Thoreau notes how Tsarnaev was caught:
The authorities announced that people could again go outside, and then a sharp-eyed citizen noticed something. He escaped from the cops the night before, and was caught thanks to a sharp-eyed citizen once the authorities let people go outside and go about their business.
Marc Tracy adds:
There is no way to definitively play out the what-ifs. Authorities might not have coaxed a lockdown, people might have walked around Watertown, and somebody might have gotten hurt. Conversely, authorities might have kept the lockdown longer than they did, and Tsarnaev, who was taken to a hospital for urgent treatment, might have sat in the boat even longer, undiscovered, and bled to death. We don’t know.
The problem with the lockdown, as a matter of principle, isn’t that it could have prevented us from capturing Tsarnaev alive. Rather, the way Tsarnaev was captured alive is further suggestion that life in America is a Constitutionally codified experiment, and that the worst time to suspend experiments is when you don’t have all the answers.
Ross Anderson believes the shut-down was disproportionate:
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.
Meanwhile, Alex Seitz-Wald examines the impact of Boston’s shutdown last Friday on workers:
“Most low wage workers can’t afford to lose a day’s pay, and there’s no doubt this lockdown will adversely impact the city’s working poor,” said Jessica Kutch, a labor activist who co-founded the organizing site coworker.org, in an email to Salon. “I’d really like to see employers state on the record that their hourly workers will be paid for the time they were scheduled to work today — but I suspect that most employers will place the burden of this shutdown squarely on the backs of people who can least afford it.”
(Photo: Investigators work around the boat where Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev was found hiding after a massive manhunt, in the backyard of a Franklin Street home, in an aerial view April 20, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts. By Darren McCollester/Getty Images)