A “Crude Device” My Ass
Just let me say, right up front, that I feel for the people of Boston. I lived there myself for a while, and used to jog along the Charles River every day. I never attended The Boston Marathon, but did run a marathon once. Had I been running in the race that day, I probably would have crossed the finish line just in time to have my legs blown off. My heart goes out to all of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The bombing was a terrible thing, a terrible despicable act, and the people responsible should be punished severely.
However, the media, rather unfairly I think, kept describing the bombs themselves as “crude devices” or “crude explosive devices” or even “generic explosives”. The best they could manage was “crude, but effective”. I take exception to this characterization. How many broadcast journalists have the technical skills to test and fix a faulty microphone cable, let alone build a bomb?
Now, if I had heard Steve Inskeep say, “Compared to this great sounding condenser microphone I made out of a nine-volt battery, a piece of wire and some tape, or this mixing desk I designed and built, or the nice FM stereo multiplex transmitter I put together, that brings you this broadcast, the Boston Marathon bomb seems like a pretty crude device.”, I wouldn’t have any beef with his description, but I’ll bet Steve Inskeep never built anything more sophisticated than a compound, complex sentence.
Listening to journalists, English majors, poo-poo someones handiwork, by calling it a “crude device” really galls me. Writing and talking into a microphone is child’s play, compared to building a bomb and carrying out a terrorist attack. It takes nerves of steel to build a bomb. It takes skill, creativity, and brains to plan and execute an attack, and the Boston Marathon bombers proved that they had what it took to pull it off.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but it figures that the Boston Marathon bombers were foreigners, because most Americans simply lack the skills, know-how or imagination to build an effective explosive. It’s not that Americans don’t want to kill large numbers of people indiscriminately; we have more mass shootings in this country than anywhere on Earth, but Americans use guns when they want to kill people. Do you know why?
Americans use guns because any idiot can go to Walmart and buy a gun and ammunition; you don’t have to build them yourself. I guarantee that if Walmart sold bombs, we’d have a hell of a lot more bombings in America. We have no shortage of hate-filled lunatics in this country, but when it comes to practical knowledge, skills, and creativity, that’s where we come up short.
So cut the “crude device” crap. A Molotov Cocktail is a crude device. You fill a beer bottle with gasoline and cork it with a tampon. If you’re a pro, you add some bits of Styrofoam to make it stick. A pipe bomb, with a fuse that you light with a match could be called a “crude device”. The Boston Marathon bombs had electronic detonators that were remotely controlled, possibly by cell-phone. That’s sophisticated. The bombs contained nails, from which the heads had been painstakingly removed. That shows attention to detail and craftsmanship. Both of the bombs worked. That shows competence.
The accused kids lived in Boston. It wouldn’t have been easy to test their design without attracting a lot of attention. Thinking back to the Judi Bari bombing. That bomber was only 1 for 2, with one bomb that just fizzled. Out here in the sticks of northern California, it wouldn’t be that hard to test out a few bomb designs. With all of the gunfire around here, no one would notice a few muffled explosions in the distance.
Besides, there’s a pretty good chance that whoever bombed Judi Bari, attended, or led, the FBI bomb workshop held on land owned by Louisiana Pacific Lumber Company in the weeks prior to the bombings. Even with FBI training, and a big piece of private land to practice on, whoever bombed Judi Bari, wasn’t nearly as competent as the Boston Marathon bombers.
So give credit where credit is due. The Boston Marathon bombs were ingenious, well crafted and diabolically effective devices, and the people who made them, and carried out the attack were smart, resourceful and competent. It figures that they weren’t born and raised here.