Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area suffered through some blackouts recently after an intense thunderstorm shook the area a couple weeks ago. The whole episode triggered Newt Gingrich's anxiety about an electromagnetic pulse attack on the U.S.
Gingrich, who lives just outside of D.C. in Virginia and said his own power went out, writes in a Washington Post op-ed today:
It is almost unthinkable, yet possible, that an enemy could detonate a nuclear weapon over the atmosphere over the continental United States, triggering an electromagnetic pulse. This would short-circuit our power grid, taking power offline for months, perhaps even years. ...
In a crisis, many in the Washington area could not even flee because the impact of an EMP attack would disable most cars and public transportation. The water supply would go dry without electricity to pump water from rivers and wells.
Imagine if you could find a bottle of potable water for, say, your children. How much would you pay? What would you pay with if every bank and ATM were shut down?
Public safety? Forget it. No power means no police cars, no communications and no 911 emergency service. For criminals, it would be time to run rampant.