The Russian government’s literally incredible behavior

News Dissector Danny Schechter retweeted this blog post by former British diplomat Craig Murray, who questions the notion that the Russian government warned the United States of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radicalism in 2010.

I will confess that I know nothing about Murray. But what he writes is the simple truth about the official story: After raising a warning flag about Tsarnaev, Russia allowed him into the country in 2012 and let him stay for six months, then leave again. Murray’s gloss on those facts also seems worth thinking about:

In 2012 Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is of such concern to Russian security, is able to fly to Russia and pass through the airport security checks of the world’s most thoroughly and brutally efficient security services without being picked up. He is then able to proceed to Dagestan — right at the heart of the world’s heaviest military occupation and the world’s most far reaching secret police surveillance — again without being intercepted, and he is able there to go through some form of terror training or further Islamist indoctrination. He then flies out again without any intervention by the Russian security services.

Murray adds: “That is the official story and I have no doubt it did not happen.”

The New York Times today reports on Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s time in Dagestan. This passage pretty much sums up the paper’s findings:

During his six months in Makhachkala [the Dagestan capital], according to relatives, neighbors and friends, he did not seem like a man on a mission, or training for one. Rather, they said, he was more like a recent graduate who could not quite decide what to do with himself. He slept late, hung around at home, visited family and helped his father renovate a storefront.

We are at the very beginning of what is likely to be a long investigation. But these reports are relevant at a moment when — as the Boston Globe reports — Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham are despicably calling for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be treated as an “enemy combatant,” and when Republicans are already describing the Boston Marathon bombings as a breakdown in intelligence.

Not only do we not know that, but early indications are that such irresponsible speculation is not in accord with the facts.

4 thoughts on “The Russian government’s literally incredible behavior

  1. Steve Stein (@SteveZStein)

    “Republicans are already describing the Boston Marathon bombings as a breakdown in intelligence. Not only do we not know that, but early indications are that such irresponsible speculation is not in accord with the facts.”

    Dan, my heart cannot bear the surprise of this first thing Monday morning. Republicans grandstanding on national security? Ignoring all existing evidence? I’m shocked! Shocked!

  2. Rick Peterson

    “Despicable”? I’ll tell you what is despicable. Politicians expecting us to believe that the younger brother went from dewy-eyed new citizen, swearing allegiance on Sept. 11, 2012 to a bomb-throwing, gun-toting madman leaving a swath of death and destruction in his wake. That’s one hell of a transformation in 6 months. If he was NOT swearing falsely six months ago, how is it “despicable” to be incredulous at the sequence of events as presented by the government? I would submit that trusting rhetoric rather than immutable facts is what got us into this situation in the first place.

    1. Dan Kennedy Post author

      “I’ll tell you what is despicable. Politicians expecting us to believe that the younger brother went from dewy-eyed new citizen, swearing allegiance on Sept. 11, 2012 to a bomb-throwing, gun-toting madman.”

      @Rick: Who? What politicians said they expected us to believe that? Got a link?

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