Video: Olby and Larry Johnson shrug at the “non-event in London”

posted at 2:07 am on June 30, 2007 by Allahpundit

Whom do you call on in a pinch for expertise about jihadist plots if you’re a guy who hasn’t taken terrorism seriously since 9/11? Why, a guy who hasn’t taken terrorism seriously since before 9/11, of course. It’s a segment six years in the making, starting with Crazy Larry’s now-legendary “stop worrying about terror” op-ed published in July 2001 and continuing through to this morning when he wowed the dKos faithful by pronouncing the car-bomb plot a “crock of crap.”

Olby seems a bit subdued here aside from an obligatory sneer at the “media nodding-head dolls” who don’t have the guts to embrace their paranoia the way he does. Eschewing his usual Trutherish shtick in these circumstances, he opts instead for a weak gotcha about how this single incident puts the lie to Bush’s claim that we’re fighting them in Iraq so we don’t have to fight them at home. No mention of the absence of attacks on America since the invasion, no acknowledgment that the guys behind this were probably homegrown and thus already here — the Murrow of our time doesn’t let such trivia get in the way of a good talking point. As for Larry, he sniffs about “yuppie terrorists” who drive Mercedes but naturally doesn’t mention that the Mercedes was ten years old, which means it probably cost considerably less than 10 grand assuming it was purchased recently. He also scoffs at the idea that a bomb this crude could have done much more than torch the car itself and maybe singe a few people within 20 or 30 feet. The (left-leaning) weapons experts at Danger Room, who are taking this very seriously, beg to differ, as does ABC News, which was told by British officials that the explosion would have been lethal within a “several hundred yard radius.” And then there’s this:

The cell phone had received at least two calls, which should have detonated several gallons of gasoline, but when the calls came in, the bomb failed to go off, the official said.

Had it done so, that blast then would have ignited six to eight tanks of propane in a mist to make a fuel-air explosion, creating a fireball the size of a small house and propelling 18 to 20 boxes of roofing nails around a large area at bullet speed, counterterrorism officials said.

The news organization responsible for that report? The same one that signs Olby’s checks.

It ends with a stirring note about the only thing we have to fear. Hint: It doesn’t involve a wild-eyed guy sitting on a pile of hurtling high explosives and muttering about Allah.

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Mark Jaquith on June 30, 2007 at 6:27 PM

I think they meant several hundred foot radius, it would certainly take a rather monstrous bomb to reach more than that. Now, an individual nail propelled from such an explosion might have a flight path of greater than a hundred yards with deadly force, but it would be an oddity.

Freelancer on June 30, 2007 at 8:24 PM

Non-event….Olby, Now there’s a non-event for ya

sMack on June 30, 2007 at 11:36 PM

“…half a tank of gas…”

50 gallons.

What the crap kind of car does Olby drive?

Wingo on July 1, 2007 at 12:41 AM

I love how they pointed out the expensive car, as if “real” terrorists would ride in on camels or something.

What a disingenous lowlife.

moonbat monitor on July 1, 2007 at 12:52 AM

I agree though, the fact that they had an expensive car puts me at ease.

I’d be worried if they were impoverished, and didn’t have much in the way of finances or resources with which to carry out attacks.

But fortunately, it looks like they’re well funded with the capabilities of buying large quantities of materials with which to carry out multiple well financed attacks on civilians.

Thank goodness. Well funded opposition is what everyone looks for in a terrorist threat.

gekkobear on July 1, 2007 at 4:56 AM

Does a bomb have to go off and kill hundreds for these two idiots to take it seriously????

Lou on June 30, 2007 at 2:48 PM

When that happens, be it in 2007 or 2017, they will take it very seriously…as an opportunity to blame it all on Bush.

Kensington on July 1, 2007 at 5:08 AM

This sounds like a job for Myth Busters.

Olbermann rejects your reality and substitutes his own.

ZK on July 1, 2007 at 8:04 AM

Holy cow! One hundred four comments. That beats Olby’s msnbc viewership.

oakpack on July 1, 2007 at 5:25 PM

If a car bomb or even a single dynamite strapped suicide jihad-eror even a small Kazinski sized primitive device went off and killed Larry Johnson the left nitwits would be peeing their pants that Buh didn’t connect the obvious dots. They are this disingenuous and will gamble all the innocent lives in order to preserve their hate of republicans.

Topsecretk9 on July 2, 2007 at 3:17 AM

Umm, let’s not get carried away here, folks. While it’s absolutely correct to credit the perpetrators here with an attempted terrorist bombing, it still doesn’t automatically follow that it was a competent attempt. That’s where the Register’s article is right. Where they go wrong is in minimizing the risk–the intent and the patience are definitely there. As we saw with WTC 1, Bojinka, and then WTC 2, they’re more than willing to keep trying until something does work. So don’t take the following as defending Larry Johnson, not at all.

But too many folks here are going waaay off the deep end, among them:

Freelancer, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Adding more fuel to an enclosed vehicle without adding any more oxidizer isn’t going to make a bigger bang. In fact, the ATF’s own estimates of a three-hundred yard range involve a car packed with 500 pounds of explosives (which do have their own self-contained oxidizer, that’s why they’re called “explosives” rather than “fuel”.)

eon, you do nothing to help convince fence-sitters to take this kind of event seriously when your argument consists of the brilliant syllogism, “There is such a thing as a fuel-air explosive, therefore this was an effective instance of one.”

And angryoldfatman, Sears auto mechanics are also smarter than you, since they know that gasoline doesn’t in fact explode in internal combustion engines during normal operation.

Please, please, please: stop giving the “Islam is just a religion of peace” folks something to point at and laugh…

kparker on July 2, 2007 at 12:52 PM