As expected, people are looking at the story behind the Boston Marathon bombings with a scrutinizing eye. A report has already come out that the FBI actually interviewed Tamerlan, the older of the two brothers that became the infamous Suspect #1 and Suspect #2. That’s right, the word on the street is that the FBI interviewed Tamerlan and found nothing amiss. It is said now that Russia actually requested the FBI to look into Tamerlan before a 2011 trip to Russia when they now believe something happened that radicalized Tamerlan. If you’re not up on your terrorist lingo, radicalized is the nice term for when these guys go from hardcore religious to shitbag crazy wanting to kill everyone. Apparently it can happen pretty fast.
This is another case of the blame game. Now that the dust has settled and younger brother Dzhokhar is in custody, albeit clinging to life in a Boston hospital, the mainstream media is eager for more answers, but more importantly, to blame someone for letting this happen.
All conspiracy theories aside, here’s our take on it. The FBI and other United States government agencies keep tabs on God knows how many of these characters. Everyone that knew the brothers from school or work says they were nice and normal as could be, played sports, and no one could believe this happened. Also, we have no idea in the public just how many nutjobs like the ones in this operation are rooted out and stopped on a daily basis. They throw the public a bone every now and then and tell when they stop a big one just so everyone knows they’re working, but it is widely accepted that these threats are much more frequent than we would like to admit.
As for the politics side, there is already a debate growing between members of Congress and President Obama about where things go from here for one Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. John McCain and other Republicans are pushing hard to declare the kid an “enemy combatant.” That gives them the right to basically treat him like they just picked him up on the side of the road in Afghanistan, despite the fact that he is an American citizen. President Obama has so far seemed to lean toward letting Tsarnaev take his day in the civilian court system, but that will severely limit the capacity of interrogators to find out what they need from him. In case you don’t understand what that means, if he stays just a criminal murderer, they can’t torture him. Enemy combatant, and voila! Torture time. Get out the water boarding supplies and let’s go to work.
It seems a silly debate in a lot of ways. Is there a chance that this kid can get a fair trial anywhere in America today? Not at all. It will be “fair” in that he will have a lawyer that grudgingly has to “zealously” defend him, he will have access to what he needs to in order to mount a defense, and he will still have his rights, including the good old 5th that seems to have been custom ordered for this situation. So, it will be fair alright, but only in the rules of the game. When it comes to an impartial jury looking at the facts and deciding on his guilt and innocence, well, old Dzhokhar’s only shot at freedom might come if he never makes it out of the Boston hospital alive.
On the other hand, if he is declared an “enemy combatant,” expect lots of outrage about that as well. The ACLU does that thing they do where they feign outrage no matter what the situation where a human’s rights are concerned. He will be an American citizen, going to school and living in an American city, now proclaimed an “enemy combatant.” The obvious argument is the definition of it. After all, if this kid gets that designation, then why does the Aurora, Colorado shooter get to sit back and have his day in court free from torture or the inconvenience of a military tribunal? If Adam Lanza hadn’t taken his own life in the Newtown shootings, would he be an enemy combatant? Or is he just a crazy guy that killed American children? But wait, so is… you see, it gets a little more complicated than you think.
The facts are simple. The Aurora shooter is not going to be classified as an enemy combatant because he is not of Chechyan descent and he is not a radical Islamic extremist terrorist. It’s pretty simple. We have certain kinds of crazy that we will tolerate better than others.
In other politics, people are scrambling to find a way to monopolize on these events now that the shock has worn off. Those that are against gun control are using this as a new battle cry. There have been plenty of commentaries about how many people in Boston while they were on lockdown would have liked to have every weapon at their disposal to defend themselves and their families in case Dzhokhar came busting in their door. Those on the other side balk at the insensitivity and timing of these comments, and then try to make some incoherent but always righteously indignant argument that somehow the gun control measures of Obama’s that failed the other day would have stopped all of this.
Like they say after every terror attack, we can’t let these militants take away our way of life and make us live a life of fear. It’s nice to know that in Washington, they are not missing a beat.