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The Boston bombings: Terror at the marathon

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Monday, April 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

The video could have been from Tel Aviv or Baghdad. Or Kabul or Karachi.

But it wasn't.

It was from Boston. On Patriots' Day, a holiday set aside to commemorate the first battles of the Revolutionary War. From one of the cities in which al-Qaida launched its deadly attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Along a packed Boylston Street and midway through the finish of the fabled Boston Marathon.

At 2:50 p.m. on Monday, a powerful bomb went off in the crowd near the finish line. Seconds later, 100 yards or so back, there was another powerful blast.

It was a scene of carnage and death. Scores were injured. Officials say it was a well-planned and coordinated event.

Was it the work of foreign terrorists? Domestic terrorists? A “lone wolf”? And was it happenstance that the bombings came 20 years to the week of the end of the deadly Waco siege and 18 years to the week of the horrific Oklahoma City bombing?

We don't know. What we do know, however, and no matter the origin, is that the very fabric of America was attacked on Monday afternoon. It was a dastardly and cowardly act.

And we would remind, as did Jonathan Swift, that “It is unwise to punish cowards with ignominy; ... death is their proper punishment, because they fear it most.”

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