Political Debate Over Boston Bombings Races Ahead Of Investigation

The debate grows over anti-terror reforms in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing

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PETE SOUZA / THE WHITE HOUSE

From left: U.S. President Barack Obama holds a meeting in the Situation Room in Washington D.C. on the ongoing investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing, on April 20, 2013.

Amid a growing debate over anti-terror reforms in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, the young man at the center of the investigation remained silent this weekend, with a wound in his neck preventing him from speaking, authorities said.

“We don’t know if we’ll ever be able to question the individual,” said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, in a Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week. On the same day, Boston police listed the 19-year-old suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in critical but stable condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and said late Sunday afternoon that interrogation had not begun. By Sunday night, law enforcement sources told multiple news outlets that he had begun to respond to questions by investigators mostly in writing.

Federal law enforcement and intelligence officials, meanwhile, revealed little new information over the weekend about what they have uncovered in the days since his capture. On Saturday, President Obama met for 90 minutes with his senior intelligence and law enforcement staff in the Situation Room, but White House officials gave no readout of the meeting beyond an announcement of Obama’s determination to “continue gathering intelligence to answer the remaining questions about this terrorist attack going forward.”

(MORE: Why the FBI, White House Will Face Hard Questions About Their Boston Bombing Interviews)

But the steady pace of the investigation did not delay a vigorous debate among politicians about the policy implications of the Boston attacks. On the Sunday political talk shows, elected federal leaders raised questions about the effectiveness of FBI efforts to protect the homeland, speculated about the motivations of the two brothers accused of terrorizing the city of Boston, and argued about the Department of Justice’s plans for interrogating the suspect.

In one exchange, New York Rep. Peter King, the former Republican chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, called for increased law enforcement focus on the American Muslim community. “The fact is that’s where the threat is coming from. When the FBI was after the Westies, they went to the Irish community. When they were after the mafia, they went to the Italian community,” he said on Fox News Sunday.

California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, cautioned King on the same program not to jump to conclusions before the investigation concludes. “With respect to whether we are doing enough in the Muslim community, I think we should take a look at that,” she said. “But I don’t think we need to go and develop some real disdain and hatred on television about it.” Authorities have so far declined to ascribe a motive for the attacks, though the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, allegedly posted radical Islamist-themed videos to YouTube, and traveled in to Russia for six months in 2012.

(MORE: Hope Amid Dispair: Sermons After the Boston Bombings)

On Saturday, King joined three Republican Senators, Arizona’s John McCain, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte in calling for the surviving suspect to be treated as a potential enemy combatant for the purposes of interrogation, a move that would indefinitely delay Tsarnaev’s access to a lawyer and informing him of his constitutional right to remain silent. The Justice Department has announced that it will delay informing the suspect of those rights under the so-called “public safety exception,” that has been recognized by the courts for cases in which there may be immediate public danger.

“When the public safety exception expires and it will here soon, this man in my view should be designated as a potential enemy combatant,” said Graham in an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. “Most Americans want to find out what he knew, who he associated with, does he know about terrorist organizations within or without the country or trying to hurt us? Does he know anything about a future attack? That comes from the law of war questioning.”

On the same show, Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, downplayed the need to resort to enemy combatant status, which would be controversial to impose on an American citizen on U.S. soil. “We don’t need enemy combatant to get all the information we need out of him,” Schumer said. “A high value interrogation group composed of the FBI, CIA and anyone else can question him without a lawyer in a secured situation and find out whatever they need.”

(MORE: Immigration Reform’s First Big Test: The Boston Bombing)

Members of the House and Senate also raised concerns about the FBI’s investigations before the bombing, which included an interview with Tamerlan Tsarnaev at the request of the Russian government, who suspected he was involved with radical Islamists. Republican Texan Michael McCaul, the current chair of the House Homeland Security committee, sent a letter to the FBI over the weekend asking why Tamerlan had not raised concern with U.S. authorities. “If he was on the radar and they let him go, he’s on the Russians’ radar, why wasn’t a flag put on him, some sort of customs flag?” McCaul said on CNN’s State of the Union.

“The FBI or the system dropped the ball,” added Graham.

In Boston, Mayor Menino had a rosier view of the situation, now that the immediate threat seemed to be contained. “You know, everybody came together. The president talked to us everyday on the phone. President came here. The governor and I worked hand in hand,” Menino said. “I have to give the citizens of Boston a lot of credit. They really were vigilant. They all came out and supported us. And now the issue is how do we move forward? How do we use that good will and that American feeling to do a better job?”

PHOTOS: Joy and Relief in Boston After Bombing Suspect’s Arrest

47 comments
mysteryalizereX
mysteryalizereX

Please   UPDATE YOURSELF, -/   -GO TO reXes Website Now !  

http://catholislamic.webstarts.com 

REMEMBER   That In ISLAMIC COUNTRIES,  When Non - Muslims are Attacked / Killed .
 
The Muslims Across the Middle East and IN the USA -  NEVER Rise Up and Put A Stop to the The Killing

and Violence.   Doesn't it seem that  Muslims REALLY Dont Care..


To me,  Islam is not a religion OF Peace..  Because The Muslim WORLD does not Bat an Eye or Skip a Heart beat.

When any Christians are  Killed.
 
 To Learn the TRUTH /FACTS  about ISLAM   and Protect Yourself  \  Educate Yourself      ....    Please Go to reXes website

http://catholislamic.webstarts.com   ....   Thank YOU

mysteryalizereX
mysteryalizereX

Obama and his supporters really Need a  History Lesson.

 REMEMBER   ---   The FACTS, Go here and See The   --ISLAMIC \ NAZI --- MIDDLE EAST Armies }
   MUSLIMS that Adolf Hitler had recruited .\

Click here   http://www.google.com/search?q=hitler's+islamic+army&biw=1366&bih=621&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=DgTGUf3ZF4n69gTis4EQ&ved=0CEIQsAQ

And Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnCmVpr-RLk&bpctr=1371933928

And Here http://www.billionbibles.org/sharia/hitler-muslim-brotherhood.html[/B]

And........... R E M E M B E R   ..... that Before World War ll ,  STARTED  / -

 The Middle East,  PIRATE,  Cult callled  ISLAM .....Had basicly Prostituted itself out { AGAIN } = to the Germans in World War l as well. And the Soviets, and The French.

    Muslims, / ISLAM  had basicly been Completely Crushed and RENDERED incapable of Making a MAjOR attack upon any of the MAJOR Nations that they had been attacking and Conquring  before, for the past Twelve Thousand Years.

Muslims had Terrorized, France, Italy, Spain and Africa since 700 AD   and in The 18 th Century, Muslims BEGAN attacking American Ships, Killing, Raping and and taking Americans And selling them for Randsom.

 The First Barbary War (1801–1805), eXplains all of this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War  &  http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/first-barbary-war

and the The Second Barbary War (1815),  eXplains all of this 

http://www.historycentral.com/NN/Barbary2.html

The USA Was faced with Middle East TERRORISM.  Muslims were Reaching out wherever they  could REACH and grabbing Americans and Killing and Randsoming them.

The USA went to War Against the ISLAMIC Strongholds/ The CAPITALS of the ISLAMIC Ottoman Empire's  of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algeria.


 UNITED STATES  did    have these PROBLEMS  in the MIDDLE  East  before WW ii .

But today we have People who like to PROP  Up  islam as an Abrahamic Peacefull Religion.
 A Complete Lie.
  TODAY ,..  We have  Ships, Airplanes and  mass  TRANSIT .  Comming  IN  and  OUT  OF  and  NEAR Terrorist Countries.

BUT TODAY we have MASS  immigration of Muslims by the MILLIONS.  Flooding into the USA.

Thats why we Must NEVER alllow them to OBTAIN  Nukes ,  Nukes do not Know Borders.

 
 

tomsquawk
tomsquawk

" Amid a growing debate". we need, not necessarily in this order, a commission, a study, a law and a tax

oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

In this country we periodically and regularly elect people to represent us in governing. They are charged with making decisions on the basis of information they receive and knowledge they share. So i say to every self-serving politically motivated wannabe, both in government or out, and every media outlet or pundit who opens a yap about the Muslim community, the FBI, the CIA, guns, immigration or any other topic remotely linked to this sad event, two words:  shut up. Let the people who are in charge do their job. Let them find out what the facts are. Get behind the yellow tape and sit down. Quit making up conspiracies, quit yowling about media coverage, quit making racial or religious accusations, stop opining about jurisdiction or Miranda rights. Shut up. At the appropriate time, I'm sure we'll have plenty of reports and hearings about what when on here. At that time, we can actually deal in facts and take reality based steps, including any changes in people or policies deemed to be required. Will this happen? Fat chance. 

paulgeorges
paulgeorges

A real good way to thanks for a country who agree to him to live,study in a free counry ! Perhaps now USA has to think twice to consider Russia as  a bad guy and terrorist in caucasus good guy and poor victims ! I remember of the school not so many time ago with so many children dead in Caucasus. No cause is right when someone has no problem to kill children without any problem at all. Evil only evil. But American are a proud country who will not allow this to continue.

grape_crush
grape_crush

> “The FBI or the system dropped the ball,” added Graham.

Shut up, Senator. The FBI got the inquiry and acted on it. The FBI didn't fail. It's pretty sad that GOPer pols feel the need to demonize law enforcement in order to either lash out against a Democratic administration and/or protect themselves from a primary challenge coming from their right. Downright pathetic.

> “The FBI or the system dropped the ball,” added Graham.

Even if the FBI had assigned someone to sit on Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Facebook account and monitor his emails, there is no statute for thoughtcrime (yet). Hell, there's people here at Swampland that post some pretty radical stuff. Is someone going to ship Paulie off to Guantanamo* because of some of the stuff he's linked to? Do I get on a watch list because I have a couple of Rage Against The Machine** songs on my iPod?

There is no 'system' for that, Senator, at least none that any of us want to be a part of.

> ...or the system dropped the ball...

If the 'system' failed, it was because there were too few data points to act upon and an unwillingness to even collect the data necessary. If we knew that there was a flag set due to that Russian inquiry, another for recent international travel, another for a weapon purchase, another for buying gunpowder***, known association with a hate or terrorist group, criminal activity...there are profiles - aggregated sets of data points - that can be built from the Tsarnaevs and other terrorists that can be used to identify persons of concern before they do some damage.  And even with all that in place, there is no guarantee that every attack is halted before it is carried out, and there will be false positives that identify perfectly harmless people.

But unless we're willing to accept the degree of government insight necessary to draw pictures of possible future Tsarnaevs, complaining about a system or law enforcement agency is just the production of a lot of hot air.

(*no, that's not wishful thinking)

(**in reality, I'm more Rage Against the Washing Machine than anything)

(***guess who's against any sort of firearm or gunpowder registry or even running background checks? why aren't we talking about where the Marathon bombers got their guns and explosives?)

antonmarq
antonmarq

A US citizen is a US citizen; and therefore as a US citizen entitled to US laws protections and legal systems. This brainless and waste of public taxes on an already settled issue should be treated as a warning sign to all Americans, our government has some serious problems. Moreover, where's the Supreme Court on this??? Are we making exceptions on US citizens to fully enacted laws? Are we shifting from individual freedoms into a Fascist state?  Seems to me that the GOP are leading the charge in changing the great American system.  I just wonder what is the agenda behind these obviously anal actions if not to control Americans.    

DerekHologram
DerekHologram

Given that the Boston terrorists used guns to kill, and given King's logic, I think we need to hastily assume that every gun owner in the country is a potential Muslim terrorist and act accordingly.

pic620
pic620

Republicans always claim to champion freedom & to be the sole opponent of big-government. The only party protecting your guns and apple pie.

Yet they consistently advocate for a governmental grab of powers that are not delegated to the federal or state governments by the People.

Obviously these "American" "freedom lovers" pine for the abuses of the Bush administration.

It truly is brazen to blatantly call for the subversion of the Constitution… especially since it's treason.

MrObvious
MrObvious

 In one exchange, New York Rep. Peter King, the former Republican chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, called for increased law enforcement focus on the American Muslim community. “The fact is that’s where the threat is coming from. When the FBI was after the Westies, they went to the Irish community. When they were after the mafia, they went to the Italian community,” he said on Fox News Sunday.


Of course King doesn't seem to know the difference between religion and ethnicity. But in that case I'm sure he has no problem if we go after Christian Militia then. Specifically Christian.

outsider
outsider

However did people get interrogated before the US decided to torture people?

YOu know what? People like Graham, who will take advantage of anything to score political points, are disgusting. 

The GOP loves the Constitution, unless it's in their way. 

This kid is an American citizen. On US soil. Think of the precedent this sets. The GOP doesn't like you, then you must be an enemy combatant. 


Look out, you 98% !! They're coming for you. 


There have been spies caught and interrogated for decades (some have even been executed). All those spies confessed what they knew about operations under normal interrogation techniques. 


It's kind of a sad commentary  on the readiness and quickness that the GOP is willing to suspend everyone's rights. 


oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

@grape_crush Excellent post.  Lindsay Graham is a transparent phoney.  An authority on everything.  A doer of nothing.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@grape_crush 

'Wingers don't want data bases, more police, a more stringent judicial system. They don't want our law enforcement agencies to be able to work together effectively or give resources for them to invest in a modern information system.

But as soon as something like this happens they question we this and that didn't pull a miracle out of the hat. It says something when everyone that knew the brothers had no idea. 

outsider
outsider

@grape_crush


Graham backed down a bit:


“One of two things happened,” Graham said Monday on Fox News, “the FBI either dropped the ball or our system doesn’t allow the FBI to follow this guy in an appropriate fashion. I think once the Russians made the request, the FBI did a good job of looking at him. The reason we didn’t know he went to Russia is because the name was misspelled.”


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/lindsey-graham-tamerlan-tsarnaev-russia-trip-90416.html#ixzz2RCltNytH


jason024
jason024

@grape_crushwhy aren't we talking about where the Marathon bombers got their guns and explosives?)

---

Good Question...Somehow if every citizen were armed we could have prevented this mayhem.   #sarcasm.

MrBenGhazi
MrBenGhazi

@antonmarq And this is the problem with libertarians in our country. There is no gray area. 

I agree 100% that this terrorist is a US citizen and is entitled to his rights. But in no way are we "shifting from individual freedoms into a Fascist state." Your extremism is what is wrong with libertarianism.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@MrObvious 

In fairness, I see no distinction between the two in the given subject.  Profiling is profiling and I don't care whether it's race, ethnicity, or religion, the moral issues remain the same.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@MrObvious Yep he'd have no problem with that. Right after he admits he was wrong in fundraising money for the IRA bombers earlier in his carrier.

grape_crush
grape_crush

 @MrObvious > Of course King doesn't seem to know the difference between religion and ethnicity.

I'm sure that distinction isn't important to King. 

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

There have been 4 military tribunals and 2 were overturned.  There have been more than 200 criminal prosecutions with only a few minor points noted.  The ones who are scared to have someone from GITMO come to NYC for trial act like we don't already have over 250 in jail through the judicial.  Let's do it once and get it over.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@outsider2011 

It's a sad commentary on know nothing political critters; our law enforcement know how to get information. I doubt they have to torture the younger brother to get everything they need.

grape_crush
grape_crush

 @MrObvious@grape_crush> Wingers don't want data bases, more police, a more stringent judicial system.

They do, but only when all that dovetails with what's on their agenda. There's plenty of passion when it comes to border security or monitoring American Muslims. Dare to suggest that there's an issue with right-wing radicalism or gun trafficking, and watch them want to pull funding and hyperventilate about infringement on their civil rights.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@outsider2011

Oh you've gotta be kidding me.  First the Underwear bomber and now Tamerlan where an information gap occurred because of a name misspelling?  Either they have one heck of a good success rate at catching people who's names weren't misspelled that we don't know about or the system is REALLY bad with names.

outsider
outsider

@jason024 @grape_crush


WASHINGTON -- The Boston bombing suspects engaged in a deadly firefight with police last week, possessing six bombs, handguns, a rifle and more than 250 rounds of ammunition. But the Tsarnaev brothers did not have proper licenses to possess the firearms, according to the Cambridge Police Department -- a revelation that comes just days after the Senate voted against strengthening and expanding background checks for gun sales.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/22/boston-bombing-gun_n_3131363.html


Congrats, GOP - you're making America more dangerous. 


MrObvious
MrObvious

@forgottenlord @MrObvious 

I don't see a distinction. But in all fairness King doesn't understand it. And if anyone would target Christians instead I'm sure he'd be among the first to complain about it. Unless it's brown Christians.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@grape_crush

Exactly.  Google can do it for your searches where it can recognize similar words and determines a possible relevancy.  You might not want an auto-correct feature, but you might still want the other hits to come up when you do a background check.  Is it an advanced problem?  Sure.  Is it a problem that has a solution that could probably be duplicated?  Absolutely.  Is it worth getting the National Security team to actually implement that - heck yes.  We have two different cases where a misspelling lead to someone slipping the net.  Time to improve

grape_crush
grape_crush

@jason024@forgottenlord@outsider2011 > ...the USG doesn't have a universal way of spelling anything.

Grape_spouse works with two brothers who are middle eastern in origin. Phonetically, it's the same name, but with substantially different spellings due to the fact they came over here at different times after working in different countries.

Still, it's hard to believe that someone hasn't put together some sort of 'synonym names' table or two to allow for better matching.

jason024
jason024

@forgottenlord @outsider2011 That is the problem with foreign names.....the USG doesn't have a universal way of spelling anything.     When the FBI, DHS, State, Treasury, DoD, all spell names, differently this should come as no surprise.  Now of course some poor bureaucrat made a simple data entry error, heads will roll.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@curt3rd

Did they do a background check for those six bombs?
 

Bombs are illegal, but to add. The gun powder used is not regulated. And since there is no registration of said gun powder it cannot be traced. Along with all those weapons used.

And remember it was the Democratic controlled senate that could not get the bill passed so thats not all on the GOP.

A majority passed the bill. But GOP insisted on a super majority - something that the constitution specifically outlines for treaties and such. Not regular legislation. It's the GOP who insist on destroying our legislative process.

grape_crush
grape_crush

 @curt3rd > Did they do a background check for those six bombs? 

Nope, we don't do background checks for gunpowder purchases.

> And remember it was the Democratic controlled senate that could not get the bill passed

When is a majority not a majority, Curt?

When the Senate rules give the power to legislate to the chamber's minority, even if it's just one person.

Still, it was an act of political cowardice on several people's part, Dem and Repub.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Nobody knows for sure why some did not support the compromise

Are you that naive?  They didnt support it because of upcoming elections and they know the people they represent did not support it.

jason024
jason024

@curt3rd  It was the NRA and by extension, the GOP who pushed the ridiculous narrative that expanding background checks (w/o government records)  is bad for America.

Nobody knows for sure why some did not support the compromise.....other to speculate that it wouldn't have mattered since they were more concerned about their election prospects than sticking their neck out for a bill that would have died in the House.


curt3rd
curt3rd

Did they do a background check for those six bombs?  And remember it was the Democratic controlled senate that could not get the bill passed so thats not all on the GOP.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@outsider2011 @jason024 @grape_crush 

Interesting; so some kind of register where FBI or law enforcement could cross check people of interest with their purchases might've stopped this. Or at least prevented them from getting their hands on guns.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@MrObvious

Yeah, but he'd have the same problem if it were White or Natively born citizens too - his problem is the double standard and the assumption that because he can distinguish a difference between himself and this guy that's easy to spot, then that's the reason they should target him.