Ron Paul slams police: Lockdown of Boston after Boston Marathon explosions were reminiscent of “scenes from a military coup in a far off banana republic,” Paul wrote on a libertarian blog.
“What has been sadly forgotten in all the celebration of the capture of one suspect and the killing of his older brother is that the police state tactics in Boston did absolutely nothing to catch them,” wrote Paul on Lew Rockwell, the blog. “While the media crowed that the apprehension of the suspects was a triumph of the new surveillance state – and, predictably, many talking heads and Members of Congress called for even more government cameras pointed at the rest of us – the fact is none of this caught the suspect. Actually, it very nearly gave the suspect a chance to make a getaway.”
Alternative media websites and blogs have been fast to question the use of force in the aftermath of the explosions. The entire city was pretty much shut down on April 19 after the explosions, while police and the military searched for the younger Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Videos from local broadcasters and uploaded to YouTube from locals stuck inside their houses show SWAT teams and other personnel surrounding houses and kicking down doors, pointing guns at the people who open them, and telling the people to get outside, quickly.
Paul, who served in Congress for 23 years and was a presidential contender in 2012, is perhaps the biggest name to come out against the use of such force.
“Forced lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down. These were not the scenes from a military coup in a far off banana republic, but rather the scenes just over a week ago in Boston as the United States got a taste of martial law,” said Paul. “The ostensible reason for the military-style takeover of parts of Boston was that the accused perpetrator of a horrific crime was on the loose. The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city. This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.”
Tsarnaev was reportedly identified after a man who had his car stolen by the brothers (with him still in it) escaped and called police. Later, a man discovered the suspect under a boat in his backyard.
It wasn’t until the order to stay inside was lifted that the man find the suspect, said Paul.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick defended his decision, telling the Boston Globe last week: “I think we did what we should have done and were supposed to do with the always-imperfect information that you have at the time.”