Saturday, July 23, 2005

London, Again, and Now Egypt.

In London the bombs didn't go off, in Egypt they did. The reports from Egypt are still too sketchy for me to have a clear picture, looks like a couple of car bombs plus a smaller one. One of the car bombs rammed into a hotel and blew up. It looks as if another car bomb went off right after a smaller bomb. This is an all-to-common M.O. a bomb to create an initial set of casualties then a bigger bomb to catch the rescue and security people. No definitive idea of who did it yet but I'd be willing to bet next week's grocery money that it wasn't a bunch of angry Lutherans. Maybe the Methodists?

I've a somewhat better picture of London. Seems that our brethren from the Religion of Pieces screwed the pooch. The explosive used, something called TATP is very unstable and difficult to store. If the TATP was left over from the 7/7 bombings it could easily have degraded in two weeks. It's also fairly easy to screw up the mixture, I'm told. At any rate the forensic people have a treasure trove of evidence now. That's good news. Forensics isn't my baliwick, I have a pretty good idea how to preserve a scene for others to process but I know enough to believe that evidence that didn't explode is more likely to be immediately useful than evidence that did explode. The security and intel people are going to learn a lot, how much they will, or should, share with the public is another question.

This much is generally known about TATP. It's made from widely available ingredients, ingredients that will raise no eyebrows if bought in nominal quantities. A small number of people each going to different stores can easily amass enough to make several very loud noises. Also on the plus side (from the spodeydope's point of view) is that the mixing it up, while quite dangerous, is fairly simple. I guess if one is planning on wearing it when it explodes, the risk in mixing it and making the bomb itself, once the explosive is made, is acceptable. Also on the plus side of the ledger for the splodeydope is that it's very difficult for the bomb dogs and explosive sniffer machines to detect. Keep this known fact in mind, it's the source of much that follows.

On the minus side of the ledger is that the stuff often makes the loud noise before the splodeydope intends it to.Those one-handed, or no handed 'clerics' and blind sheikhs weren't born that way. We could probably make a pretty good dent in the splodeydope population with a simple policy of shooting Muslims with blown-off or badly burned body parts on sight. 'Course we'd blow away a few who were just unlucky enough to have been in other sorts of accidents but it seems to make more sense to me than strip searching Norwegian Grandmothers. We saw the results of the other downside to TATP in the bombs that fizzled.

I'm sure the rational behind the searches of bags and backpacks in New York City, for instance, is a direct result of the difficulty the dogs and 'sniffers' have in detecting this stuff. Michelle Malkin linked to an article that explains just about everything it is safe to about TAPT. It's a website called Hyscience. I've bookmarked it and shall poke around some more in it. Lot of smart people out there.

I'm most gratified to see how the armed Police Officers took down that feller in the bulky coat yesterday. It seems that he didn't have a bomb, I'm wondering if he was simply stupid or a decoy. It's one or the other. Here's the deal. If the police think that they've a suicide bomber there's only one way for that suspect to avoid being shot full of holes, that's stop, show empty hands and follow instructions to the letter. You know that remote for your car door locks? How long does it take to work it? That's how long it takes to set off a bomb.

Imagine that you are wearing a badge and gun. You are close enough to that suspect for him to give you a Very Bad Day. There are also a bunch of civilians around and it's been drilled into your head since the Academy that it's your duty to protect them. Are you going to jackass around with him? Maybe get into a rasslin' match? Will anyone stand over your grave and admire your committment to civil liberties?

The splodeydope is causing a shift in the policies of police and security agencies. It is considered bad form for Officers to blow a suspect away without giving multiple chances to surrender, even to the point where there are serious complaints if the bad guy doesn't get the first shot in, often complaints when he does get the first shot. I'm thinking of that scumbag in LA that wounded a bluesuit while holding his baby daughter. The death of that baby was, and is, a tragedy. I know damned well that those Officers involved will go to their graves hating it. Thing is, it wasn't the fault of the Officers. Just what were they supposed to do with one of their own bleeding on the ground? The shame is that it happened fast enough to where they couldn't have one of their scoped rifle guys put that scumbag out of our misery with a nice clean headshot.

With the splodeydopes, all that has to go out the window. An Officer will have just one split second chance to stop the bomb from going off, if we get that chance at all.The onus MUST be on the suspect to stop, show empty hands and comply with all instructions. Period. There can be no confusion about this.

Here's a personal opinion about our policies. I think that it's madness to go around searching those afore-mentioned Norwegian Grandmothers while avoiding 'racial profiling'. We have a pretty good idea of who these splodeydopes are and they ain't Norwegian Grandmaws. There is only one thing stupider than that policy, those "I do not consent to being searched" shirts. It's pretty much a given that we all agree that it's only a matter of time before the splodeydopes start blowing up here. The argument between Left and Right isn't about "if". It's about why and whom to blame.

It's just a matter of time, too, before someoneon the Right, or the Left, decides to be a civil-liberties hee-row and wear a big coat in August, maybe along with a backpack with protruding wires and loudly proclaim his 'rights'. Good luck. Maybe all you'll get are those rights. and a few lefts, too. Don't try running, m'kay? Remember those five head shots.

I'm no fonder than anyone else about the idea of some stranger pawing through my stuff. I feel so strongly about it that I deliberately avoid, whenever possible, going where it's likely that some stranger would have occassion to do so. I'm less fond, though, of seeing body parts srewn haphazardly about wreckage. Been there. Done that. Got the vomit stained T-shirt.

It's a new era, our Police and security forces don't like it any better than anyone else. The dangers we're facing are real, not imagined. We'd cut down considerably on those dangers if Left and Right would agree to argue about taxes and welfare reform and present a united front about national security. Somehow I believe it would be far easier to solve, say, social security if as few as possible of us are blown up.

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