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Thread: Explosions at Boston Marathon

  1. #91
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    I just don't understand WTF could have been indoctrinated into the older brother overseas in 6 month that suddenly made it logical to pressure cooker bomb a bunch of peaceful innocent civilians enjoying a nice day. It's just mind blowing, what sort of warped thinking is this. What goal could one possibly be attaining by doing such a thing, and how could any rational human being believe that is right and/or would bring success to whatever delusional cause they had?

  2. #92

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    @mariab:

    I think you're moving too far away from what was written. Just read the post. "We must not impose our values." "We must respect their." Who is us and they?

    It has nothing to do with what you're trying to say.

    At about 1PM today, my wife and I got off the last car of the #1 train at Rector St. There were about a dozen tourists who also exited. As we walked out the door, on the bench directly in front of us, there was a backpack with no one near it.

    We both hesitated for a moment, just staring at it. The feeling you get is not wanting to make a fool of yourself, which is sort of what I did anyway. I looked right, still not sure what I was going to do when I noticed an MTA employee walking toward us. I went over to him and said, "There's a bag on that bench." He said, "I know, it's mine."

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    We both hesitated for a moment, just staring at it. The feeling you get is not wanting to make a fool of yourself, which is sort of what I did anyway. I looked right, still not sure what I was going to do when I noticed an MTA employee walking toward us. I went over to him and said, "There's a bag on that bench." He said, "I know, it's mine."
    I've been through this so many times in recent years. They always tell you, if you see something say something. The reality of things is that there's usually no one there to say something to. The most suspicious thing I ever saw was a middle eastern young man walking into the tracks on the 7 line at Grand Central. He had left his suitcase at the base of the staircase at the beginning of the platform. There was no cop anywhere in sight. I decided to confront the guy myself and yelled at him what are you doing there? - it turns out the guy went to take a leak.

  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by mariab View Post
    Also, what about the next weird-looking American guy at a movie theatre, or near a school, or getting out of a box truck in front of a government building or skyscraper? Should we keep quiet until we're absolutely sure? By then it's too late.

    Weird looking guy? Really? Define that for me.

    I see what many would perceive to be 'weird looking guys' everyday, but I have never witnessed a bombing. The idea that we think we can look at someone and identify them as a potential threat troubles me. When did being 'wierd looking' become grounds for government harrassment.

    Case in point; At the moments leading up to the attack, was there anything specific about the appearance of the brothers that would have struck you as weird or would have picqued your sense of danger had you been in that crowd? Even it if was viewable at the time, would a "Terrorista" plate really have concerned you to the point of alerting the officials?

    And it never ceases to amaze me that the same people who are so concerened about weird looking and possible mentally ill people are so dead set against Universal Health Care. The Wayne LaPierre's of the world. What do we do with the menally ill once we identify them - the ones without insurance as many of the disenfranchised are, shoot them on the spot?
    Last edited by eddhead; April 22nd, 2013 at 09:36 AM.

  5. #95

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    Another thing to keep in mind...

    Hopefully, there'll be more details, but the FBI stated that they investigated the two brothers, and found nothing to warrant their taking any action. We probably have an image of 100 or so people in an FBI database. Actually, there are thousands. Remember years back, the guy who had an identical name to someone on a list and was always stopped at airports?

    If we expect everyone to be watched closely, the majority of whom are going to be innocent, we move toward a police state. It hasn't been discussed extensively so far, but there's a feeling that the police response in Boston was over the top. Is locking down an entire metro area the new model?

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    It hasn't been discussed extensively so far, but there's a feeling that the police response in Boston was over the top. Is locking down an entire metro area the new model?
    That's not the police's doing, this is all the governor's doing. Deval Patrick is an alarmist, reactionary fool - he criminalized driving throughout Massachusetts during a snowstorm this recent winter. This is a dangerous man and I hope the voters get him out of there at the first opportunity

  7. #97
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    Considering that those guys had additional bombs, ready to go (and some used during the chase & firefight), is it over the top to keep everything on hold for some amount of time while the situation is thoroughly investigated?

    Let's just hope that our watch-dog safe-keepers don't have to make a similar decision again any time soon.

    But unfortunately, with this event, we may have entered a new chapter.

  8. #98

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    Is it really a new chapter? There is mounting evidence that the brothers acted alone - that they were not sanctioned by outside terrorist groups including the Chechnyans, who have gone out of there way to suggest they have no beef with the US.

    We have seen deranged individuals wreek havoc before - from Timothy McVie to Columbine, to West Virginia and God knows more. But we have never once turned the local region into a police state.

    This was a horrific occurance, and one to be taken seriously, but, I am concerned that we are turning it into something more than what it actually is. As hbcat wrote, this is not the end of Western Civilization.

  9. #99
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    Have we ever had, since 9/11, the signature two-bombs/attacks-in-close-sequence scenario over here?

    It's too early to know if there is a wider network connected to the Boston bombings.

    No need for over-reach if it turns out it's not needed. But it wouldn't be wise to make judgments about the bigger picture at this early stage.

  10. #100
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    Federal Criminal Complaint Filed Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev:
    http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/O...53273_0367.pdf

  11. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Have we ever had, since 9/11, the signature two-bombs/attacks-in-close-sequence scenario over here?

    It's too early to know if there is a wider network connected to the Boston bombings.

    No need for over-reach if it turns out it's not needed. But it wouldn't be wise to make judgments about the bigger picture at this early stage.
    This is a slippery slope, and we need to be very carefull about losing sight of who we are and what we stand for.

    The Beltway,and West Virginia sniper attacts each occured over several days and had all the makings or random assasination and assasination attempts. They both are dated post 9/11, and in their own way were equally terrorist in nature. The sheer randomness of the attacks were terriying and left populations of both cities feeling all but helpless. But we didn't shut those cities down. True, they were not bomb attacks but they were equally lethal and and I would imagine the residents were terrified.

    We have absolutley no indication whatsoever that these bombings were the result of coordinated attacks from terrorist groups at "war" with the US, yet the entire GOP congressional caucus is ready to hold him as an enemy combatant, and the MA govenment was ready to declare the equivilent of martial law. Who exactly is the enemy Tsarnaev is fighting with, and what proof do we have that he is aligned to them?

    On This Week, Senator Coats suggested that we should hold Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant because of the trip to Chechnya. When informed that it was his brother who took the trip, Coats looked very uncomfortable before saying something like - yeah it was his brother, and the connection - I knew that. Except he clearly didn't. But that didn't stop him from rushing to judgement.

    The fact that a member of the Select Intelligence Committee and a member of 100 elite government officials charged with doing the people's business - 100 select individuals out of a population of 300mm Americans, can be so ill-informed, and that his opinion actually counts for something, is appalling.

    But not surprising. Is he really an example of the best we can do?
    Last edited by eddhead; April 22nd, 2013 at 03:38 PM.

  12. #102

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    Point of reference:

    The odds of being murdered in the US by a terrorist act is about one in 3.5 million. The odds of being murdered by other means is less than one in 20,000.

    We have no problem with expanding the role of government surveillance (Homeland Security, Patriot Act etc) when it involves terrorism, but can't get a simple firearm background check passed.

    We pour plenty of money into counter-terrorism, but can't appoint a permanent head of the ATF.

  13. #103

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    @eddhead: I should have used different wording. By weird I meant suspicious looking, not anyone that I walk past any day of the week. I see strange looking people in central NJ as well as NYC, maybe not as many, but yes. Not everyone fits the image of someone who's about to commit a terrorist act or mass shooting. There was nothing about the brothers that would lead me to think - had I walked past them - that they would do this. But there are people out there who do fit that picture. James Holmes, Jared Loughtner. That is my question: When they do look suspicious, when is it ok to speak up, and why do we have to agonize over it before we do get the courage to speak up?

    Hindsight is 20/20, but that novelty plate wouldn't alarm me. I would just think they were an a**hole. Unfortunately, in light of this intelligence failure, the FBI & CIA are only going to ratchet things up. They are not going to let this kind of failure happen again, even if it means surveillance of innocent people. They have so many ways around it that we can't even imagine. They might be keeping an eye on this forum, you don't know.


    Btw my views on this situation have nothing to do with my views on health care or gun control.

  14. #104

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    @ mariab - The only additional point I will make is that it is easy in hindsight to think we could have identified the threats posed by James Holems or Jared Louhtner by sight. The fact is we run into people looking that way all the time and they are almost always harmless.

    And I realize your stance on gun control and health care are not impacted by this situation. But I get annoyed when gun advocates will on one hand suggest that rather than regualte arms, we need to identify people who suffer from mental health ailments (or as Wayne LaPierre would say, 'nuts') while on the the other deny those very people the insurance that is requried to obtain the treatment they so desperately need. I heard the same BS from Amy Holmes on Bill Mahr the other night. - about how important it is to identify the mentally ill, yet she is the first one to rail against health care. It's appalling. And I was equally appalled that no one on the show challanged her on that point.

    I am not hearing any solutions from these people, just rhetoric.

  15. #105

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    Rand Paul Wants to Ban 8-Year-Old Immigrants from America

    Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won the coveted position of "Republican liberals kind of like" with his drone-related filibuster earlier this year. Paul will surely disappoint them today with his demand that the Senate delay immigration reform until until we figure out how the Boston marathon bombers got into America, and how to prevent that from happening in the future. The thing is, we know how the Tsaraevs got into America. It's not because there were warning signs and they slipped through our fingers. They got into America because they were kids.

    Paul writes in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
    We should not proceed until we understand the specific failures of our immigration system. Why did the current system allow two individuals to immigrate to the United States from the Chechen Republic in Russia, an area known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism, who then committed acts of terrorism? Were there any safeguards? Could this have been prevented? Does the immigration reform before us address this?
    The two individuals were allowed to immigrate because we don't expect children to become terrorists just because people of their ethnicity live in a violent place. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsaraev were 15 and 8, respectively, when they came to America. They reportedly immigrated from Kyrgyzstan, not Chechnya. They came with their family on a tourist visa, and sought asylum. As The Atlantic Wire's Philip Bump explains, asylum-seekers have to go through a process that includes biometric identification and background checks. Dzhokhar became a permanent resident in 2007, when he was 14.

    For further evidence that we might need more restrictions on immigration because of national security threats, Paul writes:
    Our refugee programs have proven to be a problem. On, January 29, 2013, two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green, in my home state of Kentucky, were sentenced to long prison terms for participating in terrorism and providing material support to terrorists while living in the United States. How did this happen? Does the current immigration reform address how this might have happened? We may need more scrutiny when accepting refugees from high-risk nations.
    Refugees, by definition, tend to be from high-risk areas. Not a lot of refugees coming from France these days. But note that the Iraqis Paul mentions did not successfully commit an act of terror. They were arrested before they committed any crime, and they went to prison. Is that not a success story for immigration and law enforcement?

    The case Paul is referring to appears to be that of Mohanad Shareef Hammadi and Waad Ramadan Alwan, who were arrested last August. The two men told someone they thought was al Qaeda that they wanted to give weapons to the terror group. But they were really talking to an FBI informant. In 2010 and 2011, CNN reports, the Iraqis delivered "sniper rifles, C4 plastic explosives, and two Stinger missiles to a truck they believed would be shipped to al Qaeda in Iraq." They got the weapons from an informant working for the FBI. They delivered them to what was actually the FBI's truck. Fake weapons for fake terrorists.

    Hammadi's lawyer argued that before the FBI's informant, he had no money and no weapons and no way to export them to Iraq. Alwan got 40 years in prison. Hammadi got life. This is not an unusual case. In 2005, Hemant Lakhani fake imported a fake missile to a fake terrorist. He got 47 years in prison. In 2011, Rezwan Ferdaus plotted with fake terrorists to fly a fake remote-controlled plane strapped with a fake bomb into the Pentagon. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison. In 2012, Amine El Khalifi was arrested for plotting with fake al Qaeda terrorists to wear a fake suicide vest into the Capitol. He was sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison.

    The FBI has proved quite successful at creating terrorists in order to destroy them. A man with such a keen focus on civil liberties might be unsettled by such facts. Not Rand Paul. The make-a-terrorist-so-you-can-jail-him program has apparently not been aggressive enough.

    Paul won praise with his drone filibuster by arguing that while national security is important, the government can go too far, impose too many restrictions on ordinary people in an attempt to prevent all crime. Paul's question was, if an American citizen and terrorist suspect was sitting in a cafe in Houston, could he be droned? The American citizen the U.S. droned in Yemen in 2011 was Anwar al Awlaki, an Islamist cleric who used YouTube to recruit terrorists. Awlaki had inspired Nidal Hasan to kill 14 people and wound 30 more at Fort Hood in 2009. Hasan was radicalized over the Internet while living in America. Just like the Tsarnaev brothers, apparently.

    Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at ereeve@theatlantic.com.

    Copyright 2013 by The Atlantic Monthly Group

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