Last October, TheBlaze’s investigative news magazine For The Record asked the following question: What weapon could wipe out food and medicine distribution, force America into a slumber for decades, make planes fall from the sky, permanently shut down the U.S. electrical grid, sever communications systems and lead to the deaths of millions? The answer, as For The Record: Blackout exposed, is an electromagnetic pulse weapon – or EMP. On radio this morning, Glenn discussed a new report from Josh Peterson of Watchdog.org in which experts agree the American citizenry is not prepared for an EMP attack.
“This is from the executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum. He is an expert on electromagnetic pulse and updating the electric grid,” Glenn said. “It's going to blow you away. He says Americans are not prepared for an EMP.”
Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum (both congressional advisory boards), told Watchdog.org the technology to avoid disaster from an EMP exists and upgrading the nation’s power grid is financially viable.
So what is the problem?
“The problem is not the technology,” Pry said. “We know how to protect against it. It’s not the money, it doesn’t cost that much. The problem is the politics. It always seems to be the politics that gets in the way.”
According to Pry, the Congressional EMP Commission estimated you could protect the entire United States for about $2 billion. To put that figure into perspective – it is equal to the foreign aid the U.S. gives to Pakistan each year.
In the first few minutes of an EMP, nearly half a million people would die. That’s the worst-case scenario that author William R. Forstchen estimated in 2011 would be the result of an EMP on the electric grid — whether by an act of God, or a nuclear missile detonating in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
The scenario sounds like something in a Hollywood film, but the U.S. military has been preparing its electronic systems for such an event since the Cold War. The protective measures taken to harden facilities against a nuclear attack also help in some cases to protect against EMPs.
The civilian world is another story.
“Think about it. Everything we depend on depends on power,” Pat said. “If you don't have power, you are not going to have medicine. You won't have food for very long. You are not going to have transportation.”
“How are you going to pump the gasoline, pump the water,” Glenn added.
When you hear someone like Pry say the only thing preventing the implementation of technology that would potentially save millions of lives is politics, you can’t help but wonder what the role of the federal government is anymore.
"The government’s one stated duty is to protect us and to make sure that our system of life goes on. But… they marginalize anybody who says an EMP [is a threat]. Our Pentagon is more afraid of an EMP or electric grid going down on us through terrorism than anything else. They believe that this is a real possibility,” Glenn said. “You launch two EMPs – one from the east, one from the west – you knock out every electrical device in the United States of America.”
“People don't understand: If you have a pacemaker, your pacemaker stops. If you have insulin, you have no refrigeration. There's no banking, no ATMs, no gas stations,” he continued. “There's nothing. You are back to 1850, which means we would all have to learn how to survive like they did in 1850, [and] we have no idea how to do that.”
Read the full report from Watchdog.org HERE.