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Department of Homeland Ineptitude/Boston blissninnies

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Cellar Dweller, Jan 31, 2007.

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  1. Cellar Dweller

    Cellar Dweller Member

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070201/ap_on_re_us/suspicious_devices

    BOSTON - More than 10 blinking electronic devices planted at bridges and other spots in Boston threw a scare into the city Wednesday in what turned out to be a publicity campaign for a late-night cable cartoon. Most if not all of the devices depict a character giving the finger.

    Boston police said Wednesday night that one person had been arrested, and authorities scheduled a news conference to provide details.

    Highways, bridges and a section of the Charles River were shut down and bomb squads were sent in before authorities declared the devices were harmless.

    "It's a hoax — and it's not funny," said Gov. Deval Patrick, who said he'll speak to the state's attorney general "about what recourse we may have."

    Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner Inc. and parent of Cartoon Network, said the devices were part of a promotion for the TV show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," a surreal series about a talking milkshake, a box of fries and a meatball.

    "The packages in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger," Turner said in a statement, issued a few hours after reports of the first devices came in.

    It said the devices have been in place for two to three weeks in 10 cities: Boston; New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Atlanta; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; San Francisco; and Philadelphia.

    "We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger," the company said. As soon as the company realized the problem, it said, law enforcement officials were told of their locations in all 10 cities.

    The marketing firm that put them up has been ordered to remove them immediately, said Phil Kent, Turner chairman.

    "We apologize to the citizens of Boston that part of a marketing campaign was mistaken for a public danger," Kent said. "We appreciate the gravity of this situation and, like any responsible company would, are putting all necessary resources toward understanding the facts surrounding it as quickly as possible."

    Interference Inc. had no immediate comment. A woman who answered the phone at the New York-based firm's offices Wednesday afternoon said the firm's CEO was out of town and would not be able to comment until Thursday.

    There were no reports from police Wednesday of residents in the other nine cities spotting similar devices.

    Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he'll seek to punish those responsible, and indicated that the penalty could be two to five years in prison per count.

    After Turner made its announcement, Menino said he was "prepared to take any and all legal action" against the company and its affiliates "for any and all expenses incurred during the response to today's incidents."

    Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke praised Boston authorities for sharing their knowledge quickly with Washington officials and the public.

    "Hoaxes are a tremendous burden on local law enforcement and counter-terrorism resources and there's absolutely no place for them in a post-9/11 world," Knocke said.

    Authorities said some of the objects looked like circuit boards or had wires hanging from them.

    The first device was found at a subway and bus station underneath Interstate 93, forcing the shutdown of the station and the highway.

    Later, police said four calls, all around 1 p.m., reported devices at the Boston University Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge, both of which span the Charles River, at a Boston street corner and at the Tufts-New England Medical Center.

    The package near the Boston University bridge was found attached to a structure beneath the span, authorities said.

    Subway service across the Longfellow Bridge between Boston and Cambridge was briefly suspended, and Storrow Drive was closed as well. A similar device was found Wednesday evening just north of Fenway Park, police spokesman Eddy Chrispin said.

    Wanda Higgins, a 47-year-old Weymouth resident and a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, heard about the threat as she watched television news coverage while preparing to leave work at 4 p.m.

    "I saw the bomb squad guys carrying a paper bag with their bare hands," Higgins said. "I knew it couldn't be too serious."

    Messages seeking additional comment from the Atlanta-based Cartoon Network were left with several publicists.

    "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is a cartoon with a cultish following that airs as part of the Adult Swim late-night block of programs for adults on the Cartoon Network. A feature length film based on the show is slated for release March 23.

    The cartoon also includes two trouble-making, 1980s-graphic-like characters called "mooninites," named Ignignokt and Err — who were pictured on the suspicious devices. They are known for making the obscene hand gesture depicted on the devices.
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    Potentially 20 to 50 years in prison for putting up blinking signs. 20-50 years for leaving "suspicious devices" around town. 20-50 years for not informing Boston police and DHS about an advertising campaign. 20-50 years for shutting down the city because of overreaction. There was mention of a pipe bomb in another story, probably some vigilant Bostonian saw a chunk of PVC on the street or conduit in a garbage can - an unrelated "hoax," as it turned out.

    Since nobody ever claimed the signs to be IEDs and there never was a "bomb threat," how can it be a hoax? Does this mean you have to watch what you throw out, because some ninny sees something that could be an IED and the authorities will slam you after getting egg on their face? Will all future advertisements or signs have to be cleared through Boston police/mayor/MA Governor first?
     
  2. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    Doesn't matter whether you throw it out, or whether you're just standing near the suspicious items. And since every Wal-Mart and grocery store is full of items that can be used to make IEDs (or biowar stuff... we saw you hanging around the egg case), you're already guilty. Turn yourself in.

    But don't watch that "cartoon"... talk about a waste of lifetime.
     
  3. Turkey Creek

    Turkey Creek Member

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    I dare anyone to go into any city and just yell BOO!- Then of course you'll have to duck and cover to not get trampled by the masses stampeding in panic- Sometime soon people have got to grow a pair or it's over!
     
  4. pcosmar

    pcosmar member

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    I had just read about this on a Linux forum, they were having a good laugh.
    The MSM once again has blow a non-story up, and created panic out of nothing.
     
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    BRAVO SIERRA It's not a hoax, it's viral marketing that's been around for MONTHS all up and down the eastern seaboard. This whole thing has revealed what a COMPLETE JOKE our security is since 9/11. Mindless brutality and paranoid overreaction, followed by a total unwillingness by the officials to admit they got worked up over nothing. Our lords and masters are totally clueless, rank idiots.

    The Mooninites have the last laugh.
     
  6. VirgilCaine

    VirgilCaine Member

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    My little brother told me about this. I didn't understand how you could think it was an IED.
    I mean, I guess it would make sense to hide an IED in one of these, but I'd expect an IED to look like a box or a piece of PVC or something. Not a blinking blue or yellow alien giving me the finger.
    But then, human stupidity is not to be underestimated.
     
  7. SalTx

    SalTx Member

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    Very sad indeed. I think the police were more of a threat to public safety as they detonated the lightbulbs. It's sad when the law enforcers routinely spout the "post 9/11 world" crap..I guess next stop is a police state.
     
  8. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    I agree with the above poster. This post 9/11 excuse for everything is getting out of hand. We are losing our rights and self respect to it.
     
  9. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    PANIC IT'S A LITE BRITE!!

    [​IMG]

    Not sure how this can be mistaken for a bomb. Other than the batteries it's flat, there's no where explosives could be hiding. From what I am hearing from people who saw these things everyday for the past 3 weeks they had been there long enough the batteries were dead on some.

    <LINK>
    How can it be consistant with an IED with NO explosives? IF that's the case anything with wires and a power source is consistant with an IED.
     
  10. Guzzizzit

    Guzzizzit Member

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    Damn, i love that show. It's wicked awsome. If they'd been up for weeks, why did they just now decide they were an IED? for that matter, how many "mad bombers" put big flashing LED's on the devices? Don't they ussually try to conciel them?

    now i guess i see why some people believe bush was behind 9/11 so he could strip us of our rights. (not saying i believe it, cause i think it's a real stretch, but i can see how some people might believe it.)
     
  11. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    This just goes to show that many people get thier perspectives and facts from Hollywood and the movies. How often is an LED put in an IED? That reminds me of the beep in the movies. How many do you think put a speaker in the design?
    Yet how poor and undramatic it would be in a movie to show something completely unanimated regardless of how realistic it was. So the public generaly imagines a digital display with counting numbers, or flashing LED's along with beeping sounds.

    The truth is it would likely be totaly unremarkable in appearance. I mean in Iraq they paint them to look like a standard brick or piece of roadside rubble.

    I guess it is a bit disheartening though to think that with all the sacrifices in our liberties, the massive spending of our tax dollars to create agencies and databases, that people can manage to akwardly install devices in such places unopposed while many if not hundreds of people drive past in major cities.
     
  12. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    You mean real terrorists don't put a display for the timer, a keypad/PIN to diffuse, and wires that follow conventional wiring color codes?! How is Jack Bauer supposed to fine the bomb if it doesn't beep and have a blinking red LED?</sarcasm>
     
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    In Newspeak, any personal electronics can be consistant with an IED if the authorities deem it so. Any advertising can constitute a terrorist menace if it ends up making them look stupid.
     
  14. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    Bingo!! They gotta save face.
     
  15. mike101

    mike101 Member

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    I thought the authorities sounded stupid, before I saw the picture (thanks erebus). Now they sound downright moronic. I can't believe they called out the bomb squad for this thing. What's even worse is that the bomb squad found it necessary to blow them up, on site. Then, they close the river.

    I don't care what they say, there's no way they're going to save face on this one. The people of Boston need to elect some politicians with spines.
    :neener:
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
  16. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Just...Just...

    Wow.

    To place signs on public property, there has to be a permit process, somebody approved these to be placed.

    They've been there for quite a while, the batteries were dead on some of them. Nobody noticed? Talk about bad add placement.

    The Governor wants to prosecute people for placing lousy marketing in inconspicuous areas after prior approval?

    A cartoon is part of the "post 9/11 world" now?

    I'm packing up my family and dog, heading to the hills. Somebody pop a flare when the madness stops and I'll think about coming back to this screwed up joint.
     
  17. duckandcover

    duckandcover Member

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    Remember when they blew up a newspaper rack because it was playing the Mission Impossible theme song? Oopsy, it was just a promotion for Tom Cruise's MI3 movie.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12553521/

    Remember when they defused an IED found in a San Francisco Starbucks? Oops. It was just a flashlight with corroded batteries that a bum had dropped.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/baycitynews/archive/2006/01/09/bomb09.DTL

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/12/BAGIOGM4JG1.DTL

    And yesterday there was a massive mobilization for the equivalent of an LED message board. What next? A building get's locked down because someone see's one of these in the lobby? http://www.betabrite.com/index.htm

    Stick one of these on your backpack and oh teh noes! You're a suicide bomber! http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/office-toys/desk-top-toys/scrolling-led-badges/index.html

    I'm not saying we should let our guard down. But as Zoogster already posted: Generally speaking (and I not a professional) an IED is NOT going to have blinky lights and play music!
     
  18. duckandcover

    duckandcover Member

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  19. Glockfan.45

    Glockfan.45 member

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    Our reaction to this mundane marketing ploy proves only one thing in the end. The terrorists did win :( .
     
  20. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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  21. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    So far, the terrorists have done pretty good. We may yet take back our liberties, but I am not sure enough Americans care to do so. We could do it at the next election if we wanted. Twenty additional freedom loving congressmen would probably do it.

    But, the election will mostly be about what freebies uncle Sam should pass out.
     
  22. romma

    romma Member

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    Freedom isn't Free you know! In fact, Freedom isn't even Freedom anymore. :barf:
     
  23. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    No, romma, everyone knows that freedom isn't free. It costs a buck-oh-five.
     
  24. StopTheGrays

    StopTheGrays Member

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    I would do that for you but someone would think I was terrorist signaling an attack and the madness would start back up. :D
     
  25. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    O.K., plan "B" is...
     
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