Aug 16 2006

Dem Nuclear Scare Tactics

Published by at 6:26 pm under 2006 Elections,All General Discussions

I was watching the all stars roundtable on Special Report and was wondering where in the world all the fretting over a nuclear bomb getting through our shipping system was coming from only to find indications of a coordinated (and very naive) scare campaign being run regarding our national security. First off, we should not be exposing any weaknesses with regards to our security and nuclear threats, even during an elections year. But thankfully the discussion to date is all PR scare tactics as opposed to knowledgeable debate. And it is all old news in a new wrapper.

First note this well timed ‘news article’ regarding something known since 9-11 – the threat of a nuclear bomb in a shipping container:

A nuclear explosion at the Port of Long Beach could kill 60,000 people immediately, expose 150,000 more to hazardous radiation and cause 10 times the economic loss of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, according to a new Rand Corp. study.

The study released Tuesday by the Santa Monica-based think tank was the latest to address concerns about the possible vulnerability of the nation’s ports.

It analyzed the possible effects of terrorists detonating a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb in a shipping container unloaded onto a Long Beach pier.

Well duh. We have had this story around forever (here, here, here, here and here to name a few). This is not new and the answer is pretty straight forward – check the cargo at the point of departure. Unfortunately, Dems and Reps both screwed up when they attacked DPW, the Dubai company that was ready to operate some of our port terminals. A key part of the deal was their willingness to fund the implementation of the most sophisticated container examinations systems at the ports they manage overseas – many of which supply our country. DPW was going to pre-scan the cargo coming here, but we nixed that defense really quick.

Then there was the outrage on the left when it was learned gieger counters were being used to check for nuclear material by making measurements from the street, thus avoiding a search warrent. The left went beserk over this effort (read their classless comments here). How could the left be so against checking for nukes only a year ago and now run around as if we are all about to be fried by one any minute?

In fact, the looney left seems to have decided that, since we now know we were under threat of attack from the UK, that they would use fear mongering in the manner they spent the last year claiming Bush used to sow fear! Want hypocrisy? Every time you see a Dem run to the TV cameras to claim how unsafe we are (in their latest PR game) just look back here, here, here, here and here and ask yourself why we should take these people serious? The Dems aren’t using this as a concern, their using it as a campaign issue. After years of losing the national security debate because the left never took threats seriously, the left has all of a sudden decided to use their own parody of reality and run around trying to scare people! Talk about believing your own BS too much.

Let me say something about nukes on ships. We will not stop a nuke through container searches on the docks. The docks are too late. We have ways of detecting the big nukes, but we need to make sure we stop plots while they are in the planning stage (like last week) and not in the act. A nuke on a ship simply needs to get into the harbor, near the docks, under a key bridge, next to an ocean liner. A terrorist nuke will not need to make it all the way to our shores. Docked at our shores will suffice. That is why detection systems – which do exist on the docks – are the fail safe, last line of defense. We need many layers of defenses. Obviously we have some defenses or the Port of Seattle would not be on alert right now.

The left is apparently implementing a coordinated misinformation campaign of fear in hopes to gain votes. Their previous complaints about searches and their exposure of the terrorist surveillance programs indicates their new found fear is more opportunistic than finally ‘getting it’. Am I surprised this report caused a liberal media person to bring up the specter of mushroom clouds over our ports? Not at all. I will be surprised if the new media doesn’t call the dems on this stagecraft – that would shock me.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Dem Nuclear Scare Tactics”

  1. luc says:

    It seems to me that such a campaign by the left is not only stupid but counterproductive as well, seen that it can be easily refuted by asking what steps are they proposing to prevent such an attack; Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan?

  2. For Enforcement says:

    WAIT!! WAIT!!! You forgot the most important thing we can do to prevent an attack.. We can TALK to them….

    That is the typical Dem answer, carry on a dialogue. Sure carry on a conversation with Ahm a Nut Job and I’m sure he’ll change his mind about Wiping Israel and the US off the map. Sure he will. Ask a Democrat

  3. OleJim says:

    And the basic physics of using Gieger counters to find a plutonium-based thermonuclear device is whistling in the graveyard. I posed the question to a nuclear physicist: Could a container be bombarded with some sort of monochromatic gamma source, excite the plutonium to then give off some characteristic gamma that could be found. He laughed. It was a nice theory, but in a practical world, that kind of procedure needs to be really, really close–thus the container is opened and inspected minutely before my bright idea would be conceptually workable.
    Well, we remain worried about this potential, but rumor has it that the devices have already entered the country a few years ago. Unfortunately, the plutonium has a very long half-life.

  4. For Enforcement says:

    OleJim, I’m not in any way a nuclear expert, so I just did a “plutonium geiger counter searce on Google to see what it would say. If I interpret what your point is, it is that plutonium can’t be normally detected with a geiger counter. I won’t question your ‘nuclear physicist’ friend (hell I don’t even know a nuclear physicist) but it does seem like there are several ways to detect extremely small instances of plutonium radiation, normally they are called things like dosimeters, coming in film and pocket types. These measure very trace amounts of plutonium radiation. One article also states that the right kind of geiger counter will pick up trace quantites of plutonium. Another article talks about detecting trace amounts of radiation in salmon with a geiger counter. And that is standing on the bank of the river. (I don’t personally believe that story, but it was signed by a nuclear scientist at Sandia National Laboratories) So, I guess anyone can believe or not believe whatever they want to. But I think the gist of the original story was that detection devices(not necessarily limited to geiger counters) were used to monitor these places around Washington. Rumor has it? I believe the government probably has good intelligence about nuclear devices in the US.

    I will agree with AJ that if we wait for a bomb to be detected after it gets into a US port, we’ll probably be the conflagrated detector.
    Every container should be certified prior to being loaded for shipment to the US. I don’t think that would stop the hand wringing on the part of Dems that just want a campaign issue.

  5. az redneck says:

    As a former physics teacher, I can tell you that the technology has proceeded beyond dosimeter-type devices for some years now. The problem is that you can reduce their effectiveness with shielding (as in lead sheeting).
    The good news is that weapons grade plutonium (a fusion type bomb) is the most difficult to find, while a “dirty” bomb (the most likely) contains emitting isotopes that are much easier to detect.
    As with any agent, difficult detection does not mean impossible. There’s always a solution, but unfortunately also a means to bypass. True for chem/bio agents as well.
    That don’t mean we quit!