Well, well, well. It seems the accused Boston bombers managed to swallow their disdain for all things American long enough to enjoy years of taxpayer-funded welfare benefits.
The media in Boston report that brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and their relatives collected more than $100,000 in benefits since their arrival in this country. The assistance ranged from “cash and food stamps to Section 8 housing,” the Boston Herald revealed.
And get this. The same newspaper reported that the Administration of Governor Deval Patrick tried to keep this information from becoming public, allegedly because of the need to protect “privacy concerns” of the accused jihadists. Sure thing, Governor.
Massachusetts authorities said that the Tsarnaev brothers stopped receiving welfare last year. So at least they weren’t on the public dole when their homemade bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 200.
No one has explained how elder brother Tamerlan, clearly the leader of the duo, was able to afford a C-class Mercedes sedan and the fancy designer clothing he seemed to prefer, while at the same time qualifying for public assistance in Massachusetts. Or how he paid for a six-month trip to Russia.
It’s bad enough to learn that taxpayers paid for a significant chunk of the Tsarnaev brothers’ cost of living in this country while they were plotting to harm us. But it’s even more frustrating that younger brother Dzhokhar was in the middle of being interrogated by the FBI and willingly answering their questions, or so we’re told, when it came to a screeching halt.
It seems that representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler and other officials, interrupted the questioning to read Dzhokhar his Miranda rights. It’s no surprise that once that happened, the accused murderer promptly stopped talking.
Prior to that, authorities had invoked the “public safety exemption” to the Supreme Court’s requirement that a suspect be read his Miranda rights right away. The exemption permits law enforcement personnel to question a suspect for up to 48 hours without informing him of his rights, if they have reason to believe there is an imminent threat to public safety.
Rudy Giuliani, who was Mayor of New York on 9/11, was one of many observers who was furious that the interrogation was halted. “This guy is kind of telling you about how he’s coming to New York and do a bombing in New York, a judge walks in and we cut off the questioning?” Giuliani said. “What are we, crazy?”
Representative Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also blasted the decision to halt the questioning. He called it a “horrible, God-awful policy” that was “dangerous to the greater community.” He vowed that Congress would take action to correct the situation: “We have got to get to the bottom of this and we’ve got to fix it right now.”
Sure thing. In the meantime, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev isn’t talking. He’s been moved from Boston to a prison hospital at Fort Devens, Mass., where he will continue to recover from bullet wounds.
Another story making headlines is how many warnings officials in this country received about Tamerlan Tsarnaev before he set off his bombs. Intelligence services in Russia (where the older brother visited for six months) and Saudi Arabia (where he was denied permission to visit Mecca) allegedly sent us warnings that the older brother could be a potential problem.
We don’t know at this point exactly what the warnings said, who received or what, if anything, was done about them. (The Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C., has denied its government warned the United States about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.) But now that the rumors have become public, this story won’t disappear. In fact, it won’t be long before various Congressional committees promise to uncover “all the facts” for us. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, three of Dzhokhar’s college buddies have been arrested for trying to conceal evidence of his crimes. It seems two of them went to his college dorm room three days after the bombings and removed a backpack containing hollowed-out fireworks. Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, both of whom came to the U.S. from Kazakhstan, are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. A third friend, Robel Phillipos, was charged with lying to investigators about visiting Dzhokhar’s dorm room.
Obviously, none of the three friends will ever win a genius award. But then again, nothing we’ve learned so far suggests that Dzhokhar or his brother was very bright, either. In fact, it’s almost amazing to contemplate the destruction and panic these two would-be jihadists were able to cause with some recycled fireworks and hardware-store purchases.
Meanwhile, the boys’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, continues to claim that the whole thing is a plot against her innocent angels by agents of the United States government. In a telephone interview with a reporter from CNN, she sounded like a demented jihadist herself, when she ranted: “If they are going to kill him, I don’t care. My oldest son is killed, so I don’t care. I don’t care if my youngest one is going to be killed today. I want the world to hear this. And I don’t care if I am going to get killed, too. And I will say, ‘Allahu Akbar.’”
Of course, this is the same person who was accused of stealing $1,600 worth of clothing from a department store when she lived in the United States. She fled the country rather than face her day in court and hightailed it back to Dagestan in Russia. I don’t think she’s a very reliable character witness. Do you?
More Washington Hypocrisy
If halting the questioning of an accused Muslim mass murderer isn’t enough to raise your blood pressure a bit, try this one on for size:
The Washington website POLITICO kicked up a furor a few days ago, when it reported that Democrats in Congress have been meeting “in secret” for several months with Republican leaders there, to figure out how they can exempt themselves and their staffs from Obamacare.
You may recall that during the debate over the healthcare overhaul, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) offered an amendment that would require members of Congress and their staffs to be subject to the same rules and regulations that would apply to the rest of us.
Knowing that exempting themselves would be a public-relations problem, Democrats at the time went along with the measure. But now that it’s about to become a very expensive reality, they want out.
Although Congress is in recess this week, House Speaker John Boehner’s office issued a statement acknowledging the report and declaring that this is the “Democrats’ problem to solve. [The Speaker] will not sneak any language into bills to solve it for them.”
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said: “The fact that Democratic leaders want to opt themselves out of the Obamacare exchanges shows that Senator Baucus isn’t the only one who realizes the President’s healthcare law is a ‘train wreck.’ The Speaker would like to see resolution of this problem, along with the other nightmares created by Washington Democrats’ health law, which is why he supports full repeal.”
Of course, we all know that there’s not a chance of this happening anytime soon. In fact, we shouldn’t expect anything good to come out of Washington until and unless we can replace a whole bunch of Senators, and even a few Representatives, in 2014.
Yes, we have our work cut out for us. In the meantime, stay on guard. And keep some powder dry.