FBI and Tsarneav: What Did They Know and When Did They Know it?
Posted by Daniel McAdams
This is getting awkward. Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee were told today that:
Russian authorities warned the FBI about the potential threat Tamerlan Tsarneav posed not once but “multiple times” and “at least once since October 2011.”
Also, in a blow to some Russophiles who want to draw the US into Russia's fight against separatism in the Caucuses -- "it's the Chechens!!!" -- a statement appeared on a website run by Russia's North Caucasus rebels that disavowed any link to the Boston Marathon bombing.
So what gives?
Globe-trotting gadfly (but interesting and provocative) reporter Pepe Escobar writes this week:
"Now we also know - via their mother - that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was monitoring elder brother Tamerlan for at least five years. In a subsequent interview to CNN's Piers Morgan, the mother actually talked, significantly, about ''counseling''.
"At the same time, the FBI was forced to admit it had in early 2011 accepted a ''foreign government'' (code for Russia) request to take a closer look on Tamerlan. This, apparently, they did - and found nothing terrorist activity-worthy.
"So what happened afterwards? Some IQ above 50 in the FBI must have noticed they now had access to a precious Chechen-American asset. So Tamerlan became an FBI informant. They could play him like a fiddle - like so many patsies before.
"Yet if they didn't, the FBI can rightfully be accused of devastating incompetence (that would not be a first). Because what the FBI is saying is that they had no clue their asset was working on a bomb, was trying to test-drive it, or was carrying a suspicious backpack to the Boston marathon.
"What the FBI will never say is when was the last time they monitored/controlled/harassed Tamerlan. Remember, this is the same FBI that gave us The Fast and The Furious-style Iranian cum Mexican cartel plot to kill a Saudi ambassador debunked in a matter of days."
So, involved or incompetent? Or some sort of combination? I am afraid I have more faith in the competence of the FBI than some readers. But that makes me feel all the more uncomfortable with the implications...
I have been making many betting references lately, which is odd because I abhor gambling, but my money is on a tried and true diversionary conclusion:
After an extensive internal investigation, the FBI will discover that some mistakes were made -- but only because a lack of resources made it impossible for them to track this solid lead from their Russian counterparts (translation: too busy reading our emails). But, thankfully, Congress, vowing "never again!" has decided to up their budget significantly as well as providing yet even more military gear to our own local police forces to ensure that the Bureau and its sister intelligence and police agencies will have learned again from their mistakes and will promise us that they are doing their absolute best to protect us from evil-doers.
Nothing more to see here, move along. Unless you are an evil conspiracy theorist...