If I look at a snapshot of my life 18 years ago, I see a young man ravaged by a spiraling alcohol and drug addiction, a man fractured in spirit desperate to claw his way out of the darkest hell of a deep depression. Shortly after entering a treatment program to deal with my addiction issues, I took my first tentative steps into the world of running. Before I knew it, I had found my "people." I had stumbled upon my "tribe."
Like any craft, journalism, requires audience attention, appreciation and consideration -- akin to a handmade ceramic mug that can sit alongside a disposable paper cup, news can be authored by a Pulitzer prize wining journalist or a passerby at an event with a cell phone. Both have value but their objectives differ.
Boston for me is a vivid memory. It's getting to the Toronto airport and seeing all those Boston jackets. It's seeing the banners on the streets, it's visiting the finish line, or holding The Jacket for the first time, or looking up at the signs at the corner of Hereford and Boylston. It's about school bus rides, the village and high fives with kids on trampolines. It's about beer on the course, a kiss at Wellesley Hills that make you remember why it broke someone's heart. It's about the growing crowds, the Citgo sign and Fenway, and noontime baseball. It's about the everything about 26.2 but also what happens alongside that course, and of the days before and after that day.
I don't begrudge Tom Morino his duty to provide a full and robust defense for his client, home-grown terror suspect John Nuttall. However, a recent claim that Nuttall and his co-conspirator Amanda Korody may have been entrapped into a plot of mass murder, the existence of which they do not deny, is simply ludicrous.
Encouraged by underground support communities, Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists usually act on their own without direct operational control or funding from international terrorist networks. This differs greatly from the 9/11 attacks, which were heavily orchestrated and funded through international terrorist affiliates.
I am currently advising a board whose company is a target for a terrorist attack. Many other companies in transportation, utilities, defense, property development and financial services could take a page from below. Here are six areas for boards to focus on to prepare for a possible terrorist attack.
If law enforcement made a calculated decision that knowing whatever information Dzhokhar Tsarnev might possess was more important than being able to use that information in a legal case against him, I can respect that. But if they expected they could have it both ways -- questioning Dzhokhar without informing him of his rights, then trying to worm Dzhokhar's answers into court by blowing a public safety exception far beyond its reasonable scope, then there is a problem. A problem I sincerely hope a court will be quick to point out. And a problem that only law enforcement can be blamed for not foreseeing.
Unfortunately, as Boston has reminded us, it seems that same salinization must now be applied to the big dogs. It's not that amateur sources on Twitter and Reddit have become more reliable than say CNN or The Associated Press -- unless perhaps said amateur is tweeting on location -- it's that the two have become indistinguishable.
Personal learnings from the Countering Violent Extremism portfolio echoed the sentiments that Justin Trudeau expressed following the Boston Bombings -- to get to the root cause to prevent future attacks. Last year I had the chance to work with the Department of Public Safety on National Security Policy, and if there's one thing that you need to focus on in preventing any kind of violence from happening -- whether it be localized gun violence or terrorism -- it's the root cause. Mind you, gun violence and extremism are two very different animals, but what they do share in common is an immature and ridiculous sense of expression through violence.
The arrest by the RCMP of two individuals who were allegedly planning out a terrorist attack on a VIA Rail train will only heighten our level of anxiety as the scare hits closer to home. Reintroducing these provisions seems nothing more than an attempt by the Conservative government to further prove its 'tough on terror' credentials. But when our laws appear to be working -- results of brave and successful law enforcement operations -- attempting to play on our fears by using emotion over reason does not do justice to the seriousness this discussion this requires.