Cousin Natasha of the MGB’s Pottsylvania directorate sends this breathless review of Bob Owens’ recent post on unintended consequences:
January 30, 2013
Militia Extremist Suggests Targeting Power Grids
The [agency deleted] assesses with medium confidence based on extremist chatter, open source reporting and historical trends, that power grids, which represent a vital sector of U.S. Infrastructure, continue to be an attractive target for extremist groups or lone offenders seeking to carry out attacks that would have a major impact on the economy, as well as furthering their ideological agenda and long-term strategic objectives.
In response to new gun-control laws passed in New York on 15 January 2013, a militia extremist posted an article which provided an example of how the government could lose a civil conflict.
The article showed how “lone wolves or small teams can strike a target well beyond their size against a near defenseless leviathan”. He advised that while working a job, he discovered “how powerless the government” was in protecting key utilities. He focused his scenario on targeting power grids and highlighted that most substations could be easily accessed from surface roads or access trails under the power lines with ATVs, UTVs and motorcycles. He described how a blast to the transformer at its base would make the cooling oil drain out, causing the transformer to “burn out catastrophically” or the substation to be shut down. The author also suggests:
“Were an angry group of disenfranchised citizens to target in a strategic manner the substations leading to a city or geographic area. . . they could put the area in the dark for as long as it took to bring the substations back online. Were they committed enough, and spread the attacks out over a wide enough area, perhaps mixing in a few tens of dozens of the residential transformers found ever few hundred yards along city streets, they could overwhelm the utility companies ability to repair the damage being caused or law enforcement’s ability to stop them.”
The [agency deleted] recognizes that Americans have constitutionally protected rights to assemble, speak, and petition the government. The [agency deleted] safeguards these first amendment rights, and reports on only those activities where the potential use of rhetoric and/or propaganda could be used to incite extremists to carry out acts of violence. Additionally, potential criminality exhibited by certain members of groups does not negate the constitutional rights of the group itself or its law-abiding participants to exercise their individual liberties under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The author then proposes that “the lone wolves and small teams” could shift to other targets of opportunity that are left unguarded while law enforcement is overwhelmed with the attacks to the power grids. He ends the article by stating:
“How many days with partial power or no power, how many nights in the dark, would it take before the local economy collapsed in the targeted area? Insurgents could cripple a city, region, or state, without ever firing a bullet at another human being. Progressives seeking to undermine the Constitution seem to think they hold all the cards. I would warn them that they are not remotely prepared for what will happen if they attempt to cross the Constitutional boundaries and natural rights. It could be a cold, dark winter. Tread carefully.”
[Agency deleted] Comment: This briefing is directed toward criminal activity and threats to public infrastructure. [Agency deleted] reminds readers that the U.S. Constitution guarantees, among other things, the freedom of speech, press, and assembly, as well as an individual right to bear arms. The U.S. Constitution does not, however, protect criminal activity or sanction unlawful threats to public infrastructure. Law enforcement investigations and responses, therefore, should focus on criminal activity and suspicious activity, rather than the content of protected speech.
Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle!
If they only knew what Max Manus and his students were discussing offline over coffee in thousands of kitchens and diners all across America.
Tread carefully, indeed.
Audentes fortuna iuvat.
UPDATE 1055 EST 1 FEB 2013: Bob responds.