The US government’s latest report on the Boston Marathon bombing is so full of revealing information buried in plain sight, it seems as if an insider is imploring someone—anyone—to dig deeper. It reads like the work of an unhappy participant in a cover-up.
Properly contextualized, the particulars in the report point to:
• A Boston FBI agent seemingly recruiting and acting as Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s control officer, interacting personally with him, preventing on multiple occasions serious investigations of Tsarnaev’s activities, and then pleading ignorance to investigators in the most ludicrously improbable manner.
• The likelihood that the blame game between the US and Russia over who knew what, and when, regarding Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his activities, masks a deeper geopolitical game which may very well point to the sine qua non of most such struggles—the battle for the control of precious natural resources.
• The sheer inability of well-meaning US government officials—who either may know or suspect that the “official” account of the Boston bombing, with the Tsarnaev brothers as lone wolf terrorists, is utterly false—to come out and state their true beliefs. The most recent report is an example of the necessity of reading between the lines.
The other day, we explained a key point missing from most coverage of the Boston Bombing story: that the US government may have been in contact with the alleged bombers before the Russians ever warned about them.
Now, it seems, the plot thickens further. As the mass media predictably overwhelms the public with a fanciful scenario in which we all are “Boston Strong” and everything ends well, we believe the citizenry—and the victims of the bombing—deserve better.In our previous story, we were working from a leaked article about a forthcoming government report on the bombing—whose central message was that the bombing might have been prevented if only the Russians had not held back still more information beyond what they had provided to US intelligence. In other words, “Putin did it.”
Since then, the report itself has been released. It is the coordinated product of probes by Inspectors General from a number of intelligence agencies and other governmental entities. Actually, what’s been released is not the report itself—just an unclassified summary filled with redactions. Even so, it is enormously revealing, as much for what it does not say as for what it does.
Be advised that this is not a short read. Our take is an in-depth look at how the government loads the dice for its own purposes. As such, it is necessarily complicated, with layers of obfuscation that need to be peeled away. But if you want to get some inkling of what might actually lay behind the Boston Marathon Bombing, read on.
Let’s start by taking a look at the summary report.
On Page 1 you will find this paragraph:
In March 2011, the FBI received information from the FSB alleging that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva were adherents of radical Islam and that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was preparing to travel to Russia to join unspecified underground groups in Dagestan and Chechnya. The FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Boston (Boston JTTF) conducted an assessment of Tamerlan Tsarnaev to determine whether he posed a threat to national security and closed the assessment three months later having found no link or “nexus” to terrorism.
So, in March 2011, the FBI received information from the FSB (Russian internal security service, comparable to the FBI), warning about terrorist threats posed by the Tsarnaev family.
We have long been told that this Russian warning was the first time the Tsarnaevs were on the US government’s radar.
But wait. Go to Page 18 of the summary report, and take a close look at Section V, under a heading “INFORMATION OBTAINED OR FIRST ACCESSED AND REVIEWED AFTER THE BOMBINGS.”
That heading seems to suggest that what follows in Section V was unknown to American law enforcement prior to the bombings. The first item in the list–and the only one to be redacted—is of primary interest:
This information included certain [approximately two lines redacted] to show that Tsarnaev intended to pursue jihad…
After that paragraph comes a sub-section labeled JANUARY 2011 COMMUNICATIONS. The entirety of that section, including a lengthy footnote, has been redacted.
Reading a government report with redactions is like reading tea leaves in the bottom of a dirty cup. You can’t know for sure what’s been suppressed, but you can hazard some educated guesses about why certain material was deemed too dangerous for the public to know.
In this case, you have to ask: Why would the first item in Section V and the entire subsection labeled “January 2011 Communications” be suppressed. The answer may lie in a story that appeared in the New York Times last week. Based on a leak exclusive to the Times, the story quoted a “senior government official” who claimed that the Russians had withheld some key information when it informed the US about the Tsarnaevs’ jihadist leanings in March 2011—information that might have made the US government pay more attention to the Tsarnaevs, and so perhaps could have helped avert the Marathon bombing.
As we previously noted, much earlier, back in 2013, the New York Times reported another leak. That leak asserted that US authorities had been in contact with the Tsarnaevs as early as January 2011. If true, this assertion would be enormously consequential, because it would mean the Tsarnaevs were known to US authorities two months before American intelligence learned from the Russians that the Tsarnaevs might be terrorists.
As far as we know, no one in the media ever followed up on this leaked assertion. When we queried the Times about it, the paper never replied. Nor has the Times ever published a correction. Now, it is possible that the official who provided the Times with that earlier leak was mistaken, or that the Times got the date or the facts wrong and did not want to admit its error in public.
But it’s hard not to see a link between that leaked assertion and the government’s redaction, in the just released summary, of the entire section labeled January 2011 Communications. What is in that section that’s so disturbing to the censors in the American intelligence community?
One possibility is that the US censors are not so concerned about the information in those “communications” as in the way that information was obtained.