March 17, 2005

We've Done Your Homework

The Department of Homeland Security, trying to focus antiterrorism spending better nationwide, has identified a dozen possible strikes it views as most plausible or devastating, including detonation of a nuclear device in a major city, release of sarin nerve agent in office buildings and a truck bombing of a sports arena.

The document, known simply as the National Planning Scenarios, reads more like a doomsday plan, offering estimates of the probable deaths and economic damage caused by each type of attack.

They include blowing up a chlorine tank, killing 17,500 people and injuring more than 100,000; spreading pneumonic plague in the bathrooms of an airport, sports arena and train station, killing 2,500 and sickening 8,000 worldwide; and infecting cattle with foot-and-mouth disease at several sites, costing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Specific locations are not named because the events could unfold in many major metropolitan or rural areas, the document says. - nytimes.com

It seems very generous of the USA to develop this document - I never would have thought of a pneumonic plague one. I wonder if the terrorists are interested? The foot-n-mouth thing would be a cunning economic attack and almost impossible to detect early enough to contain.

Also, just another snippet on those "video news releases", this time from a nytimes editorial:
Most of these tapes are very skillfully done, including "interviews" that seem genuine and "reporters" who look much like the real thing. Only sophisticated viewers would easily recognize that these videos are actually unpaid commercial announcements for the White House or some other part of the government. Some of the videos clearly cross the line into the proscribed territory of propaganda, and the Government Accountability Office says at least two were illegally distributed.

Bizarre. In NZ, we seem to make MP's resign at the first whiff of publicly-known impropriety. Can you imagine Question Time after the Govt. got nicked for illegal video/propaganda?!

Precious right for the TV News crews to film QT must be preserved. If the Govt. is the only one allowed to film proceedings, we've got the fox watching the hen-house.

Posted by phreq at March 17, 2005 05:39 AM | TrackBack
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