Monday, January 11, 2010

You keep using that word...

...I do not think it means what you think it means.

Apparently an Arkansas doctor got a little miffed at disciplinary action by his state medical board, and so he did what any disgruntled person does: He planted a bomb in the head of the state board's car.

Okay, maybe not every disgruntled person does that, but anyway, the highlight of the whole thing is in the charges:
Randeep Mann, a Russellville, Arkansas, doctor, is charged with one count of using a "weapon of mass destruction" against a person and property and a second count of "maliciously" using an explosive to damage or destroy a vehicle, according to prosecutors.
A "weapon of mass destruction"? Holy crap! Where did he get his hands on a nuke? Forget jail, I'd waterboard the guy to find out if there are any other loose warheads floating around out there or if this was just a singleton. Oh, wait... wait...
On his way to his clinic that morning, the chair of the Arkansas State Medical Board went out to start his Lexus hybrid SUV. Before he ever got into the car, a bomb went off, Duke said.

The blast, heard a mile away, threw Pierce six feet into a flower bed, police said. Pierce lost his left eye in the explosion, and suffered burns to his face.

Hey, the guy survived a nuke? Oh, it wasn't a nuke? Then where are the WMD charges coming from? The only way a mere pound or two of explosive could be a "Weapon of Mass Destruction" is if it went off in the middle of a Catholic religious ceremony.

"WMD": It stands for "Words have Meanings, Dolt," something that is apparently lost on legislators, especially when they go into spasms of lawmaking after big events like 9/11 or Katrina. You can always reason with a panicky legislator trying to look busy in a crisis. You can always reason with the living room furniture, too, for all the good it'll do you.

23 comments:

Noah D said...

I've always wondered why there's different charges for the 'how' of 'tried to kill someone'. Bomb, gun, arsenic, badger - so what? Assault with a deadly weapon? What's not a deadly weapon?

Now, for something as indiscriminate as a bomb, I could see tacking on a 'reckless, willful endangerment' charge - he might have meant only to kill that one dude, but the weapon chosen isn't known for it's aiming characteristics.

WV - 'oveme' tender, oveme true...

Schmidt said...

.. here's a definition of WMD:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/04/definition_of_w.html

anything beyond a firecracker, it seems.

Tam said...

How many legs does a dog have if we call the tail a leg? ;)

James E. Griffin said...

We took the term WMD from the old Soviet lexicon. It was a concept we needed to address. Since WWII, we had the concept of Nuke, and not-a-nuke.

WMD also included, to the Soviets, biological and chemical weapons - sometimes known in The West as "poor man's nukes." But NOT tactical nukes. In the original lexicon, a WMD meant a weapon that could cause casualties on a strategic level, as opposed to something, like a tactical nuke for use on the battlefield. Yes, Virginia, the old Soviets believed you could fight - and win - a war using nuclear weapons, as opposed to The West's idea that the use of nukes was "unthinkable." Don't get me started on variable yield, or dial-a-nuke technology.

And The West said, to deter the use of "Chem-Bio" weapons against our troops, use those, and we'll just nuke you. Which lead us to not be ready, on civil defense terms, for example, for the likes of a major biological attack.

We took up the term WMD to address policy weaknesses in strategic thought and policy in The West.

It seems law enforcement has been given the definition by legislation - to let some politicians look like "they're doing something" - that WMD means something that can kill more than one person.

Given the gravity of the above discussion, it is patently silly to refer to a home-made "chemical" pipe bomb as "WMD."

reflectoscope said...

"WMD": It stands for "Words have Meanings, Dolt,"

That needs to be on a shirt, right now.

As for buddy there, he does need to face something besides attempted murder, on account of his deliberate use of something non-selective in its function.

Jim

Anonymous said...

Obviously "feeling it" again, Tam: that's good for the rest of us. Great stuff this morning, and early, too!

AT

Anonymous said...

Before WMD became all the rage, it was known as CBRNE for Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and Explosive. I still work in that field.

As for the dear Dr. it's simple attempted murder.

rickn8or said...

WMD:Randeep's bomb::Assault weapon:scary-looking rifle

Why just react when you can OVER-react??

Aaron said...

Wow, I guess the Dems and MSM owe G.W. Bush an apology.

Bush was right as under this definition there sure as hell was a ton of WMD in Iraq including older chemical weapon shells, not to mention all the standard 155 HE shells and lower.

Also note: The panty-bomber on the Northwest flight is also charged with using a WMD. When 80 grams of PETN is a WMD you know you're lowering the bar.

Tam said...

"Also note: The panty-bomber on the Northwest flight is also charged with using a WMD. When 80 grams of PETN is a WMD you know you're lowering the bar."

The only way I can see any rationale behind that is if they were considering the guy's skivvies as the detonator for the whole plane over an inhabited area. And even then it's still a conventional weapon. WMD = NBC everyplace but DoJ.

Moriarty said...

You can always reason with a panicky legislator trying to look busy in a crisis.

(Ha!)

Holy underwear! Sheriff murdered! Innocent women and children blown to bits! We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!

Weer'd Beard said...

"WMD = NBC everyplace but DoJ."

mmmm Alphabet soup for lunch!

And words DO have meaning, they're used in this instance to inform others of their opinion so they won't have to think of it themselves.

I'm with the others, there's no need to consider what the weapon is. Just what it was used for, and how many people it did harm, and how many others could reasonably considered at risk.

Panty Bomber doesn't need to be charged with any trumped up weapons charge. We just need to charge him with carrying contraband, not having proper ATF permits, and attempted murder of everybody on the plane, and whatever projected number of people that plane might have landed on.

Should be more than enugh to lock him up forever or give him the needed....so why invent bullshit newspeak?

Jeff said...

@ James: I dunno, it may be a Soviet idea, but the US sure seemed to have a lotta "tactical weapons" as well. The B-61 Mod 3 and Mod 4 come to mind.

Anonymous said...

"Also note: The panty-bomber on the Northwest flight is also charged with using a WMD. When 80 grams of PETN is a WMD you know you're lowering the bar."

I'm halfway willing to bet that had he broken into the cockpit and tried to garrote the pilots with his shoestrings, shoestrings would become a WMD. :(

Jenny said...

I'm just glad we don't have to worry about anti-terrorism laws ever getting stretched to cover plain ol' folks and civil crimes. I know that 'cause Congress promised me back in 2001-2002 I wouldn't have anything to worry about.

Matt G said...

We have some dumb laws about weapons here in Texas, but we use the old term "Destructive Device" for such charges, when we need to stack them beyond the obvious Attempted Murder charge. This is actually pretty damned sensible. It includes large fixed-ammo breech-loading cannon, grenades, mines, etc.

I've been boggled by the proliferation of WMDs myself, lately. It would seem that anything over a [plastic] butter knife is a WMD.

Now, I don't assume that WMDs are nukes. I genuinely believe that a clever boy could make one one, in certain circumstances.

Matthew said...

Why we let "infernal machine" slip out of the lexicon is beyond me.

Hat Trick said...

In a somewhat related incident of PSH. Decatur, IL patrol officers called out their own bomb squad today for a model rocket under construction.

http://www.wandtv.com/global/story.asp?s=11803730

Anonymous said...

All NFA are considered weapons of mass distruction by statute in North Carolina.

That's right, a pipe with some metal donuts in it is a WMD.

TomareUtsuZo said...

Every law made by and power given over to the government will not only be used, but will be used by those who you don't aprove of in ways you don't aprove of.

Charles Pergiel said...

I spent the day reasoning with my lazy-boy. I don't know if I got through to it or not.

George said...

RE: Moriarty...

"I didn't get a harrumph outta you!"

'harrumph' (meekly)

"You watch your ass!"

...and why isn't is Ws M D ?
like mothers-in-law?

Crustyrusty said...

That ranks up there with the "terroristic threatening" statute here in KY. WTF....