They have also been pushing us to believe that the sole surviving bomber was just a victim of circumstance and his older brother's evil influence. It is time that we all woke up and recognized some immutable facts about the real dangers we are facing.
The following is excerpted from Imprimis
By Brian T. Kennedy
Harold Rood, a professor of international relations at Claremont McKenna College who died in 2011, was not as well known as he was influential. A soldier in Patton’s army in World War II, he taught his students that war is permanent to the human condition, and that in war it is better to win, for no one ever had to accommodate a loser. America will always have enemies, he told them, and those enemies will forever be planning and expending resources to place themselves in a position to defeat us. It would be nice if it was otherwise, he was fond of saying, but it is not otherwise. It is the way the world works.
The U.S. is increasingly and dangerously vulnerable, and our elected leaders appear oblivious.
The San Jose Attack
Last April 16, just outside of San Jose, California, a group of terrorists or soldiers, operating on American soil, attacked the Metcalf transmission substation in a military action aimed at disabling a part of America’s electrical infrastructure. The operation began at 1:00 a.m., when the attackers cut underground fiber optic cables, disabling communications and security systems.
Thirty minutes later, using high-powered rifles, they began a 20-minute assault on the substation’s extra-large transformer and the cooling system that supports it. Police arrived at 1:50, but the shooters disappeared into the night. To this day there is no trace of them.
John Wellinghoff, then chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would call this attack “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving [America’s electrical] grid that has ever occurred.” Obviously it was a professional operation by skilled marksmen—estimates of the number of gunmen range from two to six—with training in reconnaissance, stealth, and evasion. That the plan went undetected, the casings from the spent shells bore no fingerprints, and the perpetrators have not been caught, suggests a high degree of intelligence. Damage to the facility forced electricity to be rerouted to maintain the integrity of power transmission to the Silicon Valley, and repairs took several months.
The political response to the attack ranged from an immediate dismissal by the FBI of the idea that it was a terrorist act—puzzling given its sophistication and its proximity in time to the Boston bombing—to recognition by a bipartisan but small group of U.S. Senators and Representatives that defending America’s electrical grid is an urgent priority. Although there are over 100,000 transformers of all sizes throughout the grid, the destruction of less than two dozen key large transformers—which weigh hundreds of tons, are transported on special rail cars, and are mostly produced in Korea—would cause a catastrophic failure that would blackout the United States. Such is the vulnerability of the system.
America’s electrical grid is vulnerable not only to San Jose-style attacks, but to an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack—a nuclear explosion in the high atmosphere, creating an electro-magnetic pulse that destroys electrical wiring and hardware across the affected area. Such an explosion placed over the center of the U.S. could destroy the infrastructure that distributes electricity to consumers and industrial users in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. This phenomenon has been well understood since the 1960s, and Cold War–era nuclear strategy assumed that a nuclear attack on population centers would be accompanied by an EMP attack in order to disable an enemy’s command and control system.
The Boston Attack
Immigrant brothers Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev—the former a student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the latter a sometime recipient of taxpayer largesse in the form of welfare—appear to have read an Internet publication of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula—likely the creation of the late American-born imam and al Qaeda commander Anwar Al’Awlaki—called Inspire. It was there that they came across an illustrated article on “how to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.”
Each and every issue of this publication seeks to inspire action against America as Islam’s number one enemy. Last spring it contained a piece by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Commander Qassim Ar-Reimy, which read in part:
O American nation, indeed, your security is not achieved by despoiling other nations’ security or by attacking and oppressing them . . . . Do you dare think that after all this you will be salvaged and feel secure? Nay! Instead, everyday you will be hit by the unexpected and your leaders can repel nothing! Hence, blame none but yourselves. Gulp the bitterness of war, death, destruction and insecurity as other oppressed humans do.
O American nation, did the war end with the killing of Sheikh Usama bin Laden (may Allah accept him) like your leaders lied unto you? The Boston events . . . indicate that . . . operations against you has taken a path which can be controlled not. Because making these bombs has become in everyone’s hand reach. They have this way and a bit of thinking, choosing a location which will damage your economy and terrify your hearts, thence you will pray for woes and destruction.
We have today between five and ten million Muslims in the United States; and in surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center, 21 percent of these Muslims find suicide bombing acceptable and five percent have a favorable view of al Qaeda.
That may be a low percentage, but five percent of five to ten million is a lot of people. Often these Muslims are radicalized by foreign agents such as the publishers of Inspire—as well, it must be said, as by the ideological left in our schools and in Hollywood, who tirelessly and tiresomely portray America as an oppressive country with a tradition of exploiting its minorities at home and third world peoples abroad.
In any case, such a large and disaffected population presents a real problem in a free society such as ours, which is based on ideas like religious freedom and individual rights. We must hold firm to these ideas, which are the source of our greatness. But we must not be blind to the presence of those who seek to destroy us by taking advantage of our freedom.
Today these groups not only take advantage of the protection of our laws to work toward our destruction, but are officially recognized as representatives of American Muslims by officials in the White House, at the FBI, and elsewhere. At the same time, we should institute an educational program of assimilation, teaching immigrants the virtues of the American creed of equal rights, civil and religious liberty, and the rule of law under the Constitution.
Here is Abraham Lincoln in a speech in 1838:
All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
As a nation of freemen today, we are courting suicide by ignoring clear and present dangers. Our elected representatives have eyes but do not see, and they have ears but do not hear. We must awaken ourselves, and then awaken them, before it is too late.