Does It Matter Which Crazy Sent the Bombs? (UPDATED)
[UPDATE AT END}
Despite the vehement protestations of partisans on cable news, Twitter, etc., it shouldn't matter whether a crazy of the right or left sent the growing number of crude pipe bombs to Democratic Party politicians and their supporters in the media and Hollywood.
But I will get to that in a minute. First, let's examine the suspects.
The possibility a foreign power is trying to disrupt our political system, as the Russians did to some extent via the Internet during the presidential election, exists but is remote. It seems unlikely another country or its intelligence agencies would risk being unmasked in a matter of potential violence against our officials. The results could be catastrophic for them and they know it. Of course, it could be unsanctioned, or supposedly unsanctioned, behavior by foreigners. So give it two or three percent.
This leaves us with right-wing and left-wing actors and the similarly remote wild person with no real affiliation or intention other than causing mayhem weeks before an election. Call that the mega-malignant-narcissism motive, in other words me-me-me.
Actors of the extreme left and right have plenty of that too, but we'll discount this supposedly impartial character for now and get down to the left-right nitty gritty.
In a country of 320+ million (or even just in Florida with a population of 21 million -- reportedly the mailing point of at least some of the packages) we can assume there are more than enough crazies on both sides to undertake such actions and then some.
At this juncture, it is impossible to determine whether it was done by someone on the right (as a direct attack or threat against its targets) or the left (as a "false flag" operation aimed at discrediting Republicans and Trump in advance of the election).
What we do know is that if the intent was to kill or maim, the perpetrator or perpetrators were extraordinarily inept. With all the successful bombings going on in the world, literally on a daily basis, this amateur -- or deliberate amateur or amateurs -- is no candidate for al-Qaeda or ISIS. This is all the more true with bomb-making instructions of all sorts readily available on the Internet, many of them quite accurate. (No, don't go there. You will be tracked.)
Under the (predictably) misleading headline "Investigators treating packages as 'live devices,' not hoax" (of course, they are -- they'd be imbeciles not to), the AP tells us late Thursday:
Law enforcement officials said the devices, containing timers and batteries, were not rigged like a booby-trapped package bomb that would explode upon opening. But the officials were still uncertain whether the devices were poorly designed or never intended to cause physical harm.