How did Koskinen hear about the Navy Document? I told him. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Where to begin.

As some of you know, I've been around this board since about October of 1998. Seen alot of strange things. Seen alot of folks "come down the firepoles" several times. Usually with inconclusive results. I try to inhabit the Eroding Middle Ground as Critt so eloquently described it. Outcome probablities are a bell curve, as I see it. Truth generally is found midway between extremes of opinion. A gloomer, not a doomer, but I reserve the right to wrong...Most of the other "moderates" have gotten tired of the noise and left for more productive realms.

I've gotten pretty good at sniffin around the web for Y2K information, and have stumbled over some surprising things. It happened again at the end of July 1999. While following interesting links, I stumbled over something amazing.

I spent a few days trying to figure out what it was, and what (if anything), I should do about it. At this point, I was in the same situation as Jim Lord. I'd been handed a ticking package and didn't know if it was Semtex or Rolex.

As some of you know, people pay me to be a Database Analyst. When looking at a dataset, I question what it's underlying assumption are (such as default values), and if the data is normalized (defined variables are always used consistently). After looking at this spreadsheet, I wound up more confused than ever. Clearly, it was a work in progress, with data supplied inconsistently from several sources. (The date used as a part of the file name implied that this was the lastest vresion of an ongoing project.)

I was stunned and frightened by all the "3"'s, but without knowing how the data was collected, I didn't really know how accurate it all was. Were these data the result of a scrupulous independent audit by Navy SeaBees of local Y2K efforts, or just some Seaman 3rd playing the compliance letter paper chase?

I spent several days in what mom would call "a state", trying to decide what was best for my country.

It seemed publicizing it without validating it could be disasterous. The doomers would proclaim it as proof of both imminent disaster and government conspiracy. Then the Rendon/Shandwick/Highlands Group spinners would get up on their hind legs, and if they debunked it, the net effect could be to paint all private efforts to prepare communities as the ravings of gullible panic mongers. We don't have time to call wolf.

On the other hand, if it *was* a highly accurate description of the Y2K vulnerabilities of Navy/Marine facilies around the world, publicizing it could put alot of good people in the crosshairs. Would it really help domestically? I never did come up with a good answer. For the big utilities, I think Cory was right. The deadline was a year ago. What more could be done? As Hunter Thompson would say: "The pigs are in the tunnel."

Long ago I worked for for a backwater portion of the Fed Gov, and I was constantly amazed at how often that not only was the right hand unaware of what the left hand was doing, the right hand was often unaware of what the *right* hand was doing!

In short, I felt there was a good chance the civilian side of the government may have been unaware that this document even existed.

So after wrestling with the whole thing for a while, I sent the following email off to Koskinen, Bennett and Dodd. I assumed the doc must have *some* validity, and I thought that advising all three gave some hope that it might not be completely suppressed if it did.


12:17 AM 08/05/1999 Bennett Dodd Koskinen


I am an IT professional with an intense concern about the potential consequences of Y2K related failures. Over the past two years I have spent a great deal of time researching various aspects of this issue, as well as working directly on remediation efforts.

This letter is to advise you that I have just stumbled across something that hopefully you three are aware of, but I probably should not be. A few days ago, while researching the Y2K status of US credit unions at one of their national trade organization's website, I noticed a link to the DONCIO's (Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer) Y2K website. My curiosity piqued, I clicked through and found a number of fascinating items, all apparently unclassified and available to the public.

One link described an Excel spreadsheet purporting to show the Navy's assessment of the likelihood of Y2K related failures at the various utilities serving their installations, (and many major population centers), around the world.

This could not be what it seems, I thought. But it was.

I've reviewed it, and am frankly terrified. Clearly the local base commanders are in close contact with the utilities they depend on, and therefore I suspect that this document, (dated 7/1/1999), gives the clearest independent assessment yet of the utility problems we can expect this winter. It is a frightening picture for several large metropolitan areas in particular, as I'm sure you will discover after reviewing it.

It is located at:

(8/20 note: good sleuthing mommacares..)

I am writing because I fear that if this document were published in it's entirety, it could be terribly damaging to our national security. It reveals which specific civilian areas are most vulnerable to terrorist attack during the confusion Y2K will bring, as well as which Navy and Marine bases across the world might also be vulnerable. Unfortunately, I doubt I am the first to stumble upon it, nor will I be the last if it remains publicly accessible. The same web site also gives access to numerous detailed contingency planning documents, including the one for Washington DC! It should be removed to a secure network immediately, in my opinion. I have no wish to aid our enemies or to cause chaos. There is too much to be done and insufficient time to do it. I have deleted my copy of the file, and will not be discussing it with anyone. While I fervently hope that the public in the high risk areas will be given enough warning with enough time to prepare, please believe that if it ultimately leaks, (which frankly, would not surprise me if it remains where it is), it did not come from me.

While I haven't always agreed with the actions of the President's Council or their agents, I am aware that you all are faced with a precarious balancing act between fostering sufficient public awareness and creating economic upheaval. However in my opinion (freely offered from here in the cheap seats...), it is now time to decide if an urgent public preparedness message is required or not.

I wish for you, and all Americans, the wisdom and courage to traverse this unprecedented challenge successfully. If I can help in any way large or small, ask.

Regards- Lewis


I received a brief polite acknowledgment from the much maligned Mr. Koskinen the following day. He had checked into it, and informed me the DoD was taking down the site and reviewing it and others to be sure they were appropriate for public access. He did not say anything about the validity of the data.

The very next day, the link was 404. Which tells me that:

1)Koskinen did not know about the public web site until I told him. 2)That boy got MoJo.

Over the following days, (all the while nervously wondering if I had stepped on a bee's nest), I looked at that spreadsheet alot. (Yes, I have deleted the file. Didn't say anything about the hard copy...)

It finally dawned on me that the direst ratings of "3" were only present when the "Status" column held a value of "P" (Pending, awaiting response). The Navy had based this on a worst case scenario! Nutty for data collection, but they're less likely to miss something dangerous. (BTW, I agree that using a "4" for "unknown" would have made more sense, but for some reason the Navy never consulted me...) No news was Bad News. That's the Navy way.

Come to think of it, it's the Timebomb2000 way. In the absence of reliable information, assume (and prepare) for the worst.

I think Ct Vronsky had the best read on this whole thing. And my initial horror over New York city abated when I recently noticed that the finding was based on the assesment done by "NRC Bronx". I bet NRC stands for "Naval Recruiting Center" The fate of 8 million people should not be judged by whether or not some CPO in a Bronx store-front made a phone call or not.

In short, I came to the conclusion last week that the spreadsheet was probably based on the same level of public compliance data available to anyone. Interesting, and worth watching if it continued to be available throughout the fall, but not proof of What Is Really Going On.

I put the matter aside.

Enter Jim Lord. I have no idea where he got his copy from. His was from June, mine from July, and the one at DavisLogic is August. (BTW, the really intriguing thing about the Washington Post story, is that they didn't summarize Jim Lord's data- someone gave them the most current August spreadsheet. And they found some disturbing things in it.


After two days of frenzied discussion, we're back where we started:

Nobody really knows what will happen starting in 95 business days. That's the boring, maddening, terrifying truth of it. Folks can trot out their political opinions and agendas, crackpot conspiracy theories, Gant charts, fancy metaphysics and wild-ass guesses, but it doesn't change anything aside from the pH of your stomach. I do believe that large scale utility disruptions are all too possible. Likely? Probable? Who the fuck knows.

But what makes me ashamed of my involvement with this board recently, are the people who, when they can't find a reason, just find a scapegoat. The appalling attacks on John Koskinen , Steve Davis, Peter deJaeger (and Jim Lord will have a turn), are completely inappropriate. Those people are trying to make a difference. What are the whiners doing? Hunkerin' in the bunker? It's easy to say "it's gonna be a 9.5!" requires no intellect or courage at all. Obviously no one can "prepare" for conditions like that. If that's how you feel, shut yer yap and don't waste what you percieve as the last days of society yammering here. Go fishing, or to a pediatric ward.

Big Dog called it: There will be no smoking gun. Get over it. In fact, IMO, a "Fog of War" effect will increase over the next few months, making it harder than ever to learn and share real information.

My org is now deep into contingency planning and let me tell you it is a bear. But remember what Big Dog said a while back (and Ed reiterated in his senate testimony): If you can't calculate the risks, act upon the stakes.

My Stakes are asleep upstairs. And just because I think bad things *could* happen, doesn't mean I believe bad things *will* happen.

Good night Mrs, Calabash, where ever you are...

I hope this helps settle the conspiracy theories. But it won't.

(Yes, it's my ususal IP, Diane can check it.)

-- Lewis (, August 20, 1999


Lewis commented:

"Enter Jim Lord. I have no idea where he got his copy from. His was from June, mine from July, and the one at DavisLogic is August. "

Well let's see Lewis, we know that Jim Lord received his copy from someone he considers to be "as good as gold". We know that Steve Davis received his copy yesterday, probably from the K-Man. Now today you tell us your the "Man".



-- Ray (, August 20, 1999.

Italics Off

-- Ray (, August 20, 1999.

Thank You Lewis. Now, back to preps.

-- Mike Lang (, August 20, 1999.

Thank you very much. We have been very worried. Good night.

-- King of Spain (, August 20, 1999.

Oh, and this Mrs. Calabash -- does she mudwrestle?

-- King of Spain (, August 20, 1999.

I smell a SHILL.

Once you've read one they're all the same!!

Do they have a university for professional shills ??


-- Ray (, August 20, 1999.

Thanks for the explaination Lewis. It helps.

"Nobody really knows what will happen starting in 95 business days. That's the boring, maddening, terrifying truth of it."


Shift Happens... we hope.


-- Diane J. Squire (, August 20, 1999.

Forget Mrs. Calabash, King. Even if we both tag teamed her, she snap us like twigs. But what a way to go....

For gods sake, Ray: go to bed.

BTW, I've emailed Jim Lord this link, with a forwarded copy of my original email to the Big Guys.

-- Lewis (, August 20, 1999.

Unfortunately Lewis' post qualifies as an info tease and suck-up to TPTB. Boot-licking will get you nowhere on this one. Only an idiot would trash the file. Only a complete imbecile would email K a pull it outta sight letter like that. And then to come here bragging. Past belief. Be ashamed of yourself, not the posters here who are trying to see in future in the dark.

-- turned (in@my.grave), August 20, 1999.

Been wondering how THEY would get THE link out to us common folk.

It was just planted!!


-- Ray (, August 20, 1999.

Lewis, please explain to me how Koskinen is "trying to make a difference". The man has continually put an overly optimistic spin on a potentially life threatening unknown, and has advocated preparing only for a "3 day storm" if anything at all. Do you realize how an American reacts when told he needs to prepare for a three day storm? He does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL until the day before the said 3 day storm.

So, let's get this straight. K has told the 260,000,000 people of this country to do basically nothing. That's "making a difference" all right. A difference that has, as Paula Gordon points out, put us on a direct course for a magnitude 9.5 disaster.

-- a (a@a.a), August 20, 1999.

Diane, thank you for trying so hard to keep everything cross-referrenced on this story. Pretty good for a Mac user ;-)

Warm milk, Ray?

-- Lewis (, August 20, 1999.

Lewis, you guys are gooooooood ...............


-- Ray (, August 20, 1999.

Lewis, thaks for the information, this is a VERY big piece of the puzzle....


-- FactFinder (, August 20, 1999.

Actually, since there is no other place to do it any better, I think that Diane deserves a big thanks from all of us for her outstanding work over the last two days (gawd, it seems like two weeks), including the constant updating of links to active threads, which must have been very tedius.

A royal thank you, Diane.

-- King of Spain (, August 20, 1999.

LOL Lewis... the dot gov's 'n dot mil's might want to reconsider getting Mac's... real soon.



Another Hot link...

"Y2K Pentagon Papers" - "Secret Papers" Back ONLINE - NAVFAC Master Utilities Y2K Preparaedness Status Spreadsheet Explained 001HGI

(Gonna try to recategorize all the key threads under "Miltary" ... tomorrow. Now... I need a drink!)

-- Diane J. Squire (, August 20, 1999.

"The appalling attacks on John Koskinen , Steve Davis, Peter deJaeger (and Jim Lord will have a turn), are completely inappropriate. Those people are trying to make a difference."

Hmmm. As I look back at that sentence, I see I didn't phrase it very well. The private citizens qualify.

Koskinen is a very bright guy, who is trying very hard not to screw up what may turn out to be the most important job in a long time. Do I like everything he does? Absolutely not. I'm the one who outed the Rendon Group's participation in the Community Conversation series. Would I handle things differently if I had his job? You bet I would. I would be drinking two fifths of Chivas every day.

I was alot angrier about the lack of an urgent preparation message, but I'm beginning to realize that it may require careful timing to be effective. I dunno. Over on the Civicprep list, they were discussing a conference call this week and implying that a more urgent prep message would be disseminated in October. Anybody here involved in that call?

Too late? we'll see.

And no, I'm not "bragging", Turned. I saw groundless accusations flying against people I respect. The "Case of the Missing URL" was about to turn into the Grassy Knoll of this whole story.

-- Lewis (, August 21, 1999.

I'll second that motion KoS!


-- Ray (, August 21, 1999.


Like your site and I always read your posts. What concerns me, and obviously a, and certainly Ray, is that you appear to, like de Jaeger, have gone over to the "dark side".

This is perplexing as you obviously know that goskinem's 3 day diet plan is bullcrap. For 280 million people on this continent.

We've run out of time. Goebbels - sorry, goskinem - is serving Hitler and Himmler quite well on this assignment don't you think???

Come on Alan - not to late to recount.

Say you made a mistake - say you misunderstood Goebbels - last credibility chance here Alan...

-- Andy (, August 21, 1999.

apologies Lewis if your first names' not alan...

-- Andy (, August 21, 1999.

The problem with the Navy's & Koskinen's clarification of the report is - they are telling the truth.

The reason my city appeared on the list was due to the fact that the Navy did not know that a private company provides water service for my city. The survey was sent to the city and therefore not responded to. I looked at the spreadsheet report, and there it was- the city was listed as the party responsible for water service. It is hard to believe, but true, that the Navy as late as August '99 does not know these basic things.

I truly hope that this incompetent approach to assessment is not representative of the approach taken by the Navy with the rest their Y2K project. If so, we really are in trouble.

-- for real (, August 21, 1999.

Lewis commented:

"I was alot angrier about the lack of an urgent preparation message, but I'm beginning to realize that it may require careful timing to be effective. "

Lewis, if the "Powers That Are" had taken a LEADERSHIP role a long time ago we would not be about to run into a BRICK WALL.

There has been NO LEADERSHIP from this Administration, ever!!

We are about to pay the consequences.

After reading the post this snip is from I am MORE convinced than ever you are here to channel.


-- Ray (, August 21, 1999.

For Real, maybe that's what it really comes down to -- sheer incompetency. The bungled bump that's really a land mine. Or POPOCATEPETL.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, August 21, 1999.

Hi Andy-

Does this mean I get one of those cool Light Saber thingies?!??!

vvvOOOOMMmm mmmvvvVOOOOOOoomm

Sorry-It's late and I've been stressed out over this for a long time. I'm punchy.

No, I still have a pretty gloomy anticipation of the next year. I just am beginning to realize that even after all this research and discusion, things will still turn out in some completely unexpected way. And I see no point in demonizing anyone. When Koskinen acts in ways we disaggree with, I try to remember that there are wheels within wheels, and he may not have the latitude to unilaterally do what he thinks is best. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Besides, what else can we do? Replace him at his stage of the game?

Ray, you volunteering?

Oh, BTW, I don't have a website -you may have me confused with someone competent...

-- Lewis (, August 21, 1999.

OK, I'll bite. What's POPOCATEPETL?

-- Lewis (, August 21, 1999.

Oh, ahton or leska can help me out, the website is delewis and has a great section on y2k prophecy...

btw lewis they are talking about all this NOW on

check it out!

-- Andy (, August 21, 1999.

Ray: You know, it is just possible that the events of the Navy report happened exactly as Lewis described; it is completely plausible. At the same time (as I think that Lewis infers), the fact that there can at this ridiculously late date be such MASS CONFUSION as to the state of our electric utilities, water plants, etc., speaks volumes.

At this late date, there should be NO QUESTION of Y2K compliance, and thus NO CHANCE that a report containing "old" data (as if June 1999 was that long ago) could have sent everyone reeling. But there are MANY QUESTIONS as to the state of our utilities, businesses, the government, etc. And they are, as of August 20, 1999, still UNANSWERED, and will probably stay that way until the rollover.

"Nobody knows" is the one constant in the Y2K universe.

-- King of Spain (, August 21, 1999.

"Uh...don't see a clock on this here missle Vern, must be Y2K compliant. Mark it ready on the spreadsheet."

"Now lets check the GPS system".

-- for real (, August 21, 1999.

Lewis commented:

"and he may not have the latitude to unilaterally do what he thinks is best. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Besides, what else can we do? Replace him at his stage of the game?

Ray, you volunteering? "

Lewis,there WAS a dire need for LEADERSHIP many moons ago. That time was allowed to fall by the wayside.

The current approach was one that was decided long ago.

THEY have a PLAN and are executing it at this moment.

Jim Lord got in the way.

Ray I do my volunteering locally.


-- Ray (, August 21, 1999.

For Lewis,


For Andy,
Sorry, our iMac is being repaired (hopefully they'll figure it out) and we are using a loaner. Don't have "Favorites" or eMail accessible. Darn. But, are exploring Sherlock, the new Mac OS "Find" app. WOW! Have had the upgrade for months, will definitely install it the minute we get our iMac back. Totally awesome!

Macs RULE !!!!

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, August 21, 1999.

KoS, I agree that what you say is possible, but as you and Cory indicate, time has run out.

Instead of biting the bullet (not allowing politics and re-election influence thier y2k decisions) long ago, they chose to take the easy way out , thus jeopardizing their own constituents.


-- Ray (, August 21, 1999.

" I truly hope that this incompetent approach to assessment is not representative of the approach taken by the Navy with the rest their Y2K project. If so, we really are in trouble."

For Real, the Navy is made up of human beings. They are no more compentent or incompetent than the rest of us, or the rest of the private industry. That's a scary thought isn't it?

-- Chris (%$^&^, August 21, 1999.

Thanks for stepping forward Lewis and filling in 'some' of the blanks.

-- Will continue (, August 21, 1999.

I am one of those flaming Koskinen--and I offer no apology even if your story is 100% accurate.

In our area (metro Hartford, CT) we have received no warning about the serious state of our water and sewer. After reading the Lord site I learned that we may have a problem. Now I go the utility web site ( and find out that they didn't even have funding to fix hardware and software problems until 1999.

This is a disaster. It has been ignored by local media. Koskinen should be preparing our people for basic actions that could save their lives.

That is the bottom line. Sure, he has a tough job. Now the time has come to quit stalling and do it right!

-- cgbgjr (, August 21, 1999.

Lewis -- Thanks for your kind references to me, too kind in this respect. I've beeen slopping around in all this myself, anger included. I differ from you slightly in that this board does a good job (this isn't the first time) getting down in the muck and, IN THE END, trying to understand the actual truth of a situation. WITNESS THIS POST, among others.

I include the pollies as well as the doomers.

Coming to facts about Y2K in the midst of the intense fog doesn't occur instantaneously and it is going to get amazingly more confusing before it gets better.

I am thankful that my worst fear about the Navy report, that it transmitted HARD data known to the military and the White House but not shared, proved untrue.

Net net, the sheer lack of data (not to mention self-reported data shared) about the iron triangle worldwide is amply scary enough, as we have all long realized. As Robert Cook pointed out on another thread, when you get back 17% of other small percentages of self-reported progress from entities that should be saying cheerfully in 95% numbers that they are done, tested and even testing their contingency plans, you ain't looking at good news.

And, to come back full circle to the Navy report, even Koskinen used the words "overly cautious" rather than "wrong" about their speculation. Not exactly encouraging -- it still boils down to how cautious the Navy ... and ourselves ... want to be as rollover approaches.

-- BigDog (, August 21, 1999.


My only regret is that I did not meet with you at the Community Conversations in Hartford, CT (a toasted city).

Today 08/21/1999 on CNN "The Navy Report [on y2k] now coincides with the Federal Government's". [no big problem].

To reply: remove nospam

-- Steve King (, August 21, 1999.


"Coming to facts about Y2K in the midst of the intense fog doesn't occur instantaneously and it is going to get amazingly more confusing before it gets better."

There is a "home truth" that just smacks ya in the gut.

Lewis, later, I have some more to say, but... it's time to take a break and play today.



-- Diane J. Squire (, August 21, 1999.

There's a ghost in the machine, and the number of the Beast turns out to be 010100. No time left for useless bickering, and very little time to prepare. Me, I'm going fishing.

-- t (, August 26, 1999.

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