The Boston Marathon Bombing story took a confusing turn today. And events did more than confuse some people. They frustrated some, and frightened others.
Nothing to see here! Move on!
Breathless reports came from many media outlets that the police were going to arrest someone. So a mob gathered at the federal courthouse in Boston. They were waiting for someone to do a perp walk. And…nothing happened. Nothing, that is, except for the Officers Barbrady to come out and say, in effect,
Nothing to see here! Move on!
To make it worse: according to Fox News, someone in the courthouse sounded a false alarm of some kind. Fox News host Bill Hemmer called it a “prank.”
The first reports in the mainstream media came from CNN. Reporters Michael Pearson and Tom Watkins said the FBI found someone on a news tape dropping a backpack off at the site of the second blast. This person allegedly turned up on a tape from a news channel in the Boston market, and also on a surveillance tape from the Lord and Taylor store on Boylston Street, opposite the second blast site.
The breathless reports rolled in from then on. At 1:45 p.m. ET, Fox News told its viewers to expect an arrest. At 2:00 p.m. ET, all eyes watched the federal courthouse. Where, of course, no perp walked.
Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Seen?
First photo of possible Boston Marathon Bombing suspect. From NewsJunkie.com
But that does not mean no one saw any suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombing. (It is probably not the Saudi national who talked to authorities under guard at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital; see here.) The photo at right comes from this report at TheNewsJunkie.com. It is one of several photos that a site called 4Chan collected from users. TheNewsJunkie.com published this sampling.
The common thread: five young men milled around the finish line. Each carried a backpack that looked like one in an ABC-TV photo of a backpack at the second blast site. They did not pay attention to the race. Users photographed each man with and without his backpack. Three of the five looked like Middle Easterners. The other two looked like white men of European descent.
This morning, Paul Joseph Watson posted a large sampling of the 4Chan photos at Infowars.com. This article has several links to other articles about whether marathon runners knew in advance about a terror drill, and the first reports (which the Barbradys have now contradicted) saying they had arrested someone.
According to Newsmax, authorities say they have identified a suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombing, and will say more about the matter at 5:00 p.m. today.
Joe Kovacs of WND gives more detail. According to him, authorities are looking for a “dark-skinned” man. He also gave this quote:
CBS correspondent Bob Orr said authorities have video of a man in a black jacket on a cell phone, wearing a gray hoodie and a white baseball cap backwards placing a black bag at the second bomb site outside of the Forum restaurant on Boylston Street and then leaving the area before that [blast].
The CBS article says the man the authorities are interested in is white, not “dark-skinned.”
Who benefits from suspects of different skin?
If that question sounds outrageous, let the reader direct his outrage to David Sirota at Salon.com. Last night he actually said,
Let’s hope the Boston Marathon Bomber is a white American.
E-mail allegedly from someone warning that the government will find a white male scapegoat. Graphic: Infowars.com.
His thesis: if the perpetrator turns out to be a Middle Easterner, that will support anti-Arab discrimination. Obviously the prospect of people being “mean to Muslims” disquiets Sirota. But Watson and his friends at Infowars worry about something else: if the suspect is white, the Obama administration will use the Boston Marathon Bombing to limit everyone’s liberties. Infowars also published an image of an anonymous e-mail that warns of exactly that:
They’re going to pin this event on a male late teens to early 20s and say he did it because he’s unstable. They are going to find firearms and a NRA book in his home. They are going to say he used reloading powder for the [bomb] and that reloading powder shouldn’t be for sale to the public. They are then going to say that because the powder in ammunition can be used for [bombs] that the number of rounds you can buy should be limited and taxed to pay for these events.
Today someone led the public to expect an arrest today. That arrest did not happen. Onlookers and reporters did photograph as many as five men who carried backpacks and did not act like regular Boston Marathon onlookers. Did one or two of them carry one or both bombs? No one knows. Yet.
But the stakes in the Boston Marathon Bombing story just went up an order of magnitude.