9.03.2004

OK prepare to be depressed. I'm not sure I sould even be writing about this but here goes. I was at an open house type event for a major defense contractor. No classified information was on display, just your run of the mill carnival type kiosks except for one booth. I was leaving and noticed out of the corner of my eye what looked like a bomb going off in a city on their big LCD display. I stopped, turned around and went back to ask the guy what this was all about. He said that it was a demonstration of explosions, stuff they couldn't do in real life any more since nuclear weapons testing was banned. He had a very high resolution 3D map of what looked like a major city. on one of the streets, a virtual bomb went off. I've seen a bunch of documentaries on this stuff, Blinding Horizon, Trinity and Beyond, etc. and what I saw in this booth was scarier than anything in those documentaries. I know a lot about this stuff, it always interested me so I was able to hold a fairly intelligent conversation with the guy. He said they run the simulations at Sandia National Labs which didn't surprise me, they have some of the biggest super computers know to man. Looking at the explosion on the screen just tearing apart buildings in a huge radius, I knew it wasn't a truck bomb I was looking at so I asked the guy if I was looking at a nuclear bomb. A one kiloton a-bomb is the equivalent one thousand tons of TNT. He said that it was a ten kiloton bomb that I was looking at in the simulation.

Now here's where it gets weird. George Will is probably my favorite writer, he's the only reason I read newsweeek. I was reading one of his articles and it struck me...
"In December 1994, Czech police seized more than eight pounds of HEU in a parked car on a side street. A senior al Qaeda aide's proclaimed goal of killing 4 million Americans would require 1,400 9/11s, or one 10-kiloton nuclear explosion — from a softball-sized lump of fissionable material — in four large American cities...In 1993, U.S. officials used ordinary bolt cutters to snip off the padlock that was the only security at an abandoned Soviet-era facility containing enough HEU for 20 nuclear weapons."

HEU is highly enriched Uranium. The guts of one of these bombs. So what I was looking at was a 3D, birds eye view of the most likely scenario of what's likely going to happen over here in the next few years. Reading Foreign Affairs isn't helping my nerves either because most of the people that write about this stuff are convinced that this is inevitable. Even the articles that claim to explain how to prevent it debate how we should respond and what the world will look like afterward.

I wish I knew what city I was looking at in the simulation. It didn't look like San Diego which is kind of nice I guess.
There is an equation used to predict the existance of life on other planets. One of the major factors that decreases the odds is a variable for the likelyhood of a civilization blowing itself to pieces with nuclear bombs.

It makes me wish I hadn't seen that simulation. Ignorace is bliss right? Sorry for ruining your day.

UPDATE: Lockheed Martin just visited my blog. Now it's sorta scary because they've never visited and now I post about defense contractors and here they are. The weird bit is that my post was today and Google hasn't updated yet so how the hell would they know to come check it out?

13 Comments:

Blogger GovernmentBAAAAAADGovernmentGOOOOOOD said...

George Will is the best.


Hmm I think I've heard this story before. Its so scary. Since I'm moving back east to either the first or second biggest target in the U.S. I have been constantly thinking about this. I don't know what to think. On one had I think damn this situation is rediculous and if its as bad as all these writers and tv people explain then we are all screwed.

On the other hand if this is the case its been like this since the fall of the USSR. So for the past 14 or 15 years these weapons have been this accessable to terrorists and they have not used them? Why not? We know Al-Queda wants to, or at least thats what we are told. Why would they not have already done this? I have to think its suspicious that we haven't been hit with one. Why would they waste their time with 9/11 and the years and years of planning it took when they simply could have hit us with a Nuc? I have to think there is more to it. We have no idea what is realy going on. I love George Will but how does he really know the situation is that bad? I know we hear that reports just walked in and could have taken anything but come on....I have to think this is exaggerated and is just part of the normal media scare tactics.

Another reason why I have confidence in DC's safety is psychology. The very people who are in charge of protecting us from an attack such as this are the biggest target. If a Nuc goes off in Manhattan it would be such a huge hit to this country BUT I don't think the country would fall apart. As long as Washington DC is intact then our Democracy as we know it will go on, BUT if DC is destroyed along with the Pres, Vice Pres and all the leadership is wiped out, then what happens? I know we are supposed to have some government in the mountains somewhere ready to take over but how effective will that be? I think there is a good chance anarchy would take over no matter what this hidden government would do.
So my point is I feel that Washignton DC is the number one target for Al-Queda. If that is infact the case than using psychology you must figure that Bush and the leadership is doing everything to protect, at the very least, Washington DC because their own survial depends on it. Humans have a concious and unconcious desire to protect themselves at all costs...obviously they are going to do what they can to stop such an attack. So I am confident that DC is safe and if its not safe because there is no way to protect it then I must fall back on my other argument that the weapons must not be that easily obtainable because it would have already happened.

Also I don't think I Nuke would be wasted on a city lke San Diego. Its going to NYC or DC. No doubt about it. Sleep tight San Diegans.....and stay sexy San Diego

10:53 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Person said...

The first plane was invented almost 100 years ago. People have hated us for decades, why did they wait until 2001 before attacking the WTC? I hate to say it but I think they're capable of it but are waiting for the right time. Right before people vote on Bush based on his ability to protect the homeland would be a logical bet. Look what happened in Spain after the trains were bombed.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Loki said...

oh great...today i stubbed my toe on the bathroom door and now this. cheers. Hang on a minute...I live in the UK! We're never gonna get get bombed because there's absolutely no connection between our Government and yours...

Things are looking up.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Person said...

Loki, are you dense? Tony Blair sent troops to Iraq to support America.

11:10 AM  
Blogger GovernmentBAAAAAADGovernmentGOOOOOOD said...

Ok well you missed my point. I wasn't talking about the terrorists attacking us in general. Of course they've hated us for a hundred years. THEY HATE EVERYONE! I each attack specifically.

The fact of the matter is there is no way for any of us to know whether these weapons are available. If the government can and is attempting to protect us. If UK and US cooperate well enough. Its sad but the world is far more complicated that its every been before and still run by a few people and as citizens of the world and US we're always going to be in the dark. Its impossible for someone to even speculate about this stuff........even George Will is completely in the dark.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Person said...

You're right, you have to play the odds. But if you can get enough Uranium to make 20 nukes with only a bolt cutter and a map you found on the Internet, I think it's a good bet that the stuff is out there. You can bet on anything, life on mars, baseball, etc.

12:52 PM  
Blogger GovernmentBAAAAAADGovernmentGOOOOOOD said...

so what is the solution? We need to spend a lot of money and work with Russia to secure all this stuff? You said Bush wasn't doing that.......well why isn't he? I don't understand....as I explained before I serves his purpose as much if not more than anyone else.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Person said...

Well that's easy "The president is living in 1983, when Ronald Reagan proposed missile defenses to counter thousands of Soviet ICBMs. A nuclear weapon is much less likely to come to America on a rogue nation's ICBM — which would have a return address — than in a shipping container, truck, suitcase, backpack or other ubiquitous things. So allocating vast amounts of scarce financial and scientific resources to missile defenses rather than other security measures is imprudent."

I'm quoting George Will again there. Here's the article http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/editorial/outlook/2764503

1:53 PM  
Blogger GovernmentBAAAAAADGovernmentGOOOOOOD said...

That is exactly the myopic view that has gotten our country in trouble. MIssile defense might not be as dangerous as dirty bomb in a crate but hey who knows. Its certainly easier for a nuked up missle to be sent here by accident than a dirty bomb on a ship and who knows what will happen in ten years. North Korea and Iran if left unchecked will without a doubt be able to hit Kansas with a nuke from their soil. We need to do both. We need to secure the unsecured nuclear material in rogue nations and TRY and provide this country with some kind of a shield. I think it could be possible. It wouldnt' happen over night but it can happen. Just steady as she goes and I think it will happen.

I don't understand why it costs so much money to get these nukes. I would imagine trying to build a missle defense that would protect the entire cont us from attack would be MUCH more expensive.

And if you really fear this I don't understand how you could ever vote for Kerry. Bush might not be doing a what you want but you have to know Kerry won't.....its not even on his agenda....

2:04 PM  
Blogger GovernmentBAAAAAADGovernmentGOOOOOOD said...

My blog is feeling lonely....

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