I have reserved my statements on the entire Boston Marathon bombing for several reasons, but in many ways, I am glad I did. It forced me to consolidate some thoughts that allowed me to work through my initial knee jerk reactions.
So, stream of consciousness:
1. The instant I heard about the bombs, I prayed for the victims. I thought many more would die than did; and although this was a horrendous tragedy, this could have been far worse. A more enclosed or more heavily populated situation would have resulted in far more deaths and maiming.
2. The media, again, proved itself unworthy of any faith or respect. Virtually every network I watched within the first few hours focused on…anti-government right wing groups. To be fair, I would not have excluded that possibility at all. But I also wouldn’t have excluded the possibility of liberal extremists, communists, animal rights groups, etc. But this had, from the very beginning, the hallmarks of Muslim terrorists. The media simply went with their biases, more than the little evidence they had at hand.
The inability of the media to focus on the most apparent and most likely suspects in this bombing is not disastrous, but is worrisome. There is a weird thread of political correctness now permeating the liberal intelligentsia of our country, both in the media and within politics. Just listen to the ambivalence of our politicians, from the President on down, to target the most likely culprits (Islamofascists), and watch their discomfort now that the culprits are proven to be Muslim fanatics. They are having great difficulty in facing that reality.
One other mistake by the media was publishing pictures of random people with backpacks at the Marathon, the worst offenders being the New York Post. I understand the reason, but publishing pictures of many innocent individuals seems amateurish to me.
3. Although the media was inept during much of this story, that doesn’t really hold true for our intelligence services. I have friends within the FBI, and very early on, as the facts of the type of bomb and other tidbits came in, they were very quick to focus on a Islamic threat. They let the facts drive their investigation, unlike the media who apparently let their every delusion drive their stories.
4. Applaud the Boston Police, and the task force that identified and captured the bombers.
5. As for the Watertown lock down. There has been a lot of talk about the legality of their forced martial law (without imposition of martial law) to capture the last bomber.
I will say this: if the police came to my house, and asked to search it, I would probably allow them to do so.
That said, the real legal question is if I refused to allow them access to my house. See the video below…did the homeowners have the ability to refuse the police in this situation?
Even if they could have refused the police entry, then what? Every American should have the constitutional right to refuse entry to anyone without a warrant. What would have happened in this case? Would they have broken down the door? Or would they have gone and received a warrant? Clearly, the second option would be preferable.
I think the appropriate process in this situation would have been to go and obtain a search warrant for the general area, that also included the domiciles in that area. The search would be exclusively for the bombers, and any additional criminal evidence would not be permissible outside of the specifics of this warrant. That would have given the police the power to search where they wished, while still giving some judicial oversight.
It will be interesting to see where the ACLU and other liberal liberty groups end up on this issue. A review of the procedures would also be beneficial to citizens and police alike, to see what was done right, what was done wrong, and what can be done better.
6. The facts of whether these individuals received international support in this attack still remains elusive. But it is clear that the war on terror exists, whether this administration accepts that term or not.
7. Finally, as for the criminal process regarding Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Initially, the Justice Department did not provide Miranda rights to Tsarnaev, using a federal exemption that allows the government to reserve those rights in case of an ‘imminent threat’. I think clearly this was the right decision.
There has been further discussion about whether he should have been treated as an Enemy combatant (EC). I again agree with the Obama Administration. I have been quite clear on this issue, as have most conservatives outside of the John McCain/Lindsey Graham axis. If you are a legal American resident, you deserve all constitutional protections, no matter how evil an individual you are.
The exception to this, of course, is if you are actively working with a foreign nation or overseas terror group. In that case, and that case alone, you could treat an American citizen as an EC. However, the evidence does not show that to be the case yet.
Furthermore, as an American citizen, the appropriate criminal prosecution of such connections may be treason. To try him for treason would fit the rule of law, while protecting our constitutional rights.
In this case, we simply did not have to go through an alternative legal course to receive the justice the country deserves. The Obama Administration so far has made the right call.
This was cross posted at Neoavatara.