NYPD, Homeland Security and Brookhaven Lab Suggest a Terror Plot
Straphangers in New York City became a mass of unwitting guinea pigs Tuesday in a system-wide test by the New York Police Department and the Brookhaven Lab to determine how successful a terrorist organization could be at poisoning the city’s underground commuters with toxic gas.
According to reports in the local media like the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the test, funded by a $3.4-million grant from the US Department of Homeland Security, involved releasing small amounts of allegedly “harmless” gas into the subway at various places in Manhattan south of 59th Street, and then testing to see how widely and quickly it dispersed through the five boroughs through subway tunnels and in subway cars.
The gas used, called a perfluorocarbon, besides posing a serious threat to the ozone layer that has led to its being largely banned from industrial use, is suspected of causing tumors in animals, and of impacting immune systems and liver and endocrine systems. The odorless chemical is also very long-lasting once absorbed by the body, and while the dispersed gas would in very low and surely harmless concentrations, that might not be the case in the 21 stations where it was being released initially--especially as citizens were not told where the actuall releases were taking place “for security reasons.”
Several such tests are planned over the summer. Tuesday was just test number one.
The real question is why the NYPD, Brookhaven Lab, and the Department of Homeland Security would run such a test in the first place. It’s pretty much a no-brainer that if some terrorist outfit decided to disperse sarin gas into the Times Square subway station at rush hour it would spread mayhem north, south and cross-town in no time. No need for a perfluorocarbon gas test to figure that out. The best I can figure is that Homeland Security, a super-agency created in the wake of the 9-11 attacks, is always looking for ways to boost its budget by spending whatever it can, and by further terrorizing the public into supporting politicians who will keep allocating more money to to the agency year after year.
But when you really look at this particular “test,” you have to ask WTF were they thinking? I mean, why do a dry run of a poison gas attack on the New York subway system? Isn’t that just inviting some terrorist organization to follow the script and do it themselves with a gas that, instead of possibly causing some tumors and immune disorders, actually kills people in droves?
This is after all kind of like having Homeland Security write a chapter of the Terrorist Cookbook at taxpayer expense.