(See the NYT’s AP story Simulated ‘Dirty Bomb’ Attack in Seattle Tests Preparedness)

SEATTLE (ASP) — A national economic terrorism drill for hundreds of technology workers, press and other underemployed workers began Monday with the mock meltdown of a highly-hyped “dot-com” in a south Seattle industrial warehouse space, converted into startup-style loft offices.

Meanwhile, volunteers at Pacific Lutheran University near Tacoma, about 40 miles to the south, simulated a second, simultaneous attack. The attack on the city government of Tacoma unfolded with events set in motion by the parking lot murder-suicide of Crystal Brame by her husband David Brame, at the time of his attack on his wife Tacoma’s Chief of Police.

Over the course of the five-day drill embarrassing revelations about repeated failures by the highest levels of Tacoma city leaders to heed danger signs concerning Brame will be made public. As the scandal mounts, a wholesale paralysis of the executive level of Tacoma city government will be observed.

The attacks, which combine the Seattle disaster with a mock bioterrorist attack in Chicago, are aimed at testing the readiness of local, state and federal authorities to respond to large scale failures of leadership at the federal, state, and municipal levels. It is the nation’s first large-scale economic terrorism exercise since the December 2000 judicial appointment of President George W. Bush, and the ongoing dismantling of the America economy being carried out in the name of ‘readiness’ by the Bush Administration.

Democratic Seattle officials were quick to point out that the Bush Administration initiatives are not, technically, exercises, but instead actual federal policy.

The idea, said Mayor Greg Nickels, is for regional and national agencies to see where strengths and weaknesses lie.

“In the past, we’ve seen the region repeatedly fail to successfully combat economic terrorism on a variety of scales,” he stated. “From the blackmail that led to the construction of not one but two unwanted sports stadiums to the inability of city and state officials to do anything that will keep Boeing here, it’s long been clear that we have absolutely no idea how to prepare and maintain a stable business environment in Seattle or Washington state as a whole.”

He continued, pointing out how glad he was that Chicago would face a large scale infestation of SARS, exclaiming at one point that perhaps that would “bring Phil home,” thought to be a reference to Boeing CEO Phil Condit.

City officials settled on the “dot-com” scenario after having considered, and rejected, a simulated meeting of the World Terrorist Organization in downtown Seattle.

“We just felt that our ninja-stormtrooper cops had really already had a sufficient amount of urban training experience,” stated an unnamed but supposedly well-informed source. “Plus, we think that running a large-scale urban-unrest scenario again might result in even more criticism of poor executive-level leadership than we already get on a day-to-day basis.”

The ‘dot-com’ scenario was also selected due to a near complete absence of representatives of the once-flourishing local economic sector in the local political contributors’ pool. “There’s no-one left to piss off,” the official noted. “We even blamed the dot-coms for the endless Enron-derived price hikes for local utilities, and nobody ever complains!”

The exercise is expected to contribute markedly to local and national fear and insecurity, while not actively reducing unemployment or increasing business-environment stability in any way.

City officials in nearby Vancouver, Canada, applauded the effort, and noted that they have had to face few of the challenges that Seattle and Tacoma have weathered in the past few years. “Yeah, we even still have jobs for internet-oriented marketing people up here. We ran a few test-case dot-com terror scenarios a ways back and found that our local economy just wasn’t as prone to distortion and outright dissembling as yours appears to be. Oh, and Seattle? If you need a place to stay this week, come on up. Always room for our poor American cousins.”

Reports of black helicopters in the region and the preparation of suburban internment camps for the displaced dot-com workers, who vote disproportionately Democratic, could not be substantiated.