Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: the Monster-That-Wasn’t, the Terrorist-That-Isn’t and How Quickly We Made Up Our Minds About His Guilt

On July 10, 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded “not guilty” to all charges related to the  April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. By the time his trial began on March 4, 2015 his guilt had already been determined. Even by me…

We are all entitled to our own opinion, but five years after the fact, it is still difficult for me to read the opinions of some when it comes to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, including my own. That may surprise many of you who regularly read my blog, but stay with me and allow me to explain.

While searching for a specific photo to use in today’s blog post, I happened upon an interesting article on titled “Explaining the Rolling Stone Cover, by a Boston Native.” It was written by Matt Taibbi and is dated July 19, 2013, well before the trial began.

I was encouraged by it’s byline: “The controversy is misplaced, here’s why” so I began to read…

Part of the article echoed my own initial sentiments. Taibbi wrote “I also have tremendous sympathy and sadness for the victims in Boston of the recent attack, for the whole city in fact.”

In my first letter to Dzhokhar which eventually became the basis of this blog I began on May 23, 2015, I wrote: “Jahar, ever since that day, I have been unable to get you and what I imagine you are experiencing and facing out of my mind for very long. This is odd for me, as I normally would feel tremendous compassion for the victims (which I do) and nothing but outrage and disgust for whoever caused such suffering.”

Clearly, Taibbi in July of 2013 and I in May of 2015, shared a belief that the bombing, death and injuries were real. From the following excerpts, it is clear we also shared a belief that on some level Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was responsible…

Taibbi’s article is sprinkled with some not-so-tacit statements of (the author’s belief in) Tsarnaev’s guilt including:

I was particularly upset to learn that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had spent time at UMass-Dartmouth, a place where my friends and I would ride bikes as kids… It’s still hard for me to accept that Tsarnaev was even anywhere near that part of the world, which is so special to me.”

And this:

“… the idea that the cover photo showed Tsarnaev to be too nice-looking, too much like a sweet little boy. I can understand why this might upset some people. But the jarring non-threatening image of Tsarnaev is exactly the point of the whole story. If any of those who are up in arms about this cover had read Janet’s piece, they would see that the lesson of this story is that there are no warning signs for terrorism, that even nice, polite, sweet-looking young kids can end up packing pressure-cookers full of shrapnel and tossing them into crowds of strangers.”

And this paragraph, whose third sentence is the finest piece of written psy-op I have ever read:

Thus the cover picture is not intended to glamorize Tsarnaev. Just the opposite, I believe its supposed to frighten. It’s Tsarnaev’s very normalcy and niceness that is the most monstrous and terrifying thing about him. The story Janet wrote about the modern terrorist is that you can’t see him coming.”

Four incredible sentences. They make my own early statements of belief in Dzhokhar’s guilt insignificant by comparison, a fact I am all too relieved about, knowing what I know now.

Nevertheless, in my first letter to Dzhokhar, I had said: “I have to wonder how many people who commit acts of violence are just sponges who became saturated with pain, injustice and what was for them unbearable suffering and saw or sought no other outlet to vent their anger and frustration. I can’t support making that decision, but I can certainly understand the path that precedes it.”

If such a person truly regrets their violent actions and wishes with everything in them that they could go back and make a different choice, then I believe they are not a terrorist, but a hurting, suffering soul who made a very bad decision at a very bad time in their life.”

I know many would say it is easy for me to extend the olive branch to you because I and my loved ones were not harmed by the bombing at the Boston Marathon…”

Mild as they are compared to the words of Matt Taibbi, I cringe nonetheless when I read them again today. It would not be until a year later, on March 31, 2016, that I would blog my evidence-based belief that the events in Boston were, in fact, staged, the victims played by crisis actors, after carefully reviewing the footage from that day (footage that has now been all but removed from the public domain by a nervous government who feels its narrative unravelling, its credibility shrinking with each passing day).

There has never been a shred of proof offered by anyone to suggest radicalization of Dzhokhar occurred between the time these two photos were taken:




There was, however, plenty of evidence of a thoroughly Americanized kid from a troubled family who was falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of a terrible crime that was itself a complete fabrication.

I found a freudian slip at the trial to be at once sad and also a little amusing. Crisis actor Rebecca Gregory, an amputee “victim” of the Boston Marathon bombing, stood defiant before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at formal sentencing on June 24, 2015, saying “I’d have to be a victim. And I’m definitely not yours.”

How right she was. The footage proves her statement to be 100% correct. Rebecca Gregory was definitely not Tsarnaev’s victim. And neither was anyone else.






2 thoughts on “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: the Monster-That-Wasn’t, the Terrorist-That-Isn’t and How Quickly We Made Up Our Minds About His Guilt”

  1. Yes, its interesting how things unfolded then to what we know now. The first I had knowledge of Jahar himself was a random glimpse of him in the news at work, but the funny thing is somehow when I looked at his photo and saw into his eyes, I intuitively knew he was innocent. And that was all that captured my interest, so the more I delved into his case the more inconsistencies I noticed and I became more and more convinced as time went by that he and his brother were set up.

    1. Wouldn’t it have been awesome if at the moment Rebecca Gregory told Dzhokhar she is not his victim he had suddenly shouted back to her “That’s right. You’re not my victim. I did NOTHING to you! I’m innocent!” It would have been pandemonium. I would have loved it…

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