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Study: 3 million would die in worst-case Calif. terror scenario
bayarea ^

Posted on 09/03/2002 11:24:15 PM PDT by chance33_98

Edited on 04/13/2004 3:29:44 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A little-noticed study ponders the unthinkable: What would happen if a terrorist unleashed a chemical, nuclear or biological weapon in the nation's most populous state?

The answer is as chilling as the question: In a worst-case scenario, as many as 3 million Californians would perish.


(Excerpt) Read more at bayarea.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Miscellaneous; US: California
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1 posted on 09/03/2002 11:24:15 PM PDT by chance33_98
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To: chance33_98
This is another argument for racial profiling!

Time to kick out the illegal immigrants from THE USA!
2 posted on 09/03/2002 11:28:48 PM PDT by GaryMontana
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To: chance33_98
In a worst-case scenario, as many as 3 million Californians would perish.

I'm not touching this one!

3 posted on 09/03/2002 11:29:20 PM PDT by john in missouri
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To: john in missouri
I'm not touching this one!

Good idea. The Free Republic is headquartered in CA, ya know.

4 posted on 09/03/2002 11:31:20 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: chance33_98
And the down side is?
5 posted on 09/03/2002 11:32:33 PM PDT by Hunble
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To: Jack-A-Roe
The Free Republic is headquartered in CA, ya know.

Proving that light does indeed shine in darkness!

6 posted on 09/03/2002 11:32:41 PM PDT by john in missouri
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To: Hunble
Ouch! Keep your head down dude.....
7 posted on 09/03/2002 11:34:37 PM PDT by zarf
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To: chance33_98; Mitchell; Nogbad; okie01; Mohammed El-Shahawi; Hugin
Anthrax and other lethal biological agents pose the biggest danger in the wrong hands -- far worse than a small nuclear device or a chemical attack with a ton of sarin gas, the substance used in a 1995 attack on the Tokyo subway, the RAND study found.
8 posted on 09/03/2002 11:34:40 PM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: Hunble
And the down side is?

A lot of good Freeper folks you're acquainted with would perish. Is that down enough for you, smart guy?

9 posted on 09/03/2002 11:36:45 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: chance33_98
Yeah, preparing for an attack is so much better than sane visa policies, protected borders, or deportations. More exciting to live on the edge I guess.
10 posted on 09/03/2002 11:37:01 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: The Great Satan
I simply do not believe that. A nuke would set fires that'll kill millions in a region. Especially one over 100 kilotons.

Anthrax and smallpox just aren't as likely to kill the same numbers.
11 posted on 09/03/2002 11:38:54 PM PDT by Monty22
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To: Jack-A-Roe
What's the loss of a mere 3 million innocent lives compared to the terrible loss of liberty of one sole belligerent Mr. Jose Padilla? Woe is us who are ruled by the iron heels of fascism and statism, because Jose isn't allowed to play cards and toke hashish with his buddies as they assemble weapons of mass destruction to poison and kill us infidels by the millions! < /ideological rant >
12 posted on 09/03/2002 11:44:22 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: The Great Satan
Anthrax and other lethal biological agents pose the biggest danger in the wrong hands -- far worse than a small nuclear device or a chemical attack with a ton of sarin gas, the substance used in a 1995 attack on the Tokyo subway, the RAND study found.

Strategically, anthrax is also much more difficult to deal with than nuclear weapons.

As we've seen over the past year, the attacker in the case of an anthrax attack may be very difficult to identify. This is much less likely to be true in the case of a nuclear bomb, because of the scale of the engineering involved and the fact that significant amounts of fissionable material must be either obtained from elsewhere or made in a reactor -- and all of these things are traceable.

In contrast, anthrax can be produced in a much smaller, less identifiable lab. In addition, only a very small quantity of anthrax needs to be obtained (and it's easy to do so), since it reproduces itself under easily produced conditions. (Weaponization does require work, but it's nothing like what is needed for the construction of a nuclear weapon.)

As a result, anthrax might be used in a gamble that there would be no retaliation, since the source of the anthrax might be successfully hidden and we wouldn't know who to retaliate against.

In the long term, the principle of deterrence (that has worked so well in preventing nuclear war since 1949) may be on its last legs. But it's not at all clear what can replace it. Pre-emptive attacks? Better defenses? Do we just reconcile ourselves to living in a more chaotic, increasingly violent world?

13 posted on 09/03/2002 11:56:12 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: chance33_98
Shoot. Last night it was an earthquake. Over the weekend it was the huge brushfires. Tonight 3 million of us are gonna die. Promises, promises.
14 posted on 09/04/2002 12:02:47 AM PDT by Pelham
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To: Mitchell
Do we just reconcile ourselves to living in a more chaotic, increasingly violent world?

This is why Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al have been at pains to stress that we are in a new era in which pre-emption is mandatory. They are not kidding around. This is the world we live in, post-9/11. Better get used to it.

15 posted on 09/04/2002 12:06:01 AM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: chance33_98
3 million would die in worst-case Calif. terror scenario

The death of innocent lives would please some mindless, California hating nitwits...at least one has already chimed in.

16 posted on 09/04/2002 12:14:34 AM PDT by lewislynn
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To: Mitchell
Excellent points. Traditional deterrence against WMD attack - Mutually Assured Destruction [MAD] - certainly wasn't foolproof (actually it was far from it), but it served us well enough during the Cold War. There is nothing that can be used against well financed and determined Jihadists that can be even remotely close to being as successful. Along with the strategies you mentioned (pre-emptive attacks, better border defenses, reconciling ourselves to living in an increasingly violent world, etc.), I'd also add deportation of all illegals and a very strict immigration policy. It's the only chance we have.
17 posted on 09/04/2002 12:15:17 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Pelham
Shoot. Last night it was an earthquake. Over the weekend it was the huge brushfires. Tonight 3 million of us are gonna die. Promises, promises.

None of that stuff will destroy california, the democrats will do that all by themselves. Speaking of which, my wife was at a big shindig tonight with a lot of uppity democrats in Pasadena - cavair, nice gifts (she got me one), and all that jazz. They complain about the homeless and wanting to take my money to help them - next time tell them to eat fried chicken and use their own money to help the homeless.

Some people do need help, and I have helped some on my own - but the dems want to control the flow of money to help others for their own desires. Take Half of the money they want to spend and build one big shelter to let people live in, as much as they have wasted it could be a 5000 room mansion.

18 posted on 09/04/2002 12:22:03 AM PDT by chance33_98
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To: chance33_98
Are there 3 million people in Hollywood?
That's who the scumbags really hate anyway!
19 posted on 09/04/2002 12:25:07 AM PDT by rockfish59
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To: Jack-A-Roe
Joke!

But the last time I looked, the "good guys" are living in the California valley.

20 posted on 09/04/2002 12:27:36 AM PDT by Hunble
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To: The Great Satan
Me: Do we just reconcile ourselves to living in a more chaotic, increasingly violent world?

You: This is why Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al have been at pains to stress that we are in a new era in which pre-emption is mandatory. They are not kidding around. This is the world we live in, post-9/11. Better get used to it.

Undoubtedly true. And it's why I think we'll see severe preemptive action, not merely behind-the-scenes covert activity aimed at "regime change." Our reaction needs to be obvious to the entire world. It's not just a matter of defusing this particular threat; we need to demonstrate unequivocally to anybody else who's thinking of doing something similar that it would be very dangerous for them even to take preliminary steps in that direction -- because we will stop them preemptively.

21 posted on 09/04/2002 12:31:35 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Hunble
Joke!

Not a funny one.

And btw, there are many "good guys" (and gals) living right in the heart of enemy territory (S.F., the west side of L.A., etc). These conservatives have to be especially tough to live in such close proximity to such leftist pukes. They fight the good fight, and are to be commended.

22 posted on 09/04/2002 12:44:21 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Monty22
In terms of the greatest amount of physical damage a nuke would qualify. But for the maximum deathrate, smallpox would win. Why?

Because it is contagious and spreads rapidly. It is the gift that keeps on giving. Anthrax is not contagious and nukes, except for fallout, have a finite range of annihilation.

The Russians weaponized a variola that appeared in India in the late 1960s, a virulent smallpox strain with a kill rate of 50% rather than the 30% that existed elsewhere at the time. It was powdered, placed in the nosecones of ICBMs with the intention of bombarding a virgin population, namely the U.S.

Not only have we quit vaccinating during the past 30 years but those who have been vaccinated (except for military personnel) were never vaccinated for the deadly India I variola.

Letting loose smallpox in our nation would be devastating. And if you think the CDC can deal with it, look how poorly they're dealing with the West Nile Virus situation. It's pathetic.

23 posted on 09/04/2002 12:48:48 AM PDT by goody2shooz
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To: Monty22
A nuke would set fires that'll kill millions in a region.

Especially some place like Los Angeles/Orange County. There are only a handful of roads out. Bomb the roads out (101, 2 and 15 to the north, 10 to the east, 405 to the south) and set something off in downtown, like maybe the four-level to guarantee maximum disruption in transportation. That could easily kill millions all by itself with a minimum of effort.

What would happen if you detonated a large enough bomb on top of a fault line? Would that cause an earthquake?

24 posted on 09/04/2002 1:02:26 AM PDT by altair
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To: chance33_98
Other than FreeRepublic Kalifornia is not worth talking about...
25 posted on 09/04/2002 1:05:43 AM PDT by .45MAN
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To: chance33_98; All
Nuclear, Biological, & Chemical Warfare- Survival Skills, Pt. II
26 posted on 09/04/2002 1:34:07 AM PDT by backhoe
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To: Mitchell
I think these Q&As realy frame the dawn of a new strategic doctrine nicely. It's utterly amazing that nobody else in the world (with the exception of Tony Blair) has caught on to this.
27 posted on 09/04/2002 4:31:35 AM PDT by Mohammed El-Shahawi
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To: .45MAN
Other than FreeRepublic Kalifornia is not worth talking about...

They do have a few hot babes there though. My daughter is there too, but hopefully safe up in the mountains.
28 posted on 09/04/2002 5:30:10 AM PDT by chance33_98
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To: Jack-A-Roe
Good idea. The Free Republic is headquartered in CA, ya know.

And depending on the time of day, downwind of the San Francisco Bay area...
The good news, is that the real people inhabit the other 90% of California outside of the target areas...

29 posted on 09/04/2002 5:44:11 AM PDT by Publius6961
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To: MissAmericanPie
Yeah, preparing for an attack is so much better than sane visa policies, protected borders, or deportations. More exciting to live on the edge I guess.

Apparently that's how President Bush feels. I, for one, don't get it.

30 posted on 09/04/2002 5:53:01 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Mohammed El-Shahawi
"It's utterly amazing that nobody else in the world (with the exception of Tony Blair) has caught on to this."

For what it's worth, which isn't much, I believe Italy's Berlusconi has caught on, as well.

But, then, his mind isn't clouded by elitist Euro-socialism, either.

31 posted on 09/04/2002 7:47:55 AM PDT by okie01
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To: chance33_98
I think there is a pretty fair chance that weaponized anthrax is already in place in our major cities, and the enemy's agents are waiting to loose it. We'll find out after the attack on Iraq begins.
32 posted on 09/04/2002 8:44:17 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves
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To: john in missouri
In a worst-case scenario, as many as 3 million Californians would perish.

I'm not touching this one!

ROTFLOL--especially if it involved thousands of Hollywierd Clymers assembled for yet another "I'm So Wonderful" awards show.

33 posted on 09/04/2002 8:51:11 AM PDT by RooRoobird14
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To: Hunble
And the down side is?

Well, the down side is that a$$holes from Minnesota are f-n stupid enough to make jokes at a scenario of 3 million Americans brutally murdered from a terrorist attack. This after we already lost 3,000 on the east coast.

I guess if I had to live in an icebox 6 months out of every year I would be angry and jealous too.

34 posted on 09/04/2002 8:59:30 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf
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To: chance33_98
bump
35 posted on 09/04/2002 9:10:53 AM PDT by NorseWood
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To: Mohammed El-Shahawi
I think these Q&As realy frame the dawn of a new strategic doctrine nicely. It's utterly amazing that nobody else in the world (with the exception of Tony Blair) has caught on to this.

Do you mean outside the U.S., or are you including the U.S. government here? I think that Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Wolfowitz are well aware of these issues. Powell, on the other hand, acts like he's not convinced that we're at this point yet. I'm not sure where Rice stands -- I suspect with Rumsfeld, et al.

One unfortunate consequence of the propping up of the domestic nut anthrax-mailing theory is that public discussion of these strategic issues has been muffled. After all, the anthrax mailings are the visible evidence that this isn't just speculation for the future, that we have already reached the end of the road for MAD and must look at new strategic doctrines. As a result, all such discussions end up getting diverted into the question of whether the anthrax sender was foreign or domestic (which is itself a euphemism for the question of whether it was a military foray or a crime), rather than the question of how best to deal with the new realities.

36 posted on 09/04/2002 9:19:25 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
I was, of course, referring to the REST of the world outside the US. Of course the US administration fully understands that the stakes have now changed.

I can almost imagine the conversation that took place in Baghdad in around 1992. Saddam sat around with his generals lamenting the fact Iraq's conventional weaponary (tanks, planes) was no match for the that of the US. He had chemical and bilogical weapons that he couldn't use in any conventional battle, since the US would use nuclear weapons against Baghdad. What was the solution to this? How could he get America?

The solution was really very, very simple. Attack America in America's home using covert means with plausible deniability.

It's amazing how nobody can grasp this. I watched Ted Koppel interviwing Eagleburger last night. Ted's a smart guy, actually. He said to Eagleburger "What if we go to war with Iraq, and Iraq has chemical and biological weapons already pre-positioned in America"? Eagleburger replied "It's possible but extremely unlikley."

Unlikley? You've got to be kidding. It's much, much easier to imagine that 20 terrorists would be willing to disperse anthrax covertly (and walk away after doing it), than it is to imagine 20 terrorists would hijack 4 planes and commit suicide by flying them into buildings. The logistics are child's play compared to the logistics of hijacking planes.

People are on total denial that it could even be possible that this could happen. It's really quite frightening.
37 posted on 09/04/2002 9:32:46 AM PDT by Mohammed El-Shahawi
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To: chance33_98
There is nothing to worry about, the california democrats will protect you, and the fourteen armed planes that guard America will stop any imagined or unimaginable attack. In fact Bush might send the red crescent to help, and remember
Islam is a religion of peace!
38 posted on 09/04/2002 9:36:51 AM PDT by claptrap
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To: Jack-A-Roe
Lets get real buddy, California is totally expendable, there is so much evidence to witness that fact, look at New York,
or D.C. most of the country would better off without any input from these overpopulated areas, and remember
Islam is a religion of peace!
39 posted on 09/04/2002 9:41:28 AM PDT by claptrap
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To: lewislynn
Oh lighten up already. This Californian got a chuckle out of it.
40 posted on 09/04/2002 9:49:02 AM PDT by evilsmoker
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To: Mohammed El-Shahawi
Yes. Part of what happened is that reliable missile technology proved harder to develop than one might have imagined, so they started looking for alternative delivery mechanisms. We've seen four already (jetliners as missiles, anthrax in the mail, suicide bombers, and large bombs on trucks and ships).

Even though, as you say, the U.S. administration understands the new strategic issues, the U.S.'s unwillingness to acknowledge the situation publicly is preventing many, both in the U.S. and abroad, from comprehending the serious changes that are occurring in the world. I'm hoping that the upcoming dossier (on Iraq's WMD) that both U.K. and U.S. officials have referred to will correct this. But I have the feeling that it won't go far enough in doing so.

41 posted on 09/04/2002 9:51:21 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
I would even argue that possession of missiles isn't much good, unless your missiles at least equal the numbers (and megatonnage!) of your adversary. In fact a missile launch gives away the position it was fired from immediately, and the response would come within minutes.
This new stratgic doctrine doesn't leave tell-tale missile launches. As you have correctly observed, finding a deterrnece to it is not easy. The only solution is pre-emptive military action.
I don't understand, at this point, why this case has not been made. I can only imagine it's because the US does not want to appear weak. Explaining why we waited for a year to strike Iraq might be rather, shall we say, awkward.
42 posted on 09/04/2002 9:57:39 AM PDT by Mohammed El-Shahawi
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To: Mitchell
As a result, anthrax might be used in a gamble that there would be no retaliation, since the source of the anthrax might be successfully hidden and we wouldn't know who to retaliate against.

Bush should tell the UN on the 12th that if a WMD is used on the US, we won't wait to specifically ID who it was. We will drop nukes on Mecca and Medina. We'll use neutron bombs (or current equivilent) on Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Then we'll start trying to ID where the WMD came from.

43 posted on 09/04/2002 10:03:00 AM PDT by Go Gordon
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To: Mitchell
we have already reached the end of the road for MAD

Maybe our policy should shift to NMAM (Nuke Mecca and Medina)

44 posted on 09/04/2002 10:09:39 AM PDT by Go Gordon
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To: Go Gordon
I wrote: As a result, anthrax might be used in a gamble that there would be no retaliation, since the source of the anthrax might be successfully hidden and we wouldn't know who to retaliate against.

You replied: Bush should tell the UN on the 12th that if a WMD is used on the US, we won't wait to specifically ID who it was. We will drop nukes on Mecca and Medina. We'll use neutron bombs (or current equivilent) on Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Then we'll start trying to ID where the WMD came from.

This would be a big mistake. Not only won't it work, but, in fact, such a policy is likely to cause us to be attacked.

Here's why: If we announce that we will respond to any WMD attack on the U.S. by attacking country X (without having first determined that X is, in fact, the country that attacked us), then we have just given X's enemy Y a powerful incentive to attack us with WMD.

45 posted on 09/04/2002 10:16:19 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: chance33_98
I hope I am one of the first to go.
46 posted on 09/04/2002 10:17:37 AM PDT by luckodeirish
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To: Mohammed El-Shahawi
It's amazing how nobody can grasp this. I watched Ted Koppel interviwing Eagleburger last night. Ted's a smart guy, actually. He said to Eagleburger "What if we go to war with Iraq, and Iraq has chemical and biological weapons already pre-positioned in America"? Eagleburger replied "It's possible but extremely unlikley."

After all, bad things never happen to good people. Every cloud has a silver lining. It's always darkest before the dawn.

Can I have my Ovaltine now?

47 posted on 09/04/2002 10:23:00 AM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: Mitchell; Go Gordon
I wrote: If we announce that we will respond to any WMD attack on the U.S. by attacking country X (without having first determined that X is, in fact, the country that attacked us), then we have just given X's enemy Y a powerful incentive to attack us with WMD.

I want to clarify that this has nothing to do with the particular countries you named for X, or with the choice of X and Y at all. The point is that, very generally, this sort of policy (of retaliation before identifying an aggressor) will fail to keep us safe.

48 posted on 09/04/2002 10:46:17 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mohammed El-Shahawi
In fact a missile launch gives away the position it was fired from immediately, and the response would come within minutes.

Exactly. Even if it works, it leaves you open to retaliation, since the point of launch will be obvious. (There may be some ways around this, such as launching from submarine, but they'd be awkward, especially for a third world country operating on a shoestring.) Missiles are expensive, too.

I don't understand, at this point, why this case has not been made. I can only imagine it's because the US does not want to appear weak.

Here are some possibilities:

  1. There may have been a genuine difference of opinion within the U.S. government as to whether a change in strategic doctrine was needed (Cheney vs. Powell?).
  2. The U.S. may also be very uncertain as to whether there is actually a strategic solution that works; if there's not, then we certainly don't want to advertise our vulnerability.
  3. The solution may involve substantial military preparation, and we may be quite vulnerable in the meantime.
  4. Finally, the solution may involve a very sudden, overwhelming, surprise attack. In that case, we don't want to tip our hand at all, not even by acknowledging the seriousness of the threat.

49 posted on 09/04/2002 11:01:27 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
The correct answer is option #2.
50 posted on 09/04/2002 11:03:01 AM PDT by The Great Satan
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