The last time there was a terrorist attack on America, we got the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. Each entity has spent billions to keep us safe, but neither could stop two brothers, Tamerlan, a permanent resident, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a newly minted U.S. citizen, who lived in America and, reportedly, became radicalized jihadists, from killing and maiming innocent people at the Boston Marathon last week.
According to Dana Priest and William M. Arkin of The Washington Post, "Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States. ... An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. ... In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings -- about 17 million square feet of space."
On Friday, Matt Sheffield and Bob Owens and other conservative bloggers spread the news that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sent pro-Obama tweets out on Election Night, retweeting one that said "Barack you my dawg" and hailing how “america is impervious to the f--kery #justforthisoneday.”
Speaking of impervious, Politico reporter Josh Gerstein reported on Monday that "The Boston Marathon bombing suspects’ geopolitical leanings are still largely a mystery, and so is their American political outlook, after a review of records in this city where they lived for the last several years."
An angry and violent jihadist who also loves rap -- gee, who could see that one coming?
As part of MSNBC's ardent efforts over the weekend to downplay any possible connection between the religion that can't be named and the Boston Marathon bombings, Rachel Maddow spoke with Georgetown University professor Charles King, author of "The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus." (Video after page break)
Not to worry, horribly misunderstood jihadist community, Rachel Maddow's got your back.
Doing her part for MSNBC's weekend coverage of the capture of marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhav Tsarnaev, Maddow appeared peeved that the Miranda warning usually extended to criminal suspects had been waived after Tsarnaev was taken into custody, the FBI justifying the waiver under a public safety exception. (Video clip after page break)
On Friday night, during MSNBC's live coverage of the police standoff with bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, host Chris Hayes seemed to still be worried about the issue of "Mirandizing" the terror suspect, as he took time to ask NBC's Pete Williams whether the authorities would be "proceeding according to the textbook" in giving him "due process."
A few days earlier on Tuesday's All In show, Hayes had fretted that any terror suspects might not be read Miranda rights as he called it a "disgrace" that Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins had recommended not doing so if any suspects turned out to be noncitizens.
A bit past 8:30 p.m. on Friday, as Pete Williams filled in viewers on the standoff, Hayes brought up Miranda rights as he posed:
On Monday's CBS This Morning, open liberal Gayle King ballyhooed a guest's fear that Americans might target Muslims in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. The news host thought it was "very important" to point out Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen's "concern about a backlash", and quoted Cullen's assertion that "these two don't speak for Muslims any more than I speak for overweight Irish-American guys who like to play hockey." [audio available here; video below the jump]
King didn't mention, however, that Cullen also took aim at the blame-America-first portion of the left in his Sunday column: "I was on an NPR show...and a caller...started talking about how we've got to look in the mirror and ask what we as Americans have done to create angry young men like this. I almost drove off the road. No one who lost their life or their limbs on Boylston Street last Monday did anything to create angry young men like this."
Everyone knows about the terrible backlash against America Muslims after 9-11, so it's understandable for Muslims to be worried about a post-Boston bombing backlash, right?
What? There was no major backlash against Muslims in 2001 or thereafter? American Jews suffer far more religion-based attacks than Muslims every year? Then why did Andrea Mitchell today exclaim that Muslims were "understandably" very worried about a backlash? View the video after the jump.
Leave it to Thomas Roberts to not let a tragedy go to waste. Appearing on his daily MSNBC show on April 22, Roberts felt it appropriate to use last Monday's deadly terrorist bombing in Boston to push for federal gun control legislation.
Speaking with Patricia Maisch, survivor of the Tucson shooting which critically wounded former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), Roberts noted that the brothers Tsarnaev, residents of Massachusetts, did NOT legally own the firearms they used in a shootout with police last Thursday.
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie and legal analyst Lisa Bloom worried about Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev not yet being read his Miranda rights after being taken into custody on Friday, with Guthrie arguing: "...officials are citing what's known as the public safety exception....As time passes, does the justification for that exception grow weaker? Are they on, I guess, less strong ground?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bloom proclaimed: "Well, it sure does, because as you know, Miranda rights are a bedrock constitutional principle....The public safety exception is a very narrow exception, there has to be an imminent threat to the public. As the clock keeps ticking, hours and days pass, it certainly seems less imminent."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, special correspondent Tom Brokaw used a discussion on the Boston Marathon bombings to argue more broadly that the "roots" of anti-American terrorism across the Islamic world are U.S. drone attacks: "I think we also have to examine the use of drones that the United States is involved in and – and there are a lot of civilians who are innocently killed in a drone attack in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Brokaw began by wondering: "We have to work a lot harder at a motivation here. What prompts a young man to come to this country and still feel alienated from it, to go back to Russia and do whatever he did? And I don't think we've examined that enough." Speaking of people in the Middle East, Brokaw warned: "There is this enormous rage against what they see in that part of the world as a presumptuousness of the United States."
Joe Scarborough has dropped the f-word on live TV. But does he dare drop the I-word: Islam?
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough to his credit rejected the maudlin pseudo-introspection of those [including panelist Richard Haass] who would somehow blame America's failure to integrate the Tsarnaev brothers into society for their decision to bomb the Boston Marathon. Scarborough didn't hesitate to call the Tsarnaevs "beasts." Instead of blaming society, Scarborough blamed the brothers' "evil" and "radicalism." But Scarborough stopped short of naming the radicalism for what it is: radical Islam. View the video after the jump.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is famous for saying: “You never want a good crisis to go to waste.”
Apparently, that's also the motto of the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center's Marilyn Elias, who last week wrote an article amid the hunt for the Boston marathon bombing suspects which urged both caution against jumping to conclusions that Muslims might have perpetrated it but also attempted to smear its favorite target: regular conservatives.
Both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News, the latter crediting wire service assistance, have reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the now deceased older brother accused of committing the Boston Marathon bombings, was thrown out of a service at the Islamic Society of Boston, the Cambridge mosque he attended, about three months ago. I wonder if anyone in the media will notice the terror-connected history of the ISB? It's right there for anyone who cares to look for it.
First, quoting the Times story by Andrew Tangel and Ashley Powers:
On his podcast Friday, as the networks were going wall-to-wall with live coverage of Boston, comedian and pundit Adam Carolla questioned whether Boston coverage was excessive. Matt Wilstein at Mediaite transcribed the conversation, which should be a journalism-school topic in the weeks to come.
“Boston is three people dead, and quite a few injured,” Carolla said, “but it’s three people dead. There’s that many people during the course of this podcast, that many people times ten that die out on the highways.” Meanwhile, he pointed out, the death toll in the Texas explosion was up to 15 or higher.
Fox News's Andy Levy - he of Red Eye fame - absolutely trashed the Huffington Post Saturday for falsely accusing his network of reporting actress Zooey Deschanel was a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.
In a series of tweets in response to the article, Levy called the Post "pathetic," "an embarrassment," and "hacky pieces of garbage":
After asking the politically sensitive question Friday, "Is the Boston killer eligible for Obama Care to bring him back to health," Donald Trump continued offering his views concerning Monday's attack via Twitter moments ago.
"What do you think of water boarding the Boston killer sometime prior to allowing our doctors to make him well? I suspect he may talk!"
Salon contributor and syndicated columnist David Sirota really seems to despise many of his fellow countrymen.
In a piece he published Sunday, Sirota actually asked regarding the Boston Marathon bombing, “Could it be that some Americans actually want to see the kind of bigoted, violent, civil-liberties-trampling reaction we tend to see when terrorism suspects end up being Muslim?”
In a column published Friday, Megan Garber, a staff writer at “The Atlantic” proffers some sage advice to members of the media: Stop pinning labels on people whose names end up in the headlines because of dastardly deeds. The title of piece — “The Boston Bombers Were Muslim: So?” — is meant as an admonition. And so are the opening paragraphs, which catalog all the things “we think we” know about the brothers Tsarnaev (Tamerlan was a “gifted athlete” and “very religious,” Dzhokar is “very quiet” and career-oriented).
Although some of the descriptors she cites are well-documented (for example, “Dzhokar received a scholarship from the City of Cambridge”), she dismisses all in the third paragraph as “provisional facts,” adding:
The brief AP report's third paragraph then has Menino saying, again in AP's words, that "another person was taken into custody" after "a pipe bomb was found in another location." This apparent inconsistency seems to be an attempt by the mayor to minimize the degree of homegrown "sleeper cell" concerns, especially in light of reports containing a cascade of contradicting details which follow the jump.
For years, NewsBusters has argued that MSNBC is not a news network.
Americans appear to agree, for last week as our nation was rocked by bombings in Boston and a fertilizer plant explosion near Waco, Texas, relatively few citizens turned to MSNBC for information about these horrific events.
You think Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev's roots in Chechnya—which has produced radical Islamist terrorists responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks of modern times—might have something to do with the brothers having carried out the Boston Marathon bombing? Don't be foolish.
Nope. Where the Tsarnaevs came from had "nothing to do" with the bombings. These were just two guys who were either depraved, crazy or both. At least, so said Baher Azmy on today's Up With Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. Azmy is head of the "Center for Constitutional Rights", founded by radical lawyer William Kunstler. View the video after the jump.
MSNBC circling the wagons? This NewsBuster is in no position to say that the FBI made a mistake by deciding not to monitor Tamerlan Tsarnaev after having interviewed him in 2011, acting on inquiries from Russian intelligence regarding his possible radical Islamic ties.
But by the same token, MSNBC host Alex Witt is in no position to say the FBI didn't make a mistake. Yet Witt has pre-emptively proferred an excuse for the FBI's decision. Speaking with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff on her show this afternon, Witt, alluding to the FBI's decision not to monitor Tsarnaev, declared: "hindsight is 20-20." View the video after the jump.
Bill Maher on HBO's Real Time Friday made a statement that will make the Right cheer as the left predictably cringes.
After his guest Brian Levin - the director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino - said of the Boston bombings and how it relates to radical Islam, "We have hypocrites across faiths, Jewish, Christian who say they're out for God and end up doing not so nice things," Maher marvelously responded, "That’s liberal bulls--t right there" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After the media spent the week praying the Boston Marathon bombers wouldn't have ties to radical Islam, it's now going to be interesting to see how they report the religious beliefs of the Tsarnaev brothers.
Failing miserably Friday was NBC's Nightly News which despite airing a 90 minute special broadcast on the ensuing manhunt in Watertown, Massachusetts, according to an examination of the closed-caption transcript didn't once mention the Tsarnaev's Muslim connection.
Salon's David Sirota, who on Tuesday wrote a column called "Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American" and doubled down on Wednesday with "I still hope the bomber is a white American" (respectively noted by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters here and here), has predictably continued his incoherent rants. In a subsequent column, he wrote about how the "Boston aftermath brings out America’s worst prejudices." In his latest offering, with no sense of irony, circus clown Sirota tells readers that "we can't let ourselves get swept up in the media circuses that follow" (I'm not going to link to either example of dreadful dreck; readers with strong stomachs can plug the items in quotes just noted into a web search).
Apparently attempting to poison the national discussion in multimedia fashion, Sirota tweeted his belief on Thursday that any conservative who sympathizes with and supports the people of Boston and Massachusetts during this difficult time must be a hypocrite (HT Twitchy.com):
To be clear, this criticism is not of President Obama. It is directed at the Associated Press's Jim Kuhnhenn, who seems to think that the impact of any and all events in the nation and the world on the status of Obama's "presidency" is more important than any other consideration.