Obama is trying a citizen as a citizen. Much better than McCain/Graham’s panicked neo-fascist calls for suspension of civil rights.

The weird thing is that he’s being tried for using a WMD, but not for terrorism. The idea seems to be that Obama wants to get the death penalty, but not to tick off International Islam with the (obvious) fact that this guy and his brother saw themselves as jihadis.

I wonder if it occurred to the family or their mosque to report these jerks to the law?

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  • Mike

    He should be tried as a citizen as he is a citizen and not an enemy combatant and although this was terrorism and it did include the use of a WMD, it was not some act of war.

    Republicans need to stop PANICKING and freaking out and seeming SO bloodly opportunistic. 2012 isn’t going to disappear over night.

    • dpt

      “He should be tried as a citizen as he is a citizen and not an enemy combatant”

      I agree.
      Didn’t Bush Sr. set this precedent with the bombers of the WTC in the early ’90s?
      The “war drums/ship them to Gitmo” reaction is predictable though base compared to the capabilities of our legal system.

  • Tim in Cleveland

    I’m by no means an expert in this area of law, but I believe he is being charged with Terrorism. The “using a weapon of mass destruction” section, 18 USC 2332a, is a subsection of Chapter 113B of the Title 18 of the United States Code. Chapter 113B is labeled “Terrorism” and includes a number of subsections.

    I’m not sure if there is an actual crime of “terrorism”, just a number of crimes that fit within that chapter.

    Again, I’m no expert.

    • The Jerk

      Remember, this is the first charge. There will likely be more as they continue to sort through the facts. What they needed off the bat was a charge that would stand up with the evidence they already have, and be serious enough to convince a judge to hold him either without bail or on a high enough cash bail to keep him in custody. This isn’t a t.v. show where the case gets resolved in 43 minutes. It’s time to take a step back and wait for all the facts to come out.

      • Beadgirl

        Patience, reason, and level-headedness in a combox? Waiting to see what happens? An acknowledgement that the legal system is slow-moving? What kind of weirdo are you?

  • EBS

    The family and the mosque that you questioned as to why they didn’t intervene in stopping jihadists like these two boys would not have in a million years intervened. How many Muslim clerics came out and condemned 911? Im happy to be proven wrong.

    You see, the families and mosques were implicit in them becoming terrorists…there is a real mentality of us VS them when it comes to hardcore Islam. Something about having an inferiority complex mixed in with hatred and fear of others unlike them.
    I wander though that, surely in Western Countries, there should a harsh law that sees extremist clerics (like the one that those boys were following on YouTube), jailed for inciting and encouraging violence. When you have a Muslim that hates all non-Muslims, he will REALLY hate all non-muslims and entice his fellows to do the same. It’s sad, but not everyone has goodness in them… now that the surviving brother is conscious in the hospital, he is blaming the whole thing on his dead brother. Oh yes, on the brother that he ran over with his car when he tried to get away…so you tell me where is the family love?

    • Andy, Bad Person

      How many Muslim clerics came out and condemned 911? Im happy to be proven wrong.

      Prepare to be happy.

      (By the way, this was buried in Google, being only the very first result on a search for “muslim cleric condemn 9-11.”)

      • Dan F.

        shhh… Andy, you bad person you, don’t go confusing the issue with facts easily obtainable in our modern age….

      • EBS

        @ Andy the badman (haha) You are so naive.

        It’s a laughable joke that all of these “political” leaders repeatedly expressing their “shock and horror” time and time again, whilst doing nothing to deter the sheikhs who build up the hatred in everyday mosques. So does this so-calked “shock and horror” extend to the persecution of Christians and non-Muslims in their countries. There aren’t any Christian Assyrians left in Iraq Andy. This is post 911. Are these clerics “saddened” by that? They are persecuting the Copts in Egypt daily, are the Muslim Brotherhood “shocked” by that? they just kidnapped two Bishops in Syria…I’ll keep going if you want.

        • Newp Ort

          Looks like your No Good Imam is No True Scotsman.

        • Kenneth

          So you think the extremists in Cairo or the Swat Valley or Syria’s civil war would just stand down if the imams in Detroit or Boston or Manhattan would find the moral courage to issue the orders? Should American Christians be considered complicit in the affairs of Westboro Baptist or witch-burners in Africa or every nut job white power militia that employs Christian imagery because the mainstream leaders “did nothing” to deter them?

          • EBS

            No Kenneth that’s not what I meant.

            Put it this way- why is our Pope and Cardinals being blamed and held responsible for all those pedophile priests. Why can’t all good Shiite Muslim leaders take the wrap for the actions of bad Shiite Muslim leaders? Or all good Sunni Muslim leaders take the wrap for the actions of bad Sunni Muslim leaders? Just like everyone holds the Catholic Church accountable for every bad priest. Yes I know it was not Clerics who did the bombing, but it was a Cleric who heads a Mosque in Liverpool Australia that these brothers had on their YouTube account. A legitimate religious leader. With dangerous views, that influenced these boys. Who is regulating this Cleric?

            No I won’t apologize for “lying”. I made a general statement to illustrate a point Andy. You took one statement I made and missed my entire point, because you are too busy playing “critique”. You want me to be PC. I won’t. It’s you who fails to look at the picture at depth.

            I don’t claim to know EVERY Muslim Cleric, as I don’t claim to know every person. I do know there are really good ones that strive to live their faith the best they know and lead others to do the same. I saw one who lectures at Griffith University in Australia talking the other day. But the clerics with any bout don’t direct and guide and strive to stamp out extremism. They just issue politically correct statements after the event so they remain politically relevant. The Muslim faith lacks true leadership.

            And I fail to understand the lack of moderation and tolerance of other Faiths by countries such as Indonesia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Saudi, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan etc etc…who restrict personal freedom and force their religion on all. The divide comes from somewhere! It doesn’t just happen from thin air.

            I’m Lebanese background. I know something about how Arabs think- Christians and Muslims. The Muslim friends that my parents had in the 60′s distanced themselves from their Christian friends when the women who would wear western attire started covering their heads, and the men started growing beards, visiting Mecca and calling themselves Sheikhs. There is a cultural distrust, even in moderate Lebanon, because Islam teaches not to trust a non-Muslim. Why do you think so many non-Christians leave. You can’t live in such a society. Why is that? Doesn’t anyone ever ask why?

            You use Westboro as though it is representative of all Christian denominations. They are not. Whoever the hell the baptist leader is, is responsible to kick them in line. Thats why you have a leadership structure in organized religions.

            The naivety has to stop. As does superficial answers found through a simple google search.

            Here comes the apology- I’m sorry Andy that you give such a boring argument.

            • Kenneth

              “….why is our Pope and Cardinals being blamed and held responsible for all those pedophile priests?…”

              Because they are, in fact, responsible for the oversight and actions of their priests, and because they actively aided and abetted the commission of their crimes on an international scale for more than a half century. That is beyond dispute and very well documented. A regular ol’ Muslim and a Muslim cleric in Hamburg or Yemen or down the street are, relationally, just two dudes who claim to follow the same book and prophet and God. Clerics attract followers based on their apparent expertise and ability to inspire people on the business of being a good Muslim (or at least an observant one). Yes, that cleric has a moral responsibility for the message he imparts to followers, and to call others out who preach hate and violence (they often do).

              A Catholic priest and his bishop are not freelancers who just happen to read from the same book on Sundays. That priest is in the bishop’s chain of command. That bishop determines where he works and the scope of his job responsibilities, whether he gets to exercise all of his priestly functions, and even whether he gets to remain a priest at all. That link drawn between bishops and priests (and even the pope) in regards to the abuse scandal is not something made up by the liberal media to create a double standard for Muslims and Catholics. It’s the way things are, under the Church’s own structure of many centuries. A priest bears responsibility for his actions. The bishops, on up to the pope, bear responsibility for their actions or failure to act upon abuse they knew about or should reasonably have known about as supervisors. The Islamic world has a lot of problems, no doubt. Good Muslims should speak out against terror, but we should also give them credit for doing so and not hold them to account for the actions of their nutty co-religionists any more than we are willing to be held to account for the loons within our own faith traditions. Nor can we blame Muslim clerics for failing to exercise a worldwide papal or apostolic authority none of them possess.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          I await your apology for lying about the entire population of Muslim clerics.

    • Richard Bell

      Oddly enough, in the recent arrests, in Canada, it was the local imam who tipped the police that somebody needed to be watched.

      • EBS

        Richard I agree. Seems like the Sheikhs are waking up because people have had enough, or they will make their existence in the West as intolerable as they have made non-Muslims in their countries.

  • HokiePundit

    Well, just as importantly, the police have probable cause for the WMD charge. So far as I know, there has been no announced motive. It could easily be terrorism, but what if it’s just two hyper-religious Muslims who set off bombs because they were curious about the results, not because they wanted to advance any particular ideology? If that were somehow the case, it wouldn’t be terrorism. Once the prosecutors know more then they’ll have plenty of opportunity to add new charges, but these two are very obvious and mean that they can get warrants or indictments on the rest later. I’d expect plenty of murder, attempted murder, malicious wounding, etc. charges, not even counting state charges for assault on police, carjacking, evading police, illegal discharge of a firearm, speeding, failure to yield, littering, and so on from Massachusetts. These two charges basically just ensure that he can be held in police custody.

  • Ye Olde Statistician

    The outcry over 9/11 by muslims and muslim clerics was not widely reported in US media, but was substantial nonetheless.
    The family and mosques of the Tsaraev brothers did not denounce them to the authorities for the excellent reason that the brothers had not done anything up to that point. This was the same reason why, after interviewing him a few years ago on a Russian tip, the FBI did nothing further about the older brother. The “lone wolf” strategy is for simple, local attacks by unaffiliated individuals. The jihadis recently caught in stings and the like all tried to “go big” and therefore had to hunt around for help. Once they started asking others for assistance, others would turn them in. The two jihadis recently arrested up in Canada for plotting to derail the NYC-Toronto train were turned in by their mosque.
    I am informed by one who should know that the Cambridge mosque near Boston is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, and (like most college-local mosques) highly radicalized. But even they invited the older brother to leave after he stood up and denounced the imam’s sermon for honoring Martin Luther King, a non-muslim. Is that really something over which to inform the police?

    • Mark Shea

      Fair enough.

    • Mike

      “The family and mosques of the Tsaraev brothers did not denounce them to the authorities for the excellent reason that the brothers had not done anything up to that point.”
      Exactly! At least from the 2 articles Mark linked to, Tamerlan came across as simply another argumentative, overzealous new convert. We’ve all seen our share of Catholics who come in fired up to change the modernist ways of the Church and “get serious” about religion, to the point of being completely disruptive, stupid and annoying. We find them annoying but not potential terrorists. Islam must also have its share of such people – far more than we ever hear about – who ultimately go on to settle down later on.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    How many Muslim clerics came out and condemned 911? Im happy to be proven wrong.

    Prepare to be happy.

    (By the way, this was buried in Google, being only the very first result on a search for “muslim cleric condemn 9-11.”)

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Ugh. You can delete this one. It was meant to be a reply to an earlier comment.

  • Mike in KC, MO

    Whoa! Whoa! WAIT!

    Weapon of Mass Destruction? No, I disagree with that. This seems to me as slipping language.

    Truck bomb like McVeigh had? Yes, I’d say that applies. What was in Boston was, in short, a very large pipe bomb. I don’t see how that qualifies. Seems that you could eventually classify any kind of explosive as a ‘WMD’. Why not just charge him with possession and use of a destructive device, which is a VERY bad federal felony?

    • Jamie R

      Weapons of mass destruction is a term of art for this law. It just means any explosive.

      • Noah D

        But the problem is it places in the same category nuclear weapons and a can full of black powder.

        Charging him with ‘using a weapon of mass destruction’ is sort of like our ‘hate crime’ laws – somehow, it makes murder more…murdery.

        • Jamie R

          It makes murder more federal. In this case, that puts the death penalty on the table, since if the people of Massachusetts were trying him, he couldn’t get worse than life in prison.

          • meunke

            I’m no legal expert, but I think using a plain jane destructive device in attempted mass murder is probably still a crime that would have the death sentence as a possibility.

            I also think the a ‘terrorism’ charge would also have that penalty attached.

          • Jon W

            Ugh. This did not have to be a federal case. Why do we feel the need to make it a federal case?

            • Mark Shea

              So we can kill him.

      • Mike

        So Saddam Hussein really did have WMDs?

        • Jon W

          Ha, ha. Love it. :-D

  • Kirt Higdon

    I’m happy Tsarnaev the younger will be tried as a civilian since this makes it likely that more of the truth will come out, even if some evidence is surpressed for “national security” reasons. At least he won’t be buried in Guantanamo and perhaps never brought to trial. I also hope we never reach the point where family members and fellow church goers start reporting people to the authorities for holding extreme opinions or visiting such internet sites. That smacks of the worst type of totalitarianism. Most family members would not turn on each other even for actual small crimes and in some cases not even for big ones. Even the Unibomber’s brother did not turn him in until he was assured that the death penalty was off the table.

  • Ed the Roman

    Of course, the death penalty would have stayed on the table for anyone Ted mailed a box to if his brother had kept his mouth shut.

    When the extreme opinion sums up to “the government of the United States should be overthrown by force and violence” family ties ought to be rather strained.

  • The Deuce

    The weird thing is that he’s being tried for using a WMD, but not for terrorism. The idea seems to be that Obama wants to get the death penalty, but not to tick off International Islam with the (obvious) fact that this guy and his brother saw themselves as jihadis.

    No mystery here. This is the administration that classified Fort Hood as “workplace violence” and only retroactively figured out that Benghazi was terrorism when forced to do so over two weeks after the fact. They’d be calling this one a “man-caused disaster” if they thought they could get away with it.

  • Theodore Seeber

    They particularly are NOT Jihadis. They are Chechen, and Chechen Islam replaces Jihad with Vendetta, which is at once both more bloody and more personal.

    If the sola Jihad of al Qaida scares you, these guys should scare you more. Stalin tried to wipe them out and failed.

    As the younger brother has now told us in his confession, they acted alone. The reason they used pressure cooker bombs? Because that’s what they could afford.

    • Pavel Chichikov

      You trust his testimony? But see below.

      Acting alone would not necessarily indicate that there was no control or influence.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      “However, to bring down America we do not need to strike big. In such an environment of security phobia that is sweeping America, it is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve fewer players and less time to launch and thus we may circumvent the security barriers America has worked so hard to erect. This strategy of attacking the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations is what some may refer to the strategy of a thousand cuts. The aim is to bleed the enemy to death.”
      – the late* Samir Khan, explaining “Operation Hemorrhage,” (Inspire, Nov. 2010)
      (*) late: encountered a US missile in the Yemen.

      Regarding the cheapness of pressure cooker bombs:
      ‘In his October 2004 address to the American people, bin Laden noted that the 9/11 attacks cost al Qaeda only a fraction of the damage inflicted upon the United States. “Al Qaeda spent $500,000 on the event,” he said, “while America in the incident and its aftermath lost — according to the lowest estimates — more than $500 billion, meaning that every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million dollars.”’

      In that address, [Adam] Gadahn put his finger on an important insight that AQAP is now reiterating: Even failed attacks can help the jihadists by “bring[ing] major cities to a halt, cost[ing] the enemy billions, and send[ing] his corporations into bankruptcy.” Failed attacks, simply put, can themselves be successes. This is precisely why AQAP devoted an entire issue of Inspire to celebrating terror attempts that killed nobody.
      Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, “Death by a Thousand Cuts” (Foreign Policy, November 23, 2010)

  • The True Will

    Of course, since Benjamin had told us that Obama has no control over what the Justice Department does, he can not get the credit for this decision.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Maybe whomever Tamerlan met with in Daghestan/Chechnya suggested that he go ahead and improvise, to see how it would work. Perhaps the event in Boston is a test, and an opportunity to observe. How would one know?

    It would seem that the crux of the investigation may be in the Caucasus, and our own authorities are not on their own turf there. They are not likely to discover whatever the Russian security services prefer that they not discover.

    It is obviously a very difficult matter.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    You know, this country is still special and precious. Stalin would have said something very much like this, in his style:

    “First, arrest his ******* mother and tell him that unless he spills his guts she goes straight to Magadan, where he knows what happens to women. Then the rest of his ******* family, one by one.

    “Get back to me by tomorrow.”

    • Beccolina

      From what I’ve read of Stalin, that would be the nice version.

  • Benjamin

    Told you so.

    commented extended for the spam filter

    • The True Will

      But you told us Obama has no control over what the Justice Department does.

      • Jamie R

        The rule is when the DOJ is bad, Obama can’t do anything. However, when the DOJ is good, Obama is responsible.

        I’m actually really surprised that DOJ, on its own initiative, decided to keep Tsarnaev and try him, instead of turning him into an enemy combatant. So far they haven’t even done anything that we know of to deprive him of due process. I still wouldn’t be surprised if the government tries to classify any exculpatory or mitigating evidence, but so far so good.

        It’s too bad Obama isn’t in charge of the DOJ. It would’ve been nice to geel good about our President for once.

      • Benjamin

        Nowhere did I say Obama has “no control” over the DOJ.

  • Jamie R

    Jamie R says:
    April 20, 2013 at 11:01 am
    Then why is the DOJ defending [the indefinite detention part of the NDAA]? Is the DOJ part of congress?

    Benjamin says:
    April 20, 2013 at 11:06 am
    The Department of Justice is, primarily, a law enforcement organization, and one with enormous institutional/bureaucratic mandates and imperatives. Federal law enforcement filed a brief in favor of broader powers for law enforcement organizations, because law enforcement organizations want the courts to grant them as much latitude as possible.

    Jamie R says:
    April 20, 2013 at 11:10 am
    So the President isn’t charge of the AG or the USAs that are defending the NDAA? Obama couldn’t tell them to stop or fire them? Thanks, I didn’t know that.

    Benjamin says:
    April 20, 2013 at 11:20 am
    “So the President isn’t charge of the AG or the USAs that are defending the NDAA?”

    Not in the way you’re thinking of, no. The DOJ is a bit different from the other departments. It’s extraordinarily difficult to tell them to stop when they’re all speaking with one voice and want to defend the policy. That wasn’t the case with DOMA–but law enforcement agencies love bigger powers for law enforcement agencies.

    So, even if Obama has more than “no control” over the DOJ, the DOJ is at least pretty autonomous when it comes to law enforcement decisions, like whether to try someone like they’re supposed to, or as an enemy combatant. Obama deserves as much credit for the brave decision to try a US citizen as a citizen in US courts as he deserves blame for fighting for the right not to.