Risk of Nuclear Attack on Rise - washingtonpost.com
A hearing, called by the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, featured charts showing the horrific effects of a small nuclear device detonating near the White House. It was the panel's third session in recent months on the threat of a nuclear explosion.
"The scenarios we discuss today are so hard for us to contemplate and so emotionally traumatic that it is tempting to push them aside," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn), the panel's chairman. "However now is the time to have this difficult conversation, to ask the tough questions, then to get answers."
The committee summoned witnesses yesterday who said the risk of such an attack on U.S. cities has grown in the past five years because of the spread of nuclear technology and the growth of a global terrorist movement.
At the committee's request, Cham E. Dallas, University of Georgia, prepared a report on the effects of a small nucleart device exploding near the White House. A 1-kiloton device, which could fit into a suitcase, could kill about 25,000 people, he said. A 10-kiloton explosive, which could be hidden in a van, could kill about 100,000, Dallas said.
When most people think of a nuclear attack, they think of a missile being fired in the air toward the United States. Because of this image they don't believe it is possible for the United States to be attacked. Why? Because the wrath of the power of the U.S. military would be unleashed on the nation that attacked us.
When you tell someone that a nuclear bomb will fit into a suitcase or in the back of a van, they don't believe you. They think that you watch too many James Bond movies. But there are people who want to hurt the U.S. and will die for that cause. These people, all they need is someone to give them this suitcase or the keys to the van. So we know that there are people who will carry this out. Who will supply the bomb?
Iran has begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. Iran last year installed 3,000 centrifuges and entered the stage of enrichment. They will never fire a missile at us even if they could. But would they give someone a suitcase with a nuclear bomb? And do you think that suitcase could make it into the United States? Are they not giving bombs to the terrorist in Iraq and killing U.S. soldiers?
If you read the article, it doesn't tell us how we will stop the attack. What it does tell us, is what we must do to be prepared after an attack. How to keep the deaths down after a suite case nuclear bomb kills 25,000 citizens or to be prepared when a van bomb kills 100,000 citizens. Maybe we should bring our troops home and stick our heads in the sand.
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