BOSTON (AP) — What Dzhokhar Tsarnaev needed to learn to make explosives with a pressure cooker was at his fingertips in jihadist files on the Internet, according to a federal indictment accusing him of carrying out the bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured dozens more.
Investigators have been trying to determine whether Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed while the two were on the run after the bombings, was influenced or trained by Islamic militants during a trip overseas. But the indictment released Thursday against 19-year-old Dzhokhar makes no mention of any overseas influence.Now, I'm certain that this could never be used to foment changes on how we visit websites or browse the internet, right? The government would never use a sensational but statistically unnoticeable event to bring about wide changes in our liberties, right? The ghost of Al Capone laughs at your naivete...
Again, though, what I really want to focus on, something that I feel has not gotten enough attention recently. The NSA, we have found out, has been getting detailed reports on every phone call made, every e-mail sent, every website we visit for the past, well, they'll only admit to the early 2000s (yes, George Bush's fault). With the Tsarnaev brothers, we have a multi-year trail of phone, e-mail, and even physical visits to areas known to harbor terroristsm and yet the NSA somehow missed evidence of the bombing?
The stated purpose for the spying was to stop terrorist attacks, right? They trotted out some tinfoil-wearing lunatics who were allegedly planning to assassinate the president with a ray gun (I wish I was making this up, I really do) as evidence of the NSA's success with this program. Really? That's how far they had to dig? White supremacists in upstate New York with a plan straight out of Mad Magazine's "Spy Vs. Spy"?
And yet, when two Russian immigrants were downloading bomb information after making trips to war-torn Chechnya, they just happened to miss that signs. Despite the Russians saying, "Hey, you really ought to be watching this group". Tell me again how serious we are about guarding against terrorism and why our government needs to spy on us for our own good. Go ahead. Try it.
And when you're done with that, I've got the lease papers on that bridge in New York City...
That is all.