RANGER AGAINST WAR: Not a Bang, But a Whimper <

Friday, May 02, 2008

Not a Bang, But a Whimper

Look around round
Look around round round

Look around

--Dear Prudence
, Lennon/McCartney

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper

--The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot


The front page of our daily paper blazoned the news this week -- the bomb was a bust (Capitol Bomb Scare a False Alarm.)

It is reasonable to assume a realistic posture when confronted with a threat. But fear-stoked overreaction has replaced prudence. Fearful overreaction is the new normal.

When your product is fear, paranoia becomes common sense, and the Bush administration is peddling fear. Paranoia and overreaction have become the new standard operating procedure. A SOP for sops.

Realistic threat assessment is based upon realistic evaluation of the threat and its capabilities.
Surely in the case of the capitol bomb scare one must err on the side of prudence, but just as surely the Bomb Response Unit has a sniffer dog that could verify the nature of the threat (a box of plastic bags, in this case.)

The unit has a remote-controlled robot but not a bomb dog?

Threats should be addressed at the lowest possible level. This high-tech response was not realistic before other levels of response were evaluated.

If this had been a real explosive device of any sophistication, then wouldn't it have an anti-disturbance device or dual detonation capabilities? A skilled bomber would ensure the device would explode. Additionally, he would have placed a secondary explosive device to kill the sheriffs and FDLE personnel gathered in the street.

As a response to a bomb, all non-essential personnel should be evacuated from the area.
This is not reality t.v., it's a bomb threat. Treat it rationally and appropriately. The article and pictures show the opposite reaction.

Even though they cut the live oaks down and surrounded the place with concrete bollards, I guess it hadn't occurred to them that instead of making a mad charge, the would-be bombers could just deliver the package via the parking garage, as was how this troublesome box of bags breached the gates.

Paranoia and overreaction are not the basis for rational containment and neutralization of a potential explosive device.

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Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Ranger,
I followed the link to read the article and was baffled by the following: "The bomb squad detonated the package minutes before 7 p.m."
How do you detonate something that is not a bomb?


Friday, May 2, 2008 at 10:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi UC,

You are better at defusing the semantics game than we! Excellent observation. Words matter.

Friday, May 2, 2008 at 11:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of words matter, are the wonderful quotes and lyrics which accompany your writing plucked from memory or do you research quotes to accompany your postings? Truly enjoy the material presented in RAW.
Cathy B

Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 7:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I reckon this is the embarrassing part, you see they had to put a friendly bomb on the phoney bomb in order to blow it in place. Blowing in place is a tried and true method of dealing with explosive devices.Ranger stands four square behind this sop if it's a real device to be nuetralized. jim

Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 9:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Lisa does a great deal of the lyrics for the blog.
This particular article was envisioned as Dear Prudence as the catch.It was further inspiredd by a John Gorka song that talks of paranoia becoming every day reason and as such normal.There you have it.!
I also considered T bone Burnett lyric-After the flash we're blind again. jim

Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 9:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thank you. Mostly, they come from the recesses of my mind, though occasionally Ranger rips off a good lyric or two.

Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 10:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous fnord said...

For once, I disagree with RAW. If the threat is assessed as serious, you dont send in snifferdogs w. handlers: You use robotics and blow the thing up.

Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 12:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

fnord, we are not differing. Pls read my cmts to UC.ALWAYS blow it in place., that is if it's a explosive device, which was not ascertained in this given scenario.If the dog doesn't alert then it's not a device, there are levels of response. Even if it were pure symtex it was not a significant threat.

Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 3:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Ranger,
I guess the reporter should have said that they "exploded" the package. When you say "in place", does that mean right where the suspect device is sitting? Wouldn't the building be damaged? How would you determine the correct amount of "friendly" explosives? That doubtless expensive robot should be able to walk it out to a safe distance from the building. Carpenter disapproves of using dogs to sniff bombs. I like dogs. I think we should send in either Bush or Cheney to sniff the bombs.

Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 3:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

uc, i do not and don't want to know their sop but since they have a robot the item could be moved. This does not necessarily mean safely. A quality device will have anti disturbance and secondary triggers.
My age is showing when i say blow it in place which is a generic comment.
My comments are not second guessing the people on the ground but this did seem a little fubar. jim

Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 12:56:00 PM GMT-5  

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