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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns For Your Consideration For Your Consideration: Speculation

For Your Consideration: Speculation

By CHARLIE ALLO
Contributing Writer

The Boston bombing has really given the populace a great example of the media’s mode of operation; one would think that everything revolved around the bombs that were deployed at the Boston marathon.
This is not to suggest that this heinous act did not deserve our attention, but it should have been presented with a little more forethought; instead it was presented as a forum for a wide range of perceptions by a variety of individuals that wanted to be the first to put out one concept or another. Misstatements were taken as fact; as a result many of the questions that were asked by the media were related to the misinformation that had been accepted as fact.
There were others within the media that took some of the information that was incorrect and presented a conclusion as though it was the only possibility.
Some of the information that was presented to the public could very well aid any future terrorist in their activities to disrupt our society or to avoid detection, information that might help many of the nation’s response teams, but should not be presented so freely to the general public.
There are many lessons to be learned from this act of terrorism and the coverage provided by the media; one prime observation would be not to give credence to many of the initial statements made by the media unless they can be verified as actually happening, and to discount any of the conclusions or speculations until they have been confirmed.
Another aspect that should be considered is the possibility of the terrorist act having some relationship to other segments of our social structure such as immigration, gun control, the degree of infringement on an individual’s privacy, and the effectiveness of government’s ability to protect the citizenry. It is impractical to expect that any society can grant its citizens a completely safe environment and still maintain any symbolism of individual freedom; it is doubtful that the U.S. population would tolerate the degree of control that would be required to prevent a terrorist attack.
Perfection is an impractical expectation when it comes to anything that is designed of controlled by man. The best we can hope for is to improve our ability to tag potential terrorist prior to their acts, and failing that, to minimize the impact of their acts.
In all probability, the government’s reaction is going to be asking for more money, but our first approach should be to find out where the current system fell short and to make improvements within the existing system.
A greater awareness by the general public could be a valuable asset in deterring future potential attacks; this became evident during the Boston attack.
With an increase in these attacks there should be a greater awareness within the general public over time. It should be a standard procedure to debrief all personnel that are involved in an exercise such as the Boston bombing to determine possible shortcomings in the procedures being employed to protect the Nation from attacks of this nature; solution that are arrived at should attempt to avoid limiting an individual’s freedom and reducing cost, if at all possible. 
There are many problems associated with this type of threat to our nation; the major problem appears to revolve around the fact that these acts do not fall within the normal definition of war, because the threat is not coming from a governmental source, and the combatants have no definable uniforms. What we are dealing with is a religious ideology that is applied to government by some of its adherents. The Nation will have to resolve this basic problem if we are ever going to make any headway against these terrorist threats.