Chris Tabb: It’s only an illusion of safety
On September 11, 2001, we experienced the vigilance Mr. Kunst is speaking of on live television. At 8:37a.m. the FAA notified NORAD regarding Flight 11, 23 minutes after being hijacked and only nine minutes before it struck the first World Trade Tower. Fast forward to after the last plane (Flight 93) had crashed short of its target – the US Capitol – and you’ll find we had been under attack for a total of 109 minutes. And our safety net in the form of $550 billion for national defense, designed with a doomsday scenario in mind, utterly failed to intercept or change the course of events that day in any such manner.
So please forgive me if I fail to understand how a Denver Water guard will stop an SUV with blacked-out windows packed with Semtex from detonating mid-dam. Not to mention security on the City Market side consists of a sentry who is certainly not impervious to a few well-placed rifle rounds. More importantly as the STRATFOR Threat Assessment points out, the greatest danger arises from a disgruntled Denver Water engineer who may turn the dam into a weapon against itself. But this is how we live … with the illusion of safety. The illusion our complex systems will not fail us when needed most, although by design they will and the ugly critical truth that human error still has to be accounted for. I urge you to read the threat assessment done by STRATFOR Global Intelligence from July 6, 2008 concerning the Dillon Dam which I believe may tamper the hysteria a bit.
On dam vulnerability:
“Even with massive resources, however, it is not easy to destroy a large dam made of earth and rock. For proof, one need only to look at the massive efforts of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in China to unblock the Qingjiang River after it was dammed up by debris following the powerful May 12 earthquake. One July 2 blast on the Shibangou section of the river reportedly involved 6 tons of strategically placed explosives alone.”
On the Dam as a target:
“This is not intended as an insult to the people of Colorado, but the Dillon Dam simply does not strike us as the kind of target that will carry the type of symbolic or economic impact al queda would seek in an U.S. attack.”
We are not safe, this is an indisputable fact and adding more security, stripping civil liberties and setting aside larger portions of the budget for “national security” will surely not solve our problems. It is the how we deal with these threats that define us.
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