Friday, October 26, 2018

I'm Sure Glad I Didn't Chime in Too Early on DemBomber Story

Sorry Stacy, this didn't age all that well: Bomb Hoaxes Achieve Goal of Inspiring Unsubstantiated Political Speculation
Speculation ran wild that this was done by either (a) a right-wing kook inspired by President Trump’s rhetoric or (b) a left-wing kook trying to make right-wingers look guilty. There is abundant reason to believe (b), although we don’t know. My expectation is that the FBI will have a suspect in custody by Monday. They won’t get away with this, and they probably did it knowing full well they would get caught.
They beat you by three days.
These were not actual bombs. There were no explosions. These “potentially destructive devices” were constructed to look dangerous, but obviously the person sending them did not want to kill their targets. This is in itself evidence of motive, pointing toward (b) and not (a).
At this point the FBI is still insisting that these were serious attempts at bombs (albeit very poorly constructed), and that it's lucky none went off. If the FBI is lying about this, all bets are off.
As soon as these bomb scares made news Wednesday, conservatives on Twitter suggested it was (b), known as the “false flag” theory, and were immediately denounced by liberals for suggesting this. However, common sense is not paranoia, and there are lots of common sense reasons to lean toward the “false flag” theory of this crime:
  1. The hoaxer would have to be phenomenally stupid to imagine they could escape apprehension. In the age of video surveillance and advanced forensics, you can’t send bombs (or fake bomb-looking devices) to high-profile political targets and evade the Joint Terrorism Task Force. No, you’re going to be in handcuffs within 72 hours, I’d guess, and so we must ask: Who is stupid enough not to understand this?
  2. The return addresses misspelled the surname of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and the package delivered to CNN misspelled the surname of John Brennan. If you hate these people so much that you’d want to kill them with bombs, wouldn’t you bother learning how to spell their names? Again, this looks like evidence of stupidity.
  3. Republicans are winning. Every political analyst is now saying that the GOP is almost certain to retain control of the Senate, and may even be able to turn back the Democrat “blue wave” in the House. Political terrorism is usually committed by losers, and since the Kavanaugh hearings, Republicans have been looking like winners, so why would a right-winger want to screw up that winning streak by sending bombs?
A non-lethal threat to big-name Democrats, perpetrated by someone so stupid they think they can escape a federal terrorism task force? Well, I can’t rule out that a right-wing dimwit committed this hoax — anything is possible — but it sure as heck reminds me of the fake “hate crime” hoaxes that plague university campuses every spring. This has become a predictable annual ritual. A racial slur or homophobic epithet is scrawled in a dorm hallway or whatever and, a couple weeks later, a liberal student is arrested for making a false police report:

Following President Trump’s election and inauguration, several universities have seen an increase in such reports.

One student at the University of Michigan faked an attack because of what she called a post-election “surge in hate crimes.” The UM student was fined $660 and is on a suspended 93-day jail sentence, pending probation adherence, for falsely reporting a hate crime. She admitted to having mental health issues when she pleaded guilty, but at the time, she told police she was targeted for wearing a solidarity pin.

She later admitted to scratching herself with her solidarity pin after becoming upset during a woman’s literature class at the University of Michigan, according to the Ann Arbor Police Department report. . . .

A note that used the N-word and threatened a black female student at St. Olaf College inspired a student-led protest against institutional racism at the school and the cancellation of classes.

Only problem? It “was not a genuine threat,” according to the school’s president. The author of the note confessed to fabricating it “to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate.”
Happily, the alleged bomber was arrested on Friday, and sadly, he appears to be a roidrage filled, nearly homeless, ex male stripper, Cesar Sayoc, with a long criminal history, who has threatened bombings in the past, and who rabidly supports Trump. But you did get it right when you allowed for a  right-wing dimwit to have done it. This, of course, does not mean Trump is responsible for his actions, any more than Bernie Sanders is personally responsible for James Hodgkinson shooting up the Republican Congressional baseball team's practice and critically wounding Steve Scalise, although you wouldn't know it by Shep Smith's bloody flag rhetoric.

But ya gotta give Stacy credit for this one: Crazy People Are Dangerous: The Fake Seminole Steroid-Using Stripper Bomber
The ultimate “Florida Man” — a Filipino-American who pretended to be a Seminole, worked as a male stripper for a fake Chippendales company, used steroids, suffered from mental illness, hated his mother and terrorized the country by sending fake bombs through the mail.

We’re living in Heinlein’s “Crazy Years” . . .

1 comment:

  1. As for the FBI calling these things "bombs" this does not surprise me (nor is it inconsistent with what the FBI has typically done). Matchheads wrapped in tin foil constitute a bomb. Fireworks are often treated as bombs and explosives in a criminal context.

    I get the FBI does this to maximize criminal sentences of accused. The problem is not all "bombs" are obviously the same. When you over estimate bombs on the lesser end of the spectrum, how do you treat serious deadly devices like the Tsarnaev pressure cooker bomb or worse?

    Sayoc is clearly bat shit crazy and needs to be sent away for a very long time. But I get the feeling someone else was involved in this thing. That is what I want to know about.