Two things amazed me about the killing of Ibragim Todashev: one, the ability of the FBI to hide the results of his homicide even though it occurred in an apartment controlled by police officers and the only witnesses to his killing were FBI agents and other law enforcement officers; and, despite my strong intent to write about it every month around the 22nd of the month, it had also slipped my mind. It wasn’t that I forgot about it; I didn’t. Rather the immediacy of the matter took second seat to other event and when it came back to mind it was usually far from the 22nd of the month. The FBI tactic of delay and obfuscation had even lulled me into forgetfulville.
I’d read the first reports that the FBI agent had been cleared in the shooting by the Florida State’s Attorney based on the usual unnamed sources. On March 21 the Washington Post’s headline was “Officials: FBI agent will be cleared in shooting of man connected to Boston bombing suspect.” The DOJ and Florida State’s Attorney Jeffrey Ashton are supposed to do the clearing.
As for the DOJ clearing him that’s expected. In none of the killings of individuals by FBI agent has one ever been responsible for the homicide. One person commented on the story by stating: “Well, I guess this preserves the FBI record of 100% of shootings being fully justified. That is every bit as reliable as a North Korean election.” To which another responded: “but less transparent.”
If the FBI thinks its act is going over well in America it should spend time reading the reaction of people to the act of its propaganda machine. Some of the many negative comments are: ”It would be nice to be able to believe this report, but the FBI’s history of deception makes it impossible; The level of incompetence displayed is astounding; the fix is always in. The dead guy could have been blind, in a wheel chair, and holding a cell phone, and the result would be the same; Like Judge Dredd, the feds are empowered to arrest, sentence, and execute suspects at the scene of crime. Aren’t we at least supposed to pretend there is due process?; smells; Our government and the Russian gov’t are looking more the same every day”
But as for the State’s Attorney Ashton clearing the agent, well we don’t know about that yet. It seemed the information provided to the Washington Post, which Todashev’s attorney called “amateurishly and irresponsibly leaked information” was denied by Ashton who said he had not reached any conclusion at that time.
The NY Times also wrote a story of similar effect based on information from “law enforcement officials. Googling the subject the “cut and paste” media were doing their utmost to spread the story of the FBI agent being cleared. But one newspaper decided to do a little extra work. It wasn’t a U.S. paper but the Guardian in London. It reported: “But the state attorney in Florida, Jeff Ashton, denied that he had come to the same conclusion. Ashton’s spokesman said he had completed his investigation but would make a final decision on how to proceed over the weekend.”
Tomorrow we’ll know what’s really going on. The Guardian reported: “Ashton issued an angrily worded statement on Friday after media reports claimed he had decided not to charge the officer, saying the leaks on which they were based were “inaccurate and unfair”. Why would Ashton be angry? Why did the anonymous law enforcement sources leak the information? Were they trying to force Ashton’s hand to bring him in line with the DOJ investigation? Is Ashton actually standing up to the pressure of the DOJ and FBI and really conducting an independent investigation?
I’ve written about this in the past several times. I’m hoping the report will be complete and thorough. I’m waiting for the full report from Ashton prior to making any more comments. I only hope the FBI recognizes that despite if force of loyal agents and vaunted public relations machine its act is wearing thin.