Electromagnetic pulse: the conservative fetish that just won’t die

Jeffrey Lewis writes: Jim Woolsey, a former director of central intelligence and noted Oklahoma City conspiracy theorist, and Peter Pry had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday warning that North Korea might attack United States with a nuclear weapon. But instead of vaporizing Washington, Woolsey and Pry warn that North Korea would use just one bomb to create a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that would fry our iPhones and end “modern civilization.”

It will be like The Hunger Games meets Red Dawn!

If you aren’t familiar with the crowd of cranks and threat inflators banging the EMP drum, this scenario might seem a little far-fetched. It does seem like the sort of overcomplicated plot dreamed up by a Bond villain, one that only works in the movies. Bad movies.

Well, bad movies and terrible books — like Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen’s potboiler One Second After, about life in the United States after an EMP attack. Yes, that’s right. Newt Gingrich wrote dime-store pulp fiction about the aftermath of an EMP attack. I am just going to give you a minute here to compose yourself.

All better? Okay, as I said, Newt Gingrich wrote a book about EMP. EMP advocates get a little cranky when you make fun of it. An indignant Peter Pry once responded to mockery of the book by comparing One Second After to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Really.

That’s because the EMP crowd is about raising “awareness.” [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Electromagnetic pulse: the conservative fetish that just won’t die

  1. Norman

    The “Boogieman Bomb”, the “Heritage Foundation”, “EMP”, lets keep the war[s] going or scare the hell out of those who believe as we do! If the U.S. & Russia figured out that such a device wasn’t a very good thing at the same time, well, those men certainly knew a thing or two about what they could and couldn’t do with the bomb. Using North Korea as the present day boogieman, well, perhaps one of those domed football stadiums could be refitted into a therapy institution/sanitarian for all the warmongers. Perhaps Dr. Who could be enticed to oversee the operation?

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