The Boston Marathon Bomber Manhunt
I generally give the police a lot of tactical leeway in times like this. The very armed and very dangerous suspects warranted extraordinary treatment. They were perfectly capable of killing again, taking hostages, planting more bombs—and we didn’t know the extent of the plot or the group. That’s why I didn’t object to the massive police dragnet, the city-wide lock down, and so on.
Ross Anderson has a different take:
…a million people were under virtual house arrest; the 19-year-old fugitive from justice happened to be a Muslim. Whatever happened to the doctrine that infringements of one liberty to protect another should be necessary and proportionate?
In the London bombings, four idiots killed themselves in the first incident with a few dozen bystanders, but the second four failed and ran for it when their bombs didn’t go off. It didn’t occur to anyone to lock down London. They were eventually tracked down and arrested, together with their support team. Digital forensics played a big role; the last bomber to be caught left the country and changed his SIM, but not his IMEI. It’s next to impossible for anyone to escape nowadays if the authorities try hard.
He has a point, although I’m not sure I agree with it.
EDITED TO ADD (4/20): This makes the argument very well. On the other hand, readers are rightfully pointing out that the lock down was in response to the shooting of a campus police officer, a carjacking, a firefight, and a vehicle chase with thrown bombs: the sort of thing that pretty much only happens in the movies.
EDITED TO ADD (4/20): More commentary on this Slashdot thread.