What bokononists whisper whenever they think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.



By Elton Beard

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who divide people into two kinds and those who don't. I don't.



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05/20/02 03:15pm link

Will walk-in suicide bombers operate in the U.S.? FBI Director Robert Mueller thinks that it's inevitable, and Gary Farber's Amygdala has taken note.

I don't think so. The sacrifice of an operative may be cost-effective for certain large-scale attacks, but only a really, really stupid suicide bomber would practice his craft in this country. Why bother? Suicide is completely unnecessary. If you want to blow up an American "soft target" - just walk in, drop off the bomb in a suitcase or empty baby carriage or whatever, smile at the cashier and exit.

You can't do that in Israel, because everybody is alert to unattended packages, but here (and in most other countries) it would be easy to plant a bomb and get away before it explodes. So easy anyone can do it.

In fairness to Director Mueller, I have not found a direct quote from him regarding the inevitability of walk-in suicide bombings stateside and so I am relying on published reports that he said so. The same holds true for Dick Cheney, who is reported to have expressed similar concerns.

But if they did make that prediction in earnest and not just as a diversion, then I have to worry that they may be underestimating the threat, not overestimating it. Do they really think that the opposition is that unintelligent?

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What bokononists whisper whenever they think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.



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