In a series of tweets, Tom Sauer -- who is identified as the president and founder of The MacArthur Group and a retired U.S. Navy demolitions expert -- cast doubts on the reports about alleged explosive devices that were sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the headquarters of CNN on Wednesday.
“A few observations from a former bomb disposal officer (i.e. Me):
“1. Proper pipe bombs don't have wires connected to both ends. That's dumb.
“2. You can find timers / remote control receivers WAY smaller than whatever that white box is. A proper timer would best be stored inside the pipe, making it fully encapsulated. That thing is just silly looking.
“4. "Hoax Devices" are FAR more common than real ones. In which case, we should ask ourselves what the motives of the "bomber" are and "who benefits?"
“Go ahead. Think deeply and critically.
“3. Bottom Line: Whoever made that wanted it to be painfully obvious to anyone and everyone that it's a "bomb." This is nearly the same as a bundle of road flares wrapped together with an old-timey alarm clock ticking away.”
One of the responses to Sauer’s analysis asserted that a photograph of one of the alleged explosive devices may have been “propaganda.” Bearing the Twitter handle “Grim Bane’s Folly,” a tweet to Sauer noted: “As former LEO - We would NEVER release images or ANY information about an alleged explosive device(s), details about how they arrived or anything like that...this would be a full black out, wide open investigation. This is propaganda folks.” LEO is an acronym that may stand for Law Enforcement Officer. To this, Sauer tweeted, “Nailed it. Also, the photo doesn’t appear to be taken by a bomb tech or crime scene investigator. Bad angle, poor lighting, etc. So if it’s being taken by a journalist... Why would they let them near a “live” pipe bomb???”
When another denizen of Twitter, PapaSwamp, asked “Who mails a ‘device to people who haven’t opened their own mail in years...to decades,” Sauer answered: “People who are only interested in making headlines and stealing narratives. That’s who.” In another tweet, Sauer suggested that a bomb intended for activation by a victim would probably not be sent through the mail.
Observers have noted that the stamps on the package delivered to Hillary Clinton were not cancelled, as is standard practice by the US Postal Service. It has raised questions that the package may have been hand delivered.
Others have also cast doubt on the purposes to which the supposed bombs may have been directed.
For example, actor and conservative James Woods noted that the news about the bombs drove reports about the so-called “migrant caravan” out of the news. Author and controversialist Ann Coulter tweeted on Wednesday that the use of bombs is a tactic more typical of liberals, while recalling the infamous Haymarket bomb of more than a century ago in New York City, as well as the Unibomber of the 1980s. Cartoonist and author Scott Adams suggested in a tweet that because the bombs did not actually detonate that they may have been sent by Democrats.
Nevertheless, House Minority Leader and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sought to link President Trump to the supposed bombs. Sen. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a joint statement Wednesday that Trump's words of condemnation "ring hollow."
"We listened with great interest to the President's remarks this afternoon. We all take an oath to support and defend the constitution and protect the American people, and that is our first responsibility," said Schumer and Pelosi. "However, President Trump's words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence."
"Time and time again, the President has condoned physical violence and divided Americans with his words and his actions," the joint statement read. "Expressing support for the Congressman who body-slammed a reporter, the neo-Nazis who killed a young woman in Charlottesville, his supporters at rallies who get violent with protestors, dictators around the world who murder their own citizens, and referring to the free press as the enemy of the people."
On Wednesday, Trump interrupted an event at the White House to forcefully condemn acts of political violence. At a bill signing ceremony, which First Lady Melania Trump attended, the president said, "I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify." Trump said "We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that threats or acts of political violence have no place in the United States of America."
"It's a very bipartisan statement," he said. "This egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans."
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.