— Special Update —
Today was the Boston Marathon. In an eerie show of force, some 4,000 law enforcement officers and military personnel patrolled the area. According to Kurt Schwartz, Massachusetts’s Undersecretary for Homeland Security, they were there “watching the public, watching the crowds, trying to detect suspicious behavior.” All in the name of safety.
Thousands of steel barriers were assembled in order to control the flow of spectators. They were funneled through a few dozen checkpoints and subjected to warrantless searches. Prohibitions almost seemed random: water bottles larger than a liter, baby strollers, opaque bags, flags deemed too large, costumes, and, of course, any means of self-defense.
Scariest of all? “We know of no specific credible threats to this event, but we remain vigilant,” said U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. If this is the response to no threat, I shudder to think of what to expect in cases of alleged threats.