Will Obama Use State of Union Invitees As Cover for No Death Penalty on Tsarnaev

imageI’ve got a Twitter account called @Bulgerontrial. I rarely go to it. The other day because of things happening in Ukraine I went there to tweet, if that’s the word, a couple of comments on the #maidan site. While there I saw that David Frank of Mass Lawyer’s Weekly was tweeting from the hearing on the Probation Officer O’Brien case. His site is @davidfrankmlw. He also tweeted the Bulger trial and I found his perspective on the trial to be very good in that he gave a full and frank (no pun intended) view of the case without being biased one way or the other. I’d recommend he be followed if you are interested in the probation case. I plan to do so.

One tweet he posted today read: “Nothing’s happened to change my opinion hat feds will seek death on #tsarnaev. Only q now is when decision will be made public. i/31=dealine.”

I responded to him: “Dave, Hope you are right. However appearance of victim at State of Union may be cover for not doing it.”

When I read this: Bombing survivors invited to State of the Union”  I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. The article noted: “Bauman — the 27-year-old who lost both legs in the attack — and Carlos Arredondo — the 53-year-old wearing a cowboy hat who wheeled him to safety — will be there for the speech.”

As far as Dzhokhar (pronounced Joker) Tsarnaev is concerned there is no reason in the world for him not to face the death penalty. That doesn’t mean he will be executed, it just means a jury will decide whether he deserves to be put to death if he is convicted of setting off the terrorist bombs that murdered three people and maimed hundreds of others.

That means that after the trial if he is convicted of the murders evidence will be presented to the jury that convicted him that will point to reasons why he should not be executed. The issue of guilt will not be considered; only the issue of punishment. Dzhokhar will have a chance to put forth his reasons why the appropriate punishment is not death such as his age, although I’ve noted we have much younger men dying in combat to keep our country free, or his misguided understanding of his religion, or the extraordinary influence his brother had on his actions, or whatever other mitigating reasons he can come up with.

Attorney General Eric Holder should have come to that conclusion a long time ago. We should not have people we call terrorists who murder people by setting off bombs in a crowd not face the death penalty. That seems to be as simple as things can be.

But the gut feeling I got when reading about the invitees is caused by my instinctive distrust of some political acts. I guess I should look up the definition of cynic (“a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons”) since that seems to be my general attitude when it comes to politicians. Especially Obama as you know from my puzzlement of his silence on Ukraine.

There is no doubt that Attorney General Holder has decided this matter. (Dave Frank noted that a document under seal has been filed with the court.) Nor is there any doubt that President Obama knows of his decision and has most likely had input into it since it is unlikely Holder would decide this without consulting him.

Now if the president and attorney general do not have the basic courage and integrity to require a person accused of terrorism and murder face the death penalty they will need some cover. What better way to do it than to bring a couple of victims to the State of the Union speech? Sort of like the actor Bill Clinton biting his lower lip to show faux remorse.

Not having Tsarnaev face the death penalty will be an invitation to a circus and diminished the lives of those killed by terrorism. I know that I should stop being cynical. There’s no way Holder would do otherwise than put the death penalty in play. I guess David Frank must be right.


  1. Plato called Diogenes, the Cynic, “Socrates gone mad.” He lived in a wine cask, ate whatever scraps he came across, and, wrote approvingly of cannibalism, and, incest. One story reports that he carried a lighted-lamp in broad daylight looking for an honest human, probably intending to suggest that the people he did see were so corrupted that they were no longer really people. He wanted to replace the debased standards of custom with the genuine standards of nature

    Diogenes was called a Cynic from the Greek word “kuon” (dog), because, he was as shameless as a dog.
    (The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy p.201)

    • Khalid:

      One explanation offered in ancient times for why the Cynics were called dogs was because Antisthenes taught in the Cynosarges gymnasium at Athens.[49] The word Cynosarges means the place of the white dog

  2. Is BHO really reluctant to use force where American interests aren’t primary? He defeated Ha Ha Clinton Dix in the primary by being the peace candidate. He denounced her for voting for the war in Iraq. He also denounced Bush for his war policies. Yet he surged in Afghanistan and twice as many soldiers have died under his watch as Bush’s. He was instrumental in waging war in Libya. A war which left Al Quaeda in control in Benghazi. All or most of Quadaffi’s weapons fell into terrorists hands. Is he a charlatan like W. Wilson who promised in his campaign to keep the U.S. out of WW1 and then had us enter and lose 100 thousand lives. Is he a fraud like LBJ who said he wasn’t going to have American boys do what Asian boys should do in Viet Nam. He was plunging us into the Syrian war but was stopped by the Brits refusal to engage and the American people letting Congress know their opposition. He doesn’t even know who are enemies are. He’s been arming the Syrian rebels ( Islamic State of Syria and Al Shaba terrorists). Where is the reluctance?2. When Reagan was in office he sold AWACS planes to the Saudis. A vigorous lobbying opposition was orchestrated by friends of Israel in Congress. Regan said ” It’s not the business of other governments to make American foreign policy” So too BHO should not be led around by the Gulf States or Nato in formulating what is in America’s best interest. We shouldn’t pick sides in the Sunni Shia centuries old conflict. Additionally the world has changed. Back in the seventies during the Arab oil boycott Nixon had to send emissaries on bended knee to beg the Saudi king to secretly ship oil to our military to prosecute the war in Viet Nam. Today thanks to advances in the energy sector( fracking and directional drilling) we aren’t dependent on Middle East oil. Almost all our energy comes from North America. How confused was Jimmy Carter telling us we were running out of energy and that the energy crisis was the moral equivalent of war? One feather in BHO’s cap was sending the bust of the racist, imperialist Churchill back to the Brits embassy. Keep up the good posts.

    • Nc:
      1. I think Obama is of the mind not to overuse American forces unlike those who ran against him who would by now have had us dropping bombs on Syria and Iran and be on the march elsewhere. Did you see Diane Feinstein’s face when Obama talked about ending our war footing. Her husband is a big war guy so she want to keep the music playing. Obama inherited Bush’s wars so don’t try to put the blame for them on him. Check my post tomorrow – you’ll see who the real war mongers are.
      You might want to check your facts on Iraq casualties: since the war began there were 4489; since Obama’s inauguration 256 – http://antiwar.com/casualties/
      Obama was only going to launch missiles at Syria (which I was against) – he was not going to lose American lives there. You have to understand the pressure on him to get involved in wars is enormous but so far he has resisted it.
      2. Obama is fighting the Netanyahu, AIPAC lobby that wants us more and more involved in Israel’s problems. It’s good news when Israel and Saudi Arabia complain about America since they are no longer telling us what to do. I’m for letting the Middle East sort out its own problems. Israel will never make peace with any Palestinians – it will pretend to do so but after sixty odd years all it has done is treat them like General Jackson treated the Native Americana.
      Carter leaves much to be desired – in as much as Obama reminds me of his I don’t like him – still waiting on the Joker decision and the very complicated Todashev investigation to wrap up.
      3. When speaking of Chuurchill always remember his mother was an American.