The Boston Globe's Andrew Ryan reported that the city "felt as if gripped by martial law." It wasn't just a feeling, Mr. Ryan; the city in fact was under martial law whether the media wants to ascribe that term to it or not. Here's Ryan's description of the eerie scene in Boston yesterday after all public transportation was shut down, government, business offices and schools were ordered closed and people were ordered to remain locked in their homes as police conducted a virtually unprecedented house to house search by police for the suspect without a search warrant:
Boston’s streets resembled deserted canyons Friday. No honking cars or groaning trucks, no aggressive bicycle messengers or absent-minded pedestrians stepping off curbs into traffic.
In a glimpse of the post-apocalyptic, office towers languished without workers. Sidewalks lay abandoned. Parking spaces were plentiful. Emptiness enveloped downtown and Government Center, it haunted the Back Bay and Kendall Square.
“It’s a ghost town,” cab driver Jimmy Carbone said. “It’s kind of scary.”
An unprecedented manhunt held metropolitan Boston hostage as police searched house by house for a suspect in the Marathon bombings, leaving almost 1 million people under siege.
The region felt as if gripped by martial law: Police armed with rifles patrolled empty roads. Soldiers outnumbered shoppers in Downtown Crossing. Marksmen in camouflage fatigues crawled across the roof of a shed in a backyard in Watertown.
“Keep the doors locked,” Governor Deval Patrick warned at an afternoon press conference. “It is important that folks remain indoors.”
Authorities shut down all Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority service, citing safety concerns as they halted subways, trains, and buses. City and town halls remained closed, as mayors and selectmen tracked the crisis behind locked doors. Public works departments canceled trash pickups, keeping garbage trucks off streets. Courthouses kept their doors shut. Taxis were pulled off roads . . .
Along Massachusetts Avenue in Boston, armed law enforcement officers in neon vests guarded almost every intersection from the Back Bay to Roxbury. The stillness hung over Kenmore Square, where normally clogged streets were clear and parking lots were virtually empty. Tourists walked aimlessly, unable to board trains or buses.
“What is this world coming to?” asked Guy Dixon, a maintenance and security worker at a rooming house for women on Charlesgate West. “This is too close to home.”
The lock-down paralyzed Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Newton, Belmont, and Brookline as residents hunkered inside, under authorities’ order.
But it turned Watertown into an occupied territory as armored vehicles and police, clad in riot gear and hoisting machine guns, hunted for a terrorist on suburban streets.Broadcast news showed residents standing in their front yards while police entered their homes without a warrant to search for the suspect. According to Ryan's report, hospitals weren't even permitted to release patients who were being treated at area hospitals. "Beds remained full at Massachusetts General Hospital because physicians could not release patients who live in locked-down communities, said Dr. Alasdair Conn, the hospital’s chief of emergency services. As Boston's mayor proclaimed, it was all necessary to prevent terrorism from winning. “Be patient,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said at the afternoon press conference. “But I want to say as mayor of the city of Boston, we are one city . . . we will not let the terrorists win.” News reports last night showed Boston residents celebrating in the streets after the order was released and news of the suspect's capture were broadcast live on television. You could have mistaken them for patriots celebrating our nation's independence from the British. Ironically, the suspect was discovered by a private citizen hiding in a boat in his backyard after the government lifted martial law and he was free to leave his locked home--a boat that had supposedly been searched by police earlier in the day.
Chew on this. This family sought refuge in this country. Our country granted them asylum in the post-9/11 era. Both suspects successfully adjusted their status as lawful permanent residents. The younger brother became a naturalized citizen, ironically on September 11, 2011. The older brother was unable to naturalize because of a domestic violence conviction but which wasn't deemed by our government sufficient to jeopardize his status as a permanent resident. The FBI admits that the Russian government had warned it about the older brother. A "thorough scrubbing" the FBI says turned up nothing and his case was closed. His mother has a different story. She says the FBI had been monitoring his every move for years and had visited her on several occasions, expressing to her concerns about his views on Islam and his role as a leader. She and her husband left the country last year, which may have been related to her own conviction for shoplifting. When will people wake up and ask what the hell our government is doing with all the money it's spending on this so-called War on Terror? Our civil liberties are being sacrificed little by little in the name of protecting us, while the government fails to deal with the real source of the terrorist threats. And before the anti-gun advocates use this as another excuse to increase their campaign to repeal the Second Amendment, they should ask how these two young men got the training to build such sophisticated bombs and other improvised explosive devices, as well as hand grenades. You can bet they didn't get their training or purchase the ingredients at the local gun store or at a gun show.
UPDATE: Ben Swann's Reality Check asked the questions the mainstream media should have been asking before the FBI fingered these two young immigrants.
Also, check out Alexander Higgins' analysis of the surveillance image video of the two suspects released by the FBI, which provides evidence of manipulation.