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Former CIA Director Woolsey Warns of Existential Threat to America

Written by Center for Security Policy

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Washington, D.C.:  On July 29th, President Bill Clinton’s former Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey, led a panel discussion on Natural EMPthe growing – and perhaps imminent – threat of a natural or nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to the U.S. electric grid and other critical infrastructures that sustain modern civilization and the lives of millions of Americans.  The event was sponsored by the newly established EMP Coalition, of which Mr. Woolsey is the Honorary Co-Chair along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

Other participants were Ambassador Henry Cooper and Dr. Peter Vincent Pry.  Ambassador Cooper led strategic arms control negotiations with the USSR under President Reagan and served as the Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization under President George H.W. Bush.  His is currently the Chairman of High Frontier, an organization dedicated to protecting the United States from nuclear attack.  Dr. Pry served on the Congressional EMP Threat Commission, as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee and as an analyst in the CIA.  He is now the Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board dedicated to national resiliency in the face of EMP and other threats.

Highlights of the program included the following:

Scientists estimate that the world is overdue for another Carrington Event, and the Sun has already entered its solar maximum that shall last through 2013, when a catastrophic geo-storm is more likely to occur, Woolsey said.

Moreover, according to Dr. Pry, the North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang recently intercepted and undergoing inspection in Panama under suspicion of drug smuggling, was discovered to have in its hold two nuclear-capable SA-2 missiles.  The missiles were without nuclear warheads, Pry said, but the incident is disturbingly like the EMP Commission's nightmare scenario of a nuclear EMP attack launched from a freighter off the U.S. coast, to conceal the identity of the attacker and escape retaliation.  Pry said "connecting the dots" between cyber attacks, sabotage by AK-47s, a North Korean freighter carrying nuclear capable missiles in the Caribbean may warrant a crash program to protect the nation's electric grid.    

All panelists endorsed the SHIELD Act, urged that the Department of Homeland Security develop a new National Planning Scenario focused on EMP, and encouraged other states to follow the example of Maine, not wait for Washington, but pass state initiatives to protect their electric grids from EMP now.

Video of the event and additional information about the EMP Coalition, its partners and their efforts to secure our grid from all hazards can be obtained at www.StopEMP.org.

The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public.  

For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org.

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