Clade X Quotes: The Governors’ Pandemic

A couple things jumped out at me. Jamie Gorelick, playing U.S. Attorney General during Clade X pandemic exercise in May 2018…

“So, Mr. Secretary you said in an earlier conversation that you thought it was a bad idea to be viewed as asking the governors to be of help, as opposed to just asserting authority. But there are some advantages to the situation, and frankly to your department [DoD], of asking the governors. Because when the [National] Guard is under their control, they may be used for law enforcement purposes, and they are trained for that, and there is a command structure. When you federalize the National Guard you have, as you know, the Posse Comitatus Act which says that the military should not engage in law enforcement activities. At the same time, your assets would be in aid of [CDC] Director Gerberding’s mission enforcing the law. And as you have just said, you don’t have clear rules of engagement for what would look to anybody like a real law enforcement function.”

The Center for Health Security also organized the October 2019 coronavirus pandemic exercise titled ‘Event 201’. If you hold strong opinions or are otherwise interested, I think listening to these full discussions provides valuable perspectives to integrate with our understandings of the real-world situation. It’s like most Intelligence Squared debates… held at a delightfully high level, within the confines of Established Groupthink.

“Partner, Wilmer/Hale
Former Deputy Attorney General
As one of Washington’s best-known litigators, Jamie Gorelick has represented corporations and individuals in a wide array of matters, particularly in the regulatory and enforcement arenas. Routinely listed as one of the “Best Lawyers in America,” she has been profiled as “A Legend in the Law” in the Washington Lawyer and was listed by the National Law Journal as one of the “Thirty Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years.”

Ms. Gorelick was one of the longest-serving Deputy Attorneys General of the United States, the second highest position in the Department of Justice. She also served as General Counsel of the Department of Defense. Earlier in her career, Ms. Gorelick was vice chair of the Task Force on the Audit, Inspection and Investigation Components of the Department of Defense. She was also Assistant to the Secretary and Counselor to the Deputy Secretary of Energy.

Ms. Gorelick has served on numerous government boards and commissions. She is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board at the US Department of Defense. Previously, Ms. Gorelick was a member of the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission”). She was also a member of the CIA’s National Security Advisory Panel, President George W. Bush’s Review of Intelligence Committee, and she co-chaired President Clinton’s Advisory Committee to the Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection.

Ms. Gorelick is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations. She chairs the board of the Urban Institute.”

Understanding What a Pandemic Really Looks Like

Jeffrey Smith, playing the CIA Director, comments on the exercise…

“To follow up on the CDC point about lack of data — and to your point, Tom, about lack of surveillance — in looking at these numbers that we had at the beginning of this portion… Afganistan 10,000 cases 900 deaths, Venezuala 7,600 cases 3,400 deaths, Germany 7,200 cases 354 [deaths]. That is about a 10% death rate in Afghanistan — a 50% rate in Venezuala, and 5% in Germany.

So our data is all over the map. And I’m told that it doesn’t mean there’s no difference in the virus. So it just means our surveillance — our understanding of the scope of this problem — is imperfect, to say the least. So it presents a particular challenge — it seems to me from the intelligence point of view — of how you get your arms around this problem. And I wonder whether we have adequate surveillance methods … to understand what a pandemic really looks like.”

(Segment 3, 46:30)

“Former Head, Arnold & Porter,
National Security Practice
Former CIA General Counsel
Jeffrey Smith is a retired partner and former head of Arnold & Porter’s National Security practice. He regularly counseled both US and foreign companies on a wide range of national security issues. His practice included advising major defense and aerospace companies and representing major media organizations and individuals with respect to First Amendment issues and unauthorized disclosures of classified information. Mr. Smith has frequently represented prominent individuals in congressional investigations and federal prosecutions. He has also represented major universities on national security issues.

Mr. Smith is a former General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He has also served as General Counsel of the Senate Armed Services Committee and was Senator Sam Nunn’s designee to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Iran/Contra Committee. Prior to working for the Senate, he was the Assistant Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence at the State Department. Earlier, as an Army Judge Advocate General officer, he served as the Pentagon’s lawyer for the Panama Canal negotiations.

In 1992 and 1993, Mr. Smith served as the chief of the Clinton Transition Team at the US Department of Defense. He also chaired the Joint Security Commission established in 1993 by Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and CIA Director James Woolsey to examine the security procedures of the defense and intelligence communities and the companies that contract with them. In addition, he served on the congressionally mandated Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Services.”