Secretary Ridge Not Surprised By Bombings, Expects Long Investigation
PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) - It’s hard to make sense of what happened at the Boston Marathon, but what is clear at this time is no one knows who did it. Across the country, local and federal law enforcement have mobilized as part of the investigation, and answers should come soon.
Former Homeland Security Secretary and Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge spoke to KDKA-AM’s Larry and John about the bombing. He wasn’t surprised that this happened.
“For the longest time, you keep saying how much longer do we have to wait before we have to deal with an attack that was actually executed?” Secretary Ridge said. “Every day there are multiple venues whether they are political, social, cultural, or athletic events where hundreds of thousands congregate, just waiting for it to happen. Tragically, it did.”
Secretary Ridge was privy to information that the majority of Americans will never see, and understands how these investigations work. One of the things slowing down the investigation is the erroneous information that came out in waves after the attack.
“They say the first casualty of war is the truth, and I think in an effort to find out what happened, well-intentioned people are going out there and what they report is not always factual,” Secretary Ridge said. “Before you draw to conclusions, let’s wait until this investigation proceeds further.”
Secretary Ridge points to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing, where it took a long time to figure out who did that. And intelligence in the Boston bombing is lacking. Investigators said there was no chatter or information to act upon to prevent this, or help find who perpetrated this crime.
“There’s so many places we can draw information from, but in this world there are still ways to operate in a clandestine fashion,” Secretary Ridge said.
Even if there was a warning, Secretary Ridge said there’s not much else anyone could have done short of canceling the race. There were police, EMS, security and cameras everywhere, and it’s unreasonable to expect to guard a 26.2 mile race. And with the Pittsburgh Marathon happening in less then a month, there are new concerns for the planners of our race.
A few years ago, there was a false bomb scare near the finish line in Pittsburgh, and since then there has been an increased sensitivity to security here.
Secretary Ridge had words for anyone considering canceling the Pittsburgh Marathon.
“The last thing we can do is dramatically and significantly change who we are, what we do, and how we enjoy the freedoms we have in this country. They win when we do that. The terrorists win,” Secretary Ridge said.