Nothing could be more important than protecting Americans and our economy from a catastrophic terrorist attack. Yet despite the continuous stream of terror alerts and misleading rhetoric from the White House, we are just as vulnerable today as we were before 9/11.
Public Citizen has just completed an alarming report called "Homeland Unsecured" that highlights shocking security failures.
I want to give you a look at the extensive report that we released to the news media today in Washington. Read the full report at http://www.homelandunsecured.org/ .
The evidence we have uncovered paints a deeply disturbing picture of a president beholden to corporate campaign contributors who has, at their behest, dragged his feet or outright opposed vital security improvements to America's industrial infrastructure - recklessly endangering millions of lives and threatening our economic vitality.
Here are a few examples of what Public Citizen has found:
* A former head of security for Georgia-Pacific says, "Security at a 7-11 after midnight is better than that at a plant with a 90-ton vessel of chlorine." The Bush administration and the chemical industry, however, have buried legislation to provide greater physical security at chemical plants and to shift to safer chemicals and technologies.
* Each of America's 103 nuclear reactors represents a potentially radioactive "dirty bomb" that could kill countless Americans and render thousands of square miles uninhabitable for decades. Yet President Bush and congressional Republicans continue to block legislation that would tighten security measures at nuclear plants
* More than 1.7 million car loads of hazardous materials are carried each year by trains across the U.S. And each day up to 76,000 trucks haul hazardous materials on our roads. An attack on even one of these highly vulnerable trucks or trains could kill or injure up to a million Americans. Yet the Bush administration has failed to develop a plan to protect these shipments or divert them away from major population centers.
* By attacking our ports, terrorists could devastate the American economy and hamper our military readiness. Yet President Bush has left port security largely to the private sector and has severely underfunded programs designed to detect weapons of mass destruction smuggled into the country in cargo containers. The results are cause for alarm.
* Few acts of sabotage could be more insidious than delivering poison into a family's home through tap water. In addition to the threat to public health and safety posed by attacks on the nation's 170,000 public water systems, disruptions in water supplies could mean that a fire department cannot fight a fire or that crops would be ruined. But the Bush administration has failed to assure water security.
In each case, President Bush has opposed or failed to support new mandatory government security measures at the urging of industries that have contributed millions of dollars to his campaign coffers. And as results, potentially catastrophic targets for terrorists are today as vulnerable to attack as they were on 9/11.
Please forward this story to as many friends as possible and ask them to get involved in sounding the alarm about the dangerous state of our nation's critical infrastructure.
Public Citizen has uncovered appalling examples of President Bush and his congressional allies putting corporate profits ahead of our homeland security. America needs to know what we have discovered. For more information about Public Citizen go to http://www.citizen.org/ and to support Public Citizen's work go to http://www.citizen.org/join/index.cfm?src=lpcmem
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