I couldn’t think of a better excuse to start over for the new year. We had a decent offer on the domain, “theintercept.com”, so this will be the opportunity to roll out another blog exploring the hypocrisy and origins of the war on terror. Receive updates for the upcoming movie of the same name. The new domain will be www.americanterrorist.com. Join us or die!
Jon Lender, Edmund H. Mahony, Dave Altimari
The staffs of the state’s top prosecutor and the governor’s office have been working in secret with General Assembly leaders on legislation to withhold records related to the police investigation into the Dec. 14 Newtown elementary school massacre — including victims’ photos, tapes of 911 calls, and possibly more.
The behind-the-scenes legislative effort came to light Tuesday when The Courant obtained a copy of an email by a top assistant to Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane, Timothy J. Sugrue. Sugrue, an assistant state’s attorney, discussed options considered so far, including blocking release of statements “made by a minor.”
“There is complete agreement regarding photos etc., and audio tapes, although the act may allow the disclosure of audio transcripts,” Sugrue wrote to Kane, two other Kane subordinates and to Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky, who is directing the investigation of the killings.
The bill that’s being crafted has not been handled under routine legislative procedures — it hasn’t gone through the committee process, which includes a public hearing, for example. Sugrue’s email Tuesday indicated that a draft of the bill was being worked on by leaders in both the House and Senate, and might be ready as soon as the end of the day.
He wrote: “I just received a call from Natalie Wagner” — a member of the legal counsel’s staff in the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
“She believes that draft language will be forthcoming today (the work of both houses) in the form of a special act. …” Sugrue wrote that Wagner “will send me the draft in confidence when she receives it, and I will immediately forward it.”
However, late Tuesday, the legislation proposed by Kane wasn’t ready to be acted on in either legislative chamber, said Malloy’s director of communications, Andrew Doba. He said he did not know when that might happen.
“A lot of people, including our office, have heard the concerns expressed by the families of Newtown victims, and are exploring ways to respect the families’ right to privacy while also respecting the public’s right to information,” gubernatorial chief of staff Mark Ojakian said in a statement released by Doba.
A major question yet to be settled is whether the legislation would apply only to the Newtown case, or to documents from other criminal cases that are now subject to public disclosure. A report on the police investigation into the Newtown shooting is expected to be released in June.
As envisioned by Kane, the bill wouldn’t be limited to the Newtown file.
“We are seeking legislation to protect crime scene photographs protecting victims and certain 911 tapes,” Kane told The Courant Tuesday. “It is something that I have been concerned about for years and years and the situation in Newtown brings it to a head. I don’t want family members seeing pictures of their loved ones publicized in a manner in which these are subject to be published.”
He said as he sees the legislation, it would apply to “basically crime scene photographs depicting injuries to victims and recordings, 911 recordings displaying the mental anguish of victims. Things like that, of that category. And it seems to me that the intrusion of the privacy of the individuals outweighs any public interest in seeing these.”
Sugrue said in his email that the “forthcoming” language would be “in the form of a special act, not an amendment to the [state's Freedom of Information Act].”
As originally discussed behind the scenes, the proposed legislation would have amended the state’s freedom of information law by adding a blanket exemption to disclosure of any “criminal investigation photograph, film, videotape, other image or recording or report depicting or describing the victim or victims.”
Colleen Murphy, the director of the state’s FOI Commission, said Tuesday that her staff had argued against the idea of such a blanket change. She said a couple of weeks ago the office of House Speaker Brendan Sharkey provided her agency with a draft including the blanket exception. She said she was advised that this draft would not be put to a vote, but she knew nothing abut the contents of the “forthcoming” draft.
Murphy said she’d urged that lawmakers be “thoughtful and careful about any legislation” and to “not be reactive to one situation” by making changes that could have long-term, unintended effects.
Murphy was unaware of Sugrue’s email when The Courant told her about it late Tuesday afternoon. She said she and her staff had not been receiving detailed updates. Asked if she would have liked to have been kept aware of developments such as Sugrue’s email, she said yes.
The killing of 20 first-graders and six women at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown has sparked a number of legislative proposals this year to protect the privacy of the victims’ families and spare them further pain. One example is a bill that would exempt the death certificates of minors from public disclosure for six months.
Nearly 12 years after the event, the official account of 9/11 continues to be actively studied by academics around the world. The idea of 9/11 as a false-flag operation to build support for an aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East is steadily gaining ground, suggesting that a policy change is overdue.
This essay provides a brief overview of recent academic evidence, high-level conferences, and media documentaries that raise fresh questions regarding the official account of 9/11. It then describes the 9/11 Consensus Panel as an up-to-date source of evidence-based research for any investigation that may be undertaken to settle 9/11′s unanswered questions.
Finally, this essay argues that mortality from all terror events combined lags far behind annual mortality from preventable common causes such as obesity, smoking, and impaired driving. More importantly, all these causes together will be dwarfed by the mortality from predicted “business as usual” global warming events — which cry out for a unified emergency response.
Today is the second anniversary of the day the United States announced the destruction and disposal of Osama bin Laden during a special military operation.
In spite of this announcement, worldwide skepticism and research continue to dog the official account of 9/11.
Had the United States Government called an immediate investigation (it did not form the 9/11 Commission until late 2002) and provided consistent and transparent proof of its claims against Osama bin Laden and the 19 alleged hijackers, things might have been different.
In the wake of the officially failed evidence, NGO’s continue to dig into the disturbing and unanswered questions that haunt this world-changing event. Year by year, these research bodies have been delving ever more deeply into new photographic, FOIA, and witness evidence.
Recent high-level conferences in Kuala Lumpur, Bremen, Germany, and Toronto, Canada, have raised public awareness of the urgent need to revisit the watershed event behind the global war on terror.
An issue of the international magazine Nexus, which sold on news-stands across France in March and April this year, devoted 12 pages to the work of the 9/11 Consensus Panel (www.consensus911.org) and its 28 peer-reviewed Consensus Points of evidence against elements of the official story.
In late 2012, PBS aired one of its most-watched documentaries, “Experts Speak Out,” in which 40 architects and engineers demonstrate that the structural collapses of the Twin Towers and WTC 7 could only have been caused by controlled demolition.
Indeed many serious investigations have been undertaken by the major media, including Canada’s flagship CBC program, The Fifth Estate. These explorations were summarized in my 2010 essay reporting that “eight countries – Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Russia – have allowed their publicly-owned broadcasting stations to air the full spectrum of evidence challenging the truth of the official account of 9/11.
In February, 2010, the American Behavioral Scientist published six articles introducing the concept of “State Crimes Against Democracy” (SCADS), including “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crimes in American Government.”
Why has all this effort to establish the truth about 9/11 persisted for nearly 12 years?
1. First, because many high officials have cast doubt on the official story. To name just one, a dismayed General Wesley Clark reported in a 2007 interview with Amy Goodman that on September 20, 2001, and again later in November, his former Pentagon staff told him that the US was going to “take out” seven Middle East countries in the next five years, beginning with Iraq; then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.
2. In carrying out these operations, the “global war on terror” spawned by 9/11 has maintained an unprecedented degree of fear and divisiveness in the world;
3. This war has been justified by a pervasive, shadowy enemy that can only be countered by flawless surveillance, suspension of civil rights, and unlimited military spending;
4. This “forever war” has redefined world relationships (Muslim and Christian) and given the West a new kind of entitlement to occupy lands that might foster terror against it;
5. It has virtually bankrupted the West through trillions spent in Afghanistan and Iraq that are roughly equivalent to the bank bailouts;
6. September 11th and its offspring terror war have wrecked our confidence in the first principles of democracy. Ever-reminded that terror lurks all around, we must cower and surrender freedoms to contain it.
7. Worst of all, preoccupation with terror has taken our attention off the vital need to address global warming and planetary survival. War-on-terror hawks have done quite the opposite, having manufactured public consent to occupy the very lands that house the cheap oil that is cooking the planet as it approaches 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2.
How do we get back to first principles and return to global, survival-oriented priorities?
The central question is: “Do we choose to act from what we want our world to be, or from what we fear it might become?”
Do we design a harmonious world fit for all humanity, or do we stifle our vision and hopes for peace behind fear, prisons, martial law, and infinite military spending?
All great periods of history – the golden ages of optimism, learning, culture and prosperity — have been inspired by the creative, expansive human imagination. This imagination is inspired by the belief that a civilized world is possible because we can make it so. It is inspired by a vision of human beings as a world family whose spirits embrace justice, order, and decency.
As President John F. Kennedy said in his famous speech of 1963:
“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. In the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.”
Because of 9/11, however, our new century has been dominated by an obsessive fear of Muslim peoples. This fear, fueled daily by the Western media, has persuaded America to compromise its fundamental democratic rights and principles in favor of a “security” that has not yet become evident.
Thus it is crucial to know whether 9/11 transpired as we have been told — and for this we need the means to identify the best evidence possible.
World Socialist Web Site
At a White House press conference Tuesday, President Barack Obama praised the April 19 police-military lockdown of metropolitan Boston and dismissed questions regarding links between the suspected Boston Marathon bombers and US intelligence and police agencies. He went on to repeat the increasingly discredited official line that the alleged bombers had been “self-radicalized” and acted alone.
Even as Obama spoke, federal officials were announcing that they were seeking to question at least half a dozen “persons of interest” both in the US and Russia who may have been involved in the twin bombings near the finish line of the marathon in downtown Boston. That criminal act killed three people and wounded more than 160 others.
On Wednesday, the British Daily Mail reported that Saudi Arabian officials in 2012 sent a written report to high officials in the US Department of Homeland Security detailing their concerns about one of the Boston bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and warning that he might be planning a terrorist attack.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was shot dead by police on April 19. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, 19, is in federal custody in a prison hospital in Massachusetts.
A “highly placed source,” according to the British newspaper, said the information on Tsarnaev was based on intelligence developed in Yemen. The letter explained that the Saudi government had denied an entry visa to Tsarnaev in December 2011, when he was seeking to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Saudi official told the Mail that the information was “very specific” and warned that “something was going to happen in a major US city.”
The newspaper further reported that a US Homeland Security official on Tuesday confirmed the existence of the 2012 letter.
Later on Wednesday, the Saudi embassy in Washington DC denied that the Saudi government had made any such warning to the US about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Its statement was followed by denials from the White House and the Homeland Security Department.
The alleged Saudi warning on the activities of Tsarnaev adds to the evidence of multiple warnings from foreign intelligence authorities and US government acknowledgment of extensive contact between American security and intelligence agencies and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The US government has admitted that Russian intelligence sent a warning to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in March of 2011 about Tamerlan Tsarnaev and followed six months later with a warning to the Central Intelligence Agency. The Russians said they were concerned that Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen, had become a radical Islamist jihadist and was planning to travel to the Russian Caucasus and meet with the separatist underground there.
Despite the fact that the elder Tsarnaev brother was put on several terrorism watch lists and was questioned by the FBI, he was allowed to travel unhindered to Dagestan in the Northern Caucasus in January of 2012 and remain in the highly explosive region for six months, returning to the US in July of last year.
NBC News has reported that the Russian internal security service also gave the FBI a case file on Tsarnaev in November of 2012, after his return to the US and five months before the Boston bombings, concerning his activities while in southern Russia. NBC reported that the police witnessed Tsarnaev meeting six separate times with a known Islamist terrorist at a Salafi mosque in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.
In recent days, US officials have said they are investigating such contacts. The New York Times reported Monday: “Two Russian government officials said Tamerlan Tsarnaev exchanged notes over the Internet with William Plotnikov, a boxer who moved with his parents from Russia to Canada before joining militants in the North Caucasus. And they said Mr. Tsarnaev met several times in early 2012 with Mansur Makhmud Nidal, an alleged militant from the Russian province of Dagestan and suspected jihadist recruiter.”
Both Plotnikov and Nidal were killed by Russian security forces while Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in Dagestan.
Also on Wednesday, federal authorities arrested three students, classmates of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, and charged them with obstructing justice and making false statements to federal investigators. The criminal complaint does not allege that the students, two Kazakhs and one US citizen, had foreknowledge of the bombings or played any role in them. Rather, it alleges that they disposed of potentially incriminating evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the FBI had released video footage showing the two Tsarnaev brothers at the scene of the bombings and declared the two to be prime suspects.
At the Tuesday press conference, Obama responded to a reporter who cited Republican charges that the police and intelligence agencies had failed to share intelligence on Tamerlan Tsarnaev that might have prevented the bombings, saying, “I think that all our law enforcement officials performed in an exemplary fashion after the bombing had taken place.”
He then acknowledged that Russian intelligence had alerted US agencies “about the older brother as well as the mother, indicating that they might be sympathizers to extremists,” but went on to whitewash the fact that the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security Department took no steps that could have prevented execution of the terror plot.
“It’s not as if the FBI did nothing,” he said. “They not only investigated the older brother; they interviewed the older brother. They concluded that there were no signs that he was engaging in extremist activity… based on what I’ve seen so far, the FBI performed its duties; Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing.”
Obama then implied that the two bombing suspects were “home-grown” terrorists who had acted alone. “One of the dangers that we now face,” he said, “are self-radicalized individuals who are already here in the United States, [who] in some cases may not be part of any kind of network…”
In a further effort to explain away multiple warnings from Russian intelligence about the radical jihadist sympathies and potential terrorist ties of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and the fact that the family was well known to US intelligence agencies, Obama added that “all of this has to be done in the context of our laws, due process.”
It is difficult to capture in words the scale of Obama’s hypocrisy and cynicism. In one breath he hailed an unprecedented police-state operation involving thousands of troops and heavily armed police, as well as armored vehicles and military helicopters, carried out to enforce a “shelter in place” order and conduct warrantless house-to-house searches of entire neighborhoods—all in search of one 19-year-old youth—and in the next he claimed to be upholding “due process.”
Not only did this de facto state of siege violate virtually every civil liberty inscribed in the Bill of Rights, but Obama’s Justice Department decided not to read Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights to remain silent and have a lawyer present at any interrogation. The Los Angeles Times reported that the interagency High Value Detainee Interrogation Group ignored repeated requests for legal counsel from the severely wounded suspect during 16 hours of questioning.
Obama’s attempt to portray the alleged Boston bombers as lone-wolf terrorists who operated without any external help or foreign ties is consistent with the official line given out by the White House since the killing of Tamerlan and capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It appears that this claim is motivated by a desire to divert attention from the connections of the suspects with US intelligence agencies.
In addition to the multiple warnings cited above and evidence of direct contact between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and reputed terrorists in Dagestan, other facts belie the official story that the elder brother dropped below the radar of the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security Department due to a “failure to communicate” on the part of the agencies.
After his return to Boston from Russia last year, Tsarnaev, according to the Washington Post, “assembled an extensive playlist of jihadist videos online.” And he was ejected from his mosque in the Boston area after making inflammatory anti-American statements. As one media source recently noted, since 9/11 the FBI has maintained a program of surveillance and the use of informants in mosques across the US.
In every major terror event in the US for more than a decade, it has emerged that the alleged perpetrators were well known to US police and intelligence agencies, which had been given multiple advance warnings of their activities. The explanation given in each case was that the authorities simply “failed to connect the dots” or “failed to communicate.”
Such was the case in the attacks of September 11, 2001. Such also was the case in the failed attempt by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day 2009 to ignite a plastic explosive device as a Northwest flight made its final descent toward Detroit. In that case, the father of the perpetrator had visited the US embassy in Nigeria one month earlier to warn authorities about the terrorist connections of his son in Yemen, and American authorities had received warnings of plans by Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attack the United States.
So too in the Boston Marathon bombings. If this were merely yet another staggering security failure on the part of US police and intelligence agencies, why have those officials responsible not been named and removed from their posts? Why is Robert Mueller, the head of the FBI at the time of the 9/11 attacks, still running the agency?
Claims of mere incompetence or “lapses” are not credible. The most elementary precautions, according to the official story, were somehow not taken. It is claimed, for example, that the FBI never informed the Boston police of its dossier on Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Given the fact that the city was holding a mass public event—the marathon—there is no innocent explanation for such a “mistake.” One would assume that in the run-up to such an event, the authorities would be tracking every move of such an individual.
More plausible, given what is already known, is the likelihood that the brothers, particularly Tamerlan, were being developed as assets for use in US imperialism’s operations in Chechnya, Dagestan and Georgia. Washington has maintained a longstanding relationship with Islamist extremist groups operating in Chechnya. Russia laid siege to the region in two devastating wars following the breakup of the Soviet Union in order to suppress separatist movements. In 2008, the US supported nearby Georgia in a war with Russia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia.
Chechen separatists and Islamic fundamentalists, moreover, have been recruited by the US and its allies to participate in the US-backed war for regime-change in Syria, whose shock troops are being provided by forces linked to Al Qaeda.
The Boston tragedy is but the latest example of US imperialism’s intrigues and crimes around the world becoming the breeding grounds for attacks on innocent people at home.
Every year, 4,600 Americans are killed in work place related accidents. Every 28 hours a black person is killed by police, corrections officers, security guards or vigilantes. Every year more than 30,000 people are killed by gun violence in this country. The odds of being killed by a terrorist are only 1 in 20 million.
These statistics are rarely mentioned and never had a chance to be addressed after two bombs were exploded during the Boston marathon. Death under horrific but commonplace circumstances attracts scant media attention or political action. Acts labeled as terrorism, which are unlikely to kill anyone, bring an inordinate amount of hysteria among the populace and cynical attention from press and politicians.
Just two days after the Boston marathon a fertilizer plant in West, Texas exploded, killing 14 people, most of them the much worshipped “first responders.” The risk of dying in an industrial accident is far greater than the odds of being killed by a terrorist, but no matter. The people were whipped into a frenzy and told to cast their eyes in the place where they should pay less attention rather than more.
It is frightening that the risks which Americans are subjected to on a daily basis are ignored as if they are unwanted background noise. Some of the passivity is understandable. Black people in particular are able to function in large part because the ever present risk of stop and frisk, false arrest, and police brutality are difficult to bear. There is a thin line between being conscious and losing one’s mind.
All Americans’ behavior is understandable if one acknowledges that we are constantly subjected to propaganda of various kinds. We have been propagandized to believe that some lives, white Americans’, are more valuable than others, namely anyone not white nor from the United States. There is no other way to explain why the government’s killing of thousands of people abroad is met with a shrug, if it is acknowledged at all. Americans are like spoiled children, whining over their suffering, while showing no empathy for anyone else’s. They feel that only their victimization is worthy of note, and in fact many of them support their government’s acts of violence carried out around the world.
That feeling of entitlement is a direct result of centuries of white supremacy which has never been examined or challenged. It has been fed as corporate power has grown and corrupted the media who now aren’t even very good at the basics of their profession. CNN, NPR, the Associated Press and other supposedly reputable news organizations reported wrongly on basic facts of the case such as the number of suspects, whether arrests had been made or not, or who was or wasn’t a person of interest. A “dark skinned man” was said to be under arrest but actually wasn’t. An Indian student missing since March was named as a suspect on social media and his family were threatened as a result.
After the wave of manufactured hysteria an easily frightened people were then convinced to accept tanks in their streets and heed government calls to “shelter in place.” The nonsensical overreaction was superseded only by the use of Orwellian jargon used to create an even more compliant public.
The predictably maudlin moments of silence weren’t restricted to Boston. More than $20 million in monetary contributions were raised without the donors knowing who needed it or for what purpose. Tributes flowed along with money and no one ran a race anywhere on earth without mentioning the bravery of Bostonians. The president showed up and as always on such occasions uttered words seemingly written by his worst speechwriters. The full force of the government would catch the cowards and the people would not be frightened because they are the best and freest in the world and the prayers of the nation went out to them because of democracy and the whole world stood beside them. Amen.
There is another kind of terror that goes on continually. Most reported terror plots of recent years were created entirely by government agents. The FBI had some contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was killed by police in the bombing after math. It is possible that the FBI moved from creating phony terror plots to actually carrying one out. The likelihood that there will ever be impartial fact finding on this and other questions are slim to none.
Dzokhar Tsarnaev now [April 24] lies in a hospital wounded by police gunfire and questioned without being read his rights. That treatment is a result of an Obama executive order which states that in cases of a “public safety exception” we have no such rights. Now that is everyday terror.
Margaret Kimberley‘s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as athttp://freedomrider.blogspot.com.
As with many “terrorism” related events since 9/11, the Boston bombing official narrative proves to be a web of lies as important facts are revealed. It turns out that the FBI has lied about its knowledge of the alleged suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, already being presented as guilty not only in the mainstream press but by the President himself.
According to the suspects’ mother, the FBI had been following them for years:
The FBI originally feigned ignorance over the identity of the two Boston bombing suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as they appealed to an unwitting public to help them “identify” and “find” the suspects. […]
Russia Today, in an article titled, “‘They were set up, FBI followed them for years’- Tsarnaevs’ mother to RT,” stated of the suspects’ mother:
But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.
She would say of the FBI to Russia Today:
They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!
[…] The FBI would then be forced to concede that indeed it had interviewed the suspects, in 2011, two years before the Boston bombings. (Tony Cartalucci Boston Bombing Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev Reported Killed, Was Alive When Detained: Tamerlan’s Aunt, Global Research, April 22, 2013.)
We were also told that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in an exchange of gunfire after he and his brother had robbed a 7-Eleven:
When the shootout ended, one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, a former boxer, had been shot and fatally wounded. He was wearing explosives, several law enforcement officials said. (Katharine Q. Seelye, William K. Rashbaum and Michael Cooper 2nd Bombing Suspect Caught After Frenzied Hunt Paralyzes Boston, The New York Times, April 19, 2013.)
With a bomb strapped to his chest, one of the Boston Marathon suspects was killed early Friday after he and his accomplice brother robbed a 7-Eleven, shot a police officer to death, carjacked an SUV and hurled explosives in an extraordinary firefight with law enforcement, authorities told NBC News. (Pete Williams, Richard Esposito, Michael Isikoff and Erin McClam, NBC News, One Boston Marathon suspect killed; second suspect, his brother, on loose after firefight, NBC News, April 19, 2013.)
The events surrounding Tamerlan’s death reported by the media are simply not true. It turns out that Tamerlan’ aunt identified him as a “naked, cuffed, clearly alive and well detainee seen in video aired by CNN”:
Tamerlan Tsarnaev in custody
Was Tamerlan Assassinated?
The Boston Globe confirmed that Marathon Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in custody, contradicting earlier reports that he had been killed in crossfire. If he was in custody and is now dead, does that not suggest that he might have been the object of an extrajudicial assassination? The circumstances of his death remain to be clarified.
Moreover, the 7-Eleven robbery was actually unrelated to the Tsarnaev brothers:
There was a 7-Eleven robbery in Cambridge last night, but it had nothing to do with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Margaret Chabris, the director of corporate communication at 7- Eleven, says the surveillance video of the crime was not taken at a 7-Eleven and that the suspect that did rob the 7-Eleven does not look like Tamerlan or Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“The suspect in the photos for that particular 7-Eleven robbery looks nothing like the suspects,” Chabris says. “The police or someone made a mistake. Someone was confused.”
[…] Again, they might be guilty. But as Glenn Greenwald notes:
The overarching principle here should be that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is entitled to a presumption of innocence until he is actually proven guilty. As so many cases have proven – from accused (but exonerated) anthrax attacker Stephen Hatfill to accused (but exonerated) Atlanta Olympic bomber Richard Jewell to dozens if not hundreds of Guantanamo detainees accused of being the “worst of the worst” but who were guilty of nothing – people who appear to be guilty based on government accusations and trials-by-media are often completely innocent. Media-presented evidence is no substitute for due process and an adversarial trial. (Washington’s Blog, Boston Terror Narrative Starts Falling Apart, Global Research, April 23, 2013)
On April 19 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested and brought to a hospital. According to Reuters, “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was wounded during at least one of two gun battles with police on Friday, suffering gunshot wounds to his head, neck, legs and hand [...]“. On April 24, the Huffington Post reported:
Two U.S. officials say the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard.
Authorities originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him. (Adam Goldman and Pete Yost, Boston Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Reportedly Unarmed When Arrested In Boat, Officials Say, Huffington Post, April 24, 2013.)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed and obviously brutalized by police
We still don’t know what really happened in Boston and who committed the attacks even though the mainstream media report that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has admitted being guilty. What we know for sure is that the official Boston bombing narrative is filled with lies and that since 9/11 and in the context of the fictitious “War on Terror”, Western governments, intelligence agencies and mainstream media have proven to be untrustworthy sources of information on alleged “terrorist attacks” or “foiled terrorist plots”.
Canada’s Complicity in the War on Terror
Three days after Boston was locked down, invaded by a colossal police-military apparatus on a surreal “teenagehunt”, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police made a very timely announcement: they had foiled a terrorist plot targeting a Via Rail passenger train. Or so they say.
In a very absurd press conference where three RCMP officers repeatedly answered questions with “we cannot comment as the investigation is ongoing”, the only information they seemed very eager to disclose was that the suspects “received guidance from Al-Qaeda in Iran”.
RCMP press conference
While the Canadian mainstream media take these RCMP allegations at face value, independent news outlets suspect hidden political motives behind the highly publicized announcement:
Neither the police nor government have given any reason as to why, after allowing the accused to remain at large for months, they were suddenly arrested Monday afternoon and in a very high-profile manner. […]
Speaking Tuesday after Jaser’s arraignment in a Toronto court, his lawyer, John Norris, drew attention to the timing of the police-government announcement that they had uncovered Canada’s first “al-Qaeda-sponsored” terror plot. Said Norris, “The timing of the arrest is a bit of a mystery and certainly I would like to hear the RCMP’s explanation for that. They have been very clear that there is no risk of public safety and it is surprising to say the least that this arrest would be made now, close on the heels of what happened in Boston and timed perfectly with what was happening in the House of Commons yesterday.”
On Friday, the Conservative government announced that it was changing the House of Commons’ agenda, scheduling third and final reading of its “Combating Terrorism Act” (Bill S-7) to begin Monday and conclude this week. Bill S-7 gives the state vast new powers. These include: the right to hold terrorism suspects for 72 hours without charge, to convene “investigative hearings” at which those believed to have information about an imminent terrorist attack are stripped of their right to remain silent, and the power to place restrictions for up to a year on the movements and rights of persons deemed by the state to be terrorist suspects but against whom they have insufficient evidence to lay charges. […]
US authorities have been quick to trumpet the Canadian claims of a thwarted terrorist attack—claims that boost their own efforts to portray North America as under siege from terrorists and justify a vast expansion of the national-security apparatus and coercive powers of the state. The US ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, issued a statement Monday saying the arrests of Esseghaier and Jaser “were the result of extensive cross-border cooperation” and had underscored “that we face serious and real threats.” […]
At Monday’s press conference, the RCMP asserted that Esseghaier and Jaser had acted under the “direction and guidance” of “al-Qaeda elements located in Iran.”
The RCMP said that they had no evidence of Iranian government involvement. […]
The Harper Conservative government, which has declared itself Israel’s strongest ally and has expanded Canada’s decades’ old military-strategic alliance with Washington, broke off diplomatic relations with Teheran last summer. In justifying this action, Conservative Foreign Minister John Baird labeled Iran “the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.” (Keith Jones Canadian Government unveils “Terror Plot” as it Adopts Draconian New Law, World Socialist Web Site, April 24, 2013.)
We may recall a “terrorist plot” revealed in late November 2001. According to mainstream reports, Ahmed Ressam, who was convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in 1999, had also planned to bomb a Montreal area with “the most visible concentration of Jews in Canada — a vibrant area of some 5,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews who stand out because of their traditional outfits of black coats and hats for men, long skirts and wigs for women. » (Ingrid Peritz, Montreal’s brush with terror, The Globe and Mail, November 30, 2001.)
The Globe stated further:
Members of the Hasidic community in Outremont responded with shock after hearing that Mr. Ressam and Samir Ait Mohamed wanted to detonate a bomb in the area because it was predominantly Jewish.
The stated choice of explosives — a bomb on a gasoline truck — evoked the detonating power of the fuel-laden planes that ripped through the World Trade Center. (Ibid.)
Samir Aït Mohamed happened to be a fake Algerian refugee and “an informant for Canadian law-enforcement authorities [RCMP].” (Mike Carter, Montreal bomb plot revealed in Ressam case documents, Seattle Times, November 30, 2001.)
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was also involved in a terrorist plot. Joseph Gilles Breault, a.k.a. Youssef Mouammar or Abou Djihad, had threatened to attack the Montreal metro with a biochemical weapon in 1998. He was a CSIS agent.
With that in mind, the latest RCMP “exploit” raises even more questions on this revived Al-Qaeda threat focused on Iran. Who’s behind Al-Qaeda in Iran?:
As the FBI reels from what now appears to be revelations it was directly involved in the Boston Marathon bombings, a deluge of FBI “success” stories have been “serendipitously” splashed across Western headlines. Among them was an allegedly “foiled” terror attack in Canada, reported to be the work of terrorists supported by “Al-Qaeda operatives in Iran.” The Globe and Mail, in its report, “Canada joins U.S. in alleging al-Qaeda has operatives based in Iran,” states:
[…] The Sunni-based al-Qaeda and Shia Iran belong to different branches of Islam that have been at odds historically. But in recent years U.S. officials have formally alleged that Iran has allowed al-Qaeda members to operate out of its territory.”
[…] Hersh in his 2008 New Yorker piece titled, “Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran,” spelled out a damning indictment of US involvement in bolstering, arming, and funding terror organizations, not linked to, but described as actually being Al Qaeda [...]:
One of the most active and violent anti-regime groups in Iran today is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement, which describes itself as a resistance force fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran. “This is a vicious Salafi organization whose followers attended the same madrassas as the Taliban and Pakistani extremists,” Nasr told me. “They are suspected of having links to Al Qaeda and they are also thought to be tied to the drug culture.” The Jundallah took responsibility for the bombing of a busload of Revolutionary Guard soldiers in February, 2007. At least eleven Guard members were killed. According to Baer and to press reports, the Jundallah is among the groups in Iran that are benefiting from U.S. support. (Tony Cartalucci, Who is Behind “Al Qaeda in Iran”?, Global Research, April 23, 2013.)
Otherwise the brothers’ links to Chechen terrorists makes very little sense, since the latter, like many other terrorist groups and/or so-called freedom fighters depending on the strategy of the day, have been supported by the US:
What is abundantly clear is that the US government is not committed to fighting terrorists.
Quite the opposite. US intelligence has been recruiting and grooming terrorists for more than thirty years, while at same time upholding the absurd notion that these terrorists, who are bona fide CIA “intelligence assets”, constitute a threat to the American Homeland. These alleged threats by “An Outside Enemy” are part of a propaganda ploy behind the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT).
[...] The development of an Islamist terrorist militia in different countries around the World is part of an intricate US intelligence project.
While the Tsarnaev brothers are casually accused without evidence of having links to Chechen terrorists, the important question is who is behind the Chechen terrorists?
Nation of Change
When a horrific incident like this is used to justify such new threats to our Constitutional freedom as an unprecedented martial law-style lockdown of an entire 1-million-person metropolitan area and a precedent-setting deliberately Miranda-free, attorney-free interrogation of a hospitalized, gravely wounded and sedated suspect, it is critical that the whole story be told, not just the official one.
Speaking as an investigative reporter with almost 40 years’s experience, I can say that when government officials won’t talk, they’re generally hiding something embarrassing or worse.
I tried, and nobody will talk about those Craft International Services private security personnel who were widely observed and photographed near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, wearing security ear-pieces, hats and T-shirts bearing the company’s skull logo, and all wearing the same dark coats, khaki pants and combat boots, some carrying what appear to have been radiation detectors. (I got no hard answers, though there were some inadvertent hints given.)
I first contacted a man identifying himself as Jack Fleming, a public affairs person with the Boston Athletic Assn., sponsor of the marathon. Fleming advised me that “If you want to ask about that you should contact the Commonwealth (of Massachusetts) Executive Office of Public Safety.”
I called that agency and spoke with the public information office there, a man named Terrell. He first said, “Did you call the Marathon organizers?” When I replied that I had, and that they had said to call his office, he replied, “They did?” Then he said, “You should call the City of Boston Police Department. They released a security plan to some media organizations.”
Indeed they had released that plan to the Boston Globe. Based upon the information it got from the police the article the Globe ran, did report that the Police had deployed “air patrols, K9 units, and more than 1,000 uniformed officers and soldiers along the 26-mile course and the finish line,” but it made no mention of the private contracting of soldiers-for-hire, which is what Craft International does (see the Craft website). News agency Reuters reported, meanwhile, that a top official for the Massachusetts state Homeland Security Department, Undersecretary Kurt Schwartz, told a group at Harvard U. that his agency had “planned” for a possible bombing attack on the marathon, even running a “table-top” exercise about such an event a week before the race.
I called the Boston Police to ask if they had hired the Craft International personnel who were observed at the scene just before and after the bombing, and was told by the public affairs office there that “Anything having to do with the investigation of the bombing would have to be referred to the FBI Boston Division office.” When I pointed out that I wasn’t asking anything about the investigation, but was simply asking who had hired the security personnel from Craft International, the answer was simply repeated: “You’ll have to ask the FBI.”
So I called the FBI, and got a public affairs person there named Amanda Cox. Her initial response to my question was, “I do not have any information on that,” then said I had been referred to her by the Boston Police Department, and said that photos of the scene after the bombing had shown Craft International personnel conversing with FBI agents. She then put down the phone, and I could hear her turn to a supervisor and ask, her voice muffled, “This guy’s asking about the Craft Security Consultants — who hired them and what they were doing.”
I next overheard the muffled voice of another woman to whom she had been speaking reply, “I think you could safely say, ‘I do know we worked with a lot of people who worked on security at the marathon…’” After that I couldn’t make out what was being said.
Cox later returned to the phone, and instead told me, “I’d refer you to the company on any information about who hired them.” (Taken together the overheard conversation and the official answer from Cox would at least seem to confirm that Craft’s people were hired for the event, and that the FBI knows a lot more than it is willing to say about them.)
Next I called Craft International. The company has no phone number listed on its website — just a general email address of firstname.lastname@example.org (to which I wrote to asking for information, but which elicited no response)–but I found one listed for their headquarters office at 2101 Cedar Springs Rd., Suite 1400, Dallas, TX, in a listing on the company published in a directory in Bloomberg Businessweek, This entry noted that the company, in addition to “providing security, defense, and combat weapons training services for military, police, corporate and civilian clients in the US and internationally,” also “offers corporate and private and civilian training services…” The number, published in a business magazine, was clearly meant as a contact for potential customers to call.
A woman answered the phone brightly with the company’s name. However, when I identified myself as a reporter, and said I was wondering if someone could tell me who had hired personnel from the firm to work at the Boston Marathon, she responded with a flummoxed: “Um, I um, don’t really have any information on that. I’m just an answering service.”
I replied, “Look, the number I called is listed as the number of the company’s corporate headquarters at 2101 Cedar Springs Road. You’re not an answering service.”
At that point she said, “Let me see who I can transfer you to.”
However, after a long pause, she was back, and said, “The answer I’ve been given is that you should go to the website, where there’s an email address you can write to with your question.”
I had already done that, I told her. She then said she couldn’t help me and hung up.
I also called the US Department of Homeland Security, but a women named Angela who answered the press office number for this public government agency (she refused to provide her last name despite being the public information office) said the DHS media office was “only taking inquiries sent in by email.” I sent in an inquiry asking if any unit of the DHS had hired Craft International to provide security at the Boston Marathon, but so far have received no response.
As things stand, since it’s highly unlikely that Craft International, a private for-profit enterprise founded by the late ace Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle, would have “hired” itself to police the Marathon gratis, it seems pretty clear that we had rent-a-special forces-soldier people, hired by some agency, at the scene of the bombing ahead of the bombing.
And we have no reporting on this in the mainstream corporate media.
Why? I have no answer to that.
I did write to Andrea Estes, the lead writer of the Globe’s piece on police security planning mentioned above, who is described in her bio on the Globe’s website staff page as an “investigative reporter specializing in government accountability.”
I called and left a message on her phone, and sent her an email, asking if she had looked into the Craft Security personnel, to see who hired them, what they were doing at the race finish line, and why they appeared be carrying radiation detectors. She has so far not responded to my request for information and assistance concerning anything she had done or learned about this, or whether she had looked into it at all.
Certainly there is a big accountability question. A bunch of them actually. Here are a few:
- If Craft International people were hired, who hired them and why?
- If it was the Boston Police or the FBI that hired them, why won’t they just say so? Simply hiring outside security help should not be a secret, and could in no way affect the investigation into the bombing and the captured suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, so why the secrecy about that? Given all the police presence, and the size of the FBI’s Boston division, why did they need those extra guys from a private rent-a-soldier firm?
- If it was not the Boston Police or the FBI, what agency did hire the company, and why?
- If it was the state’s Homeland Security Dept. or or the state Executive Office of Public Safety, or perhaps more likely, the US Department of Homeland Security, did they notify the FBI that they had done so, and tell the agency what had prompted them to do this?
- The big overarching question when it comes to who hired Craft International is, what possible gain in security could have been achieved by adding what appears to be seven guys (or perhaps a few more who didn’t appear in photos) from a private security firm when the Boston Police had in place over 1000 armed security people from their office and the National Guard, and when, as became evident immediately after the bombs went off, a large number of FBI personnel were also on hand?
Unless, of course, the Craft Security people were aware of something that we, the public, including the race participants and spectators, and perhaps even the police and FBI, were not aware of.
Transparency is critical to accountability. At this point, it is clear that we have had a massive failure of the national security state. Despite the fact that the FBI was aware of concerns about Tarmelan Tsarnaev, and the fact that the CIA had him on a watch list, he appears to have been able to work on line to learn how to build a powerful homemade bomb, to obtain the materials, including a substantial quantity of black powder, to build a number of them, and, allegedly with the help of his younger brother Dzhokhar, to place them near the finish line and detonate two of them, killing three people and injuring as many as 200. That’s a huge intelligence fail.
It would be an even bigger fail if it turns out that some agency had awareness of a credible threat and that it hired Craft International personnel to prevent it. We clearly need to know, and have a right to demand to know, who hired those men and why. After all, at a minimum, on the face of things, they did an abysmal job of preventing a bombing right in front of their supposedly well-trained noses.
And of course, as I wrote earlier, there is also another question, which is really disturbing: The image of the exploded backpack released by the FBI and identified as the remains of the pack that was carrying one of the two pressure-cooker bombs, prominently displays a white square on a black background. This is not a doctored photograph; it’s the photograph that was released by the FBI. There are also at least two photos depicting one of the Craft International men who is wearing a black backpack identical to several of the other Craft International personnel. The same white square is also visible on the top of his pack.
There does not appear to be any such white marking — square or otherwise — on the top of the black backpack worn by Tarmelan Tsarnaev, as observed in several security photos taken of him (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was shown carrying a smaller white or light-colored pack, slung over one shoulder). Check out the images below of Tarmelan, the exploded bag and the Craft International character:
I am not drawing any conclusions from any of this, but I will say that when government agencies at all levels and a private contracting firm are all this obtuse and secretive (and in some cases even deceptive) about what should be a simple question — who hired these men? — my suspicions are aroused.
Somebody’s clearly hiding something.
And by the way, why aren’t the mainstream media asking about this? Are corporate media journalists so intimidated about being labeled “conspiracy nuts” that they can’t do their jobs? At a minimum, this goes to the question of accountability. It also goes to the question of inter-agency communication or lack of it. And given what we know about how many times the FBI has been an active encourager and enabler of terror plots which it later thwarts and claims credit for preventing, there’s the question, too of potential official culpability. Furthermore, when an horrific incident like this is used to justify such new threats to our Constitutional freedom as an unprecedented martial law-style lockdown of an entire 1-million-person metropolitan area and a precedent-setting deliberately Miranda-free, attorney-free interrogation of a hospitalized, gravely wounded and sedated suspect, it is critical that the whole story be told, not just the official one.
The mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, had been added to a federal terrorism database about 18 months before the attack, according to US officials. The news comes after she accused US police of murdering her son.
The CIA reportedly put Zubeidat on the classified Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database (TIDE) at the same time that her 26-year-old son Tamerlan was added.
During a Thursday news conference in Russia, Zubeidat and her husband Anzor said their children were innocent, and refused to accept the story pieced together by the authorities.
The suspects’ mother stated that in the days after the Boston bombing, she had seen video footage on the internet appearing to show Tamerlan alive and being put into a police car naked – presumably stripped to check for explosives. The next day, she said she saw pictures of his dead body.
When speaking about the images, she said her son was “Killed, truly killed.”
“I wanted to scream, to scream to the whole world: ‘What did you do? What have you done with my son? He was alive. Why did they need to kill him? Why not send him to Guantanamo or whatever. Why did they kill him? Why did they have to kill him? They got him alive. He was in their hands,” she said.
But police told Business Insider that the naked man was not Tamerlan. According to authorities, Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police before being run over by his brother, Dzhokhar, who was fleeing the scene in an SUV.
Three people were killed and more than 260 injured when two bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
Seized as evidence
The boat later used as a hiding place by Dzhokhar has meanwhile been moved to an evidence storage facility, the FBI said on Saturday.
Nineteen-year-old Dzhokhar is believed to have hid in the boat for nearly a day while police took part in one of the largest manhunts in US history.
The entire Boston metropolitan area was on lockdown as police searched for Dzhokhar following a deadly shootout which allegedly killed his brother Tamerlan. Dzhokhar was eventually found inside the boat in Watertown, Massachusetts after the lockdown was lifted.
After being locked in his home for hours, the owner of the boat ventured into his backyard. He then noticed a rip in the tarp that covered his boat and saw blood on the boat. Upon lifting the tarp, he found a man covered in blood and immediately called authorities.
Dzhokar then was arrested and taken to a civilian hospital. He was transferred to a federal medical detention center in central Massachusetts on Friday.
Dzhokhar was interrogated in his hospital room Sunday and Monday over a period of 16 hours without being read his rights to remain silent and have an attorney present, officials told AP. He immediately stopped talking after a magistrate judge and a representative from the US Attorney’s office entered his room and gave him his Miranda warning.
Before being read his rights, the 19-year-old admitted his role in the attacks and told authorities that his older brother Tamerlan was the mastermind behind the bombings. He said that he was only recently recruited to be a part of the attacks.
It was not clear whether the confession would be admissible in a criminal trial, since it came before he was read his Miranda rights.
Dzhokhar has been charged with one count of using a weapon of mass destruction and one count of malicious destruction of property. The charges came after the White House decided against treating Dzhokhar as an enemy combatant.
The Justice Department released a statement indicating that the charges could carry the death penalty or life in prison.
Location of laptops
In an effort to discover the motives behind the deadly attacks, FBI investigators picked through a New Bedford, Massachusetts landfill on Friday, hoping to recover laptop computers that belonged to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
The lead to search the landfill came after police interviewed two men from Khazakhstan who knew the terror suspects, law enforcement sources told ABC News under the condition of anonymity. The two men reportedly tipped officers to the possible location of the suspects’ laptops.
The Tsarnaev brothers are believed to have visited the men’s apartment in New Bedford, Massachusetts after the bombing. Police sources said that a cell phone believed to have belonged to Tamerlan was found in the apartment.
However, the FBI has declined to share whether they were looking for laptops at the landfill, or what was discovered there.
“We were seeking evidence but we are not commenting on the nature of what was being sought or what was found,” Eimiller said. “We can confirm that we were there Thursday, Friday and left yesterday.”
The search for clues is almost certain to continue for the foreseeable future. A federal law enforcement official told AP on Friday that the FBI was gathering evidence regarding “everything imaginable.”