The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Pressure Cooker: In Hunt for Bombing Suspects, Speculation Runs Rampant

Posted on | April 17, 2013 | 24 Comments

This morning’s headline at ViralRead:

Photos Show Pressure-Cooker Bomb Remnants;
FBI Hunts Suspects in Boston Marathon Bombing

Trying to focus on the crucial facts of the story can be difficult, when cable TV news is full of time-filling chatter about things that aren’t actually news, alternating with the dramatic reiteration of banal facts that everybody with Internet access knew about 12 or 18 hours ago. Three people killed. Legs blown off. Seventeen people hospitalized in critical condition. “A city mourns.” All of this chatter from talking heads, while the familiar video footage rolls on split-screen.

Damn, I hate TV news.

Meanwhile, the New York Times does some good reporting:

The scale of the attack and the crude nature of the explosives, coupled with the lack of anyone claiming to have been the perpetrator, suggested to experts that the attacker could be an individual or a small group rather than an established terrorist organization. …
Nonetheless, a senior law enforcement official said that authorities were also looking into connections between pressure cookers and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Qaeda franchise in Yemen, largely because the design of the explosive device was described in a 2010 issue of the group’s online English magazine, Inspire.
“The pressurized cooker is the most effective method,” the article said. “Glue the shrapnel to the inside of the pressurized cooker.” The article was titled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.” ….
Rudimentary explosive devices made from pressure cookers have been widely used in attacks in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, all countries where the cooking device is common, according to a Department of Homeland Security warning notice issued in 2010.
But they have occasionally turned up in attacks in the United States as well:Faisal Shahzad, an American citizen who attempted a car-bomb attack on Times Square in May 2010, had a pressure cooker loaded with 120 firecrackers among the improvised explosives in his S.U.V. The devices smoked but never exploded.

Watching TV last night — no need to identify the particular cable-news host, since they’re all equally idiotic nowadays — I heard the question asked, What does the type of bomb tell us about why someone did this?

The honest answer would have been, “Absolutely nothing,” but the guest “expert” said something a bit more clever than that, because saying clever things — rather than honest things — is what TV news is about.

Look: I understand the desire to know the motive behind this atrocity, but until we know who did it, we can’t possibly know why they did it and, in remarking the media’s premature obsession with “why,” Da Tech Guy is compelled to quote Monty Python dialogue.

That’s how blatant the media’s absurdity has become: We cannot understand it except in terms of its joke value.

Complaining about media, however, is not news, so I don’t have much time for it today, except to briefly note the exemplary douchebaggery of Salon’s David Sirota, the guy who says it is crucially important that a “white American” be apprehended for this terrorist deed.

Is there any depth of indecency
that the Left will not plumb?

Yeah, that sums it up pretty good, although it must be admitted that some conservatives were a bit too quick to jump on the reports that a Saudi student was a suspect. Of course, those reports were  based on actual facts — cops grabbed this guy running from the scene of the bombings and served a search warrant at his apartment — rather than mere political convenience, but I kept emphasizing the obvious truth that we don’t know jack shit yet.

There is a regrettable tendency to play Internet Detective in situations like this, to imagine that bloggers can solve the mystery by clicking around the Web, even while there is an entire Joint Terrorism Task Force — experienced professionals with direct access to evidence — working night and day to find the perpetrators of this horrible act.

Who did it? What do we know? Both Ed Driscoll and Allahpundit have examined the mystification of “experts,” one of whom, Mark Pitcavage, is a ridiculous academic douchebag who got a million-dollar federal grant from Janet Reno’s DOJ back in the 1990s to train law enforcement about the dangers of domestic right-wing militias, thus wasting money to completely distract cops from the kind of terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks — but NEVER FUCKING MIND THAT, OK?

Angry? Never mind. My anger is irrelevant at this point, and both Pitcavage and his fellow “hate” expert Mark Potok seem to be correct in saying that there’s something screwy about this bombing attack on the Boston Marathon. It seems too puny and crude to be an Al-Qaeda attack, nor does the targeting of this event seem to fit the profile of the typical domestic “anti-government” terrorist.

So, unusual crime . . . unusual motive? Unusual perpetrator?

That’s just speculation, of course, but it’s a scenario we can’t rule out: This evil act might be the work someone whose motives don’t fit neatly within the political categories we think of when we think of terrorism. Maybe it’s somebody like “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, a deranged sociopath crazy enough to want to blow people up, but cunning enough to get away with it for years.

And now . . . back to the news.





24 Responses to “Pressure Cooker: In Hunt for Bombing Suspects, Speculation Runs Rampant”

  1. RocksEm
    April 17th, 2013 @ 11:35 am

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Pressure Cooker: In Hunt for Bombing Suspects, Speculation Runs Rampant #TCOT

  2. richard mcenroe
    April 17th, 2013 @ 11:36 am

    Pressure cooker? I say it was Guy Fieri!

  3. CrustyB
    April 17th, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    The FBI says it had a sophisticated trigger, this article says it was a crude device. Who do I believe?

    The Saudi national taken into custody wasn’t a likely suspect from the get-go for the mere reason that he was cooperating with the police and denied involvement. Muslims are generally very proud of their terrorist accomplishments.

  4. Da Tech Guy On DaRadio Blog » Blog Archive » Boston: “Why” is the Wrong Question
    April 17th, 2013 @ 11:55 am

    […] Update: Stacy McCain gets it: […]

  5. keyboard jockey
    April 17th, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    Imus guest Stuart Varney furious over description of the Boston marathon being described as a “tragedy” by the Obama administration. Stuart Varney Channel’s his inner George Carlin.

  6. Anon Y. Mous
    April 17th, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

    The whole North Korea thing seams to have faded away. Just when it looked like things were building up to some kind of event or confrontation.

    This turn of events takes the focus away from them. Saves them face. Maybe they were behind it. Even it wasn’t their people who did the deed, maybe they subbed it out?

    That’s all just wild speculation, of course. But it does seem weird that nobody is claiming responsibility. If the motive for the attack is not to generate attention to some group’s cause, then what was their motive?

  7. darthlevin
    April 17th, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    At least Excitable Andy Sullivan hasn’t blamed Sarah Palin’s uterus yet.


  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 17th, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

    That must be considered a pressure cooker!

  9. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 17th, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

    The NoKos are very angry. How can they get hard currency concessions for imported coffee and scotch if they fall out of the news cycle.

  10. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 17th, 2013 @ 12:13 pm
  11. 20thCenturyVole
    April 17th, 2013 @ 12:51 pm


    Why is the pic of the shredded backpack now B/W? Originally in color, showing a reddish-brown bag.

    Possibly because if you look at the pre-boom pic, there is a curly-haired individual in a grey coat with a reddish-brown bag in just about the right position…

  12. Neo
    April 17th, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    “It’s sad you have to hope it’s a completely random thing, because I think our political system can’t handle it if it’s someone with a political agenda,” said a longtime Obama adviser.

  13. DaveO
    April 17th, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

    It generally takes 48 hours for enough facts to come out to form the who did what when and how. Until then: CNN stands for Comedy Network News.

    Pitcavage was successful: AG Reno went after Randy Weaver and David Kokesh – hardly Occupiers or AQ. So, in a cynically technical sense, he earned his paycheck.

    Don’t assume the people in the Joint Terrorism Task Force are professionals or will be successful. They are only as good as they are lucky. There are lots of resources involved, and the number 1 priority is establishing who is in charge/has jurisdiction.

  14. David R. Graham
    April 17th, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    Oh Goodie!:

    “This was a soft target. It was not a target that was able to be totally protected,” he said. “This particular incident is going to cause the administration and Congress to evaluate our overall security programs around the country, particularly for major events. We can’t leave it just to the communities that host these events to provide the security.”

    This raises “false flag” to top or near top contender for explanation: we need martial law to protect the American people from the scads of domestic loonies (old white christian constitutional patriots with guns) they have among them now and can have far more of at any moment. To be safe, let’s clamp down now, for the welfare of “the folks,” and meanwhile lets continue with ops, like this, that serve to deflect “folks'” scrutiny from the myriad other steps we are taking – the real news, that we hide – to resolve historical USA into non-existence.

    Rescind the 10th Amendment de facto under pretense of protecting “the folks.” Then the 2nd. Then the 1st, all parts and especially the first. Then the 4th. That’s the news. For “the folks'” safety and security. The “news” seen and heard is publicity. The news is what people hide.

    “I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure.”

  15. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 17th, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    Chris Matthews just lost his tingle. Unlike leftists Christ Matthews and David Sirota, I care far less about the color of a terrorist, than his rapid arrest, prosecution and punishment for his evil acts. And also finding anyone who helped him.

  16. richard mcenroe
    April 17th, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

    On the advice of his lawyers, Emeril has stopped saying “BAM!”

  17. JeffS
    April 17th, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    Sully is living rent free in Sarah Palin’s uterus.

  18. JeffS
    April 17th, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    It was a sophisticated trigger crudely inserted into a pressure cooker resembling Sarah Palin’s uterus by Andrew Sullivan after toking on cheap marijuana.

  19. Adjoran
    April 17th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    I’m with Varney. “Tragedy” should only be used in one of two ways. The modern usage implies accident or natural disaster. The classical definition is of someone who, while attempting to be good and honorable, brings destruction upon himself and/or those around him due to a character flaw (known as the “tragic flaw”).

    An intentional attack is NOT a tragedy. Everything that makes us sad is NOT a tragedy.

  20. Adjoran
    April 17th, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    The Law Enforcement leakers should be tracked down, fired, and prosecuted. Their irresponsible frenzy of leaked information could help the suspects and their accomplices to escape or destroy evidence, even accelerate plans for follow-up attacks.

    There is no excuse for it.

    And news media personnel who bother Law Enforcement in the critical early hours of an investigation should be handcuffed to light posts and left there.

  21. BREAKING: Cable TV News Airheads Screwed Up a Major Story, Again : The Other McCain
    April 17th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    […] April 17: Pressure Cooker: In Hunt for Bombing Suspects, Speculation Runs Rampant […]

  22. Bob Belvedere
    April 17th, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

    Tragedies usually happen as a result of vaulting ambition.

  23. Quartermaster
    April 17th, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    Alas, the “paycheck” Pitcavage got was paid by you and me. Pitcavage revealed himself as an utter idiot back in the 90s, and I guess he’s ready for another round. He was notorious on usenet long before Potok came along to drub his name in infamy.

    Of course, $PLC has been around for years.

  24. Quartermaster
    April 18th, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    He does get something right now and again.