Obama Promises “The Full Weight of Justice”
Shortly after the bombings in Boston, President Obama went to the White House briefing room to offer his concern and condolences to a shocked and grieving nation.
The president pledged the “full resources of the federal government” to assist state and local authorities in the efforts to increase security and investigate the attack.
It was a fitting and thoughtful statement, delivered promptly as Americans grappled with a horrendous terrorist attack at a high-profile public event in an American city.
The president hit all the right spots, thanking the first responders and the heroic citizens who acted quickly to assist the injured. He was cautious to say that while we still did not know who did this are why, we should be careful not to jump to conclusions before we know the facts.
Then he made the obligatory statement we hear so often in times of national trauma.
“But make no mistake – we will get to the bottom of this,” the president said. “And we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”
“The full weight of justice.” That is a powerful statement and a firm commitment from the President of the United States. It carries the full force of the United States government and an obligation to deliver.
Time will tell whether the full weight of justice is delivered against the perpetrators of the Boston bombings, whether they are foreign or domestic. But it is fair to demand that justice is delivered in all cases of attacks on American citizens.
We are still waiting for the full weight of justice to be delivered after the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya last September 11. In fact, we are still waiting for the apprehension of those who killed four Americans, including a United States ambassador.
There are other examples of justice delayed. Where is the full implementation of justice in the fast and furious scandal that saw an ill-conceived Justice Department scheme result in the death of an American border agent? Where is the justice in the still unresolved Fort Hood shooting that took the lives of 13 Americans?
The day after the Boston bombings, the president made another public appearance and unequivocally labeled the bombings an act of terror. The president cautioned that it would take time to follow every lead and determine exactly what happened in Boston. Then he reiterated his determination.
“But we will find out,” the president said. “We will find whoever harmed our citizens, and we will bring them to justice.”
We have every reason to take the president at his word. But we also have every reason to expect results. When law enforcement apprehends the perpetrators of the Boston bombings, we will look for swift application of the “full weight of justice.”