In the aftermath of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing the public has anxiously begun to call for the assailants to be brought forth. With at present no chief leads as to who may be responsible for the bombing a number of conspiracy theories have begun to emerge. Not surprisingly the most beguiling one involves the presence of a Saudi national who attempted to flee (like other attendees) the scene after the blasts and who was subsequently tackled by concerned bystanders.
boingboing: A twenty-year-old man who had been watching the Boston Marathon had his body torn into by the force of a bomb. He wasn’t alone; a hundred and seventy-six people were injured. But he was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in “a startling show of force,” as his fellow-tenants described it to the Boston Herald, with a “phalanx” of officers and agents and two K9 units.
Interestingly the speculation of Arab roots being behind the bombing led to this comment on the web that had me wondering as well:
I can’t really remember if they said “Saudi” or “brown” or whatever, but the first thing that popped into my head was that somebody overreacted to a brown person, and I said “That poor guy…”
Then again ought we really be surprised that such rampant profiling is taking place given the ongoing presentation of the Mid-East as bomb wielding nihilists? Never mind that one can be sure such negative profiling (rightly or wrongly) of American imperialism exists in that neck of the world as well.
Also making the conspiracy rounds is the purported sighting of a mystery man on top of a nearby roof that had social media wondering as well:
csmonitor: A photo credited to Suffolk University junior Dan Lampariello shows the instant of the second explosion that occurred near the marathon finish line Monday. The photo went viral in social media, and was broadcast on CNN, ABC, and CBS, among others.
Dan Lampariello told ABC News Monday “I was about 200 feet from the finish line … right in front of the Mandarin Hotel. My aunt was actually running in the marathon. We were out there to cheer her on. We thought maybe it was fireworks at first, but when we saw the second explosion we definitely knew that something was wrong.”
Mom responded by saying my name with a strong note of exasperation. You know, the kind that means, “Shut up and stop speculating”.
Also making an appearance in the conspiracy wars includes controversial conspiracy stalwart Alan Jones and right wing darling of infowars:
huffpo: Right wing activist Alex Jones and his infamous conspiracy site, Info Wars, have also suggested that the attack was orchestrated by the American government as a “false flag” to infringe on civil liberties.
Alan Jones goes on to speculate that authorities were warned of an impending bomb attack but chose to keep this to themselves as they conducted a bomb drill. Or even worse a staged attack courtesy of the bomb drill squad who may or may have not set the bombs off themselves.
“You saw them stage Fast and Furious. Folks, they staged Aurora, they staged Sandy Hook. The evidence is just overwhelming. And that’s why I’m so desperate and freaked out. This is not fun, you know, getting up here telling you this. Somebody’s got to tell you the truth.”
A cursory google check also brought this author to the attention of another Alan Jones, prolific Australian radio host and commentator who opined (plausibly) that the bombing may have been the work of left wing outlets courtesy of the overwhelming existence of universities in Boston populated by many young individuals. Nevertheless the host was met with hostility when he went on to posit that the blasts ought to also now provoke local Australian government checks on foreign students that it allows to study in that nation’s universities.
But not to be outdone is the public itself who some have gone on to create domain sites specifically for the purpose of providing a forum as to who may have planned the Boston Marathon bombing. That said not everyone is going for it with some individuals going out of the way to buy domain sites to preempt the creation of false ideas.
Explained one individual, Jaimie Muehlhausen who bought the website domain bostonmarathonconspiracy.com to in his words prevent some “kook from owning it.”
huffpo: UPDATE: Two similar domains, bostonmarathonconspiracies.com and bostonconspiracies.com, have now also been bought up by people attempting to keep them out of the hands of real conspiracy theorists.
With no solid leads to work on (unless of course authorities have simply chosen to keep all leads off key until necessary) the public at large remains stymied as to who is in the end behind the bombing. Which probably says more about the desire to contextualize fear and the sense of helplessness that so often follows such horrific events.
Then again that too may be part of the broader focus of most terrorist acts, to keep the public living in perpetual fear and to think and agree to things that they perhaps may not ordinarily do. One ought to wonder if the bombing may lead to increased surveillance, cutting off of liberties or the public capitulating to any mass hysteria theory that comes their way?
isportstimes: In liberal Massachusetts, many believe that this event was a “false flag” but a move that had a bigger purpose. With an upcoming vote on gun control coming up in the United State Senate, people see this bombing as a chance for the U.S. to begin taking away more liberties away from its citizens. A bombing such as this could make people lean on the government more and trust that they will do all they can to protect them … which means that the government could ask these traumatized citizens to do what they say. The gun control debate was delayed before the bombing occurred but this will be a big topic going forward.
above image found here.
And then there was these reflections on the web that made me wonder as well:
nowtoronto: Their thinking becomes improbably seductive in its own inside-out lucidity, attractive to anyone thirsting for simple answers, for any answers. For worse, ours is a world where the clowns regard themselves as tragic Yorick figures, gibing, gamboling, speaking undiluted truth out of their assholes, men of infinite jest.
The notion that we are being lied to by our government and our media is not all that difficult to believe, and most everyone believes that to one degree or another. That fact, added to an increase in the number of people believing that we are being lied to consistently by both the media and the government, give conspiracy theories solid ground to stand on.
Simply stated, a lot of people are willing to entertain conspiracy theories because they are already convinced that our government lies to us, and that the media is an accessory to those lies.
Jones’ fans are a perfect example of groupthink: a loudmouthed attention whore says something, and people that find it hard to think for themselves slowly agree with him for the sake of agreeing. Since Jones’ fans find it easier to let someone else think for them, they will instead focus on attacking anyone that doesn’t live in fear of their own shadows as “brainwashed sheep that refuses to learn the truth” because “they don’t want to do research”.
The only “research” they accept are “news” sites made by people that convinced readers that every other news organization is lying to them and that “they” are the only ones that know the “truth” because they’re “edgy” and “fighting the system”.
Jones fans are so predictable in their responses, it makes me laugh every single time.