At this writing we don’t know who is responsible for the Boston Marathon Bombing, but we know a few things for certain, or almost so. First of all, that is the appellation that will go down in history, like the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11, or the Wall Street Bombing (of 1919). In the last, by the way, the perpetrator(s) were never discovered, though most evidence pointed toward anarchists, one of whom accidentally blew himself up while planting a bomb on the doorstep of the U.S. Attorney General at about the same time.
Other things we know, or should know are (1) it trivializes the event, as well as the word, by describing it with the overworked “tragedy.” A tragedy by its nature involves fate directed at or some failure of the individual suffering the misfortune. This was a despicable act of terror that was intentionally perpetrated on unsuspecting individuals, and a event of profound sadness to those killed and injured and their families and friends, as well as all of us. But,
(2) It was not a criminal act; it was an act of war, or at the very least, an act giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States, and particularly Massachusetts. This is an important distinction. The perpetrators are enemy combatants, who should be neutralized, that is, killed, once they are positively identified. At most, the only due process they deserve is ensuring their identity, and that they did the deed. The Nuremberg Trials are an example to follow: Swift, sure, and severe punishment and elimination. The last act of terror on our soil was Nidal Hasan’s massacre at Fort Hood. This November it will have been FOUR YEARS since that atrocity occurred, and there is still no definite trial date. Why? Because the United States government under this President refused to recognize it as a act of war and, absurdly enough, has characterized it as “workplace violence.” And
(3) At this writing, three people have died, and nearly two hundred were injured, many severely. More may die. There were traumatic amputations of feet and legs, and injuries to flesh, blood vessels, and bone serious enough to require surgical removal of the remnants. Not are these wounds excruciatingly painful, but the disabilities are permanent. While prostheses have come a long way, the injured will never get back the lives they had. The bombs used were of the improvised explosive devices (“IED”) especially designed to cause these kinds of wounds, and manifest a deliberate attempt to cause painful death and permanent and profound injuries to the maximum number of Americans.
Whoever the terrorists are, once they are found they should be immediately brought to trial for war crimes, and assuming it is shown they participated in doing the deed, receive the death penalty. They should suffer public executions broadcast live over worldwide television and the Internet. Given the profound pain and suffering as well as the probably permanent disruption of our way of life they cause, I might favor them being hanged, drawn, and quartered with their heads being put on stakes in Boston Common to rot, or burning them alive at the stake. That would get the world’s attention that we are through putting up with this nonsense.
I really don’t expect that will happen, though. It’s possible that, as in the 1919 Wall Street Bombing, we’ll never find the actual perpetrators. Our sophisticated technology goes a long way in tracking down these people, but has its limits. I wonder if we would ever have found Timothy McVeigh and his cohorts if he had not been so stupid as to drive on an interstate highways with no license plates and a loaded gun on the front seat of his car. Criminals are mostly stupid, though. Enemy combatants may not be.
We will continue to suffer indignities when boarding airplanes, be fearful of attending public events, and be subject to government intrusion in our personal affairs. We will have to be satisfied with the occasional elimination of terrorist by drone strikes, but I suppose that is better than nothing.
Maybe I’m just venting. Perhaps I will reconsider. I just might settle for punishment by simple public hanging, without the embellishments. After all they might result in sympathy for the perpetrator.