But we said nothing about these guys:
"The fertilizer plant that exploded on Wednesday, obliterating part of a small Texas town and killing at least 14 people, had last year been storing 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Yet a person familiar with DHS operations said the company that owns the plant, West Fertilizer, did not tell the agency about the potentially explosive fertilizer as it is required to do, leaving one of the principal regulators of ammonium nitrate - which can also be used in bomb making - unaware of any danger there."Had the Tsarnaev Bros had 270 tons of ammonium nitrate we wouldn't be talking about Copley Square, we'd be talking about Copley Crater.
The federal government is now claiming the right to prosecute the Boston bombers, and all over the Internet we're hearing calls for greater "security" and the threat of Muslim Extremists.
And yet the guy whose outfit managed to rack up the highest body count last week is "...proud to be associated with West Church of Christ"
We want to talk about terrorism and security and religious fervor and foreign policy. That's sexy.
Regulatory capture, lax zoning, piss-poor industrial safety, sloppy manufacturers and careless owners and look-the-other-way inspectors?
Not so much.
Y'gotta wonder at the hairless monkey sometimes. We seem to revel in straining at gnats while gulping camels without so much as a hiccup.
Maybe if some relentless reporter proves that Mister Adair is a secret jihadi, though..?
Update 4/24: And it should go without saying that the sort of slippery incompetence (or malicious carelessness, or out-and-out devious malfeasance) is unsustainable without a slippery, incompetent, careless (or malicious) media.
When almost none of the news stories about this mess emphasizes that probably 95% of the blame for the high casualty count is because nobody on the scene knew that this plant was storing tons of ammonium nitrate because the plant owners and managers did not comply even with the relatively benign level of regulation that requires reporting this highly explosive material to emergency response and disaster management agencies the effect is to remove public scrutiny from those owners and managers.
Even with that previous level of fail had the plant manager managed to grab the sleeve of the first firefighter through the gate and shouted "There's tons of goddamn AN in here - forget fighting it! Start evacuating everybody within a mile of this place!" the people of West, Texas might have been saved a lot of grief. But because of panic, or incompetence, or cowardice, nobody did that.
And the reportage has largely skipped over that, too, leaving uninformed observers (meaning 99.5% of the U.S. public) to assume that this sort of stuff "just happens", that it was some sort of natural disaster like a hurricane or an earthquake and not the acts of a handful of men whose motivations remain unexamined and whose culpability will likely remain undivulged.
Update 4/25: It gets worse: "He said firefighters prepared to set up a stream of water on the tanks to keep them from overheating and rupturing, but they discovered there was no water left in the hydrants to spray." It's difficult to determine whether these hydrants - which were probably within the plant itself - were on public or private water lines, but regardless of who was supposed to maintain them it appears that they were in an unserviceable condition at the time of the explosion or were constructed so as to be vulnerable to damage FROM the explosion (not something you'd normally want in a facility planned to...um...store explosive materials.
The cause of this explosion is still being investigated; apparently four tanks filled with ammonia did not rupture, and a separate tank car loaded with AN was knocked over but also didn't explode.