Re: A renaissance for civil defense?

From: John Clark (
Date: Tue Oct 30 2001 - 10:40:23 MST

One of the many problems with the old conventional ideas of missile defense is that it
assumes the best way for a terrorist to get a nuclear bomb into the USA is in the nosecone
of a ICBM. That's crazy. Not counting trucks and railroads about 16,000 cargo containers
enter the USA every day by sea, these are sealed boxes about 8 feet by 8 feet
and 40 feet long, they can weigh up to 40 tons. It can take hours to hand search
one of these things so only about 1% are ever even cracked open, the vast
majority are never inspected at all. There are high power X ray machines that can
photograph the contents in about a minute, they also set off a automatic alarm if
they detect the density signature of Uranium, Plutonium or chemical explosives.
These machines are already in use in Israel and the Netherlands but not here.
They cost about $10,000,000 but theoretically if they were in operation 24 hours
a day the country would only need about 15. Of course in the real world you'd need
more, especially if you wanted to keep open all 300 ports of entry we have now but
even so it would be far cheaper than a star wars laser battleship and would give us
much more security.

Now all we have to worry about every day is 348,000 private cars, 2,600 airplanes
and 38,000 trucks and railcars.

            John K Clark

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