I saw photos of this suspicious device or “IED” before it went viral and laughed. I went further and replied to the photos, calling it: “f*cking junk.”
A crude device was found cached under a bridge in Central Texas, last Tuesday – 04 May 2016. The good people of the town of Rosebud in McLennan County notified the Sheriff’s department, who called in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and they, in turn, requested the local fire department to bring out a pumper truck to the bridge in question. All the while the town, 1,400 strong gazed onto the spectacle and wondered if “the terrorists were in town” as a fire hose was used to render the improvised-explosive-device – officially inert.
From the firehose grade wash-out from under the bridge, authorities also found among the muck, varmints, and trash. A few shotgun shells and a collage of junk, that if properly McGuyvered – on a perfect day – could then, possibly be made into the weapon of mass destruction that reports have suggested. A flammable liquid was also found, a basic propellant such as a can of hair spray, gallon of gas, nail polish remover, oven cleaner, and etcetera.
The device looked like something I made when I was a kid. Resembling what may very well have been a prop, a failed scientific endeavor of eccentric kids or even bored hillbillies. The taped up piece of scrap and dated tech, appears to have fallen out the pages of the Poor Man’s James Bond and any Hollywood stab in the dark at an IED, which was quite poorly constructed. Even if the cellular remote detonation initiation system functioned, the size as well as the buffer and packing of the scattered “shrapnel” found near the washed-out device would not have traveled very far.
If this IED-thingy happened to have gone off while under the bridge in question, or even at a historical covered wooden bridge – the structure of both would have been unaffected, and maybe a nearby grass fire would have been initiated.
Authorities are labeling this “IED” find, which was rendered safe through hydro-interrogation (fire hose) a disarmament. The fire department is not pictured, even though they should be credited with the hydro-interrogation.
Overall, that’s a lot of information in shock words which is given to the nation; over a maybe, kind-of, could have possibly been something. While there are “pipe-bombs,” a war on terror and other threats to the nation, which occur most typically as an unreported crime. Meanwhile, the public is provided with exaggeration and shock doctrine. Scaring people gets ratings, and after all; who doesn’t love a good scary movie?
I’m not saying that I’m opposed to bad news . . . but damn, it’s as bad as a used car lot in the news media these days.
Media fear campaigns
When I was a younger man, we had many of the same threats that we do now; terrorists, cartels, foreign agents, psychopaths, serial killers, and so on. Just as well these madmen and women concocted bombs and explosive devices, but they weren’t called IED’s – they were just bombs. Yet, IED is such a buzzword, a cunning media ruse to get you excited to tune-in as if there is a war in your very own backyard. I can assure you if the war was going on in your backyard – you’d be out of there, and the reports wouldn’t be so sparse and stretched to induce anxiety click-through traffic.
Unfortunately, analytical models are shaped via the beliefs, effects, and behaviors of us consumers. As to how we react and our impressions, views, and our attitudes or – ratings per a certain topic. Sometimes these topics are molded into a hybrid, yet the results of this simple equation pans-out just the same for a sporting event, a celebrity incident, political charade, or in this case the term co-opted out of the Iraq War, the “IED.”
Yes, the threat of crime, IEDs, and terror is real, and in my mind and at all times, every threat is constantly real. Even so, that does not force me to lose perceptive as to what’s pure crap and what is real or probable. As a Cold War Kid, who was still quite young when the wall fell; I was although swiftly and violently alerted by the new threats in the world. An odd little oil rich nation called, Iraq popped up and at my age I received most of my headlines from Cracked magazine and had a little pin that read, “Iraqnophobia,” a pun on the popular movie at that time, Arachnophobia. The pin placed the head of Saddam on the spider – I was in grade school, give me a break.
Terror in America was just as active in the ’90s
As time progressed, things became nationally darker. The 1989 firebombing of the Riverdale Press in New York occurred, a result of Salman Rushdie’s, “The Satanic Verses” which questioned Islam. The following year, Islamic Terrorist, El Sayyid Nosair, assassinated a politician and Rabbi Meir Kahane. The CIA shooting of 1993, when Pakistani Mir Qazi AKA Mir Aimal Kansi, opened fire of vehicles outside of the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia. 1993 was when Islamic terrorism and Al Qaeda, at a national level truly touched American soil for the first time; on 26 February 1993, with the truck-bombing of the World Trade Center.
The Army of God, now mostly ignored, yet still extremely active and violent throughout the United States, made headlines with the murder of David Gunn in 1993 and launched an on-going campaign of blood in the United States. I previously wrote on the Army of God for SOFREP, but it was mostly ignored as it did not follow the above-listed chart for attitudes. Albeit, white Christians are often just as dangerous and are as fanatical as any Arab terrorists are—religious zealots are the most deadly weapon in a war of ideas. They believe they are going to some kind of paradise for killing anyone who doesn’t worship their invisible man as interpreted, edited, and rewritten by the person in charge of their sect. I still don’t get how that old trick still works. Even so, it worked for the Branch Davidians and resulted in a situation in which nothing good was destined to arise from in Waco, Texas.
In 1994, four Serbian jets were downed near Banja Luka, Bosnia, and a close air support mission was launched by NATO in an attempt to quell the fighting. Yet in 1995 American pilot Scott O’Grady was shot down by a Serbian surface-to-air missile and was later rescued. A large-scale bombing operation then took hold, striking 338 targets. In 1996, 60,000 American and NATO peacekeepers were on the ground as Implementation Force (IFOR) and Stabilization Force (SFOR). Hillary Clinton claimed to be shot at by a sniper somewhere in the midst of this mess.
More devastating attacks continued in America, Lebanese-born Rashid Baz ambushed a van of Jewish students on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994. The Unabomber also began his campaign terror via mail bombs in association with the agenda of the Army of God. 1995 brought the most disgraceful act on American soil, committed by an American – when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City Federal Building.
The Centennial Olympic Park bomb, via the Army of God and Eric Robert Rudolph at the Atlanta Olympics; and so on . . . well until I was an adult around 2000 – and it continued. Yet, the 1990s were just as dark as these current years are, despite our increased laws and media coverage.
Thank you for terrifying the public—and in the wrong direction
Now the only difference is that we are more terrified than ever before and of our neighbors and colleagues – we fear, others who live freely, often calling in those who aren’t terrified to the authorities. It’s a new madness when I can think back to my childhood, which was not long ago and I remember the parents of others not calling the police on us for playing unsupervised, and in a rather urban setting. In 2016, every 90’s parent would be considered ‘free range’ and neglectful.
This is where we are somehow we are OK with this new status quo. Granted we children of that time were some little hood-rats, and up to no-good; you know – kid stuff, learning lessons and obtaining life experience to become adults. I’m one of the least successful of that gang of miscreants today, as I opted for an early high school out to the Army for eleven years while others became doctors, lawyers, business owners, administrators, technical specialists, and even a physicist.
That group of free-range kids, who often encountered many other groups of free-range kids and would get in fights, date at “way too young [pssh],” run amuck, ride bikes, go exploring in abandoned buildings and waterways, and even make bombs.
Yeah, that right – bombs. We were damn good at it too, from breaking down shotgun shells to raw components for pipe bombs. At times affixing a field acquisitioned car phone tied into a 12V battery or even a pager for remote explosives. Some kids from Ohio were rocking those out of boredom well before those religious whackos in the desert turned them mainstream and into the shock doctrine of “IEDs.” Our junior-high devices were also sounder and actually worked unlike that pile of wires found in Texas.
We all were also caught, and more than once by the police and parents who did not call in the federal authorities or write us up as terrorists. In fact, some thought it was pretty cool that we came up with that stuff. Granted, like any hobby as a kid, it passed, and we went off to raise havoc another way. Clearly, I have yet to grow up.
Albeit today, my god they would throw that damned book at us and trump up charges from here to Alaska. This cultural shift to fear is concerning, as these minor events from childhood would now draw national attention—and today that would be perfectly fine.