Friday, October 06, 2006

Terror Fuss: ARAMs, PRDs and SSNs

The term terror fuss characterizes the scurrilous efforts by the out-of-favor political party to frighten voters and cast the administration's job of protecting American citizens as poor. The example most often cited is inadequate port security (translation: we need more unionized security workers at our ports).

After five years, Islamo terrorists have failed to score again on U.S. soil and their chances of doing so have declined from 50% to under 5%. If you owned Bin Laden's terror team, would you be paying them bonuses for winning? If you were in the U.S. Senate (the supposed Homeland Team) would you be advertising real weaknesses in our port security?

In order for politicians to sound plausible, they must obtain facts about what is being done to protect our ports. But, if those lawyers (most of them are) get real facts to twist and spin in the press, our literate, terrorist enemies get them shortly thereafter and plot ways to overcome them. Adequate port security has been in place and is improving without public notice, and disclosures of compromising details.

Coast Guard cutters, helicopters, even US NAVY submarines and future blimps could monitor nodes in shipping lanes just outside of our ports (if they do not already). Do we know what all of them actually do? Consider the ruggedized radiation detection device (LLNL photo above) in a 3 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft case, weighing 200 lbs. Placed at highway checkpoints, airport inspection areas, in Coast Guard vessels, helicopters and blimps and, Voila! It has
been here (see 2005 R&D Awards) Adaptable Radiation Area Monitor (ARAM).

And it works: The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that on July 20, 2006, a large rig passing through a California-Nevada border check point triggered the radiological alarm on the ARAM system detector. The alarm prompted action from the Truckee Fire Protection District and the Nevada County Health Services, as well as the Truckee Fire’s Hazardous Materials Unit, which conducted the inspection and finally cleared the vehicle for release. Although the truck was carrying the load legally and the public was never in danger, the ARAM demonstrated its unique capability to rapidly and accurately identify radiological material passing through the area and provide an immediate alarm.
source Nice.

But, just in case a Venezuelan (for example) sneaks something inside the U.S. in his leather pouch, these
PRDs (personal radiation detectors) and these things are everywhere (some longshoremen actually have them). Note the EMP Test Results by the Naval Air Warfare Center. They have been around in earlier versions since 9-11. Even Senator Kerry can buy one today for under $130 anytime he wants. Do ya' think Sen. Kerry's chauffer has one on the limousine key?


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