On April 15, 2013, a cowardly and hateful act claimed the lives of three innocent people attending the Boston Marathon, and injured over a hundred more. Despite the tragic consequences, I would not label this as terrorism. The authentic act of terrorism occurred on April 19th.
I do not wish to minimize the events of the Marathon bombing. Clearly it was a horrendous crime, and a great loss for the victims and their families. But random, senseless murders of three or more people occur in America on a daily basis. Had the victims been three black teenagers on their way to school, it scarcely would have merited a mention on the local evening news. Only the fact the the murders occurred at an internationally televised event, coupled with the large number of injuries, made this crime different.
The real terrorists in this case were officials of the US government and the state of Massachusetts, who, using the manhunt for the culprits as justification, placed Boston and its suburbs under what was in effect martial law. I want to stress that I am not criticizing any of the police and firefighters who heroically helped in the aftermath of the bombing. These troops were not first responders; they were an occupying army.
Ironically, it was not the curfew (they’re calling it a “request”) or the illegal house-to-house searches that led to the arrest of the second suspect. It was a citizen who discovered the young man hiding in his back yard. If this had happened here in Arizona, where most citizens are armed, chances are good that the citizen would have apprehended him as well.
It is my belief that the lock-down of Boston was immoral, unconstitutional, and completely unnecessary. In the absence of an active public insurrection, this was an unprecedented event in US history. It’s also nauseating to see the degree of meek compliance by the citizenry in a city that was once the cradle of American liberty.
I hope that in the midst of the celebrations that the “bad guy” has been caught – and hopefully this young Chechen man was indeed the only surviving perpetrator – Americans will pause and reflect on who the real terrorists were in this incident. Perhaps next time (and as long as the US military continues to interfere in the Islamic world, more such incidents are likely) the public response will be different.