New York Police officers are seen under a news ticker in Times Square in New York, April 16, 2013—the day of the Boston bombing. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)
The incident raised questions from the start, but now it is approaching absurdity—maybe parody. Next thing we know the weapon will IDed as Peggy Olson’s makeshift spear.
We refer, of course, to last week’s killing of Ibragim Todashev, an old friend of deceased Boston marathon bomber Tamalan Tsarnaev, in Orlando, Florida. He was being interrogated by an FBI agent and other detectives about what he knew, if anything, about the bombing and also about his possible role in a triple murder, tied to drugs, in Waltham, Massachusetts. Allegedly he had just confessed that he and Tsarnaev committed the murders when he freaked, grabbed a knife and lunged at the agent, who naturally shot him dead.
The story sort of smelled from the start, given that there was one crazed guy and several law enforcement enforcers, not to mention that they were questioning him about a mass bombing and a triple murder and somehow let him get at a weapon. It was a “knife,” although there was mention of a “samurai sword” maybe in the room. But few in the media raised questions.
So now it turns out—as we suspected all along—that he was unarmed when shot and killed by the FBI agent in that infamous incident. Well, that was the report two days ago. Seems that he’d been shot six or seven times. This sparked family members to charge that he was simply “executed” and it also encouraged the Boston bombing conspiracy nuts to get nuttier. Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic with a major take yesterday questioned not just shooting an unarmed man but the FBI unable to get its story straight.
And then, late last night: another official version: The bad guy suddenly had a “pole” that he hit an agent with—and also hit him with a table. Oh, wait, the pole might have been “a broomstick.” And he had to be shot seven times. I guess the other cops in the room were playing Angry Birds.
Read the details of that version and you almost have to laugh. One of the cops texted the FBI agent to tell him the suspect was getting agitated? And it was when the FBI guy was reading the text that all the action started? And the “samurai sword” that became a “pole” that became a “broomstick” had now become the metal part of a broom, perhaps to make it sound more like the original “knife.”
John Miller of CBS, the longtime reporter who later became an FBI hack, recounts the latest here, as usual bending over backwards to accept the official story. You’ll see that like many others he makes no mention of how the agency could claim this was a knife attack for a week before the broomstick appeared. That’s some kind of tough reporting. And here’s Friedersdorf’s update today.
Interested in the FBI’s malpractice? Read George Zornick on the impending nomination of James Comey.