- Eric Hoffer
On April 19, 2013 the police state came to Boston. Days after the heinous act of cruelty and desperation that was the Boston Marathon bombing, where two homemade pressure cooker bombs packed with shrapnel were detonated at the finish line the order was given and the paramilitary police squads were sent into the streets in search of one 19 year old punk. Injury was followed by insult as a portion of the city was placed under an undeclared state of martial law in a preview of what in the future will become commonplace in The Homeland as conditions continue to deteriorate. The alleged perpetrators, two brothers of Chechen descent, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were rapidly identified by security camera videos taken just prior to the explosions and in a subsequent gunfight with police the elder brother Tamerlan was killed. This precipitated the lockdown and manhunt that while cleaned up and sanitized by the popular slogan "Boston Strong" to present a show of unity in the aftermath of tragedy was as much an outrage and affront to local dignity and pride as the bombings themselves. A populace that fancies itself as scrappy fighters ready to throw down over any perceived slight or indignity were driven into a state of fear and cowardice where disobedience would be dealt with at the end of a government gun.
Heavily armed, militarized and amped up thugs clad in that now so familiar black Kevlar and using armored vehicles more befitting of an actual war zone patrolled the streets and conducted warrantless searches on terrified residents who were ordered to stay in their homes. It was an astounding display of just how far that we have now been dragged down the path to full blown fascism and despite the criminality and horror of the bombing it did not merit such a huge and costly response. Perhaps it was just revenge and bloodlust but more likely it was an excuse for a live drill for the imposition of martial law. The national media ate it all up too, it was like a real life episode of The Running Man and despite the overwhelming display of government police power young Tsarnaev was found cowering in a covered boat by its owner in his own backyard. Just as those events of September 11, 2001 set into motion a series of actions that led to two ruinous and costly (or lucrative) wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, the evisceration of American civil liberties, the unleashing of an out of control surveillance apparatus that has no accountability, the codifying of torture, a terminally damaged political system and a myriad of other indignities so too did Black Friday, April 19, 2013. It was a day when the Rubicon was crossed in Boston with the live rollout of martial law in America and the realization of Captain Bryant's implied threat to Deckard in the sci-fi classic Blade Runner that "if you're not cop you're little people".
Any shame or even questioning of the paramilitary lockdown was washed away by the healing power of "Boston Strong" which was simultaneously a balm for a city's wounds, a unifying cause as that which existed after 9/11 and a marketing opportunity. It was all things to all people and I excerpt the following from the Wikipedia page:
In the hours after the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, the slogan "Boston Strong" appeared as a highly popular hashtag on Twitter and rapidly spread around the world. An expression of Boston's unity after the bombings, the slogan showed up on T-shirts and other products, and was emblazoned on the "Green Monster" wall at Boston's Fenway Park. The Boston Bruins displayed the slogan on their helmets at their game two days after the bombings, and at the first baseball game in Fenway Park after the bombings, the stadium announcer told the crowd: "We are one. We are strong. We are Boston. We are Boston strong."
On April 17, two days after the bombings, a T-shirt vendor and another private individual submitted separate trademark registration applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, seeking to obtain ownership of the "Boston Strong" slogan for use on commercial products. One of the applicants said he wanted the trademark in order to prevent people from outside the Boston area from benefiting from it. A trademark attorney was quoted in the Huffington Post as predicting that the government office would deny the registration on the grounds that the slogan was already in the public domain and could not be linked to any specific entity.
The Boston Red Sox baseball team adopted it and rode that warhorse all of the way to a World Series title, after the game there were pilgrimages made by fans to the Boston Marathon finish line to kiss the street. One wonders that with all of the hype and emotion invested that if the Red Sox had lost the series would that have meant that the "terrorists" had won? It was more of the same eerie strangeness of the 21st century and any heretic who dared to question it as HBO's Bill Maher did when he said: "You know again it was a bad day. Three people died that's terrible, more were maimed that's horrible, but unfortunately that happens every day in car accidents and everything else. I mean your city was not leveled by Godzilla". The comedian was immediately denounced by Boston Mayor Tom Menino who hissed that the comments were "irresponsible" - as if unleashing thousands of heavily armed paramilitary forces on the citizenry wasn't.
This past week marked the anniversary of both the bombing as well as the de-facto declaration of martial law, tomorrow on Monday it will be the first race after the latest version of 'the day when everything changed' The media propaganda blitzkrieg has been unrelenting as the commemoration of "Boston Strong" and testimonials to the perseverance of the victims whose limbs were shredded (and tributes to the three who died) has reached the saturation point with the final orgy of crass exploitation likely coming on Monday when this year's race will occur. I don't even live in Boston and have been bludgeoned by it, the entire national media is in on the action including the magazine Sports Illustrated that has capitalized on the bombing and all sports aspects related to juice their sales. But nowhere is the decidedly un-American police takeover of a portion of a major city questioned nor even mentioned aside from the passing reference to the heroic pursuit of the hunted -- it has been relegated to the same memory hole where facts that are inconvenient to the metastasizing police state are chucked into.
Not quite approaching the level of local animosity and hate directed at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is that being directed at a 25 year old man named whose idea of humor - from the account given by a story in The Boston Herald a possible act of political protest - was to place a fake "bomb" in a backpack at the finish line. According to the Boston Herald story "Man in custody following bomb scare at marathon finish line":
A man dressed all in black and chanting "Boston Strong! Boston Strong!" lugged a backpack near the marathon finish line last night - just as a bus with two-bombing survivors arrived - in a scary security breach that's raising concerns just days before Monday's race.
The suspect - identified by a law enforcement source as Kevin Edson - was arrested at about 6:50 p.m. as a bus carrying J.P. and Paul Norden - who both lost their right legs in last year's bombings - pulled up at the end of a walking relay to raise money for prosthetics.
"It was alarming. It was crazy." said Peter Brown, the uncle of the Stoneham brothers. "It was some whack job. Boston's got to do their job. It happened right after we about finished our walk. The cops grabbed him, but I'm pissed."
An eyewitness told the Herald he saw the suspect walking right down the middlt of Boylston Street barefood and shrouded in a black veil, black hat and wrapped in a black body suit, chanting, "Boston Strong! Boston Strong".
"It was something right ouf of a movie." said the witness, Matthew VanWinkle. "It was surreal-looking, to see this guy walking right down the middle of Boylston Street"
Not as "surreal" as the scene will be if there is another security breach come Monday after the outpouring of gut-wrenching patriotic hogwash and there is another real bomb or two that go off. If that happens (and we all better hope that it doesn't) then the scene will truly be like "something right out of a movie", an updated version of Red Dawn where the brute force of an occupying power crushes the locals or more appropriately a documentary about the Nazi invasion of Poland.
Mr. Edson is being held on $100,000 bail by the local authorities on charges of possession of use of a hoax device and making a false bomb threat but could be more appropriately charged with daring to defile the "Boston Strong" mythology in such a blatant and act so as to mock the unified city narrative that is a facade for the shame and cowardice of having been kicked around and bullied by the cops. Edson faces up to 20 years in the for-profit prison system and is surely being worked over by the pigs for his recalcitrance and failure to respect the ongoing ritual, once in prison he will likely be anally raped which is exactly what has happened to Americans since the phony and profitable war on terror was allowed to trump the Constitution.
Among those seeking to exploit the anniversary of the bombings for their own purposes included Vice President Joseph Biden who appeared at a ceremony on Tuesday. According to a CNN story Biden said to the crowd and media audience that:
"You have become the face of America's resolve for the whole world to see," Biden said, adding that people all around the world know the pride, courage, and resolve of Bostonians. "That's why the twisted, cowardly terrorists who acted here and in other places do what they do. They try to instill fear so that we will jettison what we value the most and what the world most values about us: an open society, our system of justice, our freedom of religion; our access to opportunity, the free flow of information and ideas."
The terrorists, Biden said, "wanted to make America afraid so that maybe, maybe, we'd begin to change our ways. That's the objective -- the very soul of who we are. They figured if they instill enough fear, we will change. And it infuriates them that we refuse to bend, refuse to change, refuse to yield to fear.
"You are Boston strong. But America is strong. ... That's what makes us so proud of this city and this state. What makes me so proud to be an American is that we have never, ever yielded to fear. Never."
While it wasn't exactly George W. Bush standing on the smoldering debris of the World Trade Center with a bullhorn the point was made that under the existing poisoned and compromised political class of The Homeland that the police state which was birthed on that day is here to stay. Biden though is full of crap because FEAR is exactly what Americans yielded to after that pristine New York Tuesday morning back in 2001 that turned into a horror show. Joe Biden is a pathetically bad liar though because yielding to fear is exactly what Americans did after that day.
FEAR allowed for the rollback of civil liberties.
FEAR provided the basis for an illegal invasion of Iraq, a country that did not threaten America.
FEAR unleashed the fully militarized police state on America, as seen in action in Beantown last year two days after the bombing as thousands of black clad paramilitary types ransacked neighborhoods to hunt down one punk.
FEAR provided the excuse for the NSA and it's private and foreign collaborators to usurp the Constitution and to conduct massive data-mining and warrantless surveillance on millions of law abiding citizens.
FEAR allowed for the redirection of trillions of taxpayer dollars into a monstrous surveillance machine, a Top Secret America that became a Surveillance State Gomorrah and continues to grow daily.
FEAR allowed the Bush administration to turn the USA into a torture state and Obama is still covering up conduct that was so over the line that it rivaled that of Nazi war criminals hanged at Nuremberg.
I could continue but I don't have the time nor is there sufficient space...
Biden also paid tribute to the arrogant form of American imperialism that currently has the world on the brink of a war to end all wars thanks to the hubris, moral rot and bloodlust that permeates from the administration which he is a member of. The applause line that "We are America, we own the finish line" is ironically appropriate in more ways than one, the real finish line is coming as the Empire is on a collision course with nuclear power Russia as well as economic power that is China, both of whom our neocon infested policy establishment is hellbent at confronting.
The reference to the "finish line" is also fitting that after the triumphant World Series win there was that aforementioned group of revelers who actually showed up at that exact same finish line to kiss the street - they had better get used to doing exactly that if and when the martial law drill conducted last year goes live for good.
FEAR has a twin brother named SHAME and Americans should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing charlatans the likes of Biden and his ilk to have exploited the former without any semblance of the latter.