COMMENTARY | Two bombs exploded Monday around 2:50 p.m. near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
The bombs, made out of six-liter pressure cookers, packed with explosives and “metal shards, nails and ball bearings,” were “hidden in black duffel bags and left on the ground.”
More than 170 people were injured, some with shrapnel; others had arms or legs blown off.
Three people are dead.
Among the injured are eight children. Among the dead was 8-year-old Martin Richard.
On Monday, an unnamed White House official said that “any event with multiple explosive devices” is “clearly an act of terror.”
President Barack Obama must have finally gotten the memo.
“Given what we now know about what took place,” Obama said Tuesday, “the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror.”
He knew that Monday. But he said “people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.”
Then again, he said the same thing after the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, after Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan shouted “allahu Akbar” and opened fire at the Soldier Readiness Center, killing 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounding 30 others.
But that wasn’t an act of terrorism. That was just “workplace violence,” according to the Defense Department.
On Monday, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the bombing “has all the hallmarks of an act of terrorism.”
Based her assessment on information received Monday from U.S. intelligence agencies, as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it was the “understanding” of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., “that it’s a terrorist attack.”
Three other senators on the committee also called it a terrorist attack.
As president, one would think Obama would be privy to some of the information everyone else seemed to be getting.
Of course, as we all learned after Benghazi, Obama has little interest in intelligence reports.
As for Vice President Joe Biden, he was too busy talking on the phone with gun control activists to realize what had happened.
“Apparently there has been a bombing,” The Associate Press quoted Biden saying after staffers turned on the TV so he could catch up with the rest of the country.
“What we don’t yet know, however,” Obama offered as a disclaimer on Tuesday, “is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual.”
It could even have been someone who was protesting “tax day,” or “someone who was pro–you know.”
The New York Post reported Monday that “investigators have a suspect,” a 20-year old Saudi Arabian national, “under guard at an undisclosed Boston hospital.”
Fox News reported Tuesday that he’s been ruled out as a suspect.
“But make no mistake,” Obama said Monday, “we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”
He said it again on Tuesday.
But he said the same thing after Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were slaughtered in Benghazi, including the “make no mistake” bit.
It’s been seven months.
A terrorist group claimed credit for the attack. But it wasn’t a planned act of terrorism. It was a spontaneous response to a video.
While a Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 25-year-old U.S. diplomat Anne Smedinghoff and five other Americans on April 6 in Afghanistan, Obama hasn’t even mentioned their deaths — or vowed to bring anyone to justice.
Obama was too busy golfing that weekend anyway.
On Monday, Obama was busy welcoming “the Alabama Crimson Tide to the White House — again,” when he was “notified about the explosions.”
That explains why it took him a couple of hours to get around to saying anything about Boston.
After tossing out a few recycled comments about the bombing, and while victims, compassionate citizens and first responders continued staggering through the horrid aftermath, Obama dashed off to participate in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony.
Considering his inability to protect American lives, and his apparent lack of concern when lives are lost, perhaps Obama’s laugh line at the end of his Crimson Tide speech says it best: “I think we should keep me on the bench.”