Tuesday, November 10, 2009
(fm the BC thread "Twenty years after the End of History")
While the threat of a rogue nuke is real there are efforts to counter that, including the use of dosimeters by cargo inspectors both at the border and increasingly at the overseas point of embarkation. As this document indicates all CBP officers are walking alarms insofar as they wear dosimeters. In addition a search on cbp.gov for "radiation" will give more information on efforts to counter a known threat.
Do not neglect the very real threat that would be caused by less dramatic but still extremely disruptive attacks using simpler technology. The purpose of a terror attack is to induce terror and only secondarily to achieve the widespread physical damage caused by a nuclear blast.
A Dirty Bomb radiological device that is constructed from medical waste and ANFO (like the Oklahoma City bomb) could contaminate and more importantly shut down all economic activity in an effected area for weeks. Postal workers refused to work in a building that had handled the anthrax letters. The implications that targeting critical nodes could have on the economy are serious.
Some decades ago I believe that ABC TV had a special on a hypothetical terror attack using a refined petroleum (gasoline) tanker that entered NY harbor and emptied its cargo into the East River just below the Brooklyn Bridge. The result was a combustible slick in a confined space between a major population center and the financial district, then less populated than it is now. The ship itself would have been converted in the process of emptying its cargo into a more lethal trigger filled with a highly volatile gas vapor. In effect it would become a poor man's nuclear bomb.
For more on the concern that people had with the threat before 9-11 my advice is to read this, http://tinyurl.com/yfl9h9c. The 376 pages are worth your time and it is still useful. We knew the issues and were working the problem. The media and the Democrats working together to lull America back to sleep and give us Obama is all the more inexcusable.