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Where, oh where, is James Clapper?
Retired Lt. General Clapper was appointed by President Obama to be the Director of National Intelligence, a position created after the 9/11 attacks by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to coordinate the various intelligence and law enforcement agencies as they gather intelligence critical to our national security. The DNI is supposed to oversee all of these agencies and make sure they're communicating with each other. One of the key recommendations of the the 9/11 Commission was to take down the existing "wall" between intelligence and law enforcement to permit intel and information sharing in order to facilitate rapid response to threats before they could be carried out.
There was a lot of concern at the time that yet another bureaucracy would complicate and slow things down. The reassurance was given that a central office---a DNI---would be able to fast-track and centralize a lot of intelligence and get the trains of the various agencies to run on time. And in theory, that's how it was supposed to work.
Here are the responsibilities of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, from its official website (http://www.dni.gov/index.php/about/organization):
"The Director of National Intelligence serves as the head of the Intelligence Community, overseeing and directing the implementation of the National Intelligence Program and acting as the principal advisor to the President, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council for intelligence matters related to national security.
"Working together with the Principal Deputy DNI and with the assistance of Mission Managers and Deputy Directors, the Office of the DNI's goal is to effectively integrate foreign, military and domestic intelligence in defense of the homeland and of United States interests abroad.
"With this goal in mind, Congress provided the DNI with a number of authorities and duties, as outlined in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 including to:
"Ensure that timely and objective national intelligence is provided to the President, the heads of departments and agencies of the executive branch; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and senior military commanders; and the Congress.
"Establish objectives and priorities for collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of national intelligence.
"Ensure maximum availability of and access to intelligence information within the Intelligence Community." [snip]
"Oversee coordination of relationships with the intelligence or security services of foreign governments and international organizations.
"Ensure the most accurate analysis of intelligence is derived from all sources to support national security needs." (The list goes on. Please see the link above to get the full rundown.)
The point is that the DNI should have been all over the Boston terror suspects BEFORE they were able to carry out the deadly attacks. Both the CIA AND the FBI were alerted multiple times by Russian intelligence that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a radical Islamist likely bent on carrying out jihad. Customs was alerted when he left the country for a six month terrorist sojourn through the brutal lands of Chechnya and Dagestan, a trip which also alerted the Joint Terrorism Task Force. And yet, no action on Tamerlan was taken. The agencies that were supposed to be talking to each other when a potential terrorist pops up did not. Hindsight is always 20/20, but if Tamerlan---with too many red flags to count waving in the faces of multiple intelligence and law enforcement agencies---didn't trip the wires, who will?
This is the job of the DNI. Where is James Clapper? Why hasn't he commented? We've heard from the President, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and others, but Clapper has been a no-show. Of course, Clapper has proven himself useless before. In late 2010, ABC's Diane Sawyer sat down with Clapper hours after news broke around the world of a major terror bust in London. The conversation went down like this:
"First of all, London," Sawyer said. "How serious is it? Any implication that it was coming here?... Director Clapper?"
After a long pause, a blank Clapper said: "London?" Chief counterterrorism adviser (now CIA Director) John Brennan, who was sitting with both Clapper and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, had to jump in and explain the arrests.
Sawyer tried again later in the interview.
"I was a little surprised you didn't know about London," she said.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't," Clapper said. (See the whole painful exchange here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/director-national-intelligence-james-clapper-briefed-london-arrests/story?id=12458010#.UX6wmldGNI0 ) He's had other embarrassing lapses as well.
The Boston terror attacks were a failure of a number of systems and not solely Clapper's fault. But there should be answers forthcoming from Clapper, whose job it is to make sure all of the systems are working together and as efficiently as possible. He should be required to provide those answers. His silence is deafening.
April 29, 2013 at 01:51 PM | Permalink
Taxpayers footed the bill for the family Tsarnaev for many years and at least until 2012. But if you want to know how much Massachusetts and other taxpayers shelled out to subsidize the Tsarnaevs' living expenses and education, you can forget it.
Democrat Governor Deval Patrick has shut down all information about their public assistance records, citing the terrorists' "privacy." You read that right.
Despite the distribution of public money to these terrorists, you---the public who paid for all of this---cannot find out what public money went to whom.
"Across the board, state agencies flatly refused to provide information about the taxpayer-funded lifestyle for the 26-year-old man and his brother and accused accomplice Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19," reports the Boston Herald.
EBT card status or spending? No comment.
College aid? Crickets.
Government-paid cellphones? They can’t say.
Taxpayer-subsidized housing? No details on that, sorry.
(Read the entire outrageous Herald story here: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/patrick_administration_refuses_to_release_tsarnaev_brothers )
Taxpayer money. YOUR money. And yet, YOU'RE not entitled to any information as to where your money went.
This is the epitome of leftist madness, and one of many reasons why this country is going to hell.
By the way, if you're not outraged enough, taxpayers are already footing the bill for Dzhokhar's massive and mounting hospital bills. Oh, and we also paid for Tamerlan's attorney when he successfully fought domestic violence charges in 2009.
America. What a country. No wonder why so many terrorists want to come here. Enjoy the taxpayer-funded largesse, then kill the taxpayer.
April 25, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Permalink
Tamarlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar came to the United States when they were boys, refugees from Russia. This country took their family in, gave them asylum, educated them, offered them every opportunity, and, according to the Boston Herald, provided them with taxpayer-funded welfare benefits. Of course we did. Here's how The Herald reported it:
"Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned.
"State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits. Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney has claimed Katherine — who had converted to Islam — was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home.
"In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused brother bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state.
"The news raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money." (Read the entire piece here: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/tamerlan_tsarnaev_got_mass_welfare_benefits )
So America embraced this family as "one of us" and provided them welfare benefits, giving them help and hope, as we, in our deep naivete, believed they would assimilate and love us back.
Instead of love, we got a profound, violent hatred. Their hatred of the U.S., fueled by the Islamic jihad, ended in two deadly terrorist explosions at the Boston Marathon and a hail of bullets that killed one police officer and wounded another while an entire American city was forced into lockdown.
Nice return on our investment, no?
Post-Boston, we need to address a number of glaring and fatal problems, among them: Why didn't the FBI more aggressively pursue Tamarlan after repeated requests and warnings about his radicalism from Russian intelligence? Why did the FBI not visit the Islamic Society of Boston where the brothers often worshipped until 4 days after the bombings? Why weren't our intelligence and law enforcement agencies talking to one another about Tamerlan after all of these red flags went up? After all, tearing down that communications wall so that they COULD talk to each other was a key adopted provision of the 9/11 Commission Report. It's also why we have a Director of National Intelligence---to make sure all of these agencies are communicating. (Of course, the current DNI, James Clapper, is fairly useless.) And, in era in which the federal government and state governments are broke, shouldn't we be dealing far more aggressively on entitlement reform, so that, say, suspected terrorists don't get welfare?
Just a few questions to get us started here, because America definitely needs to start paying closer attention to the "returns" we're getting on our "investments."
April 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM | Permalink
Immediately after the bombings of the London subway system in July 2005, British law enforcement authorities suspected a second bombing wave was coming. They suspected right. When they moved in to the area where the second wave suspects were thought to be hiding, the terrorists came running out with their hands up. They shouted, "We have rights! We have rights!"
Islamists often infiltrate Western societies, using the full array of rights and freedoms at their disposal to undermine those very rights and freedoms. As a result, most of them know our laws, our civil liberties,---our countries---better than we do. And they use that knowledge to full, devastating effect.
There seems to be a trend by the Islamists to work toward and gain citizenship. Major Nidal Malik Hasan was an American citizen and an officer in the U.S. Army, so when he became a full-blown Islamic radical bent on carrying out jihad, most in positions of authority looked the other way despite red flags flying all over the place. The Muslim garb? The speeches full of jihadi and anti-American rhetoric? The business cards that said, "Soldier of Allah?" Not THIS guy! THIS guy wouldn't betray his country. He went on to kill 13 people and wound 29 others in a mass shooting at Fort Hood.
Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani, became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He went on to drive an SUV into Times Square loaded with explosives, and if not for great police work and attentive passers-by, would have proceeded to blow up the Crossroads of the World in New York and kill and maim countless people. He was captured and is now in the criminal justice system as a U.S. citizen.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev claimed not to have any American friends and is now suspected of the murder of one of the few he had in 2011. His application for U.S. citizenship was pending, despite being flagged as a radical Islamist by Russian intelligence, a visit and interrogation by the FBI, a six month-trip to Russia last year, during which he allegedly made visits to the terror hotbeds of Chechnya and Dagestan to meet with Islamist terrorist leaders, yet another appeal by Russia last November to watch him more closely, and having personal social media sites overrun with jihadi and anti-American videos and material. His surviving brother-in-terrorist-arms, Dzhokhar, had already acquired U.S. citizenship, and now enjoys all of the rights and privileges allowed to him.
Islamists come to the West or turn once here, and use our rights, our laws, and our openness against us. They know how to do it, and they do it really well. Citizenship allows them to move in and out of the country and about the country undetected and without raising suspicion. It allows them to appear assimilated, "one of us." It allows them to plan and even carry out plots without ringing alarm bells, at least not right away. And if those attacks do not involve suicide missions, their citizenship affords them the whole array of Constitutional protections when they are caught (ie., Shahzad and Tsarnaev.)
They know this. And they are increasingly using it to their advantage. In the words of the second wave Islamic bombers in London: "We have rights!" Once they become citizens, they do. And that becomes one more powerful weapon in their jihadi arsenal.
April 23, 2013 at 01:10 PM | Permalink
Details about the Boston jihadis who blew up the Boston Marathon, killing three and gravely wounding so many, continue to emerge. Among the disturbing details: red flags were flying around the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the U.S. government were aware of them, and nothing was done. There was a failure to follow up on Tamerlan---a number of times.
The first lapse occurred in 2009 when he was arrested on a domestic battery charge; we could have deported him then but did not. (This should be the first alarm against moving too quickly on the Schumer-Rubio immigration proposal. We can't even deal with what we've got in the country now.) The second lapse was in 2011, when the Russian government asked the FBI to look into him because of his suspected terror ties. The FBI opened a file, then closed it for lack of terrorist evidence. The third lapse came early last year when he went to Russia (specifically, the Islamic terror hotbeds of Chechnya and Dagestan) for 6 months and then was allowed back into the U.S. with nary a second glance (again...immigration reform??)
And then this fourth lapse: Russian intelligence asked the FBI AGAIN a mere 6 months ago (November 2012) to look into this guy because he had met with a top Dagestan Islamic terrorist in a mosque there SIX times.
Here is how the Daily Mail is reporting it:
"Speculation is growing that one of the Boston bombers met a known Jihadist terrorist in 2011 - as it emerged the FBI failed to follow up on a Russian tip that he was seen with an Islamic militant six times.
"On a YouTube account widely believed to belong to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, there are two videos on a playlist called 'terrorists' created five months ago that since have been deleted.
"Both videos appear under the name, 'Amir Abu Dujana rabbanikaly' which is also the name used by Gadzhimurad Dolgatov, a notorious Dagestani terrorist.
"Investigators are pouring over the YouTube account to see if they can confirm whether Tsarnaev had any links with Dolgatov, who was killed by Russian security forces in Makhachkala in December 2012, after a fierce gun battle.
"On Sunday, a Dagistani police official source revealed to NBC News that the Russian internal security service contacted the FBI in November with some questions about Tamerlan and handed over a copy of a case file on him.
"The 26-year-old Chechen, who was living in the U.S. after being granted refugee status in 2002, first caught the eye of authorities after he was spotted meeting with a person involved in the militant Islamic underground movement in Dagestan. They met at a mosque on six occasions, the source said.
"The source told NBC the militant and Tsarnaev disappeared before authorities could speak with them; they added that the FBI never responded."
(Read the Daily Mail's full story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2312496/Tamerlan-Tsarnaev-Russia-asked-FBI-investigate-Boston-bomber-just-6-MONTHS-ago.html#ixzz2RCqS9l6L )
Tamerlan was back in the U.S., and nobody---certainly not the FBI---responded. I don't mean to beat up the FBI here because it was one of several agencies that should have been on this trail, but this terrorist had red flags all over the place and he KEPT falling through the cracks. What happened? We may soon find out. But we do know two things: 1) the FBI was not focused properly on this case, and 2) much of this was driven by the fatal hand of political correctness, which blocks us from seeing the true nature of this threat and those who carry it out. We've got to get rid of the PC crap NOW before more people die because we can't look at radical Islamism directly in the eye and deal with it before it kills.
April 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM | Permalink
We will be all over the Boston terror attacks and the aftermath, including the latest news and updates, plus important analysis and insight. Please be sure to tune in. Saturday 1pm ET on 77 WABC in NY, online at www.WABCRadio.com , and nationwide. Please check the affiliate list on this website to see where and when it airs near you and join us.
April 19, 2013 at 09:47 PM | Permalink
We could have deported one of the terrorists but did not. The other was granted U.S. citizenship.
From Judicial Watch:
"One of the Chechen terrorists who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings could have been deported years ago after a criminal conviction and the other was granted American citizenship on the 11th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
"Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old killed in a wild shootout with police, was a legal U.S. resident who never the less could have been removed from the country after a 2009 domestic violence conviction, according to a Judicial Watch source. That means the Obama administration missed an opportunity to deport Tsarnaev but evidently didn’t feel he represented a big enough threat.
"Adding insult to injury, the other bomber, little brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was rewarded with American Citizenship on September 11, 2012 in Boston, according to JW’s source. The 19-year-old, who is still on the run, was granted asylum in Arlington Virginia on September 27, 2002, JW’s source reveals.
"Years before these Chechen terrorists carried out the Boston Marathon bombings Judicial Watch uncovered critical intelligence documents detailing al Qaeda’s activities in Chechnya, including the creation of a 1995 camp—ordered by Osama bin Laden—to train “international terrorists” to carry out plots against Americans and westerners."
Read the complete story here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2013/04/boston-bomber-could-have-been-deported-after-2009-conviction/
April 19, 2013 at 12:12 PM | Permalink