“This is an example of the banality of evil.”
What a horrific tragedy in Boston. The scenes of the carnage are almost unbearable to watch, let alone re-watch. The suffering of the victims -- at least three people dead, and more than 175 wounded -- and their families is too much even to contemplate. And the nihilism of the attackers, the wanton destruction of innocent lives, is utterly incomprehensible.
But before we leap to conclusions about who did these heinous deeds, we need to be cautious and wait for the evidence to come in.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, understandably under enormous pressure, nonetheless was not helpful when he answered a question about whether the explosions were the result of a terrorist attack.
"We're not being definitive, but you can reach your own conclusions," he told reporters at a press conference.
There is no good purpose served by speculation.
And we need to be extremely cautious about taking measures that might curtail our civil liberties in the wake of these bombings.
Our civil liberties have already taken a big enough hit in the post-9/ll era.
In this moment of horror, let us take a couple of deep breaths. Let's let law enforcement figure out who the culprits are and how they managed to wreak their havoc, and let's let them apprehend the culprits.
If we've learned anything after the Oklahoma City bombing and after 9/11, it is that speculation can lead us down the wrong path, and that reacting rashly can have deadly consequences for this country.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Obama's Huge Betrayal."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.