For readers who feel in need of a little translation of yesterday's Pundita post; i.e., didn't spend 12 hours studying saturation cable news TV coverage of the Boston Marathan Bomber manhunt:
At least as early as 2011 an "unnamed" foreign government asked the FBI to check out Tamerlan Tsarnaev for ties to Chechen terrorist groups. CBS reporter Bob Orr dug up that information yesterday. According to this CBS report, at first the FBI denied they'd received any such request, which for some unfathomable reason John Miller pegged as coming from Moscow. By then, however, Tamerlan's mother was shooting off her mouth to a Russia Today reporter, so the FBI rolled over and admitted they'd investigated him.
Officially the Bureau found nothing alarming about Tamerlan's behavior (although that's not what his mother told RT about their opinion of him; see the CBS report). But given U.S. policy on Russia ("We don't care if it's a terrorist, anarchist or stalinist as long as it gives Putin grief"), he would have had to be firing live rounds on K Street before the FBI could have officially designated him a security threat. He was, from their conversations with him, officially a typical American. So what if he hung out at a few extremist websites? So did millions of other typical Americans.
The 'Typical American' theme popped up several times yesterday on all national American TV stations covering the manhunt, which means only reporters for the Weather Channel weren't trying to discover why two seemingly well-adjusted brothers would want to blow up Americans. With big brother Tamerlan by then dead from numerous gunshot wounds and shrapnel and maybe also a Mercedes SUV being driven over him by little brother in the haste to run a police barricade, energetic reporters scared up former classmates and acquaintances of the manhunt's objective in an effort to get inside his head.
The reporters learned that by all accounts little brother was a completely typical American -- smoked a little pot and got along with everybody, as one former classmate put it.
Have a nice day!