Uncensored Investigative Journalism

US Intel Agencies Played Unsettling Role in Classified and “9/11-like” Coronavirus Response Plan

As Coronavirus panic grips the world, concern over government overreach is growing given the involvement of US intelligence agencies in classified meetings for planning the U.S.’ coronavirus response.

Originally published on March 13, 2020 at Mint Press News

As Coronavirus panic grips the world, concern over government overreach is growing given the involvement of US intelligence agencies in classified meetings for planning the U.S.’ coronavirus response.

As the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis comes to dominate headlines, little media attention has been given to the federal government’s decision to classify top-level meetings on domestic coronavirus response and lean heavily “behind the scenes” on U.S. intelligence and the Pentagon in planning for an allegedly imminent explosion of cases.

The classification of coronavirus planning meetings was first covered by Reuters, which noted that the decision to classify was “an unusual step that has restricted information and hampered the U.S. government’s response to the contagion.” Reuters further noted that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Alex Azar, and his chief of staff had “resisted” the classification order, which was made in mid-January by the National Security Council (NSC), led by Robert O’Brien — a longtime friend and colleague of his predecessor John Bolton.

Following this order, HHS officials with the appropriate security clearances held meetings on coronavirus response at the department’s Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF), which are facilities “usually reserved for intelligence and military operations” and — in HHS’ case — for responses to “biowarfare or chemical attacks.” Several officials who spoke to Reuters noted that the classification decision prevented key experts from participating in meetings and slowed down the ability of HHS and the agencies it oversees, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to respond to the crisis by limiting participation and information sharing.

It has since been speculated that the decision was made to prevent potential leaks of information by stifling participation and that aspects of the planned response would cause controversy if made public, especially given that the decision to classify government meetings on coronavirus response negatively impacted HHS’ ability to respond to the crisis.

After the classification decision was made public, a subsequent report in Politico revealed that not only is the National Security Council managing the federal government’s overall response but that they are doing so in close coordination with the U.S. intelligence community and the U.S. military. It states specifically that “NSC officials have been coordinating behind the scenes with the intelligence and defense communities to gauge the threat and prepare for the possibility that the U.S. government will have to respond to much bigger numbers—and soon.”

Little attention was given to the fact that the response to this apparently imminent jump in cases was being coordinated largely between elements of the national security state (i.e. the NSC, Pentagon, and intelligence), as opposed to civilian agencies or those focused on public health issues, and in a classified manner.

The Politico article also noted that the intelligence community is set to play a “key role” in a pandemic situation, but did not specify what the role would specifically entail. However, it did note that intelligence agencies would “almost certainly see an opportunity to exploit the crisis” given that international “epicenters of coronavirus [are] in high-priority counterintelligence targets like China and Iran.” It further added, citing former intelligence officials, that efforts would be made to recruit new human sources in those countries.

Politico cited the official explanation for intelligence’s interest in “exploiting the crisis” as merely being aimed at determining accurate statistics of coronavirus cases in “closed societies,” i.e. nations that do not readily cooperate or share intelligence with the U.S. government. Yet, Politico fails to note that Iran has long been targeted for CIA-driven U.S. regime change, specifically under the Trump administration, and that China had been fingered as the top threat to U.S. global hegemony by military officials well before the coronavirus outbreak.

A potential  “9/11-like” response

The decision to classify government coronavirus preparations in mid-January, followed by the decision to coordinate the domestic response with the military and with intelligence deserves considerable scrutiny, particularly given that at least one federal agency, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), will be given broad, sweeping powers and will work closely with unspecified intelligence “partners” as part of its response to a pandemics like COVID-19.

The CBP’s pandemic response document, obtained by The Nation, reveals that the CBP’s pandemic directive “allows the agency to actively surveil and detain individuals suspected of carrying the illness indefinitely.” The Nation further notes that the plan was drafted during the George W. Bush administration, but is the agency’s most recent pandemic response plan and remains in effect.

Though only CBP’s pandemic response plan has now been made public, those of other agencies are likely to be similar, particularly on their emphasis on surveillance, given past precedent following the September 11 attacks and other times of national panic. Notably, several recent media reports have likened coronavirus to 9/11 and broached the possibility of a “9/11-like” response to coronavirus, suggestions that should concern critics of the post-9/11 “Patriot Act” and other controversial laws, executive orders and policies that followed.

While the plans of the federal government remain classified, recent reports have revealed that the military and intelligence communities — now working with the NSC to develop the government’s coronavirus response — have anticipated a massive explosion in cases for weeks. U.S. military intelligence came to the conclusion over a month ago that coronavirus cases would reach “pandemic proportions” domestically by the end of March. That military intelligence agency, known as the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), coordinates closely with the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct “medical SIGINT [signals intelligence].”

The coming government response, the agencies largely responsible for crafting it and its classified nature deserve public scrutiny now, particularly given the federal government’s tendency to not let “a serious crisis to go to waste,” as former President Obama’s then-chief of staff Rahm Emanuel infamously said during the 2008 financial crisis. Indeed, during a time of panic — over a pandemic and over a simultaneous major economic downturn — concern over government overreach is warranted, particularly now given the involvement of intelligence agencies and the classification of planning for an explosion of domestic cases that the government believes is only weeks away.

  1. Totally agree that concern over government overreach is justified. Great article. Thanks for sharing thisinformation. Oh by the way, congratulations on getting up your own website, Whitney. Looking forward to seeing more from you.

  2. Beautiful site Whitney, congrats!

    Another detailed, concerning article … thank you. This is so tragic. The ball was dropped in many ways — someone should have just gone to the press early-on, and continued to do so. This surely is one for the history books – and in the most horrid of ways. This is and will continue to be devastating. Although we couldn’t rely on the numbers from China, there was felt to be a cover-up, with evidence of dangerous spread, and we should have assumed the worst and taken protective action then.

    It appears Trump was concerned about the stock market. From a WaPo article https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/us-intelligence-reports-from-january-and-february-warned-about-a-likely-pandemic/2020/03/20/299d8cda-6ad5-11ea-b5f1-a5a804158597_story.html, he perhaps didn’t seem to understand the concept of this type of spread and/or didn’t believe it/want to accept the reality. A living nightmare.

  3. A B Zed…1 2 3 How many more times ? This time next election what might the World look like ? The years before election year the year of and the year after…this is how they operate. 2019 2020 2021…hold on to what remains while the rest they just strip away. Sad.

  4. Whitney, very informative and refreshing to actually find another investigative reporter at work for us the people. I was not aware of which cabal was running this deceptive, destructive farce. Very enlightening, Pure Evil…Thank you for your sacrifice. You are articulate and have definitely used your cerebral cortex unlike 90% of the sheeple. God bless you and yours in Jesus name I pray Angels watch over you.

  5. My tri county area in TX is proposing digital antibody tests of Covid 19 before any restrictions of persons on our county may be lifted.

    I live in Jeff Davis County TX. I attended the “media blitz” today and learned that the plan for lifting restrictions on the movement and right to work of citizens in Jeff Davis, Presidio and Brewster Counties will ultimately depend on the institution of Digital Certificates showing the “proper” level of antibodies for Covid 19. These certificates will require tests which show the amount of antibodies that each person has. If the authorities determine that you have enough antibodies you will be allowed freedom of movement. If you do not, you will be kept in quarantine.

    Further, as they do not know how long the antibodies will remain sufficient to allow you to have freedom of movement, each person will need to be retested and if they formerly had sufficient antibodies but no longer do, they will be forced back into quarantine. This is directly from the doctor, Ekta Escovar who is liaising with the Federal government in our tri-county area.

    Dr. Escovar is remarkably uninformed about viruses in general (she and all our county judges believe we must show no virus in our area before they will even consider lifting lock down), she does not have basic information concerning testing or even if TX has shown any excess mortality. Given this shocking lack of information, she has taken the authority to shut down our economy and quarantine much of our population.

    This is a completely Orwellian: an unconstitutional digital certificate “allowing” citizens to move “freely” in the United States. This information needs to get out nationally. Dr. Escovar said she got this idea from the Federal government so I am thinking it will be instituted nationwide.

    Congratulations on your great work!


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  7. In ’16’s election, WikiLeaks dumped a Podesta email thread between he and the DNCs top,long time US based strategist, the Benenson Strategy Group (Joel Benenson). An attachment sent at Podesta’s request from BSG (see the thread) entitled the “Salvage Program” (Project Bluebeam) listing 7 options to Salvage Clinton’s presidential bid after Comey reopened her case. Here is the rub: these 6-7 suggestions found on page 6 of the Salvage Program report read like the playbook for the past 4 years! #1) create a Red Dawn Russian attack, 2) hype Cobalt Rain 3) focus on Antifa and civil unrest 4*) Release a more virulent strain of the Zikavirus in targeted locations (“operatives are in place to release…”) 5) BLM – Civil War, 6) Natural Disaster hype 7) Project Bluebeam (DARPA) – project hologram on election day of Aliens or Jesus, necessitating the need to medicate the hysterical population. This last one obviously didn’t happen…yet, because they thought they would win! But phone records show podesta contacted (one month after this report) a retired DARPA general and the defunct facility where this secret tech was designed, (note that we are now seeing a St George Floyd hologram making a tour around the country)!
    It is my belief that this document which I have a copy (no longer easily available) discusses the Russian Hoax ploy, the rise of Antifa, the enraged BLM (leading to a high chance of real civil war, and a Virus, potentially released in China (to shift blame out if US and to disrupt Trump’s successful China Trade Deal negotiations).
    Every facet of the news (sans Trump’s response) is beneficial to the deep state and Democrat elite. Not one thing that we are facing could be seen as a win for the GOP. Usually this means it’s manufactured and not coincidental.
    Having a document that reads like a coup cookbook…well that’s just icing on the cake!
    Podesta (using Joel Benensons strategy recommendations is the deliverer if evil.
    He went into hiding after Hillary’s loss, only to reappear as the head of “voter security” if the DNC… Mr Password123 gets the top security job?!
    Podesta needs to be arrested, and flipped. BSGs Salvage Program attachment needs to be confirmed and if true, should be the evidence to expose these evil folk and return our country to the people.
    If you could help, we would appreciate it.

    SybilDefense (ZH)

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