Saturday, August 9, 2014

Two Problems

Let's consider two problems.

The first is terrorism. We haven't dealt with it. It's an annoyance. Clearly, to the government, 9/11 was not a wake up call to root this out and destroy it. We're managing it. Not going too far, might upset the oil cartel, not too concerned about another strike, and by the way, a wonderful opportunity to just up the surveillance on everyone, so the big win is to keep some terrorism going.

The second is ebola. Something in the jungles of Africa is a reservoir. Every once in a while, it get out. This time it is in the cities and it seems to be persistent. Bodies are being left in the streets. It is transmitted in blood, urine, saliva, and feces. Corpses remain infectious for several days. Infected people will not show symptoms for two to ten days after infection.

Put those two problems together.

 Make it deliberate, say a committed group of terrorists that wanted to do the maximum damage to the United States.

 Deliberate infection of a number of people in Africa that then immediately fly to several U.S. cities. They would not have to know they are infected, but they might. Either the individuals or their handlers spread it as much as possible. Give a spray bottle to a woman and let her walk through a mall, stopping and cooing over children in strollers. The day care centers would do the rest. Give a bottle of fluid to a hospital worker in the kitchen that is delivering food and utensils to rooms. I'm sure you'll think of others.

 Let's include Mexico City and have it delivered to the areas where the illegal immigrants are gathering to make the crossing. Since our own government is quietly dispersing thousands of people in cities all over the country, all those destinations become infection sites.

In the end, it might not kill that many people. It's the disruption, the cost, the travel bans, and the terror. Because we didn't believe it could happen. We didn't recognize the threat. We didn't believe people could do that. We thought we could contain terrorism.
"No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon" --Condoleezza Rice


Graybeard said...

Before 9/11, acutally in June of 2001, the anti-terrorism folks did an exercise called Dark Winter, in which a group infected some people with smallpox and booked them onto flights into the US, into regional airports before they were visibly sick from the disease, but were starting to exude virus.

Of course these flights went through the hub and spoke system of the National Air Space and within days the country was gripped in a smallpox epidemic. The country was within hours of collapsing, if not minutes.

It's pretty sobering. You can download the script at that link.

Divemedic said...

Every day, events in the world remind me of Tom Clancy novels. The sad, and truly frightening, part is that our government responds like an Orwell or Rand novel.

Steve said...

Divemedic - funny you should mention Tom Clancy. I used to work in the SAC Underground back in the day, and they had him in for a tour. We were told that under NO circumstances was anyone other than the Public Affairs people to answer even the simplest question from him. Seems that he had a way of getting people to talk, and that's where he got a lot of his military input, even classified material!
That said, a lot of the stuff happening now scares the bejabbers out of me.

Old NFO said...

Funny that you mention that... similar discussion Thursday at work... "Almost" the same options came up...

Dave H said...

I wonder if this is why they brought those missionary doctors back to the U.S. for treatment. To study them, with an eye toward preventing or minimizing the impact of an attack like that.

Richard Blaine said...

The only thing in this that would surprise me is if it didn't happen.

It's almost impossible for a rational person to believe someone would do this on purpose. Once it starts, it's not going to give a crap where you're from or what you believe. So unless you're willing to sacrifice everyone who's not living in a cave in Afganistan, it's just insane

Which is sadly the case, terrorists are not rational and they don't give a crap about their own people. Sacrifice for the cause. Kill 99% of the muslims if the result is you get all the rest, it's all good.

If you believe the CDC isn't lying to us, just remember, the NSA wasn't spying on us either. Yeah, I'm a cynic - I think everything the government says is a lie or at best a partial truth covering for another lie. They already lied about how it's transmitted, and I don't trust them to tell us what the true number of infected or the locations are either.

Those of you in cities - be very careful.

Ken said...

The governments and the other Top. Men. are every bit as irrational as the terrorists. Political correctness kills.

Comrade Misfit said...

Think about why nobody, in the modern age, has used a virulent bioweapon. Chemical weapons,yes. Even nuclear. But not biological.

Rice was full of fecal matter. Or covering her ass.

Paul Bonneau said...

If terrorists did not exist, government would have to create them. Governments do not solve problems (which would put them out of work), they manage problems.

Still, given the historical ratio of government victims to terrorist victims, it seems pretty silly to worry about terrorist action these days. You might as well worry about driving a car.