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The invasion of Boston

It is important to realize, first, when you are trying to understand what just happened in Boston, that the Boston metropolitan area is a Tier 1 city for the Department of Homeland Security's Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) into which hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) have been funneled over the past several years.

Then, second, it is important to realize that the reason authorities were so ready to order the "lockdown" [which is, in itself, a euphemism for martial law] is that they have been training to do so several years.  Operation "Urban Shield" is a training plan for a multi-disciplinary response to a major terrorist incident, and if you take the time to view this video [produced with DHS grant money], you will realize that not only have Massachusetts authorities been preparing to invade their own city, they have been conditioning the citizens to expect it.

Third, you need to know that the whole apparatus has been coordinated through a mind-numbing series of interlocking bureaucratic offices like the Boston Regional Intelligence Center [BRIC] and the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region, which includes the participation of organizations like

Various agencies will be involved, including UASI Boston Communities including Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, Winthrop, Revere, Quincy, Everett, and Chelsea and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units from:
  • the Boston Police Department;
  • the Brookline Police Department;
  • the Cambridge Police Department;
  • the Revere Police Department;
  • the Northeastern Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC);
  • the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association (MBTA) Police Department;
  • the Massachusetts State Police;
  • the Middlesex County Police Department;
  • the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council;
  • the Manchester, NH Police Department

So it wasn't an improvisation, this invasion of Boston, it was a pre-planned, Federally coordinated effort that sent 9-10,000 police in BDUs with assault rifles and back by dozens if not hundreds of armored fighting vehicles and combat helicopters.  It was pre-planned to shut down mass transit, the schools, and to restrict all citizens to their homes.

Perhaps you find it comforting that Uncle Sam has so thoughtfully provided for this rapid response.

I don't.  I think something else should be learned from this--several something elses as a matter of fact:

1.  The response was clearly disproportionate to the situation.  We didn't shut down Oklahoma City for the Federal Building bombing, New York for the first WTC attack, or Atlanta for the Olympic bombing.  London didn't get shut down on 7/7, nor did Madrid.  We don't shut down cities when serial killers are on the loose, or when drug gangs take after each other in flurries of automatic gunfire.  We haven't--but from now on I suspect we will.  Why was the response disproportionate?  Because there was no credible nuclear, biological, or chemical threat, and once the original bombing site had been secured and the crowds there dispersed there was very little legitimate reason to bring one of America's largest metropolitan areas to a full stop--except to prove that it could be done.

2.  The response was overwhelmingly military, and its execution was designed to see if Americans would accept it.  This is a critical point, and requires a little insider baseball to explain.  The current in-vogue doctrine for Homeland Security response is the "all hazards" and "all hands" response.  In an NBC scenario you would be talking about hospitals mobilizing to treat radioactive or chemical injuries, firefighters mobilizing to contain massive blazes, utility workers sweeping in to restore power or clear debris, and crisis relocation shelters set up.  That's why there has to be a gigantic command and control operation atop this kind of exercise.  But in Boston it was a Homeland Security dream situation because only the military and para-military assets were in play.  Ironically, these are the easiest assets to coordinate and deploy, and I guarantee you that the command centers running this operation were full of officers running a full-out wet dream operation.  They got to mobilize ALL the toys, sweep aside ALL constitutional safeguards, thunder down the streets of Baghdad Boston with turrets swirling, and they got to be lionized in the MSM as the heroes of the day.  They got to justify all the expenditures of the last decade, and all the erosions of civil liberties ...

... even though it was a guy smoking a cigarette behind his house and not any of the 10,000 cops who actually led to the capture of the suspect.  The exercise itself (said the little boy to the naked emperor) was actually something of a failure in terms of catching the bomber.

3.  But catching the bomber was never the point of the exercise.  The point of the exercise was actually mobilizing all the assets to see if they could take over an American city on the slightest of legal pretexts [just who does have the legal authority to shut all the schools and shut off all mass transit for the pursuit of a single suspect].  The point of the exercise was to establish the "new normal" of massive response, and to make the administration's point that anywhere in America could become "the battlefield."  The point of the exercise was to get Americans used to seeing "surge" tactics in our own streets, to obeying calls to "shelter in place," and not to ask questions when heavily armed men in BDUs come storming up to your door.

4.  And you cannot trust them.  Don't believe me--ask the ACLU.  I realize we are all in the middle of the spin-cycle in which everyone from the Mayor to the Governor to the President will be patting themselves on the back, but it is time to go back a few steps...

Go back a few steps and realize that the same police departments and homeland security authorities that just invaded Boston with 10,000 men, AFVs, and attack helicopters have spent the past several years illegally spying on private citizens for their non-violent political views.  Watch the whole ACLU video, please:

Boston was essentially a "live-fire" exercise conducted on the flimsy premise that one fugitive merited the armed invasion and shut-down of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

Boston was an exercise to see if we would buy it, if we would acquiesce, and if most of the voices that would rise in protest could be dismissed as cranks, conspiracy theorists, or ... libertarians.

Boston, whether you know it or not, was a watershed, and not a good one.



Anonymous said…
My concerns come from the lack of information. We know all about the brothers background but we don't know: where are the older brothers wife and child? The younger brother was a full time student and the brother took a year to train in boxing. But we don't know how they afforded to do so.
tom said…
Who needs a credible nuclear, biological, or chemical threat?

Lite-brite Moonanites or flour were excuse enough. After all, they "had a very sinister appearance. It had a battery behind it, and wires.", and when "You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know, It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious."
Delaware Watch said…
Excellent analysis of what the government did and why. I think the most significant aspect of the clamp down was the near universal acceptance (better, gratitude) that Bostonians and Americans elsewhere expressed for the martial law event. Watching people applaud the police and military as they drove by presented no visual difference from the Soviet citizens as they applauded military vehicles driving by in Red Square on May Day. Actually, the Boston sheepishness is probably worse since it can be assumed that the Soviet citizens felt compelled to supply the applause and did it reluctantly. But the Bostonians happily and voluntarily applauded as the military vehicles drove by. Now that is most powerful form of coercion: when you can get a populace to enthusiastically embrace the usurpation of their rights. I am confident that the official propagandists of the former USSR dreamed of instigating a popular response as successful and deluding as the USA accomplished in Boston recently.
Anonymous said…
It should be called Marshall Law and we should be very afraid I don't trust the federal gov't anymore.
Thomas L. Knapp said…
"9-10,000 police in BDUs"

That's twice as many troops as the British used to occupy Boston in 1775.
Rich said…
snd 0% of the opposition...
Duffy said…
Oh how I wish I could tell you this was the fevered imagination of the tin foil hat brigade.

I'll acknowledge that the guy is/was dangerous. The Fort Hood shooter killed far more, the Columbine shooters, Sandy Hook etc.

I was both amazed and alarmed at the rapidity with which they were able to pull this off.
Anonymous said…
Steve, I too was disturbed by the whole response, in particular call for a lock down but not calling it what it was Martial Law, moreover I was disturbed by the appearance of various law enforcement agencies walking around in Storm Trooper uniforms more heavily armed than most infantry squads. Another telling sign of what has become, look at how the Boston Police wear their hats, they have crushed the sides and remind me of the way the SS wore their hats. No the Security State is upon us and it will never go back to the way it was because politicians of all stripes create fear in the American public in order to impose their Draconian measures.

Hank Foresman
tiffany267 said…
Thanks for your thoughtful piece. I've reblogged it here:

I encourage you to explore my blog content, as there is a ton of libertarian-related posts as well as other items related to individual rights and civil liberties.

Thank you again and keep up the good work.

In love of liberty.
Thanks Tiffany. I've added you to my blogroll.
David McCorquodale said…
Very well written, without even getting to the idea that the "suspects" may not have done it. The question is always "Who benefits?" In this case the answer is DHS. Since there are pictures of military types at the site of the first bombing with similarly stuffed backpacks, it leads one to wonder to the incident wasn't intentionally planned to bring on the "exercise".
Unknown said…
the dailycaller's @JTlol blocked me for making this same argument the day it was happening.

So much for "conservatives" saying we should never exchange liberty for security.

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