The Latest from Boston

The Tsarnaev brothers at Monday’s Boston Marathon (courtesy of Bob Leonard/AP)

Okay. Perhaps it was naive for me to think the news from Boston would slow down once one suspect in last week’s bombing of the Boston Marathon was killed and the other was apprehended, but apparently I was wrong.

Here are the latest developments in what will likely be a very long and drawn-out investigation and trial. And while all of this information is current now, odds are there will be even more developments by the time this post is published.

I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it, huh?

At the moment, suspect number two—19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev—is still hospitalized and apparently has wounds to both his neck and lower body. He is still in serious condition, but is stable and has even answered some questions despite being unable to speak—a ventilator and breathing tube prevent speech, but he has nodded his head and at one point even wrote some things down for authorities. If nothing else, at least he seems to be complying.

Everything he says could be complete horse shit, of course, but at least it’s a start.

There is also a chance that Dzhokar experienced some hearing loss after flash-bang grenades were used to flush him out of his hiding place last Friday. And given that he lost so much blood, his recovery may be a little slower than most Americans would like.

We will get answers from him, though. It’s only a matter of time.

Today also saw the federal government file formal charges against the young terrorist, who will be treated as a criminal in civilian court rather than an enemy combatant as part of a military commission. Remember that the latter classification means Dzhokar could be questioned without having his lawyer present. This way he gets a fair shake and, since he is a U.S. citizen, this is likely the best way to go.

“We have a long history of successfully prosecuting terrorists and bringing them to justice,” White House spokesperson Jay Carney said recently. “The President fully believes that that process will work in this case.”

Jay Carney, White House spokesperson (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Carney went on to remind us all that “since 9/11 we have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists.” While this doesn’t make me feel much better—Who knew there were hundreds of terrorists even living among us?—it does uphold the “innocent until proven guilty” principle upon which our entire criminal justice system was built. This also removes all (or at least most) of the potential complaints about Dzhokar’s civil rights being violated.

People will still complain, mind you, but at least this allows us to “cover our bases” a little better.

Once he recovers and is fit to stand trial, Dzhokar faces one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death, as well as one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. And if you ask me, that might be the only way of ensuring that justice is served after this terrible act.

His brother Tamerlan certainly got what was coming to him. And he did so without the American public having to fork over one more dime to try, convict and potentially house him during years and years of appeals.

Speaking of Tamerlan, I heard something about him earlier that I also find rather disturbing, only far less so than the heinous crime he just committed. Apparently, he was married to Katherine Russell and even had a young daughter. While Katy worked long hours as a home health care professional, Tamerlan would stay home and care for their child.

Doesn’t sound like your typical terrorist, does it? And since Katy had no knowledge of what her husband was planning—and no clear warning signs that he may be coming unhinged—she was very upset to see him on the news and to learn about what he had been accused of doing.

“They’re very distraught,” Katy’s attorney Amato DeLuca told reporters. “Their lives have been unalterably changed. They’re upset because of what happened, the people that were injured, that were killed. And of course Katy, it’s even worse because what she lost—her husband and the father of her daughter.”

Chalk up yet another tragedy resulting from this senseless act of terrorism. Is there no end to the destruction these brothers caused?

The investigation into the backgrounds and possible motives for the Tsarnaev brothers’ actions continue, with authorities working hard to track the weapons and bomb components used, to dig through each suspect’s past history and to determine if others may have been involved in this vicious attack.

Artist’s rendering of the Prophet Mohammed from 1971 (courtesy of A.Mayid)

Most still contend that these guys acted alone, but you just never know.

Here’s another little tidbit about Tamerlan that now seems more foreboding. Last January, he apparently attended a service at the Islamic Society of Boston‘s mosque in Cambridge and “went off” on a speaker who compared the Prophet Mohammed to Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Several members of the congregation were able to calm him down—and he appeared regularly at services after the incident—but it now seems like radicalism rearing its ugly head.

If only someone had noticed and taken steps to truly help Tamerlan back then, it’s possible the bombing in Boston could have been prevented entirely. Of course, we all know that “hindsight is 20/20,” so would we have picked up on something like this and taken action? I have my doubts.

Regardless of the facts that come to light later today, tomorrow or even weeks from now, the important thing to remember is this: the recovery from what happened a week ago in Boston will go on indefinitely.

There are people who have to learn to live without limbs, families that lost loved ones (including children who lost parents, like Tamerlan’s daughter) and thousands of others who will be affected for years to come. Eventually, our great nation will heal, though.

It always does.

Posted on April 22, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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