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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

OU's Boren Backs Off "Lone Suicide" Description, Slightly; Orders Tighter Security at Stadium

You have to read the words of politicians and all other government officials very closely and carefully in order to determine what they are actually saying and, oftentimes more importantly, what they are not saying.

OU President and former U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman David Boren appears to be modifying his original declaration that Joel Henry Hinrichs III acted alone in blowing himself up and committed suicide as a result of unspecified problems.

Boren is now quoted as follows by The Norman Transcript:

"While saying it appears no one else is connected to the bombing, Boren made a shift in describing Hinrich's death by saying, 'I do not say suicide, I say it's an individual death that we're dealing with. That's all we really know.'"

Clearly something has come to Boren's attention since his initial declaration that has caused him to qualify his statement. Perhaps that something is to be found in the fact the latest official FBI statement says "at this time, there is no known link between Hinrichs and any known terrorists or extremists organizations or activities."

The key phrase in the FBI statement is "at this time." That suggests the FBI is keeping open the possibility that further investigation may yet turn up such links.

Addtionally, actions almost always speak louder than words. Example: Both the Transcript and The Daily Oklahoman are reporting that OU officials will tighten security measures for future football games at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Hinrichs blew himself up within 100 yards of the 84,000 people attending the Oct 1 game between the Sooners and Kansas State Wildcats.

If Hinrichs acted alone as a result of mental problems and had no links to any terrorist groups or activities, why are tightened security measures needed?


Bella Ciao has some insights that may explain why Boren was so insistent on there not being a terrorist connection in the Saturday bombing:

"Among Boren’s many problems is the fact that his gargantuan stadium expansion undertaken in 2002 encumbered the athletic department for 30 years with an annual debt service of $5 million. He has already been raising tuition and robbing the OU general fund to pay off this debt.

"He would hate to see revenues from ticket sales decline because of bombing fears. He prefers keeping football fans uninformed about a realistic assessment of risk associated with being part of an OU stadium crowd. That explains the 'individual suicide' nonsense."

Maybe it does, maybe not, but anybody familiar with Oklahoma knows OU football is the real state religion, not being a Southern Baptist, and the athletic fortunes of the school's football and basketball teams have an economic impact far beyond the grandstands.