Best Defense

Spec Op 2nd thoughts: Did the police do that well in the Boston bomber hunt?

There is no question, I think, that catching one of the Boston bombers alive was a good thing. Even so, this note, from a smart Special Operator, gave me pause: … the cops did not approach this well. It was a strategic mistake to shut down the city, but then they did a cordon and ...

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

There is no question, I think, that catching one of the Boston bombers alive was a good thing. Even so, this note, from a smart Special Operator, gave me pause:

… the cops did not approach this well. It was a strategic mistake to shut down the city, but then they did a cordon and search model on homes in the area by getting everyone out by gunpoint. For one guy, not one with a nuke, or a bio weapon, or anything like that and took people out of their homes by gunpoint. Poor decision.

On top of that, it was (as my friend Tim Noah points out) just plain stoopid to charge the survivor with use of a weapon of mass destruction.  Over-reaction on top of over-reaction.  

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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