Thoughts on the Boston Marathon bombing UPDATED

A twitter image showing a blood stained street in Boston

Because I’m now a semi-official journalist, I’ve been working hard to write up-to-the-minute posts about the horrible Boston Marathon bombing.  Here’s the latest Mr. Conservative post, which I was able to write following my Twitter feed.  It’s been substantially updated since I wrote it, so it’s (a) under Katie Kieffer’s name, since we worked on it together, and (b) it has a ton of graphic images, so click on it with care.  It’s really quite amazing how quickly news gets consolidated there.  I knew I was on to something when several reputable sources tweeted the same story.  It doesn’t mean it’s true — the media is often wrong — but it does mean that I wasn’t going off half-cocked based upon a single tweet.  The post isn’t all me.  Katie Kieffer, another conservative blogger contributed parts of it.  Because we were in a rush, you can probably see the seams between our two writing styles.

That was the news part.  Here, at Bookworm Room, is where I get to talk about this tragedy, as a tragedy.

I have absolutely no doubt but that this is an al Qaeda or al Qaeda-affiliate attack.  It has all the hallmarks — symbolic locations; crowded venues; multiple simultaneous explosions; and a Saudi national found, not at the scene, despite his shrapnel wounds, but quite far away.  Innocent men don’t run.  We’ll hear, of course, that it was his instant fear of Islamophobia that caused him to run from the scene despite his wounds, but that story just doesn’t seem very credible to me.

As I said in the Mr. Conservative post, I find it highly ironic that an Islamic attack — assuming that’s what this was — took place in Boston.  Boston is the bluest of the blue.  Moreover, the Boston Marathon is very much an upper middle class event, with liberal suburbanites from all over America running in it.  In terms of the “War against Islam,” Boston has shed its image as America’s patriotic heart and has thrown itself firmly behind a world view that says America is an international bully, using Islamophobia to drive the oil companies’ secret wars for oil.

There are two ways Boston can go.  It can be a liberal mugged by reality and get over its delusional belief that, if America will just do whatever the Islamists want, they will leave us alone, or it can go the way it went with gun control — enacting liberty-limiting laws that do nothing to prevent future tragedies, and allowing its native son, John Kerry, to grovel apologetically before the authors of this bloodshed.

My thoughts are with the people of Boston, as well as with those who were not of Boston, but got caught in the disaster.  I hope that tragedy leads them to smart decisions, not foolish ones.

Here are the President’s remarks from his post-bombing statement from the White House.  It says nothing:

Good afternoon, everybody.  Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds.  And I’ve directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.

The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight.  And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.

We don’t yet have all the answers.  But we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon.

I’ve spoken to FBI Director Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and they’re mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond.

I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats — we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.

I’ve also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families.  And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston.

Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak.  It’s a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day, without regard to their own safety, in dangerous and difficult circumstances.  And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.

We still do not know who did this or why.  And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.  But make no mistake — we will get to the bottom of this.  And we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this.  Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.

Today is a holiday in Massachusetts — Patriots’ Day.  It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the  earliest days of our nation.  And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition.  Boston is a tough and resilient town.  So are its people.  I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city.  And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.

You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings.  We’re still in the investigation stage at this point.  But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.

Thank you very much.

UPDATE: Here’s your opportunity to compare today’s statement to the one Barack Obama made (complete with politically correct convolutions) the day after the Benghazi terrorist attack.

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

Incidentally, that was also, technically, on American soil, although not as many were injured. (I’m also unclear on the precise death toll for today, so I can’t make a comparison.)

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  1. dustoffmom says

    You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings.  We’re still in the investigation stage at this point.  But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.
    Hmmmm…..where have I heard this before?  Sounds so damn familiar doesn’t it?  Maybe…..  right after Benghazi?? 

  2. Danny Lemieux says

    I would hold off judgment regarding culpability.
    I already received one opinion from someone who deals with these types of situations that the bombs were not very professionally made, or the casualty rate would have been much higher.

  3. Ron19 says

    OK, I’ll be the first to go political in the Bookwormroom on this.
    We need universal background checks on bomb purchases. 
    No racial profiling of persons with suspicious-looking vests or behaviors.
    Some forms of religious garb will get the wearer an automatic pass in the bomb detector lines at street events.
    A small sign declaring a bomb-free zone will be posted in public places.

  4. SADIE says

    Danny, the casualty rate is high. Three dead, 144 wounded. But rest easy, dear leader is lunching with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates tomorrow. I am sure the two of them will have a pleasant exchange and celebrate Israel’s 65th year of Statehood.
    BOSTON (WABC) — 
    Authorities say they are searching for a darker skinned or black male with a black backpack and black sweatshirt, possibly foreign national from the accent of the individual. Five minutes before the first explosion, officials said this person attempted to gain entry to a restricted area. When turned away, he broke eye contact and pulled his sweatshirt hood over his head and left, officials said.

  5. Ron19 says

    Watching the video clip of the two explosions a few seconds apart, I was very pleased to see a few people running away from the potential third bomb and a lot of people immediately running in to see if they could help.  (There were at least five more bombs found.)

  6. phaedruscj says

    I followed your links over to Mr Conservative but I’m beginning to think its just a tad over the top.
    For example, that site seems to be making a big deal oot of having bomb sniffing dogs at the event in Boston prior to the explosions as well as SWAT type guys in camo gear present.
    Seriously? I would expect to see bomb sniffing dogs at major events and wearing camo seems to be the thing especially for the overweight non-military police types around the country. Exactly why do they wear camo in an urban environment anyway?
    Mr. Conservative risks losing credibility with crazy stories and insinuations.

  7. says

    phaedruscj:  Yesterday was about getting readers over and news out as fast as possible.  I found Twitter an invaluable resource for seeing what the big outlets were saying — but as often as not, what they were saying was just as much rumor as anything from other, non-media sources, at Twitter.

    What you’ll find at Mr. Conservative is that the headlines are more inflammatory than the text.  It reminds me of the National Enquirer:  “What star was seen in an embarrassing position at a night club?”  Then you go to the story and some minor actress was at a dinner club and got a run in her stocking.  MC uses that same marketing approach to “sell” conservative content.

    Yesterday was about a scramble for market share — and make no mistake, that’s exactly what the major news outlets were doing too.  Everyone was trying to get out there first with the newest information and the most attention-grabbing headlines.  In a world where news happens by the second, not by the day, the one who screams loudest gets the audience — and if that’s not a disturbing thought, I don’t know what is.


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