This is what Washington Post columnist and torture advocate Marc Thiessen has to have pictured: A swarthy Middle-Eastern man, with full-on, untreated Ebola, which means he's shitting and vomiting all over the place, bleeding from several orifices, staggering unnoticed into a crowded area, maybe a mall, and detonating a suicide vest, spraying bits of his body and fluids all over everyone who didn't die from the actual explosion, a kind of biological bomb, thus giving Ebola to perhaps dozens of people.
Every once in a while, you can read the most fucked-up shit in what is ostensibly mainstream media, shit that envisions the darkest scenarios or describes the most horrific crimes, like there's an editor whose sole job is to troll the internet for nightmare fuel and send it to the writers. "Hey, Thiessen," he'd say, "which do want: human Ebola bomb or Muslim sex dungeon for donkeys or Vladimir Putin's baby-eating?"
For in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "playground of dementia built by a particularly savage masturbator"), Thiessen is all about making us wonder "What if?" as in, "What if the terrorists weaponized Ebola?" As he explains, "[T]he Ebola infection is raging right now in parts of Africa where Islamist extremists could have easy access."
And it ain't just suicide-infecting that Thiessen is talking about: "Terrorists could collect samples of infected body fluids, and then place them on doorknobs, handrails or airplane tray tables, allowing Ebola to spread quietly before officials even realize that a biological attack has taken place." That's right: some enterprising young terrorist could find Ebola patients, tap some of their blood or diarrhea or snot or something, maybe jack off a few lucky, unsuspecting Ebola dudes, perhaps "fill up a few Zip-Loc bags" with Ebola spooge, as Salon's Simon Maloy says in his Thiessen takedown, and then swab it on subway seats or vegetables or something. Then...profit?
Let's put aside that even if you popped an Ebola patient like a pimple, you'd have to get the fluids into an open cut or a mouth or eyes to even have a shot at sickening someone. Let's put aside the chances of someone getting Ebola from touching an infected doorknob are incredibly low. Let's put aside that the Ebola in the Zip-Loc would have to be used within a couple of hours of defrosting for it to survive on the surface of a restaurant's fork.
Instead, let's focus on how quickly Thiessen's column went from ludicrously over-the-top to completely useless bullshit. For, perhaps, when he was writing it this weekend, Thiessen felt free to say, "[I]f our health-care system was unable to handle a single Ebola patient, imagine what would happen if 50, 100 or more Ebola patients started showing up at U.S. hospitals." Now we know that our health care system handled it. Quite well, in fact. And with screening underway at all airports that West Africans can fly into, unless that Ebola-filled terrorist is gonna risk an ocean voyage, it's gonna be pretty tough to get into the United States without a hospital visit if you're sick.
But, hey, as the start of Thiessen's new fantasy dystopian novel, an Ebola man-bomb is pretty good. In reality? Let's be real.