Scary, Infuriating, Obnoxious: The Usual

Jack at CommonSenseDesk posts on one scary little problem on our eastern seaboard:
After reading this one, I think we should definitely continue to use Homeland Security's formula for the distribution of anti-terror resources.

It is the deadliest target in a swath of industrial northern New Jersey that terrorism experts call the most dangerous two miles in America: a chemical plant that processes chlorine gas, so close to Manhattan that the Empire State Building seems to rise up behind its storage tanks.

According to federal Environmental Protection Agency records, the plant poses a potentially lethal threat to 12 million people who live within a 14-mile radius.

Yet on a recent Friday afternoon, it remained loosely guarded and accessible. Dozens of trucks and cars drove by within 100 feet of the tanks. A reporter and photographer drove back and forth for five minutes, snapping photos with a camera the size of a large sidearm, then left without being approached.

That chemical plant is just one of dozens of vulnerable sites between Newark Liberty International Airport and Port Elizabeth, which extends two miles to the east. A Congressional study in 2000 by a former Coast Guard commander deemed it the nation's most enticing environment for terrorists, providing a convenient way to cripple the economy by disrupting major portions of the country's rail lines, oil storage tanks and refineries, pipelines, air traffic, communications networks and highway system.

Unbelievable, you can't make this stuff up!
No kidding. And as much as I hate when stuff like that’s in the paper, if that’s the only way to get it some much-needed attention, then it’s got to be done.

What’s unbearably annoying is that on the same day I’m reading about such a huge security gap, questions about which directed to the administration would no doubt be met with excuses about funding, I’m also reading, via Crooks and Liars, about the $1 million which has been given by Congress over the past two years to Alaska Christian College, which doesn’t grant degrees but certificates in biblical studies. C&L wants to know, “How much extra armor could we have bought for our troops with that extra million bucks?” Fair question. I want to know how much additional security that extra cool mil might have bought to close the aforementioned vulnerability in New Jersey that potentially threatens 12 million people.

That’s 11,999,963 more than the 37 students who attend Alaska Christian College, by the way.

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