Sunday, April 21, 2013

B Strong: My Alternative Perspective on the Boston Marathon Bombings

Let me just start this blog by saying how deeply saddened I was by the events that took place at the 2013 Boston Marathon. I had a lump in my throat for about two days following the bombings and I was walking around with a depressing heaviness to my walk. I was born and raised in a Boston suburb, but I attended Boston University, commuted there via train/subway and passed by Copley Square on a daily basis, right where the bombings occurred. I also frequently hang out at Boylston Street bars (Pour House/Lir) and habitually check out books from the Boston Public Library (right across from the first bomb). For these reasons, I consider myself a Bostonian and I'm deeply disturbed by the fact that a terrorist event occurred in an area I'm so familiar with.

I also had family and friends who - in some cases - were only yards away from the bombs. Nobody I knew was hurt, thank God. But it was a little too close for comfort...

I want to also say that I appreciate the heroic first responders - police, paramedics and civilians - and I have great empathy for those who died, those who were injured, and all the families affected by the dead/injured.

I'm writing this blog on Saturday April 20th, the day after Suspect #2 -  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - was caught (two days after Suspect #1 - Tamerlan Tsarnaev - was killed). Last night everybody in Boston was celebrating in the streets like the Sox won the world series. They were singing the National Anthem, and chanting "USA! USA! USA!!!" See the video below:

I'm not quite sure why, but I didn't feel like celebrating. I didn't really think that it warranted celebration. Just because this person was caught, it didn't erase the sickness that made him (allegedly) commit the act, and this is a sickness that is prevalent elsewhere in our world; it doesn't all go away with one arrest. It's like people think they’re living in a movie, that they got the bad guy and all’s well in the world again. It’s not that simple. 

Besides, everybody who knew SUSPECT #2 - Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - had nothing but great things to say about him. He was nice and sweet...a good student, wrestler etc. Whatever happened to make him (allegedly) commit such an atrocity is truly tragic. And I didn't feel this tragedy was something to celebrate about. I felt like I needed time to think about and reflect on what happened.

Now, the reason why I keep on saying "allegedly" is that there may be a possibility that the suspects were set up as patsies (as the brothers' father/mother claim). After all, the whole story - from the bombings to the police shootouts - is completely bizarre and seemingly straight out of a movie, kind of like it was scripted. There were also several anomalies that the mainstream press never really discussed, the biggest of which was the presence of private security personnel (Navy Seals working for either Blackwater or Craft) at the sight of the bombings. See the photos below:


These men were seen wearing very shady-looking backpacks and they were stationed right near the location of the first bomb (see pic immediately above) not long before it was detonated. Why were they there? Was this normal for any marathon? Were they there for a bomb drill that turned sour? According to one marathon runner named Alastair Stevenson - a Cross Country coach at the University of Mobile, Alabama - there were announcements at the start and finish line about bomb drills taking place (watch the coach's interview HERE). But now the Boston PD denies those reports.

It's also important to keep in mind that - according to the New York Times - the FBI is responsible for setting up most terror threats, essentially as stings (watch Ben Swann's - a reporter at Fox news Cincinnati - story on this). Could the marathon bombings have been a sting gone sour? The FBI claims to have questioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev back in 2011, though the mother claims that the FBI was "spying on him" for the past five years and many reports also suggest that the brothers may have been double-agents. Does this all mean that there perhaps could have been something even deeper going on? Was the terrorist attack a "false-flag" (i.e. inside job) set up by our government with the sole purpose of gaining more control over the public, taking more liberties away, justifying a police state, creating more surveillance and much, much more???

Obviously I really hope this wasn’t a staged event. I really hope such atrocities weren't committed to make us more scared and to justify more wars overseas and to make the President look good and the government look good and to consolidate government's power and influence. Hopefully everything the FBI tells us happened with the bombing actually happened the way it did. But I'm always skeptical and - to be honest - I became a little more skeptical on the Thursday night after the bombings occurred, mainly because of the sensational shootouts that took place. At around 10:30pm April 18th, both suspects - heavily armed with guns and bombs - engaged the police in a Hollywood-style shootout after a dramatic car chase. There was also another dramatic shootout before the second suspect was captured a day later. 

I'm just hoping the shootouts won't be exploited for the purposes of justifying more gun control. I mean, it's kind of too coincidental that these sensational shootouts occurred only two days after the Senate failed to pass new gun control regulations (required background checks, assault weapons ban etc). Hopefully the amazing shootout between the suspects and the police wasn't an extension of a staged event meant to alter the second amendment on top of everything else.

But what unsettles me more about the whole incident has nothing to do with the bombing or the shootouts or the possibility of a false-flag attack. What concerns me is the the pack mentality I witnessed throughout the whole week following the bombings and up to the killing/capturing of the subjects. I couldn't believe my Facebook feed. All statuses and posts and "memes" were products of a lynch-mob-like mania. Kill 'em! Don’t fuck with us! Finish him! You fucked with the wrong city! Even just a few minutes ago Red Sox player David Ortiz - Big Papi - yelled "This is our fucking city!" into a microphone before the start of the afternoon baseball game, the first home game since the bombings occurred.

I think people have forgotten that one great thing about our country is that everybody is innocent until proven guilty, or at least that's how it used to be. None of us actually witnessed the suspects planting the bombs (the FBI hasn't released this footage, which they claim to have). None of us saw these suspects engaged in a shootout, except for maybe a few panicked civilians and it was dark, so they're not really sure what they saw. I’m not trying to stick up for the guilty here, but the fact of the matter is that most of us haven’t seen actual incriminating evidence. We're just casting judgement based on what we've been told by anonymous authorities or maybe a few witnesses, the accounts of which are murky at best. And now, as we speak, they're interrogating Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - suspect #2 - without reading his Miranda rights. 

The Tsarnaev brothers may certainly be guilty; don't get me wrong about that. But that’s not what matters. What matters is that a whole new precedent has been set in our legal system and a whole new mentality has been created where we easily assume that a person is guilty - based on what we’re told by government outfits like the FBI - without seeing actual hard evidence that incriminates the subject. In other words, we're told what to think. We are passively complacent with what we’re told. We think less for ourselves.

But this "guilty until proven innocent" mentality isn't the only new precedent
that has been set. What kind of surprised me (and was a little creepy) was how - during the 24 hours after the initial shootout - everybody in Watertown willingly allowed their homes to be searched by the police, without any warrants whatsoever. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure this is a violation of rights, or at least it used to be before the Patriot Act was passed. Now, obviously the suspect could have been in any home. And maybe it was necessary to search each house. But, again, it sets a new precedent where this kind of practice becomes standard and more commonplace. All police have to say is "Um...we think a terrorist is on the loose in your town" and then they apparently have the right to declare martial law, lock the neighborhoods down, search each home and everybody's rights apparently become nullified. 

In fact, the more I think about the Watertown lockdown (which seemed kind of excessive in retrospect), the more I feel like the whole thing could have - at least partially - functioned as a drill or a kind of test to see how well martial law could be executed and to see how the public would react to it. During each press conference, the FBI spokesman and State Police Sargent and Watertown Police Chief kept lauding Watertown citizens for how cooperative they were. Apparently the majority of people have no problem giving up their rights as long as some sort of external threat has been created. The "drill" was a success.

Immediately after "Suspect #2's" capture, there was a big round of applause all over Watertown. Everybody in the surrounding neighborhoods came out of their homes and cheered for the police. My Facebook feed lit up with statuses, posts and "memes" thanking the police for the great job they did, showing their appreciation and love for law enforcement. Don't get me wrong: I, too, had tremendous respect for the police and I have great respect for law enforcement personnel in general. They literally put their life on the line every day, even during something as simple as a routine traffic stop. This amazes and, incidentally, I also love the show "Boston's Finest" on TNT. However, I fear that if people "love" police too much, then they will learn to love the possibility and actuality of a police state. They'll be complacent or even happy about a bigger and bigger police presence. They will learn to welcome and embrace a society with police around every corner, surveillance on every telephone pole, checkpoints on every main road, random searches etc. And this is essentially what happened in Germany in the 1930s: German citizens were conditioned to love the police and give up their rights. And we all know what happened after that...

My overall point is that - since 9/11 - there has been a subtle and slow attack against the Constitution. The Boston Marathon bombings will only perpetuate this trend. New precedents are being set and little by little we’re losing liberties. But it’s being done in a sly way so that we don’t even realize it’s happening or even protest that it's happening. We really need to be careful about this. We can't allow ourselves to be put under a spell. We need to truly "B STRONG" and not be easily manipulated by powers who may not have our best interests in mind.

Before I conclude, let me just say I'm not trying to contrive any conspiracies here and if one wants to label me as a "conspiracy theorist", you're really just criticizing me for being a person who asks questions, thinks for myself, refuses to be passively complacent etc. I find it kind of unsettling that the term "conspiracy theorist" has become the new word of social taboo, kind of like "communist" during the Cold War or - to go back a few hundred years - the term "witch". In fact, I don't think it's any coincidence that Paul Kevin Curtis - the man accused of mailing Ricin-laced letters to president Obama and other political figures - has constantly been described in the media as a conspiracy theorist (see this Washington Post headline). The mainstream media and the government seem to be out to demonize so-called "conspiracy theorists". There is a witch-hunt-like stigmatization of those who actually question what they're being told by the government. And I don't think it takes a genius to realize how unhealthy and dangerous this is.