2014 February 05 Wednesday
Snipers Knocked Out Power Station

Some snipers knocked out an electric power substation in April 2013. Took them 20 minutes. In the future it will be possible to do this faster. Imagine what could be done with smart rifles of the sort the US military is testing.

Government really depends on the consent of the governed. Critical infrastructure is very vulnerable. A small group with sufficient talent and training could do enormous damage. These snipers have not been caught so far.

Also last year sabotage at a coal electric power plant in Yallourn power station in Gippsland Australia knocked out a quarter of the power for Victoria state in Australia.

Will we live to see the day when this stuff gets done on a larger scale?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 February 05 08:37 PM 

bob sykes said at February 6, 2014 4:51 AM:

Actually, they only need bigger caliber rifles like the Barrett .50. Australia has been effectively disarmed, although apparently some people hid their weapons. However, America is thoroughly armed, and many people have .50 caliber rifles.

SlargTarg said at February 6, 2014 5:32 AM:

This is also why this was passed:

New regulations for oil on rail cars to come in 2015

It would be very easy to hide in forest somewhere in the boondocks and take a shot when one comes by, then sneak away scott-free.

John Cunningham said at February 6, 2014 11:04 AM:

I don't think one would need a .50 cal rifle to do serious damage. a standard hunting rifle in .338 magnum or a Weatherby .416 packs a serious punch. indeed, satchel charges of C4 would do some serious hurt as well. I have often thought that Mooselimb terrs could wreak major havoc this way, much more than shooting up a mall. taking out choke points on the grid would require some shooting skill, but also allow far better chance of evading capture. I think we have been way lucky io far.

Black Death said at February 6, 2014 6:14 PM:

I read about this attack yesterday in a much more extensive report in the WSJ - unfortunately behind a gated firewall (I'm old-fashioned enough to subscribe to the print edition). The attack was very professionally prepared and carried out. Telephone cable were cut ahead of time. It took only about twenty minutes and damaged seventeen large transformers, which leaked about 52,000 gallons of oil before they shut down. The transformers are large (up to half a million pounds), expensive and take a long time to manufacture. It took 27 days to repair the damage in this attack. Police responded to reports of gunfire shortly after the attack but left when they saw nothing wrong. Over 100 shell casings were found, probably from AK-47's. All had been wiped clean of fingerprints. If this was a trial run for a large scale attack, we're in trouble.

albatross said at February 7, 2014 5:10 AM:

The disturbing thing about this attack is that it's directed at doing damage with minimal cost and risk, not at making a big media splash. The attacks took place almost a year ago, and ir's only now a big story. I wonder how many similar-level attacks are happening all the time, and we never hear about them.

My impression is that terrorists usually make big spectacular media event type attacks because they need attention in order to recruit new members and raise money. But this attack wasn't looking to get attention, it was just looking to knock out power and cost the electric company some money.

Randall Parker said at February 7, 2014 7:07 PM:

Black Death,

Dry run: Yes, how many stations can they attack at once? How many people do they have?

I've read about the big transformers in the context of what would happen if we had another Carrington Event. The lead time in building new ones is really long (many months) and they aren't manufactured in the US anymore. The USG ought to stockpile them in underground secret facilities and stockpile capital equipment for making them.


That's what shocks me: I only just now heard about it. This is incredibly important.

Bill said at February 8, 2014 1:27 PM:

Put me with the worried crowd. I'm hoping that the fact that these stories are being deliberately downplayed is an indicator that this issue is being treated very seriously at high levels.

In the meantime, I wonder if the Canadians have the right idea - see this blog post detailing disguised power substations.


James Bowery said at February 9, 2014 3:19 PM:

The "awakening" of Kristol's "Weekly Standard" is not demystified by citing Kristol's insularity to the preferences of the voters. In politics insularity detracts from one's power. The neocons did not achieve their coup d'état over the American people by being stupid. Moreover, they systematically purged all rational thought and dialogue on the issue of immigration: the more rational the thought, the more threatening. Again, one cannot appeal to their irrationality to explain this hostility to rational thought without denying they had the intellectual equipment to take power. They were hostile to rational thought about immigration because they, quite rationally, wanted to keep their agenda hidden. Its that simple.

Their agenda?

The same as it is with all Bolsheviks: Centralization of power.

Whether the centralization is in the private sector or in the public sector is incidental. With immigration they have centralization of power in the public and private sectors!

The key to maintaining political power is to authoritatively occupy all extremes. Certainly, it is inconvenient to have to switch sides, but let us be clear that this is exactly what the Bolsheviks that became neocons did when they became necons. In their power-centric, morally nimble, world switching from open borders neocon to immigration restrictionist neocon is a piece of cake relatively speaking.

The only question before us is this: Given how abundantly immigration serves the centralization of power, hence how central it is to the Bolshevik agenda, how in the world do we explain any capitulation at all on this issue? It isn't an "awakening" to popular sentiment. Ockham's Razor tells us it is the awakening of popular sentiment, but even this is not satisfying. After all, there has never been a point in history when the populace would vote for more immigration. What we need to look for are the particular features of popular sentiment that, for example, led up to the immigration restriction of 1924.

In this vein it may be wise to consider that centralized power depends, quite literally, on centralized power in the form of electricity. There is rising awareness among the power elites that the US power grid is vulnerable to takedown by "disgruntled" white working class technologists wielding nothing more than their literacy in network analysis and sniper rifles, as was foreshadowed in Silicon Valley just after the IRS deadline of 2013. Was there anything similar leading up to the 1924 restriction?

TR said at February 9, 2014 4:35 PM:

"Was there anything similar leading up to the 1924 restriction?"

There was the Wall Street bombing in 1920 and the series of bombings and attempted bombings in 1919 against politicians, businessmen, and newspaper editors. They were carried out by Italian anarchists. 1919 and 1920 were the height of the First Red Scare, where people were afraid of militant activities by immigrant leftists such as the Italian anarchists.




James Bowery said at February 9, 2014 9:52 PM:

Hmm... is it resonable to identify Italian anarchists circa 1920s as pro-labor? If so they may have been seeking to shut down further immigration just as was Cesar Chavez. We can't expect Wikipedia to properly report these events, particularly as they relate to immigration (there are paid staff spin-doctoring these articles) but it is entirely plausible that the real message being sent by the "Italians" was "We've got enough here now... raise the draw bridge." They might even have advertised their "immigrant" status to achieve this effect.

The analogy would be for Asians to be behind the attack on Silicon Valley's electrical infrastructure and possibly even advertise the fact that they were Asians.

I wonder what would have been the reaction in 1924 if, instead of immigrant "communists" and "anarchists", the violence had been committed by WW I vets who couldn't find employment due to immigration?

TR said at February 9, 2014 11:17 PM:

Well the Italian anarchists and other immigrant leftists thought they were pro-labor. The Bolshevik Revolution had just occurred a few years earlier in 1917. They believed that similar revolutionary activity in the US would be good for labor.

Wouldn't the analogy simply be that the power elite back in the 1920s and today felt and feel threatened by disgruntled people violently challenging their power due to immigration, with immigration bringing the actual disgruntled people or causing there to be disgruntled people among the natives?

Check it out said at February 10, 2014 5:09 PM:

"A small group with sufficient talent and training could do enormous damage."

Yeah, that can really do some damage to a nation.

At the link they call it terrorism and rightly so, I wish to add. I mean, knocking out a power station is bad and frightening, although not as some other terrorist acts, like, poisoning water reservoirs and supplies, polluting air, making wars for profit, using hunger as a political weapon, privatizing corporate profits while socializing corporate debts, adding toxic chemicals to food and drinks, banning independent natural food production, destroying and imposing puppet dictators in other countries, deliberately neglecting carry out action against the networks of child abuse and prostitution, human trafficking, etc. Oh wait! That has already been happening for quite a long time. The irony is that the terrorists that carry out these acts are "legal" terrorists with company names and governments logos, and they wear suits and black cassocks.

Of course all those acts are not exactly as noisy as crashing planes into buildings at an hour of the day that would bring about the smallest number of casualties. So I hope we don't start with that shallow-ass understanding so many people have of the word "terrorism"

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