“America is at its best when it faces adversity with courage, confidence, and determination,” Heritage Foundation homeland security expert James Carafano writes in today’s Morning Bell.
A security professional knows what to do first: Take care of the injured, protect the responders and bystanders who are racing to the scene to help (who can often be the target of follow-on attacks), and preserve the evidence available at the scene. Those efforts appear well underway. We should be proud of the responders and the citizens of Boston.
Our assessments and speculation on what to do next should not outpace what we know. Even very authoritative-sounding reports issued from the scene or shared by on-scene reporters or witnesses may turn out to be inaccurate. That has already proven the case in Boston with conflicting reports on the number of explosions, claims of suspects in custody, and statements about unexploded devices being recovered.
In cases such as this, officials often can garner a tremendous amount of evidence from the crime scene in the first 72 hours. In such investigations, you start with the evidence and that leads to suspects, not the other way around.
While we should boost security at future events like this upcoming marathon in Pittsburgh, we should also be aware that no measures are foolproof, Carafano argues. “The best security, if this is confirmed as a coordinated, predetermined act, is to stop the perpetrators before they undertake their attacks.”
More importantly, we should show our love and support for the victims of this cowardly act.
“For now, we should all stand with Boston,” Carafano says. “We should all show the world that today we will get up unafraid, and America will step forward into the day.”