WASHINGTON – There's no question that the United States is vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse attack that could result in mass starvation and the death of about 90 percent of the American population, a nuclear strategist warns.
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But the deep state – those entrenched bureaucrats whose loyalties likely lay with a previous administration, under which they got their jobs – is indifferent.
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, a nuclear strategist formerly with the CIA who served as chief of staff of the Congressional EMP Commission until it was terminated in September (the same month North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb, which it described as capable of a super powerful EMP attack), said liberal Democrats still are running a lot of Washington even after President Trump's election.
"The people who sabotaged the EMP Commission, Obama holdovers, are still at the Department of Defense. They have not been replaced by the Trump administration. This is happening not just with the vitally important EMP Commission," he said. "Our society, the Trump administration and the people who voted for Trump are paying for the failure of Congress to support Trump appointees quickly.
"At the same time during the Obama administration, he had twice as many appointees appointed to positions in government than Trump has. It's not President Trump's fault – these people are undermining and opposing the policies that President Trump has enacted, including the case of the EMP Commission."
Obama administration bureaucrats, who believed Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election, did everything they could to sabotage and undermine the commission, Pry said.
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"They held back money for a whole year. They held back security clearances. They tried to stop the commission's staff from working, arguing that 'you need a contract in order to work for the EMP Commission.' They wouldn't even let me work, or other staff, pro-bono. We did anyway.
"Had Hillary won, we would never have received any of our funding or security clearances. It was all after she clearly lost and Congress intervened that they relented at the last minute. A commission that was supposed to have been able to work 18 months at EMP ended up with resources and support from the Department of Defense that enabled us to put in six months of work. That's no way to provide for the national security of the country against an existential threat like EMP."
WND reported only last month that a congressional subcommittee on homeland security heard the bad news from experts who have been studying America's vulnerability to an existential threat – a real-life "doomsday scenario."
The threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on the U.S. is almost unimaginably worse than turning a city like Chicago or Denver into ashes, they testified. If just one of the nuclear weapons North Korea is now known to possess could be directed toward the heartland of the U.S. and detonated in the upper atmosphere, it could fry the electrical grid with an electromagnetic pulse, paralyze communications and transportation nationwide, instantly plunge the country back into a 19th century-style existence and cause 90 percent of Americans to starve to death in one year.
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Nukes at altitude
An EMP attack likely would come from the explosion of a nuclear bomb at altitude over the United States. It's shockwaves would disrupt all electronics in line of sight, including systems that deliver food, fuel, energy and communications to Americans.
The result would be a run on food currently in stores, and starvation when those supplies failed, as replacements would be impossible without those delivery systems.
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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly assured on Fox News Tuesday night that Trump appointees will be confirmed, eventually, over Democratic opposition.
"The names have been put forward in most cases," Kelly told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. "The president was making this case last week when he had lunch with the Republican caucus on the Senate side. If you compare where this administration is, relative to the Obama administration, we are way, way behind, maybe half the number of those confirmed. And even under the last Bush administration – we are way behind. The Senate Democratic leadership has been very, very effective in slowing things down to a snail's pace."
Kelly also addressed the possibility of North Korea using a bomb to explode an EMP over the mainland of the United States.
"The great hope we all have and they are already doing this, is that the Chinese [will] exert their pressure –[North Korea] is already observing the sanctions," he said "We all hope, and the president hopes, that the leadership as it is in North Korea will come to their senses. With the help of countries like China, decide to denuclearize, give up their atomic weapons.
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"They already have the capability to at least reach with missiles the great American citizens that live in Guam."
Even Defense Secretary Jim Mattis refused to meet with the EMP Commission, Pry explained.
"We couldn't get Secretary Mattis. Our chairman wrote to Secretary Mattis and told him what was going on. We didn't even get a reply from him," he said. "One can argue that the secretary of defense is busy with other things – he's the secretary, ultimately the buck stops with him as secretary of defense and everything that happens with DOD. I cannot comprehend that not only did he not save the EMP Commission, we offered to brief Mattis and we never even heard from him.
"We would have told Mattis, we think North Korea has intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) that can reach the United States. We think they probably have mastered the miniaturization problems and can fit a warhead on those ICBMs.
"They might even be postured to do an EMP attack right now as we speak," he continued. "Several times a day, North Korean satellites pass over the United States, on a trajectory evad[ing] U.S. national missile defenses, at an altitude that would put in the EMP field. It's an intolerable threat."
The possibility of an EMP catastrophe makes it so that the enemies of the U.S. – North Korea, Russia and Iran – no longer need sophisticated nuclear weapons.
New plan: Combined Armed Cyber Warfare
They have a new plan.
"It's centered around EMP, but it's not just EMP. We call it Combined Armed Cyber Warfare. It uses a combination of cyber-attacks, physical sabotage, non-nuclear EMP weapons and, ultimately, the most powerful cyber-weapon doctrine is an EMP attack," he said. "All of these, in combination to attack not just our military but maybe our electric grid so that everything gets blacked out, would enable a failed state like North Korea or Iran for the first time in history to defeat the most advanced civilization on Earth."
He explained: "This is like before World War II. Einstein figured out from physics experiments that were being conducted in Nazi Germany that the Nazis were working on the atomic bomb. The Western democracies weren't even aware of the possibility of this technology. They were completely blind to it. Einstein wrote a letter to Franklin Roosevelt, warning him about it, asking for a meeting. It was from that we got the Manhattan Project and the race for the bomb between Germany and the United States, which fortunately we won.
"EMP is a decisive weapon in our information, electronic age – even more decisive than the atomic bomb was in its time. The Albert Einstein of EMP, Dr. William Graham, who was present during the discovery of the EMP phenomenon 1962, recently tried to get the secretary of defense to not only save the EMP Commission, but to hear him out on the threat from EMP and couldn't get a meeting. This would be the equivalent of Franklin Roosevelt not taking the meeting, or reading the letter, from Albert Einstein, or just trash-canning the letter and not thinking about it. That's how potentially disastrous this bomb is."
Liberal Democrats don't want to gear up for a fight over EMP because it conflicts with their worldview that the American military should be weakened, Pry said.
"Their solution is a world without nuclear weapons – that everyone should be giving up nuclear weapons, not just North Korea – the U.S. should lead by example and give up our nuclear weapons. That was a major Obama administration point of view – it's the ideological objective of the American left and the Democratic Party. They believe nuclear weapons don't really have a military utility. But EMP doesn't fit into that picture," he said. "If all you can do is blow up a city, blow up a base, it's not so urgent to have a good verification regime to find out for a fact that Iran doesn't have the bomb. The United States has hundreds of nuclear weapons, and we could turn Iran into a plate of glass."
Establishment Republicans, who "are in bed with the electric power industry," are also responsible for the termination of the EMP Commission and obscuring the threat of EMP, Pry argued.
Democrats 'not the only guilty ones'
"Liberal Democrats are not the only guilty ones. The North America Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is supposed to be concerned with security and partner with the U.S. Federal Regulatory Commission to provide security for the electric grid. But the reality is that it's a big lobby and a very well-financed lobby. They own half of K street. They have whole electric grid institutes – so-called think tanks. They have the veneer of scientific and technical expertise, but what they're really about is lobbying so that Congress doesn't force them to spend money on anything, so that Congress doesn't give to federal department and agencies regulatory authority over the electric power industry," he said.
"The 3,000 electric utilities in this country are the last critical infrastructure that regulates themselves. They still exist in the 19th-century regulatory environment, and they are very happy with that. Measures to prevent EMP threatens all of that – it would require that someone who knows about EMP, the DOD or Department of Homeland Security, to say: 'You have to admit you need to be hardened. You don't know how to do it, so we are going to help you, maybe we'll even help you pay for it, but we need to expect and make sure it's done and we are going to make sure it's done right.' They don't want that," he said. "So, you've got very well-funded people on the right who are against the EMP commission – I think of them as the establishment, the chamber of commerce Republicans."
American leftists are erroneously underestimating the ability of rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran to wipe out American civilization, Pry said.
"Their point of view is valid as long as you don't know about EMP. You enter EMP into the equation, now you can successfully end a civilization with one bomb and it doesn't have to be an advanced or sophisticated one – you could use a meteorological balloon and launch it off a freighter at sea."
Pry detailed how an EMP attack would be more devastating than an asteroid hitting.
"We have a population of 320 million Americans today – we are only able to sustain that population because of our technology. Our modern technological economy and all of our critical infrastructure that support that economy is keeping 320 million Americans alive," he explained. "Communication, transportation, business and finance, our industrial capability, even food and water depend on electricity. When you subtract electricity, when you cause a nationwide blackout, blackout the electric grid and all the life-sustaining critical infrastructures, how can you now support 320 million people? How many people can you support?"
Pry said many downplay the threat of an EMP attack by claiming the conditions resulting from the attack would be similar to "time traveling" to a time when people were less dependent on electricity. But in reality, he warned, the "aftermath of an EMP would be an unprecedented environmental catastrophe."
"When people talk about the consequences of an EMP, people sometimes describe it as putting Americans into a time machine and delivering them back to the 19th century," he said. "It's not true, it's even worse. The plants and facilities for purifying water would back up during a blackout. Rivers and lakes become polluted – they are already polluted. In the 19th century, most people had bacteria in their gut so that they could drink safely from streams and rivers. There were streams and rivers that were not so polluted. Today, you take your life in your hands if you have to go drink out of a river or a lake. When water purification plants get blacked out, human wastes and industrial waste back-flow and bodies of waters become even more polluted.
"We don't have the 19th-century critical infrastructures to fall back on," he continued. "We don't have thousands of coal-fired locomotives. Seventy five percent of our population today does not work on farms or even know anything about farming, less than two percent of our population feeds the other 98 percent. You don't have well water. Almost every house had well water in the 19th century. We don't have that complex localized economy."
A burnout of electronics across the nation also would have other effects.
"Gasline pipes are going to blow up – you'll have firestorms in cities from exploding gas pipelines. Chemical spills, toxic clouds industrial accidents, where fires break out because of the failure of safety patrol systems," he said. "This huge chemistry set that is our society isn't just going to sit there and black out; in many cases, it's going to detonate and basically turn into bombs. In seven days, the nuclear reactors will go Fukushima and spread radio-activity everywhere."
The government's rebuild plan also is inadequate.
"[The EMP Commission] tried to come up with ways on how we would sustain the population. Bottom line – we couldn't come up with any way to keep 320 million Americans alive with no food and water for a year. We are experiencing this in Puerto Rico right now; their electrical grid is out," he said. "FEMA, the DOD and Homeland Security – all of our collective power is focused on Puerto Rico. We are going to save them from starvation. Hopefully no pandemic will break out, so there won't be any disease."
But he said that's just a small island.
Pryer worked 10 years for the CIA as the senior expert on nuclear strategy and weapons, including EMP, and as an EMP expert for the House Armed Services Committee. He helped establish the EMP Commission in 2000 and served as the chief of staff for the commission for 17 years until it was terminated, during which time he had access to classified and unclassified doctrine and to military documents.