“Doom Porn” And Preparedness Go Mainstream, “Why Now?”

“Doom Porn” And Preparedness Go Mainstream, “Why Now?” | ABC’s-Ted-Koppel-400x300 | Mainstream Media Predictive Programming Preparedness\Survival US News
ABC’s Ted Koppel

For several years independent authors and alternative news media have sought to raise awareness of the possibility that an attack on one or more of America’s three antiquated electrical grids could result in the end of society as we know it. Now veteran broadcast journalist Ted Koppel has authored a book (or perhaps more accurately lent his name to a ghost-written book) on this very threat–indeed one that’s been looming for years, even as it remains almost completely ignored by US political leaders.

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath will be published by Penguin/Random House on October 27. “In this tour de force of investigative reporting,” the book’s description reads.

Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to the United States could launch such an assault at any time … And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio.

While the book acknowledges efforts of “the nation’s estimated three million ‘preppers’”–it is curious that this major concern is being tossed in the American public’s lap as east-west tensions eclipse their cold war highs. This may have to do with more-than-subtle “predictive programming” preceding a shutdown that will be blamed on one or more geopolitical rivals, which is difficult to discern in such unconventional warfare.

“Doom Porn” And Preparedness Go Mainstream, “Why Now?” | lights-out-ted-koppel | Mainstream Media Predictive Programming Preparedness\Survival US News Such a work should also be approached with the knowledge that the US Congress alongside the Bush and Obama administrations covertly legislated and spent billions on the implementation of a “smart grid” boondoggle that does nothing in terms of safeguarding the country against such scenarios (See, for example, “Media Blackout on US ‘Smart Grid Deployment,” MHB, February 19, 2015).

Of course, the book is also being touted by several national security luminaries–including Defense and Central Intelligence Director Leon Panetta and NSA director Keith Alexander–as a “wake up call”, even though they’ve no doubt known about this danger for years and failed to advocate for a program that could mitigate a cataclysmic breakdown of civil society should such an even occur. “Ted Koppel has written an important wake-up call for America on the threat of a crippling cyberattack,” Panetta writes. “The danger we face right now is great, but so is the failure to acknowledge that the threat exists at all.”

Additional blurbs are reproduced below.

“Lights Out illuminates one of the greatest vulnerabilities to our nation – a cyberattack on our power grid. It is a wake-up call for all of us. We are the nation that created the internet; we should be the first to secure it. This powerful book could be the catalyst for just such a change.”
–GENERAL (RET.) KEITH ALEXANDER, former director of the National Security Agency

“A bold enumeration of the challenges posed by the digital age; an appeal to safeguard new instruments of human flourishing by studying the ways in which they could be exploited.”
—HENRY A. KISSINGER

“Ted Koppel’s unparalleled reporting skills are on full display in Lights Out. A fascinating and frightening look at just how vulnerable we are to a cyberattack.”
–ANDERSON COOPER

“When the lights go out after the cyberattack, this is the book everyone will read.”
–RICHARD A. CLARKE, author of Cyber War and former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism

“Lights Out is a timely warning about the vulnerability of America to a massive cyberattack that would cripple all we take for granted – electricity, communication, transportation. This is not science fiction. Hats off to Ted Koppel for putting us all on alert.”
–TOM BROKAW

“Try to imagine what a malevolent government, armed with the latest computer sophistication, could do to another nation’s complex and entirely digital-dependent economy and social infrastructure. Fortunately, Ted Koppel has imagined it for us. We have been warned.”
–GEORGE F. WILL

“Without a single bullet, bomb, or missile, a foreign enemy can now launch a devastating attack on the United States. Koppel explores how cyberwarfare threatens all of us, assesses the risks, criticizes the lack of government action, and finds praise for the Mormon way of disaster preparedness. I hope he’s wrong about the danger but fear he’s right on the mark.”
–ERIC SCHLOSSER, author of Command and Control and Fast Food Nation

“As readers would expect from Ted Koppel, Lights Out is dramatic but not hyped, tied to today’s news of shaky infrastructure and cyber attacks but also forward looking. This is an engrossing and significant book.”
—JAMES FALLOWS, national correspondent, The Atlantic; author of China Airborne

“In Lights Out, Ted Koppel uses his profound journalistic talents to raise pressing questions about our nation’s aging electrical grid. Through interview after interview with leading experts, Koppel paints a compelling picture of the impact cyberattacks may have on the grid. The book reveals the vulnerability of perhaps the most critical of all the infrastructures of our modern society: the electricity that keeps our modern society humming along.”
—MARC GOODMAN, author of Future Crimes


Professor James F. Tracy is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. James Tracy’s work on media history, politics and culture has appeared in a wide variety of academic journals, edited volumes, and alternative news and opinion outlets. James is editor of Union for Democratic Communication’s Journal Democratic Communiqué and a contributor to Project Censored’s forthcoming publication Censored 2013: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2011-2012. Additional writings and information are accessible at memoryholeblog.com.


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About The Author

James F. Tracy's work on media history, politics and culture has appeared in a wide variety of academic journals, edited volumes, and alternative news and opinion outlets. James is editor of Union for Democratic Communication’s Journal Democratic Communiqué and a contributor to Project Censored’s forthcoming publication Censored 2013: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2011-2012. Additional writings and information are accessible at memoryholeblog.com.

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