Imagine along with me…
You wake up in the morning and have no internet access. No big deal…glitches happen. Ten minutes later you try to text and realize you have no cell phone service…okay….so you pick up the land line…nothing.
You flip on the television and wait through fifteen minutes of fluffy GMA until the local news comes on. At this point you just want to find out what the sam hill is going on. The familiar morning anchor out of San Francisco has it as his lead story.
Fiber optic cables have been cut.
Four of ‘em. Two in San Carlos….two in San Jose. Beneath manhole covers weighing hundreds of pounds. Down a couple of ten foot shafts. In up to four feet of water amid poisonous gases. Only those four cables were damaged. Nothing else. Someone knew exactly what they were doing.
Parts of San Jose, all of Santa Cruz county and San Benito counties are without cell and land lines for fourteen to sixteen HOURS.
This is what transpired yesterday. I am cognizant your initial reaction includes smug acknowledgment of how we have become far too dependent on our cell phones and internet access. Those who know me got a little laugh imagining me without connectivity. But there is far more to this story.
What was the result of no cell phone, no land line phone, and no internet service?
Stores, restaurants, gas stations, et cetera could not take credit or debit cards. Which of course sent people out to withdraw cash…however…
No ATMs were working. (picture 40+ people in line for the teller) Hospitals without their medical records access, pharmacies unable to fill patient prescriptions.
And the kicker…. no 911 service.
All law enforcement and fire service personnel were called in. Manning every available vehicle they drove around the city….through neighborhoods…up and down streets. People were suppose go outside to flag them down in case of emergency for cryin’ out loud.
So you….with the clippers….what is your deal?
Obviously you KNEW what you were doing. Two o’clock in the morning. You knew how to gain access…you had right tools. You chose two specific cables in locations two hours apart from one another. You did not take down Silicon Valley or San Francisco which would have made national, if not international headlines, immediately. You cut the cables that are 60-100 miles away from the affected area. This was not a random act of vandalism. This was targeted.
I heard the media speculation you are a member of the CWA…the communication UNION…with a not so subtle threat. I get you all have been working without a contract for over a week. My step dad tells stories of lines being cut back in the day during negotiations. But really? Taking out banks and hospitals and 911? You think the surfers and bohemian artist population of aging hippies in Santa Cruz won’t raise an uproar because we will be sympathetic to your labor union cause?
Was it a test? Are you part of some nefarious terrorist cell testing what would happen if a couple wires were cut? Making notes on how long it would take to identify and splice? Were you monitoring how law enforcement responds to being cut off from the populace?
This little part of the world is pretty small. Considered rather unimportant in the grand scheme of things. We have very few headquarters of industry. But being just over the hill from the computing capital of the world provides us with a state of the art infrastructure.
You hit a day before the spring break tourist crowd arrives. So the panic of visiting extraterrestrials not being able to phone home was avoided.
You basically took away our ability to communicate out or operate business for the better part of a business day.
This is where my conspiracy theory imagination kicks in. I cut my espionage teeth on the likes of Ludlum and Clancy.
Why does this not make the national news?
Four cables strategically cut. No banking, no ability to contact law enforcement or emergency services. No communication out. We have radio and television getting the message in…but no way to communicate out. Think about it.
Not to mention the fact our ability to access to our own recourses to acquire goods and services was just about completely severed.
In a related story:
After the initial report by the Wall Street Journal, there hasn’t been much information on the infiltration of our nation’s power grid applications by foreign entities… potentially from China and Russia. The electrical grid for the entire nation. Not just electricity either….the grid which includes the running of all our water and sewage systems.
Where is the media coverage on these events?
While the death of Natasha Richardson was a tragedy and Farrah Fawcett’s illness is very sad, does the American public really need to hear about it day after day?? (Travis points out the inappropriate absurdity.) We heard over a week of posturing from Congress and the Senate and the White House over AIG bonuses. (Which by the way were paid…as were the ones to Fannie and Freddie and the automakers…)
Where is all the outrage and demand for investigation over serious threats to our daily existence? Why is the national main stream media not reporting on the vulnerability?
I am reminded of a couple posts I read lately from Hammer and Gene about stocking up on supplies and keeping a transistor radio.
Hostile foreign entities plugging into our electrical grid…communication lines being severed. Maybe I ought to establish a family meeting place if need be. I consider reinstating my gun permit, learning how to operate a ham radio…and burying a bundle of cash in the backyard. At what point does making contingency plans start to sound whacko….like Ruby Ridge and Waco?
But I’m starting to pay close attention.