Tuesday, September 08, 2009

EMP USED CAR SALESMAN


If you thought Katrina was bad just wait for the EMP sneak attack.

In the world of GOP electromagnetic pulse crazy, it's best to think upside down and counterintuitively.

For everyone in the United States except the GOP and George W. Bush, Hurricane Katrina's lesson was that the city was destroyed and disaster arrived while the administration looked on. When the GWB admin did do something, the moment which remains in everyone's memory is the atrociously self-serving and idiotic one: The President claiming one of his toadies -- the infamous "Brownie" -- the appointed head of FEMA, was doing a heckuva job.

But in GOP Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy-land, Katrina was just a forewarning, a preamble -- if you will, to much worse things which will happen if we don't wake up and do as the seers recommend. And that's to build more missile defense or gin up interest in bombing Iran pre-emptively before those scalawags send us all back to the time of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

For the curious, the above snapshot comes from Frank Gaffney's editorial on electromagnetic pulse doom in the Washington Times today here.

Gaffney has written numerous columns over the years on electromagnetic pulse doom, often published in the WaTimes, all generally ignored outside DC.

Way back in 2006, he was going on about it in the same place, recommending readers heed the advice of another famous electromagnetic pulse doom fearmonger, Curt Weldon.

"No one has done more than Curt Weldon to warn the nation against the potentially 'catastrophic' threat of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack . . " wrote Gaffney.

"[Weldon] has sought another closed-session of the House to apprise his colleagues, who remain largely uninformed of this megathreat, and to rouse them to the sort of decisive action they previously took on missile defense."

"Weldon [was tossed out of office by voters] anyway, the megathreat being not as compelling as the perception of crookedness, [when] the FBI is investigating you for influence peddling," DD wrote at the time.

However, this week the first national convention on electromagnetic pulse doom is being held in Niagara Falls by EMPAct America, starting in earnest tomorrow.

It will not surprise readers to find Frank Gaffney and Curt Weldon among the list of speakers and presenters at the conference. (See here.)

Naturally, the Washington Times op-ed does not inform readers of Gaffney's role in the EMPAct America conference, although he advertises for it in the piece. Everyone probably knows that in Washington, anyway, right?

So this is neither here nor there when it comes to the actual nature of affairs in the GOP's electromagnetic pulse crazy lobby. It's just the usual DC routine of using the media to feed and massage prospects.

More interestingly, this con is where GOP pols and ex-pols go for a cause as fringe as other fine beliefs espoused by EMPAct America speakers like Mike Huckabee and Trent Franks: Barack Obama isn't an American citizen and creationism.

Earlier in the year, DD gathered together a collection of videos made for Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy Theatre. They are here.

Beyond any doubt, Frank Gaffney made the best one. It's a white-knuckled techno-thrilling short of a missile attack on the continental United States which concludes with the stirring words: "A terrorist's dream, an American nightmare!"

And in July, the electromagnetic pulse lobby had its shot in a Congressional hearing, as it has in many years past.

"[An electromagnetic pulse attack is] a giant time machine that would move us back in technology a century," said Congressman Roscoe Bartlett -- one of EMPAct America's leading spokesmen, before the House Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology. (See here.)

Despite successfully hijacking the hearing, which was supposed to be primarily on the reliability of the electrical grid and its cybersecurity risk profile, the EMP lobby (meaning Bartlett and one of the authors of a report which is used by the EMP lobby like a copy of the Ten Commandments on a stone tablet) was given the same silent brush-off it has received in the past.

The electromagnetic pulse crazy lobby continues to work hard on its press profile. And news stories in out-of-the-way venues like the Niagara Gazette have published the forlorn admonishment that no one is paying attention.

[Few] have heeded these [EMP] warnings," reads the newspaper from yesterday.

"Only the Amish and others not reliant on late 20th -- much less our 21st -- century technology would escape unscathed ... discussion of EMP has all but dried up," fretted a reporter at US News & World Report in July.

"It sits in a long range of hysterical predictions about nukes that have been going on since 1945," said someone to the Buffalo News, also in July. Hmmm, that didn't turn out so well.

Expect more stuff from EMPAct America this week and over the weekend, particularly if news is slow.



Related:

The Saga of Operation Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy

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