Tuesday, April 23, 2013

If Tamerlan Tsarnaev had read this blog, he'd still be alive

The headline is a deliberate provocation, but it also happens to be true. Among the eleven most mystifying things the brothers did (according to this Mother Jones story) is the following:
Keep the hostage's phone. The Tsarnaevs continued on without their hostage—but they did have his phone, which allowed police to track their location via GPS.
Mother Jones links to this piece in Time:
Naturally, the carjacking victim provided police with the make and license-plate number of his vehicle. Even better, the Tsarnaevs now had their very own GPS beacon, as authorities tracked the location of a cell phone the man had left in his car. Within minutes, police had found the men and an ensuing gun battle left Tamerlan dead and Dzhokhar in hiding, soon to be caught. End of rampage.
Look, I don't approve of criminality or bombings or terrorism. Hell, I don't approve of any sort of violence except in self-defense (or, possibly, when dealing with louts who talk during movies). But I also don't approve of stupid criminality. Many previous Cannonfire posts have pounded away at one theme: Even law-abiding folk should avoid carrying devices which allow the government to track every move.

Here are a few other tidbits from that MJ piece:
The Wall Street Journal reported that Dzhokhar stopped by an auto-body shop in Watertown on Tuesday to pick up the Mercedes he'd brought in for repairs.
As noted in a previous post, I saw a live news interview with the mechanic, who said that Dzhokhar was infuriated that the car was not repaired on time. Dzhokhar also intimated that the car belonged to a friend. Weirdly, both the malfunctioning car and the stolen SUV were made by Mercedes. (As we will see at the end of this post, the brothers had access to still another vehicle. The cops have yet to tell us if that was also a Mercedes.)
When Dzhokhar carjacked a Mercedes on Thursday night, he and his brother had one thing in mind: Get cash, and fast. They emptied $800 from an ATM using their victim's PIN number, before they reached the account limit. Holding up a stranger for money suggests a woeful lack of planning on their part (they hadn't budgeted) that helped alert them to the authorities.
If these guys owned a Mercedes, why did they feel obligated to steal cash from an ATM? They must have had some money set aside to pay the mechanic. (Anyone who specializes in repairing high end cars doesn't work cheap.) Hell, why not just sell the Mercedes on Craigslist, buy a nondescript beater for (say) $1200, and use the rest of the money to fund relocation?

Incidentally, we still have no clear story as to why they killed that MIT cop. In fact, I'd like to see the evidence that the Tsarnaevs committed that crime. Unless I missed something (and please double-check), the official Criminal Complaint against Dzhokhar makes no mention of this murder.

On another front: Rand Paul offers some sensible reasons as to why we should not treat the younger Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant. If our normal criminal justice system was tough enough to take care of Tim McVeigh, it will suffice for Tamerlan's dimwitted kid brother.

The younger and elder Pauls have an odd place in our society. I despise their libertarian politics, which would rid corporations of all restraints and regulations. If the Pauls have their way, all of American society would soon resemble the immediate vicinity of the Texan fertilizer plant that had such a noteworthy "hiccup." And yet, paradoxically, Ron and Rand Paul are the only people on the right who -- every so often -- have the balls to tell their fellow conservatives to calm down and stop trying to militarize everything. For that, I guess, we owe them some thanks.

Some commentators have cautioned that Tsarnaev should not be treated any differently from the way we have treated "white" bombers. The distinction amuses me. Born in Chechnya, the Tsarnaev brothers truly deserve to be called Caucasians. Look it up.

Think Progress posits that Tamerlan's boxing career led him to develop CTE -- chronic traumatic encephalopathy. A silly idea, this: It's not as though pugilists have a history of turning into mad bombers. No, if you're looking for motive, the latest news from the WP makes as much sense as anything else:
The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.
Let me once again make myself clear: I loathe violence, as do all sensible people. But if we look at the situation from the detached, Olympian position of an historian writing 1000 years in the future...

Well. What was it Malcolm X once said? Something about chickens...?

And another point: I just noticed an oddity in that afore-linked Time article...
The Tsarnaev brothers were armed and had multiple explosive devices. (The carjacking victim told police they drove to another car and transferred arms from it into his vehicle; by some reports the brothers were driving in two separate cars when police confronted them in Watertown.)
Obvious questions: If they already had a car, why steal one? Why bother transferring bombs from one vehicle to another in a place where witnesses might see suspicious activity? How could they keep the carjack victim "under wraps" during the transfer operation yet allow him to escape when they tried to empty his bank account? Why would they divulge their identity to their captive?

I'm not saying that these questions have no reasonable answers. They very well might. But at this point, we really deserve a scenario that makes sense.
Asking Members over at DummieUnderground why they have all seemingly jumped on the bandwagon in declaring the Tsanraev brothers "Lone Nuts", while NOT looking at the wider connections, apparently is enough to get your comment deleted... or maybe it was that I implied they were all a bunch of idiots. That might have done it too.
Looks like I have been banned at DummieUnderground. The place created and run by that Skinner guy from Yale allegedly looking out for the herd. The sheeple on many of the threads is being pushed by the sheep herders there with 50,000 posts to ignore any possible wider conspiracy in the Tsarnaev case. You try to talk about wider plots into Chechnya and Russia, 2010 illegals case, the recent fires in Los Angeles by a guy who passed through Chechnya then on to Canada...and the possible geopolitical ramifications of the USA being destabilized, who might be behind it? Internal/External. No interest on DummieUnderground. None, in trying to figure out what is behind attacks on the U.S. Nope. It's perfectly ok to lump all manner of blame on Muslims, and it is perfectly ok to lump all manner of blame on American authorities. Go outside of that box.. and silence. Got to focus the blame on lone nuts and their alleged "Muslimness" or on FBI "mistakes". DUmmies.
I got lambasted at DailyKos (I know its not your favorite place Joseph) for saying if the Boston lockdown had been another administration the site would be up in arms. The majority of users defended it and had no problem with people being forced out of their homes at gunpoint, and then having them searched. Talk about PTSD.

The questions most interesting to me involve the FBI. The FBI says they did not have anything and did not want to violate his rights. Give me a break, we know they will try and infiltrate, provide plots, and 'inert' devices. Would not be surprised if they got to steps one and two, and he got ahead of them with the rest. How the brother fits in is interesting. Obviously one who puts their move important things as 'career and money' is not placing Islam first. In my opinion it has less to do with Islam (though that plays a part) directly and more to do with regional Russian issues. The second bomb was placed behind the Russian flag. One finale note of interest is the killing of the older brothers best friend Sept 12, 2011. The day after his brother got citizenship, and he was unable due to the domestic dispute case. apparently 5000 dollars was left in the apartment with the dead mens throats cut, and marijuana dumped over their bodies. Could be he disapproved of the drug and cast judgement himself. He was showing signs of being more devout around the time, talking about not taking his shirt off in front of women in one of his boxing interviews.
This article gave me several ideas that would make for great conspiracy: web.archive.org/web/20060209100406/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/01/13/wrus13.xml

The bombing campaign came out of the blue in 1999, just as Boris Yeltsin's tenure was coming to an end. It caused panic and led to calls for vengeance from ordinary Russians.

Mr Putin responded by invading Chechnya later that year and rode a resulting wave of popularity to electoral victory the following spring.

Boris Berezovsky told how Putin used these to come to power. Boris Berezovsky conveniently 'hanged hinself' last month. There is a lot going on in Putin-land nowadays with the election results coming into question, plus all the back and forth over human rights issues.
War in Iraq and Afghanistan? That's weird, at least one of the bombs was left in front of the Lord and Taylor store where mom had been arrested for shoplifting the year before.

Radical Islam my ass.
I find it disturbing that two criminal neophytes could just saunter down the street with bombs and explode them right in the middle of such a famous event. From all of the information that I've sifted through I don't see either as having any critical thinking skills, no real long term planning abilities or any understanding of what kind of technology available to law enforcement. It is like they never saw even 1 episode of NCIS.

I shudder to think of what kind of havoc that a well prepared criminal or terrorist organization could do if a couple of nitwits can do this. The bad thing is that if they would have just had better planning and preparation they might have gotten away with this. Yikes.

Taking a car in for service doesn't mean they owned it. The question is who did own it.

Good point about the MIT cop. Who shot him? Could it have been Naked Man?
This whole scenario looks like it was made up on the fly, and I don't only mean the alleged actions of the two "radicalized Muslims" to quote Fox News. And as Joseph points out, we still don't know who killed that young police officer from MIT or why. And we don't know why we were told over and over that "it is believed the two fugitives have received military training." Believed by whom? Where and when does a 19 year old who hasn't been in the US military get training? Cub scouts?

Why was it necessary to shut down an urban area of millions of people because of one 19 year old fugitive who may not even have been armed? Why trash the constitution by having armed thugs force their way into peoples' homes to see if there might be terrists inside. Bad precedents have been set here. But we have learned once again that a handful of sheep dogs can control a herd of millions. And if you repeat lies often enough, they will be accepted as truth.
One other minor detail, and this is the dog that didn't bark: what was that truckload of gentlemen from Craft doing in downtown Boston on that fateful day? You know, the ones in matching tan pants, black jackets with no insignia and that truck bristling with expensive and high tech looking communication gear? Who hired them? Why were they there? What did they do? What was in those bulky backpacks some of them were carrying? Oh wait, let's talk about the heroic illegal alien in the cowboy hat.
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