More Questions Than Answers in Tsarnaev Friend Shooting

 

From “The Killing of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Would-Be Accomplice Wasn’t So Simple,” Alexander Abad-Santos, The Atlantic Wire:

“Ibragim Todashev may or may not have pulled a knife on investigators in his own apartment. He may or may not have been ready to sign a confession implicating himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a 2011 triple homicide. All we know is that lethal force was used when Todashev was shot and killed early Wednesday morning,  and the only people alive to tell us the truth are the Massachusetts State Police officers and FBI agents who were in the room and pulled the trigger.

 

“What spilled out in the immediate aftermath were reports that 1) Todashev was about to complete his written confession, perhaps strengthening the case against Tsarnaev; and 2) Todashev pulled a knife on investigators, prompting them to kill one of the only men in America who have known when Tsarnaev turned for the worse. Both of those claims seem a lot less solid today….

 

 

“‘I think something went wrong there. I think they just shot him. He didn’t do anything. I know him. He just wanted everything to be over,’ one of Todashev’s roommates told NBC West Palm Beach, and his estranged wife added, ‘He wasn’t involved. So he was not even nervous [to talk with the FBI].’  Todashev’s wife could be talking about the Boston bombings [not the 2011 Waltham triple murder], but she was right about Todashev being cooperative. Todashev, according to CBS, had been talking with the FBI since two days after the Tsarnaev brothers were identified.

 

“What’s perhaps more puzzling is that the story doesn’t seem to add up: What new piece of information makes a guy who has been cooperating with FBI agents for the last month or so turn on them? Could the seizure of [his] computer have led to more revelations? Could the threat of jail time have dawned on him? And even more macabre, one of Todashev’s friends told NBC Orlando that he had been questioned with Todashev by agents on Tuesday night — and that Todashev felt like he was going to die. ‘He felt inside he was going to get shot,’ Khusn Taramiv said. ‘I told him, ‘Everything is going to be fine, don’t worry about it.’ He said, ‘I have a really bad feeling.'”

I wonder if Todashev felt he had been promised a degree of leniency that wasn’t reflected in the confession he was about to sign, that he felt the FBI had reneged on a deal he thought he had, and he became violent.

 


 

U. S. Makes American Drone Deaths Official

In a letter to Congress today, Attorney General Eric Holder officially acknowledged for the first time that the U. S. killed four American citizens in drone strikes in Yemen (Anwar al-Awlaki, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, and Samir Khan) and Pakistan (Jude Mohammed).

Of the four, only Anwar al-Awlaki was specifically targeted.

The acknowledgment comes a day before President Obama’s major address on national security related topics like drones and Gitmo.

How Many Sources in North Korea Do You Think We Have?

From “What was James Rosen thinking?”,  Jack Shafer, Reuters:

“Although [Fox News reporter James] Rosen’s story asserts that it is ‘withholding some details about the sources and methods…to avoid compromising sensitive overseas operations,’ the basic detail that the CIA has ‘sources inside North Korea’ privy to its future plans is very compromising stuff all by itself.

“Once the North Koreans read the story, they must have asked if the source of the intel was human or if their communications had been breached.  In any event, you can assume that the North Koreans commenced a leak probe that made the U. S. investigation look like the prosecution of a parking ticket.”

I can’t get all wee wee’d up about bumbling James Rosen, who makes Inspector Clouseau look like James Angleton.  If the Obama Administration had prosecuted him along with State Department moron Stephen Jin Woo Kim, I’d see the First Amendment threat here, but they didn’t.  I do mourn the loss of a source inside North Korea, because God knows they are few and far between, and probably now fewer and farther.

I’m with Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo on this one:

“They [DOJ] took a step I think they should not have taken.  But they did so putting together a case against a government employee who more or less in plain sight (thanks to Rosen, in part) leaked what looks to have been highly classified information about US spy networks overseas.  It’s difficult for me not to be more shocked by the self-interested preening of fellow journalists over a comically inept reporter and source than the arguable dangers this episode holds for press freedoms.  Indeed, I’ve failed.  I can’t.

I can’t either.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

I just read that a man in my county was arrested for drunk driving three times in five days.  All they did was raise his bail, so he’s out walking around — and even worse, driving around.

I guess he’s going to have to kill somebody before they get him off the road.  And when that happens, I’ll feel that the county government is just as responsible as the drunk guy.

Chechen Killed in FL Connected to Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Ibragin Todashev, a Chechen who knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev when he lived in Boston, has been shot and killed in Orlando, FL while being questioned by the FBI and other law enforcement.

The shooting is of course being investigated, but the FBI agent involved says he acted in self-defense when Todashev pulled a knife on him.

Todashev apparently confessed to a role in an unsolved triple murder in Waltham, MA that occurred in 2011, and also implicated Tamerlan in the murders.  One of the victims was Tamerlan’s best friend.

Todashev apparently knew Tamerlan from their common participation in martial arts.

Rush Reassures

Rush Limbaugh says we don’t have to worry that President Obama will be impeached.

Not because he doesn’t deserve to be, but because “the American people are not going to tolerate the first black president being removed from office.”

Yes, Rush, we loves us those Kenyan Muslim Socialists.

Crazy, Crazier, Craziest

Virginia’s crazy GOP attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, is running for governor, and I’d just assumed that Virginia’s next attorney general would inevitably be saner.

Silly me…

Meet the GOP’s nominee to replace Cuccinelli, state senator Mark Obenshain.  In 2009, he proposed a bill that would require women to report a miscarriage to local or state police within 24 hours, or face up to a year in jail and a $2500 fine.  So now what — you have to turn yourself in to the police when your period is late?

Wouldn’t this guy be better suited for attorney general in, oh, I don’t know, Iran, North Korea?  A galaxy far, far away?

Could the EPA please check the water in Virginia because something is very f***ed up there?

 

It’s Early, But…

I know it’s early for 2014, but GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is already running TV ads for her re-election campaign in Minnesota.

A new PPP poll shows her 2012 Dem opponent, Jim Graves, who plans to try again, ahead of Bachmann, 47 to 45.

Last time, Graves lost by only 5,000 votes, little more than 1% of the vote.  And last time, Bachmann wasn’t dealing with a blossoming campaign finance scandal from her 2012 presidential campaign.

Maybe Bachmann will go where she belongs, looking pretty and spouting crazy on Fox.

FBI Joins Bachmann Investigation

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) is already under investigation by the Federal Elections Commission, the Office of Congressional Ethics, and the Iowa State Senate ethics committee for possible campaign finance violations in her 2012 presidential campaign.

Now the FBI is joining the party, which means possible criminal charges and penalties.

I want to see her gone from the House as much as, well, as much as she wants to see the Kenyan Muslim Communist gone from the White House.

I don’t care if she goes to jail, I just want her out of politics forever, replaced by someone a little brighter and a lot less crazy.  That would be just about anyone who lives in her district.