Monday, July 09, 2007
I've been reading Stephen Hunter's American Gunfight. It's an interesting read on a forgotten episode of American terrorism. It's especially good because Hunter is thoroughly knowledgeable about firearms and the dynamics of deadly force.
Two points had special resonance in light of current events. First, one of the assassins, Oscar Collazo, was, to all outward appearances, a hard-working immigrant who was on his way to assimilating into New York's melting pot. He was married, had a good job, and was active in his community. Yet, for all his outward normality, he was a willing recruit for a suicide mission.
Second, Hunter and Bainbridge make it clear that the assault on Blair House was not the work of a couple of lone loonies. There was a deeper conspiracy that included political leaders in Puerto Rico. Collazo, who spend 29 years in prison for his crime, kept his secret. For decades, the government had an incomplete and distorted picture of the men who carried out the attack, their motives, and their enablers.
(Hunter discusses his book on Northern Alliance Radio.)