Bomb or glorified firecracker? Harmful intent or 'boys will be boys'?

What causes someone to be branded a terrorist? Or a security threat? Is it harmful intent? It is having a history of exploding bombs for entertainment value? Is it carrying a bomb onto an airplane?

What if you're a white, Christian, U.S. boy with Republican parents? In that case, maybe the mayor will defend you as only having made a "glorified firecracker" and accidentally putting it in your luggage. It's harmless, because as we all know, "boys like to see things go bang".

Can you imagine anyone else doing the same thing, and while out on bail, only having to live at Mommy & Daddy's, and adhere to a 10pm curfew? How would this situation be different if the guy wasn't white? Or if he was Muslim? Imagine the field day Homeland Security and the media would have, even if no ties were found to a terrorist organization.

Federal agents arrested Charles Alfred Dreyling Jr., 24, on Wednesday at a security checkpoint after a Transportation Security Administration employee noticed something suspicious in his carryon luggage as it went through an X-ray machine about 9:30 a.m., FBI spokesman Gary Johnson said.

The device was described in an FBI affidavit as a carbon dioxide cartridge filled with gunpowder that could be detonated when connected to a power source such as the batteries Dreyling had in his electric razor and in his cell phone, which were also in his carryon bag.

Dreyling faces a federal charge of trying to get on an aircraft with an explosive device. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He was released to the custody of his mother, Vicki Dreyling. His terms of release include living at his parents' home in north Oklahoma City and a 10 p.m. curfew.

Former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys, who is Dreyling's landlord and his longtime friend, also came to the hearing.

Humphreys said Dreyling had created a ''glorified firecracker'' and then forgotten that it was in his luggage.

Dreyling said he learned as a teenager how to build homemade explosives from Web sites like ''The Anarchist's Cook Book.'' Dreyling said he has built and detonated several explosive devices for recreational purposes, according to the affidavit.

He also told authorities that he had a bag of gunpowder, an empty carbon dioxide cartridge, and several ignitors in his Norman residence, according to the affidavit.

[Mayor Humphries said] "I have every confidence that they'll find out Charlie Dreyling is a fine young man and no terrorist. He had a little explosive device, and boys like to see things go bang. He took it down to an outing at the lake, left it in his bag, forgot it and went to the airport."

August 12, 2005 Airport Business article
(via Hullabaloo and Canadian Cynic)


  1. Aside from the fact that if a guy can be classified as a "boy" at 24yrs old said guy must be seriously developmentally delayed (and doesn't W consider it okay to execute DD's?) the whole "boys will be boys" thing is is not a criminal fucking defense. It is a much-used excuse to let boys behave like (and turn into) spoilt pricks.

    If he'd been Muslim he'd be in Guatanamo.