Monday, June 18, 2007

So what exactly did we spend 300 billion on?

Duct tape and plastic wrap?

WASHINGTON - Although the Bush administration has warned repeatedly about the threat of a terrorist nuclear attack and spent more than $300 billion to protect the homeland, the government remains ill-prepared to respond to a nuclear catastrophe.

Experts and government documents suggest that, absent a major preparedness push, the U.S. response to a mushroom cloud could be worse than the debacle after Hurricane Katrina, possibly contributing to civil disorder and costing thousands of lives.

"The United States is unprepared to mitigate the consequences of a nuclear attack," Pentagon analyst John Brinkerhoff concluded in a July 31, 2005, draft of a confidential memo to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "We were unable to find any group or office with a coherent approach to this very important aspect of homeland security. ...

"This is a bad situation. The threat of a nuclear attack is real, and action is needed now to learn how to deal with one."

After the article lists what HASN"T been done and what dangers the population faces if there were a nuclear bomb, it finishes:

Brinkerhoff wrote that people could build their own radiation-proof shelters if the government engaged in "large-scale civil defense planning" and gave them meters and dosimeters to monitor the radiation.

Since there hasn't been "any enthusiasm to address this kind of preparedness," Brinkerhoff concluded, the only choice for most people would be to flee.

Bush's Department of Homeland Security's defense plan: Run Away!!!


Steve Bates said...

I'll say my farewells in advance, as I'm certain Houston is on the short list of everyone who has a nuke, possibly even the GOP if Houston keeps electing Democrats and voting "D" in presidential elections.

As a kid, I regretted that my family was too poor to build a fallout shelter. As I aged, I came to many of the same conclusions as Tom Lehrer did. (See "Who's Next," "So Long, Mom, I'm Off to Drop the Bomb," "The Wild West is Where I Want to Be," and of course my favorite, "We Will All Go Together When We Go.")

The way to survive a nuclear catastrophe is never to have one in the first place. The Bushists aren't making that easy.

ellroon said...

You forgot the Bush anthem: We'll all be in Paraguay when you're glowing...

And I'm sure Los Angeles County would be a lovely place to irradiate....

Anonymous said...


When the rockets go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department, says Werner von Braun.

Anonymous said...

I think Bill O'Reilly has a bullseye target on us in the San Francisco bay area.

Is he a nuclear power?

Steve Bates said...

whig, I'm not sure, but I think O'Lielly, despite his claim of moral clarity, is an "unclear" power.

Yeah, I forgot the W.v.B. song... he's not hypocritical, just apolitical. I spent a pleasant hour after posting above chasing Tom Lehrer recordings on YouTube; there are a couple of them, from a live performance in a classroom, containing mathematical songs I'd never heard before. I'll post the links on the YDD in a day or two when I'm short of other material.

ellroon said...

O'Reilly has moral clarity? Is that before or after he cleans himself with a falafel?