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Tag Archives: National Security Council
Today’s document of the day is actually a super trifecta of documents all having to do with COVID-19 and the US government’s preparedness (or lack thereof). It started out with a document cited in this Politico news story: Trump team failed to follow NSC’s pandemic playbook. Politico cited and included a copy of the National Security Council document “Playbook for early response to high-consequence emerging infectious disease threats and biological incidents.” The story caught my eye because it started out “The 69-page document, finished in 2016, provided a step by step list of priorities – which were then ignored by the administration.” This document was unfortunately stamped “Not for public distribution” so I couldn’t report it to GPO as a fugitive document — but I *could* save a copy to the Stanford Digital Repository (it’ll take a couple of days to process and catalog, but this link should soon be live).
BUT, the Politico story referenced a few other documents which I tracked down. I reported the FEMA and USAID documents to GPO as fugitive. The White House document was in the CGP, and PanCAP Adapted was a leaked document that the NY Times put online (I saved that one too in the Stanford Digital Repository!).
- National Biodefense Strategy. White House.
- Biological Incident Annex to the Response and Recovery Federal Interagency Operational Plans. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- PanCAP Adapted. US Government COVID-19 Response Plan. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (Stanford digital repository copy).
I also found and reported another document cited in one of the above documents:
- Lessons From USAID’s Ebola Response Highlight the Need for a Public Health Emergency Policy Framework. Office of Inspector General, USAID.
Top Secret NSC Net Evaluation Subcommittee reports describe “Nuclear Stalemate” and terrible costs of nuclear war
Here’s the National Security Archive’s latest, Electronic Briefing Book No. 480 “Studies by Once Top Secret Government Entity Portrayed Terrible Costs of Nuclear War”, part of their insane but fascinating Nuclear Vault which includes briefing books and declassified documents on the history of US nuclear policy. This one brings to light parts of several annual reports from the National Security Council’s top-secret NSC’s Net Evaluation Subcommittee — read President Dwight Eisenhower’s National Security Directive 5511 which set up the NESC to evaluate the capacities of the USSR.
On the morning of 20 July 1961, while the Berlin Crisis was simmering, President John F. Kennedy and the members of the National Security Council heard a briefing on the consequences of nuclear war by the NSC’s highly secret Net Evaluation Subcommittee. The report, published in excerpts today for the first time by the National Security Archive, depicted a Soviet surprise attack on the United States in the fall of 1963 that began with submarine-launched missile strikes against Strategic Air Command bases. An estimated 48 to 71 million Americans were “killed outright,” while at its maximum casualty-producing radioactive fallout blanketed from 45 to 71 percent of the nation’s residences. In the USSR and China, at the end of one month 67 and 76 million people, respectively, had been killed.
This was President Kennedy’s first exposure to a NESC report, but the secret studies of nuclear war scenarios had been initiated by his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower. It may have been after this briefing, described by Secretary of State Dean Rusk as “an awesome experience,” that a dismayed Kennedy turned to Rusk, and said: “And we call ourselves the human race.”