A Tragedy Role-Call Of Reaction: #Boston

by lizard

The two blasts (initial reports of two additional unexploded bombs appear to be inaccurate) in Boston today is something most of us are just starting to process. I debated about whether or not to even write this right now. I follow Richard Hugo House on twitter (a poetry thing) and I really appreciated this tweet:

We apologize for the pre-scheduled posts that went out earlier- we’re going silent now. Our hearts and hopes are with those in Boston today.

It’s almost too depressing to watch all the standard reactions in the noise, present post no exception. OccupyDenver tweets about dead Iraqis in a similar blast, the New York Post misinforms about some Saudi National, there’s some awful Newtown angle with family members running, and of course conspiratorial associations spread like wild fire, for example drawing attention to this April 12th story (Bloomberg Businessweek) about Obama’s “determination” to see through the construction of a 3.9 billion dollar headquarters for Homeland Security…at Elizabeth Hospital:

President Barack Obama is trying to solve big problems in his proposed 2014 budget. His efforts to curtail entitlement spending have gotten most of the headlines. But he also seems determined to complete the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new headquarters, the largest federal construction project since the Pentagon rose in the 1940s. The cost: $3.9 billion.

The project would unite at a single location nearly all DHS’s 22 divisions devoted to thwarting terrorists and safeguarding the populace from natural and manmade disasters. The site is the campus of St. Elizabeth Hospital, a former federal asylum that was once the home of poet Ezra Pound and John Hinckley, Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin. There would be 4.5 million square feet of workspace in the new facility and ample employee parking.

I know. Ezra Pound was in a federal asylum?

Patriot’s Day Bombing, is that the name we’re going with internet? There’s always a bit of confusion at first, and names are important, right? Suddenly this descended from the cloud upon which Nate Silver sits:

What matters: 1) who did it; 2) how they did it; 3) why they did it. What doesn’t matter: what we call it.

In more words than a tweet can convey, I found this interesting:

In his speech following today’s explosions at the Boston Marathon, President Obama noted that today is Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts. “It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation,” the president said during a briefing where he made it clear that we don’t yet know who was behind today’s attack. But Obama wasn’t the first to mention the holiday in the wake of the attack—speculation had already started swirling on Twitter about the possible significance of the Massachusetts Monday holiday on which the marathon is held every year.

With that in mind, a quick primer on Patriot’s Day: It commemorates the opening battles of the American Revolutionary War, the battles of Lexington and Concord, both held on April 19, 1775. The holiday has become best known for the marathon and is in fact also referred to as “Marathon Monday.” (Patriot’s Day, we should note, should not be confused with Patriot Day, established on September 11 to mark the World Trade Center attacks.)

So why were people so quick to speculate about the holiday’s possible significance? Undoubtedly because they were inspired by the fact that this week does contain a number of unhappy anniversaries: the Oklahoma City Bombing (April 19, 1995), the Waco assault (April 19, 1993), the Columbine School Shooting (April 20, 1999), and the Virginia Tech massacre (April 16, 2007), for starters. Two of those tragedies—the Virginia Tech massacre and the Waco assault—were on Monday, the Patriot’s Day of those years.

Reading that reminded me of this: an attempt at expressing how I personally relate to the month of April, and why I think, generally, fucked up things happen around this time of year.

Maybe more noise, maybe not.

I hope not.


  1. Big Swede

    I sympathize with the Saudi.

    http://www.rightwingnews.com/column-2/i-went-to-bed-a-christian-and-woke-up-a-terrorist/?

  2. Turner

    Perhaps the horror of the Boston bombing, the immoral killing and maiming of innocent people, will cause us to contemplate the similar horrors our drone program is visiting on innocent people in foreign countries.

    • lizard19

      yeah, when Obama defined this bombing as “cowardly” I immediately thought about the “double-tap” drone strikes that targets first responders:

      Late in the evening on 6 June this year an unmanned drone was flying high above the Pakistani village of Datta Khel in north Waziristan.

      The buzz emitted by America’s fleet of Predators and Reapers are a familiar sound for the inhabitants of the dusty hamlet, which lies next to a riverbed close to Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan and is a stronghold for the Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.

      As the drone circled it let off the first of its Hellfire missiles, slamming into a small house and reducing it to rubble. When residents rushed to the scene of the attack to see if they could help they were struck again.

      According to reports at the time, three local rescuers were killed by a second missile whilst a further strike killed another three people five minutes later. In all, somewhere between 17 and 24 people are thought to have been killed in the attack.

      The Datta Khel assault was just one of the more than 345 strikes that have hit Pakistan’s tribal areas in the past eight years but it reveals an increasingly common tactic now being used in America’s covert drone wars – the “double-tap” strike.

      so by Obama’s own definition, he is a coward and a terrorist.

      • Turner

        This account from the Independent is important. I posted it on my Facebook page where it might get further circulation, especially if it’s reposted. I think most Americans know very little about our drone program. It is truly shameful.

  3. Jack Ruby

    St. Elizabeth’s hospital is where the fed gov did (and maybe still does) mind control experiments. Probably not related to anything but kind of kooky.

    • lizard19

      a bit off topic, but I found this in an article that looks at the young man who was arrested after firing shots at the White House in 2011 while Obama was in Australia:

      St Elizabeth’s is especially interesting for its strong connections to the military, intelligence agencies, and historical association with mind control experiments. Its director in the 1940s, Winfred Overholser, headed a “Truth Drug Committee” and oversaw extensive testing of mind-altering substances in association with the intelligence services. One goal was to see if false personalities could be imposed on victims to make them susceptible to commands. Such cooperation between St. Elizabeths and the government continued over the years. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security is converting much of St Elizabeth’s “campus”— which is only now partially used by the hospital—as its new headquarters.

      • Steve W

        Interesting article. Thanks Liz. By the way, have you seen the Evidence of Revision six-part series available on youtube ? It’s got some very interesting stuff on MKUltra as well as a whole lot of other very interesting stuff. The video footage from the sixties is amazing, much of it lost, rare, or suppressed. By the way, part six on youtube is truncated, but the complete 2 hour segment is available on Vimeo. The segment dealing with MKUltra and Jonestown was truly enlightening for me. I learned a lot.

  4. lizard19

    there is a story behind the “Saudi National suspect” reported by the NY Post.




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