'Our Death Toll Would Be Staggering': Judge Jeanine on Power Grid Threats
The following is the transcript of Judge Jeanine Pirro's opening statement regarding threats to our nation's power grid.
Welcome to a special edition of Justice - I'm Judge Jeanine Pirro. Tonight - an hour long investigation into the dangers facing the U.S. power grid. What would it take to bring it down? And if our system did break down - how would you survive? And what would it be like in the dark?
Last month - i went to a meeting in Manhattan in the freezing cold. But when I came out of that meeting, I was frozen - not from the bitter temperatures - but from fear.
I learned things that *no one* is talking about... Things that can change my life, your life, and the lives of everyone you know... forever.
I started thinking about how fragile life is - and how ill-prepared we are for this.
Tonight - in an exclusive Justice investigation - the vulnerability of America's power system - the United States' electric grid. Are we ready for a terror attack - and what would we do if the lights go out?
Tonight is about a series of forces and individuals who instead of doing the right thing for you and me are playing politics and are gambling with your safety and way of life.
Who of us could ever envision 9/11 happening? But the difference between 9/11 and what I'm about to tell you is that we *know* this can happen - the question is not *will* it happen but *when* will it happen.
And the consequences would be a million times worse than 9/11. One day you're enjoying the comforts of life... The next - everything is different. Civilization as you know it would be gone.
An electromagnetic pulse would destroy all electronics, and the transformers that power *everything"... *anything* with an on/off switch. Your hot water heater. Your refrigerator. Your dialysis machine. Hospitals are closed. Grocery shelves are empty - most of the food you have at home is spoiled.
And forget about your bank accounts. What you have in your pocket is all you can access.
I imagine myself waking up to total darkness - nothing in my home working. Food spoiled. Water not running. I rummage through whatever last cans of food i can find. I'm alone - because my kids and loved ones have no way to get to me.
I'm afraid to leave because it's too dangerous. People are desperate and hungry. Our civilization thrown back to the dark ages.
I'm scared. Helpless. And I don't know *how* I will survive.
If there were to be such a catastrophic failure, our death toll would be staggering.
A blue ribbon commission predicting mass fatalities, horrific loss of life... Some say 9 out of 10 Americans would die.
This is not science fiction - it's *real*.
Tonight - we'll tell you about the ways this could happen:
A solar flare.
An electromagnetic pulse.
A nuclear device.
Or a simple physical assault - all of which would break down our society as we know it.
In this complicated world we live in, many wish America destruction. But it is he who has the capacity, ability, and inclination to act on that ill will against whom we must be vigilant.
Scientists say an EMP created by a nuclear weapon at high altitude is the most efficient way to take out America's electric grid, telecommunication networks and all critical infrastructures.
As I stand here now - North Korea has a satellite the size and weight of a small nuclear weapon orbiting at an altitude conducive to an EMP attack and it approaches our country from the south - a direction which lacks early warning or missile defenses.
The threat can also be from the sea.
Fact: Six month ago, two full up nuclear capable missiles on their launchers were discovered in Panama on a North Korean flagged vessel hidden under sugar bags.
Reports are that our grid has already been penetrated by our enemies leaving behind software programs that can compromise it.
There are other ways to take down our grid. A simple direct physical attack like an assault on a local sub station.
Fact: Ten months ago, unknown attackers attempted to blow up a San Jose transformer substation in a military style raid.
No one has been apprehended. The FBI and local police call it vandalism. As if Billy Bob and Bubba - after a few beers - get their hands on AK-47s and surgically knock out 17 transformers and 16 circuit breakers *after* cutting underground fiber optic cables and outsmarting security cameras and motion sensors.
These terrorists are still out there.
Less than a week later - in a shockingly similar attack in Tennessee - a suspect on a boat fired shots at a nuclear power plant, then engaged police. A trespasser? Someone armed from the water willing to engage in a shootout with law enforcement is *certainly* not Bubba with a few beers in him.
Even if *no one* attacks our grid - the sun will.
The earth is exposed to intense solar flaring roughly every 150 years. The last time it occurred was 1859. Do the math - we're due.
I'm not saying this to panic anyone - but *everyone* - including our enemies, know that an artificially created electromagnetic pulse will shut down all power... which risks our survival.
We possess the world's largest power distribution system. What is our government doing to make sure that our grid - likened be some to that of a third world country - is protected?
Are we ready for an attack on our grid and the catastrophic failure that would result?