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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,179

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The Manhunt, the Suspects, the Investigation, the Facts: Everything You Need to Know About Boston

Investigation into Boston Marathon bombings

I dare you to read this.

The Miranda exception (all 48 hours of it) was declared because these two guys were loose in the city for a week, and they proved violently that they were adept at making bombs. The exception allowed law enforcement to ask the captured suspect if more bombs were out there, or more co-conspirators with bombs, etc., to protect public safety.

This is neither wild, nor crazy, nor new. There is a pile of legal precedent, and the exception exists for a very good reason.

To wit:

Limited Questioning

The Quarles Court made clear that only those questions necessary for the police "to secure their own safety or the safety of the public" were permitted under the public safety exception. In U.S. v. Khalil, New York City police officers raided an apartment in Brooklyn after they received information that Khalil and Abu Mezer had bombs in their apartment and were planning to detonate them. During the raid, both men were shot and wounded as one of them grabbed the gun of a police officer and the other crawled toward a black bag believed to contain a bomb. When the officers looked inside the black bag, they saw pipe bombs and observed that a switch on one bomb was flipped.

Officers went to the hospital to question Abu Mezer about the bombs. They asked Abu Mezer "how many bombs there were, how many switches were on each bomb, which wires should be cut to disarm the bombs, and whether there were any timers." Abu Mezer answered each question and also was asked whether he planned to kill himself in the explosion. He responded by saying, "Poof."

Abu Mezer sought to suppress each of his statements, but the trial court permitted them, ruling that they fell within the public safety exception. On appeal, Abu Mezer only challenged the admissibility of the last question, whether he intended to kill himself when detonating the bombs. He claimed the question was unrelated to public safety. The circuit court disagreed and noted "Abu Mezer's vision as to whether or not he would survive his attempt to detonate the bomb had the potential for shedding light on the bomb's stability."

The whole thing: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/february2011/legal_digest

Plus: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/04/19/1898851/what-you-need-to-know-about-why-the-boston-bombing-suspect-hasnt-been-read-his-miranda-rights/

I dare you to read it - I triple-dog dare you - and see if your astonishing display of pissing and moaning stands up before actual information, history and case precedent. You know who you are, and I am talking to you.

I dare you to read this.

I dare you to read.

Trust no one...

Having a crappy day? Let me cure what ails you.



"...the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."

Last night, the Boston Bruins played their first home game since the marathon bombing, and Boston's first responders were celebrated down on the ice before the first faceoff. Rene Rancourt came out on the ice to sing the national anthem as he always does. Rene is beloved in Boston because, among other things, he delivers probably the worst, cheesiest, silliest rendition of the anthem ever heard on the continent, and yet somehow it always works.

Last night, he only got a few words into the anthem when the crowd took over. If this does not give you goosebumps, go to the hospital immediately, because you might actually be dead. Take special note of the bull-throated roar that comes when the crowd reaches the line, "...the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there." Everyone in the building knew those words by heart, but you can truly feel the eruption of emotion when they reached those words and discovered the new meanings within them.

"Jesus Loves Everybody. You Should Have Expected Us." Westboro FB page "brandjacked" by Anonymous.

George Takei: "After the Westboro 'Baptist Church' said it would picket the funerals of those killed at the Boston Marathon (and blamed same-sex marriage for the attacks), Anonymous 'brandjacked' their FB page, with epic results, seen here."

All the Win.

Climbing Heartbreak Hill

Mourners during a candlelight vigil on the Boston Common
for those killed and injured on Monday in the explosions at
the Boston Marathon, in Boston, April 16, 2013.
(Photo: Eric Thayer / The New York Times)

Climbing Heartbreak Hill
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Wednesday 17 April 2013

The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters
and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,
with four dead and eleven wounded.
And around these, in a larger circle
of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered
and one graveyard. But the young woman
who was buried in the city she came from,
at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers,
enlarges the circle considerably,
and the solitary man mourning her death
at the distant shores of a country far across the sea
includes the entire world in the circle.
And I won't even mention the crying of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God and
beyond, making a circle with no end and no God.

- Yehuda Amichai, "The Diameter of the Bomb"

When you're in a car, or taking a leisurely stroll, it hardly seems menacing at all. Less than half a mile long and rising only 88 feet, it does not even merit mention from a geological point of view. Hell, 364 days of the year, it's barely there, just a long lump on Commonwealth Avenue in the city of Newton, Massachusetts...but on one special day, a day like no other around here, that half-mile becomes an eater of souls, elongated agony, a place of definitions.

Beginning at the 20th mile of the Boston Marathon, Heartbreak Hill is where the glycogen in your muscles finally runs out, and there is you and the wall and the pain. If you reach the summit - if - you are greeted by the roaring cheers of Boston College students and thousands of other spectators. In the distance shines the top of the Prudential Tower, visible for the first time all day, and the sight of it carries the hard-won knowledge that you're almost at the end.

That's where I grew up, right at the top of Heartbreak Hill, and every Patriot's Day was a celebration of the newly arrived springtime, the community cheering on the runners, and of course, the people running the race. My favorite part every year is when Team Hoyt crests the Hill to the adulation of all. Rick Hoyt was born with cerebral palsy. In 1977, his father Dick pushed young Rick in a wheelchair while competing in a race, and Rick told him, "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped." Well, that was that; at 37 years of age, Dick Hoyt began race training by pushing a bag of cement in a wheelchair, and Team Hoyt was born. The father and son have run in 30 Boston Marathons and over a thousand endurance events. Just before this year's marathon, a beautiful bronze statue of the pair was unveiled in Boston.

The statue is wonderful, but for me, the emotions that come year after year watching Rick and Dick Hoyt defeat Heartbreak Hill on their way to Copley Square are something that can neither be quantified nor explained. It is the whole thing at once, all of it, and you are always larger in spirit for having seen it. Everyone weeps, and smiles, and cheers them as they pass, and it is only one small accent in the symphony of joy that is and has been Boston's best day for the last 117 years.

Rick and Dick Hoyt did not finish the marathon on Monday. They were stopped by race officials a mile from the finish line, along with thousands of other runners, when a pair of bombs left by a coward kicked the city in the heart. Somewhere in the bedlam, Dick Hoyt lost his wheelchair. A mile away, people had lost their legs and their lives as Boylston Street became a bloodbath filled with screams and sirens. In the blink of an eye, Boston became a member of a terrible fellowship that includes Belfast, Baghdad, London, Madrid, Tokyo, Oklahoma City, New York and many other places large and small. The price of admission: the cold, hard, awful, furious, terrified, empty feeling that comes when it has happened to you.


I do not know who did it, or why, but I do know this. One year from now, when the new spring sunlight shines down upon Boston's best day, we will be in the streets to cheer the runners and remember the lost. We will never forget, but we will not cower or crouch. We will be there with family and friends to celebrate the place and the time and the event that is uniquely and completely ours. It will not be taken from us by anyone, ever. This is Boston. If you want to find us this time next year, we will all be with Rick and Dick Hoyt, climbing Heartbreak Hill together.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15785-climbing-heartbreak-hill

Stephen Colbert's message to the people of Boston


Simply wonderful.

"Yes, we like the Yankees, but today we're all rooting for Boston."


Maybe not so much with the fighting and the crazy around here, yeah?

It's been hard enough already without my beloved and deeply needed online sanctuary going sideways.

The above cartoon is offered as a little metaphor about infighting between people playing the same game.

Stout hearts, old friends.

And love. Always love.


- a bit of Boston

Facebook and the bombings in Boston

I know there's a lot of anti-Facebook sentiment among people here, so I'd like to share a little story.

I knew dozens of people who were within a mile of the explosions today. Dozens. Several people I know were running the race, including my best friend who was the Best Man at my wedding. Pretty much everyone else I know was either down there to enjoy what is by far and away the best day Boston has to offer, or was at work busting their asses at the bars and restaurants down there that were packed to the rafters since 8am this morning. Pretty much everyone I know in this town was there. Everyone.

After the bombs went off, the cell phone network locked up, and then was deliberately shut down for fear that phone signals would inadvertently trigger other explosive devices that hadn't been found. What was still working was people's Facebook phone app.

One by one throughout the afternoon and evening, everyone I know checked in via Facebook to say they were safe.


I know this has nothing to do with the reason some folks around here don't like Facebook, but I just wanted to have it said: I am going to sleep a little easier tonight because of that social network site, because it kept working in a crisis, and let people get word out that they were safe. Never hit 'Like' so many times as I did today, as I saw friend after friend after friend checking in.

So anyway, there's that.

Stout hearts, all.
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