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."
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Lawrence O’Donnell apparently has absolutely no shame. Speaking on his MSNBC program The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell on Wednesday night, O’Donnell asserted that the National Rifle Association's (NRA) successful lobbying efforts in Congress were hindering the federal criminal investigation in the Boston Marathon bombing.
In his opening monologue, O’Donnell absurdly thundered that the “NRA's effort to guarantee that American mass murderers are the best-equipped mass murders in the world is not limited to murderers who use assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.” O’Donnell’s vitriol did not stop there. Instead, he doubled down claiming that the NRA is, “in the business of helping bombers get away with their crimes.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The Washington Post seems to have joined President Obama in blaming the National Rifle Association for the Senate defeating recent gun control legislation. In an April 18 article, the Post's Ed O'Keefe and Philip Rucker provide cover for President Obama and Senate Democrats, peppering their story with quotes condemning Republicans and Second Amendment advocates.
The article started off fairly tame, describing Obama as suffering a “resounding defeat” and a “stunning collapse for gun-control advocates.” It didn't take long, however, for the Post staffers to bash the gun industry. Providing a plethora of Obama quotes to set the tone of the article, the Post highlighted the president's claiming that, “all in all this was a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
When asked on left-leaning MSNBC why President Barack Obama refrained from describing the Boston bombings as a "terrorist attack" David Axelrod, Obama's longtime political advisor, readily saw a political opportunity. The blood had not yet been washed away from the streets. We had yet to count up the casualties. Yet Axelrod saw a political opening, an opportunity to advance one or another of his pet political issues. So he said, "I'm sure what was going through the president's mind is — we really don't know who did this — it was tax day." Yes, tax day!
This is not the response of a normal mind. A normal mind would not, given the promiscuity of public bombings in the Middle East and now another bombing here in America, think it was provoked by "tax day." Conceivably the bombs in Boston were the work of small-government libertarians or of Tea Partiers. They could even be the work of vegetarians, but that was not the question. Axelrod was asked why the president was not describing the bombings as a terrorist attack. It certainly looked more like the work of terrorists — either left-wing lunatics or right-wing lunatics — than tax protesters.
In brief remarks to the nation yesterday on the Boston Marathon bombings, President Obama said that "we all have a part to play in alerting authorities. If you see something suspicious, speak up." In Washington, D.C., electronic signs urged commuters to be on guard. Law enforcement, big-city mayors and security experts all echoed that famous post-terrorism refrain: "If you see something, say something."
The media’s irresponsible speculation regarding the perpetrator of the terrorist attack in Boston seems to continue on MSNBC. Appearing on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on April 16, fill-in host Thomas Roberts brought on Harvard’s Jessica Stern to make predictions about who might have initiated the terrorist attack on April 15.
Stern began her segment by saying that the kind of bomb used in this attack was published in an al-Qaeda magazine before launching into her speculation that the far-right may be responsible:
It seems as though The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel should take her own advice in saying that tragic events like the terrorist attack in Boston on April 15 should not be politicized. Appearing on MSNBC’s Now w/ Alex Wagner on April 16, Ms. vanden Heuvel managed to contradict herself within mere seconds.
Speaking with liberal host Alex Wagner and TheGrio.com’s Joy-Ann Reid, the left-wing commentator appeared to at first make a reasoned call for patience in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, insisting that:
This morning at the Christian Science Monitor, Staff Writer Peter Grier demonstrated a stunning level of ignorance about the Boston Marathon's significance. He then built on that ignorance to posit that yesterday's bombing at the Marathon's finish line "could indicate that the bomber was a local or at least a native of the United States."
Among other things, Grier seems completely ignorant of the fact that Boston is one of six "World Marathon Majors" (the other five are New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin, and Chicago). The related paragraph from Grier's report, followed by other indicators of the Marathon's worldwide significance, follow the jump:
Those who might have given the Associated Press's Jimmy Golen the benefit of the doubt early this morning for writing that the Boston Marathon bombings "raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S." are going to have a tougher time doing so with his 8:15 a.m. report, in which he wrote that "the blasts among the throngs of spectators raised fears of a terrorist attack." In context, readers can insert "that it was" to replace "of." (If he meant to write "that there will be another terorrist attack," he would have. He didn't.)
The first several paragraphs of Golen's report (since revised; the referenced report is saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) follow they jump:
On Monday, Matt Vespa at NewsBusters noted the reluctance of the Associated Press to characterize what it would only call an "extremist attack" in Mogadishu, Somalia as "terrorism."
In his early morning dispatch in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the AP's Jimmy Golen at least used the word. But, incredibly, despite law enforcement authorities and others describing the bombings as an act of terrorism, Golen was still strangely tentative:
"We don't know anything yet of course, but it is tax day & my first thought was all these anti-gov groups, but who knows," tweeted Khan, who immediately received a lot of blowback on Twitter for politicizing the tragedy. But rather than back down, Khan defended her speculation in subsequent tweets like these:
Moments ago there were explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It has not been confirmed, but its quite likely these were bombings. Please keep the victims and their families in your prayers.
Two years ago today, I chronicled wire service reports which appeared shortly after John Hinckley's unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981 reporting that schoolchildren in many parts of the country cheered when they heard that he had been shot.
At the time, I suggested that school teachers and administrators who were appalled at the reactions might have been protesting a bit too much. Today, I located a 2004 item at National Review by Stanley Kurtz about another group which was happy to hear about the assassination attempt. The left's hypocrisy about "civility" -- and for that matter, basic human decency -- clearly goes way, way back:
Once again, MSNBC shows it has no sense of decency when it comes to its political contributors making extreme statements on its network. The latest example comes from contributor Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of TheGrio.com, who asserted that attendees of the annual CPAC conference sympathized with pro-segregationist comments made by one extreme individual attending the three-day conference.
At issue is video that has emerged from a CPAC panel discussion called “Trump the Race Card” hosted by K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans. After Smith commented that, “[Frederick] Douglass escaped from slavery. He writes a letter to his former slave master and says, I forgive you for all things you did for me,” an attendee of the panel named Scott Terry then interjected, “For giving him shelter and food?” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
At the Washington Post's Post Politics blog on Monday, Juliet Eilperin revealed that the White House has notified participants invited to the April 1 Easter Egg Roll that the event "is subject to cancellation due to funding uncertainty surrounding the Executive Office of the President and other federal agencies."
Eilperin only considered the White House's latest obvious example of "no petty and partisan gesture left behind" a partisan matter when a Republican who hasn't held political office for 15 years objected (bolds are mine):
It’s hard to know what goes through Joe Scarborough’s head these days. One day he’s trashing CPAC as a conference full of hate, the next he’s defending the conservative confab, saying its attendees are his friends.
The latest example of Scarborough’s schizophrenia came March 18 on Morning Joe when he shot down National Journal’s Ron Fournier for calling CPAC attendees "wacko birds" -- a term borrowed from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who derisively deployed it in an interview with the Huffington Post against Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). McCain later apologized for his comments directed at Senators Paul and Cruz.
MSNBC’s gay marriage advocacy continued unabated on Friday. Speaking with Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Ut.) on March 15, host Richard Lui asked the congressman if his support for traditional marriage would change if “one of your children were to be gay.”
Lui’s question came following the Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announcement that his son is gay and that he now supports same-sex marriage. Lui pushed the MSNBC gay marriage agenda by peppering Chaffetz with questions such as:
Nothing is more amusing than having a liberal “columnist” comment on the state of the conservative movement. It seems as though Politico’s Roger Simon is one such liberal who feels it is his duty to trash conservatism on a regular basis.
Speaking with MSNBC’s Craig Melvin on March 14, Simon commented that CPAC is “the militant wing of the Republican Party.” Simon, who criticizes conservatives on a regular basis believes that the majority of speakers at CPAC are “on the extremes of American politics.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]