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Lemma 2: Sabotage

Lemma 1   Lemma 2   Lemma 3

Human Intervention To Destroy the Plane. This is the frequently proposed scenario that seems more palatable, implying human intervention to destroy the plane. This includes (I emphasize) pilot suicide as happened in the case of Germanwings Flight 9525 on 24 March 2015. But it could also involve deliberate sabotage for obviously suicidal reasons by a third party on board.

Distinction between Destroy and Hijack. We must draw a distinction between Lemma 2 (Sabotage, Destroy) and Lemma 3 (Hijack for Some Further Nefarious Purpose). In Lemma 2, the plane goes down and that is the end of the plot. In Lemma 3, hijacking is only the first step in accomplishing some further mission. What I fear is another 9/11, which is why we must not stop talking about Hijack, even though I suspect talking heads want to lump this legitimate question in with some of the crazy conspiracy theories that have arisen for fun and profit. I maintain full respect and sympathy for grieving relatives while warning of another 9/11 in the making. Remember, the pattern of terrorists has been to use means of transportation as their vehicle for mass murder (New York, London, Madrid, and others). I'll discuss this under Lemma 3.

Suicide? Grudge? There are any number of possible scenarios for sabotage (meaning destruction, as opposed to hijack). For example, someone with a family grudge and a suicidal streak (like our various theater shooters of late in the United States) might have wanted to kill him or herself, plus the offending party on board, and all the other innocent lives with them. However, in the light of so much reported bungling by Vietnamese and Malaysian authorities, one cannot glibly join the Malaysians in discounting the following fact: namely, that there were two young Iranian men on board, traveling on stolen passports. Their age, gender, and other characteristics place them in prime suspect profiles as potential hijackers. They made their way illegally onto the flight carrying passports stolen in Europe (see Lemma 3: Hijack.

Skills Needed. This same consideration covers both Lemma 2 (Sabotage) and Lemma 3 (Hijack): The perpetrators had to have a tremendous amount of technical knowledge. Remember that the 9/11 terrorists trained at a flight school in Florida, and that partisan bureaucrats stifled reports filtered uphill by U.S. Federal investigative agencies, or 9/11 might have been prevented. We need to avoid any repetition of bureaucratic and partisan hackery in preventing the next 9/11. Whether sabotage or hijack, this is true in both lemmas.

Sabotage Defined. As an interesting historical note, unrelated to our topic but entertaining, sabotage is a French word coined during the 1800s. It refers to the wooden shoes (sabots, sing. sabot) or clogs still being worn by poor peasants and workers in various countries during the Industrial Revolution. A related English term is Luddite, for Ned Ludd. In both contexts, workers were encouraged to throw sabots and other objects into the turning gears of industrial machinery to prevent jobs being eliminated through automation.

Keep Tracking. In all fairness, I will keep tracking this lemma of the discussion. More soon as it develops.

Lemma 1   Lemma 2   Lemma 3


A Novel and Thought Experiment
by John T. Cullen

"Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."


Print Edition: Order from any bookstore or major online retailer—e.g., or Print ISBN=9780743316422.

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