Guest Post: The Yemen Underwear Bomb and Other Hobgoblins

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,

Today it was widely reported that the CIA thwarted a “plot by al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb.”  This bomb, which was to be concealed in a pair of underwear, was designed as an improvement over what Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to use to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day of 2009.  This bomb was upgraded and designed to specifically avoid metal detectors.

At first glance it would appear to be a job well done by the world’s leading domestic affairs meddlers.

But like all of these instances, it was routinely denied “there was ever any immediate threat to the public.”  It was also revealed that:

The bomb plot had allegedly advanced to the point that a would-be suicide bomber was told to buy a ticket on the airliner of his choosing and decide the timing of the attack. It’s not immediately clear what happened to the would-be bomber.

It would seem that what the CIA recovered was essentially just a crudely made bomb.  The supposed bomber was nowhere to be found. There is no evidence presented as to a real threat or plan to use it.

The truth was finally revealed as the would-be bomber was, in fact, a double agent of the CIA.

When considering the nature of the state, this new instance of government supported terrorism is unsurprisingly comparable to previous cases.

Looking back at the original underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the mainstream narrative nowhere matches the disturbing details.  Not only was Abdulmutallab’s explosive device determined not to be functional but, according to undersecretary for management at the State Department Patrick Kennedy, his visa wasn’t confiscated and he was given access to the airplane for the purposes of conducting further investigation.  This came at the request of federal counterterrorism officials.

As former Assistant Secretary to the U.S. Treasury and acclaimed commentator Paul Craig Roberts documents in regards to attempted terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001:

If we look around for the terror that the police state and a decade of war has allegedly protected us from, the terror is hard to find. Except for 9/11 itself, assuming we accept the government’s improbable conspiracy theory explanation, there have been no terror attacks on the US. Indeed, as RT pointed out on August 23, 2011, an investigative program at the University of California discovered that the domestic “terror plots” hyped in the media were plotted by FBI agents.


For example, the Washington DC Metro bombing plot, the New York city subway plot, the plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago were all FBI brainchilds organized and managed by FBI agents.


RT reports that only three plots might have been independent of the FBI, but as none of the three worked they obviously were not the work of such a professional terror organization as Al Qaeda is purported to be. The Times Square car bomb didn’t blow up, and apparently could not have.


Think now about the airliner shoe-bomb plot, the shampoo-bottled water plot, and the underwear-bomb plot. Experts, other than the whores hired by the US government, say that these plots are nonsensical. The “shoe bomb” and “underwear bomb” were colored fireworks powders incapable of blowing up a tin can. The liquid bomb, allegedly mixed up in an airliner toilet room, has been dismissed by experts as fantasy.

Just this past May Day, the FBI reportedly foiled an attempted bombing of a bridge near Cleveland.  But like many instances of domestic terrorism, this operation was aided and facilitated by the FBI itself.  On cue, authorities assured the public it “was never in any danger.”

Far from having their liberty secured, the American public is being lulled into a sense of infant dependency from engineered threats from abroad and at home.

The art of governing can be broken down into two easy steps: scare the citizenry into capitulation with manufactured threats and legislate yourself increasing amounts of power.

With the illusion of monsters from foreign countries breathing down their necks, those infatuated with “national defense” as some unworldly savior are more than willing to bow down and submit themselves to having their privacy torn to shreds for the feeling of security.  They are no better than children who wrap themselves in a blanket for fear of an unknown boogeyman.  The corporate media, never letting an opportunity of state worship go to waste, vets out the reports of threats with little if any vigor.  The Associated Press actually found out about the newly “foiled” underwear bomb threat last week but submitted to White House demands to hold off on reporting the story.  After all, there is too much money at stake to not buddy up with Washington and keep a frightened populace spoon-fed with false delusions.

The danger in such juvenile acceptance of war propaganda is the creeping hand of despotism that must emerge.  For if the public is lead to believe danger lurks in every shadow of the world, it will demand greater and greater protection from exactly those who salivate at the chance to provide it.  From the Patriot Act to the National Defense Authorization Act, private correspondence and due process have been casually tossed aside for the promise of safety.  This vicious cycle is reinforced by contrived instances of impending doom.  The ruling class creates them and then feeds off the panic.

Even Bush administration spokesman Ari Fleischer admitted that “fake” terror alerts were used in 2002 to quell growing criticism amongst the public and particular Congressmen.

The famous Randolph Bourne quote “war is the health of the state” is often invoked as a simple dictum to demonstrate the irrefutable connection between government usurpations of authority and organized combat on a massive, industrialized scale.  Almost any respectable writer, historian, or economist will cite the phrase when addressing the topic of warfare.  That’s because in just seven plain words the mentality and violent temperament of those who sit at the state’s controls are defined so explicitly, it completely disrobes the glory and prestige too often associated with bloodthirsty crusades of patriotism.

Murray Rothbard recognized the underlying immorality of the government’s war machine complex when he wrote:

It is in war that the State really comes into its own: swelling in power, in number, in pride, in absolute domination over the economy and the society.  Society becomes a herd, seeking to kill its alleged enemies, rooting out and suppressing all dissent from the official war effort, happily betraying truth for the supposed public interest.  Society becomes an armed camp, with the values and the morale—as Albert Jay Nock once phrased it—of an “army on the march.”

The alleged Yemen “underwear” bomber was just another fabricated spook in the long line of mounting justifications to keep the war on terror and its profiteers going; no matter the cost.  As long as the American people are still easily whipped into a frenzy over forged menaces from afar, their blood and treasure will go on to be squandered on military boondoggles and redundant intelligence agencies.  War and fear end up becoming a way of life.  And so does the state’s command over what could be a life of peace and tranquility for the nation it supposedly protects.

This isn’t conspiracy theory; just a recognition of the various hobgoblins, as H.L. Mencken described them, invented to justify encroaching totalitarianism.

James E. Miller holds a BS in public administration with a minor in business from Shippensburg University, PA. He is the chief blogger at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada and a current contributor to his hometown newspaper, the Middletown Press and Journal.

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midgetrannyporn's picture

I'm hoping to get groped someday. :sigh:

Dr Benway's picture

What an absolutely disgraceful article. That this is allowed on ZH is a joke.


The undercover agent managed to infiltrate the terror group, steal their new explosive device, and reveal the plotters. How the author through lies and distortion manages to twist this into a negative is a mystery.

Manthong's picture

It would have been an even more uncivilized and  barbaric thing if they had sewn some gold into the scivvies.

Dr Benway's picture

Great. I can choose between the Ponzi Kings and the Conspiracy Loons.


I am soo screwed



"He also handed over the bomb, designed by the group’s top explosives expert to be undetectable at airport security checks, to the F.B.I."

If this is a bad thing, by all means ding me you sheep


lunaticfringe's picture

Hey Doc, there are some people who think a lot like you over at Huffpo. Subscriptions are free.

Oh regional Indian's picture

He's a trolllll, burn himmmmmm....but seriously. 

Butt, Butt, butt. Butt your honour, he had soomething protuding from the front mid-section, errrrr, lower, upper front you know, half-way up and ohhhhh... errrr.... of his body.

Butt, your honour, her behind was all swollen like a water-melon, veryyyy verrrrrrry bomby. In fact, she WAZ DA BOMB.... I felt like exploding seeing her your honour, that is dangerous, no? 

Butt, your honour, I saw the pin for the grenade she was packing inside her womb-bomb hanging out, ready to be pulled....detonation, devastation...

Butt, butt your honour, I was merely employing the squeeze test to ensure there was no false inflation of assets....

What ajoke. And that they have to trot out trolls to butt-er-ass the stroies too....



CIABS's picture

Hey, let's all argue with Dr. Benway!  He plays dumb pretty well, must say...

Dr Benway's picture

You can insult me all you want, but this operation is exactly how the US should proceed going forward, instead of thousands of troops on the ground forever.


Focus on building effective intelligence, use informants and infiltrators effectively, then destroy the terrorists with drone strikes or such.


This operation managed to disrupt a dangerous terrorist cell, acquire the new explosive device made by their expert bombmaker, and kill high-ranking Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso. Total fucking win.


Yes the Gov/CIA/FBI/NSA/TSA are shit, but this is the wrong thing to attack them on. Attack them on the encroachment of civil liberties in America. Criticize the ridiculous TSA policies. Stop the fucking drug war. But keep killing the terrorists.

Benjamin Glutton's picture

Dr. Benway.

Are you unaware that al Qaeda fought on our side in Libya and now Syria?

1 underwear bomb every couple of years enable a worldwide security effort totaling 150 Billion of deficit funding per year. With that kind of funding at stake the threat MUST be made real.

Total fucking loss.


prole's picture

There was a slight mistake with the introductory sentence on today's report:

Today it was widely reported that the CIA concocted a “plot by al CIAda’s affiliate in Yemen to justify more x-ray machines and molesting children and grandmothers by placing another simulated baking powder bomb onboard a U.S.-bound airliner.”

Sheople rush to your standard!

zenbones's picture

This is how it went down.  Contrary to what you would think, the left hand of the CIA doesn't really know what the right hand was doing.  The left hand is trying to combat Al-Qaeda.  What the left hand doesn't realize is that Al-Qaeda is merely an extension of the right hand of the CIA.  Kind of like an extra pinky!

DaveyJones's picture

there is a difference between criticism and insult. 

Dr Benway's picture

Oh so if I don't agree with the herd here on everything, I should leave huh? Fuck you.


This was one of the few times when the CIA/FBI got things right.


Would you really have preferred for this new potentially undetectable bomb to not to have been intercepted? 

chipshot's picture

@lun fri

...Capish you mook?


fixed it for you

The Big Ching-aso's picture



What's the BFD?   When I was a teenager I used to explode in my underwear all the time.

WaterWings's picture

Gother of Mod!

A teenager with inexplicable...arousals...explain!!1

Global Hunter's picture

pure theatre nothing else IMO

AlaricBalth's picture

"This was one of the few times when the CIA/FBI got things right."

And you know this definitively heard it from the MSM? Unless you were there as an eyewitness or you have clearance to read the classified incident report, you cannot be totally certain.

Question everything!

Dr Benway's picture

If you truly were to follow that maxim you wouldn't blindly believe conspiracy theories as you do.


Based on the evidence I have at hand, it seems as though they got it right. Nothing in article above suggests any evidence to the contrary.


So let me ask, what exactly is YOUR proof?

AlaricBalth's picture

Your assumption that I blindly believe in conspiracy theories has no basis in fact whatsoever. I never alluded to such a belief system. All I said was "question everything" after which one should draw his/her own conclusion, rather than rely on what is being "reported".

Secondly, I do not understand why you are asking me for proof of anything. The burden of proof Is always with the person making an assertion. I proposed none, you did.

Your logic is fallacious at best.

Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Your logic is fallacious at best.


Can it be worse than fallacious? 

DaveyJones's picture

You haven't done your homework. What was your doctorate in?

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Now that I'm a lot older, if I keep exploding like this I'm gonna need Kevlar Depends.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


You haven't done your homework. What was your doctorate in?



Acorn10012's picture

Damn, down voting a double post? You're making friends tonight.

prole's picture

Technically far less stupid than all his other posts

One thing for sure though, he is either getting paid for the posts directly, or he is posting to justify his MIC (bloated) paycheck and pension.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Most here have been been aware of undetectable explosives for around a year or two.

Gubmint is just now waking up to the concept apparently. No surprise there.

TNTARG's picture

CIA/FBI "doing things right" is an oximoron.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Dr Benway got skeered real good:

This was one of the few times when the CIA/FBI got things right.

"The truth was finally revealed as the would-be bomber was, in fact, a double agent of the CIA."

Would you really have preferred for this new potentially undetectable bomb to not to have been intercepted?

"It would seem that what the CIA recovered was essentially just a crudely made bomb."

Oh so if I don't agree with the herd here on everything, I should leave huh?

Not at all. Intelligent commentary is appreciated. Hysterical paranoia about "them there terrists" is mocked and ridiculed. Exemplary specimens of idiocy are made to perform for our amusement. The choice is yours.


Dr Benway's picture

1. Yes the agent was an agent. Is there something you're missing here?


2. The claim of crudeness was unsupported by links, the actual link says:


"Intelligence officials believe the explosive is the latest effort of the group’s skilled bomb maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri [...] Unlike the device used in the unsuccessful 2009 attack, this bomb could be detonated in two ways, in case one failed, the official said. The main charge was a high-grade military explosive that “undoubtedly would have brought down an aircraft,” the official said."

toothpicker's picture

Let's all just stop feeding the paid troll

giovanni_f's picture

The snipnet from the Murray Rothbard article nails it. Nothing to be added or subtracted. Dr "Dick Cheney Avatar" Benway is too stupid to be stupid. Simply ignore this bonsai-size agitator.

(Just a thought: Could it be that the purpose proper of Dr "Dick Cheney Avatar" Benway is to collect ZH user names for THE LIST? Or is it a cut-off-from-internet-porn SEC clerk gone mad?)

NumberNone's picture

You may be right in everything you say, but what credibility does the government have when it claims to have 'saved the day'?  Especailly when it admits to being an active part of the plot?  How do we know that they didn't help things along by providing information to the bombmaker in an effort to gain the trust of the group they wanted to infiltrate?  Fast & Furious ring a bell? 

I honestly hope you are right and the good guys really did win one and we have scared the shit out of the bad guys with our insiders.  But you can't fault the suspicious, someone needs to hold everything this fucking government does up to scrutiny. 

Benjamin Glutton's picture

Eventually someone will make gun cotton clothing.




I say we all fly naked.

Paul Atreides's picture

"The undercover agent managed to infiltrate the terror group..."

Al Qaeda was created and is controlled by the CIA, Hitlery Clinton publically admits it.

Learn all about terrorism red herrings and bullshit propaganda from the US whore media here.

Dr Benway's picture

You seriously think that the CIA controls AL Qaeda?


Then you should consult a mental health practitioner.



Ima anal sphincter's picture

Seriously. Go the fuck away.

The majority of ZH's don't fall for the government BS and haven't for a long time. You and other assorted piss-ants can try your best to slam us, but judging by the number of negative votes you're getting, you've been ratted out. If you don't like what most of the posters are saying then LEAVE.


Dr Benway's picture

LOL at simpletons who think being sceptical means blindly believing conspiracy theories instead. The correct response to the admittedly legion lies of the government is not to disbelieve everything.


On topic. Have you actually read the link? And after reading it, can you say it was a bad thing this plot was foiled? SERIOUSLY?

Ima anal sphincter's picture

Alright asshole. Let me put it to you this way.

Our government is full of traitors and murderers. They are completely in control of the bankers. That should be easy enough for you to figure out.

Until ALL those folks have been removed from this earth. The pain and murder will continue. Are you with them?????

Figure it out quickly.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Figure it out quickly.

You've just set the bar way too high for him.


squid_pro_quo's picture

Dr Benway, watch The Power of Nightmares, and then get back to me.

Life on the Internets requires you to do a bit more RESEARCH - believing everything you read is no excuse.

Tom Terrific's picture

"Our government is full of traitors and murderers. They are completely in control of the bankers."


Should read:  Our government is full of traitors and murderers. They are completely in controled by the bankers.