Yesterday, April 15, 2013, on the 117th running of the Boston Marathon some person or persons currently unknown set and detonated 2 bombs long the final stretch of the race course. The first exploded literally at the finish line, the second roughly 1 block from the finish along the course on Boylston Street. At the time of this writing, there are 3 dead and dozens injured.
We know precious little more than that at this time. I have said in the past when situations like this have occurred that while it is extremely difficult to not look for immediate answers, investigations like these take time. Jumping to conclusions helps no one. A simple example is the widespread report that the Boston authorities responded to the discovery of more (thankfully unexploded) bombs by shutting down the cell phone network to avoid having it used to trigger more devices. That report was completely wrong – the network simply couldn’t handle the load of the massive number of people trying to call out or locate people who had been in the area. (Helpful tip for anyone who finds themselves in something similar to this: text, don’t call. Texting a message takes far less bandwidth and is far more likely to connect than a voice call. Better still, if you can find functional wifi out there, attach to that network and send e-mail.)
Worse than the people jumping to conclusions about what happened are those jumping to accuse this or that group of being the reason why it happened. Wolf Blitzer of CNN, an alleged journalist, as well as so-called “experts” who couldn’t get their faces on TV fast enough to suggest that it was probably Tea Party-supporting fanatics using “tax day” and explosives to send a message are clueless idiots clambering atop the bodies of the dead and injured to push their political agenda. Every time something like this happens they go into the accusatory mode and – shocker – they’ve been dead wrong every time. This time is very likely going to be the same story. Don’t be goaded into being their parrots. I know it’s hard but patience is key. The investigators performing their duties are being held to the highest standard – we expect them to be near-flawless. They can’t do that and get the answers in 60 minutes. This ain’t a cop show on cable.
There are people morning dead relatives and people comforting serious injured neighbors. Give them the time they need, give the investigators the time they need, and we will all be better off. We’ll figure this out and we’ll see justice done.