Navy Report: Just Another Opinion In The Soup Of Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I know, I know - not another Navy thread. Diane, I think you're going to have to put in a new category on the question page for the "Pentagon Papers of Y2K" ;) But, during all my research into this whole Navy document scandal, I have come to a conclusion about what this whole mess boils down to and wanted to throw it out for discussion.

It says more for what it does. It is yet another piece of evidence that is again interpreted (read: spun) in 6 billion different ways.

The Navy report does not tell us that certain utilities will fail in Y2K - that would imply knowing the future. Instead they tell us which are 'likely' or 'probable'. They have as much skill predicting the future as a palm reader. Or a stockbroker. Or John Koskinen. Or Gary North. Or you. Or me. No one knows what is going to happen. Not Gartner Group, not Weiss, not the U.S. Government, not Taskforce 2000, not anyone. They all have their own spin, but nobody knows for sure - even when given with the sincerest of intentions.

The Navy's or John Koskinen's opinion means as much to me as anyone on this Forum. You can't give anyone a preference by position or even experience, because Y2K is unprecedented. It involves too many concepts and disciplines both technical and social/psychological - it involves everything. It is everything. It is too big to be coherently analyzed and is too big to simultaneously test at one time.

Old rules are out. Y2K is another order of magnitude up in human problem solving capability from any historical precedent. Y2K is too complex, too huge in size and scope and interdependencies for anyone to grasp. No matter how big or well funded that 'anyone' is.


As old and tired as that line is, it is one of the only two long standing truths about Y2K (The other being the deadline of 01/01/2000). And this week it has been even further strengthened. Everyone has an opinion. But no one knows. And so it goes....

-- Jim (x@x.x), August 21, 1999


This is a good observation, and possibly the beginning of a corrective to our view of the military.

Most people are on the lookout for heroes in a crisis situation, and the tinge of awe with which the military is given automatic credibility on this forum is disturbing.

Yet other threads worry about the imposition of martial law.

There is little to no trust in Federal civilian authorities to oversee the nation's y2k health and well-being. Why should bureaucrats in uniform be any more trustworthy than bureaucrats in suits?

Is it -- possibly -- that it's because these are the guys carrying the guns, and we still have our American romantic affair with all things that go bang-bang? (Plus a healthy yearning for self- preservation.)

"Yes, sir. My pails of grain? Uh, right over there behind the barn, uh, sir."

But sentimentalism over the military, verging on a**-kissing?

Friday and Saturday nights I have to "respect" the young hot-rodding military boys letting off steam on our local freeways. Fact of life. In the months ahead, we are going to have to think very realistically about the meaning (and our expressions) of the word "RESPECT".

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), August 21, 1999.

(And I'm hoping that those boys are very, very well-fed back on their bases. And that their lights stay on and their potties work PERFECTLY! And that, if crisis comes, they want to get home to see Mom and Dad in their home part of the country as soon as they can!)

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), August 21, 1999.

Yeah, Jim, the one thing that EVERYONE seems to agree on is: nobody knows what will happen come Jan 1. But whereas the military is making their LONG TERM martial law plans, "just in case", we are told to stock up on 3 DAYS of supplies, "just in case". And therein, I think, lies a good piece of the problem.

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


The NAVY made a special study of Y2K preparedness: Navy Officers assigned to State Emergency Management

Rather it looks more like the Lord papers are the in process results of the assignmet referenced above. I do not always agree with Gary North but he makes a very good point re the Lord papers:

From ". The document posted by Lord makes rational assessments. It does not say "everything is going to fail," contrary to Mr. de Jager's description of a phantom first draft of the document. On the contrary, it sets forth three categories of cities at risk. Then it calmly breaks down the risks into four failure categories: electricity, water, gas, sewers. Then it makes estimates of each of these for every city. Each city is different. This is cold, careful, rational planning for disaster.

Where is the evidence that this is a "worst-case scenario" document? If it were, there would be only one category of failure: total. The document is the opposite of a worst-case scenario document. It has multiple risk factors and multiple causation. This is a calm, carefully organized planning document by military experts who are trained to make life-and-death judgments.

This disaster assessment has a reason for its existence: to see what may be facing Navy units in 2000. It does not assess all cities. It assesses those with Navy facilities in them."

-- Bill P (, August 21, 1999.

Was there a Navy paper on the GPS rollover a few months ago. I would have loved to read their predictions. Well we will find out in less than 2 and a half hours. Probably will be a dud, but I will be following my news sources closely for the rest of the weekend.

-- Buff Muffin (<@#.$), August 21, 1999.

Actually Jim, it appears to me that several of us are currently doubting our abilities to judge information provided. Could this have anything to do with feeling overwhelmed by the current administrations POWER to spin and twist?

Bill P is correct. Nothing about the assumptions reached by the Navy report have changed. The spin on it simply confirmed the fact that TPTB felt compelled to go into warp 3 damage control in respect to it's unveiling.

Speaking strictly for myself, I'm far less concerned with those who will be upholding martial law, than I am with the guy behind the Oval Office desk who's running the show! I honestly believe the majority of our armed forces and law enforcement at all levels hold their oaths to serve and protect far and above our President holds his. No comparison. BIG concern! The power plays amongst themselves may be as much a concern as having them turn on the population as a whole. The warm fuzzy feelings they have for this administration should be reason enough for the need for government bunkers! It's not the sheeple they're going to hide from. It's those guys with the big guns, who at any moment, may decide they've just been handed their last plate of crap!

-- Will continue (, August 21, 1999.

In each military town, incoming senior military officers are immediately welcomed and quickly integrated into the local power structure's cocktail and dinner circuit. For instance, at one farewell dinner I found myself sitting across from the city's mayor and between the local German Consul and the director of the local PBS station. I have no doubt that the CEO of the local power company was either at that dinner or other similar dinners. The city in question is home to the largest Naval base in the world.

From what I understand, much of the Navy assessment came from self-reporting. Such reporting from utility leaders must have been filtered through personal knowledge of the local hierarchy, gained through two or three years of drinks, lunches, dinners and garden parties. Spouses of the higher-ranking officers have an equally busy schedule of lunches and charity work during which they meet and get to know spouses of the local power borkers (no pun intended). Hence, the subject assessment is not merely a compilation of facts and figures but also "human intelligence" as well--direct knowledge of the players and their respective credibilities.

Career military officers who move to a different city every three years (sometimes less) and meet hundreds and hundreds of people, military and civilian, quickly develop a talent for reading personalities. The Navy assessment is NOT a Y2K readiness assessment, per se, it is more a commentary on the credibility of certain self-reporters by those who are highly capable of gauging their veracity and reliability.

-- Old Git (, August 21, 1999.

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