Thursday, April 09, 2015


On Fox's Outnumbered today, Andrea Tantaros said she has a special reason for hoping that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gets the death penalty:
“Could we potentially be looking at a situation where he’s traded if he is not put to death?” Tantaros asked. “ISIS and terrorist groups saying, ‘Free Tsarnaev.’ And then we’re in a situation again where there’s pressure to trade him or free him.” She was referring to the Obama administration’s decision to trade five Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last year.
She said something similar on The O'Reilly Factor last night:
...with President Obama, the last thing I want to hear, the next time an American is taken hostage is that ISIS would like Tsarnaev released and freed, and traded...
Obama, of course, swapped Taliban prisoners for Bowe Bergdahl after years of complaints by conservatives that he wasn't doing enough to free Bergdahl. He did this at what he believed was the end of America's war in Afghanistan, to bring the last soldier home.

Swaps of this kind are not a common practice for this administration. It's ridiculous to say that it would happen in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's case, and Tantaros is just trolling. But even if it could happen, there's no reason to think that Dzhokhar would be of any use now to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or ISIS. He and his brother pulled off one mission using the element of surprise; one of them died and the other got caught. They're not great warriors. They just had the advantage of not being on our radar.

On the other hand, if we execute Dzhokhar -- which I assume we will -- he absolutely will be of great value to jihadists, just as his late brother, in particular, was in the immediate aftermath of his death. This is from July 2013:
The latest issue of Al Qaeda’s magazine, Inspire -- the same publication the Cambridge brothers reportedly consulted to build homemade bombs -- is almost entirely dedicated to them, including a chillingly detailed case study of the twin bombings in Copley Square.

The glossy English-language publication portrays the deceased suspect, Tamerlan, as a martyred hero, his image framed by puffy white clouds, gleaming sunbeams, and doves in flight. It features a poem by someone calling himself “Tamerlan 2” expressing the “wish to be lone mujahedin like Tamerlan."

You want Dzhokhar glorified this way by Al Qaeda (or ISIS, or both)? Go ahead and kill him.

It's not as if Dzhokhar will be coddled if he gets life. He'll probably wind up in the same supermax that was recently described in this New York Times Magazine article, where he'll probably be driven slowly crazy by lack of contact with other human beings. At the link, search for the word "testicle" and read the paragraph you land on if you want a sense of how crazily, stomach-churningly self-punitive prisoners become in the isolation of modern supermaxes. Tsarnaev will probably be executed, and we'll probably be doing him a favor -- as well as making him a martyr.


mlbxxxxxx said...

It's kind of funny how the desires of the jihadis and the tbaggers seem to overlap a lot. It is pretty obvious that Osama bin Ladin, et al., badly wanted a war with us. Wanted us to recognize them as an existential threat. So we did and, at the incessant insistence of the baggers, we continue to. Now they want to offer this asshole kid martyrdom. Something every jihadi has at the top (bottom?) of his/her bucket list. It's almost as if they are in collusion.

Victor said...

Having taught in Green Haven, a NY maximum security prison, and seeing how horrible conditions there were, I think I'd prefer a death sentence, to spending the rest of my "life" in a Super Max prison!

Spending years alone is -imo- worse than having a date-certain meeting with a gas chamber or an electric chair.

And yeah, I know - it's easy for me to say that, since I'm not the one facing the choice - or, lack thereof...

retiredeng said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
retiredeng said...

Taking the idiocy of lumping the Tsarnaev brothers as senior Al Qaeda or ISIS operatives aside, Tantaros is a particularly offensive pinhead at Fox. I'm convinced she lives on an exclusive diet of pure hatred.

Ken_L said...

They should offer Tsarnaev a plea bargain: make a video denouncing Islamic extremism, preferably in Arabic, and you'll get off with life.

The New York Crank said...

The sad fact is, the jihadis can make a big propaganda deal out of Tsarnaev either way. They can decry his "martyrdom" if we execute him, Or they can make a cause of "Free Tsarnaev" not because they need his services in the field, but simply because he has name recognition.

I don't believe in the death penalty as a general rule, and I agree with those who believe a much harsher penalty would be to bury Tsarnaev alive in concrete for the next half century or so. I'd personally enjoy thinking about Tsarnaev slowly live-decomposing in a supermax whenever I think of the Boston Marathon. But make no mistake, either way, the jihadis can and probably will use him.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

Roger said...

Is dead Tamerlan joining ISIS or coming out?