Saturday, December 2, 2006


This mysterious drill is substantiated by two explicitly-linked legs of admission by involved parties, and a possible third leg that has remianed unexplained but could bring the wholeconstruct of TriPOD - and the official 9/11 - crashing down. Though widely de-bunked, the third leg is worth considering together with the others here.

Leg One: OEM Release
On May 22, 2002, NYC’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM, an earlier creation of Mayor Rudy Giuliani) issued a press release regarding a drill carried out that day in Lower Manhattan. Called Trial Point of Dispensing (TriPOD), it was the first of this name, designed to streamline “distribution of medication in the event of a biological attack” by terrorists or those rogue dictators developing weapons of mass destruction. The six-hour drill was set up around a mock “griage” (greeting and triage) center, sorting volunteers play-acting as possibly contaminated citizens, to work out any kinks before it happened for real. This seemed a prudent move given the harsh and frightening post 9/11 world the authorities insist exists just beyond their protection, but it had been originally planned in the barely-pre-9/11 world. According to the OEM release, the drill had originally been scheduled for September 12, 2001. But the attacks on Manhattan obviously superceded its first enactment. [1] The attacks also superceded and destroyed the OEM's "bunker," which was housed on the 23rd floor of Tower 7. WTC 7, of course, was damaged in the massive collapse of the twin towers, engulfed in flames from its giant diesel fuel tanks sitting atop a power station, and collapsed later that evening.

Leg Two: Giuliani's 9/11 Commission appearance:
Former New York Mayor and OEM creator Rudy Giuliani later confirmed TriPOD in his May 19, 2004 testimony before the 9/11 Commission. They chose not to re-publish his written statement and subsequent questioning, but his full comments, along with a dramatic minute-long audience mutiny, were recorded in the C-Span video, still viewable at their archive. The video has “America’s Mayor” explaining his choice for a new command center after losing the OEM bunker. He selected Pier 92. “And the reason pier 92 was selected as the command center was because on the next day, on September 12, Pier 92 was going to have a drill. It had hundreds of people here from FEMA, from the federal government, from the state, from the state Emergency Management Office, and they were getting ready for a drill for a biochemical attack. So that was going to be the place they were going to have the drill.” [2] Giuliani really wants us to know there was a drill scheduled and it was a drill about divvying up medicine in the event of a biological attack, just like OEM said TriPOD was for, so clearly he’s talking about TriPOD. Note that the command center at the Pier already had FEMA people there at the time of the attack, in preparation for this drill - not later on, in response to the attack.

But the “very distinguished” Giuliani’s account conflicts with FEMA’s earlier insistence they had no people in place before the attack, a denial necessitated by a chance slip and a bit and an old mystery.

Leg Three: Tom Kenney
Skeptics initially marveled at a “slip” from FEMA worker Tom Kenney, part of the Urban Search and Rescue division on duty at Ground Zero the day after the attack. He was interviewed by CBS’ Dan Rather, who introduced him as "Tom Kennedy - Kenney, a rescue worker with Urban Search and Recsue, which is part of FEMA." In the brief interview on Wednesday, September 12, Kenney said “we’re currently one of the first teams that was deployed to support the city of New York for this disaster. We arrived on late Monday night and went into action on Tuesday morning. And not until today did we get a full opportunity to work the entire site.” Kenney’s was not an anomalous team either, but “one of the first,” meaning that multiple FEMA teams were deployed to New York City “late Monday night,” just hours before 9-11, indicating that someone knew.

Kenney must have misspoken, everyone said at the time. According to the Snopes website attempting to debunk this “urban legend,” the Boston Herald called Kenney's wife, who explained that her husband went there on September 11, not the day before. “She explained that he was under extreme stress and […] that it was typical of her husband to confuse dates.” The Snopes website then struggled to explain his reference the three separate days: “Kenney simply mixed up his days of the week, saying Monday when he meant Tuesday and Tuesday when he meant Wednesday.” [3] Mike Ruppert offered a believable reason for this: “He gets called up, drives many hours to New York and then works for fifty hours straight. For him 9/11 was the first day of his work week and he misspoke. That's it.” [4] So his statement on Wednesday September 12 should have been: “we arrived on late Tuesday night and went into action on Wednesday morning. And not until today did we get a full opportunity to work the entire site.” The problem is not the names of the days but what seems to be a clear reference to three distinct days. If the interview happened on the 12th, one of those days fell before 9-11. He was reportedly instructed not to speak with the media any more after this, which could explain why the Herald talked to his wife instead of to Kenney himself.

After TriPOD was first mentioned but before Giuliani verified FEMA's role in it, John Dougherty took the story on for World Net Daily in November 2002. He cited another researcher's FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request to verify the deployment status on 9-11 for a “Tom Kennedy.” The researcher got no records, then got the name right, re-submitted his request, and got written proof, from FEMA itself, that FEMA "had no personnel in place Sept. 10, 2001." Dougherty concluded “if there were any doubts that those allegations were false, they have now been put to rest as a result of this research.” [5]

Thus this has never fully been resolved – and with the the TriPOD revelations, it appears there was an effort being made to explain why FEMA people actually may have been sent on the evening of the 10th. Kenney may well have known his days of the week after all, and OEM’s admission and Giuliani’s forceful reiteration may be an attempt to turn a dangerous seam into the third leg to prop up the “TriPOD” story. The Scoop site from New Zealand ran a story on this later picked up by Prison Planet that linked Kenney and TriPOD, though the exact connection was left unclear. They wondered if Giuliani’s written statement not being published was because “Rudy said something wrong.” The piece continued: "major questions exist as to why FEMA would deny being in New York City prior to 9/11 without mentioning the 9/12 bioterror drill. These questions must now be addressed as the initial suspicions of those who learned of the Tom Kenney statement have been clearly validated." [6]

If the OEM and Giuliani can speak so freely about FEMA teams being in Manhattan before the attack, why the earlier secrecy and tortured logic over Kenney’s comment? Recall here that Kenney was introduced by Rather as part of the Urban Search and Rescue division, who would not have had much of a role in a drill regarding distribution of medicine. The USR division’s job, according to their website, is “the rescue of victims of structural collapse,” which has everything to do with 9/11.

The possibility that the 9/11 response was set up the night before – and that TriPOD was merely a cover – would unravel 9/11 like nothing. I have resisted the "temptation" to contact Kenney – I’m sure he either a) has been harassed enough and has nothing to say because he really did just mix up his days or b) has too much pressure on him to say anything contrary. I'm 90% sure what answer I'd get but not so sure I'd know what to make of it anyway and and besides, I already have enough red flags next to my name on the watch lists. In fact considering all this, my enthusiasm waned. Though I had enjoyed reviving a previously de-bunked seam, I was left less than sure of it and ready to let it go.

Though I'll never give up entertaining possibilities, the most compelling argument I’ve seen to drop the issue entirely is from Mike Ruppert, who tried in mid-2004, as Crossing the Rubicon was coming out, to put this rumor to rest himself. He stated that “the "FEMA-Kennedy arrived in NY on Sept. 10th" myth is pure poison and absolutely incorrect.” Though he made too big a deal over the name confusion, he made a strong case, actually getting off his ass and calling multiple people involved with Kenney's fire team (on loan to FEMA, we learn). They all confirmed that they left on Tuesday night and sent him photos and videos of the send-off that featured Kenney and profuse 9/11 response imagery that would have made no sense the previous night.“This erroneous story is dangerously useful for the cover-up," Ruppert summarized, "and it's time to give it the axe.” [7]

[1] New York City Office of Emergency Management. “TriPOD (Trial Point-of-Dispensing) Drill.” Accessed January 15, 2005 at:
[2] “Eleventh public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.” May 18-19, 2004. Testimony of Rudolph Guiliani. C-Span archive video location (accessed January, 2005):
[3] Mikkelson, Barbara and David Mikkelson. “Monday, Monday.” Urban Legends Reference Pages. Last Updated October 1, 2002. Accessed January 15, 2005 at:
[4] Ruppert, Michael C. “TRIPOD II AND FEMA”
[5] Dougherty, Jon. “9-11 Net Rumor Finally Put to Rest.” World Net Daily. November 27, 2002. Accessed February 19, 2005 at:
[6] "Long Debunked "Rumor" Validated by Giuliani: FEMA in NYC prior to 9-11 for Project TRIPOD terror drill, scheduled for 9-12." Scoop. June 29 2004.
[7] See [4].

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