The Samsonite Conspiracy

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The U.S. Capitol remains safe after a man approached it carrying two suitcases. He was tackled and one of the suspicious cases exploded by police. Just to make sure.

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  1. From the yahoo version: “…forcibly dragged away a man dressed in black and carrying two suitcases who had stationed himself in front of the west side of the U.S. Capitol.”

    So the spin begins. The earlier Yahoo story had said the man was “standing suspiciously.” Obviously the SS spinmeisters didn’t approve of this unconsitutional-sounding Basis for Probable Cause, so the Minister of Information ordered that the language be changed to “stationed himself.”

  2. Have you seen the Reuters pictures? The guy looks like he’s auditioning for “terrorist #8” in some Martix knock-off.

  3. Well, I feel safer!

  4. Washington Post has video:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/msnbc/ms041105-6v.htm

    At the very least, he has a little mental instability. It’s not like he just happened to be walking by, paused to look, and they took him out. He was acting more than just run-of-the-mill odd.

  5. He was acting more than just run-of-the-mill odd.

    Serves him right, then, to be tackled and have his luggage detonated!

  6. Great. He was charged with “disobeying a police officer.” That means that if you make the police look silly, then they can corder you do do something, and if, in the course of making them look silly you fail to perform, they can charge you.

    Dammit, this is serious business!! We can’t have people just standing around!

    Imagine if 100 people just decided to stand around the Mall all on the same day at the same time, wearing similar clothes, all carrying a brown paper bag with a roll of toliet paper in it. It would shut the whole place down.

  7. It would shut the whole place down.

    So, if 100 people with similar outfits and brown paper bags all showed up on the day that they were supposed to vote on the next massive farm bill….

    Mind you, I’m not endorsing any sort of violence or even the threat of violence. I’m just saying that if something completely harmless like standing around causes them to not vote on ADM’s subsidy, well, I won’t shed any tears.

  8. I was in D.C. all last week on business. Saturday morning I checked out of my hotel and had a few hours to kill before my flight left, so I wandered around the city for a while (wearing a black jacket) with a (black) laptop case and a (black) dufflebag. At various times I was even “stationed” near important looking buildings while I admired cherry blossoms and smoked cigarettes. I guess I’m lucky to have made it out alive. Next time I’ll tell my company I want hazard pay.

  9. I love how they couldn’t just grab the dude, but the cop had to get a running start and harshly tackle him from behind. The guy wasn’t doing anything, and they assault him? WTF? Ok, he was acting “suspiciously”, but what kind of training do these dipshits get? It seems like anyone can tackle someone from behind.

  10. Oh sure, it’s all fun and games to you guys. Security is serious business…what if that guy had had nail clippers in his luggage? Nobody’d be laughing then…

    signed,

    The TSA

  11. Have you seen the Reuters pictures? The guy looks like he’s auditioning for “terrorist #8” in some Martix knock-off.

    Guy looks kinda like a seminarian to me.

  12. Lowdog,
    Spot on.

    thoreau,
    I am there dude! Count me in, just let me know what day.

  13. Anybody see my son, Billy? He just got the limo driver position at the capitol building and he was reporting for his first day of work this morning. He is not hard to find, he is wearing his nice suit as required and carrying his two suitcases since he hasn’t been able to find an apartment yet. Oh Billy, why won’t you answer your cell phone. What could have happened?

  14. thoreau,
    Count me in. Though if it?s just you, me and Warren, I know who?s getting tackled.

    He was tackled and one of the suspicious cases exploded by police. Just to make sure.

    Well, they tried to have a gorilla destroy them at first, but that didn?t work out so well?

  15. Police tactics note #372: Don’t stand around; keep moving.

    Police tactics note #373: Don’t dress in black.

    Police tactics note #374: Suitcases are out.

  16. “FDR became America’s shining light, by keeping us in the dark” — History Channel Ad before Reuters video

    So now we know who Bush’s role model is…

  17. Sounds like a Falun Gong protest. He’s 33, chinese, no ID and wants to speak to Bush. Either that or some anti-Japanese protest during the Blossom fest. But I’d gamble on the Gong.

  18. It was obvious that he wasn’t all together. He expected to find Bush working in DC!

  19. What if someone dressed up in a full-body samsonite bag, and posed suspiciously outside the Capitol?

    Would the Secret Service blow him up?

  20. I hope that this guy is a performance artist with suitcases full of toilet paper (great idea!) so that it flew everywhere and made a huge mess when they blew it up. Now he can get lots of TV gigs and write a book about how the Bushies are against art.

  21. The thing that stumps me is that he asked to speak to Dubbya. Did he honestly expect him to come out???

    Someone has missed their meds.

  22. From the Yahoo article:

    “He said that if we wanted to know what was in the suitcase, we would have to open it ourselves,” Gainer said.

    I think there is more than enough egregious law enforcement behavior to go around without trying to squeeze outrage out of *this*

  23. I think there is more than enough egregious law enforcement behavior to go around without trying to squeeze outrage out of *this*

    Based on what I know now I concur. My comments earlier were based on what I knew initially.

    I still stand by my offer to hold a suitcase in front of the Capitol the next time Congress votes on farm subsidies.

  24. Hands up everybody who would have stayed standing beside the guy when he came up with two large suitcases and started just standing and staring.

    Because, you know, nobody has ever gone nuts and started killing people around the Capitol. There’s no precedent.

    Also, do you think if there had been a bomb and he blew it up that we wouldn’t today have been snarking about how federal police forces are no better than rent-a-cops, because they saw a guy with two large suitcases in a prime location and were too busy collecting nail clippers to do anything about it?

  25. Sandy:

    Yep.

    The ideal world: people are left alone, no matter how “unusual” they may act.

    The real world: there are crazy fuckers out there who would’ve had bombs in those suitcases.

    And the full open-field tackle? C’mon. The cop doing it, with all reason, was possibly throwing himself into the middle of an explosion. It would’ve been nice if he led the nut away gently, but let’s be serious here.

  26. This is why I don’t visit the Capital City very often: I don’t have to worry about this crap where I live.

    Agreed that a creepy, unresponsive guy holding two suitcases (potential bomb-delivery devices!) in the circumstances would naturally be cause for alarm. The circumstances being many people, especially public safety officers in major cities, being paranoid to a ridiculous extent about security threats.

    It’s certainly understandable why certain actions were taken in this case. It’s the reason and policy behind the actions that is so discouraging.

    In other circumstances, this guy would have garnered as much attention as a homeless man carrying his worldly possessions with him.

  27. Tackled and charged with disobeying a police officer. Hmmm. Well, he should just be happy that he wasn’t driving home from work. Then he’d have been in a heap of trouble.

  28. Personally, I don’t think the capital police brought enough weapons with them. I mean, only four armored guys with MP-5s and a belt of tear gas? You know he was Asian and all, so he might have been a kung fu master.

  29. So “disobeying a police officer” is a real crime? And to think that I imagined that the police were public servants, not masters who could order us around when we were going about our lawful business. (As the duke of Norfolk naively said, “This isn’t Spain; this is England.” And here I was thinking this wasn’t Russia; this was America.)

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