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Expect less freedom of movement after Boston Marathon attacks

April 16, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
It isn't clear yet who's behind the horrific bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon that killed three and severely injured more than 170 people. However, speculation is rampant and that's one of the problems with our 24/7 news culture. People immediately began speculating yesterday about which group might be behind the latest atrocity. People want a satisfying explanation that fits their own prejudices and world view. In a post-9/11 country that is in its 12th year of war the most obvious explanation, especially among conservative Americans, is that radical Muslims, homegrown or imported, are responsible.

It didn't help that the New York Daily News reported within hours that that a 20-year-old Saudi national who was injured in the blast is a suspect. Maybe the Saudi is to blame; maybe he's another unfortunate soul who happened to be standing in the wrong place when the bomb went off. Not enough information has been released to determine the facts. How terrible if he turns out to be innocent and has been found guilty without trial in the court of public opinion.

People of all political persuasions are guilty of premature speculation. The other popular theory among left-wing Democrats seems to be that this is the work of right-winger Americans, perhaps of the Tea Party persuasion, who chose to attack in Boston (the site of the original Boston Tea Party) on Tax Day (also Patriots' Day in Massachusetts).

People recalled the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which was spearheaded by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, allegedly in retaliation for the siege on the Weaver family at Ruby Ridge in rural Idaho in August 1992 and the siege on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas that ended violently on April 19, 1993.

Of course it could also turn out to be the work of some mentally ill, but clever, lone bomber.

At this point no one knows anything except that great evil and violence has visited the Boston marathon and, in the future, the rest of us can likely expect even greater security measures at large-scale events like this one. Whoever he or she is, the Boston marathon bomber has robbed all Americans of a little more of our freedom this week.


Article Comments



Apr-19-13 11:41 AM

--Continued -- It's going to be interesting to see what led to this. They learned how to make these bombs somewhere? Where? Have they made any trips out of the country recently? Who are their friends? These two guys look white and probably could have passed as Italian or white Hispanics. The younger man speaks English with no accent. The crowd immediately picked out the men in the crowd who looked Arab as possible suspects and they are likely innocent bystanders. This is probably one of the reasons why profiling young Arab men as potential terrorists isn't going to catch every potential threat. I would assume that anyone interested in carrying out this sort of attack is recruiting men like these two guys who can blend into a crowd in the United States.


Apr-19-13 11:34 AM

Well, maybe now we can speculate now that we have a couple of suspects: Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed, and his younger brother Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 20, who is on the run. Various news reports indicate the family is of Chechen origin. Chechnya is a predominantly Islamic area of Russia that has been the site of ongoing conflict since the 1990s. Chechen terrorists killed hundreds at a school in Beslan, Russia in 2004. This particular family fled Chechnya during one of the conflicts and lived in Kyrgyzstan before coming to the United States about a decade ago. The father is still in Russia. The younger brother was apparently completely Americanized, based on the reports of high school friends; the older brother was apparently a radical. Authorities apparently haven't ruled out the idea that others might have been involved.


Apr-18-13 12:21 PM

Unfortunately, I think you're right. Privacy rights have pretty much gone by the wayside anyway, sometimes given up freely. I'm amazed at some of the things my young relatives willingly reveal on Facebook.


Apr-18-13 9:08 AM

I imagine there is a possibility that someone who identifies as an "other" is responsible. But we don't know.


Apr-17-13 4:03 PM

Over and over the law abiding public is restricted for the acts of criminals. At this pace all people if allowed to be born will be born with no presumed innocence. Everybody will be born as criminals and will never know freedom, liberty or justice.


Apr-17-13 12:03 PM

You're free to move ... with restrictions.

Schools now require visitors badges at a minimum and background checks and escorts for certain visitors to their buildings.

Air travel is an invasive and occasionally humiliating experience.

I'd predict that any major gathering -- i.e. the state fair, concerts, maybe even eventually malls and movie theaters -- will start using metal detectors, baggage searches, security guards eyeballing the attendees. You can always choose not to go to those events. I choose to take the train or drive rather than fly. On the other hand, it may get hard to avoid the nuisance of security checks after events such as this one, even though they're rare.

No one knows who did this. "She" is as likely to be accurate as "he" at this point.


Apr-17-13 8:23 AM

I pay for a drivers license and insurance to be allowed to move by the modern means of the day. Which by the way is one of our "rights".


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