From Jack Bauer to Keystone Cops and Other Tortured Hollywood Analogies

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My husband has often quipped, while watching action movie pyrotechnics, "Oh, now, who filled that car with dynamite?" In his years as a Marine, he's picked up a few things about munitions. This can make him a real buzz-kill when one is trying to suspend disbelief about things exploding in dramatic fire balls and action heroes who mysteriously never suffer any hearing loss.

I guess over at Justice, they prefer the movie version of events. That would certainly fit with the increasing Republican conviction that terror imitates art. Only on a Hollywood soundstage could the JFK terror plot have resulted in, "unfathomable damage, deaths, and destruction."

John Goglia, a former member of National Transportation Safety Board, said that if the plot had ever been carried out, it would likely have sparked a fire but little else, and certainly not the mass carnage authorities described.

"You could definitely reach the tank, definitely start the fire, but to get the kind of explosion that they were thinking that they were going to get... this is virtually impossible to do," he told AFP.

The fuel pipelines around the airport would similarly burn, rather than explode, because they are a full of fuel and unable to mix with enough oxygen.

Oh. And it turns out that these guys really had no actual resources or capacity to enact even this comically inept plot.

Furthermore, the plotters seem to have lacked the explosives and financial backing to carry out the attack.

Is it Groundhog Day?