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Jewish World Review July 16, 2002 / 7 Menachem-Av, 5762

Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham
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Consumer Reports

Is Homeland Security all wet? | In the first few months following September 11th, many of us were wondering what the terrorists next target would be. Last September, John Sullivan, chief engineer for the Boston Water & Sewer Commission and president of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, gave this sober response: "There's no question that the water distribution system is the most vulnerable spot we have."

Well, it only took seven months, but now we learn from TIME magazine that the feds have alerted US water utilities to prepare to defend against possible terrorist attacks on pumping stations and pipes serving cities and suburbs.

Why the sudden water vigilance?

Turns out US military officials in Afghanistan found documents showing that al-Qaeda has been researching ways to poison our water supply on a massive scale. The real hole in water security involves what engineers call "backflow"--where terrorists could reverse the flow of water into a home or business (accomplished with a vacuum cleaner or bicycle pump) and use the resulting "backflow" to pump poisons into a local water distribution system.

Poisoning a reservoir isn't really feasible, given the fact that most reservoirs hold between three and 30 million gallons of water, but creating a backflow "could spread highly concentrated amounts of poison to a few thousand homes or businesses, making the toxins far more effective," according to the Wall Street Journal.

Preventing future terror attacks requires outside-the-box, proactive, creative thinking...just what you'll expect from a sprawling new Department of Homeland Security, right?

Now that's scary.

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JWR contributor Laura Ingraham is the host of a radio show syndicated nationally by Westwood One Radio Network. Comment by clicking here.

06/25/02: The firing season has arrived
06/18/02: Picking the next chief
06/11/02: Intelligence coup, with much more to do
06/07/02: The Bush administration's foul ball
05/30/02: Post-feminism in the aftermath of 9-11
05/23/02: The press gunning for Ashcroft
05/19/02: El Jefe basks in Carter's Light
05/15/02: Former presidents who don't understand the word "former"
05/07/02: Ozzy deified, many mortified, drugs glorified?
05/01/02: Bush: "California here I come ... sort of"
04/27/02: The good news about conservatives versus Bush
04/17/02: While the cat's away....
04/09/02: Preview of 2004: See how Dick runs!
01/29/02: A kinder, gentler human-rights violator?
11/27/01: Military tribunals provide streamlined justice
09/07/01: Scariest animal wears pants
08/17/01: Depressed after seeing uncut version of Apocalypse Now --- and for good reason
07/20/01: The other, maybe more important, news
06/22/01: Washington's pro-Bono worship is unnerving
06/01/01: Burying conservatism
05/17/01: Ashcroft's abuse of power

© 2002, Laura Ingraham