18 May 2013

Hunting pressure cookers or how to deal with a SNAFU

In the aftermath of many tragedies, clowns play an important role, at least for outside observers (I doubt that the families of dead and wounded of the Boston bombing will be ever able to see anything funny in the situation).

To start with, the newly hatched obsession with the pressure cookers:

A Saudi student living in Michigan was questioned in his home by FBI agents after neighbours saw him carrying a pressure cooker and called the police. Talal al Rouki had been cooking a traditional Saudi Arabian rice dish called kabsah and was carrying it to a friend's house....While armed agents surrounded his apartment block, other agents, asked a 'nervous' Mr al Rouki if they could come in to question him.
I bet the guy felt like a pressure cooker inside (in a sense), seeing all these black-clad horribly armed people surrounding his place. But the obsession for Saudis with pressure cookers didn't stop there:
A Saudi man arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after federal agents said he lied about why he was traveling with a pressure cooker is due in court.
Following this line of logic, some other categories of people should be at least put under tight observation (if not outright arrested):
  • Plumbers of Saudi extraction: they deal with pipes, and pipes, you know...
  • Pharmacists of same origins: knowing chemistry is practically a dead giveaway for a bomb-maker
  • Saudi chefs that work in Chinese restaurants - lots of rice is being cooked there and, while the population of Saudi chefs in Chinese restaurants must be small, it will only make the observation easier
Etc. By now you can follow the general outline by yourself, and so can FBI and DHL... sorry, DHS.

While some officials are busy pursuing pressure cookers, other, higher officials are busy stonewalling and assigning the blame all over the place. The peak of that activity was reached when the accusing finger was pointed at the Russians:
Russia withheld a crucial piece of information from the U.S. before the Boston bombings, U.S. officials say, bolstering a concern that distrust between the two governments erased an opportunity to avert the disaster.
Quite illogically, the next sentence says that Russians issued a warning regarding the Tsarnaev character:
In 2011, Russia sent an alert to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about alleged bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, prompted in part by text messages between his mother and a Russian relative. The texts suggested Mr. Tsarnaev was interested in joining militant groups that Russia blames for attacks in the Caucasus region, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigations.
The rest of this somewhat confused and in places self-contradictory article doesn't add clarity, that for sure. But we all know that finger-pointing is the next best thing to stonewalling. And that so called "security officials" all over the world must have been trained in the same stonewalling academy...

But of course, the chase after the suspects has produced a few high points in this clusterfuck, and additional details keep coming:
Police fired nearly 300 rounds of ammunition within five to 10 minutes as they confronted the suspects -- 100 more than initially reported. And that included one round that nearly killed Massachusetts Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue. (Others bullets struck the Tsarnaev brothers, seriously injuring Dzhokhar and contributing to the death of Tamerlan.)
Yeah... I only wonder about that miracle where no more innocents were killed or injured, especially after seeing this picture (made during the final "stand-off"):

I am not an expert in uniforms, but it looks like only wives and mothers-in-law didn't take part in this hunt... all other armed branches are present, apparently.

And to my American friends: don't take it personally, SNAFUs are happening everywhere. But the current proliferation of  security outfits with overlapping and vaguely defined responsibilities is practically guaranteeing that more of that will occur in the future.

Too bad.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Always a good idea when you see a group of coppers to get down and crawl on your belly like a reptile. They seldom shoot low.

SnoopyTheGoon said...