Thursday, October 07, 2010

Top Democrat: We're Totally Unprepared for Dirty Bomb Attack

Back during the Bush days if a Republican mentioned something like this we'd be told they were just doing it to scare voters. But I guess in this election cycle it's OK to do. Frankly, I'm surprised she didn't suggest Tea Partiers would be behind it.
The U.S. is “unprepared” to deal with a radiological or small arms attack even though both are likely to occur, according to a top ranking House lawmaker on intelligence issues.

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, said the possibility of a Mumbai-style attack, in which gunmen storm a specific area, is much more likely to occur than a dirty bomb attack, but that both scenarios are serious and real threats to U.S. national security.

“I’m surprised there hasn’t been a successful conventional attack in the United States,” said Harman at a New America Foundation event on Wednesday.
Don't worry, Jane. Since our borders are wide open the bad guys will find a way in. Harman also helpfully draws a map for terrorists while throwing Obama and his band of incompetents under the bus.
Harman, who receives regular classified intelligence briefings, said the White House hasn’t done a good job explaining the European scare to Americans, which she described as “a real threat.”

“[The government] ought to offer people more specific guidance,” she said. “This warning has led to more confusion than was necessary…I wish our own government right now were giving more sensible advice to people to know what to look for and what to do.”

Harman is most concerned that westerners will fly into the U.S. undetected -- via the visa waiver program -- after they’ve received terrorist training in the Middle East. The program allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for up to 90 days without having to get a visa.

Several years ago, Harman traveled to New York City and toured three of the city’s major hospitals to inspect the levels of security they use to keep radiological materials safe from theft by terrorists.

“They are not adequately secured,” said Harman of the materials. “It’s not that hard to storm into one of these hospitals, take the source out of the machine and put together a crude bomb and explode it almost immediately, before law enforcement can arrive in adequate numbers.”

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