Houston, June 3 — Official stories about just-completed terror drills hosted by the Texas City BP refinery are raising more questions than they are answering. As reported in The Lone Star Iconoclast a week ago in "US/BP Terror Drills — Ron Paul's Texas City,"
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/33703, internal BP sources had announced a major May 26 - June 1 SWAT-style exercise at the refinery, involving explosives.
For a week now, BP officials have failed to return calls from The Iconoclast, and have never admitted the existence of the exercises that they set up and documented.
Corporal David Viel, speaking for the Texas City Police Department last week, denied that there were exercises pending.
Over the weekend, though, BP insiders supplied documents to The Iconoclast detailing the officially denied details:
Multiple agencies were participating in SWAT-style exercises using explosives to attack houses in the BP-owned Green Belt.
Ben Weir, head of BP security, was present at the exercises on behalf of the company.
The Department of Energy, frequently involved in nuclear terror scenarios, was present.
Neither Weir nor DOE have returned calls from The Iconoclast.
In a call earlier today, an unnamed Texas City police officer confirmed that the department SWAT team was also involved in the terror drills. Afterward, The Iconoclast contacted Cpl. Viel again — and again he denied that there had been drills. Informed that the exercises have been confirmed by his own department, he called back later and admitted that there had been exercises, but that they were routine and minimal. He also admitted that there have been multiple agencies and explosives as well.
"This is all suspicious," an anonymous BP source said, "and I could probably get fired for talking about it — but I don't want to get blown up."
BP, Texas City, is the nation's third-largest refinery and is BP's largest worldwide. It is the most polluted and dangerous industrial site in the US, tallying more than half the nation's refinery deaths in the last decade, and gaining its hometown the unenviable nickname of "Toxic City." On March 23, 2005, it suffered a major explosion that killed 15 workers.
In a late-afternoon call to The Iconoclast, Cpl. Viel refused to provide names or contact numbers for Texas City police officers who were present at the terror drills, and referred all further questions to Texas City Homeland Security Director Bruce Clawson.
Clawson was one of the officials who shrugged off January 2006 warnings about a possible nuclear attack on the same BP refinery in Texas City. After a weapons of mass destruction team from the Department of Defense showed up near Texas City, he continued to shrug it off. Galveston County Daily News editor TJ Aulds wrote a story based on assurances from Clawson that residents should not be worried, "Nuclear attack warning story dismissed."
Unconvinced by official assurances, The Iconoclast publisher W. Leon Smith called for an official investigation of repeated suspicious explosions at BP in his March 3 editorial, "Time to Investigate Houston Is Now." http://www.lonestaricon.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=2525&z=226
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Captain Eric H. May is a former Army military intelligence and public affairs officer, as well as a former NBC editorial writer. His essays have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Houston Chronicle and Military Intelligence Magazine. For his most recent articles and upcoming interviews, refer to his home site at:
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