Boston and Cleveland
By Michael Shrimpton
What links the two? To be more precise, who? The FBI, that’s who. It now turns out that the Fibbies kept the efficient Boston Police Department in the dark. They did not tell them about Tamerlan Tsarnaev until after he was shot. I am leaving his younger brother out of this for the moment, as he is going to trial and he’s entitled to a fair one.
Let’s get this straight: the FBI knew they had a real live Chechen terrorist, on the radar of the efficient and highly professional Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), walking the streets of Boston. What’s more he was just back from Chechnya, where he was in communication with radical terrorist elements engaged in an unlawful terrorist insurgency against Russia. After 9/11 we were supposed to see better co-operation between intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and better co-ordination between the FBI and local police.
None of that happened in Boston. Police Chief Ed Davis seems to be a good man, with respect. He’s highly thought of in Lowell, MA, and has a good track record. He’s hardly a stranger to the FBI, indeed he’s even been down to Quantico on a course (I too have been to Quantico, but it was to talk to those nice people the Marines, not the Fibbies!). Why would they take such an outrageous risk with civilian lives and leave the Boston Police in the dark?
Kidnap is a federal offense. In Cleveland three young women, possibly four, were held kidnapped, in one case for over 10 years, right under the noses of the FBI. The chief suspect left a trail a ten year child could follow – no need to send for Inspector Morse, or even PC Ventriss on Heartbeat, if that delightful ITV police show set in 1960s Yorkshire means anything to American readers, which it may not. Even David Stockwell, the show’s nice dimwit, and resident believer in global warming, could have tracked him down.
Ariel Castro too is entitled to a fair trial (Kathleen DeMetz, his court-appointed defense attorney, seems to be a credit to her profession if I may say so), so let me leave open the possibility, however remote, that three women were trapped in his house for ten years and he didn’t know about it, but what were the FBI doing? How could they have ignored this suspect for so long?
All this is a bit like trying to work out how the universe holds together without understanding dark matter and dark energy. I am sometimes accused of seeing conspiracies where there are none, usually by people who believe in global warming and think that the universe consists solely of things that you can see, or that Oswald shot Kennedy. You cannot understand the problems we have with our law enforcement and intelligence communities without considering dark forces, however. They are at work even though you cannot see them.
Incompetence is not the explanation. The FBI are not incompetent. They’re not as nice as the DEA, they can be a bit snooty and they’re not that much fun to work with (I am told all the fun went out of the FBI with J. Edgar Hoover), but they are definitely not incompetent. The Hostage Rescue Team guys are some of the best in the business at what they do, they have excellent forensic support and some of the field offices are really quite good, although having dealt with Boston Field Office some years ago I would not put Boston in that number.
What they are is penetrated, ditto most British police forces and MI5. In the States this is often run through the DVD’s COREA Group in Frankfurt, or COREA Group assets inside CIA. Tsarnaev and Castro had backing, just as did Charles Manson did all those years ago. I was puzzled about Castro until I read that his father was accused of involvement with gangs in Puerto Rico. Most organized crime can be traced back to the DVD, even if you have to dig deep. They are the world’s most powerful criminal organization, as well as being an intelligence agency, just like Mussolini’s boys ran Al Capone, and the Mafia.
You will probably find some very frustrated police and FBI agents in both Boston and Cleveland. Crazy things have been happening and there has obviously been pressure from the top. The answer is break up the DVD. Until that is done we are going to see more terrorist attacks and more kids are going to be snatched off our streets. Law enforcement officers who deny the existence of the DVD, or rubbish those who are aware of them (and yes I have had my tangles with ignorant and ill-informed law enforcement officers, not least in Thames Valley!) are of no use to anybody. Rubbishing intelligence, or attacking intelligence providers, are usually unprofessional responses anyway. Almost by definition the more hysterical a response the less rational it is. Hysterical nutters in our police forces we do not need.
By the way, I totally associate myself with the remarks in court of prosecutor Brian Murphy at Thursday’s hearing in Cleveland. The prosecution are right to consider the death penalty in the Castro case. Ohio obviously has humane statutes which protect the unborn from criminal assault. Praising the defense attorney does not mean that I agree with her! Kathleen has a job to do and every man or woman, whatever they have done or are alleged to have done, is entitled to their day in court. That is the mark of a civilized jurisdiction and Ohio is a civilized place, even if they occasionally vote Democrat!
May 10th 2013
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.
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