Volume 14, Issue 30 ~ July 27 - August 2, 2006


Calvert’s New Tune: I Love My Truck

No, that mean gray buggy in the vicinity of Prince Frederick didn’t fall off a military transport on the way to Beirut.

That, folks, is Calvert County’s BearCat Counter Attack truck, a gift from the American taxpayer in this post 9-11 era.

The $200,000-plus armor-plated vehicle was purchased through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

It has multi-hit ballistic glass, blast fragmentation-resistant floors, gun ports and roof hatches with rotating turrets. And it roars along at 85 mph.

Law enforcement officials say it’s just what they need to ward off terrorists who might be lured by the twin targets of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant and the Cove Point Liquid Natural Gas plant nearby. It also might come in handy, they say, in the event of standoffs or local ruckuses that become tricky to handle.

We understand the complaints by conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation that argue that we’re wasting millions of dollars on anti-terrorist preparation that does little good.

For instance, government investigators recently pointed out a few problems in the Homeland Security database of possible targets for terrorist attacks. Among the sites on the list were the Amish Country Popcorn Factory in Indiana, the Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo in Alabama and the Ground Hog Zoo in Pennsylvania.

Of course, our nuclear plant and LNG plant are legitimate targets, even though we doubt if terrorists would be likely to attack by ground, any more than they would try to rush Punxsutawney Phil’s place.

In Calvert County, we would have preferred to see that $200,000 spent on something that might protect us from radioactivity, like wider availability of potassium iodide pills to safeguard people’s thyroids in the event of a radiation release.

Nonetheless, we’re pleased that the county has a Ford rather than one of those hideous Hummers.

And who knows, if peace breaks out around the world, maybe all that armor would be good for keeping ice cream and snow cones cold.

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