This video is a shocking example of the total lockdown of an entire city and the virtual martial law that took over to find a single 19-year old. While watching it, remember that none of this ostentatious security theater helped to find the suspect. And it was only when the authorities eased the order for Watertown residents to stay in their homes that an individual called in with a tip.
Another Watertown resident posted this photograph on Facebook, taken from their home:
This one, from AP, really gets the point across:
Here’s Anthony Gregory on how fragile liberty is:
The police are conducting the most pedestrian, universally assumed valid function of government. They are going after a murderer who appears to be armed and dangerous and a continuing threat. And in this pursuit, they have turned several cities into what look like police states by any reasonable measure. This demonstrates that the core nature of the state, its monopoly on crime control, always holds the potential for a full-blown security state and a total abolition of public liberty. What matters most is a culture wary of state power in any and all manifestations.
Yes, the lockdown will eventually ratchet back, but I fear this is only a hint of what is to come. On the one hand, we can say the suspect allegedly committed a particularly insidious crime and poses an especially frightening threat, and so the police reaction is either no cause for alarm, or at least something that will pass. On the other hand, all it took was a couple people with a couple bombs made from pressure cookers, and they managed to provoke the kind of full-scale lockdown you’d expect in response to a genuine invasion by a fully armed and manned military force. Monday showed us how fragile life and social tranquility are. Today shows us how fragile liberty is.