Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 12, 2014

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on December 12, 2014

William R. Cumming Forum

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22 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 12:37 am

Later on this week’s FFF I will be posting a lengthy book review of the 2009 book by Stephanie Cook entitled IN MORTAL HANDS-A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age. Please note this book and effort by Ms. Cook was written before the events of March 2011 at Fukishima Da-Ici involving the related impacts of a Tsunami and Earthquake and Core-Melt accident.

Background reading for those interested might well begin with the 1988 NUCLEAR ORACLES by Dr. Richard Sylves, PhD, and any of the excellent recent biographies of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, PhD!

Ms. Cook’s clear and cogent discussion of various nuclear accidents and incidents [near misses?] is IMO of a high standard.

The thesis put forth by Ms. Cook is that the intertwining of the development of military nuclear weaponry and civilian nuclear power has led to wide-scale proliferation and increased risks of radioactive releases posing long term threats to the earth’s population.

A sample quote from page 407 of the book:

“The problem we face with nuclear energy ultimately is not about global warming or even nuclear weapons. It is about our relationship to the atom and the extraordinary hold it has had over us for the past century, and the power structures that have evolved to support it. President Eisenhower warned against not only “unwarranted influence” by the military-industrial complex but the “danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

Comment by Christopher Tingus

December 12, 2014 @ 1:55 am

This project is part of the National Science Digital Library and was funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation Grant 0434253 -© Copyright 1998-2013 AJ Software & Multimedia All Rights Reserved

Timeline of the Nuclear Age

1895
Wilhelm Roentgen of Germany, while conducting experiments with cathode rays, accidentally discovers a new and different kind of ray. These rays were so mysterious that Roentgen named them “x-rays.” He received the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for this discovery.
1896
French physicist Antoine Henri Becquerel’s experiments led to the discovery of radioactivity. He observed that the element uranium can blacken a photographic plate, even though separated from it by glass or black paper. He also observed that the rays that produce the darkening are capable of discharging an electroscope, indicating that the rays possess an electric charge.
1897
J. J. Thomson of Britain discovers the electron, while also studying cathode rays. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1906 for this discovery.
1899
Ernest Rutherford discovers two kinds of rays emitting from radium. The first he calls alpha rays; the more penetrating rays he calls beta rays.
1900
Frederick Soddy observes spontaneous disintegration of radioactive elements into variants he calls “isotopes.”
1902
Ernest Rutherford and Soddy publish theory of radioactive decay.
1903
Becquerel shares Nobel Prize for Physics with Pierre and Marie Curie for 1896 discovery of natural radioactivity.
1904
Rutherford discovers that alpha rays are heavy positively charged particles. In 1908, he is awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work.
J. J. Thomson proposes the “plum-pudding” model of the atom. In it the atom is envisioned as electrons surrounded by a soup of positive charge, like plums surrounded by pudding.
1905
Albert Einstein publishes the special theory of relativity regarding convertibility of matter and energy (E=mc2).
1911
The “plum-pudding” is disproved by the gold foil experiment by Ernest Rutherford, when he discovered the nucleus of the atom.
Marie Curie receives a second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, for the isolation of radium and polonium and for her investigation of their chemical properties.
1913
Niels Bohr publishes theory of atomic structure, combining nuclear theory with quantum theory.
1915
Albert Einstein publishes the general theory of relativity. The theory proposes that gravity, as well as motion, can affect the intervals of time and of space.
1919
June – Rutherford bombards nitrogen gas with alpha particles and obtains atoms of an oxygen isotope and protons. This transmutation of nitrogen into oxygen was the first artificially induced nuclear reaction.
1920
June – Rutherford speculates on the existence of the neutron at a lecture to the Royal Society of London.
1925
Werner Heisenberg, Max Born and later Erwin Schrödinger formulate quantum mechanics. Heisenberg is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the creation of quantum mechanics.
1927
Werner Heisenberg states the uncertainty principle, which states that it is not possible to simultaneously determine the position and momentum of a particle.
1929
Ernest O. Lawrence conceives idea for the first cyclotron, a device that greatly increased the speed with which protons could be hurled at atomic nuclei. He was awarded the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention and development of the cyclotron and for results obtained with it. John Crockcroft and E. T. S. Walton develop a high-voltage apparatus (“linear accelerator”) for accelerating protons. With this they study nuclear reactions (atomic transmutation) and are awarded the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics.
1931
November – Harold Urey discovers deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen that contains one proton and one neutron.
1932
February – James Chadwick discovers the neutron.
1933
April – Max Born, James Franck and many other scientists are compelled to leave their posts at German universities because of their “Jewish physics.”
October – Leo Szilard recollects, “It occurred to me in October, 1933 that a chain reaction might be set up if an element could be found that would emit two neutrons when it swallowed one neutron.” This idea becames a classified British patent in 1935 before fission was discovered.
1934
Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie discover artificial radioactivity.
Enrico Fermi irradiates uranium with neutrons. He believes he has produced the first transuranic element, but unknowingly achieves the world’s first nuclear fission.
1938
December – Fermi receives the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of transuranic elements (actually fission of uranium) and departs for the United States.
December 22 – Otto Hahn sends a paper to Lise Meitner containing experimental results that are interpreted by Meitner and nephew Otto Frisch as nuclear fission.
1939
January 6 – Hahn and his assistant Fritz Strassmann publish their results.
February 11 – Meitner and Frisch publish a theoretical interpretation of the Hahn-Strassmann results as nuclear fission.
January to May – Many experiments on uranium fission are conducted by scientists in laboratories around the world.
August 2 – Szilard, Eugene Wigner, and Edward Teller obtain a letter from Einstein on the possibility of a uranium weapon; President Roosevelt receives the letter on October 11, 1939 from Alexander Sachs, who was an unofficial adviser to the President. Hans Bethe recognizes that the fusion of hydrogen nuclei to form deuterium releases energy. He suggests that much of the energy output of the Sun results from fusion reactions. He would win the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physics for this effort.
1940
May 3 – German troops occupy Norway, seizing the world’s only heavy-water production plant at Vemork.
May 19 – Frisch and Rudolf Peierls submit a memorandum to the British government estimating the critical mass of uranium 235 needed for an atomic bomb and urging a bomb research project.
June 3 – German scientists fail to observe neutron multiplication in the reactor in Hamburg.
June 15 – Using the Berkeley cyclotron, Philip Abelson and Edwin McMillan demonstrate that neutrons captured by uranium 238 lead to the creation of elements 93 and 94, neptunium and plutonium.
1941
January – Based on experiments with a natural uranium reactor, the Germans reject graphite as a moderator.
February 23 – Glenn Seaborg discovers new element (atomic number 94), which they call plutonium.
March 28 – American physicists confirm that plutonium is fissionable, thus usable for a bomb.
July – British ‘MAUD’ Committee reports that a weapon could be made with 22 pounds of pure uranium 235.
December 6 – President Roosevelt authorizes the Manhattan Engineering District. The secret U.S. project to build an atomic bomb, later to be called the Manhattan Project, is put under the direction of the Office of Scientific Research and Development.
1942
September 23 – Brigadier General Leslie Groves is put in charge of the Manhattan Project. He recruits J. Robert Oppenheimer as Scientific Director.
November 5 – Construction of a uranium isotope separation plant begins at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
December 2 – Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago produces the world’s first controlled and sustained nuclear fission reaction.
1943
January – Planning begins for construction of reactors at Hanford, Washington, to breed plutonium for a bomb.
March 15 – Oppenheimer moves the bomb development to a secret laboratory located at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
1944
August 26 – Bohr presents his memorandum on intentional control of nuclear weapons to Roosevelt.
November – First batch of spent fuel obtained from Hanford reactors.
November – The ALSOS mission obtains documents implying that the German’s rate of progress toward a bomb had diminished.
1945
January – First plutonium reprocessing begins at Hanford.
January 20 – First uranium 235 separated at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
June 11 – The Franck Report is sent to Secretary of War Stimson.
July 16 – U.S. explodes the world’s first atomic bomb, the Trinity test, at Alamogordo, New Mexico.
August 6 – Little Boy, an uranium bomb, was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Between 80,000 – 140,000 people are killed.
August 9 – Fat Man, a plutonium bomb, was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. About 74,000 people are killed.
1946
June 14 – Bernard Baruch presents the Acheson-Lilienthal plan to internationalize the atomic energy. It is rejected by the U.S.S.R.
June 30 – First subsurface detonation by U.S. is achieved at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
July – Demonstrations are held in Times Square, New York, against nuclear testing.
August 1 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Atomic Energy Act. Its purpose is to control the development and production of nuclear weapons and to direct the research and development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
December 25 – The Soviet Union achieves its first nuclear chain reaction in Moscow.
December 31 – Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) takes over nuclear weapons program from the Army.
1947
January – The United Kingdom authorizes the development of nuclear weapons.
June – Under the direction of William Penney, the UK begins design of its plutonium bomb.
August – The United Kingdom builds its first atomic reactor.
1948
April, May – U.S. conducts atomic tests at Eniwetok Atoll.
1949
April 4 – NATO established.
August 29 – Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb, Joe 1, at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan. It is a copy of the Fat Man bomb and has a yield of 21 kilotons.
October 30 – General Advisory Committee of the AEC recommends that the more powerful atomic bombs should be built rather than hydrogen bombs.

This project is part of the National Science Digital Library and was funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation Grant 0434253 -© Copyright 1998-2013 AJ Software & Multimedia All Rights Reserved

1950
January 27 – Klaus Fuchs confesses that he gave atomic secrets to the Soviets while working at the Manhattan Project.
January 31 – President Truman announces the decision to proceed with development of the hydrogen bomb.
1951
January 27 – The first nuclear test occurs at the Nevada Test Site.
June – First British nuclear reactor goes critical.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted and sentenced to death for passing information on atomic weapons to the U.S.S.R.
1952
September – A second U.S. nuclear weapons laboratory is established in Livermore, California.
October 3 – First British atomic bomb, “Hurricane,” was tested at Monte Bello Islands, Australia, with a yield of 25 kilotons.
October 31 – U.S. explodes first thermonuclear or fusion device, “Mike,” at Eniwetok Atoll. It had a yield of 10.4 megatons.
1953
August 12 – First Soviet layer cake design bomb explods on a tower in Siberia. It was not a “true” hydrogen bomb.
1954
March 1 – The first deliverable hydrogen bomb design is tested at Bikini Atoll. “BRAVO” has a yield of 14.8 megatons. Radioactive fallout affects local islanders and a nearby fishing boat.
April 12 to May 6 – Hearings regarding Oppenheimer’s loyalty cause him to lose his security clearance.
September 30 – The USS Nautilus, the first American nuclear powered submarine, is launched.
1955
The U.S.S.R. deploys two strategic bombers, Bear and Bison.
The United Kingdom announces the decision to develop thermonuclear weapons.
November 22 – The first true fusion device test is acheived by the Soviet Union; it has a yield of 1.6 megatons. The development is lead by Andrei Sakharov.
1957
May 15 – First British H-bomb exploded at Christmas Island. The yield was between 200 – 300 kilotons. It was less than expected.
July 29 – The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency is created. The agency inspects nuclear reactors and plants to ensure they are being run for peaceful purposes.
August 26 – The Soviet Union announces the successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
September 19 – First underground nuclear test, “Rainier,” occurs at the Nevada Test Site. It had a yield of 1.7 kilotons.
November 8 – Britain’s first truly successful thermonuclear bomb test. The bomb had a yield of 1.8 megatons.
October – Fire destroys the core of a reactor at Britain’s Windscale nuclear complex, sending clouds of radioactivity into the atmosphere.
1958
July 2 – President Eisenhower signs amendments to the 1954 U.S. Atomic Energy Act which opened the way to a bilateral agreement between Britain and America on nuclear weapon design information.
November 1958 to September 1961 – U.S., U.K., and U.S.S.R. observe an informal moratorium on nuclear tests.
1959
June 9 – The first U.S. Polaris nuclear missile-capable submarine enters into service.
October 31 – The U.S. deploys the first operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Atlas D.
1960
February 13 – The first French nuclear test occurs at Reganne, Algeria, in the Sahara Desert. It has a yield of 60-70 kilotons.
July 20 – The United States submarine USS George Washington successfully launches a Polaris missile from underwater.
November 15 – USS George Washington and its 16 Polaris A1s begin their first patrol.
U.S. deploys the Atlas and Titan ICBMs.
1961
February 1 – U.S. launches the Minuteman I missile.
September 1 – U.S.S.R. resumes nuclear testing.
September 15 – U.S. resumes nuclear testing.
October 31 – U.S.S.R. explodes the world’s largest nuclear bomb, with a yield of 58 megatons.
1962
July 6 – Project Sedan, a Plowshare Program test, is conducted; formed a 1,280-foot diameter by 320 foot deep crater.
July 8 – Electromagnetic pulse from high-altitude nuclear test turns off street lights in Oahu, Hawaii.
October 16-28 – The Cuban Missile Crisis occurs. The closest the world has ever come to nuclear war.
1963
June 20 – The U.S. and U.S.S.R. sign the ‘hot line’ agreement.
August 5 – Limited Test Ban Treaty signed by the U.S., U.S.S.R. and the U.K., prohibiting tests of nuclear devices in the atmosphere, in outer space, and underwater.
1964
October 16 – China explodes its first atomic bomb at the Lop Nur test site. It was an uranium 235 implosion fission device named “596” and has a yield of 22 kilotons.
1966
January 17 – U.S. B-52 bomber crashes near Palomares, Spain with four unarmed hydrogen bombs. All four bombs are recovered.
September 24 – First French atomic bomb tested at Muruoa Atoll.
U.S. Minuteman ICBM enters service.
1967
January 27 – Outer Space Treaty bans nuclear weapons being placed on any celestial body, or in orbit around the Earth.
February 14 – Treaty of Tlatelolco signed, creates a Latin America nuclear-weapons-free zone.
June 17 – First hydrogen bomb test by the Chinese, with a yield of 3.3 megatons.
1968
July 1 – Non-Proliferation Treaty opened for additional signatures.
August 24 – France tests its first hydrogen bomb at Fangataufa Atoll in the South Pacific. It has a yield of 2.6 megatons.
1969
March 14 – President Richard M. Nixon announces the decision to deploy a missile defense system called “Safeguard” to protect U.S. ICBM fields from attack.
November to December – Preliminary Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) talks take place in Helsinki, Finland.

KIndly see: atomicarchive.com – Timeline of the Nuclear Age

Comment by Christopher Tingus

December 12, 2014 @ 1:57 am

Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons

by Joseph Cirincione

Comment by Christopher Tingus

December 12, 2014 @ 1:59 am

Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea

by Jeffrey T. Richelson

Comment by Christopher Tingus

December 12, 2014 @ 2:33 am

Given the present theme – Nuclear weapons and Tehran, well, unfortunately, at least from my perspective, read Leviticus26 which clearly shows that since 9/11 and some thirteen years later, losing in this War on terror given this incapable and leftist US eight year resident, “And I will break the pride of your power…and your strength shall be spent in vain” (verses 19-20)

Repent and call for a recall, shout now for the accountability and credibility of this perverse administration which apologizes to those who perpetuate terror and even support the same and an administration which throws our intel community to the side and intentionally reaches in every way divisive in its mannerisms….

Even my dear Hellenic ancestor, Alexander, had a difficult time in Afghanistan, does no one read and understand why attentiveness to history is so valuable in making policy….

Read Seth Jones’ note in his book, “In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan” Even the Arab armies of Mohammed’s followers – it is written – after conquering Herat in western Afghanistan could not defeat the country’s mountain tribes! Few know given their dismissal of reading and such utter indifference, however 16,000 British troops were defeated in one battle alone during the Anglo-Afghan War of 1839-1849!

Read, read and read, yes, you the policy makers and the obvious ignorant among you who vote in the 21st century along party lines and your greedy and self-serving ways, your ever evolving lies standing shoulder to shoulder and a populace, most charitable, but so often overwhelmed with its own dysfunctional mannerisms and hand held devices sharing worthless texts when the world is set to conflagration, a shock and awe never witnessed….

Read Isaiah 3:2-3 as God has said enough is enough…and in removing “the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honorourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator”

Today, Afghanistan can supply 90% or more of the world’s opium.

The real question, while we have a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and obviously Tehran in our midst and a Congress so paralyzed by its own dysfunction and indifference to the brave, those throughout history who have fought with pride and to thwart the regimes, the tyrannical lusts by the oppressors on the weak, well folks, wake up for even our “food banks” cannot even keep enough food to feed the growing poor of a nation which must follow the laws of God and not the deceivers among us….

God Bless America and to those who are responsible in keeping their guns fully loaded and held high and ready for all lawful usage, unless We as a nation repent, demand that our Judeo-Christian values are reestablished and throw those out of office who are leading a charge against Christianity from within, never mind ISIS, unless we strengthen our conviction and replenish and redisplay our mighty and strong arsenal in Democracy, never mind these false lines in the sand and so on, all empty rhetoric as are these escapades as “civil rights ambulance chasers” by those who have been “entrusted” to promote jobs and education and unity, well folks, the road ahead, far more troublesome than folks taking the law and justice in their own hands…we are $18 trillion bankrupt and more importantly, obviously bankrupt in so many ways in this 21st century of innovative technology and the real solutions, the enhancement in the longevity and quality of Life for all and we see earlier yesterday, another dastardly deed played out at a local high school in Kabul where innocent Life, children of God, so brutally attacked…how dare you?

Wake up America…wake up! The veil of darkness will soon befall us and humanity for without a strong America, those whether from within or to distant shore, the foolhardy and greedy will truly jeopardize humanity!

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 7:16 am

Thanks Chris for the excellent and useful nuclear chronology!

Wondering if there is any history published on the Joint [permanent?] Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy?

Suggest recreation of that Joint Committee but retitled to Joint Committee on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Energy!

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 7:18 am

Did you know that the Obama Administration has recommended a $6B down payment on what will be a One [1] Trillion Dollar investment upgrading the Nuclear Arsenal?

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 7:20 am

Did you know that the U.S. Military long ago figured out that nuclear weapons had no military value? Read the published writings and interviews of Retire 4-Star General George Lee Butler!

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 7:22 am

Did you know that the official U.S. nuclear strategic weapons employment doctrine remains MAD [Mutual Assured Destruction]?

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 10:43 am

Book Review follows:

I would argue that Ms. Cook has written a relatively balanced overview on nuclear politics and governance since 1945.
“To some prescient observers, however, the bombing of Hiroshima signaled the e3nd of democracy as it was experienced then and the beginning of the modern super-state. The natural order of things had been overturned for the new order to take hold and flourish, security and secrecy were essential. America became a classified nation, fearsome and fearful” pp2-3!

There is one estimate in the book that the U.S. alone has spent $5.5 Trillion on energy and weapons from the atom since before WWII. I believe this number is low by at least 30% and most honest evaluations indicate over $1 Trillion for environmental cleanup of the bomb making complex alone.

I mention this only to show that Ms. Cook’s discussion of nuclear power and weapons and their history are very balanced and this book not a diatribe
against either although proponents of both nuclear power and weapons may so believe.

IMO discussion of U.S. relations with India and Israel are the strongest part of the book. IMO the MENA [Middle-East n. Africa] and South Asia are the most likely locations for nuclear warfare. Any such warfare will make the nation’s conducting it pariahs but still will happen.

There is some discussion of safety and safeguard issues but mostly relating to proliferation and their absence. The discussion of PAL [Permissive Action Links] is not quite accurate again IMO!

It is the inferences of Ms. Cook that I infer from
the book that I find most alarming and based on my own inadequate knowledge cause me to worry the most.

He is deceased over a decade but a close friend who was a Branch Chief at the CIA about 1990 disclosed to me for the first time his own 30-30 rule. No not a Winchester. Charlie believed 30 years out from 1990 there would be 30 ballistic missile/nuclear capable nations in the world. This book seems to confirm the probable likelihood of that development.

But what really concerns is possession by non-state actors of nuclear capability. This subject is not really addressed by Ms. Cook since her focus is almost entirely on inter-actions of Nation-States on nuclear power and weapons. Her discussion of the formation and history of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] is of interest.

So there is almost no discussion of terrorism and no indication that the U.S. Armed Forces have shown much interest in proliferation issues or contributed much to nuclear diplomacy. One might ask why but I believe that the nuclear priesthood has largely excluded the military with the result that the military are largely in a custodial role on nuclear weapons and not done much thinking on nuclear warfare. And except for ship board reactors nuclear power issues have been largely avoided. Perhaps just to avoid controversy!

I would really like to see this book up-dated in particular after Fukishima D-Ichi event and in light of the desire of the Obama Administration launching a multiyear upgrade of nuclear weapons with request of a $6B down-payment on a One [1] Trillion dollar effort.

Still this is a highly readable and useful overview of nuclear politics since 1945!

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 10:46 am

Correction: I imply and you infer?

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 11:17 am

•Comprehensive Readiness Program for Countering Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, message from the President of the United States, May 5, 1997
•Report to Congress on Response to Threats of Terrorist Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, January 31, 1997

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 11:19 am

Reports above available at:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/index.html

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 12, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

BLAST FROM THE PAST AND STILL WAITING FOR AN ANSWER:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

VLG Letter to AG On FEMA Authority

In a recent post, I described that since 9/11 and the ANTHRAX attacks I had sent two formal letters to the AG of the US! Once concerned Riots and Civil Disorders prompted by bioterrorist attacks which unfortunately I no longer have a file copy of that could be scanned or posted. My letter on FEMA authority is contained herein and follows:

June 11, 2007

Honorable Alberto Gonzales
Attorney General of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20530

RE: Legal Authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Dear General Gonzales:

I am writing to you personally over a matter that I believe is of some urgency. Congress enacted and the President signed last fall the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, Title VI of the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007 (Public Law 109-295). Effective March 31, 2007, this statute created a semi-independent FEMA in the Department of Homeland Security established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296). The former statute did NOT address legal authority issues. Nor have formal delegations to the new Administrator of FEMA been issued by the Secretary DHS, nor published in the Federal Register in compliance with the Federal Register Act of 1934 and the Administrative Procedure Act of 1947, both as amended.

My point is this; the Department of Justice needs to review the express and implied legal authority of the new FEMA. In the event of an actual incident or event it is important that not just DHS and FEMA know what FEMA’s legal authority is but all participating federal departments and agencies that are part of the preparedness and response to such an event. My suggestion is that the project be done under the formal supervision of the Office of Legal Counsel, and as was done for the Presidential Emergency Action Documents, DHS and FEMA assessed the costs of the project and participate. This may end up being a multi-year effort but hopefully not.

I am enclosing three documents that I believe highlight and support the need for this project. First, a two page letter from then Attorney General John Ashcroft to then Director of FEMA Joseph Allbaugh in 2001 (marked as TAB A). Second, a recent 25 page report entitled “The Day After” prepared in 2007 for the Preventative Defense Project of Harvard and Stanford Universities (TAB B). Finally, my annotated version of the unpublished legal appendix to the 1993 National Academy of Public Administration report entitled “Coping with Catastrophe.” This annex has not been previously furnished to you or your Department to my knowledge and the annotations are solely mine. Nonetheless, because FEMA’s Office of Chief Counsel and the former FEMA Office of General Counsel have not issued any comprehensive legal guidance as to legal authority issues it comes as close as is currently available to being that document even though the legal appendix was completed in December 1992. The annotated document is marked as TAB C.

TAB B and C are available virtually once a point of contact is available in DOJ and I may be reached at the address and phone below.

In advance I appreciate your attention to this matter. I have high hopes that this is a project that could influence Homeland Security and Emergency Management policy and operations for years to come and help identify gaps and problems in the President’s legal authority to deal with crisis management and consequences management.

Sincerely,

/S/ William R. Cumming

William R. Cumming
President
The Vacation Lane Group

Comment by Christopher Tingus

December 13, 2014 @ 12:31 am

Breaking News:

From The Trumpet….

An alleged weapons maker for the Islamic State claimed that a “radioactive device” has been smuggled into an undisclosed location in Europe, according to an intelligence brief released Monday by the site

The claim by [Muslim al-Britani, comes just days after reports emerged that [the Islamic State] could have inits possession a dirty bomb, the elements of which were obtained via earlier [Islamic State] raids on a university research facility in Mosul that contained uranium. Britani is also responsible for the flurry of reports on the dirty bomb. Britani, who has disseminated on his Twitter feed
“weapon instructions and manuals,” claimed on November 23 that the “Islamic State does have a dirty bomb.

We found some radioactive material from Mosul University,”according to the tweets reproduced by site. While it is difficult to assess the veracity of Britani’s
claims, U.S. officials have expressed concern about [the Islamic State] potentially smuggling nuclear and radioactive material out of Iraq.

U.S. and Iraqi officials inked a pact in September meant to step up efforts to combat this type of smuggling, which the United States deemed a “critical” threat. “There’s always a concern about radiological or radioactive
sources,” a State Department official told the Washington Free Beacon at the time. …

Iraq reportedly informed the United Nations in July that terrorists had seized nuclear materials being housed at Mosul University. Some 90 pounds of uranium were said to have been stolen, according to reports. …

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 13, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

Thanks Chris for the Joseph Cirincione reference!

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 14, 2014 @ 12:20 am

Wiki Extract:

Cajon Pass

Cajon Pass

Elevation
3,777 ft (1,151 m)[1]

Traversed by
I-15, Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway

Location
San Bernardino County, California, United States

Range
San Bernardino Mountains/San Gabriel Mountains

Coordinates
34°19?33?N 117°25?42?WCoordinates: 34°19?33?N 117°25?42?W

Cajon Pass (/k??ho?n/; elevation 3,777 ft (1,151 m) is a mountain pass between the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California in the United States. It was created by the movements of the San Andreas Fault. The Mojave Desert pass is an important link from the Greater San Bernardino Area to the Victor Valley, and northeast to Las Vegas.

Cajon Pass is at the head of Horsethief Canyon, traversed by California State Route 138 (SR 138) and railroad tracks owned by BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad. Railroad improvements in 1972 reduced its maximum elevation from about 3,829 feet (1,167 m) to 3,777 feet (1,151 m) while also reducing the curvature. Interstate 15 does not traverse Cajon Pass, but rather the nearby Cajon Summit,

34°20?58?N 117°26?47?W, elevation 4,190 feet (1,280 m).[5] However, the entire area including Cajon Pass and Cajon Summit is often collectively called Cajon Pass. Sometimes the entire area is called Cajon Pass, but a distinction is made between Cajon Pass and Cajon Summit in detail.

Mormon Rocks
In 1851, a group of Mormon settlers led by Amasa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich traveled through the Cajon Pass in covered wagons on their way from Salt Lake City to southern California. A prominent rock formation in the pass, where the Mormon trail and the railway merge (at 34.3184,-117.4920, near Sullivan’s Curve), is known as Mormon Rocks.

Located at the Highway 138 and Interstate 15 junction, the Mormon Rocks are visual evidence of the San Andreas fault lying beneath the California surface.

Contents [hide]
1 Aviation
2 Rail transport 2.1 Accidents

3 Road transport
4 Pacific Crest Trail
5 Utilities infrastructure
6 Natural hazards
7 See also
8 References
9 External links

Comment by Christopher Tingus

December 14, 2014 @ 8:19 am

How dare you? Torture and victimization and compensation to Gitmo detainees? You who live in freedom protected by law enforcement and security amidst your millions in bank accounts and you say what?

My and maybe (your) friends on a sunny 9/11 morning burnt to death, crushed and jumped from the tallest building…oh, how I think about them daily, such a terrible day to die at the hand of enemy, outright killers, soldiers of Lucifer…. friends and colleagues because they just could not take the fumes, the heat anymore and you talk about torture and suggest “apology” and even compensation to your victims, to these bastards who on that morning I was fielding calls from friends and business colleagues from around the country as none of us knew if we were under even more attack….How dare you? Tortured…burned, crushed by building and cement and forced to jump from 100 stories in the sky, how dare you? Feinstein, resign! You and the “Smug-smiled Pelosi have no place in governing anyone and all is witnessed by the Lord!

How dare this eight year resident of this country and this Democratic leftist party “stain” our beloved Republic and how dare you continue to put our intel folks globally under the bus, jeopardizing American patriots, yes, at NSA and wherever who enable you and your children and Grandchildren to live in freedom no one else enjoys….

….a freedom defended only by a strong arsenal and if necessary, whatever is necessary to assure that our nation is not damned by these Gitmo detainees that this eight year resident of the WH and his illustrious AG who spew such divisiveness as “civil rights ambulance chasers” release Gitmo known killers of our American youth, sons and daughters, precious grown Grandchildren who have been handicapped and slain by the same returned back to the enemy line and permit the “Brutes of Tehran” to soon have WMD in hand….War looms ahead!

How dare you?

Let me make it clear to the new Republican Senate and Congress, get the job done for time is precious and the clock is ticking!

To Barry Obama and your “civil rights ambulance chasing” I am not impressed by the marches I have seen on television by the same Black youth you promised jobs, jobs, and more jobs and their unemployment and lack of skills in job training sometimes as uncompetitive as Palestinian youth who are also used as pawns….You promised jobs and to decrease unemployment among the Black population and where are you both and your idiot pal, good ‘ol Al …. Where are you in Chicago where Mothers and yes, even a few Fathers and maybe some Grandparents are tortured, yes, tortured by the loss of their sons and sometimes even daughters by bullet on the streets of Chicago, sometimes on a weekend numbering two dozen! Such “civil rights ambulance chasers” – how outrageous and when will the Black community itself take responsibility for itself like the Muslim community and talk about the number of child births out of wed lock, the lack of Father in the household, a “family unit” which is God’s way, NOT the spewing of such crap by a US executive administration encouraging “abortion” and even late term or even after birth…no wonder we are damned! Wake up!

Most Americans which include many capable and successful Black Americans who are contributing to the community and are wed and have children and whose children are graduation not just from high school, but from college as physicians and engineers and NOT subjects of this ever evolving government seeking to yes, “enslave” Black America – most are disgusted by what is seen on the television screen by a warped and as spoiled brats” as wannabe supposed journalists….enough is enough!

As an elder, a White American in pointing out that not only did this nation in a majority of white Americans vote (twice) a Black President in office, but do Not degrade my Black neighbors who are married, elected local officials, do NOT have time to march and for what purpose, they like other ethnic and groups of color which include my Grandparents who were white and Greek, challenged by folks who turned over their fruit carts and peanut carts, called them by every name and who worked three crappy jobs and had little monies, worked and worked to create family and succeeding generations and had no time to wallow, but to work and encourage Not birth out of wed and subsequent criminal behavior as we see in the Black on Black community and with a Black sitting eight year WH resident failing to show up w/his AG, their good ‘ol pal, Al and the Rev Jessie and marching to stop this unnecessary and brutal killing of Black youth, God’s children and an administration which seeks to circumvent our Constitution in every way and has not interest in enforcing laws, but only the contrary in their divisive mannerisms….nothing but a Chicago city street slicker and nothing more and a Black community reeling from not police brutality as the stats are quite clear and the “facts” even clearer as we watched a criminal steal from a store and with such arrogant gait, such indifference, intimidate the storekeeper and with all Black witnesses – none white – stating clearly that this young criminal impeding traffic and soon after, attacking a police officer reaching for his gun..reaching for his gun, are you kidding – which prompts my directive as citizen to Congress and the Senate as to these lawless Democratic leftists led by the likes of Bill Ayers and Barry Obama and others….

“Arrest Barry and Hillary for suspicion in breach of faith, treason as they clearly stood shoulder to shoulder in blatant and intention lie, a breach of faith leaving our brave warriors behind for their own self-serving ways….no one is above the law and by the way, maybe the AG and these others who spew such divisiveness, this crap about “hands up – don’t shoot” when in fact, Black witnesses clearly pointed to a police officer being attacked by a brute of a man some have described….

Listen we are on the brink of war and because Feinstein has her personal challenges, as an American citizen who enjoys freedom to stand for three years and 1,481 hours all alone in silent protest of a local fire station closing in the snow and pelting sleet, below zero weather, the heat of summer, amidst the crap thrown at me by corrupt local and state politicians and so on, standing lawfully and in protest (www.bigdiglifevest.com) for my community which local officials like this eight year resident politicized rather than led as “entrusted to do so” – enough is enough!

We folks must close the southern border…we folks must “enforce laws” and anyone who is found with a gun in hand unlicensed, a mandatory ten year sentence and not in a jail cell with the latest amenities, but out on a Boston harbor island….

This is the 21st century and anyone – Black, White or Blue and Red, anyone who commits a civil rights violation should be held accountable, however we need not apologize to our enemies and it is time that peace loving Muslims whose Islam is being associated to terror stand up and say, NO to those perpetrators who use such manipulation and unscrupulous ways towards the oppressed as well as a Black America who stands up and marches for family, against abortion and standing forthright in adherence as we all should in the laws God has granted to us for he like most of us see no color, but individuals who have far more similarities than differences and we should be celebrating one another, not necessarily embracing one another, but surely Respecting one another and committing no acts of criminal behavior…. We have known convicts walking among us which this WH and DHS released as they did the known terror strategists and some reported Army deserter who was traded to somehow justify the release of the worst of the worst behind enemy line w/o conference with Congress….How outrageous…How dare you?

War looms ahead unless we repent and strengthen ourselves from within and challenge this enemy from within as many seek our demise and God’s hand will protect us only if we stop this plague being spread in promoting divisiveness and if anyone wants to march, march against an eight year resident who seeks to divide and to continue the lawlessness of an administration which can only survive by such antics…this is the 21st century and slavery and every ethnic group which has had to endure some bias and discrimination, well, let’s jump into the 21st century as a nation which has no time for bias and youth as criminals and bad cops who tarnish the badge of so many wonderful men and women who serve our communities and are willing to respond to the worst scenarios endangering themselves and without them, this lawlessness would be far worse that just from the White House these days….

God Bless each of us as children of the Lord!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

December 14, 2014 @ 8:27 am

To further clarify a recent commentary, it is truly time to see the Islamic community stand forthright in the headlines on television news and media reports, in statements and teachings to its followers saying NO to terror and to the further besmirching acts done in the name of Islam which have NO basis in a religious faith which does NOT indeed condone or suggest any such violent acts, but the contrary. The unscrupulous, the coercive, the manipulation of the oppressed must cease! Only the clerics and other leaders can stop this and enable families to live peacefully….Enough of all this charade in this 21st century and while some want to see War and War does indeed loom ahead which will include all children of the Lord, Muslim, Christian Hindu, Hebrew and other, enough is enough!

God is witness to all! How dare you?

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 16, 2014 @ 2:38 am

Who determines the “Common good”?

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 17, 2014 @ 11:48 am

Are there HS policies and issue imbedded in the NORMALIZATION EFFORTS of relations between the US and Cuba?

How many Cuban-Americans are US citizens and residents [legal]?

Who will get the Havanna and Santiago MLB franchises?

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