It has been a long day and sleepless night for many of us who support Jahar. I have struggled to decide what I believe after his startling statement in court yesterday.
At the end of my struggle, I went where the evidence, not his words, takes me. Maybe someday I will understand why Jahar would want to mislead me with, of all things, an admission of guilt. In the meantime, I have decided…
IF IT WAS HIM the prosecution would have shown real evidence during the guilt phase of the trial.
IF IT WAS HIM victims would not have been substituted for actual eye-witnesses during the guilt phase.
IF IT WAS HIM his friends would not have been victims of prosecutorial overreach.
IF IT WAS HIM others would not have been named as suspects who suddenly disappeared or were deported, never to be mentioned again.
IF IT WAS HIM Ibrahim Todashev would not be dead at the hand of an FBI agent with a shady past.
IF IT WAS HIM they wouldn’t have tried so hard to kill him before taking him into custody.
IF IT WAS HIM they wouldn’t have waited until four months after his arrest to place him under SAMs.
IF IT WAS HIM he would have been allowed to choose his own attorneys.
IF IT WAS HIM the backpacks would have matched.
IF IT WAS HIM the videos would clearly have shown what happened.
IF IT WAS HIM fingerprint evidence would have pointed to him.
IF IT WAS HIM phone record evidence would have pointed to him.
IF IT WAS HIM DNA evidence would have pointed to him.
IF IT WAS HIM the path of extremist material from device to device would have pointed to him.
IF IT WAS HIM Judge O’Toole would have agreed to a change of venue, knowing that the strength of the evidence would convict him anywhere the case was tried.
IF IT WAS HIM Danny wouldn’t have changed his story again and again.
IF IT WAS HIM Danny wouldn’t have said Jahar was clearly the follower and Tamerlan the leader.
IF IT WAS HIM they would have disappeared immediately following the bombing.
IF IT WAS HIM we would know now who made the bombs and where.
IF IT WAS HIM he would have rushed the police and died beside his brother because terrorists look down the barrel of guns and see heaven, or so we were led to believe by a boat note of questionable origin.
IF IT WAS HIM there would have been signs he was becoming radicalized. No one hides the amount of hate and anger needed to commit large-scale murder without someone picking up on something.
IF IT WAS HIM he would have taken the stand and subjected the courtroom to an extremist rant.
IF IT WAS HIM “the finger” incident would not have been important enough to mention.
IF IT WAS HIM I wouldn’t still be supporting him.
IF IT WAS HIM I wouldn’t still be feeling this way.
IF IT WAS HIM there wouldn’t be large numbers of people who know something is still horribly wrong with the way this case played out and the verdict that was reached.
IF IT WAS HIM the timing of and wording of his apology would have made sense.
From the very beginning, this case has been about fear and emotion, not evidence. What happened yesterday did nothing to resolve the outstanding issues. In that regard, we clearly have a long way to go. Let others remain in willful ignorance. I can only look at the evidence and still conclude:
IT WASN’T HIM