Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Terrorizing an American City

My two children live in Boston. On the weekend that the city was shut down in the hunt for Dzhokhar Tsernaev, I was visiting them. Now that he has been caught, we can think about the national implications of the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath.

The Tsernaev brothers planned to do a lot of damage to American people and structures. Remarkable work by the people of our public services limited that damage. The first responders to the bombing and the hospital staffs across Boston saved every wounded person who came to them, limiting the death toll to three. Intensive police and FBI investigative work identified the bombers within a few days. Then an extraordinary manhunt prevented them from leaving the Boston area, despite their plans to explode bombs in New York City. After the brothers killed an MIT policeman, one was killed and the other captured without any other deaths of civilians or police.

Technology played a significant role in those successes. Surveillance videos and infrared cameras on helicopters made the identification and location of the bombers possible. The police were able to track the car they hijacked because its owner had left his cellphone inside when he escaped.

On the other hand, some of the TV reporting during the manhunt was comically incompetent. When it was discovered that Dzhokhar Tsernaev was a student at a University of Massachusetts branch campus in Dartmouth, MA, the reporter on the station I was watching first said that the campus of Dartmouth University in New Hampshire was being evacuated, then changed that to the main UMass campus in Amherst. Later I heard an NPR “timeline” of what had happened that was riddled with errors.

But the lockdown worked well. Hundreds of police were able to isolate Tsernaev in one part of Boston and hunt him down. Bostonians cooperated completely. Still it is worth asking, was this an overreaction? Should a large metropolitan area of nearly a million people be shut down in order to search for a single criminal?

If he had killed a family of 5, as did a man in Manchester, IL, just a few miles from where I live, there would have been no lockdown. If Adam Lanza had managed to leave Sandy Hook Elementary School and drive towards New York, an hour away, would that city have been shut down? Under what circumstances should our government close down a city? If the perpetrators were not born in the US? If they hate America, not just their neighbors? If they have bombs?

Business Week estimated that a lost day might cost Boston over $300 million. Will the lockdown precedent encourage perpetrators to copy the Boston bombers?

The bombers appear to have been motivated by a crazy version of Islam which encouraged them to kill Americans. One response has been the proliferation of equally crazy ideas about the American government attacking its own citizens.
A brief journey (I couldn’t stand any more) through the thousands of blog entries about the Boston bombing reveals a wide variety of people who have leaped to the conclusion that the bombing was done by our own government. It is not surprising that the brothers’ parents, now in Dagestan in Russia, claim their boys are the innocent victims of a “false flag” “black ops” American conspiracy. But what about all the media talkers, like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck, and nutty politicians, like Republican New Hampshire state Rep. Stella Tremblay, who fuel these fantasies?

Last Friday Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert said on the radio that the Obama administration “has so many Muslim brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America.” The day before, Republicans Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jason Chaffetz of Utah held a hearing “to examine the procurement of ammunition by the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General.” Benjamin Radford, in his Bad Science column, explains, “Conspiracy theorists prefer complex mysteries over simple truths, and so they find mystery where none exists.”

It’s no wonder that some people come to amazing conclusions, like the anonymous commenter on Alex Jones’ site, who is sure there is “a conspiracy of aliens and humans that has been conducting secret mind altering experiments on citizens. They have planted the images of a ‘bombing’ in our heads when in fact, no bombing actually occurred.” No moon landing occurred either, and no plane crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.
The Boston Marathon bombing demonstrates that it is very difficult to get away with such a terrorist attack. But it may also show that it is not difficult to perpetrate such a murderous act in a crowded urban place, and thus to create enormous havoc. Some of that havoc is amplified by ambitious people with selfish motives.

Steve Hochstadt
Jacksonville IL
Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, April 30, 2013


  1. Tsk Tsk Tsk, Steve. You of all people should know
    not to jump to judgement. Shame on you. The Boston Marathon Bombing is barely three weeks old and you have already convicted the two Tsernaev brothers.Who would of thought the once critical thinker at Bates College would resort to cheap literary tactics and gotcha yellow journalism.
    January 20, 2013
    CIA Document 1035-960: Foundation of a Weaponized Term

    “Conspiracy theory” is a term that at once strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of most every public figure, particularly journalists and academics. Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate. Especially in the United States raising legitimate questions about dubious official narratives destined to inform public opinion (and thereby public policy) is a major thought crime that must be cauterized from the public psyche at all costs.

    Conspiracy theory’s acutely negative connotations may be traced to liberal historian Richard Hofstadter’s well-known fusillades against the “New Right.” Yet it was the Central Intelligence Agency that likely played the greatest role in effectively “weaponizing” the term. In the groundswell of public skepticism toward the Warren Commission’s findings on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA sent a detailed directive to all of its bureaus. Titled “Countering Criticism of the Warren Commission Report,” the dispatch played a definitive role in making the “conspiracy theory” term a weapon to be wielded against almost any individual or group calling the government’s increasingly clandestine programs and activities into question.

    This important memorandum and its broad implications for American politics and public discourse are detailed in a forthcoming book by Florida State University political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America. Dr. deHaven-Smith devised the state crimes against democracy concept to interpret and explain potential government complicity in events such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the major political assassinations of the 1960s, and 9/11.

    CIA Document 1035-960 was released in response to a 1976 FOIA request by the New York Times. The directive is especially significant because it outlines the CIA’s concern regarding “the whole reputation of the American government” vis-à-vis the Warren Commission Report. The agency was especially interested in maintaining its own image and role as it “contributed information to the [Warren] investigation.”

    The memorandum lays out a detailed series of actions and techniques for “countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries.” For example, approaching “friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)” to remind them of the Warren Commission’s integrity and soundness should be prioritized. “[T]he charges of the critics are without serious foundation,” the document reads, and “further speculative discussion only plays in to the hands of the [Communist] opposition.”

    The agency also directed its members “[t]o employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose.”

    1035-960 further delineates specific techniques for countering “conspiratorial” arguments centering on the Warren Commission’s findings. Such responses and their coupling with the pejorative label have been routinely wheeled out in various guises by corporate media outlets, commentators and political leaders to this day against those demanding truth and accountability about momentous public events.

    The Marathon Bombing: What the Media Didn’t Warn You About
    By Russ Baker on Apr 19, 2013
    Boston, and the other big explosion—in West, Texas

    Boston, and the other big explosion—in West, Texas

    During a meeting on Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, a well-meaning person asked me whether I thought we could assume that the usual suspects were behind the mayhem, or whether there was “more to it.” When I explained doubts about the conventional rush to judgment—and where those doubts came from—I was told I was on dangerous ground. This person, it seemed, was quite steadfast that the culprits must have come from certain well-advertised enemies of America, and didn’t want to even consider anything more complex.

    We’re the products of our environment, and, in many respects, the media defines that environment.

    Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon provides a perfect example of the defects of conventional news reportage—and proof that we urgently need something better. We got “scoops”, “experts”, “updates,” and post-tragedy Kumbaya, but at the end of those days of saturation coverage, we were none the wiser. It’s like what studies find about television news: the more you watch, the worse you perform on knowledge exams.

    We ought to care more about the narrative we’re getting, about the texture of what saturates us. The way in which a story is handled shapes our emotions and perceptions, determines priorities, and influences seemingly unrelated outcomes that affect us in profound ways, sometimes transforming our society.


    FAQ #12: Where are the 9/11 Whistleblowers?

    Written by Dennis McMahon, J.D. L.L.M.,
    Tuesday, 30 April 2013 19:03

    with contributing editor Eli Rika

    Many of those who cannot accept the scientific evidence that refutes the official story of the collapse of the three WTC towers on 9/11/2001 argue, “If 9/11 was an inside operation, surely at least one whistleblower would have come forward by now. You couldn’t keep something like that secret.” While at first blush this argument might seem to be logical, closer examination shows that it makes no sense. 9/11 story Since scientific evidence has clearly shown that the official explanation for the destruction of the WTC skyscrapers cannot be true, the theory that the official story must be true because there have been “no 9/11 whistleblowers” is entirely specious.

    In his groundbreaking 2006 research paper entitled “Where Are The 9/11 Whistleblowers?”,
9/11 researcher Gregg Roberts addresses the subject in painstaking detail. At one key point, Roberts notes that “physics trumps armchair psychology.” That is, the evidence is what determines whether 9/11 involved more than what officials are telling us, not an assumed theory about the power of the whistleblower.However, for the sake of those who adhere to the baseless 9/11 whistleblower theory, let’s examine the alleged power of the 9/11 whistleblower by first defining “whistleblower,”…

  4. Aaronson, Trevor. The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism
    Ig Publishing Brooklyn New York 2013
    Exposes how the FBI has, under the guise of engaging in counterterrorism since 9/11, built a network of more than 15,000 informants whose primary purpose is to infiltrate Muslim communities to create and facilitate phony terrorist plots so that the Bureau can then claim it is winning the war on terror.

    Bari, Judi. TIMBER WARS. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994.
    The F.B.I. attempted to stop the political activity of Judi Bari and Daryl Cherney by exploding a
    bomb under their car. Daryl Cherney and Judi Bari filed a Civil lawsuit
    against the FBI and Oakland police. A jury awarded them $4.4 million
    dollars in 2003. see judibaridotorg



    By Cliff Kincaid
    May 2, 2013
    The claim that the Russians somehow “warned” the U.S. about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radical Islamic connections has been accepted by most news organizations and commentators as established fact. But while U.S. intelligence agencies have a lot to explain, the Russian security services have been treated with kid gloves and even as the “good guys” in this affair.
    Russian media, including the English-language propaganda channel Russia Today (RT), have been insisting that the U.S. is to blame for the Boston bombings because vague “warnings” from Moscow were ignored.
    It is reminiscent of when Lee Harvey Oswald, a pro-Castro Marxist who had traveled back and forth to Russia, assassinated President John F. Kennedy, and the Russian KGB promptly launched a disinformation campaign in the media blaming right-wingers in Dallas and the CIA for the murder. The Soviets—and the Cubans—were determined to obscure their links to the assassin.
    The obvious question in this case is: If the Russian intelligence agencies were suspicious of the brother’s terror ties, why did they not arrest and imprison him?
    The Moscow regime of Vladimir Putin, a former Soviet KGB officer, rules with an iron fist and has supposedly been waging a vicious war against Muslim terrorists within its own borders. So why would they let a suspected terrorist from America come and go at will? And why, if Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a grudge against the Russians over their handling of those Muslim regions in Russia, did he attack the U.S. and not Russia?
    There is something about the Russian angle that doesn’t add up.
    The claim about Russian “warnings” to the U.S. ignores the sensational evidence uncovered in the 2007 book, Blowing Up Russia, that the Russian security forces are behind much of the Islamic terrorism that supposedly originates in the Muslim regions of Russia. The book was “banned in Russia,” where journalists investigating the Kremlin get threatened or even murdered.
    The book’s co-author, Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian intelligence agent, not only blamed Moscow for Islamic terrorism, but said that al-Qaeda terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had been trained by the KGB and was an agent of the Russian security services. Litvinenko died in 2006 in London, where he had fled from the Russian regime, as a result of being poisoned by Russian intelligence on the orders of Russian President Putin. A film, “Poisoned by Polonium,” examines how the highly radioactive substance Polonium was used to kill him.


    Boston bomber acted as CIA agent: Wayne Madsen
    Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:15PM
    Interview with Wayne Madsen

    There is some evidence that the mother is correct about at least the older son Tamerlan Tsarnaev of being co-opted either as an asset or some sort of an agent or informant by the Central Intelligence Agency."
    An analyst says documented evidence exists that one of Boston Bombing suspects attended CIA-sponsored seminars in Georgia, a CIA breeding ground for separatists.

    In the background of this the mother of the two suspects accused of carrying out the Boston bombings says they were innocent and that they were set up by the FBI. The younger brother is currently hospitalized with a gun shot wound to his throat. There is wide spread suspicion over the incident as a possible “false flag attack”, which occurred at the end of the Boston marathon. US security forces were conducting a terrorist drill at precisely the same place and time as the real terror act unfolded. Security cameras have showed US Security personnel with black backpacks all over the scene earlier, but dispersed just a minute or two before the explosion occurred. Video footage of remnants of the explosion showed that it was detonated from a black backpack. Troubling is the fact that the CIA and FBI had the suspects on their terror watch list and had been following them since 2011. Also troubling is the documented fact that the US has backed terroists operating in Russia's caucasus region.

    Press TV has interviewed Wayne Madsen, investigative journalist, Florida about this issue. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.

    Press TV: How do you react to this mother’s statement about her sons, one of her sons being killed and the other being injured?

    Madsen: Well, I think there is some evidence that the mother is correct about at least the older son Tamerlan Tsarnaev of being co-opted either as an asset or some sort of an agent or informant by the Central Intelligence Agency.

    I would draw attention to two news reports, one out of Moscow that states that a leak of internal Republic of Georgia Interior Ministry documents show that in fact Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended CIA-sponsored seminars in Georgia between January and July of 2012 last year and that these were actually conducted by a group called the Jamestown Foundation out of Washington that was founded in 1984 incidentally by CIA Director William Casey.

    So there is actual evidence that Jamestown Foundation has ties, very significant ties with the CIA.


    Boston bombers’ uncle married daughter of top CIA official
    April 26, 2013 by Daniel Hopsicker

    The uncle of the two suspected Boston bombers in last week’s attack, Ruslan Tsarni, was married to the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller

    The discovery that Uncle Ruslan Tsarni had spy connections that go far deeper than had been previously known is ironic, especially since the mainstrean media's focus yesterday was on a feverish search to find who might have recruited the Tsarnaev brothers.

    The chief suspect was a red-haired Armenian exorcist. They were fingering a suspect who may not, in fact, even exist.

    It was like blaming one-armed hippies on acid for killing your wife.

    Ruslan Tsarni married the daughter of former top CIA official Graham Fuller, who spent 20 years as operations officer in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. In 1982 Fuller was appointed the National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the CIA, and in 1986, under Ronald Reagan, he became the Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.

    At the time of their marriage, Ruslan Tsarni was known as Ruslan Tsarnaev, the same last name as his nephews Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged bombers.

    It is unknown when he changed his last name to Tsarni.

    What is known is that sometime in the early 1990’s, while she was a graduate student in North Carolina, and he was in law school at Duke, Ruslan Tsarnaev met and married Samantha Ankara Fuller, the daughter of Graham and Prudence Fuller of Rockville Maryland. Her middle name suggests a reference to one of her father’s CIA postings.

    The couple divorced sometime before 2004.

    Today Ms. Fuller lives abroad, and is a director of several companies pursuing strategies to increase energy production from clean-burning and renewable resources.


    Eyewitness Contradicts Police Account of Tsarnaev Killing

    By RSN Staff

    28 April 13

    According to this eyewitness account broadcast on Boston radio station WEEI 93.7 FM, a caller named Linda, who said she was from Dexter Street in Waterville, reported that she saw "the first suspect [Tamerlan Tsarnaev] hit by a police SUV, and then after he was hit, shot multiple times."

    This differs markedly from accounts by Watertown police chief Edward Deveau, who describes, to CNN's very enthusiastic Wolf Blitzer, two suspects firing on police officers with a lot of weapons, Tamerlan Tsarnaev firing on police at close range, Tamerlan then being tackled by police, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev then speeding toward them in a black SUV, ultimately running over his brother Tamerlan as he fled the scene.

    The eyewitness account casts doubt on Boston PD's entire account of the incident. - MA/RSN

    See Also: Listen to Full Version of WEAI Interview

  9. Terrorists? Arrest 'Em (Unless They're Walmart or the FBI)
    April 29, 2013 /

    Workers wrapped in mock shrouds protested in San Francisco, decrying horrific inattention to safety by retailers like GAP and Walmart. Since 2006, close to 1,000 garment workers in Bangladesh have died in factory disasters at the retailers' suppliers. Photo: Marc Norton.

    When terrorist bombers killed three people in Boston, the FBI moved heaven and earth to apprehend them. When suppliers to Walmart and other brands in Bangladesh killed more than 360 people April 24 in one of their garment factory death traps, the FBI sat on its hands. But those responsible—Walmart’s board of directors—are well known and could be easily apprehended.

    On the very day of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, one of the survivors of a November 2012 fire at Tazreen Fashion, near Dhaka, Sumi Abedin, was in San Francisco. She and another former garment worker from Bangladesh, Kalpona Akter, had tickets to attend a gala fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel for the Latino Community Foundation, which is led by Aida Alvarez, a prominent member of Walmart’s board.

    Not surprisingly, the Foundation denied Abedin and Akter access to the fundraiser, along with other Walmart workers from the Bay Area and Southern California who’d planned to attend. Instead, they and their supporters rallied outside the Fairmont, demanding justice for Walmart workers all along the supply chain.

  10. Some of you may remember the New York Police Department as the organization that arrested
    Abner Louima,took him into the Precinct bathroom and rammed a mop handle up his rectum.

    Some of you are astute enough to know taxpayer funded FBI agents and other taxpayer funded Gubmmint agencies created the Boston Marathon Bombing. Being smart criminal justice consumers you have shouldered the responsibility to no longer trust your bodyguards and are learning how to read the Miranda Warning to people running your criminal justice system.
    You also know how to ask your own CSI questions like:

    Who benefited from the Boston Marathon bombing?
    Who was implicated in creating the 1993 1st World Trade Center bombing
    and Oklahoma City bombing?
    The only question left is:
    Do I know what to do?


    NY Police Chief Ray Kelly Says The Boston Bombing Takes Privacy 'Off The Table'
    from the not-that-there-was-much-left-on-table... dept

    In light of the recent Boston bombing, NYPD Police Chief Ray Kelly is now restructuring some sort of nonexistent deal with New Yorkers, issuing a clawback on their civil liberties. According to Kelly, the Boston Marathon bombing means privacy has been "taken off the table."

    “I'm a major proponent of cameras,” Kelly said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I think the privacy issue has really been taken off the table.”

    “The people who complain about it, I would say, are a relatively small number of folks, because the genie is out of the bottle,” Kelly said. “People realize that everywhere you go now, your picture is taken.”

    Ray Kelly doesn't care much for civil liberties. He's already been questioned about the NYPD's "anti-terrorism" efforts (aided by the FBI), largely comprised of various (failed) efforts to infiltrate the Muslim community. While it's failed to produce any terrorists, it has managed to tread all over the community's civil liberties. During that discussion, a Brooklyn councilman bluntly stated that the counterterrorism efforts looked to be based on "profiling" rather than on any "real leads."

    He's also been queried about the notorious "stop and frisk" program, something that largely targets young minorities (87% of all stops are non-white) while failing to produce much in terms of results (only 1 in 10 stops result in a summons or arrest; weapons are only discovered in 0.2% of the stops).

    As for the "stop and frisk" program, Kelly claims the reduction in crime speaks for itself. But as NYCLU Director Donna Lieberman pointed out, there's precious little evidence this program did anything more than tag along for the ride as crime decreased across the nation.

    Kelly acts like increased surveillance is a forgone conclusion after the Boston bombing. The investigation's most useful images and video were captured by individuals and private businesses, not by PD cameras, something surveillance advocates like Kelly keep conveniently forgetting.

    As far as I can tell, there's been no public outcry demanding that the police, FBI, etc. do something to prevent another tragedy. The only voices I've heard are a variety of self-contained echo chambers who hear only the reverberations of their preconceived notions.

    Kelly certainly likes hearing "privacy is off the table," even if the words had to originate from his own mouth. He said it because he truly believes it. But it serves a secondary purpose as well, something I'm sure Kelly is fully aware of. Making this statement as the resident police chief in the nation's largest city sends the message to like-minded law enforcement entities that now is the time to expand surveillance efforts. After all, who's going to stop you? A "few complainers?"

    Abner Louima (b. 1966 in Thomassin, Haiti) is a Haitian who was assaulted, brutalized and forcibly sodomized with the handle of a broom by New York City police officers after being arrested outside a Brooklyn nightclub in 1997.