March 30th – Man claiming to have Red Mercury from Africa walks into the Atlanta office of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, shutting down blocks of Peachtree for hours. Bomb squad, Department of Homeland Security, Fire Department, Police, EPA and Hazmat team are on the scene. This was the headline story on the AJC from 4-7 until the Bridge collapse took over. This story was then off of the front page entirely.
Department of Homeland Security and the FBI Involved.
March 30th – I-85 bridge collapses underneath a massive fire. State of emergency declared. This is a structural collapse and fire scenario, two scenarios that were also part of the emergency response training described by Governor Deal on March 27th.
Department of Homeland Security involved.
EPA on the scene.
Organizations mentioned in the press conference on the 27th that were also involved in the various emergencies since then include but are not limited to: FBI, Department of Homeland Security, CERT, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Deportment of Transportation. Fire Departments, Police, Hazmat, etc. This list is partial. I’ll update it as I go back through my notes.
March 31st – Basil Eleby arrested in connection with bridge fire. Eye witness is homeless couple who sometimes stayed under the bridge.
March 31st – No arrest made in Red Mercury scare, despite bomb squad, hazmat team, FBI, Fire, Police, and Homeland Security being on the scene. No arrest made despite multiple blocks of Peachtree being shut down during heavy traffic hours because of it. And no arrest made despite the building the man allegedly walked into being the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff “participates in four full-scale emergency response exercises each year, selected from among the list of full-scale FEMA-graded exercises.” These exercises prepare for chemical spills, dirty bomb terror attacks, fires, structural collapses are more. These exercises are conducted under the watch of FEMA, who creates after action reports upon the completion of the exercises. At the very least, Red Mercury is code for dirty bomb. At the most, its a doomsday chemical that ISIS is willing to pay millions for despite the belief among many that its not even real.
Doesn’t it seem odd that no arrests were made in this story? Who was this guy claiming to have Red Mercury from Africa? Was he making a threat? Or maybe just letting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission know he found something potentially bad? Doesn’t it seem strange that this is the only follow up story reported despite roads being closed for hours, and all of those agencies arriving on scene? Isn’t it odd that this is the only resolution reported despite the fact that terrorist are willing to pay millions for Red Mercury, regardless of whether or not its real?
April 3rd – Governor Deal holds press conference about the aftermath of the I-85 bridge collapse. They encourage MARTA use, inviting the press to ride along with the Governor two days later to see what our new reality will be like. When asked if this disaster would be an opportunity to address transit needs that the city has not otherwise be able to address, Governor Deal says, “Sometimes an event can do things a politicians can’t.” We cover this with Governor Deal’s audio included in episode 36 of the Propaganda Report Podcast.
Atlanta’s traffic nightmare is already being framed as a product of a collapsing infrastructure. This is true despite a crumbling infrastructure causing none of the traffic woes we’re facing. This pitch will no doubt be used to get pubic support for some legislative spending in the not so distant future. Federal money will come our way as well. “Remember the two hour commutes? The hour sitting on the exit 88 ramp? Don’t let it happen again. Support HB 29489540.” Personally I think this is being used to transform Atlanta into a Global “Smart City” per United Nations standards. This VOX article, “Atlanta Roads Already Needed Help. Then A Bridge Collapsed”, echoes what Governor Deal seems to imply with his statements during his April 3rd, press conference.
April 4th – Key witness, Sophia Brauer, describes what Eleby said to her while the bridge was burning. Brauer is homeless and often stayed underneath the bridge with her boyfriend. Brauer also spoke to WSBTV when she found a body on Atlanta train tracks last July, 5th, 2016. I include the second link because its curious. What are the odds Brauer is not getting paid to appear on camera for these interviews? Homeless people routinely ask for money, especially if they’re assisting in some way. There was no doubt some negotiation going on prior to both of these interviews, especially on Brauer’s side. Does that mean her account isn’t true? Not necessarily, but its worth considering what her motives were. She’s homeless, in a tough situation. A little bit of money to go on camera and confirm the official story might be a tempting offer. Her testimony shouldn’t be accepted at face value, nor should it be dismissed because she’s homeless. It should be further investigated. There’s a lot riding on her claims, especially for Eleby, who says he’s not guilty. A nearby businessman who trusted Elbey, and frequently paid him for odd jobs, doesn’t believe Elbey would do such a thing.
April 17th – Toxic chemical spill caused by overturned tractor trailer shuts down the downtown connector. Hazmat situation. Chemical can potential burn eyes and skin. I include this story because it’s dealing with a chemical spill, one of the emergency response scenarios mentioned by Deal in his press conference on March 27th. Chemical spills are also one of the scenarios used by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during their emergency training scenarios. The image on the left is from the training drill in Albany, Georgia on March 29th. The image on the right is of the overturned tractor trailer that spilled the chemicals on April 17th. The image on the left could easily be published by any newspaper with the headline, “Breaking – Toxic Chemical Spill Caused By Train Derailment” and the public would have no idea it wasn’t real.
Here’s a bigger version of each image.
And check out the bizarre way this “accident” happened – a car seemed to have targeted this (unusually flimsy looking) truck
April 17th – Atlanta highway buckles shutting down I-20.
April 17th – Buford highway temporarily shutdown due to fire underneath bridge in Brookhaven temporarily.
April 18th – Man charged with I-85 bridge fire pleads not guilty, released on bond.
April 19th – Sink hole closes 5th street.
I’m sure I’m missing some. I will continue to update this as we learn more.
Categories: quick hits