North: Marathon manhunt
WASHINGTON — It’s sure to be a major motion picture worthy of the talents of Michael Moore and Oliver Stone. If the FBI does indeed have the right suspects, the docudrama screenplay — “based on a true story” — will begin with FBI public-domain footage of two young men carrying backpacks along a crowded street and then two bombs detonating near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 170. The scene closes with rescuers rushing to help grievously injured victims.
The open is followed by a spin and a flashback: Two young brothers flee the separatist insurgency in post-Soviet Chechnya. Scenes include sympathetic portrayals of Muslims brutalized by Russian Orthodox Christians. The brothers immigrate to the U.S. but are appalled and radicalized by apres-9/11 American chauvinism and intolerance. Left with no recourse but violence, they begin assembling an arsenal of weapons and perfecting the manufacture of improvised explosive devices. The word “jihad” never is uttered.
Cut to interviews with family members, neighbors, teachers and friends who say they cannot believe that these nice boys are capable of murder, mayhem and wanton destruction. Scenes of the brothers watching coverage of George W. Bush’s vicious wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are interspersed with views of American bigotry and observations on how foolishly easy it is to acquire firearms, ammunition, large-capacity magazines and bomb-making materials in the U.S.
The last half of the movie builds tension by showing how the brothers were deemed to be suspects in the aftermath of the marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt. In this part of the film, ubiquitous social media, countless smartphones, the Internet and tens of thousands of citizen cameras all star.
For accuracy, the film will show politicians rushing to microphones and pontificating about the event and the ensuing investigation and making promises about bringing the perpetrators to justice. Benghazi, Libya, will not be mentioned. Bloggers, a tsunami of publicly disseminated information and nontraditional reporters — rather than solid work by local, state and federal law enforcement officers — will be depicted as keys to solving the case.
Erroneous reports about additional bombs being found in Boston, incorrect information about a Saudi national person of interest being interviewed and deported, the breathless account of a suspect being arrested the day after the attack, and theories about links to packages laced with poisonous ricin intercepted in Washington all will be blamed on “big media.” For visual impact, the film will include footage of a deadly fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas that killed at least 15 and injured more than 100 — and contemporaneous suspicion that the conflagration may be connected to the Boston Marathon bombings.
The thrilling denouement begins with the FBI’s new-normal wanted poster: videos and still photos of suspect No. 1 and suspect No. 2, released at a news conference in Boston; the appeal for anyone with information about the suspects to contact the FBI; and a warning: The suspects should be presumed to be armed and extremely dangerous. A suspense-filled, bloody climax will show how these two misunderstood and misguided brothers were hunted down by black-clad SWAT teams armed with “military-style assault weapons” and intent on killing rather than capturing the lads.
Such a depiction of what transpired in Boston may well satisfy the anti-American proclivities of leftist elites, but it will obscure some important lessons from the events in Boston:
Evil is real. Jihadis — homegrown and otherwise — are here, and they are intent on killing and maiming as many of us as possible. That’s not our fault.
Secondly, though about two dozen Americans have been killed in the United States by terrorists since 9/11 — including those who died in the November 2009 outburst of “workplace violence” at Fort Hood, Texas — we cannot ban all cooking pots, cellphones and batteries used to detonate improvised explosive devices, and we can’t ban firearms. Some terrorists will succeed because we must be right all the time and terrorists need be right only once.
Thirdly, the FBI’s official plea for public help in identifying and finding the marathon bombing suspects Thursday evening was brilliant. It produced the desired results — and pushed self-serving government leakers and the bogus information purveyed by so-called informed anonymous sources and unnamed “officials close to the investigation” out of the picture. That’s a lesson for all of us in the media.
Finally, a prediction: The Obama administration will use the terror in Boston to renew efforts at stripping rights to “keep and bear arms” from law-abiding citizens. Because of the protracted search for the 19-year-old suspect No. 2, the O-Team will ask Congress to appropriate funds to buy “drones” for use in domestic law enforcement. Meanwhile, it will persist in doing really stupid things, such as allowing airline passengers to carry knives with blades that are less than 2.36 inches long aboard commercial flights.
None of those is a good idea — but they all are sure to be a hit with Moore and Stone.