Obama on national security
Barack Obama's Plan
Protecting Our Chemical Plants
Chemical plants are attractive terrorist targets because they are often located near cities, are relatively easy to attack, and contain multi-ton
quantities of hazardous chemicals. While a number of plants have taken voluntary steps to improve security, there are still major gaps; and the
federal government has never established meaningful, permanent security regulations. Senator Obama worked with Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) to
introduce comprehensive chemical plant security legislation that would establish a clear set of federal regulations that all plants must follow. The
bill requires chemical facilities to enhance security, including improving barriers, containment, mitigation, and safety training, and, where
possible, using safer technology, such as less toxic chemicals.
Keeping Track of Spent Nuclear Fuel
The nation has 103 operating nuclear power plants which annually produce over 2,000 metric tons of spent fuel that remains highly radioactive for many
years. A report by the Government Accountability Office found inadequate tracking and security for spent nuclear fuel rods. Nuclear plants in
Connecticut, Vermont and California have reported missing spent fuel in the last five years. Senator Obama introduced legislation to establish
guidelines for tracking, controlling, and accounting for spent fuel at nuclear power plants.
Evacuating Special Needs Population in Emergencies
One of the most devastating aspects of Hurricane Katrina is that most of the stranded victims were society's most vulnerable members - low-income
families, the elderly, the homeless, and disabled Americans. Too many states and cities do not have adequate plans in place to care for special-needs
populations. Senator Obama introduced and passed legislation to require mandatory planning for evacuating people with special needs.
Reuniting Families After Emergencies
After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of people struggled to contact family and friends following evacuation. Evacuees were forced to comb through dozens
of databases in an effort to reconnect with loved ones. Senator Obama introduced and passed legislation to create a centralized, federal database to
allow individuals displaced by an emergency to call one phone number or go to one website and post their location and condition. Family members and
law enforcement officials would be able to use this same secure, centralized system to check the status of missing loved ones.
Keeping Our Drinking Water Safe
There are almost 170,000 public water systems in the United States. An attack on a drinking water system could contaminate or disrupt water service,
thereby disrupting society, impacting human health and compromising critical activities such as fire protection. Senator Obama introduced legislation
to provide $37.5 million over 5 years for drinking water systems to upgrade their monitoring and security efforts.
Protecting the Public from Radioactive Releases
Following reports that nuclear power plants in Illinois did not promptly notify local communities that tritium – a byproduct of nuclear generation
– had leaked into the groundwater, Senator Obama introduced legislation to require nuclear plants to inform state and local officials if there is an
unintentional leak of a radioactive substance. Chronic exposure to high levels of tritium can increase the risk of cancer, birth defects and genetic
War on Terrorism:
Obama has funneled many of his comments about the "war on terrorism" through his concerns with human and civil rights issues that it has raised. His
campaign website establishes both small weapons proliferation and potential nuclear terrorism as significant global issues the U.S. must attend to.
Obama responded in strong terms to the passage of the Military Commissions Act in September 2006, which granted the Bush Administration wide latitude
to define what would constitute the torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. He joined critique of the bill's suspension of habeas corpus for
potentially innocent detainees with the accusation that the government was not addressing the actual issues:
"…We have Al Qaeda and the Taliban regrouping in Afghanistan while we look the other way. We have a war in Iraq that our own government's
intelligence says is serving as Al Qaeda's best recruitment tool. And we have recommendations from the bipartisan 9/11 commission that we still
refuse to implement five years after the fact."
What a joke...nothing at all on actual terrorism.
drinking water???ARE you serious for homeland security....That never really a problem!Our nuclear reactors???Who cares...worry about other countries
missing fuel rods then our own!!!!