Real Time Web Analytics

Harvard University report endorses police state measures in Boston Marathon lockdown

By      Nick Barrickman

7 April 2014



A new report by the Program on Crisis Leadership of Harvard University’s Kennedy School, entitled “Why was Boston Strong?”, examines the response of police and other government agencies to the events of April 15 last year, when two pressure cooker bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The report purports to “analyze how both prior preparation and action-in-the-moment contributed to the effectiveness of response.” In the process, it uncritically endorses the anti-democratic methods utilized in the aftermath of the bombings.

The report was released last week in the run-up to the one-year anniversary of the Boston bombings, in which three people lost their lives and more than 260 were injured. It also comes on the heels of a congressional report that whitewashes the extensive links between federal intelligence officials and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of the two brothers charged with carrying out the bombings.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police in the early morning hours of April 19. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured that evening. He is imprisoned and faces capital charges in Massachusetts.

The authors of the report state that they “are not trying to tell the full story of the Boston Marathon bombings.” “Instead,” they write, “through analysis of selected aspects of these events, we are seeking lessons that can help response organizations in Boston and other locales improve their preparation” for similar events in the future.

The report argues that the “shelter-in-place” order issued by authorities on the morning of April 19 was simply a means to trap the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. After his older brother was fatally wounded by police in a shootout in the Boston suburb of Watertown, the younger Tsarnaev had fled into the neighborhood amidst a “hail of gunfire” from pursuing officers.

“As the situation stabilized overnight with no further sign of the assailant, the determination was made at the command post to organize a systematic search within the cordoned-off area starting at dawn the following morning,” the report continues, adding that “the affected communities… cooperated to a very considerable extent with this request.” Armed officers were “courteous and highly professional throughout the day,” the report states.

In fact, the imposition of virtual martial law in the city of Boston and its suburbs, on the pretext of searching for one suspected bomber, was a dry run for the suspension of constitutional rights and imposition of dictatorial rule. Federal, state and local police and intelligence agencies seized on the bombings as an opportunity to test out in a major metropolitan area—the birthplace of the American Revolution—plans for mass repression that had long been on the drawing boards, prepared under the cover of the post-9/11 “war on terror.”

For one day, citizens of Boston were forced to “shelter in place” as armed police, backed by military helicopters and machine gun-mounted armored vehicles, conducted door-to-door warrantless searches of the homes of terrified residents of entire communities.


About Nathan Laurenson

Editor at The Daily Resistance, Citizen Journalist, Activist and Co Host Of Battle Of New Orleans Radio On 990 AM WGSO Airs 8pm Wed.| Resist Daily