May 5, 2013
The relation between the suspected Boston Marathon bombers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and the Boston Police (BP) is a point of contention and controversy.
The FBI, at first, claimed no knowledge of the bombing suspects but later was forced to admit having received at least two sets of intelligence reports, one from Russian officials and another from the CIA, identifying one of the suspected bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as a potential security threat -linked to a Chechen terrorist organization. Testimony from Tsarnaev’s mother and father indicates that the FBI was active in following, harassing and interrogating the suspect before the bombing. Despite general directives from the US Departments of Justice and Homeland Security mandating US security to aggressively pursue ‘Islamist terrorists’, the FBI claims to have made no effort to follow-up on the Russian and CIA security alerts, especially after Tamerlan Tsarnaev returned from Russian state of Dagestan last year where he allegedly met six times with a known Chechen terrorist, Gadzhimurad Dolgatov, in a fundamentalist Salafi mosque.
The official government and corporate media versions claim the FBI may have ‘over-looked’ the security risk posed by Tsarnaev. Congressional critics argue that the FBI was ‘negligent’ in following up leads provided by the Russians and the CIA. A more likely explanation is that the FBI was actively engaged with Tsarnaev and deliberately encouraged the conspiracy for self-serving purposes.
The most benign hypothesis is that the FBI was using Tsarnaev as a means of infiltrating and securing intelligence on other possible ‘terrorists’. A more plausible hypothesis is that the Boston office of the FBI had set the pair of brothers up for a sting operation in order to enhance their anti-terrorist credentials – and that the ‘operation’ got out of hand — with Tamarlan having his own agenda. The most likely hypothesis is that the FBI facilitated the bombing in order to revive the flagging fortunes of the ‘war on terror’ foisted on a war-weary and economically depressed American public.
The FBI in Boston has a long and notorious history of working with and protecting certain leaders of organized crime in return for information about targeted rivals: The most notorious example is the FBI’s 20-year ‘partnership’ with one of Boston’s most feared gangland killers, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, where the mobster was provided with protection and collaboration in return for his information about a rival crime family and other competitors. In 2012, Bulger was finally indicted for 19 murders mostly committed under FBI ‘protection’ – although one of his closest mob-partners claims he murdered 40 people in his lifetime.
The ‘Boston Bombings’ served as a detonator to mobilize the entire US security apparatus; it has led to the suspension of constitutional guaranties. It has been accompanied by an intense mass media campaign glorifying police state operations and the imposition of virtual martial law in the Boston metropolitan area of over 4.5 million inhabitants. The military police operation and media campaign aroused fear and terror among the public. Instant psychodrama produced mass worship of the ‘heroic’ police: they were portrayed as having saved the public from unknown numbers of armed terrorists lurking in their neighborhoods. The police, the FBI and the entire Security Apparatus – were repeatedly ‘honored’ at public spectacles, sports and civic events, lauded as ‘guardians’ and ‘saviors’. The sordid role of FBI in organizing entrapment operations was never mentioned. The hundreds of billions wasted in futile overseas ‘wars against terror’ went down the memory hole. The opposition to Washington’s cuts in social programs was diverted almost overnight to support new funding for US military intervention in Syria and North Korea, a greater arms build-up in Israel and domestic security.
The ‘Boston Bombings’ coincided with the White House dictating a new round of domestic police state measures and launching a series of aggressive military moves in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The Pentagon has organized its biggest and most threatening air, sea and land military exercises right on the borders of North Korea. The White House has encouraged and promoted Japan’s belligerent military posture toward China regarding disputed islands in the South China Sea. Secretary of State Kerry has increased military aid to the Syrian terrorists by at least $130 million and dispatched hundreds of Special Forces to Jordan to train the jihadi-mercenaries against the Syrian government. The White House concocted charges that Damascus deployed chemical weapons against the rebels to justify direct US military intervention in Syria. Closer to home, the White House has given unconditional support to the violent Venezuelan opposition’s post-election campaign designed to provoke a civil war– while refusing to recognize the internationally certified election victory of President Maduro.
It is very clear the Obama regime wants to turn the clock back a decade to recreate the terrible political climate of 2001 – 02. He seeks to fabricate a sense of an imminent terrorist threat based on the ‘Boston Bombings’ in order to re-launch another global military campaign. Instead of Iraq – the ‘threat’ is now Syria, Iran and Lebanon. Today, the threat is North Korea — tomorrow it could be China. Today, it is Venezuela — next it could be Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador …and the entire edifice of Latin American regional integration.
The civilian casualties and deaths resulting from the ‘Boston Bombings’, linked to the US backing and sheltering of Chechen terrorists, are a small price for Washington to pay if it results in escalating global wars and greater impunity for the National Police State.
Re-launching a new and more virulent version of militarized global empire building is of the highest priority. The targeted countries have global significance: Venezuela and Iran are oil producing giants, the backbone of OPEC and adversaries of Israel. China is the second biggest economy in the world and the principle challenger to US economic dominance. Cowering and confusing millions of downwardly mobile Americans weakens the principle domestic obstacle to bigger and more comprehensive cuts in social programs in order to finance global wars.
Indeed, the ‘Boston Bombings’ have larger political and economic consequences; they set the stage for a new round of wars abroad and regressive (and repressive) changes at home.
James Petras is Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. His latest published work is The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counter Attack, (Clarity Press, March 2011).
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