Friday, February 02, 2007

Aqua Teen Boston Force

On the same day as several terror arrests are made in Britain, police discover a "suspicious device" at the Sullivan Square subway station in Boston, MA. They wisely shut down all of Interstate 93 Northbound until the device is harmlessly destroyed.

Four additional packages are found throughout the day, some affixed to bridges and some near hospitals. The Longfellow Bridge, Storrow Drive and river traffic on the Charles River are shut down.

By the late afternoon, we discover that the devices are Mooninites, cartoon characters from the TV show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They were placed by local artists at the behest of Turner Broadcasting, as a "guerilla marketing" scheme for the show's forthcoming movie.

The two artists are formally charged the next day with causing a hoax (unlikely, since there was no intent to terrorize) and causing a disturbance.

More here and here.

To the Howie Carrs and John Gibsons of the world, who call these two hipsters "criminals," we ask the following:

(1) If you don't believe that shutting the city down over devices that were known at the time to be non-threatening is an overreaction, then what would be? The first "package" found at Sullivan Square was destroyed by water cannon. Whoops - false alarm. It's at that point that rational people would stop panicking, not panic further.

Does a rash of fire alarms suggest a city ablaze? Does a rash of people calling 911 and hanging up indicate a crime spree? Then how do a rash of false bomb scares demand shutting the city down?

(2) If you don't believe that charging these two kids with formal hoaxing (which, again, requires deliberate malicious intent) is an overreaction, then how come Boston is the only city doing it? Why didn't Atlanta, New York or any of the other cities where these packages were known to be located - before January 31st, by the way - flip out and start shutting down roadways?

(3) Remember the Mission: Impossible 3 bomb scare? Promo companies put devices inside paper boxes that played a little commercial, in the style of an IMF briefing, when the box was opened. However, these devices weren't always mounted very well, leading several civilians to open vending machines and see boxes with wires fall out and start ticking.

We don't recall Howie Carr or John Gibson being very outraged then.

(4) Several defenders of paranoia have said that "not all bombs look like bombs." So is it the job of the citizenry to report anything that has wires sticking out of it? Any piece of mechanical equipment that they don't recognize? Anything that ticks and buzzes?

The Boston Police who responded to these reports and examined the devices were just doing their job. The bureaucrats who ordered the city of Boston paralyzed - literally, by shutting down roads, and figuratively, with fear - get no such pass.


Post a Comment

<< Home