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We Don’t Love Freedom Enough

April 30, 2013

It is as if someone has died, that realization which comes to you from out of the blue and says, “Oh wow, they really did that!” Armed men in military style fatigues took over an American city and ordered its residents off the streets. Roaming, this force in their armored personnel carriers, interrogated citizens who dared break from their “voluntary” request. They ejected people from their homes and searched them without warrant. It reminded me of a scene from the movie Fahrenheit 451 where they were chasing Montag with the helicopters, while his picture is splashed across the television as “breaking news.”

Authorities pick out official suspects, disallowing any other photographs but those deemed “official.” The authorities ask for the public’s help in identifying the suspects, and then the boy’s mother comes forward saying the FBI has been talking to her son for two years and has been to their home…

And I’m Robert Siegel.

We begin this hour with a major break in the investigation into Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.

RICHARD DESLAURIERS: Today, we are enlisting the public’s help to identify the two suspects. After a very detailed analysis of photo, video and other evidence, we are releasing photos of these two suspects. They are identified as Suspect 1 and Suspect 2. They appeared to be associated. Suspect 1 is wearing a dark hat, Suspect 2 is wearing a white hat. Suspect 2 set down a backpack at the site of the second explosion just in front of the Forum restaurant.

SIEGEL: That’s FBI special agent-in-charge Richard DesLauriers at a news conference earlier today. For more on this story, we’re joined by NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston. And, Dina, the headline out of this briefing isn’t just the images, but one word that we heard seven times in that 30-second clip, suspect.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: That’s right. For the first time since Monday’s bombing, there are suspects. The FBI released these photographs of these two 20-something men in hoodies and baseball caps. And they didn’t just call them individuals of interest, they call them suspects, and that’s meaningful. It means they have enough data to actually charge these men with something. The FBI appealed to the public to help identify them, and they warned – and I thought this was significant – that they considered them armed and extremely dangerous.

Explosions at Boston Marathon – NPR

Only there’s little truth in it — this is helicopters and Montag. And this time it’s real! The narrative is quite simple: the police did a good job and what they did was right. The first responders and those on the scene were heroes and we must come together as a nation. Intentionally, the suspect was not read his Miranda rights to validate his enemy combatant status, then once in place they need only to expand its meaning, opening it up like an umbrella, as one day you’re stopped by police and asked, “Where’s the terrorist-fire buddy?”

It is the most extraordinary and most frightening event I’ve ever witnessed, with surreal echoes of the same 9-11 narratives blasted across the media, like reruns playing the heartstrings of memory. The Twin Towers were buildings that were destroyed; this missile is aimed straight at the heart of civil society as a whole. It’s almost unprecedented; except for that one time, when some generals tried to kill Hitler and the Home Army was used to secure Berlin.

Then lickity-split, the story changes and changes again, authorities will read him his Miranda rights and the suspect has been cooperative. Gee, I guess if the story changes often enough, no one will ever know the truth.

The bleeding suspect, on foot, eludes police during a lock down. When he is finally located, he’s hiding in a boat and police have thermal imaging available of the interior of the boat. They fire between 30 to 50 rounds into the boat before the suspect emerges cussing and now, there’s a question if he will ever speak again? To lock down a city, for what purpose? Either these people in charge are fools or there is something else going on here. If there had been no lock-down in force, Dzhokar Tamerlan might have been located hours sooner; it was after all, a civilian who located him and paid the price with his boat. Remember that, the next time you think a terrorist suspect might be hiding in your boat.

That is the really frightening part. The part where you begin to think seriously about leaving the country. When you back track it, the narrative is ominous; the economy has been gutted, hollowed out through Free Trade and tax cuts, with the unemployed having the greatest tax cut of all, paying nothing. Gladly, they would love to pay taxes; I myself would be proud to pay taxes. I’d be proud to pay taxes on Obama’s $608,000 income. Could you imagine, making $11,000 per week and a free house! I don’t fault them for it really, I just wanted to reference the word “isolated.” But a poor country can’t afford to pay out benefits, now can it?

So sooner or later the axe will fall. Already Obama has sent up the trial balloon and these days, like it or not, when the trial balloon goes up, the real balloon will shortly follow. It’s no longer guns or butter; they don’t need any butter if they’ve guns to point at you. We have witnessed the treatment meted out nationwide to the peaceful Occupy movement and this weekend we’ve witnessed a military takeover of an American city and the million dollar question is… why? Was this an exercise, or was this an exercise of an even larger exercise? They’re planning more exercises you know, in Washington and in two other US cities in May. I guess, because the money is burning a hole in their pockets.

I just wonder why a really sharp guy, who was given a scholarship by the City of Cambridge and was a sophomore at UMass, would build bombs from a pressure cooker? A pressure cooker is a heavy steel or iron pot, reinforced to handle high pressures; an explosion is an uncontrolled release of high pressure. Why use a reinforced steel vessel, unless its purpose was to blow straight up into the air? The lid of one pressure cooker was found on the roof of an adjacent building. There were bombs, of that, there is no doubt. These bombs were very ineffective either by luck or by design and we’re just ever so lucky these days, aren’t we?

Just what does above the law really mean? Of course, it means you can park in handicapped spaces, but say you had a business competitor who’d been giving you a hard time and you just couldn’t get rid of them… well, maybe they’ll have a fire at their fertilizer plant. To be above the law is to make all else subservient. To seize and hold a town under near martial law conditions looking for a criminal is to make the citizens afraid and subservient to law enforcement. I don’t care if this nineteen-year-old was the reincarnation of Bruce Lee and Our Man Flint; one small police force should be adequate.

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


About the Author: David Glenn Cox is a senior staff writer for TLR and an award winning author and musician; he is the author of the novel, “The Servants of Pilate”.



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