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ISSUE #109
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Features

ArrowPayback Time
If Republicans lose Congress, don't assume things will change
Matt Taibbi

ArrowAre You Radioactive Football?
Why “dirty bomb hoax” is redundant
Hank Williams Jr.

ArrowMurrah Redux
9/11 Truth is a bald regurgitation of a silly tale we heard ten years ago
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowTom & Sally Take a Trip
Foley Shmoley! Reynolds has scandal all his own.
Allan Uthman

ArrowRepresentative Royale!

ArrowBeast Calling
We call Eliot Spitzer's campaign to see just what "on the first day everything changes" means.

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Inoperable Sump Pump

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
The Prestige, The Departed, Employee of the Month, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Chuckleside, Konspiracy Kops, Happy Clam Sends Mindless Bias, Kid Power and more

Are You Radioactive Football?

continued - page 2

It’s nice to know that al Qaeda doesn’t have an RDD, and the DHS is working round the clock to prevent the terrorists from obtaining the certifiably flawed technology, but why not actually fight terror by calming the public with a bit of the old truth? RDDs are only effective weapons of terror if people are scared of them. So who has made “ol’ dirty” a tool of fear? The terrorists? Not bloody likely: They’ve never used one! Chechen rebels did try to irradiate the infidel inhabitants of the Moscow zoo in ‘96, but they got busted. Who, then has made this terrible mythological beast we call the “dirty bomb?”

Every once in a while, the Justice Department sets the stage, turns on the lights and parades an Internet crackpot with a mind to set off an RDD, demolish the Sears Tower, or blow up the Holland Tunnel and make the Hudson flow uphill towards Manhattan’s destruction. Empty, impossible threats, and juvenile bravado posted to internet message boards are treated as relevant to the supposed “war on terror.” The press bends over, lubes up, performs its function and then squeezes the frothy mix onto news crawls and front pages across the nation.

The administration has cried “terrorist” so frequently, and at such obviously politically expedient moments, their play has long ago become a transparent farce. Their truly dismal record of conviction speaks for it self: Ashcroft was zero for 5000, and Gonzales was 39 for 400, as of 2005. Paltry numbers for our “quarterbacks of justice.” If these guys were pro athletes, they would be riding the pine somewhere in an Uzbek farm league. In the case of this NFL hoax, their legal theater has surpassed ridiculous, and has become a tragic challenge to poorly executed satire.

The guy who posted this threat to the internet may never see the light of day again, but in a way he’s performed a public service by revealing the naked political opportunism and hair-trigger eagerness of America’s terror-warning “system.” Homeland Security goons scour the web in search of a single threatening message from some powerless douchebag, and fifteen minutes after they find it Wolf Blitzer is wetting his pants in millions of living rooms across America. Within a couple of hours, Chris Matthews is shouting questions at his guests about how big a bump it’ll give the Republicans in the mid-term elections. A few days later, the “discovery” that the whole thing was an obvious hoax is given tacit, almost dismissive coverage. We learn, briefly, that this time, the threat wasn’t real, but the nation’s collective post-traumatic stress disorder lingers.

The only way to nullify the affects of a weapon that is essentially a bogeyman is to pull back the covers and look under the bed, yet this is rarely done. People like Dan Bartlett probably know dirty bombs are bullshit, and with a few strokes of the keypad, any member of the press could easily tell you this. If we weren’t living in an Orwell novel, U.S. Attorney Christie would realize that talking heads and craven pundits shouting “dirty bomb” on the news for the past 5 years is a far more apt comparison to “yelling fire in a crowded theater:” It’s the panic that would kill, after all.

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