Terror Attack on Power Grid in California Demonstrates the Suicidal Insanity of America’s Porous Borders

Guest post by Investor’s Business Daily

War On Terror: New information about a sniper assault on Silicon Valley’s phone lines and power grid has raised fears that the nation’s power grid is vulnerable to terrorism.

The prospect that the unsolved attack on an electrical substation near San Jose just hours after the Boston Marathon bombing in April could have been a terrorist act was raised anew last week by Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“This is the most sophisticated and extensive attack that’s ever occurred on the grid to my knowledge,” he told the Associated Press, contradicting FBI denials that terrorism was involved. “I don’t know what the definition of terrorism is other than when an extremely well-trained group attacks a major piece of infrastructure in an expertly planned attack.”

Wellinghoff also mused recently that the attack might have been a dress rehearsal for a more widespread attack on a national grid vulnerable to disruption. “There are ways that a very few number of actors with very rudimentary equipment could take down large portions of our grid,” he told Foreign Policy. “I don’t think we have the level of physical security we need.”

An attack by intruders with guns and rifles could be just as devastating as any cyberattack, he said.

The April 16, 2013, attack on Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf transmission substation attack began when intruders lifted heavy manhole covers at about 1:30 a.m. in two places on Monterey Highway, south of San Jose, climbed under the road and cut AT&T fiber-optic cables, temporarily knocking out phone service.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that in just 19 minutes, gunmen fired more than 100 rounds into substation equipment, disabling 17 of 20 big transformers, causing about $ 16 million in damage.

Last October, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey said a video showed three or four men carried out the attack in a “disciplined military fashion,” systematically firing their weapons and “quickly and professionally disposed of everything they had.” This was no mere act of “hooliganism,” he said, but rather “a systematic attempt to take down the electric grid.”

“These were not amateurs taking potshots,” Mark Johnson, a former vice president for transmission operations at PG&E, said last month at a conference on grid security. “My personal view is that this was a dress rehearsal” for future attacks.

Part of the problem is a porous southern border through which what the Border Patrol calls OTMs (other than Mexicans) cross in significant numbers. If the cartels can smuggle drugs and people into America, Hezbollah and al-Qaida have to know they can smuggle in trained terrorists. Politicians like to talk about repairing infrastructure. How about protecting it?

Read more at Investor’s Business Daily. Image: Assault on California Power Station Raises Alarm on Potential for Terrorism.

Doug Ross @ Journal

With all eyes on Putin during Sochi Olympics, Russian leader builds closer ties to terror regime in Iran.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani (L) during a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, September 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani (L) during a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek last Fall. (REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)

(Washington, D.C.) – In October, Forbes magazine named Russian President Vladimir Putin “the world’s most powerful person.” 

Now, with the Olympics in Sochi underway, the eyes of the world are riveted on Russia and its leader, who have invested a record $ 51 billion in creating what they hope will prove a dazzling showcase to reassert Russian power and influence.

Putin is determined to use a string of missteps by President Obama — hesitation and vacillation in the Syria crisis, the Benghazi scandal, health care rollout fiasco, sky-high budget deficits, and Mr. Obama’s sinking poll numbers, to name a few — to reposition Russia as a major world leader in hopes of eventually eclipsing American power.

“I declare the 22nd Winter Olympic Games officially open,” Putin declared to a worldwide TV and Internet audience on Friday.

A Russian news service said Putin was “raising the curtain on an Olympic Games that started as his pet project and has become the crowning moment of his third term as president,” adding that “in front of a near-capacity crowd at the 40,000-seat Fisht Olympic Stadium and millions of TV viewers worldwide, the opening show drew on Russia’s rich musical and literary heritage, with a few nods to its Soviet past.

“Tonight we are writing a new page in Olympic history — these are the first-ever Olympic Games in the new Russia,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, as he called on athletes “to live together with harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason.”

Amidst these themes of global peace and harmony, however, Putin is simultaneously working hard to build closer ties with Iran, the world’s most Radical Islamic terrorist regime.

“Iran and Russia are negotiating an oil-for-goods swap worth $ 1.5 billion a month that would enable Iran to lift oil exports substantially, undermining Western sanctions that helped persuade Tehran in November to agree to a preliminary deal to curb its nuclear program,” Reuters recently reported. “Russian and Iranian sources close to the barter negotiations said final details were in discussion for a deal under which Russia would buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.”

“Good progress is being made at the moment with strong chances of success,” said a Russian source. “We are discussing the details, and the date of signing a deal depends on those details.” The Kremlin declined comment.

Other signs of intensifying Russian-Iranian ties in recent years:

Iran, meanwhile, is:

Putin is also using the Olympics to strengthen ties with other world leaders. 

The Los Angeles Times reported that “Putin used the hours before the lavish opening ceremony for the Olympic Winter Games to hold court with world leaders who did attend and project an image of the globally influential chief of a resurgent Russia. Upon arrival in Sochi, where Western journalists have focused on fears of a terrorism attack and discomforts in the hastily constructed hotels and venues, Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Putin on his staging of the prestigious competition as evidence that ‘Russia is heading toward strength and prosperity.’ Xi also hailed Russian-Chinese cooperation on Syria and Iran – two foreign policy challenges that have pitted the once-rivalrous eastern giants against the three Western countries that are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, preventing the American, British and French faction from securing sanctions on Damascus or Tehran…..Putin also received Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose crackdown on political opponents and public protest over the last year have alienated Turkey from its traditional allies in Europe and Washington. Putin seemed eager to cast Russia as an alternative diplomatic partner more respectful of Ankara’s right to decide its own domestic affairs.”

As I noted in December, “Vladmir Putin sees himself not so much as Russia’s president but as an old-time Czar for the modern age. All knowing. All powerful….Determined to expand his territory and grow his power and personal wealth. This is what makes him so dangerous.”

MORE RUSSIA AND IRAN HEADLINES:


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Larwyn’s Linx: Bombshell: White House pressured Fox not to report on Benghazi Terror Attack

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Nation

Bombshell: White House pressured Fox not to report on Benghazi: YoungCons
The Root of Obama’s Imperious Presidency: Keith Koffler
White House caught red-handed lying about Obamacare enrollment: Scoop

Report: House GOP To Endorse Legalization of Illegal Immigrants: WZ
Illegal Wanted for Murder in Mexico Enjoys 13-Year Crime Spree in U.S.: Virtuous
Will Boehner Lose House by Shifting from Obamacare to Amnesty?: CIS

IRS Targeting and 2014: Kimberley Strassel
Cuomo: ‘Conservative Republicans… have no place in the state of New York’: JWF
Upset: GOP wins surprise blowout in Ark. Senate special election: Greenroom

Economy

Why is Obama Funding Food Stamp Ads in Mexico?: Glob
House GOP, Chamber of Commerce Team Up Against Unemployed: RWN
TX Congressional Candidate Responds To Latest Bad Budget Deal: Rhymes

Progressives’ welfare state dream is really a nightmare: Susan Brown
Obamacare may have another gift for Republicans: Jonah Goldberg
States With Higher Dependence on Government Losing Population: Michael Barone

Scandal Central

Hillary Fired For “Lying, Unethical Behavior” on Watergate Committee: Downtrend
Was Benghazi a “Plan B?”: Matthew S. Harrison (2012)
Northern Resistance to Slavery is the Blueprint to Stop NSA Spying: TAC

Climate & Energy

Scientists Decide Americans Are Too Stupid to Understand Global Warming: R.S. McCain
Media and Global Warming Priests Puzzled by Bright Yellow Orb in Sky: MoneyRunner
Double down: EPA goes after lucrative mine project in second damning report: Dustin Hurst

Media

John Hawkins Interviews Scott Walker: Ace
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace.: III Percent
Obama Announces NSA Reforms: Gregory Ferenstein

A Fitting End to HBO’s The Newsroom: Jonah Goldberg
Obama’s IRS Is Now Targeting Sarah Palin’s Father, Old Media Ignores: Wizbang
National Enquirer: Michelle Obama To Leave Barack Over Affair: John Hawkins

World

Kerry’s ‘Poor Jihadist’ Myth : Michelle Malkin
Julian Assange says President Obama lied in the NSA speech: GretaWire
A Man, a Plan, a Pipe — Manalapan!: GoV

Sci-Tech (courtesy BadBlue Tech News)

Proofpoint reveals ‘Internet of things’ cyberattack: Krissy Rushing, TechTell
Google unveils contact lens that helps diabetics monitor glucose levels: Maclean’s
Netflix neutrality: Court ruling won’t boost your Netflix bill. Yet.: Joan E. Solsman

Cornucopia

Historical Metropolitan Populations of the United States: Peakbagger
Regardless of what Dear Leader says, DON”T EAT THE PEAS!: MOTUS
Panel discussion: Mainstream Media Pundits wrap up 2007: Me

Sponsored by: Send a love letter to the cowardly GOP Establishment: support Matt Bevin for Senate

QOTD: “Liberal pundits and reporters are utterly contemptuous of the idea that the Benghazi scandal will be a problem for her. Eugene Robinson writes today that the Senate Intelligence Report is a total exoneration of the administration. This is bizarre on many levels. It’s also hard to square with the fact that the White House is livid with the Democrats who signed on to the report (or so a couple of Hill folks have told me). Why get furious at an exoneration?

The lack of curiosity about the report from the mainstream media is really remarkable. Why, exactly, aren’t reporters camped outside Clinton’s home demanding a reaction? I mean I understand that she didn’t close a couple of lanes on the George Washington Bridge, but four murdered Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, is important, too. Maybe if she had joked about putting traffic cones in front of the embassy on September 11?

Still, it is obvious that this is bad news for Hillary Clinton. No, she won’t be indicted. No, it won’t sink her candidacy (if she runs). Yes, it’s true: There aren’t many Americans who would have otherwise voted for Hillary were it not for Benghazi. But when you have pretty much no real accomplishments to put on the pro side of the scale, and you have a U.S. ambassador murdered in an attack your department could have prevented (and which you subsequently lied about) on the con side of the scale, the scale simply won’t balance in your favor. –Jonah Goldberg

Doug Ross @ Journal

As Obama Appeases Iran, its Terror Proxy Hezbollah Dramatically Upgrades Missile Threat To Israel

Guest post by Investor’s Business Daily

War On Terror: As we ease sanctions on Tehran and worry about Israeli condos on the West Bank, Iran and Syria are helping Hezbollah import strategic weapons systems into Lebanon, targeting our closest Mideast ally.

When Hezbollah launched a war against Israel in 2006, the Iranian-created terrorist group sent a message to both Israel and the U.S. to watch their strategic back.

Any move against Tehran’s nuclear sites would be met by strikes against our Mideast interests not only from Iran, but from the territory of Lebanon, using that country as a launching pad and its people as human shields.

During that war, Hezbollah used weapons supplied by Iran and transported through Syria. Long-range rockets bombarded northern Israeli towns and villages, even reaching the Israeli port of Haifa. Since then, Hezbollah has replenished and expanded its stockpiles and is believed to have stored as many as 100,000 rockets and missiles of various types for a future offensive.

Through its creation of Hezbollah, Iran has transformed Lebanon into a satellite. Lebanese democracy is all but gone, with Hezbollah having obtained virtual veto power in the Lebanese Cabinet. Opposition to Syrian and Iranian influence has been dealt with by a campaign to decapitate the opposition’s leadership.

Mohammed B. Chattah, a former Lebanese government finance minister and ambassador to the U.S., was among six victims killed and assumed to be the target of a bomb that detonated in Beirut recently. He was the latest pro-Western and pro-democracy Lebanese politician to be assassinated in a long campaign to eliminate opposition to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah’s interference in and domination of Lebanon.

Tehran’s use of Lebanon as a strategic base took a step forward, as the Wall Street Journal reports, with the news that long-range surface-to-surface missiles given to Hezbollah by its allies Iran and Syria have been disassembled and moved to Lebanon.

The Journal quotes a U.S. official as saying American intelligence analysts have also concluded Hezbollah members are smuggling components of advanced Russian-made anti-ship missile systems piecemeal into Lebanon from Syria to avoid an Israeli air campaign.

During that 2006 conflict, Hezbollah fired what was believed to be a Chinese-built CS-802 anti-ship missile that struck the Israeli corvette Hanit off the coast of Lebanon, killing four sailors and seriously damaging the sophisticated warship. Hezbollah is believed to have been assisted and trained by Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

The missiles being moved, according to Ronen Bergman, an analyst with contacts among Israeli intelligence officials, include Scud D’s, shorter-range Scud C’s, medium-range Fateh rockets made in Iran, Fajr rockets and shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft weapons.

These missiles are relatively unsophisticated, and since 2006 Israel has deployed and tested in combat its Iron Dome missile defense system. In 2012, it shot down two Iranian-made rockets aimed at Tel Aviv by Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

Israel remains concerned, however, that Hezbollah is looking for weapons systems such as P-800 Yakhont anti-ship missiles that can cover much of the eastern Mediterranean from Hezbollah bases in Lebanon. On July 5, Israel targeted some of the Yakhonts at a Syrian base outside the coastal city of Latakia.

The shipment of such sophisticated weapons would be a game-changer and sow the seeds for a wider and more deadly confrontation with Iran and Hezbollah. All the more reason for not easing up Iranian sanctions.

Peace in the Middle East is not their objective. The destruction of Israel by any means is.

Read more at Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal