Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed me a link to this piece, by Richard Fernandez of Belmont Club in re not so much the police response to the Boston Marathon bombing, but our newfound cultural non-response to all sorts of violent threats:
Read the whole thing, natch – but here’s the money quote;
We focus on things because it is prohibited to focus on people. The TSA looks for things — scissors, liquids, shoes, etc — but it doesn’t stop the underwear bomber. People now want to blame “access to guns” for the Tsarnaevs. But it would be uncouth to ask about what they heard from their imam or their teachers.
This is in contrast to the “El Al” system of screening. They look at the man first. “Who are you?” is in many ways more important than “How long are your scissors?” But since we can’t inquire into the man, might as well look into the scissors.
As time passes, more and more acquaintances will come forward saying, “Well, come to think of it he did say this and that and this. …” It will transpire that many knew. Many suspected.
But no one came forward. Why not? Because the system doesn’t do things. It doesn’t do people. It doesn’t do mental strife. But the system has really nifty swords. Armored vehicles, dogs, drones, thermal scanners, .50 cal sniper rifles. Heck, there might even be a minigun or two out in Watertown. Betcha they work real good too. Pity they might have to be used in those neighborhoods.
It’s easier to clean up messes afterwards (and creates more unionized public works jobs!) than to risk the lawsuits involved in getting it right in the first place.