Home Asides The Record on its effort to find what NJ Transit is hiding

The Record on its effort to find what NJ Transit is hiding

by Benjamin Kabak

In my review of WNYC’s reporting on NJ Transit’s response to Sandy, I noted how the transit agency had offered up four redacted pages as an overview of their storm preparedness efforts but neglected to mention the ramifications of the document. The WNYC report was but one half of a two-headed effort with The Record of Bergen County to tackle the story, and Karen Rouse has details on the dispute over the document in her piece in the paper.

According to her reporting, New Jersey Transit refuses to share the four-page document and hundreds of emails due to safety concerns. “Recent events including the uncovering of an al-Qaida-led ­terrorist plot targeting rail service reinforces why NJ Transit will not disclose sensitive information |that could potentially undermine the security of our transit infrastructure, our customers or our employees,” John Durso Jr., a spokesman for NJ Transit, said to The Record.

The Record has filed suit over the redacted and omitted documents, and they are essentially requesting what I said should be requested of NJ Transit. As Rouse writes, they asked for “details about whether NJ Transit had identified locations in its statewide rail network that were at risk for flooding prior to Sandy; whether rail crews were on duty and prepared for Sandy prior to its surge making landfall; and if NJ Transit police officers assigned to its Office of Emergency Management were trained in reading weather forecast data.” The MTA, also vulnerable to terrorist threats, could provide this information readily; New Jersey Transit opted not to. What are they hiding?

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7 comments

Josh K. May 14, 2013 - 1:41 pm

Yes, cause we have to keep secret all of the NJT internal memos about flood mitigation. What, are we worrying that Al-Qaeda might build a weather machine? They’re not COBRA in a bad episode of “G.I. Joe”.

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John-2 May 14, 2013 - 2:45 pm

You would think NJT would have different emergency procedures for “Attack By Terrorists” and “Attack By Category 1 Hurricane” and could release details on the latter.

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pete May 14, 2013 - 6:07 pm

You see, if they publish their hurricane plan, Al Queda will blow up a dam and flood the Hackensack and Passic rivers and wipe out NJT again.

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Alex C May 14, 2013 - 2:50 pm

This is hilarious. They really think the “LOOK OUT! AL-QAEDA!” thing will work as an excuse? Well, sadly, for some people it will.

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SEAN May 14, 2013 - 4:35 pm

This is hilarious. They really think the “LOOK OUT! AL-QAEDA!” thing will work as an excuse? Well, sadly, for some people it will.
Keep in mind that the “LOOK OUT! AL-QAEDA!” line will be invoked to prevent the public or journalists from asking questions on numerous subjects. And anyone who dares ask such questions will have their patriotism questioned.

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paulie3jobs May 15, 2013 - 6:22 pm

NJT’s Disaster Plan meeting

Arthur ‘Big Guy’ Carlson: Here, Les. Read the disaster plan.
Arthur ‘Big Guy’ Carlson: But, Andy, the disaster plan doesn’t say anything about tornadoes. It’s for what to do if we are ever attacked by the Communists!
Arthur ‘Big Guy’ Carlson: Well… Just read the plan and wherever you see the word “Communist” substitute the word “tornado.”
Arthur ‘Big Guy’ Carlson: [into the microphone] Citizens of Cincinnati, we are being attacked by the godless… tornadoes!

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Nathanael May 17, 2013 - 3:54 am

As usual, claims of “terrorism” and “national security” are used to cover up incompetence, corruption, fraud, and other crimes.

Remember, the initial “state secrets” case — the one which established the *concept* of a “state secrets” privilege — turned out, after 50 years, to have been a coverup of crimes committed by the government. No state secrets involved.

NJT officials need to be indicted by grand juries for these cover-ups.

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