Well, now we know what happens when police cordon off a neighborhood, declare it a Fourth-Amendment-free zone, send SWAT teams house-to-house, and hover helicopters overhead.
People cheer and applaud. They turn out in the streets to wave little American flags.
And next we can watch as they
condone demand and slaver over illegal treatment of Suspect #2 (an American citizen). We can “enjoy” a new round of anti-immigrant and anti-Islam hatred. We can observe bobbleheads nodding from Los Angeles to Hartford as Good Citizens agree with all the new promises politicians and the state-security apparatus make as they concoct onerous new ways to “protect” us all.
Did you feel that coming right from the beginning? Right from the moment the sound of the explosions boomed across the media?
Even when the possibility still existed that the bombings were the work of some random crazy or some creep with a personal grudge, the media, police, and politicians from DC down (if you can go any farther down than DC) immediately went into “All of America has been attacked!” mode.
Contrast the reaction between the marathon bombings and the tragic explosion in Texas. Which killed more? Which leveled more buildings? Which killed paramedics and EMTs who had rushed to help? And which was treated like a afterthought?
I don’t mean to minimize or dismiss the suffering of the bomb victims. What hell they’re forced to endure! What a barbarity they were struck with. And of course, the Boston disaster was a vile crime and there’s no evidence (far as I know) of a crime at that Texas fertilizer plant.
But what an excuse the marathon bombs gave the media-police-politics complex. Now they’re free to lay the groundwork for another ramp-up of the Homeland (Achtung!) Security state. And are we going to be in for it.
Jim Bovard sent me this Salon article that sums up a big part of the problem: namely that we gave up freedom for the promise of security and (as you could have predicted), didn’t get security, either. The author comes from the left; he doesn’t seem to understand that the Second Amendment is our last bulwark against the permanent loss of all the others. But he’s nailed some of the big issues.
We’re all supposed to pretend that violence against masses of people is something new — that somehow the U.S. is under unprecedented attack that requires unprecedented (and certainly Draconian) central government crackdowns and surveillance. You know they’re coming — on top of the ones we already endure.
But we can only believe that if we’re a) big babies, b) hysterical drama queens, or c) completely ignorant of history. We’re supposed to forget that, clear back in 1955, some creepazoid blew up an airliner with 39 people on board. We’re supposed to pretend the Bath school disaster wasn’t perpetrated all the way back in 1927. And those weren’t even the first highly public bombings committed in this country.
Did the federal government concoct a security state over either of those horrors? No, because back then a few things still held government back. No, because back then the 24/7 propaganda-and-hysteria machine hadn’t been completely built yet. No, because back then, Americans didn’t wet their pants and quiver in the closet every time some moron with an agenda perpetrated evil somewhere in the country.
Oh, but now government and media know no restraints. Now we’re going to get it. Only question is: what exactly are we going to get this time?