Tag Archives | Boston marathon bombing

Shocker! The FBI Cleared Agent Involved In Ibragrim Todashev Shooting

PIC: A US Navy special operator practices his Mop-Jitsu between assignments (PD) - US DOD

PIC: A US Navy special operator practices his Mop-Jitsu between assignments (PD) – US DOD

Hey guys! Looks like everyone can relax: The FBI has cleared the agent who shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, the reputed associate of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I know that we’ve been waiting on pins and needles for their decision and that it could have gone either way. Thanks to the FBI for the unbiased, level-headed investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing in general, and for their bravery in the line of fire in this totally believable sequence of events that doesn’t in any way sound like they the guy for what sounds like a temper tantrum (and bears no resemblance to several similar situations that I’ve assisted in handling that didn’t end with someone getting their brains blown out). Oh – and you guys, he was a mixed martial arts competitor, and as you and I both know, fighting with mop handles is a huge part of every fighter’s arsenal.… Read the rest

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The News That Isn’t: How We Are Fed False Stories Driven By Missing Information

300px-IRSThe news is coming to us hot and heavy these days. There is scandal after scandal, outrage after outrage. The media playbook treats it all as a way to build audience,  and raise ratings (and revenue) by polarizing opinion.

Conflict sells.

Here’s what the Republicans say; here’s how the Democrats respond.  Obama is good; Obama is bad. So and so says this; so and so fires back Its mostly heat, not light.

There are rarely any other views, or ways of understanding events presented.

News programs are the new wrestling shows, a noisy battleground, in the morning, on the Sunday shows, and all day long on cable networks. The goal is not to explain, probe, or ask questions.

No, its to squeeze a repetitive and narrow narratives into a morality play that provokes as much emotion as possible.

Its been said we live in an era of “missing information” and the news is the best arena that defines it—not by what’s being reported, but how its being reported, and mostly by what’s not being reported.… Read the rest

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Tsarnaev Brothers had a CIA Connection

tamerlan_tsarnaev--525x415Dave Lindorff is a veteran investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com. Here he writes for his This Can’t Be Happening! blog:

Let’s do a little exercise. Forget nationalities and identities for a moment.

Imagine you are a police detective investigating a horrific bombing in your city — one in which several people were killed and hundreds were injured. You have a captured suspect whom you are sure was one of the bombers, and another was killed in a shootout, but both are young and not very sophisticated.

They might have acted alone, of course, but knowing how these things work, you are also looking for leads to try to determine who else might have been involved, and especially who might have been behind the incident.

As it happens, your two suspects are immigrants. They were brought to your country at a young age by parents who were refugees seeking asylum from a region of the world riven by civil war, brutal repression by a larger power, and that was a breeding ground for terrorists who had been known to have launched terrible attacks against civilians, including schools and full movie theaters in that larger power.

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Homegrown Terrorism: How I’ve Lived Through This Before

guidoTerrorism spreads quickly, and is viciously efficient: it takes very little to do a lot of harm. The knowledge of how it developed recently elsewhere, and how it was eventually defeated, can only be of help.

It’s orientation day for foreign students at the University of Southern California, late August 1980. I am assigned a room in a dorm to share with a fellow international student, a Palestinian 300-pounder whose father is “not as powerful as President Carter, but almost.” The first night in the dorm he keeps me up playing “beautiful Arabic tunes” on a recorder because “I like Italians, they’re very nice people; we train them in our camps, you know, the Red Brigades, and others.”

Back to the present.

The Boston Marathon bombings and the events following them have made the prospect of homegrown terrorism become a reality. Although the 21st century has begun with multiple acts of terrorism on an unprecedented scale, it has been perceived all along as a threat that comes from the outside.… Read the rest

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The Exorcist Who Radicalized Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Jinn_from_Ali_manuscriptThis story from New York Magazine’s Intelligencer is giving exorcists a bad name, just when the Catholic Church is opening the curtain on their exorcism rites

While Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claims that his older brother Tamerlan was the inspiration for the attack on the Bosotn Marathon, who was the inspiration for Tamerlan? According to reports by the AP and Daily Mail, family members point the finger at a man identified only as Misha, a friend whom Tamerlan knew through a local mosque. Misha is described as a bald, red-bearded, 30-year-old Armenian convert to Islam who “claimed to be an exorcist who is fighting with demons.” Tamerlan’s uncle, the famously pissed off Ruslan Tsarni, as well as…

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Beyond the Marathon Massacre: Questions, Questions, and Questions

Two_suspects_wanted_by_the_FBI_for_the_bombingI started writing on Patriots day in Massachusetts, the State holiday commemorating America’s revolutionary war in one of the cities in which it began. It was also the anniversary of the Waco FBI massacre aimed at right-wing fanatics and the demolition of the Murrah federal office building in Oklahoma City by right-wing fanatics.

But I was writing about the events in Boston with the bomb attacks on the Marathon, and the manhunt that locked the city down in a military maneuver.

I worked in Boston media for 12 years, many of them at WBCN when it was located in the Prudential Center, for many years the destination of the race. I also lived on Norfolk Street in Cambridge where the two men alleged to have of triggered the bloody mayhem were said to be living. I took my daughter to the Cambridge Hospital where the other “suspect, “ Dzhokhar Tsarnaev  may or may not recover.… Read the rest

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How Should We React To A Terrorist Attack?

terrorist attackParadoxically, in a sense, by doing nothing, says security theorizer Bruce Schneier, speaking to the Washington Post:

What should policymakers do in the aftermath of this kind of event? Nothing. This is a singular event, and not something that should drive policy. Unfortunately, you can’t prevent this sort of thing 100 percent.

By definition, news is something that almost never happens. The brain fools you into thinking the news is what’s important. So what should we be afraid of? Car crashes. Global warming. It feels insensitive to say it so close to the tragedy, but it’s true. Things so common that they’re no longer news — that’s what kills people.

The damage from terrorism is primarily emotional. To the extent this terrorist attack succeeds has very little do with the attack itself. Imagine if the bombs were found and moved at the last second, and no one died, but everyone was just as scared.

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