The U.S. federal government has a public budget and a secret budget. The latter is called a black budget — a budget that is classified, i.e., not disclosed publicly on the grounds of “national security.”
The Department of Defense (DOD) has a black budget it uses to fund black projects. According to the New York Times, that budget nearly doubled in the Bush years to $32 billion, which was more than the combined budgets of the Food and Drug Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
If you think $32 billion is bad, wait till you see what the DOD’s black budget is under Obama. From 2008’s $32 billion, it increased to $50 billion in 2009 and $52.8 billion in 2012, according to whistleblower Edward Snowden. Just last month, James Rosen of McClatchyDC reported that the Pentagon can’t account for $1.3 billion that was shipped to force commanders in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2014 for critical reconstruction projects. But the missing $1.3 billion is part of the DOD’s public budget, so you can imagine what might be “missing” from the DOD’s secret or black budget.
The government’s black budget presumably is used for expenses related to military research, covert operations, and other hush-hush secret projects, including the construction and maintenance of bunkers and shelters. In the event of a national disaster or catastrophe, the federal government already has plans in place to shelter the élite in those bunkers. Just don’t tell We the little People about that.
As an example, when the planes struck New York’s twin towers on September 11, 2001, then President George W. Bush was whisked from an elementary School in Sarasota, Florida (where he was visiting) to Air Force One, which flew him first to a secret and secure place on Barksdale Air Force base near Shreveport, Louisiana, then to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska to the US Strategic Command Underground Command Center, where he was taken into an underground bunker designed to withstand a nuclear blast.
Secret Service agents had also burst into Vice President Cheney’s White House office, carried him under his arms and down the steps into the White House basement and through a long tunnel into an underground bunker. (Source)
Recall that in 2011, I reported on a mysterious massive construction project going on in the grounds of the White House, shielded from the public eye. The official word was that the construction was a 3-year “infrastructure” project to upgrade and lay down pipes and wires, at an estimated cost of $375 million. (See “About That Top-Secret $97M White House Construction Project“)
Then there is the secret underground base below the Denver International Airport, the existence of which was confirmed by a DIA (Defense Intelligency Agency) whistleblower in 2014.
This post is about an underground bunker for spooks (aka national intelligence service) in Peters Mountain, north of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Below are excerpts from William M. Arkin’s “The Secret Mountain Our Spies Will Hide In When Washington Is Destroyed,” via ZeroHedge, May 2, 2015. underground bunker north of Charlottesville, Virginia.
The bunker’s purpose is completely secret, though I was easily able to verify that it has been expanded and spiffed up in the years since 9/11 at a cost of tens of millions of dollars [… for] Officialdom evacuating from disorderly and disobedient America before the citizenry catches up or catches on. Countless billions have been spent on this endeavor over the years, a secret orgy of preparedness going on behind the scenes, one that ensures Washington can defend itself, take care of its own, and survive no matter what.
Its called continuity of government, and it’s been refined over the years to anticipate foreign invasion, nuclear war, catastrophic accident, rioting and citizen unrest, an electromagnetic pulse above the capital, a catastrophic failure of critical infrastructure, a malicious hacking of the electrical grid, terrorist attack, hurricanes and earthquakes, an asteroid from space—you name it. The spigot opened after 9/11, gushing tax dollars into this subterranean world of never again, but just in case. If our all-seeing, all-knowing national security establishment fails…well, the White House and the Generals and the Departments large and small all have plans to depart the capital city and recover.
But what about the spies? […] they, too, needed their own continuity operation. That’s right: the very people who will fail to predict the Big One will need somewhere to go and keep writing their reports. […] their classified alternate facility, which sources say is in Albemarle County in central Virginia.
There is really only one candidate—a mysterious facility atop Peters Mountain, roughly 16 miles east of Charlottesville—and it’sundergone a $61 million plus renovation since 2007.
For decades, there’s been speculation about just what Peters Mountain is, this Cold War artifact on the outskirts of Washington, part of a string of “hardened” communications nodes built to survive nuclear war in the 1950s. It’s a favorite of internet conspiracy types, but no one seems to know what it is, other than the fact that the land it’s on is officially owned by AT&T. And if that’s not clear, there’s an AT&T logo newly installed on the top of the mountain itself, a helicopter pad built for this don’t-pay-attention-to-us blank spot on the map. […]
I went down a rabbit’s hole of research trying to confirm that this indeed is an intelligence community bunker, scouring the records of Albemarle County and pulling the planning, construction and tax records for the land parcel, which is indeed described as belonging to AT&T, though it is listed as “vacant residential land” of no value. […]
The building permits that have been submitted to the county since 2007— B200701545AC dated 07/03/07; B201302542ATWR dated 10/29/13; and B201402314AC dated 11/12/14 — amount to$61,124,583.00 in interior and exterior alterations, including the building of that helicopter pad, a new bunker entrance, “alteration to interior spaces,” and installation of two new satellite dishes.
So this vacant residential land of no value, which has seen tens of millions of dollars in construction activity, is obviously something other than its cover. The county itself, in its useful GIS property viewer, shows the “vacant” residential land clearly houses several buildings.
The two large structures on top of the mountain, to the left of the helicopter pad, are assumed to be vent stacks and hardened power and communications antennae. Two satellite dishes added after 9/11 are also now apparent, suggesting autonomous and enduring communications.
Nothing in the federal budget or in the county records suggests any government occupation […] or the intelligence community. […] sources who have worked for the DNI and its continuity activity […] describethe national Warning, Alert, and Mobilization System (WAMS) which would alert a select group of civilian executives from across the intelligence community to deploy to the bunker. […]
We sent a Gawker scout out to look at Peters Mountain Road this morning, to see if indeed there were men with guns and U.S. government insignia warning hikers to stay clear.
“Road closed” to him meant road closed, and he declined to drive further. County maps do not show the road as being closed or restricted in any way […] the prerogative of those who live in the shadows. […]
The bunker is built. It’s regularly exercised. It’s ready to go, joining Mount Weather and Raven Rock and the Olney bunkers that dot the west, north, and east of the capital. As the government —and now the intelligence community—button-up to protect themselves during a disaster, the helicopter pilots and drivers and the guards and the rest of the unchosen (even those who work for the same organizations) are supposed to just stay outside, always a scenario I find difficult to imagine. How would this exactly work, this glorious evacuation of a select few? “Honey I’m off to a secret mountain to survive Armageddon, good luck?”
And as for the local officials and people of Charlottesville, huddled in darkness without electricity, staring up at the blue-lit mountain glowing in the night on generator power? Well, they will just have to wait for the report to be written that it’s all clear, or for the one that says it’s all over, in which case Peters Mountain will be a lonely island, prepared for a future of nothingness. And there’s a report on that too, required to be submitted every 12 hours: It’s called the IC Health and Status report—health and status of the intelligence community, that is.
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.