April 26, 2013 Leave a comment
The New York Times published an editorial Monday that not only endorses last week’s police-military lockdown of Boston, but suggests that it was entirely consistent with democratic procedures. In “How to Handle a Terrorism Case,” the Times makes the absurd argument that the operation that led to the arrest of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a vindication of “the fundamental rights that distinguish this country from authoritarian regimes.”
In the editorial, the leading organ of the “liberal” establishment shamelessly falsifies what actually occurred, omitting any mention of the use of National Guard troops, SWAT teams, machine-gun mounted armored vehicles and Black Hawk helicopters. It makes no mention of the order for some 1 million residents to remain in their homes or the warrantless house-to-house searches carried out by heavily armed police.
The piece begins by setting up Republican Senator Lindsey Graham as a right-wing foil, criticizing his call for Tsarnaev to be declared an enemy combatant and turned over to the military. The Times seeks to use the decision of the Obama administration to try Tsarnaev in a civilian court to whitewash the state of siege that was imposed during the manhunt for the terror suspect.
The newspaper writes: “Mr. Graham’s reckless statement makes a mockery of the superb civilian police work that led to the suspect’s capture, starting with askillful analysis of video recordings of the marathon. The law enforcement system solved the case swiftly and efficiently, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the local police…” [Emphasis added].
Leaving aside the rapturous praise for the police and intelligence agencies, this account is utterly dishonest. Anyone reading it who was not familiar with the events of last Friday would have no idea what actually happened.
In passing, the Times bestows its blessings on the pervasive use of surveillance cameras in public places, something that has become a regular feature of American life although it violates constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights.
“Mr. Tsarnaev is a naturalized American citizen,” the editorial continues, “an inconvenient fact for the pressure-him-at-Gitmo crowd. He cannot be tried in a military commission, a legal system reserved for aliens. Even to be held by the military without trial would require a showing that he is associated with a declared enemy of the United States, such as Al Qaeda or the Taliban. So far there isn’t any visible connection between the Tsarnaev brothers and anyone more malevolent.”