The post regarding the Coast Guard firing on a boat on the Potomac River was taken down because it is now reported that the incident was a Coast Guard training exercise.  Today is too sensitive to have a post like that stay up over a training exercise. 

The media, including the 2 majors, CNN and Fox all were reporting the incident as an high alert incident in the vicinity of the Pentagon where the President was speaking on the anniversity of 9-11.

CNN is sputtering mad.  They had heard the incident on the scanner.  The media was not alerted that there was a training excerise being held.  The word ‘criminially stupid’ is being tossed about.  Stay tuned. 


30 Thoughts to “Post Removed Regarding Potomac River Incident”

  1. GainesvilleResident

    WTOP correctly reported it from the start- they had an article reporting it was a training exercise at the same time CNN’s webpage had a huge banner up top “Coast Guard fires 10 shots at boat on Potomac while President Obama crossing river in motorcade!”

    Seems like WTOP was the only one who got it right out of the major news media. Although I went to the Washington Post website and could find no mention at all of it, so at least they didn’t falsely report it.

  2. Moon-howler

    This was and still is up on reuters at 10:46:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Coast Guard fired at a suspicious boat in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., near the Pentagon amid high security during September 11 memorial ceremonies at the Defense Department headquarters, U.S. media reported on Friday.
    President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had been attending a ceremony at the Pentagon, south of the city on the Virginia side of the river.

    Officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation had no immediate comment.

    CNN said the Coast Guard fired about 10 rounds at the boat, which they described as a recreational vessel, after it entered a temporarily restricted zone in the Potomac, which separates Washington, D.C., from suburban Virginia where the Pentagon is located.

    Traffic was moving freely across bridges and did not appear affected by the incident

  3. GainesvilleResident

    WTOP has revised their article slightly to include the false media reports – the new article is at

    The original article was posted much earlier and was at the same time CNN had that huge red headline header on its webpage with the text I described. I did not make it to Fox’s website or any others to see what they said at the same time, other than the Wash. Post which had nothing on it.

  4. GainesvilleResident

    CNN’s article is still up as of now (10:51 AM):

    Coast Guard confronts boat in secure zone near Pentagon

    * Story Highlights
    * NEW: Obama reportedly left Pentagon about the time incident began
    * Coast Guard tries to prevent boat from entering Potomac River secure zone
    * Incident occurs near Pentagon, where president was observing 9/11 anniversary
    * Coast Guard fires 10 shots, unconfirmed reports say

    updated 23 minutes ago

    * Next Article in U.S. »

    Decrease font Decrease font
    Enlarge font Enlarge font

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Coast Guard tried Friday to prevent a boat from entering a security zone on the Potomac River not far from the Pentagon, where President Obama was at an event commemorating the September 11 attacks.

    There were reports on police scanners that the Coast Guard fired 10 rounds of ammunition, but those reports could not immediately be confirmed. It was not immediately clear from the reports whether they referred to warning shots.

    The incident took place between the Memorial and 14th Street bridges, in a zone that had been blocked off because of the ceremonies.

    Obama had departed the Pentagon shortly after 10 a.m. ET. Reports of the incident came in shortly after 10 a.m. ET.

    The Coast Guard Command Center said it had no immediate information.

  5. Moon-howler

    Both Fox News and CNN were reporting the incident as real. It is irrespeonsible to have this kind of ‘exercise,’ especially on Sept. 11 without telling everyone, especially the media.

    Apparently the Secret Service had been left out of the loop also.

    Thanks Gainesville for your input.

  6. GainesvilleResident

    Wonder how long it’s going to take CNN to remove that article? Nice reporting for 9/11 – let’s be sensationalistic and generate big headlines. They apparently weren’t the only ones guilty of it though.

  7. GainesvilleResident

    CNN just fixed it – at 10:53 AM. Sure took them long enough!

  8. GainesvilleResident

    Indeed, whoever planned an exercise like that for today should be fired!

  9. Moon-howler

    I think the focus should be why the coast guard would chose today for an excercise and why the media was not alerted, as is the custom. 9-11 should have been ruled out just out of respect for families who lost loved ones.

    DHS is now all over this. They are saying no shots were fired. This one isn’t going to just go away.

  10. Moon-howler

    Perhaps this incident is what the term UFB was invented for.

    To our contributors, I want to apologize for spreading false information, if only for 15 minutes. I had verified with both CNN and Fox News before posting. As soon as I learned it might be a training exercise, I took it down.

  11. GainesvilleResident

    Yes, why would any exercise even remotely like this be planned for today, of all days. Someone really wasn’t thinking. Especially in the vicinity of where one of the attacks took place, of all places. Very puzzling how this exercise ever got beyond the very initial planning stage.

  12. Moon-howler

    Agreed. And why wouldn’t the cable channels be contacted. The former Assistant Commandant to the Coast Guard was just on CNN. She said that this just isn’t the way things are done.

    Raging stupidity it sounds like. It makes no sense. Thanks again for being there with the right information, Gainesville, and for posting. I whipped that bad boy down, which is why you couldn’t post at first.

    I was already disgusted because in putting up tribute links, I had to pick and sort through so many of them. All this truther garbage was in the middle of the good \tributes. grrrrrrrr

  13. Moon-howler

    Does this mean we now have Potomac-gate? Or 9-11-gate?

    Or is the ER the new -gate?

  14. What if is wasn’t an exercise and the “just an exercise” label has been put out there to cover it all up so people won’t panic? Or what if it was screw up by the Coast Guard and now they need to cover up? Have I been watching too much NCIS?

  15. Moon-howler

    Probably, Pinko, but sometimes I think I have watched too many xfiles.

    Vice Admiral Currier is making a press statement now….smoothing it all over. I expect this one isn’t going to smooth as easily as he would like. Typical military answer for everything.

  16. Not SPLC

    DATE: September 11, 2009 11:41:45 EST
    Document Number: 517
    Office of Public Affairs
    U.S. Coast Guard

    News Release Date: Sept. 11, 2009

    Contact: Lt. Nadine Santiago
    (202) 372 – 4644

    Coast Guard statement on media report of gunfire on the Potomac

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard reported on Friday that reports in the media were based on overheard radio calls made over a training frequency and that no shots were fired during the exercise.

    The exercise was planned in advance and was being conducted on a marine radio frequency reserved for Coast Guard training and operations. No recreational boaters were involved in this training excercise.

    We are still gathering information of how this training event might have been misconstrued as an actual incident. We will conduct a thorough review of this incident.

    Coast Guard boats were operating in the vicinity of 14th Street and Memorial Bridges this morning. Whether or not these were the same boats using the marine radio frequency used for training purposes has not yet been confirmed.

    The best way that we in the Coast Guard can remember Sept. 11 and our security obligations to the nation is to be always ready and this requires constant training and exercise. To ensure the appropriate readiness posture we conduct training scenarios across the nation on a daily basis.

    How and when this exercised was conducted will be reviewed.

    Saving Lives and Guarding the Coast Since 1790.
    The United States Coast Guard — Proud History. Powerful Future.

  17. Moon-howler

    I still feel this should not have been done on Sept. 11, especially during the time when all eyes were on the Pentagon. If doing it during this time was so all fired important, then the media should have been notified.

  18. That’s what makes me think it’s a cover-up, MH. I have a hard time believing the Coast Guard was stupid enough to run an exercise today in DC. It’s just too weird.

  19. Moon-howler

    Someone called me and told me that Greg and I agreed on this one. Imagine that. Probably just a 9-11 thing. 😉 Both of us will recover tomorrow.

    For the record, I do not bash the military. As the daughter of a vet, I also know how the military explains things away and if necessary, will blame the underdogs. If that is bashing the military, I am laughing. Its just what they do. (back to those frogs and scorpions)

    Maybe that special someone who posts on the dark screen needs to get off their lying high horse and read some Studs Terkel or watch Band of Brothers if too lazy to read. You can see the imperfections for yourself.

    And before anyone asks, I got the story off Fox News and confirmed it with CNN. I am not blaming Fox News or CNN.

    Supporting the troops does NOT mean that everything anyone does in the military is right or perfect. I stand by today’s ‘exercise’ being very poor judgement, and on the same level as the photo op low-flying plane pictures in New York last spring. It won’t be Vice Admiral Currier whose ass is in the sling.

  20. kelly3406

    This is much ado about nothing (imagine that …. i get to disagree with MH and Greg at the same time). I am sure that the Coasties are highly motivated on this particular date to accomplish good training that ensures they are ready for the next attack. I applaud them for that.

    If you want the military and Coast Guard to stand down on 9/11, then the date should be made a holiday or declared a down day by the Commander In Chief. This has been done many times in the past.

    The real issue is that the media immediately jumped on this based on alarming chatter on a Coast Guard training frequency. Whatever happened to the journalistic principle of verifying sources before going public?

  21. Moon-howler

    Kelly, you miss my point. I don’t want the coast guard or the military branches to stand down on this day or on any other days. I do expect them to use common sense which would prohibit said training exercises being done immediately after the presidential motorcade passes.

    If those exercises must be done, how much trouble is it notify the media and the secret service? Reagan National closed down for a while too. What happened to the secret service and Reagan National?

    Had it not been a drill and the media did not jump on it, they would have also been criticized. Imagine that. Both Fox News and CNN told the viewers who they had contacted and what their sources of information were. I just don’t remember.

    Now Kelly, surely you will agree that it could have been handled better, especially in light of the secret service and Reagan having no idea what was going on? Surely you would concede that 9-11 brings about heightened alert?

  22. kelly3406

    My guess is that they did not know a presidential motorcade had recently passed by. If they had known, they probably would not have done it.

  23. Moon-howler

    And that I can accept. The Vice Admiral sure didn’t concede that this morning. But then again, I didn’t expect him to. I expected and got damage control.

    How could they not know that it was 9-11 and that there would be ceremonies at the Pentagon though…right around 930?

    I feel certain it didn’t occur to them. I just see it as the Washington version of the NYC fly-by photo op. Unthinking. No malice intended.

    Probably in the long run, it wasn’t a bad thing. Those kinds of incidents tend to keep everyone on their toes. Unthinking and insensitive probably fit the situation better than stupid.

  24. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Mildly interesting…White House is scolding news agencies, news agencies scolding USCG. Seems to me if they wound up shutting down Reagan National, then perhaps the USCG should have informed better.

  25. Why is it if you question an agency or some leader, people jump in with the “if you’re not for us, you’re against us” mentality? Absurd.

    “The most important thing is to never stop questioning.”
    –Albert Einstein

  26. Moon-howler

    Since when is the coast guard in charge of planes coming in and out of REagan?

    So who is scolding who and why? Update please Slow.

  27. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Well, the Reagan National thing is not direct cause-effect, but it seems obvious that somebody at Reagan didn’t know something they should have. The White House (particularly Gibbs) tore into the media blaming them for the scare. I also heard the Media (CNN mostly) was quite upset with the Coast Guard for not being informed ahead of time (nobody likes to look foolish). But for the most part, the whole thing blew over pretty quick.

  28. Moon-howler

    Thanks for filling in the blanks Slow. Here at my house, Mr. Howler came out and told me. He got it off of Fox News. I tuned in, watched, then checked out CNN and Reuters. Looked believable to me so I posted here…and took it down and replaced it with the above after 15 minutes.

    From what I could tell, CNN expressed their state of pissed offedness more vocally than Fox News did. But both networks were covering it…sent their guests packing for a while to cover Potomac-guard-gate.

  29. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    I heard about it a little bit at work, but it wasn’t anything too exciting. OK, I just saw a Humane Society Animal Suffering commercial, and now I want to kill myself rather than live in a world where people mistreat animals like that. OMG. Anyway, I stopped by to bring tidings of hope and change (it’s even from msnbc):

  30. Slow, if you really want to barf, take a look here:

    Don’t kill yourself. Fight the bastards.

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