Bombs explode at Boston Marathon
The Factor devoted Monday's show to the deadly terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon. Congressman Peter King, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, gave his analysis. "This is detestable," King declared, "and there is no doubt in my mind that this was a terrorist attack. The magazine of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has called for attacks on athletic events in the United States, and the Boston Marathon on Patriot's Day is almost the ultimate as far as an all-American event. I think we have to be looking at Al Qaeda, an offshoot of Al Qaeda, or a self-starter in the United States." King urged anti-terror authorities to be even more vigilant. "I hope this is a wakeup call to members of Congress because we've had people talking about reducing aid to the counter-terrorism efforts of the New York Police Department. Enemies are out to destroy us, they'll never let up, and this requires an all-out intensive effort." The Factor described the bombing as sickening and inhuman: "This is a vile act of violence designed to kill innocent people, including children. Reports are that there was shrapnel and ball bearings, so this was designed to create pandemonium and chaos."
Fox News correspondent Molly Line reported the latest from Boston. "The elite runners had finished their run," she said, "so a lot of the people who were crossing the line were charity runners raising money for leukemia or other causes. There were still some 5,000 people who had yet to cross the finish line where these two bombs were detonated, and at that finish line were family members waiting for their runners. So there are very many children on the list of the injured, and these were families from all over the world." Line described the scene in Boston five hours after the explosions. "They're asking people to stay inside and they're asking people who came here for the marathon to stay in their hotel rooms. The streets are fairly quiet, nothing like you would expect from a Patriot's Day and Marathon Monday here in Boston."
The Factor next spoke with Boston TV host Emily Rooney, who was in the vicinity when the bombs exploded. "I heard these two loud explosions," she said, "and I thought the scaffolding had probably fallen. But then I could see people running and instantaneously you had fire and police and emergency personnel on the scene who pulled injured people into the big tent at the finish line. People were crying, they were shaking, one man told me he saw arms and legs in the air, so people who at the scene were very traumatized." Rooney theorized that police and the FBI will almost certainly apprehend the bomber or bombers. "They'll be looking at security cameras from hotels and restaurants and from individual homes. My guess is that they'll find something."
Another Boston journalist, columnist and radio host Howie Carr, entered the No Spin Zone with his assessment. "People started calling the radio show right away," Carr said, "and as the afternoon wore on I got more and more calls from people who had been at the scene. When the bombing happened, some people ran towards the Charles River, others fled towards the Boston Common, it was just total chaos, and the emergency tent at the finish line went from just runners who were dehydrated to people actually doing triage. One bright spot in a dark day is that there are so many great hospitals in Boston. A lot of people I'm talking with tonight are really thankful, the anger hasn't really kicked in yet. The Factor predicted that the anger will kick in imminently, saying, "I expect that people are going to get very angry because this was targeting children, it's just sick."
The Factor asked Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry to evaluate the pressure on the Obama administration to find the terrorists behind the attack. "No one has been brought to justice for what happened in Benghazi in September," Henry pointed out. "That was a terror attack on his watch and this is another terror attack on his watch, but he came out today and called it 'the event in Boston,' he did not call it terror. But his aides told me they all believe this was a terror attack and that it makes no sense for the President to jump out ahead of the investigation. There is also a completely new national security team here at the White House who are being tested very quickly. There were a lot of terror attacks thwarted in the Bush administration and in this administration, but this one was not. 'Why not' is going to be the big question." The Factor took issue with another word the President used while describing the bombing. "His presentation was understated but firm and that was appropriate, but I think he made a mistake by calling it a 'tragedy.' This isn't a tragedy, this is an act of war."
Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, who had arrived in Boston just two hours earlier, gave his impressions of the city. "You can get within a block of where the explosion happened," he reported, "and what I found fascinating by walking in that area is the sheer number of people who are affected by this tonight. You had 27,000 runners in this marathon and there are still thousands of these yellow personal possession bags lined up on the street here. You could have your car keys and wallet and cell phone in these bags, and all those are being watched by the National Guard tonight here in Copley Square. In the immediate area there are a lot of police, which you would expect."
Finally, The Factor spoke with Chris Cassidy, a Boston Herald reporter who was running in the marathon. "I had just passed the 26-mile marker," Cassidy said, "when I heard what sounded like cannon fire and saw gray and white smoke right around the finish line. I thought it was just a prank and not a big deal, but a couple of seconds later I heard another big explosion and at that point I knew this appeared to be something organized. There were casualties and it was a pretty serious scene. We didn't know if there would be another explosion, so a lot of runners and spectators were very nervous at that point. I was very close to the second explosion and it was pretty bad." The Factor paid tribute to Boston emergency crews, police, and other first responders: "We have to compliment the Boston authorities, who really got in there fast and got the area under control."