By: Sara Marie Brenner
On June 25, FEMA signed a Protocol with the Russian Emergency Ministry to exchange experts during joint rescue operations in major disasters. This from a press release out of EMERCOM which is the voice of that ministry.
This meeting, held in Vladivostok, was the third annual meeting of the U.S. – Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Working Group on Emergency Situations and included FEMA’s Deputy Administrator Timothy W. Manning and EMERCOM Minister Vladimir Puchkov. The release says that protocols were signed which included:
It was that last provision that has gone viral. Unfortunately, FEMA has not had a similar press release, but their website does acknowledge the meeting in a reference: “Deputy Administrator leads U.S. delegation to annual meeting with Russia.” This reports the forum concluding with an agreement that mentions some of the issues, but does not include the provision of security at mass events.
“Monitoring and forecasting emergency situations, training of rescuers, development of mine-rescuing and provision of security at mass events.”
Where the Russians refer to signed protocols, FEMA makes a single mention of an agreement. Requests to see the protocols that were signed are awaiting response. Why FEMA is making this meeting and agreement not worthy of a press release while the Russians are, is a rather key question.
The Russian press release was like planting a “Jack and the Beanstalk” conspiracy theory tree. Almost instantly there was reported a request for 15,000 Russian troops from Janet Napolitano. Then a report that 50,000 Spetsnaz troops already infiltrated the country. Then reports of sighting unfamiliar aircraft landing at various military bases and more, that became a storm of unsubstantiated rumors. FEMA did respond by denying the report of 15,000 Russian troops being requested by Janet Napolitano. However, questions regarding the inclusion of a “provision of security at mass events” reported in the Russian press release have not been answered.
There was an actual exercise in Colorado last year for 20 Russian soldiers to do some terror response training with our troops at Fort Carson. This was confirmed by the Defense Department as a first for Russian troops to be on U.S. soil. There was some concern raised about these troops wandering around Fort Carson when some of them attended a minor league baseball game in a nearby ballpark. There were no incidents.
Unfortunately, we have been told so many lies from various segments of our government, we can no longer trust responses or releases. But, questions get raised when there is no response regarding an acknowledged agreement. Why not quell the flames and show how innocent it is? All that we get is a denial that 15,000 Russian troops had been requested? It is an oft used ploy to deny the preposterous in order to avoid the truth.
Where does that leave us with an agreement that is reported by the Russians to contain a provision for mutual assistance for security at mass events? We do not need any help for security at mass events, much less ask Russia for help by bringing troops over. That doesn’t seem at all reasonable, but it does tend to follow the theme of globalization that seems to creep in every once in a while. I don’t know if this agreement is counter to most American’s wishes or is irrelevant. We are going to have to learn a lot more about this agreement, if we can.