Category Archive 'Emergency Alert System'

17 Feb 2011

Connecting Some Dots

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Spook86 wonders aloud whether the short-of-specifics reference by San Diego assistant port director Al Hallor to at least one “weapon of mass effect” having been found somewhere apparently in or near San Diego by an unidentified “partner agency” has a connection to the recent announcement of an unprecedented full-scale test of the current equivalent of the Emergency Broadcast System.

This much we know: Al Qaida has a long-standing interest in WMD. Their capabilities in that area have improved modestly in those areas in recent years, despite severe damage inflicted on their leadership and fund-raising operations–essential elements in any WMD/WME attacks. We also know there was a major WMD operation in the Atlanta area late last year, with the feds stopping all trucks on I-20 during rush hour, and running them through a radiation scanner. Sources told WSB-TV the activity was “real world” and not a drill, though various spokesmen later tried to “walk back” that remark. Sounds like the same p.r. tactic recently attempted in San Diego.

One more point. It’s probably unrelated (at least, that’s what government officials would have you believe), but this recent item also caught our eye: early last month, the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to test Presidential Alerts in the near future. …

To someone who spent years in radio (before having the good sense to join the military) this announcement was stunning. Broadcasters have worked with the FCC for years on the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and its predecessor, the Emergency Broadcast System or EBS. There was always some provision for the president (or the national command authority) to provide information through the system in the event of a cataclysmic event. But for more than 50 years, no one saw a need to test the presidential capabilities, despite nuclear dangers during the Cold War, and real-world events like 9-11.

And what sort of event might warrant activation of the Presidential EAS? How about a domestic terror attack, using weapons of mass destruction or a weapon of mass effect?

He could be right.

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