Archive for Monday, September 11, 2006

Do Lawrence residents have a false sense of security?

September 11, 2006


Seventy-three miles is not very far in the post 9/11 world of terrorism.

That's the distance between Lawrence and the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Burlington. It's also a good number for anybody who thinks Lawrence - nestled deep in the heartland - is insulated from the dangers of a terrorist attack.

"Shortly after 9/11, the country was really focused on what happened, but I think right now many people are lulled into a false sense of security, unless you travel by aircraft or go overseas," said Felix Moos, a Kansas University anthropology professor who is a longtime teacher of a class analyzing violence and terrorism.

None of that is to say that Osama bin Laden or other terrorists are sitting around a map of Lawrence or Northeast Kansas. Moos and others agree that a community like Lawrence isn't an "obvious target."

But it is not like it couldn't happen either. In addition to being just a stiff southwest breeze away from one of only 64 nuclear power plants in the country, there are all types of potentially dangerous materials that travel through the city via two major railroad lines and a U.S. interstate.

Plus, there's plenty of groups besides Al Qaeda that are in the terrorism business. As the Oklahoma City bombing proved, domestic terrorism can be a real threat to an innocuous Midwestern community.

"Regardless of whether we are a low risk for international terrorism, you can't forget about domestic terrorism," said Paula Phillips, director of the Douglas County Emergency Management Agency. "That's usually an attack on government for social types of causes, and in some ways, we would be prime for that."

Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin, who teaches the class related to terrorism alongside Moss, has a take-nothing-for-granted attitude on the subject.

"Is Lawrence a probable target? The answer is no," Olin said. "But people may use a community's invisibility as a way to make themselves invisible prior to an event.

"Safety and security in Lawrence have never been better. It is still a delightful place to live. But people have to remember that we are at war."

Planning, planning

About the only thing certain when it comes to terrorism, numerous experts say, is that the next attack won't be like the last one.

That makes the best defense for people like Olin and Phillips to plan and then plan some more. Phillips said terrorism-related activities have been scenarios that emergency preparedness officials in Douglas County have conducted. But that sort of planning was going on pre-9/11. Phillips said her office conducted a scenario prior to 9/11 that involved multiple bombs going off at different locations within the community.

These days, Phillips said the major emphasis in disaster planning is how to deal with mass causalities and mass fatalities, something that wasn't always covered in more traditional planning exercises. After all, a tornado or a flood - the type of events emergency planners have long prepared for - can kill but they're not likely to leave 5,000 or more people dead.

"We spend a lot of time talking about how we would dispense a lot of medications, and what would happen to the standard of care if we were treating thousands of people at a time," Phillips said.

Emergency planners also spend more time preparing for larger gatherings in the community. For example, Phillips said first responders will begin meeting more than six months in advance of next year's Wakarusa Music Festival to discuss scenarios such as what would happen if the water supply became contaminated at the event or if something happened that caused mass casualties.

"Five years ago, I'm not sure we would have done that," Phillips said.

Balancing act

Olin said he's definitely noticed a difference in how seriously people take the role of planning for a disaster.

"I can tell you that there has been a huge amount of background work done on identifying possible targets in Kansas," Olin said. "And take an exercise on the pandemic flu, for example. Those are now taken very seriously, when five years ago we had a hard time getting people to show up."

As for specific changes that have been made to security at locations around the city, leaders are reluctant to discuss those. But there have been changes that just ordinary citizens have noticed, with some probably related to 9/11 and others perhaps not.

For example, bags are checked more closely at sporting events on the Kansas University campus. A metal detector now greets all visitors entering the Lawrence-Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center. A police officer now sits outside every City Commission meeting. And sign-up sheets and locked doors are now common at the city's water and sewer plants.

"There may be more locked doors than there used to be, but we also work hard to balance that with not wanting to create an unnecessary obstruction to the public," said interim City Manager David Corliss.

Corliss said the city also tries to take a broader look at how to prepare for disasters. He said post 9/11 city leaders have given more thought about whether all essential city records have been securely archived, and a review of the city's generator capacity has been done to determine how the city could keep essential operations running absent power.

Interview with U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts regarding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and their aftermath


"We work on this, but we also have to keep it in perspective," Corliss said. "We don't know where the next attack would happen, but the experts say we're not a real likely target, so we just keep it in perspective and continue to live life."

Preparing the populace

Professor Moss does think that Lawrence, and all university communities, have at least one unique role to play in the war on terror.

"I believe education is an absolute necessity in this war," said Moss, who has been successful in lobbying Congress to fund a program that provides training to college students interested in entering the intelligence field. "We have to help people understand that this is going to last 30 or 40 years. This is a confrontation that is going to be a long-term one."

Olin also thinks there is work to do on the front of educating people that the business of security is not just for the people who get paid to provide it.

"A major way in which you defeat many of these incidents is citizen awareness," Olin said. "If people are not paying attention because they think we're immune, that is a very dangerous attitude.

"I think the American public forgets very rapidly. I think some people expect they won't have to make sacrifices again in the future, and that may be a very unreasonable expectation."

Reader poll
Do you think the United States is more or less safe than it was on 9-11?

or See the results without voting



Kaw Pickinton 11 years ago

To answer the question, no. The only thing we have to fear in Lawrence are roundabouts and wetlands.

geekin_topekan 11 years ago

A false sense of in-security is obvious by the people who cover their fear with sweeping generalizations of islamics.

james dick 11 years ago

It is good to know that local officials are working hard to be ready just in case. I hope we all are thinking about how our behavior and that of our nation needs to change so we aren't viewed as the global tyrant.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

No is the answer.

62,006 - the number killed in the 'war on terror. There were 15 terrorists on the planes. Continuing to kill innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq is irresponsible and unacceptable. Not everyone of mideast descent is a terrorist. I believe that 99.5% of the world population would request that weapons be put aside and allow us to live in peace. The world does not support this type of war on terror. It must be reduced to a covert operation involving major allies with equal voice.

By David Randall and Emily Gosden Published: 10 September 2006 The "war on terror" - and by terrorists - has directly killed a minimum of 62,006 people, created 4.5 million refugees and cost the US more than the sum needed to pay off the debts of every poor nation on earth.

If estimates of other, unquantified, deaths - of insurgents, the Iraq military during the 2003 invasion, those not recorded individually by Western media, and those dying from wounds - are included, then the toll could reach as high as 180,000.

The extraordinary scale of the conflict's impact, claiming lives from New York to Bali and London to Lahore, and the extent of the death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan, has emerged from an Independent on Sunday survey to mark the fifth anniversary of 11 September. It used new, unpublished data supplied by academics and organisations such as Iraq Body Count and Professor Marc Herold of the University of New Hampshire, plus estimates given by other official studies.

Entire story:

lunacydetector 11 years ago

we gots a $5,000 flat screen TV for them to look at stuff.

false sense of security? of course lawrence residents have a false sense of security. this is a college town in the middle of the country with lots of young whipper snappers who think they are invincible.

Atreides 11 years ago

If the Carter then Reagan Administration wouldn't have help fund Islamic Fundamentalist "freedom fighters" in Afghanistan; if the CIA wouldn't have encouraged the Muslim Brotherhood in Arab lands during the Cold War against the "godless Soviet atheist" influence; if we wouldn't have been in bed with the House of Saud because of their petroleum - would we be having this discussion today?

xenophonschild 11 years ago

Well, then: let us be more specific.

Death to radical Islamic fundamentalism;

Death to those who preach jihad, using the power of their religion, to pursue secular ends;

Death to those who use their religion to deprive others of essential human rights;

and death to those in America who hide behind Islam to disguise their hatred of white people.

You can fool some, but there are still enough of us who know you for who and what you are.

redneckwoman 11 years ago

Are we less safe? NO Are we more safe? NO

Kat Christian 11 years ago

We are on borrowed time from here on out.

Not only are we only 73 miles from a nuclear plant but close to railroad tracks where trains come from Kansas City.

I am from back east. Growing up it was always said that if we were struck by a bomb that DC would go first - of course you'd think terriorist would want to cripple our government first. I'm not so sure about that anymore. I think they just want to do damage, hurt, play God then gloat about it. To me this is just plan evil.

I think people know we are on borrowed time at this point. I don't think the Government knows what to do and how to stop these chain of events.

So this day frightens me. Most of the time I just try not to think about it.

smokey 11 years ago

watch out for the gators in the wetlands too..

weterica 11 years ago

"and death to those in America who hide behind Islam to disguise their hatred of white people."

Thank God for you, Xenophobeschild! As a white person, this is definitely one of the biggest threats I face and it is high time someone with the bravery of a war stallion such as you to type it on a website! And to call for their death, well that is just like whipped cream eaten off my bare belly.

It's so awesome to emulate the blind murder rhetoric of our enemies (all the "death to" stuff) but drape ourselves in the finery of Old Glory. It's sort of a shoe on the other foot type of deal. And it's fun!

The thing I like the most about your comments is how you deftly bring in the American black/white issue into the fold. Amazing! We must now understand that many of these black people who don't like white people are on the move, and hiding behind Islam to settle their scores!

If this "terror cell" in Miami of a couple people that had never met an real terrorist before taught us anything, it taught us that these blacks who don't like whites will stop at nothing to prove their dislike!

I, for one, love your preemptive murder solution-let's round them up and take them to a soccer field or something! Kind of a return the "old ways"-oh man I'm doing that shoe on the other foot game again! It's just fun to sound terroristy.

Since you wanted to get specific and I can tell you are really wise, I wondered if you could be more specific on these:

"Death to those who preach jihad" --Since you obviously are very learned on this subject and understand what jihad means to most Muslims, are you saying we should kill the majority of Muslim clerics?


"Death to those:using the power of their religion, to pursue secular ends"

Are you saying we should kill the majority of American politicians, or just Muslims doing this?

All in all, thank you so much for disproving the "ignorant knee-jerk American cowboy" stereotype. We need more like you.

Kaw Pickinton 11 years ago

Wetlands, roundabouts, and albino gators in the wetlands AND our tap water.

What's being done about the gators?

Could we park the county RV/SUV/Motorhome mobile command center out there for a few hours to make me feel more safer?

ladysilk 11 years ago

I am more worried about the homegrown terrorists than any foreign terror group. Oklahoma City...homegrown, Anthrax letter...homegrown...Columbine High...homegrown. WolfCreek is one of the safest places I have ever visted...I wish people would do their homework before they spout off about how dangerous the powerplant is.

xenophonschild 11 years ago

Sorry if I upset anyone; however, check out the agenda of "The Moorish Science Temple of America" - a bizarre sub-cult of Islam in the West, then go talk to one of the faithful - if you can get into a prison, and one will talk openly with you - and decide for yourself.

We are moving toward total, intractable war with Islam; we had better be prepared to kill them as soon as they try to kill us.

Like I said, sorry if I offended anyone's tender sensibilities, but they are the enemy.

mom_of_three 11 years ago

Wolf Creek is a dangerous place, if only for the possibilities which are always out there. I was a kid when it was built, and I was always scared of what could happen.

I don't know if I would consider Columbine a "terrorist threat."

c_doc77 11 years ago

The so-called "War on Terror" is the tool by which criminal elements within the federal government use fear to manipulate their population into accepting the New World Order. This New World Order was spoken of by George H.W. Bush on September 11, 1991 - ten years to the day before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Ask yourself this: Why did President Bush sign W199I, the presidential order to prevent the FBI from investigating al Qaida before 9/11? Why was his little brother Marvin in charge of security at the World Trade Center? See a connection? Of course not. I'm just a wacko conspiracy nut, right?

mom_of_three 11 years ago

When I was a kid, we were always told Wichita could be a target for an attack because it was the "aircraft capital of the world". Don't know how true it actually was, but...

weterica 11 years ago

"The Moorish Science Temple of America" - a bizarre sub-cult of Islam in the West, then go talk to one of the faithful - if you can get into a prison,"

OMG! I've just swallowed my heart. Now Islamic thought is being run by cons in U.S. prisons!? Man, this is scary.

I hope they don't take over and destroy America like another prison-born group, The Symbionese Liberation Army, did in the 70s. I can't even remember anymore what life was like before them.

One thing is certain, apparently: black felons in U.S. prisons are some of the most persuasive and powerful voices in Islam.

Xenophobe has got the goods! Listen up! Here comes the race war, I mean holy war, or both-whatever it is, be really freaking scared, life as we know it is on the way out!

Thanks to Xeno, at least now when something bad goes down we all know who to kill.

(Don't even ask what happened to my Sikh neighbor's car after the OKC bombing before it came out that Tim McVeigh did it. How was I supposed to know a Christian white-supremacist Kansas resident did it, and that Sikhs aren't the same as Muslims?)

Don't worry about tender sensibilities, Xenophobe, your words are just SO RADICAL, the likes of which no one has EVER heard-I mean nothing like this has ever been said in America before you, so you are bound to ruffle the feathers of some.

c_doc77 11 years ago

In response to Agnostick's request for proof of Bush Sr.'s comment on the New World Order on 09/11/91, the president's brother holding a substantial interest in the company who ran security for the World Trade Center, and W199I, the presidential directive that threatened the FBI with criminal prosecution if they investigated al Qaeda prior to 9/11, I have posted the following links:

New World Order Speech 09/11/91 - and the video link is

Marvin Bush connection -

Presidential directive to prevent FBI from investigating al Qaeda pre-9/11 -

If any of these don't work you can find them with a quick google search.

Redzilla 11 years ago

Oooh, c_doc forgot to mention that AIDS isn't caused by HIV. It's an Islamo-fascist-Carlyle Group plot to keep Americans from enjoying all the unprotected sex they want...

c_doc77 11 years ago

Redzilla: Yeah, its best to avoid all the evidence when you don't want to face the facts. I'm sure your attempt to side-step the issue is well appreciated.

b_asinbeer 11 years ago

You guys may wanna take a peak at this. Let's hope something like this never happens again.

c_doc77 11 years ago

Agnostick: Your point is well taken. However, what makes my assertion with regards to the FBI easy to prove is that people from the FBI made this information public. I don't know whether that was on the link or not, but you could find out if you wanted to.

As far as the present is concerned, the present is just a continuation from the past. Can we affect the future? Not always. But we can document the past behavior of corrupt regimes in order to predict what might be done in the future. We can ascertain patterns of criminal behavior and deception.

Let us not forget that al Qaeda is a product of the CIA, funded to fight communist Russia. No one disagrees with that. The only point of disagreement is whether they are still on our payroll.

Isn't it funny that all the bin Laden tapes seem to surface at opportune times for Bush? Like the '04 presidential campaign and now the 9/11 anniversary? Are we supposed to believe these are mere coincidences? Every time people are reminded of 9/11 they become more willing to give up their rights for a false sense of security.

KS 11 years ago

logrithmic - I don't mind my privacy being invaded! My life is so dull, nobody would want to listen to it for very long! If you have something to hide, well....if the shoe fits!

I guess we should realize that today is not only the 5th anniversary, a Monday and also football season. I don't think I have seen so many Monday morning quarterbacks. Gosh, if this whole terrorism/war thing had just been left up to the people of Lawrence, Kansas, it would have all been over by now.

We can NEVER forget!

c_doc77 11 years ago


common_cents 11 years ago

Posted by c_doc77 at 9:53 a.m.

"Ask yourself this: Why did President Bush sign W199I, the presidential order to prevent the FBI from investigating al Qaida before 9/11? Why was his little brother Marvin in charge of security at the World Trade Center? See a connection? Of course not. I'm just a wacko conspiracy nut, right?"

Conspiracy theories aside, we need to get some things straight about executive orders and the references to W199i.

Executive orders are number sequentially and the numbers are currently 5 digits.

G.W. Bush only signed two executive orders in July (the supposed month of signature of W199i) of 2001, #13220 (it's 1 paragraph long) and #13221 (it's a few paragraphs long) - neither had to do with the FBI.

As far as the designation W199i, the only valid reference I can find is in reference to any FBI case #199I-wf-213589. This case went from 2/23/1996 to 9/11/1996. And yes, it had to do with an investigation of a bin Laden relative. The investigation was stopped, repeated for emphasis, on 9/11/1996 - G.W.B. was not president then.

Although people will state that Bush killed these investigations, it is pretty clear that there were several years between when the case was closed and when Bush took office. It's a very good attempt at placing blame somewhere else.

c_doc77 11 years ago

I beg to differ, common cents. My guess is that this information has since been classified. However here's my proof: an actual copy of the order from Greg Palast's book. Palast is a respected journalist at the BBC. Here you go....

c_doc77 11 years ago

My previous post is proof Bush prevented the FBI from investigating al Qaeda pre-9/11. Comments? Common cents?

common_cents 11 years ago

your first link...

The page you were looking for was not found.....But we can help!

has the govt taken it down already?

KS 11 years ago

You people need to be in charge. I am amazed that the entire intelligence community of the good ole USA is located in Lawrence, Kansas. I just don't understand how we have survied as a nation without some of you in charge?

estespark 11 years ago

To the conspiracy theorists - Clinton could not even have "relations" with an intern without the whistle being blown, so to speak. Now I'm supposed to believe several members of government (including the Executive Office) orchestrated 9-11 and managed to keep it under wraps - I find that hard to believe.

common_cents 11 years ago

Your videos on George Sr. are still there, but the other two links are no longer there either.

The gif of the article which describes the conspiracy concerning Bush do indeed show a supposed printout, but again, the case shows closed in 1996 - not a Bush year.

Regardless, you've shown me no proof that W199i was an executive order.

Atreides 11 years ago

The reality is that the US helped create the Jihad climate back in the Cold War by naive people in the State Department and intelligence services who believed, like GWB does or once did, that Islam is a 'religion of peace'. Even some of the most feverent anti-communists and Cold Warriors regret this now, now that it is too late.

bunnyhawk 11 years ago

W put us all at perpetual elevated risk when he took the low road along with osama and his ilk..............if he had taken the high road and set an international tone of cooperation and common human decency we would all be much safer today. The school yard bully always has to watch his back...........and we are nothing grander than the school yard bully these days...........

c_doc77 11 years ago

Common cents, the gif shows the original directive that was ordered per former President Clinton. That order was reactivated by President Bush in 2001. The intent was to mask funding of the "terrorists". Is there definitive proof that Bush did this? The only sources that can back this up are the two CIA officials who confirmed this to Palast. Is that 100%? No, but given Palast's record I would put my money on his credibility over Bush's any day.

Palast also uncovered the voter machine scandel in Florida, and Governor Jeb Bush's secret hiring of a company whose job it was to filter out undersirables (Black people) from the voting process. Much of the footage Michael Moore used in the beginning of Fahrenheit 9/11 came from Palast.

KS 11 years ago

Good grief! Do you folks stay up all night just thinking about this stuff? My gosh! Such consipiracy theories!

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

c_doc if you do not have first hand knowledge then you know nothing and chistianson does not nor do you have fist hand knowledge so you both know nothing just speculation.

common_cents 11 years ago


Sorry, the GIF I have seen shows a supposed FBI page stating "ABL" lived in Virginia. There is no directive signed by anyone on that GIF. There is an article in the background, but no directive.

By your statement above, should we also assume that Clinton initiated the original "back off" order, considering the original directive was ordered by him?

Please provide the proof, not conspiracy sites, showing the directive, signed by Clinton, and reactivated and signed by GWB. You do that, and I'll believe you. Until then, I must lump you with all the rest of the conspiracy people.

c_doc77 11 years ago

I contend that Clinton initiated the order. If you want that in black and white, you're not going to find it. And no matter which site the link goes to, that doesn' t change the fact that Greg Palast is pretty mainstream in Europe. He's a legitimate journalist who works for the BBC. This information comes from his book.

He has also uncovered internal documents from at least one of the major oil corporations, and has secretly recorded conversations with oil executives about their involvement in the Bush administration's policies. When they threatened him with a lawsuit for releasing this infomation, he pulled out the tapes.

I'm sure you want to lump me together with all the conspiracy people. I don't blame you. I am one of them. But I didn't start out this way. I voted for Bush in 2000. I supported the Iraq War because I believed in the imminent threat of WMDs.

Regarding Clinton, let's not forget that he too wanted to go to war with Iraq. This is not a left or right, black or white issue. Beyond the scope of what people label "conspiracy theories" is what Noam Chomsky terms "institutional analysis". We gauge credibilty on the basis of history and motive.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

The way I see it we as a city, we as a state, and we as a country are not any safer now then before we never have been and we never will be. I say this because there will always be some one here or abroad that wishes to do harm in what ever way they can.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

this all may be true but to live with the thought that we are immune is also false. You may never live in fear but to live in ignorence really not bliss.

Gareth Skarka 11 years ago

Despite the sense of self-importance of Lawrence (and the region in general), the "Fly-over States" will never be the targets of foreign terrorists. The whole region is insignificant on the world stage. NYC was attacked because because most media corporations have their headquarters there (hence quick camera coverage, world-wide), most countries in the world have citizens living there, and it is a world financial center. DC was attacked because it is our nation's capital.

Terrorism thrives on publicity. As Blofeld says in "Diamonds Are Forever" -- "If we attacked Kansas, the world wouldn't hear about it for years."

KsTwister 11 years ago

In November 2001 several people (myself included) saw a KU grad from Pakistan reading a book on nuclear weapons. You bet we were upset; I would rather be accusatory and wrong then to be silent and right. He knew he could be deported but he had it anyway. Lawrence not be that much of a worthy target but it is only short distance to some very major cities. KU had a pipe bomb explode (March 28,1991),there are many disturbed people in the world, I would never say never.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

rightthinker that was funny very funny the simpsons good one. Gareth the best way to cripple a nation is by starting with the food chain and small town sounds like fly over states just might not be such a bad place to start. If the big cities are to well gaurded. I do not think a 9-11 strike is going to happen in the sence of the word more like a country wide attack like car bombs and the such. I believe 9-11 was more of a statement that the bad guys knew they would not be able to redo but they are very good at the small planned out attacks.

weterica 11 years ago

"In November 2001 several people (myself included) saw a KU grad from Pakistan reading a book on nuclear weapons. You bet we were upset; I would rather be accusatory and wrong then to be silent and right."

WOW! You saw a Pakistani student reading a book about nuclear weapons! OMG! Was it a top secret book, or just a run of the mill: Nuclear Bombs for Dummies?

So what did you do? Did you turn him in to the authorities since he was doing something he could be deported for?

I don't remember the news of a terrorist being nabbed in Lawrence.

xenophonschild 11 years ago

No one other than dyed-the-wool-Republican standard bearers consider George W. Bush to be an able, competent president.

Whatever positive coming out of the Oval Office these days is largely the work of Josh Bolten, who has led a "psychological renovation" in how and what information reached the President. Bad news now gets more quickly and directly to Bush, who in his first term "tolerated a system (Andrew Card) that was designed to evade reality whenever it was unpleasant," said a political insider who deals frequently with the White House. Andrew Card was famous for indulging a president not much interested in details, and for Bush's consuming tendency to gripe about small matters such as infringements on his vacation time instead of focusing on big problems like the approach of Katrina a year ago.

Bolten is much quicker to say no. And while it is still difficult to get Bush to pick up the telephone and call world leaders he does not already know and like, such calls have increased under Bolten, who worked as Card's assistant before heading the Office of Management and Budget before returning to the White House to replace Card in late March of this year.

Bolten has also helped on the communications front with Condolezza Rice, who has greatly stepped up her exchanges with foreign counterparts, and by Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, who has a knack for explaining foreign policy challenges in political terms that Bush understands.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a smart, accomplished president, who knew instinctively what was right, what to do, what need to be done, instead of this . . . mental midget? Even if he was a hound dog who sniffed after young holtos, William Jefferson Clinton was so much better than this Bush guy.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

just a thought but should'nt today be about the victims and families not politics? just a thought.

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

I have never really thought that Lawrence or the smaller surrounding communities would be subject to a terror attack. No financial institutions large enough to cause a significant hole in services. No industries large enough to cause a significant impact.

But the close proximity to K.C. and Wichita and Wolf Creek has always worried me, especially Wolf Creek. Nuclear power plants have always scared me, especially after Three Mile Island, and that wasn't even a terror attack, as far as we know.

I never thought that there was enough population around here to make any kind of impact. Terrorists are usually out to kill as many as possible in one blow. But, if Wolf Creek was attacked, how many people could it wipe out at once, or maim for life, in a large radius? Even if disrupting electrical supply is their main goal, Wolf Creek could still be a major target. Not only would it disrupt electricity over a wide area, but it would kill people in the process.

If terrorists are thinking along those lines (and they probably have), what better way to bring the huge cities to their knees than to go to rural areas all across America and destroy crops and farms? How would the big cities survive without food?

Somebody mentioned the interstate system. Well, what better way to disrupt services and products than to destroy the major transportation routes between the east coast and the west coast?

More likely targets than Lawrence? Probably. But the possibility is there.

Swbsow, I think that teacher should be horse-whipped. This isn't an appropriate topic for high school students, let alone grade school. What an idiot!

Solomon, my entire generation grew up living in fear, during the cold war era. Not only was this fear talked about on a continual basis, it was openly encouraged. We were taught to fear the Soviets, to distrust the Soviets, to hate the Soviets and communists in general, out of the fear of how they could destroy our precious way of life in a heartbeat.

Sound familiar?

And ask all those families impacted by Three Mile Island if they thought it was a "minor" problem, and insignificant.

lawrencejna 11 years ago

It seems like people are looking really hard for a reason to scare themselves...almost like they're entertained by it. This isn't the time to be fixated on what "could", but won't happen to us in Lawrence, but to remember what did happen 5 years ago.

jonas 11 years ago

Does knowing that the odds of me getting attacked or killed by terrorists are (and were, for that matter) much less than other problems such as car accidents and random crime mean that I have a false sense of security? We are very well protected here in the U.S. I think 9/11 was more the fluke in the system than an indication of a broken system.

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