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Katy

The Austin Bomber is dead

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Yes, and there’s a reason for that. Historically, the feds have been better able to prosecute and obtain convictions in cases of this nature. We also know that there is a marked difference in the manpower and financial resources given over to international threats to the homeland vs domestic ones. That makes no sense when domestic threats have led to far, far more casualties and incidents.

 

It does make sense if you believe worse events are being prevented by focusing on overseas threats. 

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It does make sense if you believe worse events are being prevented by focusing on overseas threats.

So domestic threats should be ignored and allowed to multiply? We can’t walk and chew gum?

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So domestic threats should be ignored and allowed to multiply? We can’t walk and chew gum?

 

Pretty sure I gave you a list of undercover operations the FBI has run in recent years, and there are many others.

 

Domestic organizations will always be harder to track due to rights (and therefore law enforcement limitations) we have in the U.S. and restrictions our law enforcement has here that do not apply to our international intelligence gathering.

 

It's not like the FBI is sitting on its hands:

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/03/20/595163065/mosque-bombing-plot-rattles-immigrants-in-kansas-meat-triangle

 

Edited by ChocolateReign

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Pretty sure I gave you a list of undercover operations the FBI has run in recent years, and there are many others.

 

Domestic organizations will always be harder to track due to freedoms we have in the U.S. and restrictions our law enforcement has here that does not apply to our international intelligence gathering.

Are you honestly suggesting, even after looking at the data not anecdotes, that the resources being devoted to domestic threats are commensurate with the threat posed? And no, domestic threats are not harder to track when appropriate resources are devoted. See COINTELPRO.

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Key phrase in the first paragraph:

 

"...in the absence of other evidence..."

In the absence of other evidence, LEOs were unable to wrap their heads around the idea that a black man could be subject to a random act of violence so they pursued every other cork brained idea they could think of. Edited by Sneezyone

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Are you honestly suggesting, even after looking at the data not anecdotes, that the resources being devoted to domestic threats are commensurate with the threat posed? And no, domestic threats are not harder to track when appropriate resources are devoted. See COINTELPRO.

 

Considering I don't know exactly what threats we potentially face from large, well funded international terrorist groups, I really can't say.

 

COINTELPRO was ended in the 70s, right?  Or are you advocating that we have the FBI violate rights of U.S. citizens?  And even though I have shown otherwise, are you still claiming the FBI doesn't infiltrate groups when they have the legal authority to do so?

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In the absence of other evidence, LEOs were unable to wrap their heads around the idea that a black man could be subject to a random act of violence so they perused every other cork brained idea they could think of.

 

That's the thing - murders tend not to be random.  When there was no obvious clue as to why he was targeted is when the accidental target theory was floated. With limited data points there wasn't anything else to go on.

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Considering I don't know exactly what threats we potentially face from large, well funded international terrorist groups, I really can't say.

 

COINTELPRO was ended in the 70s, right? Or are you advocating that we have the FBI violate rights of U.S. citizens? And even though I have shown otherwise, are you still claiming the FBI doesn't infiltrate groups when they have the legal authority to do so?

For the umpteenth time, I’ve never said NO/ZERO resources are devoted to those risks. I said the resources are no match for the actual threat posed. Please read what I actually wrote. Your anecdotes don’t trump the data WRT actual crimes committed. Like you, I can only go based on the information that the FBI and counterintelligence people say/report, which is that we are not doing enough. Take it up with the experts, not me.

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Considering I don't know exactly what threats we potentially face from large, well funded international terrorist groups, I really can't say.

 

COINTELPRO was ended in the 70s, right? Or are you advocating that we have the FBI violate rights of U.S. citizens? And even though I have shown otherwise, are you still claiming the FBI doesn't infiltrate groups when they have the legal authority to do so?

As for violating rights, they already do, with impunity.

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For the umpteenth time, I’ve never said NO/ZERO resources are devoted to those risks. I said the resources are no match for the actual threat posed. Please read what I actually wrote. Your anecdotes don’t trump the data WRT actual crimes committed. Like you, I can only go based on the information that the FBI and counterintelligence people say/report, which is that we are not doing enough. Take it up with the experts, not me.

 

And read what I wrote - we don't know what our intelligence agencies are preventing.  And looking at the attacks labeled as right-wing attacks in the U.S., I don't see many that don't involve a lone-wolf type.  Which are the same ones we struggle to stop on the international side.

 

And general rule of thumb is that every law enforcement agency will ask for more to do more.  I am not saying they are wrong, but it doesn't mean they would prevent these attacks either.

 

They certainly wouldn't have prevented this one as it doesn't appear to be a domestic terrorist attack at this time.

 

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And read what I wrote - we don't know what our intelligence agencies are preventing. And looking at the attacks labeled as right-wing attacks in the U.S., I don't see many that don't involve a lone-wolf type. Which are the same ones we struggle to stop on the international side.

 

And general rule of thumb is that every law enforcement agency will ask for more to do more. I am not saying they are wrong, but it doesn't mean they would prevent these attacks either.

 

They certainly wouldn't have prevented this one as it doesn't appear to be a domestic terrorist attack at this time.

 

You go with that. I’ll stick with the intelligence community, thanks.

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In the absence of other evidence, LEOs were unable to wrap their heads around the idea that a black man could be subject to a random act of violence so they pursued every other cork brained idea they could think of.

I really don't understand what other action you would have expected of them. Scratching their heads and muttering, "Well, that was random!" would not have been productive.

 

What specific action did they fail to take? As others have said, it wasn't a serial bomber situation until there was a series of bombs.

 

Sincerely, I am not trying to be argumentative but I am having a tough time trying to discern your clear point and suggestion for change. What action are you seeking beyond acknowledgement of white privilege? Because I do feel you saying that.

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I really don't understand what other action you would have expected of them. Scratching their heads and muttering, "Well, that was random!" would not have been productive.

 

What specific action did they fail to take? As others have said, it wasn't a serial bomber situation until there was a series of bombs.

 

Sincerely, I am not trying to be argumentative but I am having a tough time trying to discern your clear point and suggestion for change. What action are you seeking beyond acknowledgement of white privilege? Because I do feel you saying that.

I want people to appreciate that it was unfair to publicly denigrate the man’s motives/character based on nothing, wrong to reassure the public based on nothing, and that we are not generally devoting the resources we should to domestic threats (I think that’s because it doesn’t suit the preferred narrative WRT terroristic behavior YMMV).
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If people insist on pushing authorities to ignore laws and rights in favor of deeper scrutiny into what individuals might be thinking about doing, and if they are successful, consider whether or not that would have a disparate unpleasant impact on any particular group.

 

For example, if every individual violent crime is investigated as if it might be terrorism, would the increased intrusion be equally distributed across demographics?

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If people insist on pushing authorities to ignore laws and rights in favor of deeper scrutiny into what individuals might be thinking about doing, and if they are successful, consider whether or not that would have a disparate unpleasant impact on any particular group.

 

For example, if every individual violent crime is investigated as if it might be terrorism, would the increased intrusion be equally distributed across demographics?

No one is pushing for rights to be ignored. Investigatory resources don’t necessarily equal violations but I see folks trying to conflate the two. It’s a matter of priorities. In this case, you had a bomb, not a run of the mill crime. Ignoring that fact distorts the conversation. Edited by Sneezyone

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I want people to appreciate that it was unfair to publicly denigrate the man’s motives/character based on nothing, wrong to reassure the public based on nothing, and that we are not generally devoting the resources we should to domestic threats (I think that’s because it doesn’t suit the preferred narrative WRT terroristic behavior YMMV).

Thank you for this clear statement. It helps me to better understand your pov.

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I want people to appreciate that it was unfair to publicly denigrate the man’s motives/character based on nothing, wrong to reassure the public based on nothing, and that we are not generally devoting the resources we should to domestic threats (I think that’s because it doesn’t suit the preferred narrative WRT terroristic behavior YMMV).

 

1.) You are drastically overstating the "denigrating" of his character.

2.) Why not reassure the public initially?  Are you seriously saying when the first bomb went off they should have shouted "Everyone panic!" when they had no reason to suspect a serial bomber?

3.) What does investigating domestic terror threats have to do with these bombings?

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In the absence of other evidence, LEOs were unable to wrap their heads around the idea that a black man could be subject to a random act of violence so they pursued every other cork brained idea they could think of.

Except they literally did entertain the idea that he was subject to a random act of violence.  It was one of many theories they had since there was very little to go on and nothing that would've led them to the actual bomber.  They labeled it a suspicious death from the start (and changed it to homicide once the second bomb went off and they strongly suspected they were dealing with a serial bomber).  But for that 10 days, they tried to come up with any reason they could for that first bomb because that's appropriate police work.

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No one is pushing for rights to be ignored. Investigatory resources don’t necessarily equal violations but I see folks trying to conflate the two. It’s a matter of priorities. In this case, you had a bomb, not a run of the mill crime. Ignoring that fact distorts the conversation.

 

That's right - a bomb. SOP is to call in the ATF to assist with an investigation (they are really good at this) and investigate accordingly.  Considering serial bombers are not common and most bomb incidents are one-offs, I can't see why you are so convinced something was done incorrectly.

 

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No one is pushing for rights to be ignored. Investigatory resources don’t necessarily equal violations but I see folks trying to conflate the two. It’s a matter of priorities. In this case, you had a bomb, not a run of the mill crime. Ignoring that fact distorts the conversation.

 

You brought up COINTELPRO which did involve violations, and when I pointed out that domestic terror investigations have limitations that international do not you brushed it off by saying rights are violated anyway.

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1.) You are drastically overstating the "denigrating" of his character.

2.) Why not reassure the public initially? Are you seriously saying when the first bomb went off they should have shouted "Everyone panic!" when they had no reason to suspect a serial bomber?

3.) What does investigating domestic terror threats have to do with these bombings?

There’s a mile’s worth of difference between everybody panic and you have nothing to worry about. Somewhere in the middle is a call for a lot of additional vigilance. And yes, you tell me my loved one blew himself up on accident over money troubles or got caught up in a drug deal and you are denigrating his character. Period and point blank.

 

Investigating domestic terror means having more eyes and ears watching for suspicious activity. We seem to think that’s the right way to respond to intl-inspired lone wolves. Good for geese-good for gander.

Edited by Sneezyone

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You brought up COINTELPRO which did involve violations, and when I pointed out that domestic terror investigations have limitations that international do not you brushed it off by saying rights are violated anyway.

I brought it up as an indication if our willingness to devote resources to things we see as problematic...things we PRIORITIZE. I mentioned the violations of rights because we threw those out the window after 9/11, even domestically because...PRIORITIES. Rights violations aren’t the sticking point here. Priorities are.

Edited by Sneezyone

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1.) You are drastically overstating the "denigrating" of his character.

2.) Why not reassure the public initially?  Are you seriously saying when the first bomb went off they should have shouted "Everyone panic!" when they had no reason to suspect a serial bomber?

3.) What does investigating domestic terror threats have to do with these bombings?

 

I agree - especially with point # 1.

Perhaps for Sneezy, the suggestion of possible suicide is abhorrent compared to homicide. This may be why some of us are scratching our heads here.

IMO, I would be just as sad if someone took their own life or if they were murdered. Both ways of dying are horrible and imply to me someone's life was either taken or he chose to take his own life before his time. No reflection on character at all with suicide. It just tells me that someone who committed suicide was in pain and agony and did not see a solution.

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There’s a mile’s worth of difference between everybody panic and you have nothing to worry about. Somewhere isn the middle is a call for additional vigilance. And yes, you tell me my loved one blew himself up on accident over money troubles it a drug deal and you are denigrating his character. Period and point blank.

 

Investigating domestic terror means having more eyes and ears watching for suspicious activity. We seem to think that’s the right way to respond to intl-inspired lone wolves. Good for geese-good for gander.

 

Actually the theory I read was he was accidentally killed by a bomb targeting a drug dealer, not him.  The police were looking into the victim which happens often in a homicide investigation because that is how you often find motive.

 

Additional vigilance for...what?  It was the first bombing and the police had little info on what happened.  There were no witnesses and limited information. 

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I brought it up as a man indication if our willingness to devote resources to things we see as problematic...things we PRIORITIZE. I mentioned the violations of rights because we through those out the window after 9/11, even domestically because...PRIORITIES. Rights violations aren’t the sticking point here. Priorities are.

 

They are a sticking point for myself and many others.  And for successful prosecutions (example: government misconduct led to mistrials in the Bundy case).

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Actually the theory I read was he was accidentally killed by a bomb targeting a drug dealer, not him. The police were looking into the victim which happens often in a homicide investigation because that is how you often find motive.

 

Additional vigilance for...what? It was the first bombing and the police had little info on what happened. There were no witnesses and limited information.

They put out both, that he made the bomb himself and that he had money troubles and that maybe he was the unintended recipient. In any case, they had no business leaping to those conclusions. Bomb activity is not normal, typical, etc. they knew it was a random package bomb and chose to poo poo it. Who knows whether that young cellist might have been spared with additional vigilance.

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They are a sticking point for myself and many others. And for successful prosecutions (example: government misconduct led to mistrials in the Bundy case).

And yet, as you said, he’s still dead.

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They put out both, that he made the bomb himself and that he had money troubles and that maybe he was the unintended recipient. In any case, they had no business leaping to those conclusions. Bomb activity is not normal, typical, etc. they knew it was a random package bomb and chose to poo poo it. Who knows whether that young cellist might have been spared with additional vigilance.

 

Bomb activity is not normal or typical but ones of that appear targeted tend not to be random either.  Which is why the police focused on the victim being targeted, having made it himself, or received a package intended for someone else.  All 3 of which are significantly more likely than a totally random package bomb.

FWIW they figured out it was a package bomb - they could not know at that time it was random.

 

When homicide investigators hear hoof beats they will always look for horses before looking for zebras.

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I agree - especially with point # 1.

Perhaps for Sneezy, the suggestion of possible suicide is abhorrent compared to homicide. This may be why some of us are scratching our heads here.

IMO, I would be just as sad if someone took their own life or if they were murdered. Both ways of dying are horrible and imply to me someone's life was either taken or he chose to take his own life before his time. No reflection on character at all with suicide. It just tells me that someone who committed suicide was in pain and agony and did not see a solution.

Taking your own life is a choice, a selfish one, not something that is done to you. I would absolutely see someone lying about my loved one like that as defamation.

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Bomb activity is not normal or typical but ones of that appear targeted tend not to be random either. Which is why the police focused on the victim being targeted, having made it himself, or received a package intended for someone else. All 3 of which are significantly more likely than a totally random package bomb.

FWIW they figured out it was a package bomb - they could not know at that time it was random.

 

When homicide investigators hear hoof beats they will always look for horses before looking for zebras.

What does any of that have to do with prematurely reassuring the public that they had nothing to worry about?

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Cliven, Ryan, and Ammon - future domestic terrorists (imo). Not Ted.

You’ll get no argument from me in the misconduct with those three but I’d argue, again, that the domestic side of the house is significantly under-resourced. That’s not where the glory is.

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What does any of that have to do with prematurely reassuring the public that they had nothing to worry about?

 

That they truly believed there was nothing to worry about?

1.) Package bombs usually are not random (not even sure I can think of a case where one was offhand).

2.) If they bomb was targeted at the victim or someone else, there would be no reason to believe anyone else was in danger.

 

I get that you want to invent reasons to criticize the APD but this just seems unreasonable.  Considering the next bomb went off 10 days later I am not sure your call for "vigilance" would have mattered.

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That they truly believed there was nothing to worry about?

1.) Package bombs usually are not random (not even sure I can think of a case where one was offhand).

2.) If they bomb was targeted at the victim or someone else, there would be no reason to believe anyone else was in danger.

 

I get that you want to invent reasons to criticize the APD but this just seems unreasonable. Considering the next bomb went off 10 days later I am not sure your call for "vigilance" would have mattered.

I have no reason to invent reasons. Their lack of reasonable caution may have led to more deaths. We can agree to disagree.

Edited by Sneezyone

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Taking your own life is a choice, a selfish one, not something that is done to you. I would absolutely see someone lying about my loved one like that as defamation.

 

I thought you came from that view point perhaps. Thank you for clarifying. Now I understand why this particular aspect is so upsetting for you.

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I have no reason to invent reasons. Their lack of reasonable caution may have lead to more deaths. We can agree to disagree.

 

It sounds like an invented reason. 

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Taking your own life is a choice, a selfish one, not something that is done to you. I would absolutely see someone lying about my loved one like that as defamation.

 

Again - where are you reading that they thought it was a suicide?

 

First they treated it as a homicide.  But they could not find any reason anyone would want to kill him.

Second they checked into the possibility that he was mistakenly hit by a bomb intended for someone else.  They investigated that and decided that was unlikely.

Third they said it was a "suspicious death" BUT they could not rule out the possibility that it had been an accident.

 

Unless you have a source telling you otherwise, your posts are misleading and unfair.

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Also per Wiki the cops said on the day of the first bombing, ""we have no reason to believe this is anything beyond an isolated incident that took place at this residence, and no reason to believe this is in any way linked to a terrorist act. But we are not making any assumptions. We are conducting a thorough investigation to rule that out." 

 

That does not say "we are sure there is no further danger" or anything like that.

 

It would not be reasonable for the cops to say after every crime "you could be next, watch out" without any evidence supporting that.

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Here's my questions/musings...

 

I'm really torn reading the coverage about this criminal/terrorist/definitely not a "nice boy" person. Honestly, the descriptions that are supposed to terrify us as the potential foundation of his radicalization during his homeschool years are just ringing really false for me. He was part of a group with an inflammatory, "scary" sounding name - RIOT - but they were named by teenagers, who of course give everything stupid names. The group had kids who knew about guns and went to firing ranges. Um, it's Texas. Don't a LOT of older teens learn to shoot and go to gun ranges? This may be a problem for our society (or not, depending on where you stand) but doesn't strike me as "scary" by itself. Also, they didn't actually shoot as part of the group? And they talked about "dangerous" chemicals, but it doesn't sound like it was part of a program - they were teenagers. Teenagers talk about that stuff and download The Anarchist Cookbook and so forth. Most of what they did at this "scary" homeschool group was bible study and LARPing. I mean, seriously, are we supposed to be scared by teenagers larping? They just sound like normal homeschooled teens to me - quirky and teenagery.

 

But also, I think there is a real overlap between homeschoolers and some really extremist beliefs, especially racist beliefs. We all know there are homeschool curricula that attempt to whitewash slavery and peddle a view of American history that is sometimes even overtly racist. I don't want to let this guy off the hook in any way. He was almost certainly radicalized at some point. I think it really is a legitimate question to ask when that happened and whether homeschooling was part of laying the groundwork for that - even if his family aren't "like that".

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The difference is that at this moment there is nothing obvious suggesting he had been radicalized or was part of any movement. The background interviews are what people are saying about him, and while they are part of the puzzle right now they aren't providing any information that suggests this was something he was planning. If he was quiet, unassuming, generally kept himself and came from a family that seems to be just a normal family, what do you want people to say? Law enforcement is investigating and the media is digging but unlike a lot of others he just doesn't have a web presence that tells us anything substantial about him.

 

The bolded is a gross misrepresentation of what has been said in this thread.

My bad, about one thing. I saw one person’s post and immediately skimmed over her stats too quickly and assumed she was just regurgitating her usual stuff about blacks and crime. Other than that, I was just repeating what was written by individuals. So yes, I was totally wrong there.

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