Category Archives: Nuclear

The threat of a Super-EMP

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The threat is thanks to North Korea, but Iran is reported to have a base just south of the Chinese border.

James Hyde co-authored this two-part article. For part one, click here.

It’s a staggering prediction, something reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic, mega-disaster movie that has the winnowing characters scavenging for anything they can in a desperate search for water and food. But this is no movie, and it isn’t fiction. This frightening estimate has the consensus of the U.S. government, well-known, pro-electric-grid “protectionists” screaming into the winds of congressional resistance, and a number of think tanks that follow this issue closely.

Peter Pry, a former CIA analyst and executive director of the congressionally chartered EMP Commission shared the estimate withNewsmax:

“‘Within 12 months of an EMP attack or a massive solar flare between two-thirds to 90 percent of the U.S. population would perish’ from lack of electricity, Pry said, quoting the conclusions from the EMP Commission’s two public reports.”

That’s well beyond a stunning and chilling augury, one that should make Congress take the threat so seriously that it puts aside all else and acts immediately to protect our electric grid. But so far—and we’ve known about the effects of this weapon since the Starfish Prime nuclear test in 1962—it hasn’t generated the kind of legislation that would help prevent an extinction-level event.

In this, the second of two articles about the threat, we discuss how the threat comes from the detonation of a Super-EMP device 300 miles in our exo-atmosphere and right over the center of the United States. Because a Super-EMP is an EMP “device” as opposed to a conventional nuclear weapon, the nuclear yield is far less, while its load of gamma rays is far greater. That is what makes it so utterly destructive. The damage caused by the E1 pulse to our electric infrastructure is complete, long lasting (a decade or more) and incalculable cost-wise. It’s the aftermath of the impact that would open the door wide to the grim reaper carrying an enormous, razor-sharp scythe, especially for city and suburban dwellers.

The gamma rays focused on the center of the country radiate out horizontally, not into the ground. They then form a circular impact on the nation’s entire electric grid depending on its altitude (300 miles up seems optimum).  The E1 wave is an extremely fast electrical pulse that will take out objects dependent upon electrical conductivity, such as many cars (save for those manufactured before 1974), most of the technological gadgets to which we are addicted, and, unfortunately, far too many military assets that will be useless after the attack. Importantly, greater damage is done to such targets when they are powered on at the time the pulse hits the earth.

The truly existential threat of a Super-EMP attack on the U.S. comes courtesy of North Korea, a disgruntled and paranoid rogue state that has been trading nuclear secrets with Iran in a mutual pact to destroy us. As we pointed out in Part One of these two articles, Iran has pulled a brilliant end run around Obama, Kerry and the P5+1, and is reported to have a base just south of the Chinese border.

Kim Jong Un harbors schizophrenic delusions, chief among them is his belief that an imminent attack is coming from the U.S. and South Korea. Kim, likely with Iran nuclear physicists standing beside him, tested what may have been a hydrogen-based Super-EMP on January 6 of this year. Evidence of its highly efficient and destructive power came in just three words from North Korean news broadcasts. Their experts contend that they will destroy us, “all at once.”

All at once? The phrase struck us like an epiphanic sledge hammer when we read the story on Breitbart:

“In a commentary feature on its website, North Korea’s state media outlet boasted that its nation’s scientists are in ‘high spirits’ to detonate nuclear weapons capable of destroying America ‘all at once.’”

No nuclear or any other kind of attack could destroy the entire country “all at once” except a Super-EMP with the core component being hydrogen. A thermonuclear bomb is 1,000 times more powerful than the strongest conventional nuclear weapon. But the North Koreans were not acting on their own and the yield from the test was minimized.

At first, the reports from those testing air samples in the area claimed that it wasn’t a hydrogen bomb test. However, retesting had scientists saying that there was evidence of elements decidedly hydrogen in origin, but it was not a major thermonuclear bomb. So what was tested?

We realized when that question arose that the test hadn’t been of a full-blown hydrogen bomb, but a far smaller thermonuclear device that would serve as a Super-EMP weapon possibly developed by the North Koreans and the Iranians working together.

That degree of evil-axis cooperation brings a wintry chill up and down the spines of those of us who have studied this threat in depth. Those doing all they can to get Congress to take action on this issue include: R. James Woolsey, ex-CIA director, and Peter Vincent Pry, who established theEMP Task Force, a site where you’ll find a map detailing the EMP threat from North Korea.

The video highlights how North Korea’s KSM-3 satellite  (already circling the globe) which has, “the capability to deliver a small nuclear warhead to intercontinental ranges–against any nation on Earth.” It’s small enough to put into a faux satellite. The KSM-3 already passes over the U.S. from south to north, instead of west to east. That’s due in part to the absence of a strong missile defense system protecting our southern flank.

There are many other experts worthy of mention, in particular, Frank Gaffney, author of Guilty Knowledge, a book that highlights the U.S. government’s knowledge of the vulnerability of the grid, but willfully neglects to address the threat.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-A.Z.), a member of Congress has been tireless in his efforts to pass a number of bills to fix the problem. He has carried the torch to illuminate the issue in Congress numerous times, including his introduction of HR 2417, the Secure High-Voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act (Shield Act), which has stalled in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The cost to protect the grid is modest at $20 to $30 billion. But there’s an added problem. Some 3,200 utility companies who would have to cooperate are risk averse to pass the cost onto ratepayers. If they did so, the actual cost would be $3.30 per month, according to Testimony of George H. Baker before the Joint Hearing on “The EMP Threat: The State of Preparedness against the Threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Event” May 13, 2015. Considering the nature of the threat, that’s a tiny price for a huge problem. A story published by The Hill explains the difficulty of getting serious legislative action to the president’s desk.

A Super-EMP attack or a cyberattack that takes out the grid is extremely serious. It’s made all the more so because the North Koreans are about to test launch another missile. They could very easily be launching a new satellite, this one carrying a Super-EMP device, in which case, if it is detonated over the center of the country, it could leave us in the dark “all at once” for as long as a decade or more.

James Hyde began his journalism career as managing editor of Financial Computing and Analytical Instruments and Computers magazines. He later became managing editor of United States Banker magazine, and won a Jesse H. Neal Award in 1986. Since then he has written one book and two syndicated columns that were circulated worldwide. He is a political analyst and has worked for a number of major political figures.

Amil Imani is an Iranian-American writer, poet, satirist, novelist, essayist, literary translator, public speaker and political analyst who has been writing and speaking out about the danger of radical Islam internationally. He has become a formidable voice in the USA against the danger of global jihad and Islamization of America. He maintains a website at http://www.amilimani.com. and wrote the book Obama Meets Ahmadinejad and a new thriller Operation Persian Gulf

Amil Imani can be reached at Amil@amilimaniinitiative.com.James Hyde can be reached at James@amilimaniinitiative.com

State Department declares Parchin military base not nuke site before IAEA even signs off on it

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Responding to reports of construction at the Parchin military base, State Department spokesman John Kirby said that building an addition to one of the buildings was allowed because the site is a  “conventional military site, not a nuclear site.”

This is another flip flop by the Obama administration who had been insisting for years that Parchin may have conducted tests as recently as 2010 related to a nuclear explosive. And of course, giving Parchin a clean bill of health before the IAEA even has a chance to examine the samples that will be collected by Iranian sciientsts is ludicrous.

Jerusalem Post:

For over a decade, the IAEA has sought answers to a set list of questions regarding the possible military dimensions of Iran’s past nuclear work. The agency agreed on a “road-map” with Iran last month toward that end and hopes to conclude its inquiry by the end of the year.

Theoretically, the inquiry is intended to conclude whether the site is conventional or nuclear in nature.

If the investigation concludes to the satisfaction of the IAEA, Iran will begin receiving its sanctions relief, and the broader Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action— the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal— will go into effect.

There is a Kabuki dance being performed by the international community as they go through the motions of deliberating and signing off on the agreement. Even the IAEA is now in the tank for the deal, eschewing any semblance of independent verification in favor of hurrying the process of certifying Iran to be compliant with the terms of the agreement.

This is clear to Democratic lawmakers who now have no reason at all to go against their president and vote the deal down. They realize that even if by some miracle Congress would refuse to OK the agreement, it would move forward anyway as if they didn’t even exist. Why risk your political career if it’s a done deal anyway?

Republicans should call out this charade and boycott the vote. It’s about as meaningful as voting to name a new post office in Ohio after John Boehner. Better to refuse to become part of this stage managed soap opera than be seen participating in it.

Obama comfortable with IAEA deal with Tehran to self-inspect nuke site

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The White House on Wednesday said it was “confident” in the abilities of the International Agency for Atomic Energy to monitor and inspect the possible military dimensions on Iran’s past nuclear work and was “comfortable” with confidential arrangements between the IAEA and Tehran to ensure compliance with the nuclear deal signed on July 14.

“As the administration has said before — including in classified briefings for both chambers of Congress — we are confident in the agency’s technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran’s former program, issues that in some cases date back more than a decade,” White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday in response to an Associated Press report that revealed the IAEA would cede investigative authority of a suspected nuclear site to Tehran.

“Just as importantly, the IAEA is comfortable with arrangements, which are unique to the agency’s investigation of Iran’s historical activities. When it comes to monitoring Iran’s behavior going forward, the IAEA has separately developed the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated to ensure Iran’s current program remains exclusively peaceful, the overarching objective of the JCPOA. Beyond that, we are not going to comment on a purported draft IAEA document,” Price said.

The revelation, based on a document seen by AP, was also shrugged off by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who said, “I truly believe in this agreement,” after announcing that House Democrats have the votes to uphold President Barack Obama’s veto of a resolution against his Iran nuclear deal, if needed.

According to the document obtained by AP, the agreement worked out between the IAEA and Iran allows the Islamic Republic to use its own experts to inspect the Parchin nuclear site. The IAEA’s concession is unprecedented, according to a former senior IAEA official.

Iran has refused access to Parchin for years. Based on US, Israeli and other intelligence and its own research, the IAEA suspects that the Islamic Republic may have experimented with high-explosive detonators for nuclear arms at that military facility. The IAEA has also repeatedly cited evidence, based on satellite images, of possible attempts to sanitize the site since the alleged work stopped more than a decade ago.

The revelation was met with furious cynicism by Israel and US Republican leaders, with a leading senator calling the agreement to have Iran inspect its own suspect site “remarkably naive and incredibly reckless.”

Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz immediately issued a caustic response. “One must welcome this global innovation and outside-the-box thinking,” he said in a statement dripping with sarcasm. “One can only wonder if the Iranian inspectors will also have to wait 24 days before being able to visit the site and look for incriminating evidence?”

Steinitz, the Israeli government’s point man on Iran, was alluding to the complex clauses in the agreement reached last month between world powers and Iran aimed at curbing its nuclear program, one of which provides Iran with 24-days notice of efforts to inspect suspect sites.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 24, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

Republican senators were also furious. “This side agreement shows that true verification is a sham, and it begs the question of what else the administration is keeping from Congress,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader. McCarthy also complained that Congress learned of the IAEA deal from the AP report and not from the administration.

John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said, “Trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the UN in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless. This revelation only reinforces the deep-seated concerns the American people have about the agreement.”

The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce, called the agreement a “dangerous farce,” and accused the world powers who brokered the deal of acquiescing to Iran’s every demand.

“International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period. The standard of ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections – so critical to a viable agreement – has dropped to ‘when Iran wants, where Iran wants, on Iran’s terms,’” Royce said Wednesday. “For weeks, Congress has been demanding access to this document to assess the viability of the inspections measures. Congress must now consider whether this unprecedented arrangement will keep Iran from cheating. This is a dangerous farce.”

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush also used the term “farce,” writing Wednesday on Twitter that “Nuclear inspections of state sponsors of terrorism can’t work on the honor system.”

Israel has slammed the deal concluded by the P5+1 powers and Iran, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu branding it a historic mistake that will both pave Iran’s path to the bomb and, by lifting sanctions, cement the Islamist regime in power and allow it fund more terrorist activity and other dangerous regional activities.

Netanyahu has lobbied Congress to reject the deal when it votes on it next month.

The AP report on the separate IAEA-Iran side-agreement relating to Parchin dryly termed the self-inspection clause “an unusual arrangement.”

It said news of the agreement would be “sure to roil American and Israeli critics of the main Iran deal signed by the US, Iran and five world powers in July.”

The investigation of the Parchin nuclear site by the International Atomic Energy Agency is linked to a broader probe of allegations that Iran has worked on atomic weapons. That investigation is part of the overarching nuclear deal.

The Parchin deal is a separate, side agreement worked out directly between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers that signed the Iran nuclear deal were not party to this agreement but were briefed on it by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package.

Without divulging its contents, the Obama administration had previously described the document as nothing more than a routine technical arrangement between Iran and the IAEA on the particulars of inspecting the site.