2011: Third Echelon Conspiracy Edit
During the attempted coup perpetrated by Tom Reed and a private military company called Black Arrow, two electromagnetic (EMP) devices were detonated in Washington, D.C. These EMPs shut down most of the electronic defenses in the White House, while Reed used his power as Third Echelon director to shut down the rest. After this, Third Echelon assault units and Black Arrow mercernaries attacked the White House complex in an attempt to kill President Patricia Caldwell.
However, Anna Grímsdóttir was able to warn the Secret Service about the incoming attack, since Black Arrow and Third Echelon forces were forced to fight their way through a security checkpoint, across the South Lawn, and into the Executive Residence. Despite having over a three-to-one advantage, the Secret Service were eventually forced to retreat back into the West Wing and the Oval Office itself. Why they did not evacuate the President into the bunker beneath the White House is unknown. Third Echelon troops escorted Vice President Calvin Samson to the ballroom in the Mansion, where he would make a national address stating that Sam Fisher had killed President Caldwell and that he was assuming the presidency.
Whilst the Secret Service and President Caldwell were retreating to the West Wing, Sam Fisher arrived and fought his way into the East Wing. He found Vice President Calvin Samson and, after realizing he had no time to interrogate him, wounded the Vice President to keep him 'secure'. Fisher was forced to kill Third Echelon troops that stood in his way, including Splinter Cell operatives he had trained. Fisher made it to the West Wing minutes after Reed entered the Oval Office and took President Caldwell hostage. Grímsdóttir and Fisher bluffed their way into the Oval Office and listened to Reed's excuses for attacking his own country. Fisher was able to gain the upper hand by disarming Reed and kill the remaining Splinter Cells. Interrogating him, Sam learned that Reed had been the mole in Third Echelon that Irving Lambert had been attempting to uncover prior to his death.
By this time, the United States Army had moved troops into Washington, D.C. and began to retake the White House from the remaining Black Arrow and Third Echelon commandos. Two soldiers reached the Oval Office and evacuated President Caldwell from the building. After this, either Sam or Grímsdóttir executed Tom Reed. Fisher then left the White House.
President David Bowers was seen giving televised speeches from the press room in the White House during Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. In Chaos Theory, President Bowers is seen conversing with Secretary of Defense Frank Mason and Colonel Irving Lambert in what is possibly a bunker beneath the White House.
- In Splinter Cell: Conviction, it is odd to note that, while the Secret Service had a huge numerical advantage over the Third Echelon commandos, there are no corpses of Third Echelon troops in the White House or on the South Lawn. However, there are dozens of dead Secret Service agents found throughout the building.
- Local D.C. metro police officers can be found dead on the South Lawn.
- The layout of the Oval Office is incorrect. Where one of the bookcases along the left wall is should be a door leading to the President's secretary's office.
- If the player already upgrades their P228 with the Extended Magazine upgrade, Laser sight, or both, Reed's P228 will automatically equipped with those upgrades when Sam disarms him.
- Secret Service have been seen in this level, particularly in the last part with three agents (two looking like the tails from the Washington Monument) facing five or six Third Echelon agents. After a brutal engagement, the Secret Service kill a 3E agent, but in the process, are flashbanged and then killed by a frag grenade. This is the only Third Echelon agent killed by Secret Service.
- The firefight between the Secret Service and Splinter Cell operatives is shown as a 'still' in the main menu of Splinter Cell: Conviction as the camera moves between different parts of the struggle.