Apparently, I’ve been going about this whole trying-to-get-permission-to-correspond-with-Dzhokhar-Tsarnaev thing all wrong. Here I was, emphasizing how I wanted to give hope and encouragement to an inmate during what is likely the most painful time in their life when all I needed to say was “I wanna make a movie.”
Director Peter Berg did – that’s who. Or so he claims.
I’d be willing to bet any amount of money that Berg’s telling “Total Film” magazine of his research for the film Patriot’s Day “I wrote two letters to Dzhokhar in prison; he wrote one back” was a multipurpose PR stunt, purpose one being to create hype and boost the movie’s ratings.
The other purpose was, in my opinion, just as self-serving: to reinforce the certainty of belief in Tsarnaev’s guilt in the minds of those who refuse to look at the evidence uncovered by motivated and informed citizens because they are simply motivated and informed citizens without titles or positions of authority like Peter Berg’s. In other words, saying he had a letter written by the Boston Marathon bomber that provided details he could use to make his movie about the crime more believable implies, by its existence, that the one who wrote the letter had details to provide and so was guilty as charged.
However, it doesn’t take a title or position to be skeptical enough to know this Peter Berg is, in all likelihood, full of it, when it comes to his claim that he wrote two letters to the accused and actually received one in return from, in his words, a Dzhokhar who is “very Americanized, not smart or interesting or righteous but poorly organized and mentally ill. A coward.”
I wonder, is that how Peter Berg defines being “very Americanized?”
Maybe, instead of asking all the usual suspects like Ed Davis and the lineup of victims/crisis actors what happened in Boston, he should have talked to Nathan Folks.
According to Peter Berg “There are no atheists in a foxhole – and there were no political parties on Boylston Street 12 seconds after the bomb went off.” According to Nathan Folks, another Hollywood movie producer, there were no victims or victim-saving heroes on Boylston Street that day either.
Carlos Arredondo, the cowboy-hat-wearing, American-flag-bearing hero who supposedly saved Jeff Bauman, is, according to Nathan Folks, an actor Nathan had cast in one of his own movies. Imagine that.
So Peter Berg would have us believe he was somehow able to write two letters to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in prison. So Peter Berg would have us believe he actually received a reply from the accused. And Peter Berg thinks Dzhokhar is mentally ill? I’d say Peter Berg is the one who’s crazy if he thinks his claims are the least bit believable.
The government has had Tsarnaev incarcerated under SAMs beginning with the four month after his arrest. The government returned over a thousand letters from well-meaning Christians urging the accused to convert to Christianity (not such a bad idea, given the current climate of hatred for and fear of Muslims in this country and abroad).
But Peter Berg would have us believe his letter got through, not once, but twice. Peter Berg would have us believe that although Dzhokhar, his family and his attorneys were threatened into silence and inaction, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was allowed to reply to him in order to provide details that would make his movie “Patriot’s Day,” more believable.
I ask you: what details could he have possibly provided without violating the SAMs that held him incommunicado?
You know the answer to that and so do I.
If, in the extremely unlikely event that the government had allowed Dzhokhar to write a response to Mr. Berg, I’m willing to bet that an innocent young man who intended to plead “not guilty,” may have written him a note that said something like this:
Thank you for your interest. As I am innocent of the crimes for which I have been accused, I can tell you precisely squat that would help make your movie a box office success.
If something like that ever turns up for sale on eBay after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is released, don’t be surprised at who the seller might be – or the writer, for that matter.