|The Boston Massacre, 1770|
Some 243 years ago an event called The Boston Massacre took place, another episode of violence where British soldiers fired on an unarmed crowd, killing 5 and injuring six.
Interestingly, regular readers know that Dredd Blog had been doing a series last week concerning the origin and meaning of "conspiracy theory."
Today, it may be helpful to ask "was yesterday's bombing at The Boston Marathon, a criminal conspiracy between two or more persons, or was it a lone bomber crime?"
The federal and state officials who investigate and later prosecute the case will either develop a "conspiracy theory" to present in the courts against several defendants, or they will prosecute an individual defendant:
The concept of criminal conspiracy has its earliest roots in fourteenth century English common law. At that time, it saw limited use as a legal theory. It became more broadly applied in the United States in the nineteenth century, though still the scope of prosecutions was not wide. Today, however, conspiracy is a far-reaching legal principle, embracing antitrust actions, an enormous number of more traditional criminal cases, and even tort lawsuits. It is the basis of prosecutions dealing with, among other crimes, drug violations, securities fraud, murder for hire, bank robbery, and extortion.(On The Origin of "Conspiracy Theory" - 2). Meanwhile, the McTell News will be sensationalizing with their fantasy ploys by using their comic book stories about "conspiracy theory" being the most horrid thing envisioned only by kooks on the fringe of society.
... Conspiracy is an agreement by two or more people to commit a crime.
I took a gander at the usual suspects and targets of McTell News (unofficial "conspiracy theorists"), some of whom were not in the mood to swallow anything whole, instead, choosing to chew the facts slowly.
Others had already concluded that it was a false flag operation.
One thing in common both types had was that they were pointing out the fact that about half of the information being reported on McTell News had been in error already.
How would you like a four cylinder engine that only had two working cylinders, that is, getting it right half the time?
Anyway, there doesn't yet seem to be any clues that make the case clearly one of criminal conspiracy or clearly a case of a single bomber:
Police were seen carrying several large bags from a suburban Boston apartment that authorities say was searched in connection to the Boston Marathon bombing.(Boston Online). That is not conclusive as to whether one individual or multiple conspirators are the perpetrators of yesterday's senseless carnage borne of inordinate hatred.
Boston area television stations reported that the bags were removed from the apartment on Ocean Avenue in Revere just north of Boston at about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Massachusetts State Police confirmed that a search warrant was served Monday night but provided no further details.
The Revere Fire Department wrote on its Facebook page that firefighters responded to the scene for a search for ‘‘a person of interest.’’
The use of the plural instead of the singular in official statements may or may not indicate that authorities suspect they are dealing with a conspiracy theory:
"We will find out who did this. We'll find out why they did this," the president said. "Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice."(Boston Herald, emphasis added). The number of bombs and the use of plural words probably triggered conclusions in some minds that it was a conspiracy of multiple conspirators.
As many as two unexploded bombs were found near the end of the 26.2-mile course as part of what appeared to be a well-coordinated attack, but they were safely disarmed, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.
[UPDATE: at news conference Governor Deval Patrick says NO unexploded bombs were found; there were only two and they both exploded]
The proper thing to do at this point is gather as much evidence as possible, then let that evidence tell the story.