After a four day manhunt, the city of Boston is returning back to normal after the Boston Marathon bombing. As the people of Boston and its sounding area take a collective sigh of relief, politicians, pundits, and security experts will start to analyze the events leading to the Boston Marathon bombings as well as what we can learn from these events. So what can we, as a nation, learn from the Boston Marathon bombings?
The Incompetence of the DHS
There is no other way to say it other than the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proven once again that is a ineffective at keeping Americans safe. The DHS is completely incompetent, inept, and inefficient. Given the DHS more money and powers won’t help either, it just magnifies how useless the department is. There were so many points of failure that the full report of this incident will rival the 9/11 report.
The Bureaucratic Bureau of Investigation
The FBI doesn’t normally release all of the information it has gather regarding an on going investigation. Police agencies often hold back information so as to not tip off the perpetrators. That said, the Boston Marathon bombing showed how bureaucratic the bureau of investigation is. I am surprised at how long it took for the FBI to identify and release information on the bombing suspects. Two bombs went off during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 but it took over three days for the FBI to release video footage and grainy still images of the suspects. What the FBI finally released was grainy and difficult to make out, it took the sleuthing of online forums to dig up a high resolution image of the suspects at the crime scene.
Within an hour of the bombings, the FBI should have made a big push to collect every photo and video taken at the Boston Marathon minutes before and after the tragic event. Nowadays, everyone is carrying around smart phones with cameras and at events like the Boston Marathon there are hundreds of people taking hundreds of pictures from every which angle. The FBI should have made a bigger push to collect every photo taken by every person attending the race. Once a suspect can be identify, all you have to do is upload the images to iPhoto and have iPhoto’s facial recognition feature find every photo where the suspect is in and even create a nice timeline.
The Boston Marathon bombings have clearly revealed that the FBI is lagging in the technical ability to leverage technology and the intelligence of the crowd accordingly. The FBI’s most trusted technology for receiving information on crimes is the tip phone line.
Crowd Sourcing Intelligence and Ignorance
Soon after the bombings, social media sites like Reddit sprang into action, analyzing pictures and gathering information on potential suspects. Because the FBI had release so little information early on in the investigation, the online community took matters into their own hands came to their own conclusions… which proved mostly incorrect.
Even though Reddit and other online communities were often wrong when come up with conclusions, they there the go to source for real time information. Watching CNN or other network news stations was painfully difficult to do. Network news stations don’t do good journalism anymore, they just have idiotic talking heads making up conjectures and asking stupid questions. The Boston bombings make it evidently clear that the news networks approach to breaking news is broken. There is a huge need for a true real-time crowd-sourced federated news social media forum.
Network News Nonsense
The news networks are complete incompetent mumbling talentless idiots. The American news networks don’t show any real information, don’t report on real news, don’t do real journalism, and don’t ask intelligent questions. News network anchors are idiotic talking heads in front of a blue screen, they replay the same stock footage over and over, they bring on retired ‘experts’ that make unfounded conjectures, and often report on stale and inaccurate information.
No matter the crime scene, you have that idiot news reported talking to a friend of neighbor of the suspect. The reporter always asks the same dumb questions and the neighbors often say the same thing, “he was a nice quiet kid, all American kid, I never suspected anything like this from the suspects, he was a nice kid, as American as anyone, smokes a little weed here and there, he is an angel, he was compassionate, caring, jovial, forth coming, a lovely kid, he was not capable of this, outstanding athlete, never a trouble maker, joyful and caring kid, likable guy, had a million friends, I never suspected the suspect, he never had any problems with the police, loved animals and long walks on the beach.”
The United States of the Middle East
The United States just shifted a bit closer to the Middle East. Because of the myopic, callous, and illogical foreign policies of the United States in the Islamic world, which includes droning of innocent civilians. The United States, through its foreign policies, has poked and provoked, and possible opened Pandora’s box of terror. Roadside bombs, cafe bombs, improvised explosives, mortar attacks, drone double tap strikes, and rocket attacks is something that people in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel worry about every day. The DHS has proven that it cannot keep Americans safe. Because of the security theater we now live in, anytime two people gather in public, it will be seen as either a security threat or security target.
The War on Terror
The War on Terror is designed to have no final outcome, there won’t be a signed armistice, no peace treaty. So who is winning the War on Terror? If you keep score with body bags, then the United States is winning. If you keep score on what this war has done to the deficit and national debt, then the military-industrial-complex is winning.
The Cost of Failure
The DHS failed the American people. The FBI failed the people of Boston. The system failed, completely, utterly, epic face palm failure. But what people don’t realize is that the DHS and the FBI is designed to fail. The survival of the DHS depends on its failure, and just like “too big to fail”Wall Street banks the DHS will be rewarded with more money because of its failure. The whole paradigm of expecting the US government and a bunch of bureaucratic politicians to protect Americans from made up terrorists is doomed to failure, it will always fail. The system is intentionally designed to fail, its survival depends on it failing so that it can then turn around and ask more power and money from tax paying citizens.