Minutes following the Boston Bombing the demand for justice – if not vengeance – was in full demand. People were scared, confused, not knowing if there would be other attacks and in what form they might come. And there was more violence, resulting in the tragic death of an MIT Police Officer Sean A. Collier, as well as the several officers injured in the ensuing manhunt. Was the government’s reaction to the terror threat too strong? Did it step beyond the bounds of reason and into the arena of a police state in full swing under martial law? I don’t think so. But Bill Maher and Ron Paul certainly do.
Bill Maher’s Perspective
“This country is becoming a police state and it is very troubling to me,” Maher said, later adding, “The British police don’t even carry guns, let alone have tanks.” MSNBC contributor Robert Traynham noted that the heavy police presence was far from typical. “What we saw was a federal response after a horrific bombing.” – Bill Maher, theblaze.com
To be fair in representing Bill Maher’s stance, please watch the video of him and his panel discussing these concerns.
I Agree The Country Is Becoming A Police State
With the Patriot Act, The NDAA Act, the outrageous amount of warrantless wiretapping and surveillance of the public, as well as the privatized prison system, all give credence to this real fear. Americans treasure the ideal of freedom, but the word freedom has become orwellian doublespeak to create fear and strip Americans of constitutional rights to privacy. Now, in holding this firm position of seeing clearly that America is becoming a police state, that does not immediately require me to cry out, ‘false flag‘, or in fairness to Bill Maher and Ron Paul on this particular argument, ‘an excuse to impose martial law and further institutionalizing a police state’. Before I elaborate on my own views, let’s hear from Ron Paul.
Ron Paul’s View
“The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city,” Paul writes. “This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.” – Ron Paul, Bostonglobe.com
Alright, follow the above link to read the rest of Ron’s thoughts, but I’ll take it from here. A police investigation? Was this a terrorist attack or not? I think we have reached a common consensus that it was a terrorist attack. If there’s a murder in Boston, it might take days, weeks, or months to catch the perpetrator using only the police resources. Or they might never find the right person and bring them to justice. Immediately following a bombing at the Boston Marathon, it would seem grossly inadequate not to involve further government resources to bring as immediate a resolution as possible to the situation.
Keeping Our Reaction To Terrorism In Perspective
Did the military style vehicles and weaponry look imposing rolling down the streets? Yes. Was a form of martial law enforced for a short period, enabling police to search people’s houses without a warrant? Yes. But once the first bomber was killed, and the second apprehended, the military arsenal left, transportation was restored, and life began to return to a sense of normalcy. It would have been a gross injustice if people were arrested for being found with drugs in their houses while their premises were being searched for the suspects, but they were not. If it comes to pass that this does happen retrospectively, I’ll report on it, and I’ll be outraged, but as cynical as I am about the war on drugs, I don’t foresee this happening.
If the transportation system had not been shut down, if Boston was not put on lockdown, and if government resources were not allocated to the effort to join with the Boston police force, and these terrorists had continued their terror spree, what then would be Bill Maher and Ron Paul’s response? They did have more bombs and guns – it’s an extremely reasonable assumption that more people could have died, or in the least, the fear of having these terrorists still on the loose would be an untenable reality still.
Here’s what we shouldn’t do in the wake of a terrorist attack; condemn all peoples sharing the same religion or ethnicity, invade and occupy a country that had zero to do with it – Iraq in the case of 9/11, and overstay our occupation in Afghanistan. I will also add that we should not have instituted the Patriot Act or NDAA Act, or torture people and create institutions like Guantanamo Bay. There’s a laundry list of grievances I have with the government and our media in their response to terrorist attacks in the past, but in the case of the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon, excessive force or not, we got the job done and minimized the collateral damage to the citizens of Boston who, throughout the ordeal, felt the reality of a clear and present danger.
Please feel free to comment with your own thoughts, be they in agreeance with Bill and Ron, or more in line with my own take, or somewhere off on a different tangent. There’s many specific instances in this story that could be isolated and dissected – for instance the 200 bullets fired into the boat. As is almost inevitably the case, this is not a cut and dry situation.