Reporters use leaks, anonymous “officials” to spread false news of Boston bomb suspect
Heavily-medicated with opioids before and after surgery, reports surface and dispel media lies that Tsarnaev talked and wrote out confessions
CLEVELAND, OH – Reporters from across the planet are giving news consumers large doses of fabricated information about alleged Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. As more information is revealed, it’s become apparent that earlier versions of stories reporters have shared with news consumers are untrue, including those claiming that the younger Tsarnaev shot at police while hiding, attempted suicide and confessed.
A trial – if Tsarnaev survives his serious injuries – will reveal more details and ultimately raise questions about whether everything the world has been told by reporters about the tragic Boston Marathon bombing on April 15 was the truth or a lie.
Was Tsarnaev in condition to verbally confess as the media has reported?
The world watched video footage of Boston cops surrounding and capturing the 19-year-old Tsarnaev from a boat where the wounded teen was hiding. The tarp over the boat was pulled back while three flash grenades were tossed into it with him.
Flash grenades, also called flashbang or stun grenade, are supposed to be non-lethal; but they cause third and fourth degree burns, and death in some cases when used up close like they were with Tsarnaev. Charlotte-Mecklenberg SWAT cop Fred Thornton died in February 2011 from serious injuries after he accidentally detonated a flash grenade in his home when it got hung up on his equipment. Flash grenades also damage the fluid in a person’s ear drums, which can cause permanent hearing loss.
The teen’s wounds were extensive to his head, neck, legs and hands, and came from Tsarnaev being shot multiple times and then injured again by Boston cops with the three flash grenades. Cops first said the wound in his neck came from a botched suicide. Boston police commissioner Ed Davis said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fired a weapon from inside the boat. The lie died when it was revealed by federal officials that he wasn’t armed.
Tsarnaev’s extensive injuries required him to be heavily medicated with opioids like morphine while the teen underwent major surgery to repair his extensive wounds at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Morphine causes drowsiness, mental confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, changes in mood and mental clouding. Beth Israel’s website shows it causes “hallucinations.”
Tsarnaev’s condition was listed as “critical.” The Independent’s Rob Williams of the United Kingdom wrote that he was listed in “fair” condition.
The “critical” designation in medical terms meant that his vital signs, heart and breathing were unstable. Death – in some cases – is imminent. The instability of his bodily vital signs, along with his being medicated with narcotics to minimize pain, meant that for the 16 hours FBI agents were “allegedly” questioning him without reading his rights, Tsarnaev was either asleep or in and out of consciousness, and possibly near death.
This fact was confirmed by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, during an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
“He’s in and out of lucidity,” he said. “He’s on medication, he’s talking, but he’s not talking, he’s unconscious…”
What seems more logical are published reports showing Tsarnaev as saying nothing, not writing anything down on paper and “mouthing” the word “yes” when asked if he wanted an attorney.
Boston police commissioner Ed Davis said early on that Dzhokhar was in “no condition” to be interrogated despite false media reports that he was writing out a confession.
LA Times reported how lawmakers were told Tsarnaev had been questioned for 16 hours over two days. With a gaping wound in his neck and throat, reporters said he answered questions in writing.
ABC’s Brian Ross specifically reported that Tsarnaev was doing a lot of talking.
As to what drove Tamerlan to violence, his younger brother has apparently told investigators it was his hatred of America, and its policies in Afghanistan and Iraq, law enforcement sources said.
Officials say they do not plan to take what the younger accused bomber has told them at face value, and that the probe will continue to examine whether there were overseas terror connections of any kind. “It would be in his interest to minimize his own role,” one official said.
But the younger brother is reportedly telling investigators is consistent with what many of those who knew Tamerlan were observing — his disgust with things American and Christian.
NewsOne reported that Tsarnaev “immediately stopped talking” after a magistrate and an assistant U.S. Attorney’s Mirandized him. Of course, Newsone quoted another anonymous “U.S. law enforcement source and four officials of both political parties who were briefed on the interrogation.” The well-connected Newsone reporter said the sources “insisted on anonymity because the briefing was private.”
NewsOne went on to report that, “Before being advised of his rights, the 19-year-old suspect told authorities that his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, only recently had recruited him to be part of the attack that detonated pressure-cooker bombs at the marathon finish line, two U.S. officials said.”
Are federal employee risking prosecution to leak “classified” information to reporters from the terrorist database?
Reporters have frequently used the claim that “officials” have spoken on “condition of anonymity” to validate information that has continuously proven to be wrong.
CBS news and Associated Press reporters have inserted quotes from the same unnamed officials in the majority of publications and websites whose writers and bloggers keep repeating the same distorted set of facts.
In an April 26, 2013 CBS story, “Feds added Tsarnaev brothers’ mother to terror database” , an unnamed reporter wrote of being given access to information that’s kept on the classified Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database.
TIDE is managed by the National Counterterrorism Center and sandwiched between the National Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. It was created by an executive order of former President George Bush and modified in another one by President Barack Obama in 2010.
The names on a national database of terrorists are classified, which means they’re not available to reporters or the public under the Freedom of Information Act. Title 18, Section 798 of the United States Code makes it a felony with fines and up to 10 years in prison for federal employees and contractors to release classified information to reporters or anyone else without authorization.
TIDE is also connected to the 78 Regional Fusion Centers that exist in the nation’s major cities, so all of the officials involved with it are not federal employees, operating with the same strict confidentiality guidelines.
Boston has two Fusion Centers: the Commonwealth Fusion Center in Maynard and the Boston Police Department’s Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC). Local law enforcement officials from every public agency, including the FBI, Suffolk County sheriff Steven Tompkins and a CSX Railroad cop are embedded in the Fusion Center.
It’s doesn’t take a stretch of imagination to think that the Special Agent in Charge of the Boston FBI district, Richard DesLauriers, might have shared the classified information about Tsarnaev’s mother with Boston’s Davis or Tompkins. The three men function as Fusion Center co-partners.
Why would Davis or DesLauriers’ share information with reporters?
Davis has been having a lot of conversations with reporters since his name’s been thrown in the hat to possibly replace retiring Mayor Thomas Mennino.
Boston Globe reporter Adrian Walker floated the idea of Davis running for mayor right after his profile shot up as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing. An anonymous tip in exchange for an editorial favor and good news coverage doesn’t hurt.
But Davis has also been the source of wrong information. He falsely claimed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev shot at police from the boat and said the bullet wound in his neck came from a suicide attempt.
Davis also had a run of bad press in February when his son was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He’s also reeling from the negative coverage he received when a Boston American Civil Liberties Union report showed the cops he supervised spying on American citizens connected to the Occupy movement. The Boston ACLU condemned him for conducting “political interrogations” of people who criticized the police.
Anything that distracts attention away from the FBI’s performance is also good for DesLauriers. He’s an anti-terrorism expert who was supposed to have kept tabs on Tamerlan Tsarnaev and didn’t.
An Office of Inspector General report issued March 28, 2003, 18 days before the bombing, criticized the FBI’s Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force. The OIG reported that an FBI monthly report of terror “leads” was either not received or read by special agents, squad supervisors and intelligence analysts.
Between 2009 and 2011, the OIG said field offices could not provide definitive data about the number of cases that were opened based on leads. The OIG’s assessment mirrors the information Russia’s FSB said it provided to the FBI in 2011 about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. DesLauriers did not open an investigation of him when the agents he supervised got the information.
There’s also the lingering question of how Tamerlan Tsarnaev was unemployed, had been on welfare and was able to come up with $400 to buy fireworks to make the bombs. The majority of FBI terrorist busts during the past four years have been those connected to agents using informants and undercover agents posing as Jihadists.
What reporters are asking Americans to believe is that the Tsarnaev’s knew they were under surveillance for the past three years and kept visiting terrorist websites to plan an attack. Tamerlan’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, said her son had FBI handlers who “controlled” him for the past three to four years. If so, then DesLauriers will have some interesting answers to provide Congress.
Who are the “authorities” reporters are quoting?
The use of the word “authority” in government has a different meaning than it is used by the media. A government “authority” is a public or elected official authorized by a law to perform official functions of government. In the media it’s used to denote someone with knowledge of a particular general topic. The use of the word can be confusing to the public.
ABC’s Ross created an April 24 story that featured “authority” Seth G. Jones of the RAND Corporation and the International Security and Defense Policy Center.
The nonprofit RAND Corporation is a global research and information sharing organization. On its website RAND says its “researchers combine theory with real world experience.” RAND’s “theories” are used by government, foundations and the private sector.
Jones served as an Assistant Secretary of Defense as a representative for the commander of U.S. Special Operations, and as a plans officer and adviser to the commanding general of U.S. Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan. He specializes in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. He writes about the topics as an author. He is not a government authority with direct knowledge of any aspect of the FBI’s investigation of the Tsarnaev’s.
Jones offered a lot of “theories” to ABC’s Ross about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but he didn’t have a single fact to back his claims.
“This is kind of the al Qaeda modus operandi now, not relying only on operatives, but trying to get people do it yourself radicalization to build their own bombs without coming to a training camp in Pakistan or Yemen or other locations.”
“They ad-libbed part of it and made some decisions on a few elements of the bomb making but what’s different about this is they took a very simple recipe and then targeted the Boston Marathon.”.
“And why the marathon? Because it was there, essentially, and easy. Not long in the planning.”
“The older brother appeared to be the more radicalized of the two and was the one that drove the need to conduct the attack as well as the preparation for the attack that is building the bombs.”