Brad Meltzer, Red Cell Secret Agent

Brad Meltzer. Photo: Jackie Merri Meyer (CC)

Brad Meltzer. Photo: Jackie Merri Meyer (CC)

There must be a new editor at the Daily News these days as the crazy stories keep flowing. This one’s authored by novelist and putative History Channel TV star Brad Meltzer, with a healthy dose of sensationalism no doubt timed to promote his new novel, The Inner Circle:

I was a real-life secret agent. I didn’t have the hand-grenade cuff links or the poison-dart pen, but in 2004 I was recruited by the Department of Homeland Security for its Red Cell program.

As they described it – and as The Washington Post later reported – Red Cell was the government’s way of trying to anticipate how terrorists would next attack the United States. To do that, the government brought together what they called “out-of-the-box thinkers.”

As a novelist who writes thrillers with scenes that take place in the underground tunnel below the White House, I was somehow identified as one of those thinkers.

Sometimes I was paired with a psychologist or a philosopher. Sometimes I was contacted alone, via email, and given a target to attack.

I’m not allowed to tell you what the targets were. Or where they were. But I can say that we’d destroy major cities like my hometown, New York. In minutes. And when I went home at night, I felt horrified, because I saw how easy it was to kill us.

But what inspired me more than anything else were the other people sitting next to me in that room. Sure, there were “real” heroes, members of the FBI and CIA, who helped us with vital facts. But there were far more professors and transportation employees, musicians and software programmers – regular people whose names will never be known and whom you’ll never hear about…

[continues at the Daily News]

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    This isn’t as crazy as it first sounds. “Scenarios” and their creation and potential prevention, are part and parcel of government work. I actually have a friend who did scenario creation…and I occasionally became a source for questions about the more intuitive issues that surround anthropology and cultural differences. To become the enemy, you must wear his shoes, live his life, breathe his air as he breathes it. Upbringing, faith, passions and losses…these all impact thoughts and plans. Only then can you make even remotely semi-accurate plans that might reflect the actions another would take.

    I don’t feel comfortable sharing more than that…out of respect for a friends privacy and career…as well as his clearance level…which wasn’t violated even when he consulted me for loosely related concepts…but in any case I wouldn’t violate a friends trust. All I can add is that many many people do this kind of work every day, and that endless scenarios, with endless variables are created and stored, complete with potential responses to same, in an effort to maintain a database of extreme circumstances and how to deal with them.

    • Haystack

      I want that job.

      • Hadrian999

        I wouldn’t, I would wonder if i was helping plan an operation northwoods

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          I still wonder if sometime during the 80s…some scenario writer came up with “hijacked airliner flown into buildings by fundamentalist muslims” and left a lot of neo con desk jockeys thinking “Hmmm…that just might work.”

          • Ironaddict06

            Yep. I say..let Hollywood continue to produce movies of fiction attacks on the U.S. Hollywood did a pretty good job in the past.
            This would be an interesting job though.

          • Haystack

            They did in the short-lived X-files spinoff about those geeks that Moulder is always consulting. Weapons makers plot to fly passenger aircraft into the twin towers to spark a war.

          • 5by5

            And the movie “The Siege” accurately captured exactly how this country would completely overreact in the event of an attack.

          • anonymous

            Actually, Steve Elson “Came Up” with this scenario during the 80s while conducting Red Cell type exercises on our airports. The airport with the most violations: Boston’s Logan International. His teams findings were never publically released until the “fact finding investigations” following 9/11. Once “evidence” is brought into the court it becomes available through FOIA to the public in the form of court transcripts. Ironically this allowed Richard Marcinko to author his books without compromising sensitive information. Steve is still voicing his concerns in a documentary titled “Please Remove Your Shoes”. Google the title to view a clip Steve in the movie trailer. The real shocker is the lack of accountability following 9/11 at Boston. Seems that the “Woman In Charge” at Boston who repeatedly failed to heed the warnings from the exercises was not fired but relocated to another position. She received a slap on the wrist and a promotion.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        I admit…I was pretty envious too. I love the anthropological side of things though…I’m a lot less solid on the science of bomb damage and civilian casualty rates, nearby hospital and response capacities, damage estimates based on aggregate value of commercial and residential property destroyed etc etc. That stuff bores me to tears…but the world of motivations, background, influences and differing ethics and morals…now there I’m back in my turf.

    • Namelesswon

      dude its called compassion and empathy. its scary when you have to “outsource” that shit.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    This isn’t as crazy as it first sounds. “Scenarios” and their creation and potential prevention, are part and parcel of government work. I actually have a friend who did scenario creation…and I occasionally became a source for questions about the more intuitive issues that surround anthropology and cultural differences. To become the enemy, you must wear his shoes, live his life, breathe his air as he breathes it. Upbringing, faith, passions and losses…these all impact thoughts and plans. Only then can you make even remotely semi-accurate plans that might reflect the actions another would take.

    I don’t feel comfortable sharing more than that…out of respect for a friends privacy and career…as well as his clearance level…which wasn’t violated even when he consulted me for loosely related concepts…but in any case I wouldn’t violate a friends trust. All I can add is that many many people do this kind of work every day, and that endless scenarios, with endless variables are created and stored, complete with potential responses to same, in an effort to maintain a database of extreme circumstances and how to deal with them.

  • Haystack

    I want that job.

  • Haystack

    I want that job.

  • Hadrian999

    I wouldn’t, I would wonder if i was helping plan an operation northwoods

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I still wonder if sometime during the 80s…some scenario writer came up with “hijacked airliner flown into buildings by fundamentalist muslims” and left a lot of neo con desk jockeys thinking “Hmmm…that just might work.”

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I admit…I was pretty envious too. I love the anthropological side of things though…I’m a lot less solid on the science of bomb damage and civilian casualty rates, nearby hospital and response capacities, damage estimates based on aggregate value of commercial and residential property destroyed etc etc. That stuff bores me to tears…but the world of motivations, background, influences and differing ethics and morals…now there I’m back in my turf.

  • Namelesswon

    “Indeed, as I researched my newest thriller, “Inner Circle,” I found that back during the Revolutionary War, a secret presidential spy ring was started by none other than George Washington.

    Washington called it the Culper Ring, and it was made up of ordinary citizens who operated throughout New York and Long Island. People just like you”

    dude I learnt that shit from the Y the last man comic book. In fact didnt they base 911 on Watchman? People in government bodies usually have no imagination so they have to recruit from the “arts”. Ironically Robert Anton Wilson writes about this in the Illuminati Manuscripts. Who thought a piece of fiction would be so true.

  • Namelesswon

    “Indeed, as I researched my newest thriller, “Inner Circle,” I found that back during the Revolutionary War, a secret presidential spy ring was started by none other than George Washington.

    Washington called it the Culper Ring, and it was made up of ordinary citizens who operated throughout New York and Long Island. People just like you”

    dude I learnt that shit from the Y the last man comic book. In fact didnt they base 911 on Watchman? People in government bodies usually have no imagination so they have to recruit from the “arts”. Ironically Robert Anton Wilson writes about this in the Illuminati Manuscripts. Who thought a piece of fiction would be so true.

  • Namelesswon

    dude its called compassion and empathy. its scary when you have to “outsource” that shit.

  • Ironaddict06

    Yep. I say..let Hollywood continue to produce movies of fiction attacks on the U.S. Hollywood did a pretty good job in the past.
    This would be an interesting job though.

  • Haystack

    They did in the short-lived X-files spinoff about those geeks that Moulder is always consulting. Weapons makers plot to fly passenger aircraft into the twin towers to spark a war.

  • 5by5

    And the movie “The Siege” accurately captured exactly how this country would completely overreact in the event of an attack.

  • Roguetek

    OK, I call BS on this claim – yes RED CELL did exist at one time and did include some assistance from civilians, however this program was dead long before 2004. Brad read a book and is claiming it’s contents as his own life. If Richard Marcinko ever meets him I hope he has some good running shoes on.

    • anonymous

      It is common knowledge that RED CELL was disestablished in the 90s. However various groups conduct RED CELL type exercises daily. RED CELL set the standards for civilian, military, and other government agencies to assess vulnerability allowing proactive measures to be implemented. When these exercises conclude there is a formal debrief at which time the findings are documented. An accomplished writer utilized during the operation would be an enormous asset. Brad is NOT claiming to have been associated with Naval Security Coordination Team (NSCT) also known as RED CELL. False claims in the Naval Special Warfare community are not taken lightly as “Wannabes” cast disrespect on the honor of fallen Team members. Knowing Marcinko to be a genuine intelligent gentleman, he would attempt to authenticate Brads claims before acting in a Hot Headed Manner. All Dick needs to do is make a few phone calls. WHEN Dick calls our house we will discuss our many conversations with Brad and we will vouch for him. Dick has an enormous amount of respect for our family (likewise) established through many years of dedicated service together at various military commands. Though our relationship is much more recent, Brad has also become a good friend to our family. Yes he writes fiction with a touch of history factored into the setting. I feel incorporating actual history into his work compliments the subject matter making his final product more interesting than absolute fiction. I love history and I am appalled that the Commonwealth of Virginia has 16 blatant lies in our 4th grade History books due to the publisher researching the material online yet not verifying the information. Each student will place various stickers through out their book to literally cover the lies. Now THAT is DISINFORMATION!!

  • Roguetek

    OK, I call BS on this claim – yes RED CELL did exist at one time and did include some assistance from civilians, however this program was dead long before 2004. Brad read a book and is claiming it’s contents as his own life. If Richard Marcinko ever meets him I hope he has some good running shoes on.

  • anonymous

    Actually, Steve Elson “Came Up” with this scenario during the 80s while conducting Red Cell type exercises on our airports. The airport with the most violations: Boston’s Logan International. His teams findings were never publically released until the “fact finding investigations” following 9/11. Once “evidence” is brought into the court it becomes available through FOIA to the public in the form of court transcripts. Ironically this allowed Richard Marcinko to author his books without compromising sensitive information. Steve is still voicing his concerns in a documentary titled “Please Remove Your Shoes”. Google the title to view a clip Steve in the movie trailer. The real shocker is the lack of accountability following 9/11 at Boston. Seems that the “Woman In Charge” at Boston who repeatedly failed to heed the warnings from the exercises was not fired but relocated to another position. She received a slap on the wrist and a promotion.

  • anonymous

    It is common knowledge that RED CELL was disestablished in the 90s. However various groups conduct RED CELL type exercises daily. RED CELL set the standards for civilian, military, and other government agencies to assess vulnerability allowing proactive measures to be implemented. When these exercises conclude there is a formal debrief at which time the findings are documented. An accomplished writer utilized during the operation would be an enormous asset. Brad is NOT claiming to have been associated with Naval Security Coordination Team (NSCT) also known as RED CELL. False claims in the Naval Special Warfare community are not taken lightly as “Wannabes” cast disrespect on the honor of fallen Team members. Knowing Marcinko to be a genuine intelligent gentleman, he would attempt to authenticate Brads claims before acting in a Hot Headed Manner. All Dick needs to do is make a few phone calls. WHEN Dick calls our house we will discuss our many conversations with Brad and we will vouch for him. Dick has an enormous amount of respect for our family (likewise) established through many years of dedicated service together at various military commands. Though our relationship is much more recent, Brad has also become a good friend to our family. Yes he writes fiction with a touch of history factored into the setting. I feel incorporating actual history into his work compliments the subject matter making his final product more interesting than absolute fiction. I love history and I am appalled that the Commonwealth of Virginia has 16 blatant lies in our 4th grade History books due to the publisher researching the material online yet not verifying the information. Each student will place various stickers through out their book to literally cover the lies. Now THAT is DISINFORMATION!!

  • anonymous

    It is common knowledge that RED CELL was disestablished in the 90s. However various groups conduct RED CELL type exercises daily. RED CELL set the standards for civilian, military, and other government agencies to assess vulnerability allowing proactive measures to be implemented. When these exercises conclude there is a formal debrief at which time the findings are documented. An accomplished writer utilized during the operation would be an enormous asset. Brad is NOT claiming to have been associated with Naval Security Coordination Team (NSCT) also known as RED CELL. False claims in the Naval Special Warfare community are not taken lightly as “Wannabes” cast disrespect on the honor of fallen Team members. Knowing Marcinko to be a genuine intelligent gentleman, he would attempt to authenticate Brads claims before acting in a Hot Headed Manner. All Dick needs to do is make a few phone calls. WHEN Dick calls our house we will discuss our many conversations with Brad and we will vouch for him. Dick has an enormous amount of respect for our family (likewise) established through many years of dedicated service together at various military commands. Though our relationship is much more recent, Brad has also become a good friend to our family. Yes he writes fiction with a touch of history factored into the setting. I feel incorporating actual history into his work compliments the subject matter making his final product more interesting than absolute fiction. I love history and I am appalled that the Commonwealth of Virginia has 16 blatant lies in our 4th grade History books due to the publisher researching the material online yet not verifying the information. Each student will place various stickers through out their book to literally cover the lies. Now THAT is DISINFORMATION!!

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