Whitley's Journal

August 18--a Day that Will Live in...What?

Since writing this journal, I have been astonished to find that many people are taking it to indicate that I believed that the White House would be destroyed by a nuclear weapon over the weekend of August 18-19. How anyone could read something so ludicrous into my words I cannot imagine. But I would like to add this to the journal, from a posting that I made on my message board today, August 22, on one of the threads that contains this misunderstanding.

I wrote:

"I am completely at a loss to understand why people think that my journal on this subject was predicting that the White House would be nuked last weekend. Where did I say that? What I did say was, "And I would hardly be surprised to find that nothing particularly extraordinary happens next weekend."

"Then I went on to talk about the White House, but not in the context of August 18-19. I warned, as I have been warning for years, that we need a National Recovery Act to mandate what the governors must do to restore the union if Washington IS destroyed."

"It is, without question, the number one target in the western world for such an attack, and our preparations for such a contingency are inadequate until there is law in place that covers the worst-case scenario of the sudden and total destruction of all three branches of government at the same moment, which is exactly what would happen if a nuclear device was detonated a thousand feet above the Washington Monument, say, when congress was in session, the Supreme Court was meeting, and the president and vice president were in residence, which is true about 60% of the time."

Now, here is the journal as it first appeared on August 12, without a word changed. Please don't read into it things that are not there:

There was a report on this website recently to the effect that a number of crop circles seem to be pointing to August 18-19 as a date of some importance. One such circle even seems to suggest the interior structure of an atomic bomb surrounded by a crescent symbol...or is that a Wankel Rotary Engine? Or--most likely--is it entirely inappropriate to read these messages into phenomena as enigmatic as the circles?

Now, I am not much of a believer in UFO-related predictions, because I have seen so many of them come and go without incident. And I would hardly be surprised to find that nothing particularly extraordinary happens next weekend.

Nevertheless, there have been some odd indications recently that something might indeed be building in the world of terrorism. First, a few weeks ago, al Quaeda published a brief video that showed President Bush in front of a burning White House.

This goes beyond next weekend--far beyond. In fact, what I am talking about is a disaster that could happen at any moment, this year, next years, or in ten years. And we have not prepared for it appropriately, and we need to change that.

A week ago, the Israeli intelligence news website DEBKAnews published a story to the effect that they were picking up chatter from al Quaeda cellphones suggesting that they were going to engage in an act of nuclear terrorism in an American city.

Homeland Security took this seriously enough to deploy radiation counters in New York City, but nothing unusual was found.

It is also true that August 19 is the anniversary of the burning of the White House by the British on August 19, 1813, during the War of 1812.

Could it be that al Quaeda's objective is not New York but Washington, and that they are going to try to attack the White House on the anniversary of its burning?

Maybe and maybe not--but the fact that must be faced remains: the number one terrorist nuclear target on this planet is Washington, D.C.

In my book "the Secret School," I experimented with prophecy--not very successfully, if you look at the book. And I certainly hope that this particular one never comes true.

Because of the threat, though, the president recently ordered the entire federal government to create nuclear survival plans.

This was a step that should have been taken years ago, and it is very far from adequate. What would actually happen if Washington was struck by a small nuclear weapon that exploded--say--in a plane a thousand feet above the White House, would be that the entire center of the US government would be destroyed and immediately cease to function.

Within minutes, stock exchanges around the world would be thrown into chaos. Most markets would close immediately. Over the next few days, the US currency would collapse and gold prices would soar.

It would be likely that all three branches of the US government, not to mention the military high command, would be decapitated. The military is prepared for command decapitation, but it would still face complex, probably insurmountable problems of command control and, above all, supply.

Within a week, a combination of frantic cash runs and the inability of the Federal Reserve to function, would result in even the largest banks being without cash, and this problem would quickly spread abroad, with extensive consequences elsewhere.

Because of the fundamental mistake that there is no established plan to reconstitute the federal government from scratch, what would then happen is unknown. I recommended in the Secret School that a law be passed empowering the governors to select an interim congress and executive branch. But we have no such law, and therefore what would follow would probably be years of political confusion, economic catastrophe, and an enormous reduction in the power of the west.

And what if there was more than one bomb? Or if al Quaeda could make convincing representations that there were others?

The answer to that question is simple: with a single, small nuclear weapon, they would have won. And what they might then do, I can hardly imagine.

So, is this going to happen on the 19th? Probably not, but that does not change the fact that it might happen, and that our preparations to make sure that our way of life survives are so sadly inadequate. We need a National Recovery Act that clearly identifies just how the federal government is to be re-created, should it suddenly be destroyed.

And we need that act now. No, we need it yesterday.

NOTE: This Journal entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

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