Monday, January 10, 2005

Goat-Borne IED (GBIED)

There is much too-doo about IED's in Iraq. With good reason. They kill our guys every day, and the enemy grows more proficient and inventive every day.

It started with your run-of-the-mill Improvised Explosive Device, a detonation device + explosives=damn it, there's another. Then they started using cars, and the VBIED (Vehicle-Borne IED) was, um...born. They are devestating and they can target buildings, convoys, large gatherings of children, you name it. More times than not, though, they just kill the asshole driving them, and annoy the crap out of everyone stuck in traffic after the roads get closed.

Then they started tucking them neatly into carcasses on the side of the road. Road Kill Borne IED, RKB-IED. Dogs, camels, whatever can hide explosives, up its ass go the explosives. So add insult to injury, quite literally--if the explosives don't kill you, the rotting camel flesh will paper your vehicle and probably land right on the uncovered sliver of your face.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Enter the JABIED. Jack Ass Borne IED. Yes, friends and neighbors, there was a jackass strolling down the highway down south with all manner of explosives strapped to its unfortunate hide. Pulling a cart, filled with, you guessed it, more explosives. Mortar rounds, the Insurgent's Explosive of Choice: cheap, plentiful, easy to bury in your momma's front yard.

So once you think you've seen it all, enter the Louisiana National Guard. I love them as people, I lived in New Orleans long enough to fall in love with the Louisiana way of life. In this arena, though, that devil-may-care philosophy gets guys killed. And makes them the laughingstock of the Division.

They pulled over a car--suspicious, they said. In the car: a man, and one (1) goat. They tested the goat with X-Spray, which is the litmus test for explosives. It is completely unreliable and the ACLU would hang someone by their toenails in the States for jailing someone based on this crap.

So our good Louisiana friends, they X-Spray the goat. He comes up hot. Put 'im in the BIF! He's going to Abu Ghrayeb! The chorus swells within the patrol. The BIF is the Brigade Interrogation Facility, which is not nearly so sinister as it sounds. Mostly bad-smelling dudes and the occasional Real Bad Guy. Lately, we've gotten a few Really Bad Guys. It's been rewarding.

No kidding, they detained the goat and his driver. Interrogated him. Charged them with Plans to Build and Utilize the First Goat Borne IED in Iraq.

My boss recommended fingerprinting the goat and planting a GPS chip on him, see what nefarious Goat Cell we can bust up when we see where he roams next. They were released the next day.

Never a dull moment, and I almost hate that we're losing the Louisiana battalion (they'll be subordinate to their Louisiana National Guard Brigade)--they were HIGH entertainment.