Common sense would seem to dictate that leaders of corporations ought not to be empowered by the US government to provide threat assessments which stand to directly enrich their interests.
But that’s how the US conducts business. From top to bottom, people read of agencies subverted by the businesses they are supposed to regulate.
And sometimes people then come to the conclusion that the US government is only a tool for the accelerated transfer of taxpayer dollars into the coffers of such mentioned businesses.
Which is a pity.
The latest example, a smaller one than the national Minerals Management Service, comes to you courtesty of the Department of Energy and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (or NERC).
Reads the New York Times, courtesy of Matthew Wald:
A report just issued by the Energy Department and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, known as Nerc, an industry group that polices the power grid, lists three categories of threats to the grid: coordinated cyber- and physical attacks, pandemic disease and electromagnetic damage.
What Wald does not mention, or perhaps has failed to notice, is the “report” has essentially been written by the small interests which make up the Cult of EMP Crazy, with government workers as their staff.
Three of the report’s authors are part of the bomb Iran/ballistic missile defense lobby. (Follow the link.)
For the past couple of years this group has been given short shrift. Under the wing of Roscoe Bartlett, members of the EMP Commission went before Congress repeatedly, only to be appropriately brushed off.
And the only hedge against its usual nonsense comes in the title of the
report: High Impact, Low Frequency Event Risk to the North American Bulk Power System. [Emphasis mine.]
Conspicuously, the “report” cites the “research” of one of its own steering members, Radasky of Metatech.
Metatech’s business is allegedly in defending against the threat of man-made electromagnetic pulse attacks on businesses and the nation.
So getting to help write a government report on the danger of electromagnetic attacks on the nation, and what ought to be done, is convenient.
On Metatech’s website some time is spent vaguely describing the threat of intentional electromagnetic attack. (See here.)
As another example, see this PowerPoint slide – from a presentation given to Poles in 2000 — of how criminals allegedly use malicious electromagnetism.
Notably, the DoE/NERC report contains a Metatech graphic of a notional attack by an electromagnetic pulse weapon.
It reads: “Of course [sic] other scenarios are possible including briefcase weapons taken inside by a visitor or disgruntled employee.”
Wald’s blog at the New York Times is advertised as “about energy and the environment.”
A closer look by the Times might have shown that, in this — ahem — brief case, the real news is really not about either of those.
The NERC report is here.