Jumping to conclusions

I went to law school in Boston, just a few blocks from the bombing. I traveled Boylston Street often — to get to the Copley Place subway stop or go to the great Boston Public Library for books or guest lectures. I lived in Boston for a total of twelve years and often think I never should have left.

So of course, like everyone, I looked for answers. Who would do this horrible thing? And why?boston

I speculated. It sure seemed more like a home-grown attack than a terrorist one. It happened on tax day, in the home of the original tea party. And as my friend, journalist Steve Vaughan (a/k/a “Virginia Pundit”) said, “I’m not sure the targets would have the same resonance with our ‘friends’ in the Middle East. Also, no martyrs. Whoever did this planted the bombs, walked away and set them off by remote. That sounds like Americans.”

That doesn’t mean Steve and I are right. Just wondering, and speculating.

However, many don’t seem to care about speculating. Fox News (through the New York Post) wildly reported that there was a Muslim suspect in custody. Even after the Police denied the story, they stood by it. By today, when it was made clear that the police had merely spoken to a Muslim kid who was a witness (along with hundreds of other witnesses) did Fox back away. Fortunately, all the other reliable media have learned not to repeat anything reported by anything owned by Rupert Murdock. No such restriction was held with the right-wing blog, who gladly proclaimed their “truth” of the matter. And some of my conservative friends reposted these accusations over and over on their Facebook pages, spreading the crap.

Now, I don’t know. Maybe it was some Islamic extremist. Or maybe it was a home-grown one. Or maybe just a crazy person acting on his own. We don’t know yet.

It’s one thing to speculate based on evidence and the methods by which the bombing happened, and quite another to make huge accusations based on fear.

So I advise everyone: Be cynical. Be skeptical. Demand evidence.

And never trust anything connected with Fox News.

And always check Snopes first!

6 thoughts on “Jumping to conclusions

  1. This is actually the sort of thing that makes \more sense for someone who understands history and it makes me ting more of home grown.

    Its less about the people, but destroying the spirit of the people. Its Patriots Day, one of the biggest and most important days to Boston. There is a history of various terrorist activities on that day. WACO. Oklahoma City. Supposedly a bomb in NYC/Central park was stoppped on Patriot’s day.

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  2. I think you just made Mike’s point. I have lived in the U.S. my whole life and never heard of Patriot’s Day (heck, I lived on the east coast). I highly doubt any foreign extremist has heard of it. And, if by some unlikely event they did, it is unlikely that they would recognize that it is important in Boston (and apparently only Boston). That is something a local would know, which makes this much more likely to be an attack by a local.

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  3. Home-grown terrorists are still terrorists. I said to Pete right away, as we watched the coverage, “It’s terrorists. American terrorists.” Pete was more cautious in his judgement, but I am not surprised this is being called an act of terror. I hope they catch the person or people behind this and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

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  4. I hate the term terrorist because it is used so freely. If I walk into a shopping mall and just start shooting people because I’m a crazy mofo and just want to kill some people, I am not a terrorist. I am a murderer. If I do roughly the same thing with a few bombs, again I am a murderer, not a terrorist. A terrorist is somebody who is trying to create fear (usually for some greater agenda). This might be an act of terrorism, but I am doubtful. There doesn’t seem to be a message or an an attempt to change action or even really an attempt to instill fear. There just seems to be death and pain for the sake of death and pain, which is sick, but not terrorism.

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  5. Hmmmm….I see nagging people to comment on the blog, not
    Facebook is finally working out for you. I agree with Mr. Staus that, if this is the work of a lone nut without a political agenda it’s not terrorism. It’s just one more mass murder, like the school shootings. I will say that since these people apparently planned this out so they’d get away they are different from most spree shooters who are intent on committing suicide and taking a lot of folks out with them. There are exceptions of course, the movie theater shooter had a plan to get away, with almost worked.

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