First the media reported that Todashev, according to unnamed “law enforcement officials,” was killed by an FBI agent after pulling a knife on the agent, just as he was writing his confession to a crime unrelated to the Boston bombings. He had been interviewed for several hours, it was late at night, the FBI had interviewed him several times before, and suddenly he flipped out and attacked an FBI agent with a knife, forcing the agent to shoot him to death. Todashev was said to be an acquaintance of suspected Boston bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Only now we find out that Todashev had no knife at all. He was unarmed.
This came not long after law enforcement officers killed bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and then tried to kill his suspected accomplice brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was hiding, unarmed, in a boat.
Like the Todashev story, the earlier Dzhokhar Tsarnaev story was also a very “movable” narrative. Initially, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davies claimed that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev engaged law enforcement officers in an hour-long gunfight from the boat in which he was hiding. Then it was reported that an M-4 rifle was found in the boat. Law enforcement sources claimed that the throat injury Dzhokhar sustained — leaving him unable to talk possibly forever — was self-inflicted.
All of these claims turned out to be untrue.
Then came word that somehow while the unarmed Dzhokhar was under heavy fire from law enforcement he managed to scribble a full confession to the Boston bombings, being particularly clear on his motives, on the inside of the boat.
The Daily Mail pointed out that this “confession” was “a critical piece of evidence for police as it reiterates what Dzhokhar said to them in the hospital after his arrest.” But how could he have been able to “say” anything to police at the hospital if, as they reported, he was shot in the throat and could not speak?
This could all speak to the folly of the media continuing to print “unnamed sources” as if they were always purely factual, acting as mere stenographers for government authorities. But these initial false reports certainly seem an attempt to control the narrative and frame the perceptions of the masses while a fact-based counter-narrative slowly trickles out mostly unnoticed.
And it remains to be answered, why did the FBI kill the unarmed Ibragim Todashev in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the 22nd of May, after reportedly many previous interviews during which the FBI was “making up such crazy stuff“?
Twitter @DanielLMcAdams6:45 am on May 30, 2013 Email Daniel McAdams