After sifting through all the various dispatches following the attack on a Northwest Airlines flight as it approached Detroit, the difference between this and other actual or attempted acts of terrorism is now discernible. It is this:
This time we do not have a heightened sense of fear about terrorism. We have a heightened sense of anger at the reaction of Homeland Security forces.
Tom Bodett explains in a post today called “Underpants never strike twice.”
So now we’ll all sit with our hands folded neatly over our throbbing bladders like a bunch of school kids for the last hour of a flight for no good reason except to demonstrate with what precision the people in charge of our safety can recognize what it was they missed the first time. Speaking strictly for myself this does not make me feel safer. This makes me feel like the people we’re counting on to watch our backs have no idea what they’re doing, or where this thing is heading next.
The alleged bomber used PETN, the same substance another would-be bomber used when he tried to light his shoes. Can this stuff bring down a plane? The Guardian says 100 grams of it can destroy a car. But an expert speculates that even if it had fully detonated as the Airbus approached Detroit, “it might’ve been able to limp home.”
Here’s what 20 grams of PETN can do:
And 50 grams:
And 250 grams: