06/04/05 The Unsung Heroes of Homeland Security
Salt Lake City, UT by Fawn Allova (PRN Transcript) - "This is the first of an investigative series in which PRN takes a critical look at Americans in the trenches in the war on terror.
We begin this story at an undisclosed desert location near Salt Lake City. It is here that the Pentagon stores some of the deadliest chemical and biological weapons known to man. For years the military has kept watch over this "Pandora's Box" of weaponized toxins, and time has reportedly been unkind to the shells and bombs stored here. VX, Mustard Gas, Botulinotoxins, and many other secretive yet deadly agents are stored here and in danger of accidental release due to deteriorating containers.
The Pentagon faces many problems in regards to these stores. One problem is the expense of attempting to destroy the agents safely on site. With the war on terror in Iraq, budgets and personnel are stretched thin. Add to this the danger of the mass destruction possible should any one of these shells fall into the wrong hands, and America could be looking at a real catastrophe. The Pentagon's solution: outsourcing; a controversial governmental trend.
Today, I spoke with one of the proud Americans tasked with the safe disposal of this witches brew. Nedal Nibamasu, 47, is a recent émigré to the United States from Pakistan and leaves a large family behind in an effort to expand family business operations into America. He is a tall, swarthy man, with the look of someone who has known the rigors of the desert in the Middle East. His English is heavily accented, but highly accurate"
Fawn: "Welcome, Mr. Nibamasu... and thank you for talking with our audience on PRN... Mr. Nibamasu, am I pronouncing that correctly...?"
Nedal: "Yes, Fawn, and thank you for having me... but please, call me Nedal..."
Fawn: "Certainly... Nedal... tell us about your job here..."
Nedal: "My company is in charge of the safe removal and destruction of the weapons stored here. We have contracted with the United States Government to provide both security for the facility, and safe disposal technology, in an effort to free up valuable military personnel to fight the war on terror in Iraq..."
Fawn: "Now, we are standing underground at the facility after a brief ride in an elevator, can you tell us about the facility itself...?"
Nedal: "Much is classified, but I can say that everything is encased in hardened concrete and we are sufficiently deep enough underground to survive multiple direct hits from nuclear missiles..."
Fawn: "Well, can you tell our listeners what progress have you made to date..."
Nedal: "If you will look behind me, Fawn, you will see one of thirty-four containment bunkers, and this one, I am happy to say has been completely emptied and ready for further decontamination... we have approximately ten bunkers at this stage presently..."
Nedal Nibamasu, standing in front of an empty bunker waiting for steralization.
Fawn: "Remarkable news considering that you have been on the job now for what... a little less than a year...?"
Nedal: "Yes, that is correct..."
Fawn: "Now, are you or your workers ever afraid doing the work that you do... that is some pretty hazardous stuff that you're handling here..."
Nedal: "Fawn, only a fool does not admit that he is afraid sometimes... but respectful fear leads to care... we are always careful. I think that I speak for all of my workers when I say that we also have a deep trust in God; that he will be with us as we strive to complete our mission..."
Fawn: "That is truly inspiring... I hadn't realized that you are such a religious man, Nedal..."
Nedal: "Oh yes, Fawn... I actually ascribe to many of the thoughts and feelings of President Bush... we are all God's children, no matter our nationality, religion, or skin color... but sometimes bad children need to be punished... for the greater good."
Fawn: "Now on a more personal note, Nedal, I understand that you'll be becoming a Citizen of the United States, soon... please accept my early congradulations..."
Nedal: "Ha, ha, ha... yes, that is correct, thank you Fawn! I will be sworn in next week... again, I must express my sincere thanks to President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally for their direct intervention in making this possible. They recognized our company's vast experience in dealing with Soviet era neurotoxins in neighboring Afghanistan in the 1980's. While I come from a family of considerable influence, this was not enough to secure citizenship without the help of the administration during these times..."
Fawn: "Yes, I can see your point... after 9/11 I would assume that security would be awfully tight... and with your name...by the way, isn't that the name of a known terrorist mastermind...?"
Nedal: "I assume you refer to Abu Nidal... he was assassinated in Baghdad a few years ago... besides his name is spelled with an "i", mine is with an "e"..."
Fawn: "Well, now that you've brought up terrorist masterminds, Nedal, would you care to offer to our listeners your theories as to the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden... you did grow up in the Middle East, after all..."
Nedal: "Heh... well actually you brought up the subject of terrorists, Fawn... but... well... sure, I'll have a go... First off let me state that I would have to side with President Bush on this and state that the man has been driven to the point of insignificance by the war on terror in Iraq... he is simply of little importance in the overall scheme of things... However, I would like to say that I am a fond student of American History... there was a man once, a bank robber I believe, named Willie Sutton who once said when asked why he robbed banks, "Why did I rob banks? Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank, robbing it, than at any other time in my life. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I'd be out looking for the next job. But to me the money was the chips, that's all."... This was later shortened to "Because that's where the money is..."... either way, if you are looking for a man such as this "Bin Laden", I think this lesson will apply..."
Fawn: "Ha, ha, ha... Now, Mr. Nibamasu, if I might describe for our listeners, you are wearing a black T shirt with a highly political caption on it in white letters, and blue jeans... decidedly casual... one would assume that a man of your stature would be dressed a little more professionally..."
Nedal Nibamasu, unsung homeland security hero and soon to be US citizen.
Nedal: "Please, Fawn... call me Nedal... I and my workers dress this way specifically for security concerns... a sort of camouflage if you will..."
Fawn: "Ah! I see... terrorists.......... Well, we're about out of time... Nedal, is there anything that you would like to say to our listeners, or maybe to your extended family back in Pakistan before we go...?"
Nedal: "Yes, thank you Fawn... to my family I would like to say that I miss you very much, and I look forward to the day, God willing, when I am able to remove certain obstacles and we are all reunited here in America..."
Fawn: "And that was Mr. Nedal Nibamasu, chief Pentagon contractor for the removal and disposal of the American chemical and biological weapons arsenal... thank you for joining us sir..."
Nedal: "My pleasure Fawn..."
Fawn: "Tune in next week for our next installment in our series on "The Unsung Heroes of Homeland Security", as we go on a ride along with the Arizona minute men on the border with Mexico..."
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