Cal Thomas: Bombed in Boston

BY CAL THOMAS Published: April 19, 2013
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President Obama rightly asked us not to “jump to conclusions” about motives or responsibility for the two bombs that exploded Monday at the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 170.

That request was pre-emptively ignored. Some couldn't wait to project their biases and political agendas on this latest act of terror.

In a tweet Monday, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof blamed Senate Republicans for blocking confirmation of a new ATF director. MSNBC's Chris Matthews said, “Normally, domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right …” Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst, echoed Matthews on “The Lead” with Jake Tapper.

Blogger Sargent—Rock, responding to Wednesday's lead story in The Washington Post on the bombings, wrote, “The evangelical wing of the Republican Party is a mirror reflection of the Islamic right. Irony that neither knows it.” This comment mirrors those that suggested “talk radio” contributed to the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

People ought to be held accountable for their actions, whether they misuse a gun or build a pressure cooker bomb that randomly kills innocent people watching a marathon.

Given the times, the first reaction for some people to such incidents is to suspect Islamic terrorism. Authorities say that “a person of interest,” a 20-year-old student from Saudi Arabia, has been cleared of any responsibility in the attack.

Politics aside, whoever did it and for whatever reason, numerous questions will and should be asked.

Among those questions: Were the bombs placed in trash cans near the finish line? In the aftermath of 9/11, trash cans were removed from airports as a security precaution. Should the same be done at large gatherings? Should people be told to collect their own trash and dispose of it at home, or in receptacles outside the venue?

Would more cameras in Boston have helped identify those responsible? In London, CCTV security cameras are everywhere. In the United States, we're considering deploying drone aircraft equipped with cameras. Would this lead to a further erosion of our privacy and freedoms, as government could then track movements of citizens engaged in innocent activities?

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