“That’s why he cannot have a … nuclear device deliverable to the homeland,” stated General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, on October 30, responding to Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s query about a North Korean electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack killing 90 percent of Americans.
The Congressional EMP Commission engaged the foremost experts on EMP, nuclear weapons, and critical infrastructures for 17 years trying to move Washington to protect the nation from an EMP Apocalypse. For 17 years the EMP Commission warned, in the words of the 2004 EMP Commission Executive Report: “The current vulnerability of U.S. critical infrastructures can both invite and reward attack if not corrected; however, correction is feasible and well within the Nation’s means and resources to accomplish.”
Why has Washington not acted on the EMP Commission’s recommendations to protect our nation?
One reason is the ideological bias and rank dishonesty of liberal and leftist reporters dominating the media who regard EMP as a “politically incorrect” threat that must be denied and even ridiculed.
At an October 12 congressional hearing on the threat from North Korea, Dr. William Graham, Chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission, and I warned in our joint statement about widespread media disinformation on the EMP threat: “Misinformation about EMP abounds in the media, and even in many allegedly serious studies, from uninformed persons posturing as experts, who have no competency in EMP. False claims are often made that the EMP threat is ‘not real’ but merely theoretical and greatly overblown.”
Some journalists fear EMP justifies modernizing U.S. nuclear weapons and deploying space-based missile defenses — both anathema to the Left. Others fear acknowledging the EMP threat would undermine former President Obama’s “world without nuclear weapons” and the Iran nuclear deal — because EMP attack makes even a single nuclear weapon a formidable deterrent and potential war-winner.
Others are just too stupid and too arrogant to educate themselves about the reality of the EMP threat.
Enter Brian Barrett’s article “North Korea’s Plenty Scary Without An Over Hyped EMP Threat” Wired (November 1, 2017), worthy of the Center for Security Policy’s “EMP Hall of Shame” for fake news.
Some examples of Barrett’s dishonest and inaccurate reporting:
Barrett perpetuates the lie, begun by Kyle Mizukami in Popular Mechanics, that the estimate up to 90 percent of Americans could die from EMP originates, not from the EMP Commission, but from a science fiction novel. According to Barrett the estimate was “first offered” by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett “in a 2008 congressional hearing … sourced from a work of science fiction, William R. Forstchen’s One Second After.”
In fact, Forstchen himself refuted this false claim in a letter to Popular Mechanics, which they refused to publish: “Your article is a grave disservice to the American public at a time when we face a serious national threat from a very real enemy who, on a regular basis, threatens to strike us using nuclear weapons…..When writing my novel I drew on hard facts, as provided by the two well-researched Congressional reports. It was not … the other way around: that I influenced Congress in what can only be your creation of a ‘false news story.’”
I told Barrett about the Forstchen letter, but he preferred to perpetuate a lie to undermine the credibility of the EMP Commission. In fact, since the establishment of the EMP Commission in 2001, and even before 2001 in congressional hearings, estimates that two-thirds to 90 percent of the population could die from EMP were circulating. Rep. Bartlett was aware of these estimates long before publication of Forstchen’s novel in 2009.
Barrett misrepresents as an EMP expert Sharon Burke who wrongly claims there is “no proof” EMP “would destroy a wide area of electrical equipment today.” Burke, a political scientist, served in the Obama Administration’s Defense Department promoting climate change security, and is affiliated with left-leaning think tanks Center for a New American Security and New America Foundation. She knows nothing about EMP.
Barrett misrepresents as an EMP expert Philip Coyle, who worked as an administrator at Livermore and Obama’s DOD on nuclear programs, but has not designed nuclear weapons and is not a technical expert on EMP, like the EMP Commissioners. Coyle’s involvement in anti-nuclear left-wing organizations like the Center for Defense Information has long made him one of the liberal media’s favorite “defense scientists.”
According to Coyle: “Talking about EMP, I think it’s just a distraction. I don’t know why it keeps coming up.”
To talk such nonsense in the shadow of North Korea’s H-Bomb test in September that they describe as being for “super-powerful EMP attack” — and the publication by Pyongyang on September 4 of a technical report “The EMP Might Of Nuclear Weapons” — proves Coyle and Barrett are both clueless.
Barrett fails to report the most important facts proving the EMP threat and ignores the stellar qualifications of the EMP Commissioners, because such facts would destroy his false narrative.
Barrett wrongly writes “Pry disagrees” with my colleague Frank Cilluffo who supports national EMP preparedness.
No wonder America despises journalists!
Peter Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security. He served in the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of "Blackout Wars." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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