Originally published May 2 2013
Ron Paul: Boston lockdown, police state manhunt resembled 'banana republic' military action
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Former long-serving U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas isn't mincing words when describing the scene in and around Boston following the April 15 terrorist bombing of the famous annual Boston Marathon. To him, the tactics local police and federal agents used when searching for the suspects was nothing short of the kind of military action you see in a "banana republic."
In fact, to him - and millions of other Americans watching as well - the resultant house-to-house searches and martial law-type bans on the public, to name a few tactics - were scarier than the actual bombings.
'This should frighten us more than the attack'"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," he said on the libertarian Lew Rockwell website, as reported by Politico. "This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself."
The attacks killed three and injured 264. Several of those wounded in the attacks lost limbs.
Paul also said the door-to-door searches in the hours and days following the attacks were especially alarming. He said images of the searches, as well as videos taken by local residents, reminded him of a "military coup in a far off banana republic."
"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," he wrote.
"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," he said.
Paul went onto to remind readers that eventually, the surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, ultimately was discovered by a civilian - not due to a police crackdown.
"He was discovered by a private citizen, who then placed a call to the police," he wrote. "And he was identified not by government surveillance cameras, but by private citizens who willingly shared their photographs with the police."
Others have shared similar concerns.
Timothy P. Carney, writing in the Washington Examiner, made this case in an April 21 column:
As with every terrorist attack and high-profile killing, the Boston bombing has prompted calls for Americans to give up civil liberties for the sake of security. Rather than gun control or airport pat-downs, this time the call is for a Big Brother-like network of police cameras allowing authorities to more closely monitor people who move about the streets.
But the story of the Boston bombers - the details of their crime and their capture - makes the opposite argument. We don't need more government surveillance. We need to maintain robust civil society and public spiritedness.
Government's job is to protect our libertiesThat said, it's also important to note that the marathon bombers actually were captured by surveillance cameras, and they didn't prevent the attacks. So what's next - surveillance cameras inside our homes? That's what is really behind calls for "more cameras."
Furthermore, as Carney points out, the surveillance cameras which captured the images of the bombers were largely privately owned - either by businesses in the area that use them to deter theft or by citizens with video-phone capabilities who provided them to police.
The point is, we already have enough cameras.
"So what do we gain by having the government run its own cameras? That would mean the police wouldn't need to turn to the public for help. This would create efficiencies, but it seems the public responded pretty efficiently last week," writes Carney.
Sadly, we have been conditioned to believe that the job of the government is to keep us safe, but in reality the job of the government is to protect our liberties. Once the government decides that its role is to keep us safe, whether economically or physically, they can only do so by taking away our liberties. That is what happened in Boston.
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