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Terrorism, Law, And The Boston Bombings

Super attorney Alan Dershowitz on terrorism, American law, and the Boston bombing.

Boston Police Superintendent William Evans, right, speaks as Boston Police Lt. Robert Merner listens during a news conference in Boston, Tuesday, April 23, 2013 as he describes the scene in Watertown, Mass. where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured hiding in a backyard boat. (AP)

Boston Police Superintendent William Evans, right, speaks as Boston Police Lt. Robert Merner listens during a news conference in Boston, Tuesday, April 23, 2013 as he describes the scene in Watertown, Mass. where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured hiding in a backyard boat. (AP)

Alan Dershowitz has been the star attorney in the middle of some of the biggest legal cases in the mega-media age.  OJ Simpson, Patty Hearst, Mike Tyson, Claus von Bulow.  Robert Chesney has been in the middle of the country’s legal debate over handling terrorism and terrorists.

Now they’re both paying close attention to the Boston Marathon bombing and the handling of surviving suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev.  The charges of using a weapon of mass destruction, and much more.

This hour, On Point:  Alan Dershowitz and Robert Chesney on the bombing and the law.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Alan Dershowitz, lawyer and professor at Harvard Law School. (@alandersh)

Robert Chesney, lawyer and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: Legal Questions Riddle Boston Marathon Case — “Still, there is not yet any public evidence suggesting that Mr. Tsarnaev was part of Al Qaeda or its associated forces — the specific enemy with which the United States is engaged in an armed conflict. And some legal specialists also doubted that the Constitution would permit holding a suspect like Mr. Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant. ‘This is an American citizen being tried for a crime that occurred domestically, and there is simply no way to treat him like an enemy combatant — not even close,’ said Alan M. Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and seasoned defense lawyer.”

Lawfare Blog (Robert Chesney): Tsarnaev Has Been Mirandized by the Court: What Is the Next Interrogation Issue? — “It is also possible that he will not cooperate.  In that case, the million dollar question becomes whether the government would attempt to conduct interrogations notwithstanding an invocation of the right to remain silent or a request not to be questioned absent the presence of an attorney.  One hopes it need not come to this.  If it does, there will be fierce criticism whichever path the government takes (and, presumably, much litigation if the government does attempt an intelligence-focused interrogation without counsel).”

Slate: Why Should I Care That No One’s Reading Dzhokhar Tsarnaev His Miranda Rights? — “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not hear his Miranda rights before the FBI questions him Friday night. He will have to remember on his own that he has a right to a lawyer, and that anything he says can be used against him in court, because the government won’t tell him. This is an extension of a rule the Justice Department wrote for the FBI—without the oversight of any court—called the ‘public safety exception.’”

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  • 1Brett1

    Neocons will be plenty disappointed in this show…after all, if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is called an “enemy combatant” it makes him sound more like a super-duper al Qaeda terrorist and not just a garden-variety, self-radicalized terrorist.

    If a terrorist blows you up in the woods and no neocon is around to call him an enemy combatant, does the bomb still go boom?

    • Ray in VT

      Maybe it depends upon what kind of terrorist he is.  Is he from a white supremacist or anti-abortion group?

      • 1Brett1

        Gregg’s probably not awake yet, but he’ll be along soon and say something about how Muslims are much more responsible for terrorist attacks than Christians, or that McVeigh was NOT a Christian, or some such irrelevant nonsense….of course, to be fair a surrogate neocon may very well step in before then. 

        I turned on Fox this morning…they are really ratcheting up their rhetoric, from everything about how incompetent the FBI has been, to maybe a cover-up or underplaying of al Qaeda’s role, to how the government bankrolled the brothers terroristic activities (Welfare), to (and this is a new one) how, because he was Mirandized, agents questioning him claim he shut up and all of the great intel they were getting stopped suddenly, completely.

        It’s a shame that a national tragedy can become a propaganda tool so easily.   

        • Ray in VT

          At least Bret Baier has not been feeding Uncle Glenn’s Saudi conspiracy theory:

          http://news.yahoo.com/glenn-beck-conspiracy-theory-whats-evidence-202312996.html

          Here’s a great quote from the story:

          “But that’s why conspiracy theories persist: it’s easy to dream them up, and hard to disprove them, especially to believers.”

          I really irked some people by stating that more deadly domestic terror attacks were carried out by racist, anti-government or anti-abortion groups than Muslim extremists.  Apparently some seem to regard that as an attack on conservatives, although I wonder where they would put radicalized jihadists on the grand spectrum of politics if not on the conservative side.  I think that they would certainly not call themselves liberal.  I actually found it pretty funny to get a few people worked up.

          I just am really annoyed by cable news.  They need to keep eyeballs, so they’ll blab on and on, even if there is nothing new to report, and I feel that a lot of it is really dumbed down, because you don’t want to confuse people with complex facts and the uncertainties of what is not known regarding an ongoing investigation.

          • 1Brett1

            Some of them on Fox haven’t been too bad, but Hannity, Greta, all of the stooges on the panel show, and of course the morning show, not to mention many of the guests, have been particularly ridiculous lately. I shouldn’t single out Fox because all of the cable networks engage in crap of some sort, but Fox’s rhetoric seems especially excessive regarding this story.  

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I disagree about “don’t single Fox out”; I hit my limit on Fox for the week back on Monday. Their “background noise” for this subject is obvious and will actually destroy viewers’ brain cells.

            For my money, The Daily Show nailed it. Again.

            Aasif Mandvi: “They’re Muslim, but they’re not Muslim Muslim. They’re actual Caucasians! Nobody’s gonna look at me funny on the street because of my skin color.”(paraphrased)

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s sick.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            If it were anyone else I’d suggest to look at the clip yourself.

            But I think Mandvi’s take on how people in this country whose skin was a certain shade of brown, whose ancestry ranged from  Morrocco to Mongolia, were subject to being looked at with unfounded fear after 9/11, is spot on.

            Ordinary Americans could barely handle “Shia and Sunni”. Now two brothers whose family is actually from the Caucasian Mountains are changing Americans’ recognition of what a Muslim can look like.

          • Gregg Smith

            No one cares about the color of their skin.

          • Ray in VT

            Except maybe for those who want to racially profile in order to screen for terrorists.

          • Don_B1

            @rayinvt:disqus @1Brett1:disqus 

            You are absolutely correct in characterizing Muslim fundamentalism, out of which an even smaller group takes up terrorism as conservative, just as Christian and Jewish fundamentalists are “conservative.”

            They are trying to invoke and bring back some earlier era as a panacea for fixing problems they see in today’s society or just a reaction to frustrations they find in their lives.

            An interesting article from The New York Times Magazine of 10 years ago is here:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/23/magazine/23GURU.html

            Most of what Paul Berman wrote stands up today and a little does not. But an interesting read.

          • Gregg Smith

            Coupla’ things. First and foremost, Fox is an arm of the Republican party. They lie, distort and massage the facts to fit their right wing agenda. It is proven their audience is dumber than the average liberal as is the GOP in general. So there’s that, which seems a good enough argument to refute most anything when the left uses it.

            Here is the complete blog post from Mr. Baier:

            http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/special-report-bret-baier/blog/2013/04/23/saudi-questioned-boston-bombing-bret-explains-details-0

            He does not explain how the Saudi’s was pegged with the 212 3B classification or how it could have been revoked. That doesn’t happen.
            He stressed the administrations side of the story as good reporters (Fox notwithstanding) do. He didn’t  really endorse it though and he also pointed out a huge discrepancy between what Napolitano said and what Lindsey Graham said. He presented the “according to the administration” view while he noted they were not consistent. 

            Beck read the transcript and discussed it detail yesterday. 

          • Ray in VT

            Wow, it sounds like you really have a low opinion of Fox News.  What does that say, then, about the people that Fox let go because they’re too nuts for them?

            How do you “know” that “that doesn’t happen” regarding the paperwork?  Beck says so, but he’s pretty regularly full of it, although I know that you trust him.  Glenn Beck also says that such paperwork is tantamount to charging someone with premeditated murder.  That does not seem to be the position of the FBI, which has stated that he is not a suspect.  Again, conspiracies are easy to make and hard to disprove, because the true believers will hold on no matter what.  I’m still waiting for it to come to light that Obama blackmailed Patraeus with prior knowledge of his affair.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yea they let Beck go because he was crazy. That’s it.

            The classification must be agreed upon by all departments 100% or it can’t happen. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Napolitano said he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, everybody was. What made him different?

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe the same thing that got those guys on the front page of the Post.  They’re all darker than a white plastic bag, but I’m sure that that has nothing to do with it.

          • Gregg Smith

            I thought the NYP guys were white. So DHS is racist?

          • Ray in VT

            I would probably have guessed that at least one of them was from North Africa or the Near East.  The FBI was looking at them, but they weren’t flashing their pictures everywhere, especially in an article talking about how they had suspects, and especially since those guys were not, at that point, suspects, such as how the Saudi student also was not a suspect.

    • William

       The really depressed people are on the Left. They were praying, wishing, the bomber(s) were white and then wham!. Another Muslim terrorist and on welfare and here via refugee status.

      • 1Brett1

        Well, William, and this is simply a style choice/criticism, but, wouldn’t it sound more effective if you said “YET another Muslim terrorist…on Welfare…” This gives even greater dramatic effect.

        • William

           Or you can say “Any surprise the bombers are Muslim terrorists?

          • Gregg Smith

            Maybe they were incited by a stupid video, BS like that has been fed and swallowed whole before.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe they had ties to Saddam.  That got pushed and believed for a lot longer than the couple of weeks until the video/protest related intelligence was disproved.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Meanwhile, nobody believes that a YouTube video was behind Benghazi, but filmmaker Nakoula is still in jail.

            http://althouse.blogspot.com/2012/11/an-interview-with-nakoula-basseley.html

          • Ray in VT

            I believe that that is because he used a computer/the Internet, which was a violation of the terms of his parole for his previous fraud conviction.

          • Gregg Smith

            Hillary shamelessly told the parents of a slain SEAL they would not rest until the videographer was in jail.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, they probably just went back and made up his probation terms so that they could send the storm troopers after him.

          • Gregg Smith

            While they throw out the charges against the new black panthers.

          • Ray in VT

            The Bush admin chose to charge them with lesser offenses, and the IG said that they acted within the bounds of professional discretion.  It’s still more than the Minutemen got.  They probably also let the ricin guy go so that people would stop saying that the Obama admin is racist.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – perhaps your far-flung “tentacles” missed it, but “Maybe they were incited by a stupid video” is part of the “evidence” being bandied about against the Tsarnaev brothers.

            We hear and read “Look at those “jihadi videos Tamerlan Tsarnaev
            posted on his YouTube account! He was watching ‘radical Muslim
            fundamentalist’ videos on the Internet!”

            etc.

            Is that the “BS like that” you refer to? Please explain.

            Is your theory of the case that The Tsarnaevs were “incited by” something else? Do you instead perhaps believe that the simple fact that they believe(d) in Islam is sufficient, and because of their religion, they were inherently “incited” already, and had no need to be “incited by” anything? Or something else entirely?

            Not trying to put words into your fingers, just asking you to explain your theory of the case.

          • Gregg Smith

            I was obviously referring to Benghazi, I’m sure you got it. When the rubber meets the road, I blame the murderers and no one else. I reject the notion a belief in Islam makes you inherently dangerous. 

      • Don_B1

        The fact that many terrorists are Muslim does NOT mean that many Muslims are terrorists.

        Remember that around 40% of Muslims living in the U.S. are Blacks whose families have lived here for generations but have converted from a Black Christian church to Islam. Insulting them will not get Republicans elected though it will undoubtedly get racist white supremacists and other xenophobics excited.

        As the Republican Party is seen for what it is, a group willing to speak the most unspeakable in thrashing around for support in a declining white population, it will turn off even other, less radical, Republican voters.

        The gun lobby is talking up a storm indicating that they will have no or little compunction to go on a terrorist campaign if they see no way to preserve their “unfettered freedom” irrespective of how many must die in domestic disputes or gang violence.

        Fortunately things have not gone that far yet, but the way Republican and some Democratic Party politicians are pandering to their fantasies, those inclinations are being inculcated to this country’s future detriment.

      • mozartman

        Just like the conservatives were really depressed when OK City was blown up.  They were quick to point out to some foreign groups, likely Muslims   and then WHAM! A white, Christian racist guy who served in the US military.  What an opportunity missed. 

        Same happened in Norway recently – the first word at Fox and Co. was that this was the work of some Muslim, possibly immigrant to Norway.  And then WHAM! again.  A white, Christian racist guy.  Dang, another opportunity lost. Must be depressing on your side. 

        I am a liberal and I am not depressed.  I am sad for the victims but this story and the reaction to it has been blown so out of proportion that it’s ridiculous.  Not even NPR can stop beating that dead horse some more. That says something!  The idiots at Fox, well, what do you expect.  But NPR?  

  • Gregg Smith

    .

    • 1Brett1

      Maybe some people in Boston might have been Muslims who don’t deserve their rights or should be treated like possible enemy combatants? They had to violate everybody else’s Constitutional rights to get to those potentially al Qaeda terrorists. After all, as you say, we don’t yet know if others were involved…by any means necessary, and other cliches, that sort of thing.

      The current suspect is an American citizen…oh, no, what if he had wanted to form a well-regulated militia? The Constitutional conundrums are staggering!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         He may not be a citizen for long.  There is a process to revoke someone’s naturalized citizenship.  He even has the option to renounce his citizenship.

        • 1Brett1

          Why spend time and resources revoking his citizenship? 

          Why are you guys so anxious to have him not be an American citizen, tried in a military tribunal, seen as an enemy combatant and spend his sentence in Guantanamo? Maybe you’d like to see us risk his being deported instead of serving in a US prison or be put to death through a death sentence?

           

          • Jasoturner

            Could it be that the self-styled patriots calling for a military tribunal don’t have faith in the American justice system? 

            That doesn’t sound too patriotic to me…

          • 1Brett1

            All of that stuff about military tribunals, “enemy combatant” and the like is getting old. US Federal courts have done a much better job in getting convictions of terrorists than military tribunals have, and the prison system has done a better job of keeping prisoners held than military prisons have. These “patriots” are trying to make it sound as though Mirandizing someone is wrong and ruins the judicial process. It’s all such nonsense propagated by neocon media.

          • Gregg Smith

            Who is calling for a military tribunal?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            The voices in his head.

          • Ray in VT

             mAnn Coulter.

          • Gregg Smith

            Wow, I didn’t  infer any of that from WFTC, it certainly wasn’t written.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Thank you.

          • Gregg Smith

            The hallmark of the left it to tell you what you think then criticize you for thinking it.

          • 1Brett1

            Gregg’s pat response #37

          • Gregg Smith

            You said WFTC was “anxious to have him not be an American citizen, tried in a military tribunal, seen as an enemy combatant and spend his sentence in Guantanamo?”

          • 1Brett1

            read my reply to Worried. Why should we spend time and resources on revoking his citizenship? Or am I putting words in your mouth?

          • John_in_Amherst

             revoking citizenship and rendition to Gitmo opens the possibility that the guy could be tortured, which seems to be an underlying motive for many on the right.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m not advocating the revocation and  I think prosecution in Federal courts is appropriate.  But thanks anyhow for trying to put words in my mouth.

            Revoking citizenship is a symbolic action.  It is probably just an administrative function AFTER conviction.  In my view, he certainly doesn’t deserve citizenship.

          • 1Brett1

            It was just a question; I wasn’t accussing you of saying/advocating anything.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes you did. Your question assumed the position.

          • 1Brett1

            And he answered that he (unlike other neocons) wasn’t making that point. That satisfies me (although you necons talk so much about revoking the bomber’s citizenship)…Didn’t you mention that his citizenship should be revoked yesterday?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Interesting question.  I’m not a lawyer but it would seem it wouldn’t be an illegal search and seizure because they are searching for a third party.  Also, there might be a public safety exception — aka ‘a hot pursuit’.

      I heard that they confiscated some guns in the search zone because they didn’t want to give the bomber the opportunity to steal them.  I was wondering if they gave these gun owners the opportunity to leave the area after they were disarmed and left defenseless.

      • 1Brett1

        Sources for the guns being rounded up?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Very good question.

          There was a caller to a local radio show that ‘claimed’ that this happened to a friend.  The host challenged listeners to call IF it happened to them too.  I didn’t listen to the entire show but I didn’t hear anyone else call in so this might be a one-off or maybe didn’t happen.

          Imagine having to live through this:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LrbsUVSVl8

    • AC

      i know a few people in watertown, none of which had any problems opening their doors. & i think the ‘lock-down’ was a suggestion, i dont think technically that the lock-down was ‘mandatory’ because they would have had to declare ‘marshall law’ or something? how does that work? what is the protocol?

      • ToyYoda

        I live in Boston.  Boston and several other municipalities were in ‘shelter-in’ mode:  Allston, Boston, Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, and Watertown.

        It’s just a suggestion to stay in doors.  People were still biking, walking in parks.  But, you could be stopped, questioned, and asked for ID.

        Personally, I thought during (and after) that the whole shutdown ordeal was an excessive display of force, and like Gregg said, they only caught him after the suggested shletering was lifted.  I can understand shutting down Watertown, but Boston?

        • AC

          yes. they even allowed us to go home by about 2ish.
          i think the worry was ‘is it part of a larger event that may or may not unfold’.
          & to be honest, with car chases and pipes bombs being thrown about, it was the only way to hope people stayed away….not that people are dim-witted, but they have a tendency not to realize the risks…..

          • ToyYoda

            “us”.  I thought you were a geologist living out in the midwest or upstate NY.  I didn’t know you lived in one of the shelter-in areas.

          • AC

            nope. its just in my field you have to travel a lot. kind of hard to bring the mtn to me, if you know what i mean!!

      • 1Brett1

        As far as transportation shutting down, businesses  and schools closing, and people being asked not to go anywhere or to stay inside, isn’t that similar to, say, what might happen in a dangerously severe storm of some sort? Those who keep using the term “martial law” are using yet another aspect of this tragedy as a political platform of some kind.

        • Don_B1

          @1Brett1:disqus @anafrag:disqus @ToyYoda:disqus 

          Exactly! Just about everyone was happy to stay indoors and avoid interfering with the search as well as staying out of possible gun fire (though the rounds expended did penetrate a few homes).

          Undoubtedly there were some who “went stir-crazy” and complained. I hope the person who got upset with a relative and reported their “capture by an intruder” gets to pay a big fine for taking up valuable police time responding to a false alarm.

          • Gregg Smith

            Well, it’s a good thing one guy decided to go outside and found the guy.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Col Bob Bateman is worth a read on what to do.

          I mean, the guy’s been in combat in the last decade, and nobody wants to wish this on any American neighborhood, but he’s the kind of guy I’d like in my proverbial foxhole should I be anywhere this happens.

          Hint: A bathtub provides more protection than an AR-15 with whatever max clip.

    • John_in_Amherst

       The geographic scope of the lock-down was troubling.  After the fire fight, the police knew they were after a guy escaping on foot who was leaving a blood trail as he fled.  (I still haven’t heard why police dogs lost the trail…) The search area, which was where he was found was 20 blocks.  Yet the entire Boston metro area was “locked down” – 4M people.  Hell, why not half the state?  It is tempting to conclude there was more than the tactics of the search involved.

  • Fredlinskip

    I don’t understand why current administration has not scrambled to release copious amounts of faulty information to build a case to invade Chechnya. 
       We know where the bombers are from, after all.
       Or better yet why are we not using it as excuse to invade somewhere else? 
    How about Venezuala? We don’t like them much, do we? 
    Or how about Mexico?- this woukld go long way towards solving  immigration problem too!
     WHERE IS THE PATRIOTISM WE HAD AFTER 9/11? 
    SURELY we can distort the truth, lie to American people, so the Haliburton’s of world can receive no bid contracts.
       We’re talking American jobs here.
     
      Surely we honor the dead and wounded by entering into fanatical misguidance of the country. 
      Are we not men?
     Where are the Neocons when you need them??

    • 1Brett1

      I know! It’s like we’re not even trying to be blindly patriotic anymore…maybe the neocons are just jaded, dulled from overwork?

    • nj_v2

      Time for some Political Science

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGO42gvCSPI

    • Don_B1

      Just when the world was beginning to see President Obama as an extension of President G.W. Bush in using government power possibly beyond Constitutional limits in the “War on Terrorism,” along comes this incident to show the stark difference.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Point 1
    So, what is the problem ? Remember, ANYTHING you say can and WILL be used against you !
    Point 2
    If this man is found guilty, does anyone believe he will survive in prison ?

    Personal comment : In my life I have lived in some rough neighborhoods, and worked in very many others. I have worked side by side with convicted murders and felons. Even as a child I was assaulted by a gang of older boys, throat cut, and beaten. I do not, will not, and refuse to live in fear. I am also very tired of the press and government officials trying to create a constant climate of fear. What kind of man would I be if I were to capitulate to fear-mongers ?

    Try to live right and do right and life will probably be, alright. I am not attempting to downplay these tragic events, as so many have suffered needlessly and unfairly but am trying to see these events in an historical light. There have always been times of much needless suffering. Therefore, I choose to continue to work and pray for the transformation of mankind and the elimination of suffering.

    • Don_B1

      He, if convicted (likely), will be convicted in Federal Court and will go to a Federal prison, where the type of prisoner control of the institution rampant in state prisons (because of overcrowding, etc.). He will not be in anywhere near the danger (consider the Blind Sheik and El Sayyid Nosair, both in Federal prisons for years serving life terms).

  • AC

    hoping not to offend anyone, but i think it’s time normal muslims admit they’ve got a ‘westboro babtist’ faction amongst them and stand up and block them…
    http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/439213575.html
    http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/medford/2013/04/human_shield_formed_at_krystle.html

    seriously. come on & throw these people out of your religion – they’re going to ruin it for you!!!!

    • Jasoturner

      You’re not offending anyone.  If you read about the Crusades, you’ll see that religion and blood have mingled for centuries.  To not acknowledge that in deference to political correctness would be silly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

      It’s true that religion is easily hijacked by those with an angry, zealous, and often political agenda. And it’s also true in almost all religions that more sensible, moderate voices are often drowned out. But, as a purely practical matter, just how do you throw someone out of a religion in any meaningful way (i.e., one that would make them change their behavior)?

    • nj_v2

      You mean like how the “normal” Christians have gotten the “Westboro Baptist” types “out of” Christianity?

      What more would you have them do?

      http://www.wral.com/triangle-muslims-condemn-boston-attacks-worry-about-backlash/12361639/
      Triangle Muslims condemn Boston attacks, worry about backlash

      http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-21/news/ct-met-muslim-bombing-backlash-20130421_1_chicago-muslims-kareem-irfan-suspects
      Chicago Muslims condemn actions of Boston bombing suspects

      http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/24/5366701/sacramento-areas-slavic-muslim.html
      Sacramento area’s Slavic, Muslim groups condemn Boston Marathon bombings

      http://kurzman.unc.edu/islamic-statements-against-terrorism/
      Islamic Statements Against Terrorism

      • Ray in VT

        I guess that those are some that will not have to ship out, as they have shaped up.  ;)

      • AC

        you’re absolutely right; but aside from this, i can’t help but think that the more extreme elements either end up w/recruits they realize are mistakes or approach recruits who reject them, yet sympathize. how else can they have this supposedly super secret network that allows this stuff to happen?
        it just seems odd (and should be improbable), that ‘some’ who are approached & reject the idea, don’t open their mouths…

    • John_in_Amherst

       Religion has been twisted and used by “leaders” of every faith throughout history for nefarious purposes that have little or nothing to do with religion.  The socio-political misuse of the need humans have to connect to the spiritual web that binds us all usually has roots in economics, though sometimes it is simply the result of individuals obsessed with power.  The problem is not rooted in religion.  It is rooted in the willingness of some to pervert religion.

    • Don_B1

      The Imam of his mosque here had arguments with him about his growing radicalization that led to his no longer attending a mosque here.

      It is hard to blame anyone for not being aware of the efforts of Muslims in the U.S. to keep the adherents (self-proclaimed, at least) of the Islamic faith from taking up the gross distortions of the faith espoused by Al Qaeda and apparently by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his brother Dzhokar at least to some extent, and others.

      The MSM sees little reward for educating the public about the nature of terrorists and who is likely to be attracted to it because it is a difficult, not-well-understood and controversial area of psychology. And finally the public sees little reward in knowing it. So the majority of the U.S. public goes on living in their unrecognized biased world until an event like this brings them out to the forefront.

      But some understanding might come from the link I provided above:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/23/magazine/23GURU.html

      where the path to such a terrorist is laid out in fairly stark terms. There are some parallels there with Tamerlan’s path, though they are far from identical.

      Note the statements by Governor Duval Patrick from the beginning contained well-crafted segments against stereotyping the culprits in this case, from when who they were was not known to when who they were was known.

      While most will recognize your intent as not intended to be a prejudice, they will note your (and all too many others’) ignorance and the reasons for it, and hopefully excuse the expression of what should not have had to be expressed. They should hold the majority of the MSM responsible in the main and human nature in general.

      But it may be a benefit in disguise as the efforts of Muslims to deal with their radicals, while obviously not perfect (what human endeavor is?) could well be better than that of Christians who have spawned abortion doctor killers (at least three), the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bomber and Westboro Baptist Church which demonstrates against burials of U.S. Armed Forces at their funerals.

      • AC

        are Imams in general asked to report their own congregations members they think may be heading down a dark path to authority? that would be a very difficult decision to make, i think….

    • J__o__h__n

      I agree but the disgusting Westboro Baptists haven’t murdered anyone. 

  • AC

    ok. finally had some time to participate today but disqus is beyond annoying. forget it.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Sorry to read that.

  • Jasoturner

    Can we please disabuse people of the notion that a pressure cooker filled with gunpowder and shrapnel constitutes a “weapon of mass destruction”?  It’s actually a “bomb” and has been known as such for over 100 years.  WMDs originally meant (I seem to recall) chemical, biological and nuclear weapons that could cause huge, population shifting damage to the target.

    Yeah, these guys were awful, but wrapping them up in terms of WMDs and generalized terrorism greatly overstates their import and simply feeds the media appetite for all things scary and terror related.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

      True, and if a bomb of this sort is now to be considered a “weapon of mass destruction,” then surely we also have to consider an automatic weapon used to mow down people in a movie theater to be a “weapon of mass destruction.” After all, the Aurora shooter killed a larger mass of people than the Boston bombers. His weapon was, therefore, far more effective in wreaking mass destruction.

      • Jasoturner

        I like your logic.  Guaranteed to annoy some of the locals…

        • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

          Unfortunately, logic never counts for much on the On Point comments board. 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      The correct term of art is “destructive device.” 

      • Jasoturner

        Dostoyevsky used “bomb”.  Good enough for me.

    • nj_v2

      Points taken, except that “the media” aren’t the agency responsible for the labeling.

      Fear is an important tool of the repressor…

      “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor clob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people con’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. 

      But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parlianment, or a communist dictatorship….Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

      —Hermann Goering, at the Nurember Trials before he was sentenced to death

      “We need a common enemy to unite us.”

      —Condoleeza Rice, March 2000

      “Scare the hell out of the American people.”

      —Senator Arthur Vandenbur, telling President Truman what he needed to do in order to tax the American people to pay for the weapons and covert activities of the U.S. National Security State that was being planned, to destroy the Russian Communist State

      “Our government has kept us in a perputual state of fear—kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor—with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it…”
      —General Douglas Mac Arthur, 1957

      • John_in_Amherst

        Fear is used by both the left and the right, but fear of the unknown does seem to favor conservatives’ agenda of strictly controlling society.  It is ironic that conservatives stress personal responsibility while seeking to limit personal choices.

    • Gregg Smith

      “WMDs”? Weapons of has destructions? Sorry it’s a bugaboo of mine.

      I get your point but mass destruction is mass destruction.

      • JobExperience

         If the threshold of calling something a WMD is kept low enough then Gregg’s Roundup sprayer could be included. And Grandma’s baking powder is a slowmotion explosive.

        • Gregg Smith

          If someone kills 3 and maims hundreds with round-up then yea, I guess so.

    • Don_B1

      I cannot give the reasons, but it is the F.B.I. that defined the use of an explosive device in a crowd as using a “weapon of mass destruction.”

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Professor Dershowitz previously supported torture.  Would he support it in this case as an investigatory tool?

    http://www.alandershowitz.com/publications/docs/torturewarrants.html

    • 1Brett1

      That is a good question to ask him, RWB.

      • jefe68

        Would torture not be considered a from of coercion. Which would make the evidence gained from it inadmissible one would think.

        • JobExperience

           Let’s waterboard Dershowitz to obtain his hidden opinion.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m down with it as long as we don’t torture him.

        • 1Brett1

          I didn’t mean that, just that I was curious what Dershowitz’s opinion would be in this case. He seemed to indicate that he feels the current approach of normal prosecution is proper.

  • alsordi

    Terrorism and Law ??

    Let us all make a huge effort to stop terrorism and gain world peace by creating a  long overdue independent commission to investigate how two 707s jets demolished three large skyscrapers into dust.   As painful and disappointing as it may be,  let’s prosecute the elected officials, neocons, and conspirators involved.

    The USA has lost its bearing and moral legitimacy in the warm and fuzzy stories and the patriotic ceremonies.   Lets look at real evidence and scientific facts.  Let’s refuse to have these media masters continue to distract us from the truth that the most of the rest of the world can clearly see.  

     

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      And a member of the 911 Truthers chimes in.

      • alsordi

        The elephant is still in the room, storm troopers in armored vehicles invade suburban homes, while Americans are lulled by shmarmy stories, bagpipes and political speeches,. 

        The Iraq War is a war crime yet to be prosecuted.  9-11 is another unresolved crime.  But let’s hear more about this handler called “Misha”.

    • TyroneJ

      The “scientific facts” of the 757′s (not 707′s) hijacked on 9/11 and flown into the World Trade Center have never been challenged by competent scientists & engineers because the official narrative is fully consistent with the evidence. Pretending otherwise does not change anything.

      • alsordi

        For some reason the US government and the MEDIA will not allow a challenge.

        such as is demanded by:  AE911truth.org  

        Actually the scientific facts are overwhelming and thousands of architect, engineers and scientists have produced comprehensive and factual evidence.   The NIST report is incomplete, inconsistent and full of flaws.

        • TyroneJ

          The operative word was “competent”. I’m a professor yet I know that a huge number of people with degrees are not competent in the fields they hold those degrees. I can not only find people with degrees in the sciences and engineering who believe all sorts of nonsense ranging from your 911 conspiracies through creationism through alien conspiracies, it’s not hard to find idiots who believe in all three despite the dissonance.

          Your own statements are self-contradictory. You claim there’s a conspiracy to suppress what you claim is “the truth”, yet there’s no shortage of websites pushing your “truth” and just about any other brand of nonsense.

          • alsordi

            The government official story is incompetent and the cognitive dissonance is yours.

            I am not a creationist,  I do not believe in UFOs and aliens, nor cropcircles,  but I have read the facts and believe Iraq war and 911 was indeed a conspiracy.

          • TyroneJ

             Yet every “fact” you claim to know about 911 ultimately came from US authorities or “the media”. No one else had access.

          • alsordi

            You are wrong.  The official govt story, which is hidden truths and lies, comes from the MEDIA.  The facts are fully accessible elsewhere. 

            You may need to brush up on your chemistry and physics to understand the truth about 911.

          • JobExperience

            Wanna buy some thermite real cheap? The FBI has it on special this week.

          • Don_B1

            Tyrone, I applaude your efforts, but people who live for their pet conspiracy theory are unconvertible in a forum like this; I know from having to deal with two within my own family.

            I suspect even a good psychiatrist practicing cognitive therapy would have great difficulty changing their mind.

            I have often wondered if there are some common elements to being a conspiracy theorist and being a fundamentalist terrorist, the difference certainly the extent to which the individual will go.

      • alsordi

        whatever … “two jets” turned three skyscrapers in to dust and molten metal and entered the pentagon leaving a only a small hole in the facade.

        My point being is that only patriotic americans will believe the official govt story of these two bombers.  After 911 and Iraq, most of the world does not believe anything that the USA says.

        • 1Brett1

          I lived an 1/8th of a mile from the Pentagon; my office was a 16th of a mile. Many (literally hundreds) witnesses around Arlington and Pentagon City saw the plane flying low and some saw it crashing into the building itself.

          • alsordi

            Very funny Brett,   if you live 1/8th of a mile from the Pentagon,  you are probably on the Federal dole and wear your top secret clearance badge around your neck like everyone else in that area.   

            You and anyone else in the Pentagon’s back yard, who “claims” to have see a plane (when not even realistic pieces of it are found on the ground).are the last one’s to be believed. 

            BTW  Got any other friends who found the hijackers undamaged passports lying on the ground ?? 

          • 1Brett1

            You truthers are all alike. No, I wasn’t working for the Feds. There were hundreds of eyewitness accounts, including my neighbor who was a retired old woman at home…and, no, she wasn’t a CIA operative or whatever such nonsense you may want to counter this with.

        • Don_B1

          Certainly this erosion of trust, begun with the Nixon administration’s lying and culminating in the most dishonest administration, that of President George W. Bush, is a blight on this country’s political institutions, but it should not be a cover for the huge errors that are the pillars of salt foundation of the 9/11 conspiracy people.

          • 1Brett1

            Nixon sure did destroy a lot of trust.

      • 1Brett1

        I admire your desire to steer talk away from nonsense conspiracy theories, but these people refuse to see anything but their conspiracies. It doesn’t matter how many facts they are met with. 

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Are you agreeing that 9/11 was an inside job?

          • JobExperience

            Well, it has never been proven that it wasn’t.

          • Gregg Smith

            Popular Mechanics proved it, not that to needed to be proven.

          • alsordi

            Popular Mechanics is Main Stream media, and their coverup explantion of 911, was blown away by the AE911 group, as well as other extremely qualified experts. 

          • 1Brett1

            Reasonable people can rely on the Pop Mech investigation, but nutters dismiss that out of hand.

            See below!

          • 1Brett1

            Not at all…how would you possibly even consider I might be?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            My apologies I misunderstoud what you were refering to when you spoke of conspiracy theories.

  • 1Brett1

    What’s funny is that I’ve not heard one peep from any neocon about the guns the boys used in their crimes. There has been a lot of talk from the neocon contigent about how these little “Muslim extremist terrorists” should never have enjoyed any of the freedoms and programs Americans do, yet not a single one has asked, “did the brothers acquire their guns legally, with thorough background checks?” Not even a soapbox chest-beating about how the brothers should NOT have had 2nd Amendment rights!! WEAK… 

    • paul

      It was reported that neither were licensed in Cambridge. I’m not sure the older brother can even get licensed in Mass as a permanent resident. And even if they had been licensed and background checked through the FBI, they would have passed since neither had any convictions or mental health commitments. The older brother even cleared his own previous FBI investigation.

      • http://twitter.com/Givemeliberty92 Patrick Henry

        permanent resident aliens can get FID and LTC in Massachusetts after the 1970 statute has been overturned by a federal court in 2011. 

        suspect 2 could have obtained only an FID, but he never applied for one, and would have been prohibited to obtain large capacity rifles, pistols or revolvers until age 21, when he could have applied for a LTC-A

        but the discretionary power of the chief of police enshrined by MGL gun laws would have disqualified suspect 1 from obtaining a permit because of a previous arrest for assault and battery. conviction is not required in the eyes of the chief of police (of cambridge, in this case). that is the law in Massachusetts.

      • 1Brett1

        Thanks, Paul. If what you say is accurate , that is what I was getting at: some information about that aspect of their criminality, as they used a gun, ostensibly, in the commission of a couple of crimes. A few on this forum have suggested neither brother should have enjoyed any rights of Americans, yet those same people have said nothing about the brothers possessing guns.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I checked withe Neo-Neocon but she didn’t seem to comment on that. But she has a post about this marking the end of gun control.

      http://neoneocon.com/2013/04/24/somehow-methinks-that/

      • 1Brett1

        My point is different than neo-neocon’s. I was getting at perhaps the bomber getting guns without a background check legally, or getting them illegally.

    • TyroneJ

      That’s because there was only one gun, a 9mm handgun. They failed to get the MIT officers gun, and it now turns out that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed when he was in the boat. The overwhelming majority of the “200+ rounds” that Deval Patrick referred to came from the officers guns, not the bombers.

      • jefe68

        I read this as well. It’s not been substantiated however. But this kind of overwhelming use of force is not uncommon these days when a cop is killed. Nor when the police get a call of shots fired.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          It is of increasing concern. Over wrought officers and heavy handed tactics are never good policing.  Too many people have been “SWAT-ed” in hopes of instigating a “murder-by-cop.”   

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatting

          • Don_B1

            Just a year or so in NYC, police pursuing a man who had just shot someone (or more) at a business (domestic dispute?) fired multiple shots outside a Fifth Avenue store, injuring seven innocent pedestrians, I believe (no time to check exact number).

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Yes, the murder in the Empire State Building. It is unaceptable to me that they acted so carelessly.  If a citizen had done so much harm they would be used as proof that “ordinary” people should not own guns.   

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Someone played a police scanner clip yesterday on the radio indicating some of the rounds were rubber bullets.  Again — unsubstantiated.

      • 1Brett1

        My point was that neocons talk about not restricting Americans freedoms but they would not touch the idea that the bomber either legally got a gun without a background check or that he can be charged with getting a gun illegally.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       I’ve heard the question asked but not answered.  I think the working assumption is they got the gun illegally — like  most other criminals.

      • 1Brett1

        You hear a lot of things…any of your ilk mentioned it on this forum? But, anyway, let us assume the guns they had were gotten illegally. We can then add to the list: four counts of murder, injuring 250 people, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, possession of an illegal firearm, and possession of an illegal firearm in the commission of a crime.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           My ilk says OK.

  • madnomad554

    Ever since that naked woman standing in that garden took a bite out of that apple, things just haven’t been the same…

    • Yar

      If Adam had gotten to the apple first he never would have shared it with Eve.

      • donniethebrasco

         Why was the chicken frustrated?

        Because the egg came first.

  • David_from_Lowell

    Would the people within the cordoned-off area of Watertown have the legal right to decline a search by the authorities, or was it akin to marshall law? Obviously everyone wanted to help catch these guys, but what is the legal framework here? One can imagine all sorts of slippery slopes. What if while looking for the bombing suspects, authorities came across someone they suspected as being undocumented? or if they discovered contraband?

  • Wahoo_wa

    Considering the testing required to become a citizen, I venture to guess that Dzhokhar  Tsarnaev knew more about his Constitutional rights than some natural born U.S. citizens.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Will the radical right use this an excuse to protect the rights of gun sellers to freely sell guns to madmen, the rights of madmen to freely acquire guns and further undermine the public’s right to privacy and civil rights?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      It is curious that you mention this.  The Selectmen of the town of Lexington have stopped all rallies on the historic Battle Green because of the Marathon Bombing.  This includes a previously scheduled rally in support of the Second Amendment.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNmyNimguWc

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I support the 2′nd amendment, “a well regulated militia” is definitely “necessary to the security of a free state.”

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          Indeed, the words “well regulated” escapes the minds of many arguing the rights imparted by the 2nd Amendment.

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s not what well-regulated meant centuries ago.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          And here I though you were a hysterical gun grabbing hoplophobe.

  • John_in_Amherst

    There has been much talk of revoking Tsarnaev’s citizenship and/or declaring him an “enemy combatant”.  This would leave open the option of rendition to Gitmo and the possibility that
    the guy could be tortured, before being found guilty by a military tribunal and executed, which seems to be an underlying motive for
    many on the right.

    • Don_B1

      The other underlying motive is to oppose everything that President Obama or members of his administration propose or do.

  • NewtonWhale

    Sadly, this is not the Onion. This is your guest, Tom:

    Dershowitz: Legalize Torture and Targeted Killing

    “I would apply the same analysis to targeted killing as to torture.”Dershowitz pointed out that “targeted killing is much better than untargeted killing,” as it generally leads to fewer innocent casualties. “It’s better than dropping bombs all over the place and just killing everybody in the area,” he said.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/dershowitz-torture-targeted-killing/2012/03/18/id/432920

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I asked in an earlier post:  Professor Dershowitz previously supported torture.  Would he support it in this case as an investigatory tool?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000494392548 John Caldwell

    This person is an American and he should be treated and tried as an American.

  • donniethebrasco

    Alan will not agree with the liberal bent on this Government Radio.

  • donniethebrasco

    Jahar will have to give up Misha to get life in prison.

    You have to use the death penalty for leverage for Misha.

    Misha has probably already left the country.

    • northeaster17

      Misha was probably an FBI agent hoping to keep his birds on a string.

    • Gregg Smith

      I don’t know if it was Misha but maybe it was. It seems to me there is a wide berth regarding what we would consider aide by terrorist. Was he nurtured and paid by Al Qaeda contacts he made in Dagestan? Or was Misha the one acting as the grand kleagle (i.e. Robert Byrd) and working for terrorist? Or someone else? Or did he just go to a radical website? Was his motivation as his brother-in-law told the NYT, “He was angry that the world pictures Islam as a violent religion.” If that was it he sure disproved that notion.

      • Ray in VT

        Maybe he was just a disturbed person who acted after exposing himself to radical views, like that guy in California who tried to shoot up the Tides Foundation after listening to Glenn Beck rail against them.

        • Gregg Smith

          Yea, and Sarah Pailin got Gabby shot. My how you have changed.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m just pointing out that those whose bread and butter it is spreading fear and misinformation should think about how some people might act upon their warnings about certain groups plotting against them or attempting to destroy the country.  It might not be like yelling fire in a crowded theater, but it should give one pause, unless the money is just too good.

            I do not believe that I have ever anything about Sister Sarah having had anything to do with the Giffords shooting, although I do believe that I did question the responsibility or the taste in putting cross hairs over someone.  But it’s not about me.

          • Gregg Smith

            I am not accusing you of that, sorry if I implied so. Tom Ashbrook said the “consequence” of Sarah Palin’s words were a “bullet in the brain”.

            I don’t recall you throwing grenades and making wild analogies out of the blue in the past. You do so regularly now. That’s what I meant by your change. 

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps I do throw more grenades now, but I’m merely adjusting to the environment, and I think that it is certainly valid to point out the blatantly hypocritical, crazy or flat out wrong positions that media personalities or commentors here make, and how I think that such a history affects the credibility of the source or speaker.

        • 1Brett1

          Now, Ray, you are woefully close to achieving my status with Gregg… ;-)

          • Gregg Smith

            Nah.

  • donniethebrasco

    You should get Troy Crossley or Alex Jones on the phone.  They are promoters of #FreeJahar on Twitter (Troy) or False Flags (Alex Jones).

    Let them have their peace and show that they are wrong.

  • donniethebrasco

    #FREEBILLAYERS

    • hennorama

      FREEBIRD!

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there.

    • Wahoo_wa

      Free Tibet with the purchase of a Tibet of an equal or lesser value!

  • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

    The Role of Narrative Drama in the Formation of Personal Values, Beliefs, Practices, Desires, Intentions, and Public Acts

    The legal case against Jahar Tsarnaev, for murder and mayhem, is pretty much open and shut, as Professor Dershowitz opines.

    The more significant issue to be resolved is why they did it.

    I’m not a lawyer or even a student of the law.  I’m a systems scientist whose interest lies in apprehending system models that explain complex phenomena and complex behavior.

    In my research, I have come across insightful systems theoretic models that reveal the roots of terroristic violence in the culture and the associated human socio-cultural dynamics that characterize how individuals behave in these episodes.

    But On Point listeners need not study these technical, analytical models.  
    There is already a very good narrative that is concordant with these modern theoretical models.  And anyone can read these narratives.

    The best of them is said to be The Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

    The first novel ever written about terrorism, Dostoevsky’s The Demons is also the most instructive, for in it he addresses better than any writer before or since the two persistent riddles of terrorism: why are terrorists so new to our civilization, and how is it that they can kill others so easily in the name of a political idea?

    If Vice President Biden is baffleplexed as to how seemingly normal young men inexplicably flip from the likable, sociable, and well-integrated “Dr. Jekyll” to the sociopathic “Mr. Hyde,” one might gain some useful insight into that transformational conversion by turning to the novels of Dostoevsky.

    • brettearle

      The `why’, for any murderous behavior, is most often germane to level of severity of punishment, is it not? 

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        Not in this case.  In this case, the value of discovering why the brothers abandoned one cultural narrative in favor of another has implications for every one of us.

        • brettearle

          Such abandonment of cultural narrative does have implications for every one of us.

          But to the core issue of actual murderous violence goes a great deal further than abandoning one cultural narrative in favor of another.

          Hundreds of thousands of people, every decade, go through such transitions–without becoming alienated and self-alienated to the point, where they kill other people……either blindly so, or otherwise……

          • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

            Most people do become well adjusted to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. But young males, just out of adolescence, tend to be somewhat more likely to veer toward a bellicose reaction. Not necessarily all the way to physical or murderous violence, but nominally in the direction of express antipathy and/or antagonism.

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        Intent and mitigating circumstance often apply, both to the charges and to the sanctions.  

        Some of our culture’s most compelling stories involve the revelation of mitigating (or at least explanatory) circumstances.

        Equus by Peter Shaffer is an example.

  • AlanThinks

    I would find “super attorney” Dershowitz more credible if he expressed equal outrage at the drone killings of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and the carpet bombing in Vietnam.  We have to remember that our own evil actions result in evil actions by others. As Martin Richard said: “no more hurting people”.

  • burlistener

    Can a jury find that “weapon of mass destruction”  was not used (only a weapon of destruction) and find the defendant innocent?

    Bill from Quincy MA

    • 1Brett1

      I think that is a valid question. But, hopefully there will be other charges filed as this moves forward, like four counts of murder, injuring or maiming 250 people, armed robbery (the 7-11), carjacking, kidnapping (the carjack victim).  

  • CitiZen_2_2

    Words are important these people should be called The Boston Marathon Murderers. 

  • donniethebrasco

    Is it still too soon for pressure cooker jokes?

    • jefe68

      That 8 year old was just buried.
      What is wrong with you?

  • donniethebrasco

    Why do Chechen’s care about the US?

    Is it “The enemy of my enemy is my enemy?”

    That doesn’t sound right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zebbler Zebbler Peter Berdovsky

    Was it legal for the law enforcement to shoot the young man if he was hiding in the boat UNARMED?  There were dozens of the shots fired, it’s miraculous that he wasn’t killed.  To me, as a layman, it seems counterproductive in the least, to shoot at an unarmed suspect.

  • Davesix6

    Never thought I would ever say this about an attorney, but, I love Alan Dershowitz!
     
    Dershowitz tells the truth no matter what the political correct crowd on either side thinks.
     
    Thank you for having him on Tom! 
     
    Please ask him his thoughts on the domestic terrorists of the past like President Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers and the weather underground with Robert Redfords new film that apparently attempts to make those spoiled brat home grown terrorists out to be folk heros.

    • donniethebrasco

      #FreeBillAyers

    • brettearle

      “Obama’s buddy” is a jaded, glaring, and cynical bastardization of the President’s full network and contacts of associates, friends, and affiliations…..

  • donniethebrasco

    Jahar could use parents like Bill Ayers’s parents.

    Some money to political candidates always work well to get charges dropped.

    Bill Ayers got off because he had rich parents who spread money around.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Is Dershowitz being paid a set fee for every mention of Weathermen?

    • Wahoo_wa

      I prefer The Weather Girls myself.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geC2gHZ6m2g

      • Gregg Smith

        Eeek! LOL.

        • Wahoo_wa

          Thankfully bad taste in music is not a crime!

          • 1Brett1

            Or, unfortunately.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Don’t make me post “YMCA”!!

          • Gregg Smith

            Why not “Macho Man”?

    • Davesix6

      Dershowitz is making an excellent point about the hipocrisy of the left concerning the Weathermen. 

  • coyotejazz

    I would like to know if Mrs. Katherine Russell Tsarnaev is considered an accessory. Why has she not been arrested?

    • jefe68

      Because the police have cleared her of being a suspect.
      She was unaware fo her husbands plans.

    • brettearle

      What information has come across your desk that suggests that she is complicit?

      Close family members, of criminals and State enemies, are not always privy to the actual acts, much less the pre-meditated motives.

  • brettearle

    Dershowitz ignores the obvious fact that Al Qaeda, and its ilk, do not function, according to democratic ideals of Protest.

    To not recognize that such violent acts are connected–via twisted minds–to US foreign policy is almost laughingly irresponsible.

    And, in a way, such `denial’ emboldens the future problem.

  • Juan Kenobi

    I was wondering HOW you could work that in there.  Gotta keep up the drum beat for your cause.  Newtown! Lanza! Bomb! Boston! Connected!  I’m Tom Ashbrook! 
    Mass. will turn it into a circus.  Spend a billion dollars to accomplish nothing and the obvious will go ignored.  They did it, guilty.  1 billion for the lawyers please.  Guns should be completely outlawed.  So when our sick society produces more of these fu..ers they kill kids with pointed sticks.  That’s an improvement right?  10 kids with a knife is way better than 20 with a gun! Yeah! Math! Want to do a show Asbrook?  Do one that looks at the reasons WHY THIS SH1T HAPPENS.  Why is our culture producing these people?  Did Adam do it because the gun asked him to? Why did Jahar use the bomb instead of the M4?  Why is our society philosophically and ethically bankrupt? Blame it on salad forks. Or video games.  Or 80s movies that showed insane orgies of violence.  Then worship the Dollar, ignore your kids and dismiss god and the difference between right and wrong.  

  • TomK_in_Boston

    I have mixed feelings about this. As a Bostonian, I just want what remains of this guy’s life to be as painful as is possible. 

    OTOH, where is the line between him and anyone else our righty security state would like to call a terrorist?

    I’m not buying the stories about how the FBI and CIA did all they should in following up on the Russian’s warnings. Geez, we have this disaster and the perp had already been fingered by the FSB? He’d been checked out but they didn’t recognize the pictures immediately? This stinks.

    • Davesix6

      “righty security state” really?
      Hate to burst your bubble TomK but this nations policies for the past five years have been set by Barack Obama and his “lefty” controled government.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Hate to destabilize your alt media reality, Dave6, but Barack Obama is a center-right pol on most issues and he is beyond Bush on the “security state”.

    • brettearle

      So, you are suggesting that the reports are false that FBI and CIA inquiries, respectively, were ignored by Russia–when both US agencies were seeking followup, after they couldn’t finger Tsarnaev with anything concrete?

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Oh no, I’m sure the FBI and CIA would never indulge in any “CYA” operations.

        • brettearle

          Setting aside your cynicism for the moment, how do you actually know that they exercised CYA in this case?

          I think your pre-conceived assumptions leave less room for other, quite valid, possibilities.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Why are you incapable of telling the difference between speculating and having “pre-conceived assumptions”? It’s bizarre, especially on an internet forum where there is little but speculation.

            Riddle me this: we have a bombing in Boston and we have a picture of the perp,  who lives in the Boston area, was fingered by the FSB, and was recently interviewed by the FBI. Why didn’t the computers of our massive security state immediately make the connection? it should have taken about a microsecond.

          • brettearle

            When someone says, “I’m not buying the stories”, it strikes me as beyond speculation.

            As to the cross-checking
            photo databases, although it’s true that we may never know the Truth, the current reports suggest that the CIA put Tsarnaev in 3 databases–after they received no response from the Russian government.

            [This was subsequent to FBI contact from, and to, the Russian government]

            From the report, the assumption is that these databases were low in triage-priority and may not have had pix.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.blume Harvey Blume

    WEATHERMAN

    i wish prof dershowitz  would get his facts right about weatherman. the only people weatherman
    blew up were, let’s be clear about this, in weatherman. the townhouse explosion
    (3/6/1970) immolated three members of the group, putting an end to its lurch
    toward terrorism. yes, they were preparing a terrible anti-personal weapon. it
    went off in their own faces, and that was that for the groups terrorism.

     

    in addition, prof dershowitz accused robert redford’s movie,
    “the company they keep,” of romanticizing weatherman. he gives no
    indication of having seen the movie. it might be a good idea to do so before
    delivering his verdict.

     

     

    • donniethebrasco

       They killed a Boston Cop.

    • JobExperience

       He’s no Roger Ebert.
      Alan was probably watching “Trinity Is Still My Name.”
      He really loves the slapping.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Bill Ayres claimed he had no regrets and still wished he had down more violence and mayhem.

  • Juan Kenobi

    The MASS. Police are insanely irresponsible.  They fired thousands of rounds from their fully automatic weapons into residential neighborhoods.  Absolute miracle no one was injured.  Miracle. 9000 cops for 2 aholes, and the idiot got away from a carjacking because why?

    • brettearle

      Explosives, allegedly, were hurled at police in the car chase.

      That kind of deadly criminal activity would tend to incite excessive police aggression.

      I agree the Police should be much, much more aware of possible `collateral damage’–but the Testosterone of Police will always prevail, in such situations.

      • Juan Kenobi

        True. Maybe less cops deployed to the area would have been a way to limit that.  I think a single swat team could have handled the direct confrontation with the other 8060 maintaining a cordon and supporting force.  But yeah. I would have done the same if I were a Boston Cop.  I know better than to mess with city cops. 

      • hennorama

        brettearle – Not to mention “one of their own” had been killed, and another was critically injured, allegedly by the Tsarnaevs. Empirical data on police use of force in cases where a fellow officer was killed or seriously injured compared to use of force in other cases is difficult to come by, but anecdotal evidence suggests a
        greater tendency to “shoot first and ask questions later”.

        In my fruitless search for data, I learned the term “awful but lawful” to describe police shootings that may look bad to the public, but the law ultimately says were appropriate uses of force, considering all the circumstances involved.

        An excellent discussion including the perspective of police officers involved in on-duty shooting incidents can be found here: http://www.npr.org/2012/01/12/145114616/firing-while-on-duty-when-police-use-deadly-force

        • brettearle

          Thanks for the comment.  Absolutely, the police would be even more frenzied because “one of their own” was down.

          Have you studied the Danroy Henry case, form Pace University–vis a vis police shootings?

          Could be an absolute outrage….

          • hennorama

            brettearle – TY for your reply. No, the Danroy Henry case hadn’t come to my attention until your post. Indeed it appears to involve outrageous CYA behavior on the part of some individuals involved.

            One hopes the truth will out.

    • JobExperience

       What do you call Keystone Cops when they’re in Boston?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Omar states that Muslims are “angry” about American behavior abroad. They are not the only folks harboring anger. Anger describes the Tea Party to a tee. Anger is the dominant emotion behind 2nd Amendment fanatics. Anger comes from the Right & Anger comes from the Left. We live in an angry society. (Anybody who drives on America’s congested streets can attest to that with a ”HONK” & a 1 finger salute.)

    Existential, ubiquitous anger does not EVER justify violence against innocent people. Yet, there it is, everyday. Anger gets attention & sad to say, anger pays the freight for those too lazy or stubborn to behave in any other manner. It’s the auto-default position for way too many people.

    • Juan Kenobi

      Bingo. Time to look within, but that’s too hard for America.  

      • JobExperience

         I looked, and it’s an abyss.
        You gaze into the abyss and it gazes back into you. (Just like Bosnia; just like Rwanda.) This is where AmWay leads; predation.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       No one in the Tea party is threatening terrorism or violence so why single out their ‘anger’.

      • Juan Kenobi

        The “Tea Party” is the new brand for “right wing evangelical” and “far right wing” of the Republican Party. Tell me the difference. 

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I don’t think you understand the Tea Party — maybe the left’s demonization of the Tea Party because they consider it a threat.

          As Greg mentioned above, the Tea Party is about liberty and the Constitution.  It is also about fiscal responsibility and holding the government accountable for irresponsible actions (by both parties) including generational theft.

          It has nothing to do with religion (other than protecting freedoms in the Constitution).

          Specifically, what issue do you have with Tea Party principles?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

        Apparently, you didn’t read beyond the third sentence. Everybody is angry, it seems, no matter their political leanings or religious beliefs. It’s an infection of the soul. No one group claims the “big prize” for being angriest. Not even the T.P.ers, although they tend to be the most vocal in expressing their collective anger, in general.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Mari, I’m not sure about your overall point you are making.

          Yes there is a lot of anger out there (we can quibble if the ‘Tea Party’ is the angriest).  However, the point is there is only one group that is turning their anger into violence as their modus operandi — that is radical Islamists.  We shouldn’t give them cover just because there is a lot of ‘anger’ in our society.  Maybe that isn’t what you were saying?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            “However, the point is there is only one group that is turning their anger into violence as their modus operandi” -

            Correct. That “group” is 99.9% male. I’ve lived my life as a female, so my experiences with anger & violent ”terror” have been domestic & very personal in nature. All those who have aggressed against me with vicious, targeted anger have been males. That’s all I care to say about it.   

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Too much testosterone?

            Be safe.

          • Juan Kenobi

            Ban Penises. 

    • Gregg Smith

      Freedom and the Constitution are the dominate factors not anger.

    • JobExperience

      Yes Hatriots are poised to strike, and the FBI is framing up dopes. Why would the NRA use the anti-government insurrection argument to sell more guns if it weren’t popular among right wing thugs? When they kill all the forest rangers and county agents they can loot Democrat homesteads at will, rape the wimmins and enslave the chilluns. All because they’re so self-made strong and good shots. Sheriffs (if White and bold) will be kings.

      • Juan Kenobi

        Dude. That was awesome. We should hang out. 

  • http://twitter.com/Givemeliberty92 Patrick Henry

    Tom,

    somewhat unrelated to the main point of the show: when will you stop making gun comments based on perceptions and bad data rather than facts? you are pushing misinformation.

    The AR-15 used by that other loser, Lanza, is just as high power as a Remington 742 or a Ruger mini 14 (two common hunting rifles exempted even under the Feinstein bill proposal, S. 150, or the new stricter AWB in Connecticut).

    1. They all shoot the same .22 caliber bullet and the same cartridge (.223WIN/5.56×45 NATO), born in the 1950 for hunting purposes and later adopted by the military as an alternative to the .30 cal (the .22 is less lethal than the old .30, but you can carry more rounds, a plus in the tactical war scenarios of the cold war)
    2. they all can use the same large capacity detachable box magazines (clips, for the ignoramus out there) 
    3. They have identical rates of fire
    4. They all can be used just as effectively in mass shootings (and the Ruger mini-14 was indeed used for killing 77 kids in Norway two years ago, yet it is exempted even under the most strict of the AWB)
    5. They all have been around for at least 60 years in various configurations (the Remington is actually direct descendant of the Remington model 8, made in 1903) 

    Just look up this visual demonstration and decide for yourself. You don’t have to believe me.

    http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/on_air/links_on_tv/special-report-firearm-facts#.US5dv6WQmR0The    

    one may even object to the term “high power” and reserve that only for .30 cal rifles (e.g. shooting 7.62×56 NATO). but it is used commonly to refer to the .223WIN even in competition settings.

  • JanaHod

    I’m uncomfortable with speculating and thus giving voice to the political aims of the brothers and their influences.

    Could this be called a hate crime instead?  

    Keeping the charges domestically specific and lower in scale than treason, terrorism, etc. offers a straighter path to justice for this particular case.

    • brettearle

      I don’t believe that you necessarily scale down a crime of possible treason or terrorism, for a straighter path to justice.

      If that were to occur, then the Public and the Government would lose sight of the Atrocity’s impact and its implications.

      • JanaHod

        I guess I was thinking in terms of some long term goal of justice on a global scale.  

        Maybe too facile – but categorizing this kind of violent activism as a kind of hate crime rather than terrorism or other broad, loaded terms might shift the discussion toward prevention.

        After all, the victims in this case were targeted simply because they were members of a particular group – Americans.

        I read that the brothers even spared the driver of the highjacked Mercedes specifically because he was NOT an American.  The irony, of course, was that the driver lived to help the police find them.

        Prosecuting their crimes the realm of domestic hate crime does not diminish the damage they’ve done – but it reduces the very real power of their imagined legacy.

        This is about halting the pageantry of such acts by calling them what they are.

          

        • brettearle

          Well said and well thought out.

          Nevertheless, I still don’t agree.

          We need to call it out like it is–regardless of the possibility of mitigation or identifiable `clarity’.

          I hope that we hear more from you, in the future.

    • Gregg Smith

      I don’t think it’s a matter of justice at this point. Dzhokhar is toast either way. It’s about assessing the larger threat which certainly exists and the Tsarnaev’s ties to it which may exist.

    • 1Brett1

      How ’bout four counts of murder, injuring and maiming 250 people, armed robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping? Wouldn’t those be more easily provable from a prosecutorial standpoint than a “hate crime”?

  • Juan Kenobi

    Ashbrook is now the diametric opposite of Fox News.  Complete with total disregard for fact and complete unbalanced reporting.  

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Welcome to the party.

  • Dave Holzman

     This notion that these terrorists are acting out of anger at American policy is an excuse that has virtually nothing to do with reality. People like the Marathon bombers, who commit violent acts against innocent people are acting out of primordial anger–stuff that happened in early childhood. They have baggage, which they are throwing at other people to try to feel better. Road ragers, internet trolls, and a slew of others–including extremist activists in the US on both ends of the spectrum–act out of the same sort of anger.

    Some, who are far wiser and have greater self understanding than most may even channel this sort of primordial anger into constructive purposes. And if the Tsarnaevs had been truly angry about American policy, they, too would have channeled their anger constructively.

    It’s not surprising that a lot of violently angry people would come out of parts of the world where “honor killings” happen, and where girls are treated as third class citizens (I’m not necessarily speaking of the Tsarnaevs here–I don’t know enough about Chechnya). Until those countries raise all their kids with love and understanding instead of coercion and punishment, they will keep cranking out potential terrorists.

  • JobExperience

    Alan Dershowitz willl someday understand that Jewish ethnicity does not exempt him from retribution for acting  like a persecuting Nazi. I hope it is soon. He is not helping America or Israel with his reactionary extremism. He is not typical of American Jews or Israelis in his views. The Neocons he supports will betray him in the end.

    Thanks Alan for introducing me to the valuable work of Norman Finkelstein by your mistaken criticism and condemnation.

    • brettearle

      OK,

      Define Dershowtiz’s reactionary extremism, as you see it.

      Why make an incendiary remark without justification–as if everyone is supposed to implicitly agree with you and understand exactly what you mean?

    • brettearle

       By your silence, we will know ye….

  • Ezra23

    Concerning the phone call from Amir, who said that Muslims are upset and reacting using bombs because of US policy overseas.  If that is true, why are Islamist Extremists bombing all over the world, not only in the US.  Day after day we read about bombings that kill scores of innocents.  Amir’s reasons are an excuse for what the real reason for extremists like the Boston marathon bombers is, the stated destruction of anyone who does not renounce their faith and join the Islamist religion.

    • brettearle

      It’s a War against the West, and Western interests–not simply the US.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    To the caller at 55mins: If you can’t imagine that a criminal will suffer more from being in prison for (say) 60 years than a quick death, you don’t have a lot of imagination.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Agreed.

  • Davesix6

    So looks like the what the left is now saying is the anger held by the two bombers and muslims around the world is the result of President Obama’s foreign policy of the past five years;

    The killing of Bin Laden
    Drone strikes killing innocent Muslims

    • brettearle

      What??

      Radical Islamic Fundamentalism regards the West as a global evil–often, not simply for US foreign policy in the 21st and 20th centuries; but also for other historical ages and for what Radical Islam considers to be an immoral way of life, in the West. 

      • Davesix6

        Not according to the political left in this country brettearle.

        According to the left the implication is that Radical Muslims hate us because of our foreign policy of the past few decades, the past five years of which have been formed by President Obama!

        Furthermore according to the philosopy of the political left in this country you sir are a bigot and are suffering from Islamaphobia for making the statement.

        Personally I happen to agree mostly with what you have said!

        • brettearle

          Dave,

          I think you are demonizing, we on the Left, unfairly.

          Wise analysts on the Left–and there are a number of them–know full well the parameters of Al Qaeda’s motivations.

          The Left can criticize US foreign policy–as I do, as well–and still see the bigger picture.

          I doubt that–especially if some members of the Left are reminded–they wouldn’t also agree with the bigger picture.

          You are carrying the accusation of Islamaphobia too far, I think.

      • AC

        it’s funny in here today isn’t it? you know how i told you the other day my impression was not good tho my husband thinks they’re ‘fair’?
        i couldn’t find a nice way to label them what i REALLY want to call them, but ‘hustlers’ come close. the mother’s a real piece of work. she’s suddenly as devout as they come, so typical!
        anyway, this family thrives on drama & confusion and here we are, talking more about religion than we maybe should be. & now i feel bad for dismissing my husband’s opinion… :/
        but i really think the older son was a self-centered, self-pitying ninny. he was either totally brainwashed into doing this or this was the original strategy all along; shift focus to something we’d all pounce on….nothing quite like an opportunistic hustler, is there?
        i have no idea about this young son, he wasn’t talked about much at all, we didn’t even know he existed until all this happened….

        • brettearle

          Thanks for that additional first-hand account.

          The mother being “a piece of work” is the exact phrase I used to describe her, as well.

          The whole family has `something’ going on–though I’m not sure what that ‘something’ is.

          I do not like to profile an entire clan–especially because I went after someone earlier, in the week, for the same thing that I am doing now–but now I have more information.

          They do seem troubled.

          But it is true that their search for asylum–as the result of possible oppression that they might have suffered in their homeland–is quite possible.

          Chechynans may not have it easy; I am sure that they are often closely watched in the provinces.

  • Wahoo_wa

    So the comment was made that by reading Miranda rights a suspect could somehow understand that keeping silent could be strategically important for a defense.  I don’t get how that conclusion is reached.  If someone does not know their Constitutional rights how are they expected to come to this conclusion?  If someone does know their Constitutional rights I assume they would be intelligent enough to reach the conclusion even when Miranda rights are not read.

    • brettearle

      You are forgetting the,

      “anything you say can he held against you in a court of law”,

      aspect of Miranda.

      That statement covers any ignorance of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

      • Wahoo_wa

        I understand that but the statement “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” does not state “it is strategically valuable for you to shut your trap.”

        • brettearle

          Why not?

          How much more strategic can it be, other than to warn the suspect that if he doesn’t shut his trap, he could pay for it, down the road?

  • hennorama

    Jon Stewart and The Daily Show hilariously skewered “the freedom lovers at Fox” last night, demonstrating the hypocrisy of how they say they LOVE the U.S. Constitution but seem willing to discard virtually the entire Bill Of Rights at the drop of a hat.

    Except the Second Amendment, of course.

    See:http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-24-2013/weak-constitution

    • Ray in VT

      No one’s gonna quarter soldiers in my home!

      • JobExperience

        Is your wife’s head turned by men in uniform?

        • Ray in VT

          No. I just don’t want no stinkin’ Redcoats sleeping on my couch and eating from my table.

    • jefe68

      Funny how they do that, a lot.

      John Stewart is brillant. That was spot on.

      • JobExperience

         Not so brilliant, just good at spotting pennies in the parking lot. They’re there for anyone to take.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.blume Harvey Blume

    re weatherman: They killed a Boston Cop.

    wasn’t weatherman. the brinks robbery, 1981, was after weatherman
    had disbanded. some ex- weatherman were part of it, along with other people,
    but it wasn’t weatherman. as i say, after the townhouse explostion, weatherman
    reconsidered.

    • DrJoani

      I don’t understand what you are writing. Are you giving dates to the explosion on 11th Street (where my father lived), clarifying when it happened?
      “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows?” but maybe you DO>

  • JobExperience

    Depends on your throwing arm, I guess.

    Police with Low-T should use the underarm thingy.

    *intended as reply to brettearle. replying to kenobi

  • Juan Kenobi

    You hear me Ashbrook? You’re the Glenn Beck of NPR.  You’re not good enough at what you do to be the Bill O’reilly and you’re not enough of an idiot to be heraldo.  

    • JobExperience

       He’s Colbert with harder consonants.

  • JobExperience

    It’s a miracle more citizens and cops were not hit in those several hailstorms of bullets. Tom needs to use a flash-bang on Alan, get him back to reality.

    *intended as reply to donniebrasco (far below)

  • mphillips3

    I really didn’t enjoy listening to Dershowitz in this interview. He came off as pompous and dogmatic when he refused to acknowledge the uncertainty of the long term consequences of U.S. foreign policy. He seemed to respond to the caller with the assumption that the U.S.’ current foreign policy stance is perfectly aligned to U.S. interests and that questioning it is giving in to terrorism. Granted, the caller (whose name I didn’t catch) shouldn’t have generalized as he did (something like “Muslims are angry at U.S. foreign policy”), but I think that the thought that he inserted into the discussion was an important one that shouldn’t have been attacked and discarded in the way that it was. I think that Tom Ashbrook tried to challenge Dershowitz on his pugnacious rebuttal, but of course the conversation was in danger of getting off track, so Dershowitz’s arrogant response was left to fester for the rest of the interview. I would appreciate not hearing him on On Point again.

    • DrJoani

       I think what the caller had to say was deliberately misunderstood by Dersh.

      • JobExperience

         Stuck  in talking points…. can’t hear.

    • brettearle

      While it is certainly true that Al Qaeda, and its ilk, operate as the result of current US foreign policy.

      But that is only one of its motives.

      Radical Islamic Fundamentalism has a basic sacred issue with the West and Western values and its history–especially in relation to Islam.

      To believe that Al Qaeda would cease to function, if the US no longer believed in something like, “How did our oil, wind up under your sand?”, is, I think, quite expedient.  

    • MelindaLi

      And what is the political agenda that you are pushing?

  • 1Brett1

    I’d like to see the young man charged with very simple, provable crimes, e.g., four counts of murder, injuring/maiming 250 people, armed robbery (the 7-11), carjacking, kidnapping (the carjack victim), and anything else that will be an open and shut case for which he will be convicted and either put in prison for the rest of his life without parole or given the death penalty (preferably the former).

    • Gregg Smith

      5 counts, don’t forget he killed his brother.

      • brettearle

        Gregg, the majority of reports suggests that the brother was already killed, in a shoot-out.

        • Gregg Smith

          I am going by the statements from Watertown’s Chief of Police.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i_J6S8DXPI&feature=player_embedded

          Skip to about 9:00 for relevant exchange.

          • brettearle

             OK, I’ll check it out.

          • Gregg Smith

            Despite the statement, it could still be wrong. I’m still not even sure if they killed Sean Collier.

          • brettearle

             I can’t help thinking of Officer Tippit.

      • 1Brett1

        The prosecution should stick to charges that are easily provable and can get a quick and uncomplicated conviction. There is enough to put him away forever or sentence him to death.

    • hennorama

      1brett1 – the Tsarnaevs didn’t rob the 7-11. That initial report was in error. Instead, they were spotted on the video from one of the store’s security cameras. Someone else allegedly held up the SlurpeeSeller.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/19/7-eleven-robbery-boston/2097915/

      But the Tsarnaevs did behave pretty strangely (allegedly):

      http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/04/eleven-most-mystifying-things-tsarnaev-brothers-did

      I agree with the spirit of and the remainder of your post.

      • JobExperience

        They were there after Energy Drinks.

      • 1Brett1

        Thanks, henn. Yeah, it’s hard to keep up with facts in this case.

        • hennorama

          1brett1 – no worries. Facts have been few and far between, especially early on. The shoddy and erroneous early reporting is not at all surprising of course, given the “get it on the air ASAP” imperative of corporate media. That’s the main reason I went into “media blackout mode” early on, and watched Charlie Chaplin and Pierre Étaix comedies on TCM.

          Speaking of which – you expressed a love of Chaplin’s work. Have you seen Chaplin’s extremely dark comedy “Monsieur Verdoux”? It was a HUGE box office flop, but is definitely worth a look. Chaplin, as usual, incorporated his political views into the film, especially toward the end, encapsulated by this line:

          [Henri Verdoux (played by Chaplin)]: Wars, conflict – it’s all business. One murder makes a villain; millions, a hero. Numbers sanctify, my good fellow!

          Here’s IMDb’s synopsis:

          “Monsieur Verdoux is a bluebeard, he marries women and kills them after the marriage to get the money he needs for his family. But with two ladies he has bad luck.”

          See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039631/

          • 1Brett1

            Yeah, the “robbery” was something I didn’t pay much attention to after the initial reports…anyway…

            Yeah, I really like Monsieur Verdoux…The Gold Rush, City Lights and Modern Times are masterpieces; The Kid has a kind of brilliance too. The Dictator could have been a masterpiece in my view (and it was very gutsy), but as a film the speech at the end lowered its impact, imho. My favorite film of his is Limelight. 

            Chaplin had the ability to be sentimental in his sensibilities, but he worked it to his advantage, in the similar way that a lot of Italian film makers have. Chaplin was also bold in that he worked in his perceptions about society; I think of many of his films as social/cultural commentaries of sorts. 

    • JobExperience

      Maybe Jack Ruby could run in  through the police cordon and shoot him in the guts.

      • 1Brett1

        Maybe switch to decaf for a while.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I agree.  

  • StilllHere

    Between Tom Friedman a couple days ago and Alan Dershowitz today, we’re really trodding out the guys who peaked decades ago and are now just grumpy old men. Not saying I disagree with Dershowitz, but come on.

    • JobExperience

       Yeah- Grumpy Old Bushites.

  • DrJoani

    Well…you’ re mistaken, Dave, about the radical Left, whoever…?  They are as well-informed as you are.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” 
      ― Ronald Reagan

      • TomK_in_Boston

        RR, the founding father of AQ.

  • JobExperience

    Maybe you could update your avatar to reflect your gender and age.
    *intended as reply to ever-mobile AC

  • mozartman

    Another day, another hyped up show about terrorism. A media feast and Americans buy the panic, hype and  resulting loss of civil liberties in a quest to be “safe.” Folks – the chances of getting killed by a terrorist in the US are so small, that in terms of people killed, it ranks just above that of deaths by meteors.  The driver in the car next to you on your daily commute, trying to drive and text at the same time, is far more dangerous than any jihadist. Stupid drivers kill and maim thousands every year.  It’s as random as any terrorist attack and can strike you anytime and anywhere. Where is the panic?  That’s not to diminish the impact of the Boston bombings on the victims, but how many promising young lives are shattered by careless drivers every year?

    Terrorism has such a cachet that the media loves to use that word over and over again to sell their stories.  What’s the difference between the Boston bombings and the Newtown shootings?  Weren’t the children and teachers terrorized by Adam Lanza or did they think, well, at least it’s not a terrorist from a foreign country, but a local guy?  The Boston bombers were brutal  common criminals and they paid/will pay the price. 9/11 was an act of foreign aggression, but classifying a bunch of amateur bombers as international terrorists is a bit of a stretch.  If my neighbor threatens me with a gun, I feel terrorized too, but that doesn’t make his a terrorist.

    So all of us, calm down.  Through our collective actions of panic and hunkering down we do exactly what these criminals want to achieve.  We also give them and their causes their 15 minutes of fame they so crave.  How about focusing all that media hype and the billions spent by the more of less hapless security apparatus on some real problems? 

    • JobExperience

       Nuclear plants are more of a threat than terrorism.
      Atrophine in weed killer is more of a threat than terrorism.
      Asteroids on a collision path with Earth are more of a treat than terrorism.
      But these are not problems clown cars full of over-armed police can solve. In fact, militarization and suspension of civil rights will not solve terrorism. It’s all  a spectacle and a diversion.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         ”Nuclear plants are more of a threat than terrorism.”

        You must be a carbon lover.

        • Tyranipocrit

           You must be a radiation lover.  Have you ever heard of Fukishima?  Do like a nuclear bomb vibrating in your city center?  Radiating deadly radiation 24/7.  have you ever considered where the water comes from that cools a nuclear reactor–where it goes?  It circulates around the reactor and is expelled into the source–your lake, river, or ocean.  You must be a nuclear-water lover?  Do you like drinking water that tastes like uranium?

    • Trond33

      I agree with your comments.  I would extend it to say that the US law enforcement (para military supplied by the military industrial complex) has more than a passing interest in perpetuating the terrorist fear mongering.  There are strong special interests that owe their very existence to the irrational fear generated in the US. 

      The People need to wake up and realize that this militarized society does not make them safer.  There are much better uses for these public funds than financing the lockdown of a million people in Boston while law enforcement is having what amounts to a para military orgy.  Its sickening and smacks of 1950s McCarthyism.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/arttoegemann Art Toegemann

    Alan Dershowitz hit the lowest point of his career by riding this tragedy with his gross misrepresentation about the US war with Vietnam and the Weathermen. If he doesn’t know the difference, he can read the preface containing  the admissions of guilt in McNamara’s “In Retrospect: the tragedy and lessons of Vietnam”; he can try to find South Vietnam, for that matter. Protest, objection to the US war with Vietnam prevailed; there is no argument without end.
    If he knows the problem of the good German, he should know the problem of the good American.
    Read the essays at http://www.myspace.com/arttoegemann/blog/544159286

    • brettearle

      Don’t understand your point–before I might check out your link….

      Are you suggesting that there are one set of justifiable motives for one militant group–but not, for another?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       The last I checked there was no Gestapo in the USA locking up protestors of the Vietnam war.

      There is no justification of Weatherman’s attempt  of violence — even if it was against enlisted servicemen at a dance at Fort Dix.

      • Tyranipocrit

         no–we just kick them to the curb.  How many veterans commit suicide, end up homeless and begging. 

  • susanblack

    Thank you Tom for defending the caller, I believe his name was Ammad-but I could have misheard-who brought up the fact that United States policies caused anger(he said among the worldwide Muslim community, but I am angry and I am not a Muslim)and that the consequences were probably more incidents such as the one in Boston at the Marathon. He was not justifying the behavior of bombers and neither am I, but taking about consequences. Your guest said it was wrong to change foreign policies based on a bombing. Well maybe so, but policies that are harming civilians in over countries are not making our civilians safer. So when do you we change the policies? After the 1st incident? After the 2nd? The third? What is wrong in the beginning only becomes more wrong the longer it goes on. Part of resolving conflict is being honest and standing down or admitting fault no matter who points it out. I think the kinds of conversations you are having on air-including the healing special at Cutler Majestic last night are a real benefit to all.

    • brettearle

      The US, like many countries, can be criticized for some of its foreign policy.

      But do you actually believe, at this point, that if the Us altered its foreign policies to comply with Al Qaeda’s demands that Militant Islam Fundamentalism will cease to exist, immediately (or even in the foreseeable future)–as the result?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        If you capitulate with a bully it only makes them demand more.  

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Such schoolyard wisdom!

          Tell me, oh 5′th grade master, does invading, drone striking and propping up dictators = “capitulate with a bully”?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I’m guessing you never drank any milk in middle school, did you?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Congrats on another fine contribution. 

            Do you have a job?

        • brettearle

          I was bringing up a theoretical point to expose Al Qaeda’s resolve.

          To suggest capitulation, by reevaluating foreign policy, suggests destructive and self-destructive arrogance, hubris, and utter disrespect for a country’s capacity to see its own failings.

          If countries operate by believing that they can make no mistakes, then I’ve got a recipe for a disaster plan that I could show you for the future of the planet.

          Or is it that you found the WMD that Bush II couldn’t?

          Giving in to bullies is a primitive, base way of looking at the problem.

        • Tyranipocrit

           I agree.  And Americca is the BULLY.

      • susanblack

         I do not believe that the US should alter its foreign policies to “comply with Al Qaeda.” I only think that civilians should not be killed in other countries by our wars as collateral damage or otherwise and that likewise civilians should not be killed here by insane people with guns and bombs. The statistics on the amount of innocent people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan is staggering and I feel that puts our citizens in danger. Normal people dont express their anger by bombing innocent people but it seems there are insane people who do. I know someone who knew suspect #1, and he had strong opinions about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Changing our policy will not stop all violence, but if our policies are harming women and children our women and children will be more at risk.

        • MelindaLi

          Susan, please note that there were no Iraq and Afganistan wars pre-9/11 attack, back then the reason for radicalization was “US presence in Saudi Arabia and US support of Israel”. Do you suggest that US gets out of Saudi Arabia and agrees with destruction of the State of Israel (because that’s the goal of jihadists)? Do you think the demands and anger would then stop?

    • MelindaLi

      Another angle. Susan, you are injecting your own political views into the argument. Are you in danger of being radicalized and committing a terrorist act because of the extensive use drones by the current US government? I hope not. The caller Omar erroneously claimed to be representing the views of “Muslims” on US foreign policies inciting radicalization of Muslims. Alan Dershowitz objected to caller’s generalization of Muslim views – the caller was expressing his views. There are no Muslim views, just as there are no Christian or atheist or American views. Example: you and me are both American and we have different views on US foreign policy. We may also both be atheist, but still have different views. Hope this is clear.
      Tom Ashbrook demonstrated his own political views by agreeing with caller’s opinion and brushing off stunned Alan Dershowitz question on whether Tom supports assertion that US foreign policies lead to radicalization of Muslims.

      • susanblack

         I do believe that fundamentalism and radicalization of all religions is a huge problem and creates danger. I am not “radicalized or in danger of committing a terrorist act,” but there are people who are. I dont believe it is a political view that innocent people should not be harmed by war or terrorism. I believe that is a sound moral that I was born with. For me collateral damage in the form of innocent lives is unacceptable and our policies need to change if it is happening…because it is wrong to think it is OK for us to harm civilians elsewhere and henious for ours to be harmed here. That dichotomy puts more human lives here at home in danger. Different views are being discussed and that is what i was thanking Tom for. I felt it was wrong for Alan Dershowitz to equate the caller with someone he called an “idiot.” Maybe that is what Tom should have concentrated on and then it wouldnt have sounded like he was “demonstrating his own political views.”

        Thanks for asking me to clarify, MelindaLi.

        • MelindaLi

          I respect your personal view on the use of drones. Some people are against any kind of military response. I respect their opinion too. The caller by the way did not site drones as the cause of his discontent, he was broad and used “US foreign policy”, which could be anything from military presence in Saudi Arabia to none involvement or involvement (depends on interpretation) in Syria. The fact that caller used generalizations like “Muslims” and “US foreign policy”, made Tom’s support of caller assertions unacceptable in my view. And this is what Dershowitz rightfully questioned.

  • gcleeton

    Tom you should be ashamed to air a program in which two so-called academics laugh during their academic parrying over legal matters in a case where someone’s Mother had her legs blown off. You should have reprimanded them.

  • hennorama

    Dzohokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with “Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction” and “Malicious Destruction of Property Resulting in Death”, based on an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Danuel R. Genck.

    Additional charges can be added later if additional evidence emerges from the various ongoing investigations.

    The charge of “Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction” may help satisfy those who feel these are “bigger picture” offenses. However, it seems to me that that particular section of the United States Code is extremely broad and may need to be tightened up.

    See:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2332a

    And:http://www.boston.com/yourtown/specials/criminal_complaint_dzhokhar_tsarnaev/

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      High emotion leads to bad laws.  We will have to rework much of our legal code and it will take years.  Look at the up roar over hockey stick and pocket knives on airplanes.
       

      • hennorama

        RWB – an excellent point.

  • pm05

    These 2 boys were partying before and the younger brother stated (?) that they were going to party after their murdering! These are NOT Muslims out to right the world. They were 2 murders out for fun! Please don’t use the Muslim excuse just because the boys did! Supposedly Muslims don’t drink, don’t party, don’t kill children. This is not about Muslim!

    • William

       Some of the 9-11 Muslim terrorists went drinking and to a strip club before attacking us on 9-11, so yes, Muslim terrorists can “party” and still be devout Muslim terrorists.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    1. Bombing in Boston
    2. Picture of perp circulated
    3. Boston area perp was fingered by FSB and had been interviewed by FBI recently.

    Why did the supercomputers and face recognition technology of our “security state” fail to get a hit in about a microsecond?

    Just asking. Tp pre-empt the scripts that often appear, no, I don’t have any “pre-concieved assumptions”.

    • Gregg Smith

      I asked the same question the other day, I think it’s a good one.

    • brettearle

      CIA put Tsarnaev in 3 databases, according to recent news reports.

      But because, like the FBI, they apparently received no word from the Russian government, upon further inquiry, they regarded the suspect as lower priority and may not have had, or may not have included, a photo, in these databases.

      The FBI and CIA had checked him out–at the initial behest of the Russian government, as you likely know–but could find nothing substantial on him.

      Now if you’re not buying the story, that’s one thing.

      But we have no reason, yet, to believe that any information is being withheld.

      On the other hand, as CNN, ex-CIA consultant Baer has said, when the US receives an inquiry from Russian intelligence, that is regarded as significant.

      And it does stretch credulity to think that Tamerlan did not possibly make contacts in Dagestan or in Chechnya–because, after 6 months, he returned to the States, seemingly on his path to radicalization.

      • Gregg Smith

        That’s another odd thing, his case expired and was closed while he was in Dagestan. By the time he came back, seemingly on his path to radicalism, he was no longer in the system. He waltzed right in unnoticed.

        • brettearle

          It may be that the news services have not received proper chronology:

          When he returned from Dagestan and Chechnya, THAT’S when the FBI may have made back channels to Russian Intelligence and were summarily ignored.

          The FBI, at that point, may have erroneously put him on the large-umbrella TIDE list (if you haven’t heard about this List–though you likely have, already–look it up, so that we can talk about it) and then `discarded’ him as an unimportant player. 

          • Gregg Smith

            It was the testimony on Janet Napolitano but I don’t take it as gospel.

    • MelindaLi

      There is no real cooperation between FBI and FSB, at least hasn’t been until now. As FBI pointed out, they treated information provided by FSB with “caution”, as FSB tried to present Russia political enemies as potential terrorists before. Translation: US is still supporting Chechen separatist jihadists/”freedom fighters”, who periodically commit terrorist acts in Russian, but are not considered dangerous to US. In fact, no Chechen related jihadist group took responsibility for this terrorist act, as this it is against their political interests.

  • Rainwave

    “……these people are thugs, vandals, terrorists…” Nixon talking to Bob Haldemen about the protesters about the May Day Protest. Terrorist always gets thrown around for advantage. 

    • brettearle

      When men and women kill people, indiscriminately–so as to make a point, by scaring a large populous–it IS Terrorism, regardless of who is commenting on it.

      If Nixon, or anyone else, is misrepresenting this sort of violence, then that’s another thing….

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        But what about the idea that terrorism is gaining by violence (or threat thereof) what one cannot gain politically?

        Look at the terror visited on womens’ health clinics: People who have every legal right to do perform and seek a legal medical procedure are terrorized into not providing or seeking them.

        We haven’t figured out the idea of what these brothers wished to do by this act except for the direct result of deaths and injury. It may be that they had no larger aims in mind. Doesn’t that just become like the Aurora CO movie theater slayings then?

        • brettearle

          No, I agree, you expanded the issue and the definition quite accurately.

          In deconstructing the brothers Tsarnaev, we can, hopefully, identify their motives–cultural, political, religious, a combination or otherwise.

          To collectively say that an Act of Terror is political–while representing a cultural, religious, or political grievance–is also reasonable, I think.

      • Tyranipocrit

         ”When men and women kill people, indiscriminately–so as to make a point, by scaring a large populous”

           thus–all American wars abroad.  Shock and awe

  • marygrav

    What’s with no sound and what’s with
    “/tracks” is not a valid SoundCloud URL

    SoundCloud.com?

    • brettearle

      It’s disinformation to discourage Al Qaeda from listening in.

  • marygrav

    Alan Dershowitz was once my hero.  But like all idols he has developed feet of clay.  Professor Dershowitz is an American Zionist–and for him to pretend that he like a leopard has changed his stripes to defend a Muslim is a far stretch.

    I am surprised at Tom not having an arguing opposition against Dershowitz and his former student.  Both are thinly veiled in their opinions and are only fooling themselves in their supposed even-handedness defense of the Constitution.

    Joe Biden has always had loose lips and should not be prejudicing juries so that a change of venue is requested and in this request sympathy will get much more than it is today.  Americans always root for the underdog.  This desire to aid the underdog is why Israel and its lack of concern for the Palestinians is being mistaken for anti-Simitism by Dershowitz Chesney.

    I am not on the bombers’ side.  I as an American am on America’s side and on the side of the values in the US Constitution, like Professor Dershowitz once was.

    • brettearle

      Where did Dershowitz fall down in threatening Tsarnaev’s rights?

      Please elucidate.

      If you take the position, “Oh, well, didn’t you listen to the program?”, that would mean that you expect everyone to interpret Dershowitz’s opinions the way you did.

      I doubt that reasonable people can’t disagree reasonably.

      So, I ask you to elucidate.

      Just where did Dershowitz fall short in impugning the defendant’s rights?

      • marygrav

         Dershowitz’s travels from Talk Show to Show is very suspicious, to me at least.  He does not hide his Zionist feelings, so why bother.

        He is damning the Weathermen and Ayers in Chicago, his nemesises because of their Liberalism.  And for a professor whom debated Norman Finklestein about plagerizing a book, Mr. Dershowitz is very interesting.

        He pretending to be a Liberal–knowing full well that Biden has overspoken.  The Elephant in the room is the Israel Lobby, and Dershowitz is their spokesperson.

        I meant say “leopard change his spots,” but with the wonders of science and gene splicing, a leopard may soon have strips.

        And what is with the adhominiem attacks on the Weathermen.  Dershowitz was one of their defenders.  The Neoconservatives have been trying to draw College students away from the boycott of Israel and it products that is growing.

        These two guys are like vampires praying on the fear of the American fears.

        • brettearle

          You may have a legitimate political agenda against Dershowitz or you may not have a legitimate political agenda against him.

          But you haven’t even begun to address my question.

          Where did Dershowitz fall down in threatening Tsarnaev’s rights?

          The program was about the rights of the Defendant.

          It was not about Dershowitz’s  political agenda.

          If you can’t or unwilling to answer that question, it only suggests that you are using this thread to further your political agenda–rather than to address the true issue and the theme of today’s program that provides for appropriate comments, on this thread.

          • quinbusflestrin

            BrettEarle, you made a nice attempt to get Marygrav to make some sense, but her reply to you makes even less sense than her first statement.  You were polite;  she wasn’t even lucid.  She has no evidence, misuses terminology, confuses fact and fiction and delivers this barbarous mixture in mangled syntax.   

          • marygrav

             Thanks–that how Walter Lippman says public opinion works–as well as propaganda.

            Dershowitz is like Lucifer: A vision of light to the blind.

          • jefe68

            What?

          • MelindaLi

            There you go, all clear now. Meds.

          • marygrav

             Meds is right–the Right-Wing needs plenty of Meds.  Why is this Law Professor not in his class teaching the point of Constitutional Law which will sent the Bomber to years in prison. 

            If you have been keeping up with the news, the story about who, what, and when has more twists than an earth worms back.

            I know propaganda when I hear it.

            Think Syria.

          • brettearle

            Although not all, the majority of people who espouse a one-sided opinion cannot often back up their claims with examples–much less recognize their own thin propaganda.

            Thank you for recognizing the individual’s very unfortunate distractions.

            The attempts at dialogue, here, is an excellent example of why we are having the problems that we are having in understanding each other, in the country today.

          • marygrav

             The whole point of Dershowitz interest in this case is political.  There is nothing more political than the US Constitution.  Dershowitz and Chesney remind me Shakespear’s Julius Caesar “Friends, Roman, and Country Men, Lend Me Your Ear….”

            Dershowitz is bending ears.

          • jefe68

            What? Nothing more political than the US Constitution…
            What kind of inanity is this?
            You are a tedious fool.
            William Shakespeare:
            Measure for Measure

          • marygrav

            Try Syria.  Do you remember how WE were ushered into Iraq?  Propaganda got US there by good people who wanted to protect US Constitutional Right to make war.

            You mean to tell me that the US Constitution is not political?  I always thought it was the LAW of The Land.

            Think Syria, or is that too much for you?

            From a tedious fool who pays attention to history and the role that neoconservatism has paid in F—– Up this country.

          • jefe68

            Spot on.

          • MelindaLi

            Bravo, brettearle! There are a lot of comments pushing posters political agenda. Unfortunately, Tom Ashbrook digressed to the same level.

  • andic_epipedon

    I don’t know if I can put myself through another Alan Dershowitz interview.  I listened to him for ten minutes on ‘Here and Now’ yesterday.  It’s too bad I can’t listen to what the other guests have to say without listening to him blather again.

  • http://twitter.com/EricfromClt Eric B.

    I know Dershowitz lives in Boston and teaches at Harvard, but WBUR could certainly find 1,00s of a lawyers more qualified to discuss a potentially capital case, who actually try capital cases instead of just go on cable tv.  Almost any head Federal Defender or Capital Defender would be much more qualified, and the listeners may actually learn something about how a real capital case is prepared.

  • http://twitter.com/EricfromClt Eric B.

     I know Dershowitz lives in Boston and teaches at Harvard, but WBUR could
    certainly find 1,00s of a lawyers more qualified to discuss a
    potentially capital case, who actually try capital cases instead of just
    go on cable tv.  Almost any head Federal Defender or Capital Defender
    would be much more qualified, and the listeners may actually learn
    something about how a real capital case is prepared.

    • JGC

      Let me introduce myself.  I am JGC, Armchair Lawyer, and I am willing to contribute my services. Pro bono, as real lawyers say! (But just for the first ten would-be billable hours…After that I must charge the market rate for armchair lawyers.) 

      • JGC

        P.S:  satisfaction guaranteed. Or your bitcoins back.

  • twenty_niner

    Mr. Dershowitz,

    Thank you for noting the hyprocricy from the left surrounding the Weathermen and Boudin, who serves as the best reason one can think of to not attend Columbia University. Spot on as usual.

  • Gregg Smith

    The FBI was shocked when a magistrate came into the hospital during interrogation and read Tsarnaev his miranda rights. Then he clammed up. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMkq4qryjbM&feature=player_embedded

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Yes, let’s all go to some crap from Fox news that Gregg linked.

      • Gregg Smith

        TF, really you’re a broken record. If you have a dispute, say it but you won’t. It makes no difference where the truth comes from.

    • jefe68

      He should have been read his rights as soon as he was arrested. Why? Because if he’s tried as a citizen, which it seems he will be, his lawyer can petition the judge to not let any of his statements prior to his getting his miranda rights be admitted as evidence. Also you have those rights weather they are read to or not. You are aware of that? Right?

  • Dave Eger

    This event was horrible, but calling that style of bomb a WMD seems a bit of a stretch. Could we have justified the Iraq war because they decided to import some pressure cookers? There are much more damaging weapons used every day around the world, why would these homemade weapons be considered for the title of WMD?

    • hennorama

      Dave Eger – that particular section of the United States Code is extremely broad. You can read it here:

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2332a

      This section says, regarding WMDs:

      “(2)the term “weapon of mass destruction” means—

      (A)any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title; …”

      The definition of “destructive device” in section 921 is what makes the WMD definition so broad. It includes

      “any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas

      (i)bomb,
      (ii)grenade,
      (iii)rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
      (iv)missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
      (v)mine, or
      (vi)device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses”

      See:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921

  • hennorama

    For those interested in how ill will against the U.S. might be engendered by U.S. foreign policy actions, I suggest watching and reading about a young Yemeni man named Fraea al-Muslimi, and his experiences.

    MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes show yesterday led with a segment titled “The real terror threat”. It included an interview with “Farea al-Muslimi, a Yemeni writer and youth activist whose home village was hit in a U.S. drone strike last week, about what happens to entire populations of people who live through drone strikes overseas.”

    Farea al-Muslimi gave a perspective of the reactions of those on the business end of a drone strike, and how such strikes may lead to almost instant anti-U.S. radicalization.

    Later in the show, Chris Hayes discussed the essential human reaction of horror in the face of the sudden death and injury of innocents:

    “What we do know is the statistics which we talk about in this case, right, are attached to individuals and human beings, and I think one of the things that we all can do in the aftermath of watching the horror in Boston is to think about how people feel in the aftermath of watching death of an innocent person, how we all feel about the people that we know who died there and know that that feeling — that human feeling
    that we all feel, everyone around the world feels when they watch someone that they love perish in an instant. And that, that is a very hard thing, I think, for our policy makers to get through their heads.”

    Farea al-Muslimi had testified on Tuesday (April 23, 2013) before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, “Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing.” Mr. al-Muslimi discussed his background, telling the
    Committee that he grew up in Wessab, a remote mountainous village in Yemen. He went on to say that he became who he is today because the U.S. State Department had supported his education. Through a State Dept. program, he came to the U.S. for a year of high school, lived with an American family, went to high school, and learned about American culture.

    al-Muslimi said “I went to the U.S. as an ambassador for Yemen. I came back to Yemen as an ambassador of the U.S.”

    Unfortunately, six day before his Senate testimony, his village was struck in a drone attack that terrified the surrounding populace.

    Here’s what al-Muslimi told the Senators about the before and after of the strike:

    “In the past, what Wessab’s villagers knew of the U.S. was based on my stories about my wonderful experiences here. The friendships and values I experienced and described to the villagers helped them understand the America that I know and love.

    “Now, however, when they think of America they think of the terror they feel from the drones that hover over their heads ready to fire missiles at any time. What violent militants had previously failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant: there is now an intense anger against America in Wessab.”

    You can watch the video segment by clicking the link below. One suggestion – click the [transcript] button so you can read along. The transcript pops up to the left of the video, and moves in synch. This is especially helpful when al-Muslimi is speaking, as his
    English is imperfect and accented. The segment lasts about 12 minutes.

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/all-in-/51653064

    You can also read al-Muslimi’s Senate testimony
    here:http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/senate-testimony-yemeni-activist-describes-human-costs-targeted-killing

    • MelindaLi

      This particular person represents a certain group of Muslims and projects the group views. Generalizing any particular group’s view as “Muslim’s view” is equivalent to calling all Muslims terrorists. Majority of Muslims are killed by the other groups of Muslims (see recent bombings in Iraq as an example) on religious basis as well as various political reasons. Trying to please certain religious or ethnic groups because of fear of their radicalization is impossible as it may lead to radicalization of the opposing groups.
      Chechen Muslim separatists have been always supported by US and are referred to as “freedom fighters”, despite the fact that they are regularly committing terrorists acts in Russia. This is why you don’t hear any Chechen related jihadist groups taking responsibility for this terrorist act. These radical Muslims rely on US support. US also bombed a sovereign country Serbia to support creation of a Muslim state in Kosovo. That did not stop another group of Muslims from hating on US foreign policies pre-9/11. As you remember, back then the reasons for terrorism were “military bases in Saudi Arabia and US support of Israel”. Take a current Syria situation – some Muslims hate on US for not getting involved and helping the rebels, other groups of Muslims are already blaming US for funding the rebels and overthrowing a democratically elected government. Alan Dershovitz pointed out to Tom absurdity of accepting a particular caller’s opinion as a “Muslim position”, but Tom defended the caller, showing his own discontent with US foreign policy, which was irrelevant to the topic.

      • hennorama

        MelindaLi – Thank you for your response. I respect and appreciate your views.

        I agree that generalizing about a large group based on the activities and/or characteristics of a small subgroup is problematic. However, I was not in any way generalizing, nor was I promoting the idea, as you wrote, of “Trying to please certain religious or ethnic groups because of fear of their radicalization …”.

        My point was to provide a human perspective. It is a universal human reaction to feel the loss of life on a visceral level.

        Mr. al-Muslimi was relating how his fellow villagers got a more positive view of the U.S. from the stories of his personal experiences, and how that positive view of the U.S. switched immediately to “an intense anger against America” as a result of the recent drone strike. On his village. Mr. al-Muslimi claimed the strike was against a well-known individual who “Yemeni officials easily could have found and arrested.”

        Regardless, one can imagine the impact of a missile strike from a U.S. drone on a very poor and remote mountain village in Yemen, and how such a missile strike might change the local populace’s views of those involved in carrying out such an attack. One can easily imagine some villagers may have wanted to seek revenge for this attack.

        In the same way, many Americans had a natural and arguably justifiable visceral desire for vengeance as a result of the Boston Bombing.

        The point is, terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. Sudden attacks resulting in death and injury can terrorize those who experience them “up close and personal”, regardless of who carried out the attack, or their reasons for doing so.

        I will let the remainder of your post pass without comment.

        • MelindaLi

          Completely agree with you, hennorama, that “terrorism is in the eye of the beholder”, but still do see how it is relevant to the particular topic… Again, alleged mastermind of this particular attack was Chechen and US is supporting Chechen separatists. I understand that you are opposing use of drones and respect your opinion. If we are discussing personal views, imagine, how justifiable is Serbian hatred of US, after the whole country in Europe has been bombed pretty recently (under Clinton) to support Kosovo separatists. Serbian children are still finding cluster bombs. Is this better than using drones? I don’t know. Would that justify Serbian terrorism against US? No. 

          • hennorama

            MelindaLi – Thank you for your thoughtful response.

            I was not making any sort of political point, and was neither promoting nor opposing any particular policy or policies. Rather, I was making two main points:

            1. U.S. policies, regardless of how well-crafted or well-intended they may be, can engender anger and perhaps thoughts of vengeance in those on the receiving end of such policies, especially when innocent lives are lost as a result
            2. Anger and thoughts of vengeance are natural human reactions to such events, and they occur whenever human life is lost in sudden and impersonal events

            None of this justifies or excuses the events that occurred in Boston last week.

            The point is, such events can arouse extremely negatives thoughts on the part of individuals, wherever similar events occur around the world. Twas ever thus.

          • MelindaLi

            Agree, such events, or a multitude of other events of various nature “can arouse extremely negatives thoughts on the part of individuals”.

  • tmajor

    Alan Dershowitz is as dumb as a box of rocks. Nothing against people in general but lawyers in general are pretty close to being the scurge of this nation.We have too many useless, damaging laws and too many vultures making money interpreting them!!

    We live in a nation that spends trillions of dollars (sometimes in a single year) on its military industrial complex allegedly defending its homeland and citizens. We’ve had how many terrorist attacks that have involved the murdering of civilians here now? with all that money spent on defense, all that security and law enforcement that was at the marathon, the DHS, the low paid security guards in the TSA feeling women and children up, the FBI, CIA, NSA, these imbeciles are only good for showing up after the crimes are committed and relieving us of more of our rights!!!

    When you pay a security company trillions of dollars a year and they don’t protect you, you replace them immediately. In fact you should be really thinking that the perpetraitors of these crimes very well may be employees of the security firm! Wake Up And Choose To Use Your Inherent Ability To Think On Your Own!!!

  • Tim Clarke

    Super Lawyer?  How about Super Arrogant!  Super cocky!  Super I’m taking this case to a whole new personal level! Who describes a profession in this manner?

  • Anton_Chehov

    Here is a simple fact: 99% of Muslim terror victims are… Muslims.
    So
    if, according to American lefties,  US suffers from Muslim terror
    because of it’s involvement abroad, what is the cause of terror in
    Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan? Do Shia slaughter Sunni (and vise
    versa) following the instructions from State Department?

    • jefe68

      According to lefties? I’m pretty left wing and I don’t subscribe to this narrative. So there goes that theory.

  • Linda Guthrie

    Alan Dershowitz is completely wrong in his statement that US actions have nothing to do with spurring terrorism toward Americans. How can he be so uninformed?

    The same day that the Boston Marathon bombs exploded, making us Boston Strong, US drones were reported by Governor Abdul Zahir Safi

    to have killed 10 children in eastern Afghanistan.

    Do the deaths that result from US drone strikes make those communities Pakistan or Afghanistan Strong? I don’t think so. Instead, it further hardens their resolve against America and radicalizes previously perfectly rational Muslims. 

    • MelindaLi

      Linda, do you think these ”perfectly rational Muslims” get just as upset about Taliban blowing up hundreds of children of other Muslims – latest bombings in Pakistan by Taliban? Not that this is a relevant subject. This is your personal view,  you have no right to speak for “perfectly rational Muslims”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

    What has to happen before we start examining our “immigrants” better? This isn’t the first time they tried to blow us up. The new bill S 744 is going to FALSE asylum claims easier.  If the bomber’s family was in danger why did they “go home” ? They received welfare, were convicted of shop lifting, were running tax free salon services out of their home, were suspected of ties to terrorists by at least 2 governments- yet had no problem traveling back to where they “needed ” asylum from. .. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru
  • clearer_memory_than_Dershowitz

    Dershowitz’s inaccurate rant about the Weather Underground (of which even Tom Ashbrook had to inquire about the relevance) does bring up a useful point, that all those who use anti personnel bombs directed at civilians should be treated the same, regardless of their race, class background or country of origin or position.  Hopefully, then, he would include in that group Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon et. al who ordered vast numbers of such bombs to be dropped throughout Indochina during the Vietnam War with such vast numbers of civilian casualties that it is incomprehensible to say that they did not know that they were being used against civilians. And, by the way, although over 110 states have passed and more than 70 have ratified the Convention banning the use of cloister bombs, the Us still has done neither. 

    • MelindaLi

      Out of fairness, since we are talking about cluster bombs, let’s remember a more recent use of cluster bombs by US in Serbia by Clinton (one of many available references http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/nato-comes-clean-on-cluster-bombs-402552.html). No, I am not a rightwinger and I absolutely hate Nixon. Just wanted to clear your and everyone else’s memory.

  • spokehead

    Back to the title and point of the program, before 9-11, the concept of a “enemy combatant” did not exist.  You were either a criminal or a soldier.  And soldiers were considered to have greater rights than the criminal, so that, to make the simplest case, the soldier cannot be charged with murder for killing an enemy soldier.  The Neocons, however, wanted desperately to expand the power of the federal government (despite the perennial cry of conservatives that the federal government has too much power) and so promoted the idea that the US is at war in order to invoke the governments extraordinary wartime powers.  But if we are at war, then the terrorists, as enemy soldiers, would be able to invoke the protections of international law protecting the rights of soldiers.   So they created this bastardized and perverted concept of the enemy combatant who is a soldier with less rights than a criminal.

    And let me challenge one other misguided issue.  If we believe that an individual cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process, because, of course, it is the civilized and just way to behave, then what difference does it make whether that individual is or is not a US citizen?  Why does immoral behavior (denying those rights) become moral if it is practiced against a non-citizen?

  • Tyranipocrit

    To the caller that says he has no remorse– how do you know that?

  • Tyranipocrit

    Timothy McVeigh did what he was trained to do.  The death penalty is political and also racist/discriminating. 

  • 228929292AABBB

    I find I learn something from every episode of On Point, what I learned from this one is that Alan Dershowitz is an arrogant rambler.  I wish there had been a better counterpoint regarding the law post 9/11.  At least 40% of the Bill of Rights has been weakened so to have a professor and his like minded pupil agree everything’s going right seems short of perfection.

     If no intelligent advocate for the rights of the accused can be found, lock a couple Israelis up in Guantanamo with the same laws we’re using on Muslims and have Professor Dershowitz back on.  You’ll get a whole new view.

ONPOINT
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Apr 18, 2014
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