Boston Marathon bombing: Talk moves faster than fact

Lone killer or organized terrorist group? When the facts finally come out, they may be overshadowed by agenda. Photo: AP

SAN DIEGO, April 16, 2013 ― In the wake of an event more horrible than the original “Boston Massacre,” our bewildered country tries to make sense out of yesterday’s nightmare. At the moment, we have very few answers. It only took a split second for two bomb blasts to transform a beloved Boston tradition into a heart wrenching tragedy that will be remembered every Patriots’ Day for many years to come.

Authorities say the bombs were hidden in a black nylon bag or backpack. At the time of this writing, the current count is 3 dead and 176 injured among runners and spectators alike. Many crowd members, at the risk of another possible bomb blast, carried the wounded to safety instead of worrying about their own lives and running from the scene.

At a press conference, an FBI official was unable to confirm whether this was an isolated act or the work of an international terror organization. “At this time, there are no claims of responsibility,” he said.

Those are significant words inasmuch as terrorist groups generally posture and take credit after accomplishing their “important missions.”

These past two days, updates about the deaths and injuries stayed on a reasonably accurate course. Unfortunately, cable news networks have also featured a great deal of talk about who was responsible. Anchors, pundits, panel discussions and press conferences all came to the same conclusion and the conclusion is only three words: “Nobody knows yet.”

Yes, that’s right: Nobody knows yet. It took me less than a second to type those words. It takes 24 hour cable stations a little longer to say the same thing. They do tell us up front that they don’t know. But then, they continue to offer “breaking news” about what they don’t know all night long.

SEE RELATED: Which terrorists were behind the Boston Marathon bombings?

While the news remains vocally inconclusive, private citizens and politicians will feel perfectly free to jump to conclusions before the hard information finally arrives. Some assume this was the work of a Muslim extremist. Others will warn us not to rush to judgment. Still others will tell us to ignore religious affiliation if the killer does turn out to be a Muslim; they will probably not offer the same advice should he turn out to be a Christian.

Meanwhile, another whole caliber of people believes America had a lesson to be learned no matter who was responsible.

Westboro Baptist Church, in their unending determination to set Christianity back a thousand years, tends to interpret such tragedies as a result of God’s judgment. The church posted on Twitter: “Thank God for the Boston Marathon bombs”

Westboro might be surprised to find out who else is thanking God. Mohammad al-Chalabi, leader of Jordan’s Salafi jihadi group, seemed absolutely delighted by events in Boston, telling the Associated Press, “American blood isn’t more precious than Muslim blood … Let the Americans feel the pain we endured by their armies occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and killing our people there.”

SEE RELATED: America’s response to Marathon terror: Compassionate and unafraid

Such strong opinion fuels itself with little more than self righteous, sanctimonious conviction.

With the full force of federal and state law enforcement on the trail, we will probably learn the identity of the killer (or killers) quite soon.

Unfortunately, no matter who turns up, responses from public officials and media celebrities will be sadly predictable. The varying opinions will move only slightly to the left or right depending on which way the wind blows.

Should the bomber turn out NOT to be Muslim, President Obama will in all likelihood see this as an even greater argument for gun control, even though it technically falls under the category of “bomb control.” Conservatives and Christians will be offered another lecture from the left on “toning down the rhetoric” so that murderers will not be inspired and motivated. The stupid comments of Westboro Baptist will be quoted as an indictment of Christian conservatives. The fact that popular Evangelical leaders have denounced this church for many years will be ignored.

On the other hand, if the killer does turn out to be a Muslim we will hear little from the left about the kind of rhetoric found in Jihad teachings. The Obama administration (with some help from the media) is likely to downplay any connection with Muslim extremists unless it can be proved that the guy was a member of an honest-to-goodness terrorist club such as al-Qaeda. Solo players in the tradition of Nidal Malik Hasan do not count. He may have gunned down 13 people back in 2009 at Fort Hood, but the incident is still viewed as work-place violence. Just ask the military victims and their families who will not be receiving Purple Hearts. Ask also the television victims who suffered through Geraldo Rivera’s two cents back in those days:

“I don’t know what motivates him (Nidal Malik Hasan). He could have had a toothache and gone off because of that.” (Fox News, 11-7-09) 

Yes, that must have been it. Hasan had a toothache, even though he shouted “Allahu Akbar” while doing the shootings.

Finally, should it turn out that the killer was a Muslim who did associate with a terrorist organization, Obama and his media groupies have one last card to play: “Sure this one got past the goalie, but remember, we did get Bin Laden.”

Of course, we could cut through all such baloney and make the only observation that’s really important right now: In the face of death and danger, American citizens once again demonstrated the kind of valor and heroism which prove what a great country we are. Whatever the identity, religion or affiliation of some evil nut bag, his view of America was quite wrong!

This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.

Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Bob sometimes selects reader’s comments and responds to them on his radio show. Readers are free to call in and challenge Bob’s response over the air. Details of his program can be found at


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Bob Siegel

A graduate of Denver Seminary and San Jose State University, Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and popular guest speaker at churches and college campuses across the country, using a variety of media including, seminars, formal debates, outdoor open forums, and one man drama presentations.

In addition to his own weekly radio show (KCBQ 1170, San Diego) Bob has been a guest on many other programs, including The 700 Club, Washington Times Radio's Inside the Story, The Rick Amato Show, KUSI Television's Good Morning San Diego, and the world popular Jonathan Park radio drama series, for which Bob guest starred in two episodes and wrote one episode, The Clue From Ninevah.

Bob is a regular contributor for San Diego Newsroom and San Diego Rostra. Bob does a good deal of playwriting as well (14 plays & 5 collaborations), including the award winning, Eternal Reach.  Bob has also published two books;  A Call To Radical Discipleship, and I'd Like to Believe In Jesus, But...

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