Alert police could have averted tragedy

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“The best laid plans of mice and men....”

Boston’s lesson can be summed up this way: many hundreds of volunteers, law enforcement officers and untold numbers of undercover agents WITH many guns and lots of firepower failed to do their only job.

The brazen act of a terrorist, or terrorists, either deranged or motivated by an as-yet unknown agenda, ravaged the Boston Marathon runners and supporters with a common type of crude bomb. Could even more guns on site have prevented this tragedy?

Obviously not. It was not about guns or firepower; it was about officials who did not do their jobs.

Who was watching and searching the backpacks or the bags that were left in plain view of officials and civilians, too? Isn’t that an historic method used by terrorists to place bombs at public events? Why did nobody question why two bags with 20-pound bombs lay within 2 feet of massed onlookers and in plain view for an hour? Why didn’t anyone look inside it since it was unaccompanied, its deliverer having walked calmly away after leaving the package?

There should be many red faces in Boston’s law enforcement ranks for this tragic failure of responsibility.

We should never have to question whether a tragedy might have been averted if the responsible officials had only done their job properly.

Why didn’t authorities expect the unexpected and guard against it?

Sorry, but those questions come to mind — hindsight being as accurate as reported. A rapid conclusion to the investigation and a suspect in custody will not erase the obvious.

This tragedy didn’t have to happen — it could have easily been averted by an alert Boston police force. So sad.  

B.J. Gillum