Security Crackdown After Brooklyn Bridge White Flag Stunt


White Flag

Remember the halcyon days in America before the advent of the pervasive surveillance state with NSA snoops combing through our phone calls and emails; license plate cameras on every corner; top secret no-fly lists from which there is no escape; all enforced by armored police eager to ignore the tattered privacy protections of the Fourth Amendment? In those better days, the stunt in which some rapscallions placed white flags atop the Brooklyn bridge would have occasioned grumbling from the authorities that would have amounted to: "Dern kids. Get off my lawn."

The Gothamist is reporting how the police are using all of the tools of modern forensic science including DNA databases to track down the cell of white flag scofflaws:

Sources tell the NY Post that the zip ties used to fasten the aluminum pans over the lights atop the towers have DNA evidence on them. Now investigators are running the DNA evidence through their vast database of DNA, and it's only a matter of time before a heavily-armed SWAT team crashes through your ceiling due to a data entry error. Look, there's a red laser beam on your forehead right now!

Also from the tabloid of record: "Investigators are also scouring social media, pulling phone logs and running hundreds of license plates, police sources said. They are tracking down all calls made from the bridge around the time the flags were replaced early Tuesday… Investigators were pulled from homicide, counterterrorism, intel and transit to hunt down the infiltrators…" Hey, whatever it takes to bring these skateboarding teenagers to justice.

In other white flag news, the city is beefing up security not only on the Brooklyn Bridge but on all other potential terrorist targets. "The NYPD has already implemented increased security measures on the Brooklyn Bridge, and multiple agencies are collaborating with the police on further measures that will increase the safety of this and other key facilities," First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris said in a statement. The NYPD doesn't think the white flags were related to terrorism, but the incident did expose glaring flaws in the city's security theater apparatus. The solution, obviously, is more security theater.

Yes, obviously.

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  1. …. and the various governments in the United States continue to abjectly carry out Osama bin Laden’s bidding!

    1. But Rudy Giuliani told me that freedom means doing what you are told and bending over!

      1. Yeah but isn’t that the same thing Coach Sandusky told you?

        1. Thanks for the trigger warning, dick.

  2. So, in short, even though they know this stunt had nothing to do with terrorism, they’re diverting the full power of law enforcement into catching them because…they embarrassed them.

    1. In a more rational world they’d just say “oops, we fucked up, lucky they weren’t terrorists” and then try to fix whatever security holes there were. But I’m sure that’s less fun than kicking the shit out of some harmless pranksters.

      1. In a more rational world…

        …no one would care.

        1. Or that. I didn’t say how much more rational.

  3. Look, this made them look bad. It was harmless and it’s questionable what laws it broke, if any, but it made them look bad. Therefore they will spend vast amounts of money and time and effort to try and find the people who did this, and if they find them, they will trump up a litany of all possible charges against them and spend vast amounts of money and time and effort trying to fuck them as hard as possible.

    Why? Because AUTHORITAH.

    1. Watch apes sort out status slights. The higher status guy who gets slighted by the alpha pushes around another lower status guy until there’s no one lower to push around. Expect a lot of low-status-in-the-NYPD’s-eyes people to be inconvenienced or even arrested.

      1. It’s amazing how fragile their egos are. Like, a tremendous number of them can’t handle that someone mildly pranked them. And now they’re furious.

        1. It brings back memories of their loser high school days.

          One reason these fuckers got on the government high horse is to show the bastards in high school that they’ll win in the end.

          1. I don’t think it’s limited to high school. It’s also probably wrapped up in daddy yelling at them too much or being shitty at sports or being really short or having a tiny penis and a host of other things that make pathetic people supremely insecure. So insecure that they become sociopaths regarding their interactions with other people. And then they all gravitate to the government.

        2. Well, slightly more than mildly pranked them, if people pay attention. It basically exposed them as inompetent. One of the premiere targets in the city that is still probably considered the premiere target, in a fairly heavily trafficed area, a couple of kids using what looks like fairly low tech methods were able to outwit the government’s security apparatus.

          1. They could have laughed it off and looked less bad. All that happened was that someone switched out or bleached some flags. But I think part of this is that they don’t know what it was supposed to mean, and that kind of thing enrages control freaks.

            1. Respectfully disagree. Yes, nothing bad happened. And, for damned sure, the “culprits” shouldn’t be punished. But, something bad could have happened (I hate using that phrase, even in a way different from its usual parlance). And a minimum wage security guard would have been able to figure out that something was up with a white flag being hoisted atop the Brooklyn Bridge. The NYPD proved unable to meet that dubious standard. Yes, they should be annoyed, just not with the pranksters. They should be looking internally for where the lapse in security took place.

              1. You gonna protect every structure in America from terrorist attacks?

                Have any idea what that would cost?

                Better to accept the fact that some attacks are going to happen (which they will anyway) and NOT spend the money.

                For every measure there is a countermeasure and for every countermeasure there is a counter-countermeasure. It’s not hard to kill people if someone sets their mind to it. It’s impossible to prevent.

                There is no security. – Wulfgar

                1. You gonna protect every structure in America from terrorist attacks?

                  They’re going to try, and in the process, they’re going to happily trample all over the citizenry for their own good.

                2. On the other hand, the Brooklyn Bridge isn’t exactly “every structure in America”. It’s a target that would be considered extremely high value. It’s a target is significantly more likely than most to be attacked.

                  But, let me ask, do you have locks on your doors? I’m assuming not, given your comments. I mean, after all, if someone’s determined to break into your home and take your stuff, it’s impossible to prevent. For every measure there is a countermeasure, right?

                  1. Yes, I have locks on my doors. But they are never used (except when going on vacation).

                    Not something I worry about.

                    1. Okay, at least you’re consistent.

                      By the way, why vacation? Seems odd.

                    2. If someone knows I’ll be away, they know they won’t get shot, and might be tempted to try to steal something on a walk in.

                      If I might be home, you might get shot, and that a big deterrent.

                  2. Extremely high value, but only for symbolic reasons, not commercial ones.

                3. I’ll also note, you’re missing my point. Do you think the NYPD is spending less than hiring round-the-clock minimum wage security guards for security of the Brooklyn Bridge?

            2. Hell, when the digital equivalent happens to a website or bank, they just give the guy a job.

              NYPD could save everyone time by saying “no charges, and if you come and show us how you did it, we’ll give you money”.

              1. That actually would be the most rational response.

    2. ^^The most likely explanation.

    3. ^Sadly, this^

    4. Contempt of Cop and Contempt of Politician are the 2 most serious crimes you can be charged with in Modern America

    5. Expect the perps, if found, to be subject to a SWAT raid where no one except the cops survive.

  4. I read that the NYPD is assigning 36 cops to investigate this thing. Good. I hope they’re getting paid double time for it.

    1) Embarrass the state
    2) Cost the state money
    3) No one hurt

    More of this stuff please. If they’re going to piss away money without even slowing down, let’s help them do it.

    1. But….

      it ain’t their money.

      They don’t care.

      1. Right. So why should we? We’ll go over the brink eventually, why delay the inevitable?

        1. Because I’ll be dead before seeing libertopia and I’d just as soon not losing everything I’ve worked for when it goes.

    2. Assign the whole force! If pranks like this get police taken off the streets and assigned to useless make-work, then we need more pranks like this!

    3. Oh, I guarantee someone will get hurt. If they even get a whiff of a trail to the pranksters there will be SWAT teams deployed and anything living will get shot multiple times. A message needs to be sent that the slaves don’t get uppity without consequences.

  5. If there was some hi-tech, Mission-Impossible aspect to this that they could only discover by finding the perps, and that was really a security concern, then maybe go for it.

    I don’t think zip-ties and flags come under that heading, but that’s just me.

  6. The infantilization of America continues as we create a permanent class of sub-adults! Horray!

    Some Honolulu City Councilmembers are trying to raise the age of those who can buy tobacco products on Oahu.

    Councilmember Stanley Chang and Chair Ernie Martin introduced a bill Thursday that would raise the minimum age from 18 to 21.

    Similar moves have been made in other parts in the United States including the Big Island.

    [. . .]

    The bill that was introduced on Thursday, would also raise the age for those buying electronic smoking devices including e-cigarette products that don’t contain nicotine.

    How long until nicotine is put on the controlled substances list? And you can’t even buy nicotine-free e-liquid until you’re 21? What. The. Fuck.

    These public health nannies (as if there is such thing as “public health”) are going to ruin this country. I sure wish we could zoom them back in time to when puritanism was en vogue and keep them the fuck out of our lives.

    1. You should probably go ahead and add caffeine to that.

      1. Way too many people are attached to caffeine for that. Scheduling caffeine is one move that probably would cause mass rioting in the streets.

        1. Why do you hate the children Zeb?

          1. Because they are noisy and demanding and selfish, that’s why.

        2. I’d be too tired to get out and riot.

          1. It would be a quiet riot because everyone would have a headache.

        3. Andropov outlawed vodka…there IS no limit to politician stupidity.

        4. Besides, coffee drinking is cool. Smoking cigarettes is something only low-class and therefore evil people do.

      2. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    2. Some Honolulu City Councilmembers are trying to raise the age of those who can buy tobacco products on Oahu.

      No action required. Generally the age of anybody tends to.increase itself.

    3. Puritanism IS in vogue.

  7. OT, some FaceDerp for ya. He’s too busy fundraising to go on vacation!

  8. Machine gun nests and ack-ack guns for every bridge and tunnel.

    Because they hate us for our freedoms.

    1. Might as well pack every bridge with explosives just to make sure.

      1. Now, *that’s* a “preemptive strike”!

  9. More OT derpitude. Did you know you can purchase these (tiny plastic toy) guns anywhere in Georgia, and bring them into a church, bar, school, or library?! Obscene.

    1. Holy shit. I don’t even know where to start. I guess the first think is why is he worrying about Georgia gun laws when thinking of going for a hike in Mass?

      1. Because he’s a control freak?

    2. When he got close enough, I realized that he wasn’t carrying a gun but a tripod in a carrying case.

      Nevertheless, I decided to sue his ass for causing me such anxiety.

      1. Lucky for the tripod guy that the scared writer wasn’t a scared cop.

    3. Why would anyone ever read anything on DailyKos? Are you into mental self injury? Seriously, seek help.

  10. Let this go and next time it will be worse.


    1. Hadaka jime?

      1. Sankaku-jime!

  12. Ya gotta wonder how different the movie Turk182 would be if they tried to make it today.

    You also have to wonder how long it will be until they rule Role Playing games like Shadowrun and cyberpunk 2020 to be terrorist training manuals

    1. (*()^^%&(^%&*^$&*^&)*^)(^$%

      wtf is this shit with the link limit?

    2. Turk182 would have a lot more machine guns, civilian casualties and definitely not the happy ending. It would close on a long shot of Guantanamo.

    3. They already tried that with Steve Jackson Games and got their penis spanked.

  13. So, let me see if I’ve got this straight.

    1. The existing security precautions do nothing to increase safety while inconveniencing people.

    2. The response to this prank is to show the people that the government will stop at nothing to get at those responsible for bombing the bridge (if it were bombed), which is something they’d do anyway.

    so, why do we need 1.?

    1. Beautiful.

    2. It makes sense when you realize that the only safety they care about is officer safety.

      1. NYPD is embarrassed that the two officers who were supposed to be watching the bridge were instead watching porn on their smart phones and jacking off.

  14. “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman

    If you’ve never read this story, please take a few minutes and enlighten yourself.

  15. Man, I wish this was on a t-shirt so I could wear it when I go to Coney Island today.

  16. Man, I’d hate to be the guy paying for all this shitty theater.

    1. Don’t worry, you are. I’m pretty sure the NYPD gets a bunch of federal funding for “terrorism prevention”. We’re all paying for it.

      1. Thanks for murdering my schadenfreude in its infancy…

  17. Broken windows, man. First these pranksters are bleaching flags, the next thing you know they’re bombing the statue of liberty and leaving a massive mess for UNATCO personnel to clean up.

    1. But just think of the stimulus to the flag and security industry.

  18. I am hoping to see some white or bleached flags get replaced over police precincts. The resulting rage would be epic.

  19. This really does reflect a palpable change in sentiment. According to Wikipedia, after Philippe Petit did his high wire act between the Twin Towers, “All charges were dismissed in exchange for his doing a performance in Central Park for children.”

  20. Duuuuhhhh – – – The French!!!
    This is not rocket surgery.

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