Friday, August 12, 2005

Homeland Insecurity

People used to travel the world to see the wonders of other civilizations. Now, we see the most mind-bogglingly bizarre things during travel. For instance, I recently watched what looked to be a ninety-pound, frail, old, crippled, wheelchair-bound, palsied woman being patted down and wanded in her wheelchair at the airport.

Can we stop looking for terrorists in the places they showed up previously and possibly try an educated guess at what high value targets are laying around unprotected. And when I say unprotected, I mean unprotected from people willing to die killing the guards, not crippled ladies.

Try this on for size: 5 guys go to a gun show and pick up some assault rifles and handguns. They can then blast their way into:
  • A nuclear power plant control room and start a meltdown. Millions dead.
  • A chemical plant, blow it up. Hundreds of thousands dead.
  • A natural gas LNG storage facility. Thousands dead.
  • Gas or Petroleum processing facility. Hundreds dead.
  • A repeat of the London bombings in New York. 40 dead.
Thank god we're putting on a good show of sort of protecting those high value trains and buses! We have to start learning. Setting up concentrations like security checkpoints is the same as creating new targets. They blow up checkpoints in Iraq, but then, they can't get at any higher density targets. We're leaving the high density targets open--like nukes, then creating new smaller targets.

The worst of the urban legend memes is the "dirty bomb." Oooh. Terrorists are going to get their hands on one and smuggle it into the country! Why Fucking Bother? Just shoot the guards at a nuclear plant and take the fucking waste out and dump it in the reserviour. Oh wait, thats Three Mile Island and they do that anyway. What makes people think they won't just Chernobyl the thing and kill everyone in the fucking state?

Here's Chernobyl downtown where nothing lives.

Also, a small town 25 miles away from Chernobyl and hot it looks like today. All part of a huge dead zone where nothing can live.

These pictures come from someone who used to live there. You can support her site here.

Can we also stop pretending that all terrorism comes from those other religions? Eric Rudolph and Timothy McVeigh weren't part of Hezbollah. Don't forget, the Christian Evangelicals think we're all dead anyway.

Update: I just watched the HBO special "Indian Point." Indian Point is the nuclear plant about 50 miles north of NYC on the Hudson. Security appears to be about as bad as anyone familiar with our government culture would guess. The funniest moment is the use of the fat, old guards with their M16s at the gatehouse. Here's a hint fellas, if the cameras can shoot you from the public street, so can a terrorist.

We still have this idea of security as a "show of force" rather than actual, real force. There's a reason they don't have armed guards in banks anymore. Over time, they found that all they were doing was providing a free gun to the robber, who could quickly take it away from just about any guard, because the element of surprise beats boredom every time.

The scariest moment comes after a former guard goes public to say the security is a joke. In response, the security gets evaluated and polls all of the security guards. Only 19% think they could repell an enemy attack.

If you want a look at what armed security looks like, have a stroll arount the Frankfurt Airport in Germany. Here you will find eagle-eyed, ramrod straight-backed special forces types straight from central casting with well-oiled machine guns cradled with such neural sensitivity, they appear to be natural extensions of their bodies. And these guys are patrolling. They eyes are sweeping the place constantly. If you saw it you would understand, the US is Mayberry RFD by comparison.


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