A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration in the lead up to 9/11 and the failure of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to properly regulate the nuclear power industry. Now we’ve gone from the ridiculous to the sublime. Kim Jong Un has threatened to conduct a nuclear electromagnetic pulse missile test over the Pacific. Hawaii and Guam have issued warnings and distributed guidance to their citizens regarding precautions to take in the event of such an attack. The situation is dire because our government has failed to heed a decade of warnings from the Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack. A nuclear EMP attack would destroy electronics everywhere and black out our electric grid for an extended period. It would cripple the critical infrastructure necessary to maintain modern civilization. Our nuclear power plants would lose the electricity required to cool reactor cores and spent fuel pools. They would overheat and begin to spread toxins in about three weeks. The EMP Commission has said that millions of Americans would die from starvation, disease and the resulting societal collapse.
The debate surrounding the extent to which America is vulnerable to both man-made or naturally occurring electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and natural geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) has become superheated. To some, the dangers these phenomena pose are believed to be existential, while others portray EMP defense advocates as mad and believe its dangers unfounded or debatable. However, Duke Energy Corp. recently became an advocate for EMP/GMD defense by releasing its plan to link multiple power stations in an effort to create resiliency for its operations and customers. What is the root of the debate? The answer, as with many emerging national security issues, is nuanced and complex.
There are so many important issues that can directly affect each and every one of us, but the news media, exploiting sensationalism at the expense of providing us with needed information, seems intent upon fanning the flames of discontent, division and partisanship. Which news are you watching tonight? ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC or the Fox News Channel? Too often we find ourselves watching the one we trust, which really means the one with which we most agree. Some of us, in order to provide balance, switch back and forth from one news channel to another trying to figure out some semblance of truth.
Mr. Brian Sullivan, an ALPF Senior Fellow, received the medal for conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty during state service. Sullivan was recognized this week when the state unveiled a plaque naming all eight recipients of the award at National Guard headquarters at Hanscom Air Force Base.
In their report to the President and Congress the OSC established that there was gross mismanagement of the FAA’s Red Team, which resulted in a substantial and specific danger to public safety. Too bad the airlines, airport authorities and FAA did not address this prior to 9/11. The reason the FAA didn’t know what to do with the Red Team findings is that there were testing protocols established with the airlines to which FAA agents at airports had to adhere when conducting screening checkpoint tests. The Red Team and terrorists didn’t give a flip about testing protocols, they just wanted to defeat the system and, in Al Qaeda’s case, kill Americans, destroy the World Trade Center and strike the Pentagon.