"This is how Armageddon would start," explains defense expert. How dedicated is Washington to protecting America from EMP as a weapon of genocide?

Electric Grid Still Vulnerable to Electromagnetic Weaponry by Janet Raloff, for Science News' Science & the Public Blog, July 27, 2009
[An EMP weapon] makes a great equalizer for small nations looking to stand up to military Goliaths, argues Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (Rep.-Md.), a former research scientist and engineer who has worked in the past on projects for NASA and the military. All one needs to wreak some serious EMP damage, he charges, is a sea-worthy steamer, $100,000 to buy a scud-missile launcher, and a crude nuclear weapon. Then fling the device high into the air and detonate its warhead.

Bartlett brought up questions about the power industry’s vulnerability to EMPs this morning at a House Science subcommittee hearing convened to look at what’s needed to roll out a nationwide “smart grid.”

Western society’s vulnerability to EMPs is very real, acknowledged Suedeen Kelly, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member who testified at today’s hearing.

“This is indeed a very serious concern that we must address in the context of the smart grid,” added George Arnold of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md. On the bright side, he said that at least some manufacturers are “sensitive to the issue” and have informed smart-grid developers of efforts being investigated to harden key circuitry.

However, Arnold cited a report on the nation’s EMP vulnerabilities that concluded it’s not practical to try and protect the entire electrical power system — or even all high-value components. So priorities will have to be set as to which assets are most critical,and then focus on shielding them.
EMPACT America leader, Avi Schnurr, discussed offsetting the mutual electrical threats from either an EMP or potentially devastating solar-storms expected in 2-3 years. Mr. Schnurr offered these remarks at Los Angeles International Airport - a few days before he would address a meeting of British parliamentarians in London.

Mr. Schnurr's EMPACT America organization is sponsoring a national EMP conference which is open to the public. It will be held on Sept 8-10 at the Niagara Falls Conference Center in upstate NY. (For registration info, please email (privacy assured).

Washington Examiner columnist, James Jay Carafano (senior research fellow for national security at The Heritage Foundation) wrote today An EMP attack: Thinking the Unthinkable - July 27, 2009:
EMP problem isn't talked about much, yes. But not because responsible people think it's a sci-fi scenario. They don't talk about it because they are so overwhelmed by the challenges such an attack would pose.

If, for example, an enemy detonated a nuclear weapon carried on a ballistic missile 200 miles or so above the earth, people on the ground might never know an attack occurred. But if the explosion happened high enough over North America, the blossom of EMP might cover the entire United States.

Last year, a congressional commission studied how a high-altitude EMP strike would affect the nation's infrastructure. The answer was simple: It would be devastating. The entire U.S. electrical grid might be gone and all the instruments of daily life that depend on electrical power useless. Life in United States, concluded the commission's chair, scientist William Graham, "would be a lot like life in the 1800s," except with a significantly bigger population.

Just keeping modern-day America fed would be virtually impossible without working transportation or communications systems. Water pumping and sewage treatment plants would be off-line. Modern medical care would be virtually non-existent. Even if the rest of the world mustered the largest humanitarian mission in human history, the suffering would be unprecedented.  EMP attacks are often thought off of as attacks against the U.S. infrastructure. But the truth is a large-scale EMP attack would be an instrument of genocide.

Washington is truly out to lunch on this one. Both the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security place dealing with the threat of catastrophic attack high on their lists of what keeps them up at night. Yet DHS doesn't include an EMP as one of their disaster-planning scenarios.

As for the Pentagon, Secretary Gates just cut 10 percent of the missile-defense budget, the best weapons we have to prevent EMP attacks. The Congress is equally in la-la land. Having commissioned the EMP report and accepted its findings, last week the Senate joined the House in rubber-stamping Gates' missile-defense cuts

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