Speculation grows over revelation that U.S. senators have been provided with satellite phones for a 'disruptive event'

May 23, 2023
Ben Marquis

A recent development on Capitol Hill has fueled speculation that government authorities might be anticipating a major "disruptive event" in the near future and are taking certain precautionary measures without providing any specific details about a potential threat to the American people.

It was recently revealed that at least half of the members of the U.S. Senate have been outfitted with and trained in the use of mobile satellite phones, the Daily Wire reported.

While the provision of the satellite phones was ostensibly linked to new heightened security measures following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021, it has nonetheless sparked conjecture that some sort of significant attack or emergency -- one that could overwhelm or take down normal cellphone service -- may be imminent.

Senators being provided with satellite phones and training

CBS News reported that the Senate Sergeant at Arms has offered mobile satellite phones and training on how to use them to all 100 members of the Senate and their staffers.

To date, at least 50 senators are said to have accepted the devices, associated training, and a recommendation that they keep the special phones close to them at all times, particularly while traveling.

It was during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in April that Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson revealed the decision to deploy the satellite phones "to ensure a redundant and secure means of communication during a disruptive event," such as one that "takes out communications" in some or all of the United States.

Gibson further testified that her office established a "demonstration space" in the basement where members of the Senate and their staff can be shown how to use the phones as well as be informed about other less-public security arrangements that have been implemented at the Capitol and elsewhere.

DHS has touted the use of satellite phones in natural and "man-made" emergencies

CBS News noted that the Department of Homeland Security issued a special advisory in 2015 specifically about mobile satellite phones and how they were increasingly being utilized by first responders and government authorities in emergency situations.

That includes both natural disasters, such as earthquakes or severe weather, as well as man-made incidents, "including potential chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive events."

The advisory went on to explain how satellite phones work using either geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) satellites, which sit stationary at exceptionally high altitudes and work rather slowly, or Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites that utilize a network of moving satellites at much lower altitudes and can work quickly but are less reliable.

What is the real reason for the distribution of satellite phones among senators?

PJ Media keyed in on the mention of a "disruptive event" by Sergeant at Arms Gibson during the Senate hearing and wondered if the effort to outfit and train senators with satellite phones was "purely precautionary" or indicative of something more "ominous" that is not being shared with the general public.

To be sure, this could very well be nothing more than an added precaution to ensure that senators remain in the loop in case of an emergency of any sort, which can result in localized cellphone networks being overloaded, not to mention the increasing frequency of "rolling blackouts" as the nation's electric grid deteriorates and is replaced by less reliable "green" energy production.

That said, given the increasingly aggressive and provocative nature of enemies and rivals like Russia and China, perhaps there is some undisclosed threat of an imminent attack on the nation -- such as an EMP or nuclear strike, to say nothing of internal sabotage on energy production and communications capabilities -- that has spurred the extra precautions.

Whatever may be the case, taxpayers are paying for all of it -- which means the possibility that this is nothing more than a contractor securing a sweet deal at the public trough to supply satellite phones to legislators and government officials also can't be entirely ruled out.

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