Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Critical Infrastructure? Here? In North Idaho? Really?

We who live in isolated (or so we like to think) north Idaho may not think too much about our national critical infrastructure. "Critical infrastructure consists of systems and assets so valuable to the United States that their incapacity would harm the nation's physical security, economic security, or public health." We don't have anything like that up this-a-way in the Idaho Panhandle, do we?

Sure we do. It's called the Spokane Valley - Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer.

Okay, but would the Aquifer's incapacity harm the nation's physical security, economic security, or public health. Not the entire nation's, but enough of it in this area so that a significant level of national resources would need to be mobilized to fill the void created by the contamination or other incapacity of the aquifer. As an example, look at the national resources in time, money, manpower, and materials dedicated to the Hurricane Katrina rescue and rehabilitation effort. Diverting the resources needed to our area to make up for the loss of the Aquifer's capacity would certainly affect the nation's physical and economic security and our area's public health.

The vulnerability of critical infrastructure elements is so important the Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service has prepared a report for Congress so the elected representatives and their staffers can be better informed. The report is entitled Vulnerability of Concentrated Critical Infrastructure: Background and Policy Options, dated December 21, 2005.


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