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View Diary: I don't want this to be another 9/11. (239 comments)

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  •  A police state locks down for unrest, not safety (25+ / 0-)

    I did my graduate work at BU and an internship in Watertown, so I have at least a shadow of insight into how very surreal and invasive this must be to the folk living there.

    But I can understand the need for the "shelter in place" status. There have been widespread reports of "suspicious packages" all over the city. The police have got to be hearing about a lot more, from frightened people who are just trying to help as well as from cranks and publicity-hounds. Even knowing most if not all of these are going to be false alarms, they have to consider the possibility that each one could be real.

    By locking everything down, they serve two purposes -- both vital to the whole "protect and serve" ideal. They limit the potential damage should one or more of the devices prove to be real. And they limit the flood of distractions pouring in that force them to pull resources away from a massive manhunt for a man who has shown himself to be willing and able to use massive violence against both law enforcement and the civilian population.

    Given that, I can understand why officials shut the city down. It's far more response than the extent of the likely threat requires -- but it's the only response they have to the extent of the potential threat, which duty requires them to consider, and the most effective means of keeping their focus where it must be: on finding and apprehending a heavily armed and very dangerous suspect.

    There are plenty of aspects of the "War on Terror" that are reprehensible, abusive, and just downright silly. I don't honestly think this is one of them. It's just law enforcement using the tools available to deal as quickly as possible to a shocking and horrifying series of crimes.

    "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

    by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 08:57:42 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Good post. As I alluded to in my previous comment (8+ / 0-)

      a police state locks down the people because the people are suspect.  Here, they tell them to stay home...I don't even know if it's enforceable...for the same reasons they tell people to stay home in a weather emergency.  It's not safe, they don't want to save you, they don't want you in the way.  

      That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

      by Inland on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 09:03:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is what a Meteorologist State looks like (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pdx kirk

        The horror, the horror.

      •  I suspect that it is not enforceable with either (0+ / 0-)

        detention or charge; having said that, if someone goes for a stroll down Somerville Av. today, odds are they're going to have an interaction with the police, a polite interaction but an interaction where said pedestrian is pretty strongly advised that they should go home if they want to be able to continue walking next week without medical aid.

        Having said that, most snow-heavy states, including Mass, do have means by which to declare a state of emergency such that motorists are no longer about to lawfully drive unless they are driving to, from, or during an emergency/essential services job.  I'd venture to say that it's invoked perhaps once every other year.  I've never read or interacted with that law and I don't know if it requires winter weather to be made effective; if it instead requires a generic emergency rather than a weather emergency, it's certainly possible that Gov. Patrick could have invoked it, and given the recent chaos and carnage, I would have trouble disputing any invocation of said emergency law.  If this isn't a public safety emergency, I don't know what is.

        But from the language I've heard over the news so far, this has largely been simply a request - a strong request, but a request.    Given all of the gunfight and bombs of the last few days, I suspect that the vast majority of citizens are following that advice.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 02:56:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is there really a difference? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass, maryabein, stevej

      Basically, it's just a huge show of force to show they're in control.

      A first step to what will happen as blowback from the US foreign policy becomes more and more pervasive and ubiquitous over the coming years.

      The "new normal" IOW.  But as long as it can be justified by rational-sounding people, no harm done really.

      •  Who thinks that? (6+ / 0-)

        There's one guy they can't find who fought off cops with homemade bombs and guns.  You really think the lesson from this is that the cops control everything?  Holy RKBA echoes, batman.

        That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

        by Inland on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 09:59:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's what they're trying to prove (0+ / 0-)

          by shutting down the entire city for what you dismissively call "one guy they can't find"

          IOW, a massive over-reaction.  But Bostonians are probably conditioned for this type of thing  - after all this is not the first time this year they've been told to stay home for their own "safety"

          That's quite the change from Bostonians of old:

          "Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
          link
          •  wow (3+ / 0-)

            I really don't think this is what Ben Franklin had in mind.

            Election protection: there's an app for that! -- and a toll-free hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE
            Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

            by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:23:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Huh! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kefauver, Quicklund

            And here I thought they shut down the entire city to keep people out of the line of fire and allow law enforcement to keep its resources more tightly focused on the manhunt than they could be if the city were operating normally.

            And that they did so despite the fact that it involves considerable cost and inconvenience, not just to the hapless masses, but to the government itself and the business interests I'm pretty sure you'd argue they're allied with.

            How could I not have seen the truth?

            Guess it's time to get new tin foil. Mine seems to have stopped working.

            "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

            by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:31:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, like one person can put an entire (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              city in the line of fire:

              And here I thought they shut down the entire city to keep people out of the line of fire
              but to couple that with "I thought" is nicely humorous to be sure.  Bravo on that!
              •  Yeah, he can (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kefauver

                He's had several days at large, and clearly possesses both the knowledge and expertise to build explosive devices. There is reason to believe that he knows how to use remote control to detonate them.

                Modern technology and dense population centers make it disturbingly easy for a sufficiently knowledgeable and committed individual (or a small number of them) to imperil a very large number of the rest of us. The fact that it's unlikely that this has occurred doesn't free public officials from the necessity to assume that it has.

                Look at the alternative: They don't lock down the city. Law enforcement thins out its manhunt because it has to cover all the myriad things it has to do in a working city on a normal day. There is a bomb, maybe more, and people get hurt. The public officials who failed to assume that the threat existed and take steps to minimize its potential for harm would be held completely accountable for that failure -- and rightly so.

                Nuts or zealots with bombs can force us to do extraordinary things to keep vulnerable people safe until we neutralize the threat. If we assume that the folk we've hired to maintain the peace are all would-be tyrants, all we do is ensure that (a) they can't effectively keep the peace and (b) the ones who aren't would-be tyrants will start leaving in disgust, with the WBTs then filling the vacuum.

                "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

                by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:54:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If that reasoning applied to "ordinary" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT

                  nutcases with guns who kill close to 100 people a day (often themselves, but whatever) in America the country would be on permanent lockdown.

                  But we don't do that.

                  There's no more reason to do it now than any other time.

                  •  Of course there's more reason. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pragmaticidealist, kefauver

                    He's not caught, he's in the area, and he plants bombs to kill randomly, possibly with a group.

                    You find an analogous situation.  

                    That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

                    by Inland on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:02:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Sure there is. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kefauver

                    A nutcase with a gun -- a nutcase with 100 guns -- can only hurt the people he can reach.

                    A nutcase with a few days and some remote-control explosives can hurt people miles away.

                    You have to respond to the threat you face, not the one you wish you faced. And it's officialdom's job to assume that they face the worst threat they can reasonably see from the information at hand. It's not pretty, but it's the job.

                    "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

                    by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:11:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  again, if you're going to deal in hypotheticals (0+ / 0-)

                      like suggesting that this guy has control over remote control explosives - well, that could be the situation all over the country if somebody decides that's the case.  IOW, authorization to shut down a city, county, or state on a whim, as soon as the general population becomes conditioned to believing these pronouncements.

                      That aside, I'm curious how keeping people locked down makes them any safer from remote controlled explosives?  

                      What if they're locked down where the explosives are? In that case, oh gee, if only they had been allowed to go someplace else . . ..

                      •  Reasonable concerns (0+ / 0-)

                        Let's see:

                        The bomb fragments at the marathon site include elements readily identifiable (and very familiar to hobbyists) as having come from RC remote control devices.

                        One of the suspects was seen in video footage making a cell phone call at about the time one of the bombs went off.

                        Conclusive proof that there are remotely controlled bombs planted around the city? Of course not.

                        Reasonable cause for concern that there might be, and to act as if there were to ensure public safety? I think most people would say so.

                        The initial attack was on a public gathering place. Of the two spots I've seen reported as having received particular police attention (i.e., places suspicious packages have been reported/found), both are public spaces. So yes, keeping people in their homes is in high probability keeping more of them out of harm's way than letting them congregate in exactly that sort of spaces around the city.

                        And I'm sorry, but recognizing that an exceptional situation has required an exceptional response is NOT training a population of sheep to accept tyrannical power grabs whenever. Look up the definition of "exceptional" if you need more on this subject.

                        "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

                        by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:40:20 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Seriously, even NYC wasn't this batshit (0+ / 0-)

                          crazy - sure they shut down their bridges to vehicular traffic and their public transportation -but they still let their people walk around freely

                          And that was after a WAY worse attack than this.

                          This is just paranoia run rampant.

                          Either that or Big Brother taking intrusiveness to a whole new level I didn't expect to see in this country for another 7 or 8 years at the earliest.

                          •  They also weren't running a manhunt (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Quicklund, Inland

                            since all known suspects were conveniently dead.

                            That's kind of my point. Responses need to fit their situations.

                            And, with this, I will cease (for now) arguing the obvious with the obdurate.

                            "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

                            by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:53:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I guess I should be praising the authorities (0+ / 0-)

                            for not putting this lunacy into place immediately following the bombings

                            Because they should have based on your criteria of the suspects being alive!

                          •  that's not the criterion (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            pragmaticidealist, AoT
                            Responses need to fit their situations.
                            Yes, one corollary of that is that one shouldn't mount a manhunt for dead people. But it actually isn't very hard to understand why authorities shut down the T today, but not on Sunday or any day in between -- even if you disagree, in whole or in part, with their actions today.

                            Election protection: there's an app for that! -- and a toll-free hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE
                            Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

                            by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 12:36:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Well, if you know where the one guy is (3+ / 0-)

                and where any bombs are, so they can narrow it down, feel free.  Then you can provide something besides being irked by people cooperating with police.

                That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

                by Inland on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:57:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  If they shut down cities every time (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              there was a murderer on the loose I'd never be able to go anywhere.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:51:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yup. A bomb-wielding terrorist and a thug (0+ / 0-)

                with a Glock require exactly the same response from law enforcement.

                "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

                by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:23:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is no evidence he is a terrorist (1+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco
                  Hidden by:
                  Quicklund
                  •  This needs an HR (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pragmaticidealist

                    I know I've engaged you. But this level of denial just requires the conversation be shut off and terminated.  

                    Setting off two bombs in public crowds meets the common concept of terrorist. And yeah, several deaths  missing limbs are entered into evidence.

                    •  Terrorism - by US Federal Government (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poco

                      prosecuting guidelines require evidence that the deed was done to further social or political goals.

                      Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).
                      that's given in this diary

                      Do you have any evidence that these acts were done in furhterance of political or social goals?

                      I think not.  Therefore by definition it's not terrorism.

                      So it's you and your blatant disinformation that * really * needs to be hide rated.

                      But it's nice that you've so nicely outed yourself as one of those fearmongers that cry "terrorism" at every drop of the hat.

                      •  You just wallow in your minutae (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        auron renouille

                        Three dead at the race, scores injured, a dead police officer, IEDs and explosive vests add up to a shitload more than "zero evidence" nor a "drop of a hat".

                        Pathetic.

                        •  Again, it doesn't matter how many (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          poco

                          times you say it - words have meaning (well, not to you clearly, but in theory they do at least) - and terrorism has a necessary component of pursuing a political or social goal.

                          Now it * might * be possible that these guys met that criteria and actually were terrorists, but up to now I have seen absolutely no evidence of that.  And I note the you opted to not supply any such evidence when I suggested it.  So you seem to agree in that respect and just re-iterate a bunch of nonsense.

                          In any event, it seems much more likely that they were just a couple of completely fucked up nutcases.

                        •  Give it up. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Quicklund

                          Anyone who chooses not to grasp the difference between a definition for the purposes of a specific law and the general use definition of the same word in conversational English isn't interested in discussion. From the rest of the thread -- and I've engaged with him repeatedly as if he were intending to be rational -- it's clear that he just wants to see whether he can keep the rest of us from doing something more important than arguing with a rock.

                          It's not worth the annoyance.

                          "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

                          by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 12:46:06 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You are of course entirely correct (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            pragmaticidealist

                            In addition to your sound advice ... Now that I have issued an HR, site rules say I should not engage him further. Based on both sources, I will comply.

                            Getting harder to find wine among all the dregs in the DKos cask these days. Thanks for providing me a refreshing glass.

                          •  My pleasure! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Quicklund

                            I'm tempted to make some silly joke about how long it's been since I've been drunk, but I'll restrain myself, and just thank you most sincerely.

                            "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

                            by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 01:27:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  I think the "terrorist" label should be reserved (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poco

                      for those acting to further a political or possibly theological agenda or ideology, in concert with others,  as opposed to deranged individuals acting out some personal agenda with a one (or two)-person crime-wave.

                      The theory goes that a "terrorist" acts deliberately to terrorize a population in order to sway it politically, towards the "terrorists'" goals.  I would grace neither the CO movie theater shooter nor the Sandy Hook shooter with that label. They were each random crazies, not part of some "movement".  

                      We don't know yet what the Boston guys had going for an agenda, what was driving them.

                      don't always believe what you think

                      by claude on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 01:59:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Can the police EVER do the right thing (0+ / 0-)

                in your world?

            •  That's it; I think that basically everyone with a (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pragmaticidealist

              badge and active LEO duties east of Worcester is being tasked to this issue.  They simply do not have the time to deal with a tourist whose pocket was picked on Tremont, etc.

              "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

              by auron renouille on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 02:58:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  How DARE the governor tell people (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kefauver, Quicklund, liz

            not to drive in a snowstorm!!!  Someone call the ACLU!

          •  They found a bomb (0+ / 0-)

            outside a public transportation station. They feared that these guys had been planting bombs, and wanted to keep people away.

            "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

            by happy camper on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:29:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Dear Genius (0+ / 0-)

            Boston citizens are being asked to remain home, not detained at gunpoint. If a citizen wants to out outside,

            they go outside.

            No "liberty" is being sacrificed.

            •  If that is the case, why is the word (0+ / 0-)

              "lockdown" prominently feature in every headline?

              So, right back at you genius, what does the word mean if not what every internet dictionary tells me?

              •  Headlines define facts eh? (0+ / 0-)

                Never heard of headline writers have you? Well, they work for news orgs, not for law enforcement orgs. I presume in your imagination there is a shotgun-toting guard forcing every resident to stay inside. Not, you know, just a general request put out to the public.

                Keep up the genius-level reasoning.

      •  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar dude n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

        by TheHalfrican on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:36:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, "just" (0+ / 0-)

        The cops aren't even looking for the suspects. The dead cop killed by the suspects? He's not really dead. Just a media lie.  Yep, the police are not doing anything but just running around making people afraid of the police.

        Who says DKos has sunk to a new nadir?

    •  I think that fifteen years ago, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, poco, dharmafarmer

      people would have realized just how crazy this is. Now we're so accustomed to it that we don't even blink.

      They've shut down the police scanners and are requesting that people stop tweeting about the incident, and have set up a perimeter to keep the media out. You will say, of course, that the suspects might be following social media to evade police, the media will stir the pot and frighten people with fragmentary and sensational information, etc.

      One can argue whether that is enough of an advantage to allow one guy to overcome a thousands-person strong police department with millions of dollars' worth of equipment, but it doesn't change the fact that there is now a black hole of silence in Boston, where no one but the police know--or will ever know--just what is going down.

      If they accidentally shoot someone walking across the street to get some ice cream, there will be a great temptation to cover it up and spin it to make the police look good. That's what institutions do--cover their asses.

      Because they have complete control over the flow of information, they will be tempted to use it to control the narrative in ways that may not be conducive to the public interest. The culture of American policing has become so militarized and trigger happy that creating a zone in which police have total freedom of action, without any oversight, is deeply troubling to me.

      It's just law enforcement using the tools available
      But you can always say that, no matter what the tools are. And more and more tools are always made available. And there will always be shocking and horrifying crimes to justify ever-more-extensive uses of those tools.

      The invasion of Iraq was totally justifiable if you bought into the premise that we needed to do absolutely everything possible to stop Saddam.

      So what if we were 99% sure that Saddam didn't actually have WMD? There was a 1% chance that he had. He had, in fact, had chemical weapons, even used them on his own people. He started two wars. He was a bad guy, a killer, just like this guy.

      Bush was just using the tools available. Who cares if the UN inspectors didn't see the threat--he did. And he acted, even if those inspectors didn't.

      It's always "for our safety." That's what they ALWAYS say. And we never get to see whether we're actually being made safer or what they actually did. They just do what they like, then we all have to "move on".

      At some time we will have to take a good look at where this all is going. Because it's headed nowhere good, let me tell you.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 09:31:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Much of what you say is true (6+ / 0-)

        We do have to be vigilant against the creeping edge of tyranny, especially at a time when so many are willing to sacrifice freedom for the illusion of safety. And it is quite possible for the best-intended law enforcement effort to spin off the pavement and wind up axle-deep in absurdity.

        But you're also overstating your case, and that undermines your argument. At this point, "they" do not have "complete control over the flow of information." Indeed, you point out that officials have requested that folk refrain from real-time chronicling of events via social media; they haven't simply shut down Internet access or cut power to server farms. "They" have remarkably limited control for autocratic bogeymen.

        And I'm sorry, but even an aggressive door-to-door search for a clearly dangerous man (who was, according to witnesses, willing to drive over his own brother to get away from police) is not analogous to the invasion of Iraq.

        There does not appear to be any intent -- much less any possibility -- that the current situation in Boston will extend beyond the manhunt. If there were any rational reason to think it would, then it would be sensible to raise calm, specific concerns. But there isn't, and you're not. You're conflating a short-term police effort with long-term national policy and international aggression. And that doesn't serve your purpose, which is (I believe) to warn the community that there are those who pose very real threats to its freedom, and they don't all use bombs or come from overseas.

        Is the current situation sensible? Is it an abuse? Is it over-reaching? Prudent? Commendable? Vile? In the heat of the moment, we're probably not in the best position to judge. So why not take a moment, calm down, give the folk we've hired a chance to do their jobs as best they can, accept for the moment both their professional judgment and their good intent, and hold off on proclaiming calamity until we can actually see what transpires.

        If in the clear light after the manhunt is over, after folk have had a chance to forget that they're afraid and feeling vulnerable, a careful analysis of the situation indicates that things should have been handled differently, then let's work to make the necessary changes to help ensure that's the way it gets handled in the future (god forbid it should have to be).

        One of the greatest assets progressives have is the simple fact that our positions can be rationally defended. Let's make sure don't lose that vital asset -- or even give others an opportunity to claim that we have lost it.

        "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

        by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:20:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  thank you. first sensible comment here today. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, pragmaticidealist, kefauver

      Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

      by Clem Yeobright on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 09:45:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you very much for being a voice of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pragmaticidealist, kefauver

      reason.  People seem to be struggling with the concept of keeping people inside to oppress vs. keeping them inside so they don't get blown up by a madman.  

      •  It's an atmosphere of fear (0+ / 0-)

        and that can do things to people's judgment. I get that, and I'll even give folk a lot of latitude on account of it. But yeah, it's not really that hard a distinction to make.

        "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

        by pragmaticidealist on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:31:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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