Over at Jeff Stein's Washington Post spy news column, an item on a counter-terrorism drill enacted by federal, state and local agencies in Northern California this Wednesday, November 17. During the exercise, participants playing the roles of local pot farmers set off bombs and took over the Shasta Dam, the nation's second largest, to free an imprisoned comrade:
According to an account in the Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight, the 12-hour drill was part of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Critical Infrastructure Crisis Response Exercise Program, begun in 2003.
"More than 250 people from more than 20 agencies took part," said Sheri Harral, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Reclamation, according to the paper.
Harral said the drill took 18 months to plan and cost the bureau alone $500,000. The other agencies covered their own costs.The paper made only passing reference to the scenario's designation of pot growers as terrorist villians.
Pot growers portrayed as terror threat (WaPo Spy Talk)
Photo: Participants in the November 17 counter-terrorism exercise, courtesy US Bureau of Reclamation.