Bush Failure In Hurricane Relief Signals Nation Unprepared For Nuclear Terrorism, Author Says

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Author of new novel about nuclear terrorism sees disturbing parallels between the scenario laid out in his book and the Bush Administration's slow and disorganized response to Hurricane Katrina.

In an interview with GlobalTalkRadio.com about his new novel on nuclear terrorism, KING OF BOMBS (http://www.kingofbombs.com), author Sheldon Filger predicted that it may be only a matter of time before America suffers a post-9/11 terrorist attack involving the use of nuclear weapons.

“Al-Qaeda through its leader, Osama bin Laden and other spokesmen have left no doubt as to their desire to acquire nuclear weapons, and their intention to use them once in their possession,” Filger said.

The widespread criticism of the Bush administration’s handling of relief operations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina may be a harbinger of Washington’s poor preparations in dealing with the threat of nuclear terrorism posed by Islamist extremist organizations such as Al-Qaeda.

In the book KING OF BOMBS (http://www.kingofbombs.com), Mr. Filger presents a fictional president and his colleagues as a thinly veiled representation of the Bush administration. The president and his chief aides are shown as being unable or unwilling to react forcefully to dire warnings about an impending nuclear terror strike on a major America city, and behaving indecisively. In comparing the scenario in his novel with the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Mr. Filger drew several parallels.

"In KING OF BOMBS (http://www.kingofbombs.com), the president is deaf and mute to repeated warnings about nuclear terrorism, preferring to focus his attention on his political agenda. In real life, President Bush ignored many warnings about the levees protecting New Orleans being vulnerable to a level 4 and 5 hurricane, then continued with his vacation while the city was under water. Afterwards, he claimed he had no idea that the levees would burst," Filger said.

“It is a deeply disturbing case of life imitating art,” he added.

When asked by GlobalTalkRadio what were the most effective strategies for preventing nuclear terrorism, Mr. Filger said that the only reliable method was preventing the terrorists from obtaining fissile materials-highly enriched uranium or plutonium. Unfortunately, he added, there are numerous locations around the world where these materials are stored in sufficient quantities to build nuclear bombs, often with very poor security. However, Filger pointed out, government programs aimed at securing those sites are proceeding at such a slow pace, it will take at least another thirteen years to upgrade security at vulnerable sites in Russia and elsewhere.

“The low priority the Bush administration had allocated to protecting New Orleans from flooding is replicated in its lethargic response to the acute danger that nuclear bombs will be used in a future, post-9/11 terrorist attack on America,” he said.

The initial slow response in providing relief and assistance to the beleaguered citizens of New Orleans and the Gulf coast foretells of the government’s grim lack of preparedness to respond to an act of nuclear terrorism in a major American city, according to Mr. Filger.

“In the case of Hurricane Katrina, the government had several days warning from weather forecasts, and they still were unprepared and disorganized. We also saw the social disintegration that occurs when the government is absent in the midst of catastrophe. Now, imagine a nuclear bomb being detonated in a heavily populated urban area. Unlike a hurricane, there will be no advance warning, and the magnitude of destruction will be infinitely more catastrophic. When I reflect on how poorly prepared this administration was in responding to Hurricane Katrina, I am filled with foreboding about the nation’s vulnerability to nuclear terrorism,” Filger warned.

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