Monday, August 14, 2006

Liquid Bombs?

Real or Hype? I'm going with hype.

From Claire Wolfe's blog:

They haven’t had much success. One went off over 12 years ago, on Philippine Airlines Flight 434. It killed an innocent businessman on his way home, and blew a hole through the cabin floor of the airplane, but did not cause the jet to crash. The alleged bomb maker was Ramzi Yousef, who was later convicted of the first bombing of the World Trade Center, carried out 11 months before the airplane attack.

Mr. Yousef was reportedly dissatisfied with the performance of his bomb, which he mixed in the airplane lavatory and hid in the underseat pocket that holds the life jacket. He vowed to make the next bombs “10 times more powerful” but apparently never figured out how to do so. Getting a pint or so of chemicals onto an airplane isn’t hard, and never will be. Pouring two shampoo bottles together in the lavatory can be done discretely. Up the quantity to a gallon or two and things become a bit more obvious.

This threat has been known and discounted for well over a decade. No one can explain why the threat is suddenly more credible, even if those arrested were really planning an attack. Everyone seems to be carefully avoiding the fact that gallons of liquids in hundreds of little bottles are still placed on nearly every airplane before every flight. Food and drink loaded into airplanes isn’t screened in any meaningful way, and the screening of the workers who cater, clean, and load unchecked cargo onto airplanes is spotty at best.

The government/media complex is breathlessly assuring us that some 2 dozen Muslim citizens of the UK would surely have blown up 9 or 10 airplanes. “Thousands of lives” would have been lost. The record of PAL flight 434 suggests otherwise.

The hype is based on pretty slim evidence. We know that the police have arrested some 2 dozen suspects, but already released 2. The apparently innocent people were arrested despite the fact that the groups had been under intensive surveillance, if not fully infiltrated, for months. We are assured that the suspects will be retained the full 28 days without charges, as allowed by British law. US law as written requires speedy charges, but as practiced allows suspects to be imprisoned and tortured for years without charges or access to lawyers.

There have been no reports of finding bomb factories. The presence of “bomb making materials” in one of the searched homes is hardly surprising: a bomb might be made from hair bleach, nail polish remover, and some lemon juice. How many bleached blondes would be jailed if possessing this combination of materials was illegal?

I'm going with Vox's rule of thumb (paraphrased): If the Government's Official Story is "A", then "A" is likely not the truth.