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