FBI Openness: Will It Ever Happen?

Looking For The The FBI To Tell Us The Truth
Looking For The FBI To Tell Us The Truth

I wrote yesterday that Congressman Rogers said Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s trip to Russia escaped detection by the FBI because he used an alias. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Monday that Tsarnaev’s name was misspelled and Tsarnaev’s correct name never went into the system. Then it was reported “Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday that the government’s internal system “pinged” when Tamerlan Tsarnaev left the U.S. for Russia last year, in a statement that appeared to conflict with earlier suggestions that the trip went unnoticed.” Then we hear the CIA and others had him listed.

Putting all that together we have one highly placed insider saying they missed Tamerlan trip to Russia because he used an alias, another similarly situated saying it wasn’t that but it his name was misspelled, and a final one in a like position saying we knew all along that he went to Russia. I guess that’s what happens with spinning. It gets one’s head spinning.

I’d suggest to the FBI that rather than saying as it did last Saturday, “no further comment,” it’d be best to say: “we’re gathering the facts and we’ll hold a press conference and tell you what we can about this.” Then when the members of Congress like Rogers who are anxious to help it want inside information, tell them you’ll let them know after the facts are figured out. Suggest to him the best way to help is let you do your job.

From what I’ve been reading the FBI at its press conference in this case would say (which it is finally getting out to the press though friendly members of Congress and “high placed sources”) that: ““The name of the dead Boston Marathon bombing suspect was included in a federal government travel-screening database in 2011 after the FBI investigated the man at Russia’s request. . . . An airline misspelled Tsarnaev’s name when it submitted the list of passengers on Tsarnaev’s flight to Russia in January 2012″  but still the Homeland Security Department picked it up and checked his name “through government databases, including the terrorist watch list.”

“U.S. officials recognized that Tsarnaev, the subject of a 2011 FBI inquiry, was on the flight. He . . .  faced no additional scrutiny because the FBI had by that time found no information connecting Tsarnaev to terrorism.”

The FBI should come out and tell us that: “In 2011, Russia asked the FBI to look into Tsarnaev Tsarnaev [saying he] had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the U.S. to join unspecified underground groups.”  Having received the Russian request, “The FBI interviewed Tsarnaev and his relatives and didn’t find any terrorism activity. FBI agents conducted an “assessment,” an inquiry with a relatively low level of intrusiveness . . . [to] obtain publicly available information, check government records, peruse the Internet and request information from the public. . . . [I]t checked U.S. government databases and other information to look for derogatory phone conversations, possible use of online sites associating with promoting radical activity and associations with other persons of interest, Tsarnaev’s travel history, plans and education.

The FBI did not find any derogatory information on Tsarnaev and a criminal case was not opened. The FBI shared its results with Russia in the summer of 2011. The FBI asked Russia for more information on Tsarnaev but never received any.” It thereafter closed out its case against him.

If that is what happened then we have a starting point.  We don’t have it unless the FBI lays out what it did. We’ve seen that what it did is not enough The FBI can admit this. It should point out where it failed and what it will do to tweak its system. I’d suggest it keep the case in an active status even though no one is working on it actively so that if the person’s name pops somewhere else it will be notified. It can pull the person’s file every 6 months up to five or ten years for a review.

The FBI should never slam the door shut on something as important as this.  It shouldn’t expect surrogates to get the story straight. It should forget the embarrassment, especially if it did what it was supposed to do, and tell us what went right and what went wrong. We know J. Edgar Hoover wanted us to believe his agents were supermen.  But we don’t. We realize they are just like the rest of us and are fully capable of making mistakes. It really is time for the FBI to open up and level with us.

25 thoughts on “FBI Openness: Will It Ever Happen?

  1. Sorry to go off topic, but the news reports today indicate that Wyshak obtained a superseding indictment against the Ma Probation Commissioner and his two top deputies for 17 counts of Bribery.
    I’ve never met any of these three defendants, but Wyshak’s action nauseates me. Wyshak’s move should not surprise any who know anything about him. It is still sickening.
    Wyshak is on his own Jihad. His two main immunized informants against the Probation officials got ripped apart in state court leading to O’Brien’s acquittal on state bribery charges, so Wyshak has now doubled down. It’s a tactic he and his office has used in the past, such as with Aaron Swartz. It’s design is to bring a tsunami of charges carrying disproportionate sentences so that the defendants must either plead or become Wyshak’s cooperating witnesses and testify to whatever he tells them to say. There is no way way these three have the resources to fight for justice so Wyshak is assured some victory. This tactic may be legal, but it is not justice.

    1. Patty:
      I’m on the road with limited internet access and missed that. I can’t believe it. You’d think after the Aaron Swartz case the feds would not do the superseding indictment bit anymore. Bribery? What nonsense. RICO for sending out letters rejecting people for jobs. Clearly Wyshak has no shame. He’s trying to make the guys plead guilty by piling charges on them and running up their legal bills. How many years does he plan on sentencing O’Brien who has no criminal record. If there is any doubt the feds are out of control and the Connolly Florida case was suspect this certainly clears it up. How do the judges sit back and let this happen. If you’re on Wyshak’s hit list you’ve got little chances. I’ll write more about that when I get stabilized.

  2. Dear Matt,

    Thank you for connecting these recent federal trends with the recurring themes of transparency and accountability which erupted into the John Connolly trial and subsequently, the pursuit of James Bulger. As the Committee on Government Reform asserted partly in its byline, quoting Judge Wolfe citing Lord Acton, “Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice.” Your message in the more recent blogs seems to be “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” — the more it changes, the more it stays the same. We have discussed the 9/11 Commission previously and how it did an upstanding job at fully investigating, interviewing witnesses, and finally, in publishing its report.

    While there was a scathing review of intelligence efforts preceding the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there were also many recommendations to improve the system which failed then. Unfortunately, many of those recommendations were not and have not been acted upon. Yet, like the OIGs who hold a similar reporting and investigatory role, albeit a less independent one than the 9/11 Commission, those responsible for actually considering and implemernting recommendations are members of Congress, as well as the President of the United States (POTUS).

    This morning, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of attending a lecture delivered by Neil Barofsky, former Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIG TARP). It was very informative to hear from anecdotes about his foray into the IG role and the systemic culture against which he found himself entrenched; he referred to what he saw as “cultural capture,” as compared to “state capture.” He also praised Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren very highly, noting her independence and great support of his efforts to do his job well during his time as SIG TARP. He also noted some of those in the President’s Cabinet and in Congress who repreatedly attempted to thwart his efforts. He left SIG TARP after 20 months on the job and wrote a book about his experiences there entitled, _BAILOUT_ which is a great read.

    What Barofsky’s story exemplfies is how the individual decision-makers are the ones who ultimately can make or break reform effots, and the pathway to progress versus the slide to atrophy. Matt, your frequent reinforcement of the need for leadership change at the FBI reflects this same message; as they say in management, change and standards start by setting a tone at the top. That tone, in turn, shall ultimately trickle down and water the roots of the entire organization.

    I also wanted to point out that the investigation with the FBI is still ongoing, and while we all want answers, it will take time for information to be assembled and gathered, and for investigative efforts to be exhausted to the point where reliable and credible conclusions may be drawn and published. Too hurried of a judgment may lead to misinformation; and as we know all too well with the track record of the press or even in the First Circuit Court of appeals ruling regarding the removal of Judge Stern, mistakes are more easily made when there is a rush to judgement. Allowing a reasonable time for answers to be arrived at shall mitigate the potential risk of being wrong or inaccurate.

    I speculate that this was a practice you know well from your days as a prosecutor, when all of the discovery and depositions were pending and ongoing; would it have been prudent to update the public at press conferences about the progress of those investigatory proceedings, or for law enforcement to be engaging with the press about some of the most important of the cases on which you worked while your office was in the midst of fact-finding and preparing you case?

    Court proceedings have only just begun with Mr. Tamerlin, and undoubtedly during the discovery and investigatory process, many more facts shall undoubtedly emerge. I understand your calls for transparency and for th FBI to own up, and to do it now; yet, what is the alternative to vagueness at this critical time when all the facts are not yet known, and there is a pending criminal prosecution?

    Finally, I also admire your choice of a graphic today, which appears to come by way of the ornate Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park, which is a personal favorite of mine.


    1. Alex McCoy’s statement below reminds me that I intend “Mr. Tsarnaev” above as the proper surname, not “Mr. Tamerlin” which is the first name of the deceased suspect. I apologize for the mistyping.

    2. To Jay: Although I do not know who you are, I love “the way” you write: poised, eloquent, reflective. I don’t know why – but I felt compelled to share that. Perhaps, you too, will one day write a book!

    3. Jay:

      Great post. It is thoughtful and gives all of us something to consider.
      There are two parts of the situation that has to be separated. You are right about the FBI being in the middle of an ongoing investigation. During the fog of the explosion and tracking down the victims much that has happened that has to be straightened out. Putting together the crime scene, going through the other photographs, finding who did what and when is an enormous task. That’s one part.
      But it seems to me that what happened between the date when the Russians first notified the FBI about Tamerlan and the time his picture was isolated does not impact the investigation, and the information about it should be readily available. That is the part that I am talking about. I don’t see how anything the FBI did in response to the Russian warning could adversely affect the prosecution of Joker (unless it did something untoward that Joker will use as a defense.)
      However, it will all now be covered up because of the indictment of Joker so all information will be embargoed under the idea the “matter is under investigation” or “may affect Joker’s right to a fair trial.”
      Of course you are right that when I was a prosecutor we told the media nothing and what it learned it had to attend court to listen to our presentations. But we also had no favorite media people who we would leak things to nor did we have legislators who would come out and say we did everything right.
      Had we had a situation where the a police department was notified that Mr. X was a danger to Miss Y and later Miss Y was murdered by Mr. X, I’m sure the police department would be out there explaining what it did and wouldn’t be able to hide it under the idea there was an investigation or prosecution of Mr. X.
      The main reason I think we should know what was done is so that it can be reviewed and changed because we know one thing for sure: Tamerlan was identified as a terrorist and he committed a terrorist act. We should know how this happened and what will be done in the future to insure it doesn’t happen again. Those are things that will not affect the trial but I’m afraid the pendency of the indictments will prevent us from learning about them.
      Again, I appreciate your thoughtful and thorough comment.

  3. Senator Graham actually made the FBI look worse with that comment. His theory, “that Tsarnaev’s name was misspelled and Tsarnaev’s correct name never went into the system” doesn’t wash. What next? If following that line of thinking or under that theory are we about to hear something equally as cockamamey along the lines – “The word “immunity” was spelled wrong; it was actually confused with the word “imPunity” with a “p” instead and the word “impunity” never went into the system.”

    Senator Graham made matters worse for the FBI – and yes the many of the FBI are trying to do the right thing and they are human and yes they are thus subject to human errors. We all are. However, the powers that be at the top need to think about pro-active PR and not always be on damage control or “spin-control.” I like your suggestion from a PR standpoint that they should come forward. They might even want to say right up front as hard as it would be to admit – “we missed it but this is how we are gonna handle that so we take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again..” Okay, sure the story would be an ugly one – but it would be a one day (maybe two-day) story that ultimately restores the agency’s credibility; then if anything or anyone questions the FBI thereafter they will be more insulated from the “straightforwardness” on this.

    1. Alex:

      The FBI would have been better off years ago if it didn’t have as its first commandment don’t embarrass the family. Admitting mistakes in the FBI’s eyes is causing it embarrassment which no one in the Bureau is allowed to do. I’m serious about this. Read any book by a former agent and they sprinkle the idea the FBI is not to be embarrassed throughout their books. I had already come up with my title for my book a long time before I read those FBI books and learned that was the case.
      Here’s what I learned as a prosecutor. I had a young assistant who really screwed up. He listened to a defense lawyer (who was being investigated by the Boston Globe and was a POOF) who told him that the victim in an accident wasn’t hurt badly so when he worked out a plea deal with the defense lawyer he did it with that idea in mind. It was later learned that the victim had been paralyzed so the consequences of the defendant’s actions were much more severe than believed. The Globe reporter called and asked me about the case. I knew nothing about it but when I found out I recognized we screwed up. I called the reporter back and told him we screwed up but we were going to try to undo what we had done, which we eventually did. By admitting our mistake, there was really no story.
      You are right – the FBI should admit if it screwed up and it’d be a story for a day or two but in the end by admitting its mistake and saying it was changing the procedures so it wouldn’t happen again people would have much more confidence in it.

  4. Would be interesting to see who ordered the Thursday press conference asking for the publics help. Remember a two day delay existed. Was that a local decision or did it come from D.C.? Did the White House orchestrate it? Was it done by the A. G.? Could it have been the FBI Director? The telephone records between Boston and D. C. would be revealing. It seems they knew who Tamerlan was prior to that press conference. 2. The hope in the O’Brien matter is that a Federal jury will act as the state jury did. Hopefully there is a future prosecutor to see if malicious prosecution took place in this case and others. 3. The Boston Police held a press conference with Supt. Evans and Captain O’Connor. They explained that after the initial search was called off and most of law enforcement dispersed the Boston Police remained behind finishing their work. They were the ones to first respond to the person in the boat call. They had surrounded the house and had men on the second floor of neighboring houses thus entrapping Jamar. They called in the FBI to talk him out of the boat but they directed the T Police to handcuff him.( One of the T Police had been shot by him.) All praise to the cops from Southie. Keep up the quality posts.

    1. N:
      1, You’ll never find out who ordered the press conference. But someone noted the FBI was front and center in the beginning but as the day dragged on and the manhunt came up empty the FBI was no longer seen at the press conference. I’m sure everything was orchestrated at the highest levels, why else for the continual postponements and delays in coming out with information. The poor FBI SAC was afraid to say anything substantive because he didn’t know what the many bosses would be happy with. He’ll be packing it in soon. It’s not worth it for the few extra retirement dollars. You’ll never see any fed telephone records. Deniability is the most important thing for bureaucrats.
      2. Wyshak lost all credibility indicting O’Brien again at this late date. It sort of makes the federal system into one big Ponzi game.
      3. The Boston cops might have stayed around but the Watertown cops are claiming all the credit. The FBI didn’t talk him out of the boat. No one did. They fired hundreds of shots into it from what I heard. The T cops were the only group left that had one of those attack teams – you know the guys dressed in black with all the armor – they call them SWAT teams which name comes from the old Grimm fairy tale about the tailor who killed seven flies with one swat – all the other swat teams had gone home. The T SWAT team waited until they could see both of Joker’s hands and two of them rushed the boat and pulled him out and quickly got away. The T guys deserve a lot of credit; the guys on the second floor, less so. The Globe is going to have a special section in the Sunday paper called: “Southie Strong.”

  5. I really enjoy the content this blog provides on Whitey’s Trial; however, these more recent posts reflect the reasoning and opinions of an individual who is clearly frustrated and irrational in their current state. First off, let’s point out the obvious. The tip about Tsarnev, a Chechean living in Russia, came from RUSSIA. You want to talk about cultural/ethnic tension? Look at the history of those two groups.

    Would it not suffice to say that Russia is likely to provide a “tip” about any Chechean traveling to the US with a Russian passport? AND, if this were the case, Russia’s lack of cooperation following the FBI’s initial review would not be so curious of a matter as it is standard. The FBI has to deal with a surplus of bad leads from Russia. I do not believe that they should have treated Tsarnev’s case any differently than the others’ due to the lack of evidence from their initial investigation and the subsequent and most likely standard fallout from Russian intelligence.

    1. Tyler:
      Good points. The information from Russian should always be treated with an understanding of the source. What I’d like to know is how many tips the Russians have provided the FBI about people from Chechnya that it suspects as terrorist. If it a lot, then that means something; if it is only a handful, then that means something else.

      We don’t know the FBI/Russia relationship. If we did we’d be able to put this in better context. I agree if the information against Tamerlan was something that was not out of the ordinary, the FBI should tell us that and it would explain a lot. But under any view of the situation, the information against Tamerlan was not effectively followed up on. Given that, I’d suggest the FBI would want to consider why that is the case.

  6. Dear Mtc9393:
    Speaking of Openness, and I know you said that you were taking a break from Mr. Bulger for a few days, but when you return to that can you help answer some curiousities for me. I read the recent reports about C&B filing a motion for more information + something about 53 witnesses,+ something about two confidential sources telling Agent Gamel that Linsky “bought the ticket legitimately” but allowed others to buy into it… etc.
    1.) What is an “unindicted co-conspirator”? Doesn’t that by definition mean somebody who did something wrong but was given immunity? (or “impunity” as the case may be?)
    2.) Who is Michael Linsky besides just the primary lottery winner? For example, did he work for the Winter Hill Gang? What did he do for a regular life/living? If he bought a lottery ticket, was he financially struggling and if so, then why would he want to sell off some of his lottery claim and not take it all? (I don’t get that part.)
    3.)GENERAL QUESTION ONLY – Since you are an expert on electronic surveillance stuff, have you or anyone else ever heard of a some sort of “lottery tracker” accounting program that uses a computerized disk to track or anticipate/calculate the odds of winning lottery numbers (perhaps based off another state’s winning lotteries)?
    4.)Are those things even legal and if so, how and why and in what states? For the Open Record – No!I am not planning on using one!!! I am not a lottery player in any way, in fact, don’t think I have ever even bought a scratch ticket for myself. My concern was that I don’t think those things should be allowed to be sold. It just seems to me it wouldn’t take much for some computer-whizzo type person these days to pair a disk like that with say some software program reporting “real- time” which in turn linked up to access to an even wider-scale system that has technological electronic intercept capabilities. Of course, I recognize in my utter naivete on this – that I could be flat wrong and maybe there is nothing wrong at all to use an accounting program to calculate the odds of winning a lottery. (AGAIN – Please know I am in NO WAY suggesting or implying in any way at this time that was what Mr. Linsky did or did not do. I have no way of knowing that! I just want to make sure I am clear on that.)

    1. Alex:
      1. I’ve been on the road so I’m not privy to C&B matters but I hope to catch up. I’ll keep you posted.
      2. Linsky to the best of my knowledge is not Winter Hill but a Southie hang-around guy who won the lottery. After he won Whitey and his friends bought their way into the ticket. Whitey needed a legit source of income so this was his chance to get it. I’d figure Linsky was interested in taking a lump sum payment and Whitey and friends gave him the equivalent of those winnings in cash and convinced him the rest would be best to come in yearly installments.
      Now as I understand it, an FBI agent Gamel filed an affidavit saying that he had two informants who told him Whitey and Weeks pulled some shenanigans such as using ill gotten money to get the tickets. Based on that, the feds filed a case to forfeit the tickets. It prevailed and got claim to Whitey’s and Weeks’s tickets.
      When Weeks decided to cooperate, he would only do so if he got his ticket back. The feds then said that what the FBI guy reported was wrong and that Weeks had a proper claim to the tickets. C&B want the information on that to show how much the Feds were willing to give Weeks for his testimony that they’d say Gamel’s informants were lying. (I’d have more specific info if I had my records with me.)

      3. Never heard of the lottery tracker but when I was in business computers had little of the ability to do then what they do now.
      4. I don’t know why they wouldn’t be legal. If anyone is smart enough to set up that type of program then she deserves to win the lottery. I’m quite sure all of that is far beyond the capacity of any hang-around Southie guy.

  7. Matt, I met with the erudite eloquent lawyer without par in America, Chester Darling. He questioned why John Connolly hasn’t filed his own per se motion in Federal District Court in Miami for a write of Habeas Corpus. This petition, he suggested, would pro-forma include a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. I never thought of this before. Chester’s brilliant. Anyway, on his supporting memorandum of law John could simply write “Statute of Limitations” expired and lower court judge acknowledge State failed to prove an essential element of the “murder by gun” charge. Straightforward Constitutional Questions.
    2. I disagree with those who urge timidity and patience “with the system.” The System is lying to us.
    3. Look at my 50 pictures and consider my prior comments and letter to the FBI. Think of the word “DECOY”. I believe there are hundreds involved locally in the bombing. They all are practiced in the art of deniability. They all scream “bigotry” “intolerance” and “profiling”. They all profess their innocence.
    4. Americans should not await a Federal study: look what we got with Libya and the TEI program and FAst & Furious. = COVERUPS!
    You who are not personally affected think there is time to wait, study and report. Other no less loyal AMericans want full disclosure here and now. Clue us in. OUr town, our streets, our neighbors were bombed.
    5. My 50 photos show perhaps 5 or more guys or MIddle Eastern appearance with black back packs; one places his black nylon backpack on the ground across from Gucci’s; another wears a hat with an Afghan flag on it.
    6. For Bostonians peace of mind, please publically identify all who stood on Boylston in vicinity of the bombs that day. Why isn’t the concept of a carefully planned, orchestrated operation using DECOYS and plausible alibis and misdirection a viable working hypothesis at the FBI and HOmeland Security and CIA? What harm in disclosing full info to the citizens of Boston. I think the citizens demand it. Many of us don’t trust the FEDs. Dig it?

    1. Bill:
      1. I thought you told me Connolly already has lawyers from Miami law school representing him. As far as getting a habeas corpus position allowed with all due respect to Chester Darling, he underestimates the difficulty of doing that At one time it was easier but the Supreme Court has told the federal courts to stay out of the state courts business except in rare circumstances. At one time there was a plethora of prisoner petitions that were being allowed and it has been cut back drastically.
      2. Patience is not timidity; patience is a virtue; never heard that timidity was.
      3. If there were “hundreds involved locally in the bombings” they be occurring much more frequently than every twelve years. If one is innocent you’d expect her to profess her innocence.
      4. We do need an independent body to determine what happened. No rush to judgment is wise. There’s too much to examine and study to come to quick conclusions.
      5. There were two back packs and two guys involved. A picture with 100 Middle Eastern guys with black back packs would indicate to me that there were 100 Middle Eastern guys with black back packs, nothing more or nothing less.
      6. The only issue in the case is whether the FBI acted properly after it received the Russian tip off. Again, there are only two people who we have evidence against; the idea that everyone that looks like they could come from the Middle East must be suspect hurts America since almost everyone of those persons have no more to do with terrorists than all those other people who do not have Middle Eastern aspects.
      The Irish suffered from the type of thinking that because one or two Irishmen were hooligans all must be hooligans. We are all immigrants if we go back far enough and every group has been unfairly stereotyped, not the least the Irish, Italian, Polish, and Jews. It seems a shame we forget our history and do unto others that we did not like done to us.

  8. Matt: As with the Parade case—the Federal Court at first abstained but warned the Mass Courts that they were trampling on “cherished First Amendment Rights—Chester’s counsel is to get the case before a Federal judge and federal law clerks, even if the Petition for Habeas is denied. You see, the Feds looking at it makes the State Courts tremble. Moreover, Chester believes Habeas will be granted on a per-se motion—even a handwritten one (preferably a handwritten one) as the constitutional injury is so clear, unequivocal and profound. Thirdly, Chester seems to view Connolly’s Miami lawyers as I do – – – with befuddlement—-as I’ve suggested over two years ago that they try to move the case to Federal Court. You see: John Connolly wins both at law and at P.R. even if Habe is denied. In effect, John would be firing alll of his Miami counsel —they would continue to act on his behalf at the state level—and he would be swimming into Florida’s Federal Judicial System on his own. The Courts warmly welcome In Forma Pauperis, Per-Se Filings. 2. Miami University does have a legal pro-bono team which I’m told is about to file on John’s behalf: I don’t know if this is additional state filings or the federal habeas.

    1. Bill
      I just don’t think it is as simple as you make out. Courts do not welcome those filings pro se filings otherwise they would be inundated with them. The state courts hardly tremble at a federal review because the Supreme Court has told the federal courts to lay off. I’m sure in your Parade case the state court didn’t tremble.

      Connolly right now has no lawyers in Florida as best I can tell except the Miami students and a retired FBi agent who has a civil practice. Who is there for him to fire? He has no lawyers representing him in the federal system. I have to admit I don’t think Chester’s advice cuts it.

  9. 6. The Irish, Italians, Polish and Jews were not trying to kill their neighbors’ children. We are confronted with a new enemy. Vicious zealots! Lunatics! One million or more men in a world wide jihad. The sooner we face the facts, the safer we’ll all be! IT’S a brave new world, with a fearless demonic brainwashed hateful enemy that targets innocent women, pregnant mothers, children and infants!

    1. Bill:
      I don’t think it is as bad as you suggest. Two terrorist attacks in twelve years hardly call for the measures you suggest.

      1. Matt: good points all around, but actually 5 successful terrorist attacks by jihadists since Obama took office, according to one Arkansas Congressman, and we don’t know how many potential attacks, plans, etc, were nipped in the bud surely not an inconsiderable number I met a person who wildly thought this whole Boston operation not the work of lone wolves was moving to New York. Paranoia like patience may be a strength or weakness depending on the temper of the times
        Please continue to modulate and moderate You’ve yet to excise meat, only excess verbiage
        welcome home by now i guess

        1. Bill:
          Still on the road, it’s been a long trip. I know of only 2 successful terrorist attacks. Maybe that Arkansas Congressman is including some of the Hatfield/McCoy incidents playing out in the Ozarks over the moonshine wars and including those in his figures/ As for “nipped in the bud} attacks, knowing the FBI like I do if they did that you’d certainly have heard of them. I don’t buy into accepting things are being done when there’s no evidence to back them up. However I do give our intelligence and homeland security agencies credit for deterring terrorists by the systems they have set up to prevent them for causing greater harm like the inconvenient airport checks. No doubt in that area they are good. The trouble with defense is you can be right a million times and all the other side has to be right is once to score a touchdown.
          If you want to wonder about something you have to consider the large number of terrorists attacks that were thwarted that had FBI informants or middlemen involved and supplying the ideas and the fake bombs. The Tsarnaevs were two odd balls/ It really changes the equation little. We’ve got millions of Muslims living with us who are as good Americans as the rest. Remember the Italian anarchists back in the 1920s and 1930s, or the American Irish raising money for the IRA terrorists who were trained by Libya. or the Jewish communists of the Thirties who were involved in or encouraged acts of violence. Every ethnic group has had a handful of people intent on killing others.

  10. Matt: From THE BLAZE: “Regular viewers of Fox News are used to seeing popular host Megyn Kelly on their televisions every afternoon, but on Thursday morning Kelly made a special appearance during the morning to break some surprising information: according to her sources, the FBI was “shocked” to see a magistrate “waltz into” the hospital room of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and read him his Miranda rights.

    So why were they shocked? According to Kelly, the FBI was under the understanding that they would get much more time with Tsarnaev under the “public safety exemption” before he was read his rights. Adding to the shock: the sources told Kelly agents were getting crucial information after only 16 hours of questioning and were making valuable progress.

    No matter.

    “It’s really unbelievable,” Kelly said.

    “The FBI had no idea they were sending over the judge, the prosecutor, the federal public defender; and the FBI said they were only 16 hours into what they understood would be a 48 hour period of questioning … . They said they were in the process of getting valuable information … and as soon as that magistrate judge went in there and gave him his rights with his lawyer present, he stopped talking. They said they would never have stopped interrogating him prior to the 48 hours unless they were forced to.”

    “These officials with knowledge of the proceedings say they believe our national security may have been compromised by the decision to send that judge in there so soon after the filing of the criminal complaint.”

    tt: FYI: plus Drive safely or welcomehome!:

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