I wasn’t going to comment on yesterday’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing until more of the facts were known, but, as I’m sitting here tonight, reading the analysis of folks like Alex Jones, who thinks that it was an inside job perpetrated by the government, and Fox News contributor Erik Rush, who thinks that it’s clearly the work of Muslims, all of whom we should now round up and exterminate, I feel obliged to remind folks that this didn’t happen on the anniverary of the first day American boots touched Kuwaiti soil, but on the holiday known as Patriots’ Day. And, if that sounds familiar, it might be because it’s the same day, in 1995, that anti-government crusader and gun dealer Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168. This could, of course, just be a coincidence, and I hesitate to even bring it up, but, as others are advocating for the murder of all American Muslims, I think it’s at least worth pointing out that this could very well be the work of a home-grown terrorist seeking to make a statement on Tax Day, not too far from the birthplace of the American revolution. Or, for that matter, what we saw yesterday could have been the work of a mentally ill individual with a grudge against the Marathon. The fact is, we just don’t know. And it really doesn’t help to speculate at this point.
Speaking of Muslim extremists, the Pakistani Taliban, who were quick to claim credit for the 2010 Time Square bomb, have come out and said that this wasn’t their doing. “Wherever we find Americans we will kill them,” they said in their statement, “but we don’t have any connection with the Boston explosions.” And, as of right now, it doesn’t look as though there’s much to suggest a Muslim connection. A young Saudi man, who was wounded at the bomb site, was questioned by police, and consented to have his apartment searched, but it looks now as though he’s not presently a suspect.
I know that people everywhere are anxious to use this horrific event to confirm their preexisting prejudices, whether they be against Muslims or the so-called Patriot Movement, but I’d like to think that we could manage a bit of self restraint, and see how the investigation plays out. I think we owe it to the victims of the bombing to do at least that much.
One more thing… Having been working in downtown Atlanta at the time of the Olympic bombing, I followed that investigation somewhat closely, and I’d encourage people to remember what happens when we stop following the facts, and choose instead to focus on certain individuals because we want immediate satisfaction, and like the narrative they embody.