Prior to the fictional events in “Breaking Bad” ricin was used several times as both a tool of assassination as well as a weapon of terrorism. It’s cheap and easy to make and no known antitoxins existed until just a couple of years ago.
The beans themselves can kill an adult if injested, and the amount of pure ricin extract that’s lethal is less than the amount of venom a bee stings you with.
On a hot day in June 2004, the Pashtun tribesman was lounging inside a mud compound in South Waziristan, speaking by satellite phone to one of the many reporters who regularly interviewed him on how he had fought and humbledPakistan’s army in the country’s western mountains. He asked one of his followers about the strange, metallic bird hovering above him.
Less than 24 hours later, a missile tore through the compound, severing Mr. Muhammad’s left leg and killing him and several others, including two boys, ages 10 and 16. A Pakistani military spokesman was quick to claim responsibility for the attack, saying that Pakistani forces had fired at the compound.
That was a lie.
Mr. Muhammad and his followers had been killed by theC.I.A., the first time it had deployed a Predator drone in Pakistan to carry out a “targeted killing.” The target was not a top operative of Al Qaeda, but a Pakistani ally of theTaliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. In a secret deal, the C.I.A. had agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies.
That back-room bargain, described in detail for the first time in interviews with more than a dozen officials in Pakistan and the United States, is critical to understanding the origins of a covert drone war that began under the Bush administration, was embraced and expanded by President Obama, and is now the subject of fierce debate. The deal, a month after a blistering internal report about abuses in the C.I.A.’s network of secret prisons, paved the way for the C.I.A. to change its focus from capturing terrorists to killing them, and helped transform an agency that began as a cold war espionage service into a paramilitary organization.
This is a somewhat familiar sight to me, the abandoned military complex. We’ve talked about this type of urban exploration before and have even put together this guide for people who decide to poke their heads underground for a quick look-see.
I gotta remind you, though, everything down there is falling apart, including much of what you’ll be standing on. And the surface of everything is going to be rusting and growing weirdo no-light-needed life that’s guaranteed to be bad for you, and anything you’ll be standing in won’t be water, but some really damp heavy metals and other shit that is toxic in ways medical science has yet to fully understand.
And that’s assuming you don’t fall; falling being one of the greatest killers of mankind.
That being said, there’s only one way to get these pictures and go on this type of adventure, so get your fookin’ rope and goggle up, ’cause these places won’t be there forever. More pictures after the jump. (more…)
Bruce Schneier’s a security specialist with his own Internet meme. And while most people believe that technology elevates, improves things, Schneier holds that technology magnifies, makes things bigger, good and…