Ezra Levant takes a closer look at the police investigation of the Boston manhunt. Was the lockdown of Boston a step too far, did law enforcement do all they could do?
This report aired on The Source April 22 2013.
Jack Cloonan is a former FBI agent and he shares his thoughts on the state’s handling of the Boston bombing.
This report aired on The Source April 23 2013.
Four days after the bombing of the Boston Marathon, one suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was dead and the other, his brother Dzhokhar, was captured.
More than a million Bostonians were allowed to return to a semblance of normal life.
The governor of Massachusetts had put the city under a light form of martial law, called a “shelter in place” order.
Citizens were told to stay home, all public transit was cancelled, public workers were told not to come to work, schools were closed and some major streets, too.
Instead, the city was filled with police.
But they hardly looked like police – they looked like soldiers wearing military camouflage, in armoured vehicles. So now that the suspects are off the street, can we ask some questions?
The terrorist attack on the marathon was horrific.
But on the scale of terrorism, it wasn’t massive.
Did a hunt for two people require the city and its suburbs to be shut down?
Isn’t a governor desperately telling people to stay at home, and shutting down public institutions, a terrifying sight in itself and a cause of panic and economic loss?
And what about the message?
Two terrorists, with homemade pressure-cooker bombs, were able to shut down one of America’s great cities.
Was it really necessary to deploy soldiers in military attire?
Why – to scare the terrorists?
It sure scared the rest of the city.
Is this the new normal? Are we being conditioned, as citizens, to a soft form of martial law?
No police force can prevent a terrorist bombing with certainty.
But how did the bombers escape the scene?
More importantly, what about when the brothers had a shootout with cops – presumably dozens, perhaps hundreds of police, probably a helicopter, surely with night-vision and other electronic technology?
That’s when police captured Tamerlan, the older brother, and were handcuffing him, when, police claim, his younger brother Dzhokhar jumped in a car, and barreled right at the cops, who jumped out of the way, and Dzhokhar ran over his own brother and dragged him.
Let’s assume it really happened that way, that one of the fugitives was in custody, and police flubbed it.
But how on earth did Dzhokhar just drive away?
Did the police not have other cars that could chase him?
Did they not have helicopters? Radios to call ahead?
Did they not observe the appearance of the car? Did they just “lose” him on a city street?
Dzhokhar was finally caught, but not by the largest dragnet in Massachusetts history.
Some guy, stepping out of his house where he had been ordered to stay put, saw something funny about his boat that was tied up in the back, went to look, and there he was. How did the Tsarnaevs slip through police fingers before?
The FBI acknowledges they interviewed Tamerlan, based on a tip from a foreign government – probably Russia. Last year, he visited Chechnya and Dagestan, hotbeds of Islamic terrorist networks. How did the FBI not take note? Or did they take note, but not take action? What good is a surveillance state, and our privacy violated, if when the police actually find something, they are too politically correct to do anything about it?
We need to watch out for terrorists. But we need to watch the watchmen, too.
This column was written for Sun News April 23 2013.