Update: Saturday, 10am The point I actually want to make with this post is not so much the inanity of TSA searches, as that ABC News considers this to be "news," worthy of broadcast.
ABC News did its periodic “terror talk” this week, giving us the Bush Administration’s latest scare message about how the vigilant and intrepid Department of Homeland Stupidity is keeping us Safe And Secure In Our Air Travels by apprehending Scary Devices That Can Destroy Airplanes In Mid-flight and, of course Kill Everybody on board.
Part of this is due, of course, to the trial in England of the plotters with liquid bombs who were going to blow up planes bound for North America. The people with no tickets, or reservations, or even passports. But at least England has a decent enough case to put them on trial, unlike all of the plots that our intrepid DHS and Federal Bureau of Ineptitude have busted.
If you can deal with that much fear and anxiety, you can read the entire ABC News item here, but I’ll provide you with some highlights.
The centerpiece is that they say the terrorists are now “turning some everyday items into lethal devices.” They then show what looks like an ordinary wristwatch. Turning it over, they pull the back off to show that it has been hollowed out and the actual watch replaced with a sophisticated military detonator. That is not quite “turning an everyday item into a lethal device,” but rather is a case of buying a relatively non-lethal but very difficult-to-obtain device and putting inside an ordinary item. By itself the detonator might blow the terrorist’s hand off, but that’s about all it would do.
So how do they imagine this device being used? Get ready for this. They show a cartoon of the watch being strapped around a sports drink bottle filled with pink fluid, following which a cartoon airplane goes up in a horrendous explosion. The “liquid bomb in a sports drink bottle” myth has been so thoroughly debunked that Batman Comics doesn’t even use it any more.
They describe an alternate use for this device. It can be smuggled through airport security and “then you would actually be able to press it up against a bomb-laden vest.” They do not describe how the bomb-laden vest would get through security, nor exactly why the detonator would need to be smuggled through separately.
There was also a toothbrush that was truly terrifying. Children might be reading this, so I will not describe the awfulness of this device.
So we’re good until the DHS needs for ABC News to scare us again.