Zero Plus 334
Nuclear Vigilance Or...
A New Terrorist
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, August 12--I scratched my head this morning, wondering if the
headlines of a national news story was an "Act of Vigilance," or an
invitation to Terrorists to steal nuclear weapons fuel.
It seems that tons of bomb-grade plutonium
and uranium are housed in a vulnerable laboratory in New Mexico, located
at the bottom of a shallow canyon with insecure buildings over five
In 1997 a group called The Project on
Government Oversight, POGO, kind of like a PETA brand of "nuclear
watchdogs," pretended to be Terrorists and penetrated the facility,
stealing 200 pounds of simulated bomb fuel in a shopping cart from Home
Depot. They wanted to make a point about the pregnability of
Recently, the group intercepted
government documents about the facility's vulnerability from officials
within the government and released them to the press.
So now, based on public pressure, the bomb fuel
is going to be relocated to a more secure site--about 90 miles northwest
of Las Vegas.
I'm sure the population of Las Vegas will be
excited about having nuclear bomb fuel housed close to the fastest growing
city in America, but that's another story.
What I find a little disconcerting is
that any would-be Terrorist who wants to know where to find nuclear bomb
fuel now has an address. Not only does he know where it
is now, but also where it is going to be shipped.
It's kind of like Brinks running headlines on
where they are picking up billions of dollars and where they intend to
take it, just in case anyone thinking about robbing them might have
overlooked the opportunity.
Also, I wonder if a group of
"would-be-Terrorists" could slip into the facility and take mock bomb fuel
on a Home Depot cart, how many Terrorists waltzed in prior to the recently
release of public information and cabbaged handful of the stuff.
I also have a bunch
of questions regarding the projected Nevada Test Site location the bomb
fuel is relocating to from New Mexico.
My brother-in-law died a horrible death from
cancer. He worked for years at the Nevada Test Site, in meteorology,
measuring the weather for various underground nuclear explosions.
My sister and her children always questioned the rare lymphoma cancer he
suffered as being caused by his proximity to the site.
Unfortunately, they battle the bureaucracy of red tape trying to link his
cancer to the hazards of his job.
In a world of constant Fear that Terrorism will
strike again, Vigilance is vital. I do not question that fact.
However, I am also concerned about the "shuffling of cards syndrome,"
where we move things around in a shell game as though to appease the
public's fears, while creating new dangers rather than solving the core
issue of Terrorism.
The new Homeland Security Department is one example.
I see it as a "reshuffling" of old cards, an attempt by the government to
seemingly streamline defensive systems against Terrorism, while missing
the core point.
Ultimately, Terrorism is about producing Fear,
Intimidation and the resulting Complacency into a society.
It operates on the "threat of violence" more than the "violence" itself.
Like cancer, it seeks to destroy a society's marrow, and gnaws at its
internal organs of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions.
Homeland Security is not about the government
protecting us, but we, the citizens, the parents, the grandparents,
protecting ourselves from Terrorism's grip.
I never hear that charge issued from
the government's pulpit. I never hear the cry for Americans to
band together within their communities, as Citizens of Vigilance, fighting
the Fear, the Intimidation and the Complacency of Terrorism within their
homes, neighborhoods, communities, regions, states, and nation.
Instead, I hear the call for "reshuffling," a battery
of political critics slinging dung at one another for not being Vigilant
enough, and all seeming to want to build their coffers with more budget
money, more power, to assume the role of "grand proctorate" over the land.
While all this cacophony goes on in Washington D.C., a
band of concerned citizens waltz into a New Mexico nuclear bomb fuel site
and haul off 200 pounds of simulated "disaster fuel" in a Home Depot
I wonder where the citizens of
New Mexico were? Were they sleeping? Were they waiting
for the government to "take care" of the problem? Did they
even care about the future of their children's children's children?
A dose of Vigilance might have sparked them to
action to protect their own environment, as I'm sure the proposed transfer
of nuclear bomb fuel to the Nevada Test Site will trigger off a hue and
cry from the citizens of Las Vegas.
The idea of the "watchdog"
philosophy is a fine one, but its source should be the citizens not an
oversight group such as the Project on Government Oversight.
Often, small groups intent on making the "government better," end up
accumulating the same power and misuse of it as those they strike out
But communities are different. They
are composites of a variety of people, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters,
cousins, parents, grandparents, loved ones, and citizens.
It is their "duty" to protect their homeland, not the government's.
It is this kind of Complacency that scares me the
most--the idea we have to have "watchdogs" watching the "watchdogs," and
we stand eyeballing the two sides battle as spectators at a tennis match,
our heads swiveling one way, then the other, one way, then the other,
cheering and booing as we watch. Of course, there
are those who don't attend the match and sleep in their Lazy-Boy chairs,
or flick on their televisions, or grunt, "that's not our business."
And, there are those who attend the match and don't watch it, just "go
along to go along."
Someone once said you have three choices in
life--one, to sit in the stands and be a spectator of life; two, to march
in the parade with others; or, three, to lead it.
I'd like to think the Citizens of Vigilance,
Parents of Vigilance, Loved Ones of Vigilance are all leaders.
I'd like to believe they are the real "watchdogs" of their children's
children's children's future. I'd like to think they make decisions
within the confines of their home to secure the future of their children
by teaching them how to overcome Fear with Courage, to swamp Intimidation
with Conviction, and to march to the tune of Right Action rather than be
lulled into the comfort of Complacency's siren.
Securing nuclear bomb fuel may seem
like a duty outside the scope of a mother's or father's or grandparents'
or cousin's, or uncle's, or aunt's, or brother's or sister's scope of duty
to manage. On the surface, few would think they had any "power" over
such a "technical subject," or presume the "government" had it under
But when the members
of the community visualize a few people walking into the site with a Home
Depot shopping cart, and strolling out with 200 pounds of simulated bomb
fuel, the picture changes.
It becomes simple, not complex.
It means that just about anybody can
do anything if they set their mind to it.
Stealing nuclear bomb fuel isn't that
complicated. Neither is becoming a Citizen of Vigilance, a
Parent of Vigilance or a Loved One of Vigilance.
All it takes is a little Courage, a
few grains of Conviction, and the Right Action.
Don't wait for the watchdogs to bark.
Become a Citizen of Vigilance today.
Take the Pledge now. Become your children's children's
children watchdog--the one they can trust the most. The one that
sleeps at the foot of their bed.
Go Aug. 11--A Scalp
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