OPERATION ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE -- A to Z
Next up, a survey of all the press the GOP electromagnetic pulse crazy lobby placed over the last ninety days, in excerpts. (Minus larger opinion pieces placed directly by the EMP Crazy lobby members, covered earlier on this blog. And since this blog has already covered all the major GOP politicians and celebrities involved with it -- Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Curt Weldon, Trent Franks, Roscoe Bartlett, Pete Hoekstra, etc -- their contributions can be more finely delved in the link at the very foot of the piece.)
Readers again notice it's exclusively the property of the crank GOP right, now the great norm of the party. But unlike the more pressing and obvious problem of reforming healthcare nationwide, the GOP is for acting on electromagnetic pulse menace although the issue has no patrons as powerful as the health insurance industry and big pharma. By contrast, EMP draws from the missile defense industry lobby -- which was dealt a blow today
. The missile defense lobby is also functionally equivalent to the Bomb Iran lobby.
In addition, readers will see some of the press -- handled by reporters at off-the-page dailies -- suffered from uniquely mind-numbing opening lines, spun off variations on the memes -- 'it sounds like science fiction' and 'it's an American nightmare.'
Chronologically, going backward through the summer:
"It sounds like a science-fiction disaster: A nuclear weapon is detonated miles above the Earth's atmosphere and knocks out power from New York City to Chicago for weeks, maybe months. Experts and lawmakers are increasingly warning that terrorists or enemy states could wage that exact type of attack, idling electricity grids and disrupting everything from communications networks to military defenses." -- USA Today
, Sept. 16
"[Mike Huckabee], an unsuccessful 2008 Republican presidential candidate, warned "Islamo-fascists" could instigate EMP with a nuclear weapon ... 'Somebody who doesn't like us might say, wouldn't that be a great way to shut down the United States of America?' Huckabee said. 'It would have a more immediate and long-term social and economic upheaval than any other attack could produce.' " -- Buffalo News
, Sept. 11GOP pols from Idaho using it for a small local pork project.
"$1 million, Idaho National Laboratory, Electric Grid Reliability/Assurance - Idaho Falls. This project would develop the capability to perform research and testing of the effects of Electromagnetic Pulse attacks on the electric power grid and associated control systems, critical communications systems, and other defense critical infrastructure ... Idaho funding requests for defense and military-related projects submitted by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch were approved today by the Senate Appropriations Committee." -- State News Service
, Sept. 11
"For a country as utterly dependent on electronics and electricity as the United States, it's a nightmarish scenario. Imagine a weapon that can disable our electrical grid ..." -- Buffalo News
, Sept. 11
"It sounded like the story of a blockbuster Hollywood movie or the topic of a History Channel disaster documentary ... 'The bad actors who want to attempt this are out there,' said Dr. Fritz Ermarth, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council. 'There is very little evidence they are losing interest (in an EMP attack).' " -- Niagara Gazette, Tonowanda News
, Sept. 10
"It sounds like something straight out of a movie -- a science fiction movie, really. A terrorist attack on the U.S. involving a nuclear bomb detonated in the sky above us with the resulting electromagnetic pulse (EMP) shutting down all electronic devices." -- Niagara Gazette
, Sept. 9The next piece representes the Bomb Iran lobby and was published in the Jerusalem Post on Sept. 4.
"Furthermore, Teheran's successful upgrade of its ballistic missiles to satellite launchers has given it the capacity to launch nuclear weapons into the atmosphere. This renders Iran capable of launching an electromagnetic pulse attack from sea against just about any country. An EMP attack can destroy a state's electromagnetic grid and thus take a 21st-century economy back to the pre-industrial era. Such an attack on the US, for instance, would cripple the American economy, and render the US government at all levels incapable of restoring order or preventing mass starvation ... The route to [bomb] Iran is also open. Various leaked reports indicate that Saudi Arabia has given Israel a green light to overfly its airspace en route to Iran."Next up, the limited Doomsday movie scenario, suitable for movie-making, a piece done in the style of thinking-the-unthinkable, a practice which -- sadly -- did not seem to suffer any industry-wide lay-offs during this recession.
"In this scenario, terrorists who strike Northern Virginia on September 11, 2010, do not need a nuclear weapon to shut down the region's computers. Instead, they use homemade EMP-generator bombs that any good engineering student can build with $400 and information found on the Internet. They detonate nine of the bombs within a triangle stretching from McLean west to Dulles International Airport and south to Chantilly. The EMP blasts take down communications and navigation equipment at Dulles, some of the less critical computers at CIA headquarters in Langley, and data centers that carry some 40% of the world's Internet traffic. With police unable to use radios, computers, and cell phones, the terrorists escape. It is eight months before they are identified. Only one of the six-member team will be captured in the next two years. A similar bomb, detonated near Wall Street, acts as a "weapon of mass disruption," sowing chaos and fear." -- the Futurist
, September issue
"New technologies, including electromagnetic pulse weapons, that could knock out our electrical grid and paralyze our country, will soon be part of our enemy's arsenals -- if they're not already. Given the threat to millions of American lives -- not to mention millions of our allies -- reducing missile defense is both dangerous and irresponsible. President Obama should rethink his decision to pull back on missile defense before it's too late." -- Investor's Business Daily
, Aug. 31Incidentally, Investor's is the same publication that received a slapdown from Stephen Hawking after absurdly using him as an example of someone who would be dead under the British healthcare system.
"The smarter the electric grid, the more susceptible it is to electromagnetic attacks from above, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett warned today ... The Maryland Republican argued on National Public Radio's 'Science Friday' that the United States must act to protect the 'smart grid' that electric utilities are hoping to develop from terrorist attacks ... As the stimulus law pumps billions of dollars into building a digital smart grid, the system risks approaching a 'tipping point' that would make it easy prey for rogue states or even Russia, Bartlett said." -- Environment & Energy
, Aug. 13
"Sounds like something from a science fiction movies, doesn't it? Well, it's not. It's called EMP, electromagnetic pulse, and we first heard a lot about it back in 1981, remember then? One big blast from an EMP pulse would send all of us scrambling and practically shut down our economy. Well, we haven't heard much about it since then, but my next guest has revived EMP because he says that upgrading the nation's electricity system to a smart grid could make the problem even worse." -- Ira Flatow, NPR
, Aug. 14
"Trying not to sound like a fear-monger or something out of Ian Fleming or Tom Clancy novel, Steuben Foods chairman and founder Henry Schwartz has started a grassroots group aimed at alternately warning and educating Americans about what he considers to be serious threats against national security." -- Buffalo Business First
, July 28 The next excerpt was published by the Heritage Foundation, unbylined, through the State News Service. It was written by Heritage employee James Jay Carafano and was also published through examiner.com.
The Heritage Foundation is functionally a policy organ for the GOP. It gathers various suspect ideas -- that healthcare reform must be defeated, that the welfare class is getting too much in entitlements and undeserved stuff, that the rich are being taxed too much, that global warming, while no longer a cruel hoax, if dealt with will result in diminished US business, poorness for the wealthy and a much weakened military -- and employs its stable of bought-and-paid-for experts to craft pieces which exhort readers on the excellence of such beliefs.
It was notably dubbed a propaganda shop by Paul Krugman. "Pentagon Should Battle Pirates and Terrorists with Laser Technology" -- one example of Heritage work, was singled out for ridicule more recently.
"Picture a massive tsunami, but with lightning instead of water. And, like the surge produced by lightning, electrical systems act like antennas sucking down a rush of electrons that fry circuits and burn out microchips. -- James Jay Carafano, Heritage, distributed by the State News Service
, July 28Carafano also published for Heritage at Family Security Matters, another right wing prop publication. That particular piece, from July 6, warned of EMP doom and bemoaned the Obama administration's cutting of missile defense and boosting of the popular cash-for-clunkers program, one presumes at the expense of critical national defense.
"What happens if the entire world, or as least the United States, was hit by an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) that would wipe out every bit of electricity and power that we've worked so hard to build up the past few centuries?" -- Cedar Rapids Gazette
, July 26
"The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack had one eye on recent Iranian tests above the Caspian Sea." -- Pittsburgh Tribune
, July 12 (The PT, a Richard M. Scaife property, is part of the missile defense lobby.)
"[Experts] fear North Korea could hitch a small nuclear warhead to a rocket and launch it from a trawler; this 'SCUD in a tub' would trigger an electromagnetic pulse designed to destroy large portions of America's electrical grid." -- Pittsburgh Tribune
, different story, same day.
Finally, one letter to the editor in the Philadelphia Inquirer, after GOP extremist and former Pennsy senator Rick Santorum's piece on EMP doom in the newspaper in late August.
"Unfortunately for Rick Santorum's dreams of avarice and boondoggles, the words of the 1983 movie War Games
are still as true as they ever were: 'The only winning move is not to play.'
"Santorum is absolutely correct in saying that an electromagnetic pulse would be enormously destructive. But the missile-defense program does not provide any sort of answer as, after a half-century of shoveling billions upon billions of dollars into it, it shows no signs of ever being operational.
"The only real function that either an EMP program or the continued missile-defense program has ever had and ever will have is to transfer money from taxpayers to defense contractors." -- Philadelphia Inquirer
letters page, Aug. 30
-- from the archives of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy
On the US Missile Defense Lobby at Armchair Generalist
If you found this read an absorbing one, you sure won't want to miss: Values Voters, electromagnetic pulse, and the movie that could save our country