When the FBI said on Saturday it wasn’t going to comment anymore, I expressed my chagrin noting all the questions that were up in the air. I stated I wasn’t suggesting the FBI did anything wrong, but I thought that we deserved some answers. The 9/11 Commission had been critical of the FBI and I wondered if it had changed at all.
The tragedy in the FBI not being responsive is that it seems it is hiding something. This is so especially when last Sunday — two days after the Big Chase and Shelter In — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) pictured above jumped up to defend the FBI’s handling of the Marathon Terrorist Attack especially the manner in which it handled the matter involving deceased Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
I don’t suppose that Mike Rogers was a former FBI agent had anything to do with him hurrying out with his opinion. My reaction was great concern that a man in his position is imbued with the FBI’s culture of “not embarrassing the family.” I asked myself is he interested in our nation’s best interest or protecting the FBI.
Mike Rogers was out there spinning. I suggest, and I’ll explain this more tomorrow, this was unnecessary. I’d guess that someone in the FBI figured out after the weekend that it’d be best not to hide what it had done. It has begun to set out what it did, although through “people not authorized to speak” and if what is coming out is true, then the FBI did all it should have done.
Here is what we heard from Rogers about the FBI: “I don’t think they missed anything – you can’t ask them to do something with nothing, I think they were very prudent and very thorough, by my review. . . . They had information from a foreign intelligence service that they were concerned about his possible radicalization. And so they went from there. The F.B.I. did their due diligence and did a very thorough job about trying to run that to ground. And then asks some more help from that intelligence service to try to get further clarification. And unfortunately, that intelligence service stopped cooperating. So what happens is that case gets closed down.”
After hearing that I’m supposed to think it’s the Russians fault. The Russians told the FBI Tamerlan was a terrorist. The FBI did a “very through job” but we are not told what it did. At some point the FBI asked for more information from the Russians. We’re told nothing about the request. Did it ask once, twice or more times. Who asked? An lowly agent or a someone highly placed in DC. Then we’re told the Russian’s stopped cooperating? What does it mean the Russians “stopped cooperating,” did they say they weren’t going to do anything or was it one message to the Russians wasn’t answered and the file was closed?
My reaction is, “Come on Congressman, be specific. Facts not conclusions. We’ve been attacked by terrorists. “Due diligence” doesn’t cut it. What exactly did the FBI do and what did the Russians do”.
How does a case against a terror suspect get closed down just because the Russians don’t cooperate? Is that FBI policy? We have a person suspected of being a terrorist in our midst, in America, and we don’t pursue it because the Russians don’t respond to our request for more information. That also doesn’t pass the believability test. If that’s what really happened how can you say they “were prudent and thorough?”
I’m saying to myself “all we are asking Congressman Rogers is not to tell us things are all right and that our eyes and minds are lying to us. Let us see the records. Let us know what was given to the FBI, what it did with the information, and how it missed the biggest terrorist attack since 9/11.”
Congressman Rogers went on to say it was likely Tamerlan was radicalized during that six month stay. “He, we believe, may have actually traveled on an alias to get back to his home country. In that seven months, six and a half months or so, becomes extremely important. So you know he had some radicalization before he left. You know that he didn’t probably travel on his own name or some variation of his own name. And when he comes back, he has a renewed interest in that radicalization belief process.”
Do we know any of this or is this something Rogers is throwing out as a smoke screen? Is this the new line the FBI is trying to spin out that there was confusion about what he did when he went back home because he changed his name? Does that mean they were still following him in 2012? How does it make sense that a foreign national is able to leave the US using some other name and return with that alias? If I leave my middle initial out of some form when I travel abroad I’m immediately stopped.
Rogers rushed in to help it the FBI but he made matters worse. We now had more questions than we had before. I’m sure someone inside the FBI saw the spin was hurting it. Other members of Congress were demanding answers. The public wasn’t buying it. Finally someone realized it had to change its approach.
She came up with a novel idea. Let’s stop hiding. Let’s tell what really happened. And from what I’ve read over the last few hours that’s what the FBI seems to have done.