Saturday, September 09, 2006

I’d Make A Great Terrorist Mastermind

Why hasn’t some enterprising terrorist outfitted a flat-chested female suicide bomber with plastic-explosive breast implants yet? The beauty of a plan like that (from a villainous mastermind perspective) is, even if the plot fails in the sense that the bombs are discovered before they can be set off, it will be a success in terms of terrorizing the population. Consider: the infidel government has already banned certain foods and all beverages, toothpastes, hair-styling products, and anything else that might theoretically be an explosive in disguise. If the government discovered an implant plot, its overreaction would do more to disrupt American air travel than detonating a nuke at O'Hare.

The TSA will waive the no-beverages-on-board policy if you’re a diabetic (up to 5 ounces of juice), and let you carry baby formula if you’ve also got a baby. Why haven’t the terrorists found a diabetic suicide bomber to carry five ounces of liquid explosive disguised as fruit juice? Or carry explosive formula? If they have no qualms about killing people, I'm sure they can steal some woman's baby as a prop. And though they can no longer smuggle explosives disguised as gel shoe inserts onto a plane, they can use a wheelchair with gel-cushioned seats and pads, both of which are allowed by current guidelines.

I almost hope my imaginary double-D bombshell is caught in an airport someday, even though flying in the aftermath would be very difficult for women with bad-grade bra sizes. Once you know logic and good sense are out to lunch anyway, there’s good perverse fun in seeing just how much garbage they'll eat. I read of a terrorist caught in possession of dolls whose clothes were made of explosive nitrocellulose — how do you think the government would respond if they caught a bunch of guys trying to board a plane while wearing explosive clothing?

The anniversary of 9/11 is almost here, and a lot of people are wondering why the terrorists haven't struck again. I'll tell you why: because they lack imagination.


Blogger Karen said...

First of all, thanks for giving me something to take my mind off the Texas - Ohio State game. (Hook 'em!!) I can't watch, it's like a jinx.

It would be one thing if they even enforced the ban they've got, but they're pretty slack unless someone triggers a profile. At the beginning of August, we flew back to Austin from Seattle and I boarded the plane with a tube of hand cream and lip gloss in my purse. My husband flew up there with a cigarette lighter in his pocket, with no questions whatsoever. (We're owed a few breaks from the TSA. In 2005, we flew to Colorado for a ski trip with our two sons, then 6 and 3, my 78 year old mother-in-law, her other son and his two boys. We were chosen for "special screening," meaning the whole take off the shoes, sweaters, socks, belts, have all our baggage violated, all while we get to stand in a glass box for the entertainment of the other passengers. We've decided that the TSA needed evidence for the inevitable racial bias lawsuit, and a middle-aged redhead with her entire family makes an excellent first defense witness.)

Actually, I've wondered myself why al Q doesn't take a page from the Washington snipers. Take out a few people at gas stations in Des Moines or schoolkids in Houston would be far more demoralizing than blowing up an office building. Of course, that wouldn't play so well on Al Jazeera and would require a bit more organizational skill.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Mick Gordon said...

Hey - stop giving people ideas, I am already scared of flying, I dont need to be arrested for staring at my row mate's breasts. You seem quite conspiratorial about your workplace - Do you work for the airlines?

8:16 PM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

You'd make a great terrorist mastermind, but thankfully your other endowments make you unsuitable to be the boob-a-bomber.

9:02 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

It's not a big terrorist triumph to take down an airliner.

Airliners used to go down all the time. It was a story for a few days (``what happened'') and neat photos on page 1, moving to page 4, and gone. There were flight insurance vending machines at airports (since removed, since it was found fewer airplanes went down if you couldn't buy insurance for your spouse, a two birds with one stone opportunity).

All grief all the time news marketing made it into an opportunity, coverage of the bereaved at the airport, coverage of the bereaved being protected from reporters at the airport, advice on how to survive air crashes, is enough being done, until it's no longer possible to scare women enough to get them to tune in. Then the news went on to something else.

Planes carrying girl scout troops are best of all, you can milk them for weeks, but you can't always get what you want.

I myself liked plane crashes because of the photos, and how cool the reason was that it went down. The best reason was a commuter plane in Texas that had the stabilizer stall, that achieved coolness by enacting how-airplanes-work esoterica in real life. On days with plane or train crashes my father would bring home both the NYT and the Herald Tribune for me, for the pictures.

Of course the photos today are no good with jets, just debris, but the news has moved on to a nontechnical audience (``women'') in any case.

So, if the terrorists take down an airliner, the actual result will be a big yawn - airliners go down, what else is new - but for the news hype, which will be insufferable as always until it dies down finally.

People will go on flying, particularly if they get rid of TSA so it's not a giant hassle any longer.

TSA is not there to protect you. They're there as part of a roust, an inconvenience to the public to prove that the authorities are doing something, the more inconveninent the better for them.

4:50 AM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

I should add : remember what the terrorists want is the news coverage, not the deaths.

What the media want is the news coverage.

A convergence of interests, almost as if both were the enemy.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I should add : remember what the terrorists want is the news coverage, not the deaths.

Which is why merely being caught with explosive clothing or cleavage would be best for them. So what if nobody dies? It'll scare the hell out of everybody, and give the government an excuse to take even more of our freedoms away. And when TSA requires all travellers to change out of their clothes and into TSA-issued paper gowns before flight, apologists can point out that this is okay because after all, there's no Constitutional right to wear your own clothes on a plane.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

I should add : remember what the terrorists want is the news coverage, not the deaths.

Actually, this was true back in the 70's and 80's. Al Dickheads are doing something different, they're not pandering to the media so much as trying to portray themselves as the heros of "Real Islam".

8:59 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I have a friend who maintains that bin Laden has an assistant in a cave somewhere whose only job is to think up ways of making Westerners look stupid and be uncomfortable on airplanes. First, we all have to take our shoes off. Next, we have to turn in our drinks, including those being carried by small children. Your Bra Bomber is perfect for them; having all of us naked or in hospital gowns on planes is so humilating it's got to be adopted soon. (That's not even getting into the fun of travelling in cold climates in paper gowns open up the back.) Look for the teddy bear bomber in a couple of years, because nothing makes for a pleasant flight like having a bunch of terrified, thirsty toddlers who have been deprived of their loveys.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Shawn L. said...

This scenario would have one big side effect. The TSA will have a flood of people applying to be boob inspectors.

9:47 AM  

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