Just minutes after the two bombs detonated, images and video of the carnage and rescuers bravely rushing to help grievously injured victims appeared on media outlets and the Internet. Local, state and federal politicians rushed to microphones to pontificate about the event and ensuing investigation. Since then, there has been a virtual tsunami of information, imagery, speculation and opinion about the bombing.
Within hours of the catastrophe, journalists and bloggers were claiming that additional bombs had been found and disarmed and that a Saudi national -- supposedly a person of interest in the investigation -- was being interviewed. By 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, amid reports that suspicious packages laced with poisonous ricin had been intercepted in Washington, a host of news agencies were claiming that a suspect in the marathon bombings had been arrested.
Later that afternoon, a deadly fire at a fertilizer plant in the small community of West, Texas, drew firemen, first responders and onlookers with smartphones and hand-held cameras to the scene. When the blaze erupted in a massive explosion, it killed at least 15 and injured more than 100.
Initial media reports on radio, television and the Internet speculated that the ricin-tainted mail and the conflagration in Texas might be connected to the Boston Marathon bombings. But we now know that much of what we have been told and shown since the bombs went off in Boston -- especially that attributed to "informed" anonymous sources and unnamed "officials close to the investigation" -- was simply wrong.
On Thursday evening, April 18, at an extraordinary news conference in Boston, the FBI posted a "new-normal" wanted poster: video and still photos of two men, identified only as suspect No. 1 and suspect No. 2 in the Boston bombings. The images instantly flashed around the world, along with a request for anyone with information about the suspects to contact the FBI. The plea went out with a warning: The suspects should be presumed to be armed and extremely dangerous.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.