Ron Paul is absolutely right to criticize the horrific abuse of American civil liberties in the pursuit of men who killed fewer people than died sitting on toilets the day of the Boston Marathon:
Forced lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down.
These were not the scenes from a military coup in a far off banana republic, but rather the scenes just over a week ago in Boston as the United States got a taste of martial law. The ostensible reason for the military-style takeover of parts of Boston was that the accused perpetrator of a horrific crime was on the loose. The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city. This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.
What has been sadly forgotten in all the celebration of the capture of one suspect and the killing of his older brother is that the police state tactics in Boston did absolutely nothing to catch them. While the media crowed that the apprehension of the suspects was a triumph of the new surveillance state – and, predictably, many talking heads and Members of Congress called for even more government cameras pointed at the rest of us – the fact is none of this caught the suspect. Actually, it very nearly gave the suspect a chance to make a getaway.
Paul’s criticism is strong, but it could be stronger. The fact is that President Obama should be ordering a federal investigation of the violations of the Constitution by the city and state police, as well as any federal agencies involved. It is depressing to think that we might have had a President Paul responding to this unprecedented attack on the American people by the police forces of the State if only the Republican Party had not insisted that Mitt Romney was “electable”.
Moreover, as Karl Denninger points out, not only were the Boston police not heroic, they were both incompetent and dishonest about their incompetency:
The cops unconstitutionally locked down a 20-block area. This was not a case of “hot pursuit” where a valid exception exists to the 4th Amendment — they had no idea where the bad guy was, other than the general area where they saw him last. That does not give license for what was done in Watertown.
But then to add to that they were both incompetent in that they didn’t search a street inside the perimeter, they lied about the fact that the boat was inside the perimeter and in addition the cops fired without having acquired a target and without having taken fire themselves when they shot up the boat.
The defendant had no weapon; he clearly did not shoot at the cops first.
In addition remember that the cops claimed the boat was outside of the perimeter. That, it turns out, was a lie.
The fact that the police are always full of praise for themselves after an incident such as the Boston Marathon doesn’t mean that they actually merit the praise. In most cases, a closer look will reveal that they are attempting to rewrite history and conceal their customary bumbling.