Scientists searched five US cities for ‘dirty bombs’

I have no idea how much attention this is going to get in the media, but there’s a report out that “scores” of Department of Energy radiation experts were sent to canvas Washington, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Baltimore from December 22nd through New Year’s Eve. The scientists hid in plain sight, dressed casually and carrying monitoring equipment in briefcases and golfbags.

“Our guys can fit in a sports stadium, a construction site or on Fifth Avenue,” one Energy Department official said. “Their equipment is configured to look like anybody else’s luggage or briefcase.”

Other cities, including those not specifically monitored by the Department of Homeland Security, have also recieved new testing equipment in the last few weeks.

On the same day that Ridge raised the national threat level to orange (“high”) from yellow (“elevated”), the Homeland Security Department sent out large fixed radiation detectors and hundreds of pager-size radiation monitors for use by police in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Houston, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Detroit.

It’s really scary to think about how serious the problem must be. While a lot of people (including some pretty ignorant presidential candidates) have questioned whether we, as a country, are getting “off-track” in the war against terrorism, I think the current measures and emphasis show that we are still very focused…and for good reason.

The MSNBC article goes on to relate a “spike” in radiation levels that was detected just before the New Year in Las Vegas. This time it was just a homeless man with a radium ball he had found & kept in his pillow (which can’t be good for you, btw). Next time, who knows?

Anyway, to all those that our keeping a watch out, you deserve a thank you from all of us. I presume that a “good day” is spent searching through exhausting information for the unimaginable. I presume a “bad day” is…well, none of want to see a bad day.