Martin Armstrong Asks: "Is There Something Behind The Power Outage In Washington DC?"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Martin Armstrong via Armstrong Economics,


The April 7th, 2015 power outage in Washington DC is curious to say the least. Virtually instantaneously, the government declare it was not a terrorist attack. After all, how could that possibly be when the NSA guards the country. If there was an attack on the power-grid, then the NSA would have to answer for their failure. So clearly, if it was an attack, they would never admit it.

Instead, this has been attributed to a piece of metal breaking loose from a power line 43 miles southeast of the District of Columbia, which knocked out electricity to the White House, State Department and wide area including parts of Maryland. Can a simple piece of metal break and shut down that much power of a strategic area as DC? That seems to be an excuse like some drunk driver knocked over a power pole.

Only six days before Obama had to switch to emergency power was on April 1st in Rome where the power supply was out for hours effecting the Lazio region. That included the major Roman airport of Fiumicino. The cause of that event somehow remains unknown.

Just the day before in Turkey there was another power failure. That was the worst blackout since the devastating Marmara earthquake of 1999. Chaos in the capital and much of the country drew more than 70 million Turks into chaos. Public transport was paralyzed, traffic lights were dark, conveyor belts continued. Elevators halted and mobile phones were silent. Even hospitals switched to emergency mode and the NSA style surveillance cameras in the capital Ankara went black.

There, left-wing extremists broke into the Palace of Justice and kidnapped a prosecutor during the massive power outage. The prosecutor had worked on the case of a protester who had been shot in Gezi Park. Even Prime Minister Davutoglu suspected spontaneous “sabotage”.

Are we dealing with a series of unfortunate events, enriched with a touch of typical government mismanagement? According to the Turkish newspaper Hürryiet , the national energy grid in Turkey was quite sophisticated and mismanagement was not enough to explain the massive power failure. Many in Turkey suspect a cyber attack. The Turkish Internet is full of speculations and theories, including the allegation to the Government, the blackout was staged to make propaganda for the development of nuclear energy.

Then there was Amsterdam.  In the Netherlands, on March 27th a series of questionable blackouts took place is a very dubious chain of events. Large parts of the Northern Netherlands with nearly three million people experienced a devastating power failure. Thousands were stuck on trains, trams and elevators. The official statement was that a high-voltage switch-gear in the Amsterdam suburb Diemen failed due to the power overloading. Was Europe’s fourth largest airport and the entire rail network in the north of the country simply a victim of an accident or perhaps the target of a cyber-attack?


The technology age is highly vulnerable and the movement to electronic money is interesting for if the power-grid goes down for any prolonged period, what new risk factors will the economy absorb?  During war, it is common for the other side to counterfeit their opponent’s currency. The way to accomplish this today is to take out the power-grid.

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Thirst Mutilator's picture

Martin Armstrong = CAPTURED controlled resistance

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Martin Armstrong needs a power outage. He wrote less BULLSHIT on the manual typewriter.

InjectTheVenom's picture

>>>>>  Simon Black

>>>>>  Martin Armstrong

RU-GAY2's picture

Simon Black and Jeff Berwick are we heroes!

Thirst Mutilator's picture

<-- Anybody else [including axe murderers]


RU-GAY2's picture

SATOSHI!  Help we roll away the stone!

sodbuster's picture

Never attribute to a conspiracy for that which can be explained by incompetence.( or something close to that) Napoleon?

Latina Lover's picture

Current joke in Russia is when Washington DC lost power and went dark, so did Al Quaida and ISIS websites.

Jack Burton's picture

Iraqi Parliament members have publicly complained that US and British Aircraft have been making supply and arms drops to ISIS Battle Formations inside Iraq just before Iraqi troops tried to engage them. Reportedly on British Aircraft was shot down trying to deliver weapons to ISIS. Note also, ISIS is appearing in growing numbers in the Southern Former Soviet Republics of Central Asia. As the ISIS threat grows, Russian friendly governments are coming under increasing threat of all out war against ISIS and other Al-Qaeda forces.

One might ask. Where in hell does ISIS obtain all the money, men and arms they need to spread all over the Middle East and Central Asia when they have No Base Country. They have no homeland to supprt them. So how can their power explode like it has. Billions of dollars must be pouring into ISIS and many hard to find weapons and a steady flow of ammunition.

So, where does ISIS gather it's strength? Iraq claims the Uk and USA are behind much of ISIS' arms and money.

agNau's picture

We are trading EMP shots IMO.

Moar provoking.

Headbanger's picture

Long Coleman generators.

Stuck on Zero's picture

I reread this piece and I'm sure Martin Armstrong is implying that aliens are causing the power outages.

ml8ml8's picture

Someone in Russia or China installed some new software on the White House computers. They needed to reboot, so they blinked the power grid. Easy as pie.

TruxtonSpangler's picture

I dont condone his methods but Theodore Kazynski wrote a heck of a paper on technology.

Joe Davola's picture

So the Smart Grid took the day off?

daveO's picture

Hacking, just like MH370 and Germanwings. The faster they come up with 'cover' stories w/o proof, the harder they're working to hide the truth. 

Socratic Dog's picture

Yup.  They declare it's not terrorism, you know it is, but with a wrinkle: it's OUR terrorism.

I'd guess this as some type of drill.  Drills, as we know, are frequently accompanied by non-drills in the USSA.  9-11, Sandy Hook, Boston....  So can we expect a non-drill type event in the near future, something to do with the grid?  I don't fucking know.  But I wouldn't want to be living downwind from a nuclear power plant.  Now or ever.

Armstrong seems to have a valid point, why the vitriol?

ebear's picture

"Armstrong seems to have a valid point, why the vitriol?"

I'm guessing it's his gold calls.  Kind of like attacking the pope if you're catholic.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Iraq afraid to point the finger at Israel?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

They'd accomplish more if the used less Talk and used a bigger Stick.

Iraq and Syria should set off a Tactical EMP (while shielding your own HW/SW) during an arms drop, and get out the popcorn.

You can't tell me they don't have Tactical EMPs.

fencejumper's picture

Good one, Jack.

UN Report Reveals How Israel is Coordinating with ISIS Militants Inside Syria

weburke's picture

halarious russian joke, fits in with the great comedic minds here. 

Martin didnt mention that the power outage happened 2 hours after that senator said "we have to take the power away from dc. " at his presidential candidate announcement. 

dc is not actually american. first deed called it "rome".  wash monument, including base, is 666 ft .

seek's picture

That's not much of a joke, to be honest. When the US Government did its last shutdown stunt and took Federal websites offline, a couple of the top conspiracy sites went offline to the minute with them, and then reappeared shortly thereafter. I actually went and pulled uptime logs when I heard about this a few hours later, and it really did happen that way.

seek's picture

GLP and ATS.

I can't remember which one, but one blamed it on a DDoS attack that just happened to coincide to the minute with the shutdown.

Jack Burton's picture

Indeed! The odds of these power outages in these places and these times is very high up on the odds list.

Paveway IV's picture

Armstrong's explanation is terribly weak considering the nature of modern society.

"...During war, it is common for the other side to counterfeit their opponent’s currency. The way to accomplish this today is to take out the power-grid..."

I'll admit that it's a risk in an increasingly electronic transaction society, but we're hardly in Bitcoin prison quite yet.

Armstrong misses the obvious, most immediate benefit for a modern nation not at war: Municipal electricity is a wonderful civil control tool for news and information. Shutting down the internet is a direct and obvious act of censorship - governments would rather avoid that measure because it brings out the wood-chippers. Shutting down the grid in a region effectively shuts down the internet there while the government just shrugs and can always blame terrorists. This isn't going to take out the entire internet, but whatever parts you will be able to get to will be slow or unusable. The alternative sites and their contributors will all but disappear, but you'll still be able to occasionally get to the NYT, WaPo, CNN and Fox News. And you'll be getting to those sites will your cell phone or cable - both of which can be controlled. If there's no cell phone, cable or satellite, you'll have to rely on local broadcast radio which is designed to be a mouthpiece for the government in any kind of disaster.

Think about the Japanese government leading Futuba evacuees directly INTO clouds of radioactivity to evacuate during Fukushima. Why? Because the Japanese government was aggressively covering up any evidence of a release. Cell phones, cable news and radio were useless for the people near Fukushima and tricked people into trusting the authorities and believing that they were being protected from harm.

If the SHTF in any form in the U.S., you will not have access to any 'real' news for weeks or months. Taking out the power in a wide area is the fastest/easiest way for .gov to hide whatever it is that they want to hide. There is no clever way to get around a news blackout if the government is behind it. And you'll never know the degree of censorship happening if the intenet is degraded to any significant degree. You'll only find out with 20-20 hindsight months later. That is, if you have internet access at your FEMA internment camp. I'm just guessing NOT.

[edit: I'm not suggesting Japanese government gook out the power in Futuba or anywhere around Fukushima in order to black out the real news. They simply exploited that fact since the typhoon already took out the power.

It's quite disturbing to also note the apparent testing over the last year or so of brief and selective internet alternative news site blackouts confined to certain regions of the country or world.] 

JohninMK's picture

And they need to test it.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Simple explanation. Gummint workers wiring the Interwebz keel swytch

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"Never attribute to Incompetence that which can be adequately explained by Profit*." -Kirk (c) 2015

* External Profit (Wealth, Power)
* Internal Profit (Fame, Vanity, Envy, Pride)

Stackers's picture

Martin, Yes one down line can shut down a wide area.

Frankly it amazes me they make the whole power grid work at all. Phasing all the different generators together, matching load fluctuations, over thousands of miles of exposed cable .....

Ignatius's picture

They have network systems now where switching is near instantaneous and invisible to the customer.  One would expect that it should be in place where critical infrastructure (set aside for a moment that anything the Fed is doing is "critical") is running.

NotApplicable's picture

I've worked in the engineering dept. of a utility, and it's scary just how vulnerable these systems are. Redundancy, switching and other outage mitigating technology costs quickly goes parabolic as these systems scale atop century old infrastructure.

Then there's the issue of continuing centralization of control which increasingly creates larger potential outages as a single weak point affects ever growing areas of the grid.

I do like though how Armstrong asks the question wondering if a single piece of metal could cause such damage, yet he makes no effort to understand/answer the question, then uses his own negative implication to create this narrative.

Condition 1SQ's picture

Yes, particularly in the northeast where you can have a substation with technology from the 1940s operating in parallel with modern technology.  Some of the really old electromechnical relays look like grandfather clocks with elaborate gearworks.  I've tested hundreds of those old electromechanical relays, and the one thing I have to say for them is the are unhackable :)

Centralization vs decentralization is a tough issue.  Right now, things are extremely decentralized.  Relays operate with very little information from outside their terminal.  They have to guess at what is happening in other parts of the system, and that has to be done with static settings programmed potentially years ago under false assumptions.  A more elegant solution would involve looking at the system holistically and deriving ideal operating parameters in real time.  It's feasible on paper, but in practice it would take a huge overhaul of the electrical infrastructure and it would undoubtedly become some perverted government boondoggle.  So, it appears that we're stuck with this shit for quite some time.

Ignatius's picture

I'm a retired electrician from Seattle and as I was leaving, network systems were going in place where landlords downtown had to accomodate significant space for utility transformers which will be networked to load dump and switch as necessary.  I would think that DC would be on top of this technology, but who knows.

Max Cynical's picture

The U.S. government thinks China could take down the power grid

China and "probably one or two other" countries have the capacity to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructure through a cyber attack, the head of the National Security Agency told a Congressional panel Thursday.


'Trojan Horse' Bug Lurking in Vital US Computers Since 2011

A destructive “Trojan Horse” malware program has penetrated the software that runs much of the nation’s critical infrastructure and is poised to cause an economic catastrophe, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

National Security sources told ABC News there is evidence that the malware was inserted by hackers believed to be sponsored by the Russian government, and is a very serious threat.


U.S. Risks National Blackout From Small-Scale Attack

Federal Analysis Says Sabotage of Nine Key Substations Is Sufficient for Broad Outage

The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.

The study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that coordinated attacks in each of the nation's three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse, people familiar with the research said.

Parrotile's picture

Well there was the recent case of a well-coordinated attack on a substation in California, where the service was severely degraded via just small arms fire . . . .


Consider that the US no longer has the capacity to build the largest "Supergrid" infrastructure (Transformers, VAR control hardware, etc), and the lead times on this sort of hardware run in to years. The US does have the capacity for repair / refurbishment, but really major damage (e.g. via an RPG-7 or similar) would be pushing the limits of "refurbishment", especially if the core laminations / windings were severely damaged (as they would be).

The nature of the grid (with thousands of kms of remote HV distribution cabling), the need for reliable status information, yet the desire to have HV infrastructure "out of sight", plays into the hands of the mischievious. It is of relevance that not one of the perpetrators of the "California Incident" has been apprehended, and there are enough rumours to suggest that this "may" have been a "trial run" for something more substantial, not necessarily initiated by a hostile power, but rather a group who have seen the possible utility of "holding the grid to ransom".

Any attack need not target "all" the system weak points simultaneously to gain a result. Disruption of supply to major areas  would be sufficient, since reconnection / load rebalancing is a very non-trivial exercise; the widespread social and downstream infrastructure disruption from a "regional" attack could also be used as cover to distract authorities, so permitting a sequence of pre-planned attacks, with minimal risk of detection for the perpetrators.

Ignatius's picture

Armstrong constantly gets a forum here on ZH...

My feeling is that ZH is more a PCR crowd, or maybe it's just me.

chubbar's picture

Armstrong gets a forum because he actually does know what is going on, he just chooses not to share it with us. He bought his way out of prison by agreeing to become co-opted by TPTB/Gov't. We (former supporters) hope that he'll inadvertently say more than he intends, which is why we tune in from time to time.

kliguy38's picture

exactly chubbs.......he's a shill just like Rickards but that doesn't mean some useable info doesn't dribble out

Ignatius's picture

"...he's a shill just like Rickards..."

Yep.  Rickards is smart and often useful, but NOT always trustworthy.  He totally published dissembing and dishonest work on 9/11 insider trading, for example.

UselessEater's picture

check a recent post by Armstrong stating the Rothschilds are basically historical has beens.
go to his blog, look it up if you're adamant he's a truth teller.