Boston Bombing Prosecutor: Witnesses ‘Afraid’ to Testify - WhoWhatWhy

Boston Bombing Prosecutor: Witnesses ‘Afraid’ to Testify

Reading Time: 2 minutes

1The Boston Marathon bombing is much more important than has been acknowledged, principally because it is the defining domestic national security event since 9/11—and has played a major role in expanding the power of the security state. For that reason, WhoWhatWhy is continuing to investigate troubling aspects of this story and the establishment media treatment of it. We will be exploring new elements of the story regularly as the January trial of the accused co-conspirator Dzhokhar Tsarnaev approaches.


The defense witnesses in the Boston Bombing trial certainly have reason to be afraid to testify, given the long official intimidation campaign against them.

Yet, ironically, it is now the government that is claiming its witnesses are scared and even unwilling to testify. Unsurprisingly, the judge overseeing the trial against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has agreed with the prosecutors.

Since the Boston Marathon bombing last year, WhoWhatWhy has reported on a pattern of intimidation towards people associated with the accused bombers, Dzhokhar and his late elder brother, Tamerlan. Those connected to the case have been intimidated, deported, jailed, and even killed.

It got so bad that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense asked U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. for permission to conceal the names of individual witnesses until the day before they’re due to testify. That’s because, the defense argues, they fear the witnesses will be subject to further FBI harassment.

Unusual Request

Judy Clarke, a member of the defense team, admitted it was an unusual request. “We don’t want to do it,” Clarke told the court. “We’re already struggling to get people to talk to us. We are really worried about losing the slim list of real potential witnesses we have.”

The government countered that it was having trouble convincing bombing victims to cooperate. They are “afraid, if not unwilling, to testify against the man accused of dismembering or traumatizing them in a terrorist attack.” Further, the prosecution argued, keeping Tsarnaev’s witnesses under wraps would hand him an unfair advantage.

On Nov. 12, O’Toole sided with the prosecution, ordering the defense to disclose its preliminary witness list by Dec. 29. He also announced that jury selection will begin on Jan. 5, when an initial 1,200 prospective jurors will be called in to fill out questionnaires over the course of the next three days.

Leaving aside the question of Tsarnaev’s guilt, which has been officially presented as a foregone conclusion with little outside critical analysis of the investigation, his chances at trial are numerically slim.

The Justice Department’s latest statistics show a criminal conviction rate of 93 percent.

[box] WhoWhatWhy plans to continue doing this kind of groundbreaking original reporting. You can count on us. Can we count on you? What we do is only possible with your support.

Please click here to donate; it’s tax deductible. And it packs a punch.[/box]

Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

Please help us do more. Make a tax-deductible contribution now.

Our Comment Policy

Keep it civilized, keep it relevant, keep it clear, keep it short. Please do not post links or promotional material. We reserve the right to edit and to delete comments where necessary.


30 responses to “Boston Bombing Prosecutor: Witnesses ‘Afraid’ to Testify”

  1. SomeoneWatching says:

    Of course victims are afraid to testify… They weren’t “victims”, they were simply called “victims” to inflate the numbers. Just watch all the videos of the attacks and COUNT the people who look hurt. You can’t count 50, yet “200 wounded and 3 dead” was the official number.

  2. Susan McGruder says:


  3. Patriarch says:

    In a nutshell, this video will perhaps help explain why “victims” are afraid to testify under oath.

    Worth the time:

    Perhaps, they have been coerced to be “victims” because of their own backstory of intimidation?

    When it comes to intimidation, the FBI/DHS/ATF/DOD is NOT selective if they REQUIRE a utilitarian “cast” member.

    REMINDER: With all the capable capital case defense attorneys, Eric Holder has been “appointing” Clarke since the Clinton yrs.; she is NOT a trial attorney. She is appointed to plead,& the Herald is already floating this minor detail.

    She has made no motions for depositions of prosecution witnesses, nor has she appealed any findings by this play-acting judge.

    Too many non-sequitors in the court docket.

  4. RW says:

    Onetree, I fully agree with your aspersions on the testimony of the police and the Mercedes driver. If Tsarnaev is tried in Boston, however, their testimony is likely to be considered as “strong” unless their credibility can be credibly impeached. So what if the two brothers were caught on video? There were lots of other people in that area wearing backpacks. The process whereby they were singled out is suspect and reminiscent of the manhunt for Lee Harvey Oswald when there was no particular reason to suspect him either.

  5. ICFubar says:

    Yes the maneuvering pre trial is to be expected, but what is so full of hubris is the prosecution’s Orwellian newspeak that the “witnesses” for their side are afraid to talk? Why whatever for? In case they get caught out in perjury in a high profile murder terrorists case, that would anger the government no end, with perhaps the veiled threats not so veiled should they screw up? The Honorable Bob Keeshan presiding ? (My sincere apology for the use of Mr Keeshan’s name here as the only one I could think of off hand that fit)

  6. RW says:

    The testimony of the police, and of the Mercedes driver, are probably the only strong evidence of the brothers’ guilt. If these people are not found to be credible, the whole case may collapse. The police tried mighty hard to riddle this young man with bullets, and the fact that he survived is no doubt a great inconvenience to them. I will be surprised if he lives to stand trial, This whole matter stinks to high heaven.

    • onetree says:

      I would just disagree that the testimony of the police and driver are evidence. These are statements from individuals assumed to have credibility, but there hasn’t been any evidence that I know of presented to back up the statements, whereas there does seem to be good reason to dispute or discount the statements.

    • BB says:

      It stinks to the smellier depths of Hell. This is a set-up, a railroad job, I wonder how many crisis actors will appear as
      witnesses. The event was designed to see if a “terrorist” attack could lock down an entire metropolitan region, and impose martial law. Mission accomplished. Homes were broken into, residents frog-marched at gunpoint out of their homes. The Nazi SS troops of 1941 would be proud of this one. FBI interrogators were criminally harsh, even killing a couple of “witnesses”. The defense will be stonewalled and hogtied. A circus show trial.

    • jane24 says:

      Oops! I just “up voted your comment when I noticed the “crisis actors” part. Not good with that. The rest of your comment is right on the mark. (Imo.)

    • Patriarch says:

      You should research the “crisis actors” skeptical element.

      See my video post above.

      You can remove your vote by touching the arrow again.

  7. FiuToYou says:

    America has a real bad case of cancer, and it’s moved into the ‘heart of the government’, Federal and State. Unfortunately there’s no cure, unless the people, all the people, regardless of, male or female, race, religion, political believes, political party, etc., ALL get together and say we’ve had enough. That also includes the military soldiers, and the police. Look around at REALLY what’s going on, open your eyes, ask questions and research answers, stop believing newspapers, televised news. Realize ALL mainstream media is a LIE. Okay; if you all do this, and stand up for your rights to know the truth, that’s just the first step towards healing. If the whole world sees this happening, then they will respect the US of A again, and with the population united, no body has a chance of ‘invading’ this ‘great nation’, which is not so great at the moment. Far from it! But then it gets dangerous, because the ‘big boys’ won’t give up without a fight. But if millions of people stand tall and united,( which is what this country was founded on and don’t give up, you WILL win back your freedom, that’s been taken away, bit by bit. If you wait much longer, it’s going to be too late to do squat. Then you’re really going to be in the deep caca. A small percentage of ‘mutants’ are taking over America. STOP THEM NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. Americans, take back control of your country and then worry about the rest of the world. Make America the great country she once was, not the bully, fascist, tyrant, she’s become. The intelligent, peaceful governments of the world and their people, look on America with disgust, and fear. And with reason!!!

    • BB says:

      A very accurate assessment of the terrible fix we are in. It has taken all the years since the end of WW2 to get us to this point. America was a beacon of freedom and opportunity, but that has all been eroded by constant futile wars, savage destruction of the middle classes, elevation of wealthy elites to immensely powerful positions that have
      ruined the political process, nullifying democracy as we used to know it. Even so, the needy poor still want to come here for a chance to survive.

  8. Phoenix says:

    And to what do we owe the deportation, death, etc of those associated with the brothers? If there’s sufficient evidence then they go to prison. Otherwise, they go free. Its not that difficult…. Oh! My bad! If the FBI is involved, there’s tracks to cover! Oops!

  9. daniel wilson says:

    I find it absurd the government believes that witnesses are uncharacteristically afraid to testify against a teenager found hiding in a boat. I can give plenty of examples of people involved in the marathon and related incidents who are more than willing to testify against or want to see physical harm to come to the living Tsarnaev. In fact there have been unofficial representatives of the marathon day event at court proceedings in order to specifically speak ill of the accused.

    • onetree says:

      They don’t actually believe witnesses are afraid to testify — it’s just a ploy or tactic where they take a true fact and spin it around backwards to try to make it benefit their side. Either that or people are getting a conscience.

    • daniel wilson says:

      I agree it’s a tactic. Considering I think this whole this was simply a drill essentially , I question everything about it.

  10. Doomsday Diva says:

    As far as I recall, most victims couldn’t wait for their day in court! What exactly are they afraid of? Forgetting their lines?

  11. Change You Can Keep says:

    So 240+ victims claimed injuries and were paid out by the Boston One Fund, but none of them want to testify against Tsarnaev? There were over 8 people who claimed they lost limbs at the Marathon, they were all paid over $1 million each. If someone can identify 4 amputees in the very clear images taken that day, I will literally pay them $1,000 of my own money, seriously no joke. If someone else can identify the Naked man arrested in Watertown that night as anyone other then Tamerlan Tsarnaev, I’ll seriously give them $5k, I swear on my children’s lives I’ll pay out anyone who responds.

    • BB says:

      The people who allegedly lost limbs are mostly crisis actors who were well paid to participate in a “terrorist” drill. They don’t want to perjure themselves in court, risking prosecution. A diligent defense for Dzhokhar would trace the background of these “victims” in order to expose the hoax this event was.

  12. Change You Can Keep says:

    It really says a lot about the actual events when people who supposedly lost limbs refuse to testify against Tsarnaev. This a giant hoax being perpetrated against the American people. One need only to look at the Watertown police story in the NYPost, and read they claim they initiated contact with both brothers in TWO CARS the night of the shootout to realize the entire story is a lie. If Watertown police really engaged both brothers in two separate cars, that would mean that AFTER they hijacked Danny, and he made his miraculous escape, they went back to Cambridge, and picked up the Honda Civic, then proceeded to drive both the now reported Mercedes, and the Honda Civic back to Watertown. The FBI report however states there was only one car at the scene in Watertown. This is absolute proof that someone is lying, and if Tsarnaev’s attorneys don’t make light of this fact, they are just as involved in this fraud as the witnesses who are refusing to testify are.

    • jane24 says:

      The Watertown/two vehicles issue is one that many question and rightly so. This article, if you haven’t already seen it, may interest you: “A Tale of Two Vehicles.”

    • Change You Can Keep says:

      Excellent post. I have been asking this question for over a year now, it absolutely doesn’t add up, any way you look at it, either the Watertown police, or the FBI is lying here. This should be all the evidence a real, non-partial jury should need to raise questions about the Official story, and Tsarnaev’s culpability.

    • jane24 says:

      Indeed this should raise questions regarding the “official narrative” in the case of a non-partial jury. My concern is, however, that such a jury may not be found in Boston. There was certainly grounds for reasonable doubt, at least imo, in the case of Azamat Tazhayakov, and yet the jury did not see this.

    • Change You Can Keep says:

      It remains to be seen whether the jury in the Tazhayakov trial was truly an impartial jury, or whether his “public defender” was actually in on the fraud as well. I’ve completely lost all faith in our justice system, the FBI, and for that matter government in general when I see such miscarriages of justice being committed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tsarnaev is actually dead! His high school friend said he had Russian accent in court which he never had before, his BOP number is a complete fraud, I’ve checked personally, and the Huffington Post made clear that 2 fresh graves were dug, side by side, in Doswell Virginia where Tamerlan was buried, I’ve been there and can confirm there were 2 graves dug that day, right next to each other. Add all of these things together with no pictures or even a mugshot has been released since Tsarnaev’s arrest, it’s clear something isn’t right, which means his attorneys are in on the fraud with the DOJ.

    • Susan McGruder says:

      There were actually several vehicles that were being looked for.A 1995 Honda Odyssey,color gray 93NN73; a 1999 Honda Civic green reg. 116GC7; a vehicle(no description) MA. Plate,316-ES9; a Gray Honda CRV…Mass. plates 316ES9;a 2010 Dodge Caliber/4 Door-All Black 97NN23.Ya,what?

    • daniel wilson says:

      “giant hoax” sums it up indeed. this whole thing is a psychological operation mixed with some good old fashioned tyranny desensitization.

  13. Kurt P says:

    The prosecution is at a loss to provide witness/victims because there are few if any. Testimony would be a complete fabrication, and as such, could easily be seen through (provided the defense is not compromised).

    • jane24 says:

      If the prosecution in this case are having difficulty in obtaining witnesses, might this also be due, at least in some instances, to potential witnesses perhaps not being willing to back the “official narrative”?

    • Kurt P says:

      That is kind of what I was alluding to. I imagine it would be a whole different “role” when lying in open court, as opposed to playing a part in the theater that is “news”.

    • Kelly says:

      Exactly. You just summed it up perfectly.

  14. jane24 says:

    I am in full agreement that this case “has played a major role in expanding the power of the security state.” The experiment in the imposition of martial law, in Boston, following the bombings was just the start. Much here that should concern all, regardless of their opinions as to who is or isn’t guilty of the actual bombing.

    “The Justice Department’s latest statistics show a criminal conviction rate of 93 percent.”

    How does that work? To me this suggests a “conviction system” rather than anything to do with “justice.”