Yes, it was terrorism. What other word is there for it?
Last April 16 at one o’clock in the morning someone sneaked into an underground vault near San Jose, California and cut telephone cables which were inside. Within half an hour, snipers, that’s snipers, as in more than one sniper, started shooting at a nearby electrical substation. They fired for 19 minutes and surgically knocked out 17 transformers which delivered power to the Silicon Valley. The snipers disappeared one minute, that’s one minute, before the police arrived. In the end, it took 27 days to fix the substation and restore it to the power grid. While that was being done officials compensated by rerouting power around the site and bringing on more power from other plants in the area. To date, no one has been arrested or charged for the attack and destruction. By any measure, it was a well-planned, well-conceived, well-carried out, successful operation.
So yes, it was a terrorist attack. In fact, the person who was Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission when it took place called it “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the United States.
It was also something else as well.
It was practice.
It is no secret at all that the electrical grid in the U.S. is vulnerable and can be sabotaged. It is also no secret that taking down the grid would have extremely serious consequences for the safety and security of America and Americans and that it would cripple America’s ability to defend itself. It would be much more than an inconvenience, it would mean that America is wide open to attack and unable to respond. In fact, taking down the grid would almost certainly be a precursor to a much larger attack designed to sow chaos and confusion and destroy the country and its institutions. Taking down the grid would bring America to its knees and whoever attacked it in San Jose was practicing to do exactly that. It was a dry run, a very sophisticated, very skilled dry run.
So why is it only becoming public knowledge now, almost a year after the fact? Why was a major terrorist act on American soil kept out of public view? Why weren’t we told about it? There are many possible reasons but none of them are valid or defensible…whatever the reason or reasons are they are unconscionable and dead wrong and those responsible for keeping the incident quiet should be held fully accountable, even if that responsibility goes all the way to the White House, which was briefed about it. A major terrorist act, which was in effect an act of war, took place on American soil and was covered up and kept from the American people. Officials and quite possibly politicians decided that Americans didn’t need to know about the attack and wouldn’t be told about it. If that isn’t enough to cause heads to roll I don’t know what is.
Even if that head is President Obama’s.
So who committed the attack?
Who knows? It could have been Islamists, it could have been domestic terrorists, it could have been agents of a foreign country…whoever it was already had a great deal of knowledge about the electrical grid and now has a great deal more, the better to commit other attacks in the future. It was practice all right, pure and simple, which means other attacks will assuredly come.
Oh, to answer the earlier question about why this attack is coming to light now, almost a year after the fact. Its because a high level official with intimate knowledge of the whole affair from the beginning who has since stepped down made it public because he is concerned that much larger attacks could be in the offing, because he is concerned about the national security of the country and because he is concerned that the grid remains inadequately protected.
As all Americans should be.
Practice makes perfect after all.