Malacandra.me

We’re All Glenn Greenwald Now


...there is no doubt that, like all human beings their acts were, as my shrink often unhelpfully puts it, “multi-determined.” And there is a huge amount to learn from the stoner kid who got caught up in his brother’s religious fanaticism. But Glenn Greenwald veers into left-liberal self-parody this morning:
The overarching principle here should be that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is entitled to a presumption of innocence until he is actually proven guilty. As so many cases have proven – from accused (but exonerated) anthrax attacker Stephen Hatfill to accused (but exonerated) Atlanta Olympic bomber Richard Jewell to dozens if not hundreds of Guantanamo detainees accused of being the “worst of the worst” but who were guilty of nothing – people who appear to be guilty based on government accusations and trials-by-media are often completely innocent. Media-presented evidence is no substitute for due process and an adversarial trial.
But beyond that issue, even those assuming the guilt of the Tsarnaev brothers seem to have no basis at all for claiming that this was an act of “terrorism” in a way that would meaningfully distinguish it from Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tuscon and Columbine. All we really know about them in this regard is that they identified as Muslim, and that the older brother allegedly watched extremist YouTube videos and was suspected by the Russian government of religious extremism (by contrast, virtually every person who knew the younger brother has emphatically said that he never evinced political or religious extremism).
Legally, the case for the presumption of innocence is absolutely right. But come on
One reason the Miranda rights issue is not that salient is that the evidence that this dude bombed innocents, played a role in shooting a cop, shutting down a city, and terrorizing people for a week is overwhelming and on tape. And yes, of course, this decision to commit horrific crimes may be due in part to “some combination of mental illness, societal alienation, or other form of internal instability and rage that is apolitical in nature.” But to dismiss the overwhelming evidence that this was also religiously motivated – a trail that now includes a rant against his own imam for honoring Martin Luther King Jr. because he was not a Muslim – is to be blind to an almost text-book case of Jihadist radicalization...
For someone just catching up on this story, the idea that there is no basis for claiming the Boston Marathon bombing "...was an act of “terrorism” in a way that would meaningfully distinguish it from Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tuscon and Columbine" may seem odd until you understand that Mr  Greenwald does not believe terrorism qua terrorism exists at all outside of his own, personal definition:
'Terrorist', noun:  
1. Someone my government tells me is a terrorist; 
2. Someone my President decides to kill.
As always, for the comprehension-impaired, let me reiterate that there are many subjects on which I agree with Mr. Greenwald (and, for that matter, Mr. Sullivan) and that I am delighted to live in a culture where his every vagrant thought is published widely and without censorship.

As for the dear compatriot who chided me in an earlier post about "friendly fire" being unhelpful, 1) You make a valid point, 2) I am a fleck of plankton in a vast, cold sea and the idea that anything I say or do in any way disrupts the various, ongoing pie fights in the executive suites of the Great Liberal Conspiracy is hilarious, and 3) May I assume you sent an identical missive to Mr. Greenwald? Or is it only "friendly fire" when I fire back? grin

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, bombing suspect, charged in a sealed complaint in federal court

By John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged in a sealed complaint, and his initial court appearance was conducted today by a federal magistrate judge in his hospital room, a federal court official says.

The announcement by Gary H. Wente, circuit executive for the US courts for the First Circuit , came after a White House spokesman said earlier today that Tsarnaev, who is in serious condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, would be tried in the federal court system.

Speaking at a media briefing in Washington, spokesman Jay Carney said Tsarnaev would not be tried as an enemy combatant.

“He will not be treated as an enemy combatant. We will process this terrorist through our system of justice,” he said.

Pointing to other terrorists who have been tried and convicted in federal court, he said, “The system has repeatedly proven that it can successfully handle the threat that we continue to face.”

He also said that US citizens cannot be tried before military commissions. Tsarnaev is a naturalized US citizen. He was sworn in as a citizen in September.
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We now return to our regularly scheduled concerns: