When it became clear that the bombers in Boston had constructed their bomb out of a pressure cooker, I wanted to know more about it. My theory is that this whole event is two guys playing out some male fantasy much like a video game slaughter, more like the Columbine shooters or the Newtown shooter as opposed to some international terrorist plot. They may have been radicalized, but this was a local grown and executed stupidity in my mind. To see if the details of their attack matched my supposition, especially that the bomb materials were readily available, and that instructions were out there on the internet so this, in fact, could have been something dreamed up and executed by two guys surfing the net, I decide to search for those instructions.
So I type into my search engine, “how to make a pressure cooker bomb” and then my fingers froze over the enter key. Wait a minute! Will I end up on somebody’s watch list because I was searching for how to build one of these things? Will I be flying some where and find out I can’t get on an airplane because I asked the question? Will I languish in some airport detained by TSA trying to explain that I am not a terrorist? Yes they do monitor all this stuff. Remember the secret room in the AT&T switch room back in the Bush days?
I see myself in an interrogation room with two Feds and the questioning goes something like this:
Fed: So why were you trying to find out how to make a bomb?
Me: I didn’t want to make a bomb, I just wanted to know how so I could write this blog.
Fed: Right. Knowing how to make a bomb frees up all your creative juices. Really how does making a bomb help you with your blog. Are you trying to pass it on to your fellow terrorists?
Me: No! No! No! I wanted to prove the two bombers in Boston could have done this without any help. I wanted to prove the “experts” wrong about some international conspiracy…
Fed: You mean those “experts” on the News? Everybody knows they are full of ….
Me: Right, but I wanted to prove it.
Fed: But that is self evident. Your story is full of holes. Cuff him Fred (Fred is the other Fed).
Me: No! No! No! Call my wife she will verify my story!
Fed: We already talked with her and she says she has no idea what you do in that office of yours. She says you have radical political ideas and you are always mumbling about what idiots everyone else are. Also you are damn messy.
Me: Wait! When has a Democrat ever done anything like that? We usually turn the other cheek and have you ever seen a Democrat actually be successful at organizing? I am a registered Democrat!
Fed: Hmm. Good point. Can you prove you are a registered Democrat?
Me: Ask anyone where I live, they all think I am crazy. They are all Republicans.
Fed: Crazy enough to build a bomb?
Me: No, but crazy enough to believe we don’t need AK-47s to protect us, that gay marriage is okay, we actually need to create jobs right now not cut the debt, immigrants are good for our country, and here is the clincher, global warming is real!!
Fed: Well Fred, I don’t think he is going to build a bomb because with ideas like that he would probably just blow himself up if he tried, so let him go. He is only a danger to himself. Of course in the old days we could have rendered him to a black site and finally had a confession for who actually moved all those WMDs out of Iraq before we got there.
Okay, back to reality. Now, the information is out there according to the news media, and in order to understand what they did and what expertise it would take, I really needed to know how to make one, and how to build a trigger. The explosions were about 10 seconds apart so were they timers or was that something like a garage door opener or cell phone that set them off? Several of the “experts” were claiming they would have had to be trained to pull it off, both to build the bomb and have them go off that close together. I wanted to see if that was true and In order to do that, I needed to understand how to assemble a bomb to see if they could do it.
Sadly, I choose not to continue. I am sure with a determined search I could have found it. And it is certainly information that is not classified. But I didn’t. I just did not like the idea of calling that kind of attention to myself and raising questions about who I am which is a fat old white guy who has a small vineyard and the term bombed in my mind refers to my state after too much fruit of the vine. I guess it is a sign of the times. I still like to know more about IEDs, how they are built, and how to defuse them, but maybe I will just take apart my lawn mower and pretend it is a bomb.