Friday, March 21, 2003
Unlearned lessons. As the Iraq war continues, it becomes clearer than nothing was learned by the Bush administration from the events of September 11, 2001. The focus on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction ignores the simple fact that 9/11 was a weaponless attack, involving the misuse of benign and commonplace technologies — commercial jets and high-rise office buildings — in new and malignant ways.
But if the White House is obliviously focusing on the supposed Iraqi threat, others in government are concerned about the real threats. This is an excerpt of just the first two paragraphs of a 46-page document from the General Accounting Office ( PDF file): More than a million times 123 is roughly half the US population.
Chemical facilities may be attractive targets for terrorists intent on causing economic harm and loss of life. Many facilities exist in populated areas where a chemical release could threaten thousands. EPA reports that 123 chemical facilities located throughout the nation have toxic “worst-case” scenarios where more than a million people in the surrounding area could be at risk of exposure to a cloud of toxic gas if a release occurred. To date, no one has comprehensively assessed the security of chemical facilities.
No federal laws explicitly require that chemical facilities assess vulnerabilities or take security actions to safeguard their facilities from attack.
While Tom Ridge fingerpaints with his terror colors and Rumsfeld serves as Secretary of Offense, no one's minding the security of the country itself — except for the same GAO that Dick Cheney has effectively (and partisanly) silenced.
GAO link via Cryptome.
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A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party
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First Command fifty percent load
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