the pressure cooker was a bomb
not just a bomb but a weapon of mass destruction.
5 Weapons of Mass Destruction the U.S. Military Uses
When most of us think of weapons of mass destruction, we think of nuclear
bombs, or nerve gas, or biological agents. So it wassurprising to see
accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev charged with using a
weapon of mass destruction after he and his brother allegedly detonated a
bomb made from a pressure cooker.
Heinous as the Boston bombing is, a pressure cooker does not fit the
commonly used definition of a WMD. In fact, by its own definition, the U.S.
government is using WMDs every day. There appear to be two relevant laws
here. The first is found in Title 18 USC § 2332a
which defines weapons of mass destruction as
*(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title;*
*(B) any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious
bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or
poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;*
*(C) any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector (as those
terms are defined in section 178 of this title); or*
*(D) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a
level dangerous to human life; *
So far, so good. Beneath the legalese, this mostly fits the common
definition of WMDs. However, Section 921
<http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921>, the part that defines WMDs
as destructive devices is where the law gets interesting. For purpose of a
WMD, a destructive device is defined as a
(*i)** bomb, *
*(ii)** grenade, *
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*(iii)** rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, *
*(iv)** missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than
one-quarter ounce, *
*(v)** mine, or *
*(vi)** device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding
or, *any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the
Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for
sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be
readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or
other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than
one-half inch in diameter.*
Now we have a problem. By this standard, the U.S. military is using WMDs
every day, and could be prosecuted by a foreign power if they were to adopt
similar laws. Here are a few examples:
*M67 hand grenade* <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M67_grenade>: U.S.
military’s fragmentation grenade is a grenade under Section 921, and it has
an explosive charge of 6.5 ounces, so it qualifies as a WMD on two counts.
*TOW-2 anti-tank missile*
The TOW-2 is a rocket that blasts through tank armor with a 13-pound
warhead, which would qualify as a WMD. Note that a U.S. Army veteran was
last month by the FBI with using WMDs after he fired Russian-made
rocket-propelled grenades while fighting in Syria alongside the rebels.
*M795 artillery shell* <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M795>. The U.S.
military’s standard 155-millimeter howitzer shell carries 20 pounds of TNT
to its target. This would appear to qualify it as a weapon of mass
*PGU-14/B Armor Piercing Incendiary ammunition*
<http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/pgu-14.htm> – These tank-killing
rounds for the 30-millimeter cannon on the A-10 Warthog attack jet use
depleted uranium (an extremely dense metal) to punch through armor – and
releases radiation in the process. The Pentagon has maintained for years
that the radiation is too small to be dangerous, but some – including
Desert Storm veterans [http://www.gulfwarvets.com/du.htm] have argued
*Joint Direct Attack Munition
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Direct_Attack_Munition>:* A JDAM
consisting of a U.S. Mark 84 bomb
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_84_bomb], fitted with laser guidance to
act as a smart bomb, carries 945 pounds of explosives. If the Taliban were
to adopt U.S. law, it could claim that U.S. aircraft are routinely using
WMDs in Afghanistan.
*W78 thermonuclear warhead* <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W78>. The
standard warhead on U.S. Minuteman III ICBMs, its 350-kiloton yield
(equivalent to 350,000 tons of TNT) would blast or incinerate nearly 100
square miles, according to this nuclear weapons simulation
[http://www.nucleardarkness.org/nuclear/nuclearexplosionsimulator/]. Just a
reminder of the damage that a real WMD can do.
Federal law does specify that devices are neither designed nor modified to
be weapons are not WMDs, and neither are pyrotechnics, signal rockets and
the like. So those who light off firecrackers don’t have to worry about
being lumped together with Saddam Hussein. However, the fact remains that
by its own definition of a weapon of mass destruction, the U.S. military
has been and continues to routinely use them in combat.
The problem isn’t the weapons themselves – hand grenades date back to the
Middle Ages – but the way the U.S. government has defined WMDs such that
practically any explosive device could be classified as a weapon of mass
destruction. This devalues the threat. If every weapon is a WMD – I’m
waiting to see knives and spears defined as such – then the threat just
becomes a normal part of the environment. Are we preparing to fight a war
with Iran because they have grenades and anti-tank rockets?
On Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 6:16:39 AM UTC-5, Travis wrote:
> Obama: If You See Something, Say Something (Unless It's A Muslim With A
> Clock That Looks Like A Bomb)
> AP Photo/LM Otero, File[image: Description:
> Ben Shapiro
> September 19, 2016
> *187553149 Comments
> On Monday, after a day of silence on the terror attacks in New York and
> Minnesota and the attempted terror attacks in New Jersey, President Obama
> finally took to the podium to explain that Americans must remain vigilant.
> “To everybody in this region,” Obama said, “I want to repeat what we’ve
> said before: if you see something suspicious, then you need to say
> Unfortunately, President Obama has presented American citizens with
> something of a catch-22: if they see a Muslim do something suspicious and
> say something, they may be on the receiving end of a diatribe from the
> White House and the media.
> Today, for example
> the second bomb planted by Ahmad Rahimi found in Chelsea on Saturday night.
> The finder, Jane Schriebman, described the device thusly: “I had just taken
> maybe 15 steps from my front door, and I saw a pot on the side of the road.
> It looked weird, and I thought it was a kid’s science experiment, with
> wires coming out of the pressure cooker every which way. I thought someone
> was throwing it out.”
> It turns out that the pressure cooker was a bomb, of course, just like the
> pressure cooker bomb used by the Tsarnaev brothers in the Boston marathon
> Now flash back to September 2015, when a different Ahmed, 14-year-old
> Ahmed Mohamed, took a clock that looked precisely like a bomb to school.
> The administration called him out of class; he was briefly detained by
> police before being released. He then tweeted out a picture, and the
> president of the United States offered to bring young Ahmed, victim of
> Islamophobia, to the White House. #IStandWithAhmed trended on Twitter, Mark
> Zuckerberg offered Mohamed an internship at Facebook, and Mohamed ended up
> hugging Obama.
> Good thing the clock was just a clock.
> Good thing Rahimi decided not to cloak his bomb as a clock. Otherwise, he
> might have been invited to the White House before the damn thing went off.
> But that wasn’t the only ironic sign that political correctness gets
> people killed when it comes to terrorism. In 2011, according to *The
> Daily Mail *(UK), Rahami filed a federal lawsuit along with his family
> against the police, claiming he was the victim of Islamophobia. He said he
> was a victim of “selective enforcement” based on religious profiling, and
> that his family’s restaurant was harassed by the police with useless
> summonses; his brother eventually got into a fight with the cops, then fled
> to Afghanistan to avoid prosecution. Ahmad was arrested at the time for
> “obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.” The
> court dismissed the complaint with prejudice.
> But it’s precisely this sort of activity that the media love to report and
> cluck over, incentivizing police and neighbors not to scrutinize suspicious
> behavior by Muslims. Remember that a neighbor of the San Bernardino
> terrorists told the press that he suspected nefarious activity based on the
> comings and goings of strangers to his neighbors’ apartment
> “A man who has been working in the area said he noticed a half-dozen Middle
> Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything
> since he did not wish to racially profile those people. “We sat around
> lunch thinking, ‘What war they doing around the neighborhood?’” he said.
> “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.” In 2006, Muslim
> terrorists planned a massacre at Fort Dix, and were only thwarted because a
> clerk at Circuit City was asked to copy a tape of the suspects shooting
> guns and talking about jihad; he considered doing nothing about it because
> he was afraid that would be “being racist.”
> No one’s in favor of innocent Muslims being targeted. But suspicious
> behavior is suspicious behavior, and the left’s habit of demonizing anyone
> who reports those in a protected victim class for such behavior means that
> terrorism will be more common.
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