It’s happened again. A US citizen acting for what he judges to be the greater good has leaked sensitive material to the media and is now in potential trouble for it. And again it’s about terror and the safety of American lives. Yet no one is fleeing the country this time and the country, it has to be guessed, will be solidly behind him.
This story begins if not with the 15 April bombing of the Boston marathon that killed four and injured hundreds then with the latest Rolling Stone magazine that features the surviving suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev on its cover looking rock-star sexy. That image made a lot of people extremely angry, including the man who took the pictures that you see now, Sergeant Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer with the Massachusetts State Police.
These dramatic shots are not sexy at all. Rather they show Tsarnaev emerging from the cabin of a small boat at the end of a manhunt that briefly saw all of Boston and neighbouring Cambridge put on lock-down. He is smeared with blood, the red dot of a police rifle’s laser on his forehead. In one he lifts his T-shirt to show he is not armed.
It was Sgt Murphy’s fury at Rolling Stone that prompted him to hand the pictures to Boston Magazine, which has duly published them. “What Rolling Stone did was wrong,” he said. “This guy is evil. This is the real Boston bomber. Not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.”
For his troubles, Sgt. Murphy is now on temporary suspension pending a review of his position by his superiors next week. His actions were “not authorised” the State Police said in a terse statement. But Boston for certain, if not the country as a whole, will have this leaker’s back.Reuse content