Former Rep. Ron Paul said the police response to the Boston Marathon bombings was scarier than the bombing itself, which killed three and wounded more than 250.
“The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city,” Paul, a Texas Republican, wrote today on the website of the libertarian writer Lew Rockwell. “This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.”
Paul said the scenes of the house-to-house search for the younger bombing suspect in suburban Watertown, Mass., were reminiscent of a “military coup in a far off banana republic.”
“Forced lockdown of a city,” he wrote. “Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down.”
Paul, a libertarian icon who made three separate bids for the Republican presidential nomination and whose son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, is widely regarded as 2016 presidential candidate, argued the shutdown of Watertown and surrounding communities did little to ultimately capture the suspected bomber, Dzhokhar Tsmarnaev.
“The suspect was not discovered by the paramilitary troops terrorizing the public,” Paul wrote. “He was discovered by a private citizen, who then placed a call to the police. And he was identified not by government surveillance cameras, but by private citizens who willingly shared their photographs with the police.”
Paul’s work with Rockwell, who was his congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982, has caused problems for the former representative in the past. Rockwell reportedly oversaw “The Ron Paul Political Report,” a 1980s and ’90s-era newsletter whose controversial assertions about race, homosexuality and other topics were used against Paul in both of his presidential runs.
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