Thursday, February 3, 2005

God bless our fear-mongering government

While browsing CNN.COM I saw a blank/grey advertisement that warned of a terrorist attack, and in the case of one you should "activate your plan". It went on to say "Everyone should have a plan. Find out what you can do to be prepared. www.ready.gov".

Hmmm, I thought. Turns out that www.ready.gov is run by the Department of Homeland Security where they tell us "Terrorism forces us to make a choice. Don't be afraid... Be Ready".

There's many interesting and strange things to learn from these people. One could read for hours upon end about such things as:

Possible Signs of Chemical Threat

  • Many people suffering from watery eyes, twitching, choking, having trouble breathing or losing coordination.
  • Many sick or dead birds, fish or small animals are also cause for suspicion.

And

A radiation threat, commonly referred to as a "dirty bomb" or "radiological dispersion device (RDD)", is the use of common explosives to spread radioactive materials over a targeted area. It is not a nuclear blast. The force of the explosion and radioactive contamination will be more localized. While the blast will be immediately obvious, the presence of radiation will not be clearly defined until trained personnel with specialized equipment are on the scene. As with any radiation, you want to try to limit exposure. It is important to avoid breathing radiological dust that may be released in the air.

In the FAQ I finally learn why there was the recommendation for duct tape and plastic sheeting. Oh, and that they are still seriously recommending it.

Why does the government recommend duct tape and plastic sheeting?

  • The items can be used to "shelter-in-place," creating a room with reduced air infiltration of chemical agents into an area.
  • They are resistant to permeation from chemical agents.
  • They provide the ability to rapidly exit from a temporary shelter-in-place once the plume has passed.
  • The items are readily available for the general public.

In other words, by warning us to use duct tape and plastic sheeting, the inner message is that there will be a chemical attack. Well, nuts. Chemical attacks cover such a small area, so why should the whole country be buying this stuff? And since chemical attacks cover such a small area, why would "the terrorists" even bother making a chemical attack?

The whole thing is very strange. Maybe if I had memory of the 50's with the Nuke scare tactics against the Russians, this would seem familiar.
To my eye this is just a huge fear-mongering effort. For some reason the government has decided to scare us all with a bunch of nonsense.