FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Exploring Agents of Influence in the Boston Attacks

by CHRIS FLOYD

Without wishing to indulge in deep-fried conspiracy gobbling at this point, I will say that the revelation about the FBI’s prior involvement with one of the suspected Boston attackers, apparently going on for years, is of great interest. Even more so in the light of the fact that a very large number of the terrorist attacks and attempted terrorist attacks in the United States over the past two decades have turned out to have had significant FBI involvement, often in the form of outright provocation by FBI infiltrators, egging on and sometimes even planning attacks that were later “foiled” — by the FBI. (For more on FBI entrapment cases see, for example, Jeffrey St. Clair’s Agency of Fear.)

This doesn’t mean that the FBI or other government agencies were “behind” the events in Boston; sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes people do bad things without government prompting. But the consistent pattern of prior FBI involvement, in various degrees and at various stages, with people and groups that later go on to attempt or carry out violent actions cannot be ignored, and should be more thoroughly explored in this case. Particularly considering the fact the agency at first denied having any contact with the suspect — until her mother outed them to the media. From CBS News:

“Although the FBI initially denied contacting Tsarnaev, the brothers’ mother said they had in an interview with Russia Today. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said her son got involved in ‘religious politics’ about five years ago, and never told her he was involved in ‘jihad.’  She insisted the FBI ‘knew what he was doing on Skype’ and that they counseled him ‘every step of the way.’

Tsarnaeva went on to say that “they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act.” That may or may not be true; certainly if I were the parent of someone in this situation, that’s what I would want to believe. But the now-established involvement of the FBI, as well as the probable involvement of both the American and Russian intelligence agencies withTamerlan Tsarnaev, should not be ignored when the reasons and roots behind the Boston attack and its bloody aftermath are explored.

That said, it is of course very likely that these connections will be ignored, as the well-worn narrative of “good boys turned bad by Islam” hardens into conventional wisdom. This narrative might be the truth in this case — but it also works to the advantage of so many powerful forces. This is true not just for those opposing immigration in the the United States (that bloody shirt is already being waved frantically by many American politicians and other high-toned peddlers of racial and ethnic enmity), but even more so for all those in power structures around the world who profit — politically and financially — from the vast engines of a military-security complex gorging on the fear of Islamic terrorism. (Other kinds of terrorism — particularly the far more constant and far more murderous attacks of state terrorism — don’t bother them too much.)

Most immediately, this incident will greatly strengthen the military-security apparat in the United States and Russia, helping further demonize Muslims in general for the American apparatchiks and Chechens in particular for the Russians — especially all those opposed to the brutal rule of the Kremlin and its satrap in Chechnya. But every political power structure that feeds on fear — and which ones do not? — will benefit from the crime spree in Boston, whatever its origins.

Again, these are just speculations, drawing on the few facts that are known at present, and putting them in the context of recent history. Perhaps the Tsarnaev brothers were lone operators: tormented individuals emerging from the brutal and brutalizing background of invasion, repression, violence and murder that characterizes modern Chechnya, who then internalized this violence and hatred, and sought, in anguish, ignorance and error, to expel it by directing it outward toward some generalized enemy, a demonized Other. Perhaps not. Perhaps other psychological factors were at work that we know nothing of at the moment. Perhaps not. Perhaps some agency or other of some military-security apparat somewhere seized on these troubled individuals and turned them toward the agency’s own ends, with results that were either intended or else slipped far beyond the agency’s wishes or control. Perhaps not.

But I think there are deeper contexts to the case — whether these are restricted to the twisting of individual psyches by the greater geopolitical and cultural forces that have done so much pointless violence to us all, and in particular to the direct targets of massive power structures, such as Chechnya or, latterly, the Muslim world at large, or whether there are more specific involvements of military-security apparatchiks in the development of this murderous tragedy. Yet, as already noted, we will almost certainly see none of these deeper contexts explored in the earnest postmortems — by politicians, pundits, academics and self-appointed “experts” of every stripe — in the weeks and months to come.

Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 19, 2017
Melvin Goodman
America’s Russian Problem
Dave Lindorff
Right a Terrible Wrong: Why Obama Should Reverse Himself and Pardon Leonard Peltier
Laura Carlsen
Bringing Mexico to Its Knees Will Not “Make America Great Again”
John W. Whitehead
Nothing is Real: When Reality TV Programming Masquerades as Politics
Yoav Litvin
Time to Diss Obey: the Failure of Identity Politics and Protest
Mike Whitney
The Trump Speech That No One Heard 
Conn Hallinan
Is Europe Heading for a “Lexit”?
Stephen Cooper
Truth or Twitter? Why Donald Trump Is No John Steinbeck
Binoy Kampmark
Scoundrels of Patriotism: The Freeing of Chelsea Manning
Ramzy Baroud
The Balancing Act is Over: What Elor Azaria Taught Us about Israel
Josh Hoxie
Why Health Care Repeal is a Stealth Tax Break for Millionaires
Kim C. Domenico
It’s High Time for a Politics of Desire
Shamus Cooke
Inauguration Day and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
More and More Lousy
David Swanson
Samantha Power Can See Russia from Her Padded Cell
Kevin Carson
Right to Work and the Apartheid State
Malaika H. Kambon
Resisting the Lynching of Haitian Liberty!
January 18, 2017
Gary Leupp
The Extraordinary Array of Those Questioning Trump’s Legitimacy (and Their Various Reasons)
Charles Pierson
Drone Proliferation Ramps Up
Ajamu Baraka
Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama
David Underhill
Trumpology With a Twist
Chris Floyd
Infinite Jest: Liberals Laughing All the Way to Hell
Stansfield Smith
Obama’s Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Ron Leighton
Trump is Not Hitler: How the Misuse of History Distorts the Present as Well as the Past
Ralph Nader
An Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
NATO and Obsolescence: Donald Trump and the History of an Alliance
Zarefah Baroud
‘The Power to Create a New World’: Trump and the Environmental Challenge Ahead
Julian Vigo
Obama Must Pardon the Black Panthers in Prison or in Exile
Alfredo Lopez
The Whattsapp Scandal
Clancy Sigal
Russian Hacking and the Smell Test
Terry Simons
The Truth About Ethics and Condoms
January 17, 2017
John Pilger
The Issue is Not Trump, It is Us
John K. White
Is Equality Overrated, Too?
Michael J. Sainato
The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
John Davis
Landscapes of Shame: America’s National Parks
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Politicians and Rhetorical Tricks
Chris Busby
The Scientific Hero of Chernobyl: Alexey V. Yablokov, the Man Who Dared to Speak the Truth
David Macaray
Four Reasons Trump Will Quit
Chet Richards
The Vicissitudes of the Rural South
Clancy Sigal
“You Don’t Care About Jobs”: Why the Democrats Lost
Robert Dodge
Martin Luther King and U.S. Politics: Time for a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Jack Sadat Lee
I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom
James McEnteer
Mourning Again in America
January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail