RussRant: Ben Carson Gets Boston Bombing Wrong

What His Statement on Tsarnaevs and Refugees Say About the Presidency

Ben Carson, and Joe and Ava Arpaio speaking at a gala event hosted by Wake Up America in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr  (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ben Carson, now a leading candidate in the polls, has drawn criticism for some of his more extreme statements about foreigners — and, like so many of his fellow GOP candidates, has had to step back and declare he was misunderstood.

But one thing he hasn’t taken flak for was a comment explaining why the United States should be wary of taking in Syrians and other Middle Eastern immigrants. His reason? He cited the Tsarnaevs and the Boston Marathon Bombing:

“I would recognize that bringing in people from the Middle East right now carries extra danger,” Carson said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “And we have to be extra cautious. You know, the typical mechanisms that we use for screening people, perhaps, have to be enhanced.”

“How does it, you know, let people like the Tsarnaev brothers in here?” he asked.

Should we be concerned that, after all this time, would-be presidents of the United States, like the majority of the media and the population at large, are still unaware of the full story behind the Marathon Bombing?

I am speaking about his reference to “the typical mechanisms that we use for screening people.” There was nothing typical about how the Tsarnaevs were let into the United States.

We have reported that the Tsarnaevs had a number of significant links to the American national security apparatus prior to the bombs going off. That their uncle, who helped them come to the US, was married to the daughter of an important CIA official. That Tamerlan Tsarnaev suddenly began acting radical right around the time he was trying to get a US passport. That the FBI visited with him, then seemingly closed its file after the most cursory of investigations. That, mysteriously, the US government seems to have looked the other way as Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled between the US and Russia, even after the relevant agencies had been warned and put him on a watch list.

All of this has essentially been swept under the rug, from the moment of the bombings in April 2013 through the 2015 trial up until today.

Yet the Marathon tragedy has repeatedly been advanced to justify new repressive measures that take away more of our freedom and privacy and to rally support for restrictions of all kinds, including closing our borders to refugees whose misery was largely caused by the the United States and its allies in the first place.

It is especially tragic that uninformed candidates like Carson can become popular by making these sorts of factually and morally wrong statements. Such anti-immigrant rabble-rousing can fuel discrimination and worse against people seeking the same refuge on our shores that the ancestors of most Americans gratefully found here.

Equally bad, it distracts us from what is really going on in our country.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Border Wall in Tijuana (vladimix  / Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0])

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.


15 responses to “RussRant: Ben Carson Gets Boston Bombing Wrong”

  1. Title

    […]check below, are some completely unrelated internet sites to ours, having said that, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  2. MR says:

    Does anyone here believe the government story on either the Boston Marathon or Sandy Hook?

  3. Happyfeeling says:

    It seems WhoWhatWhy have stopped investigating the Jahar story. It has been quiet.

  4. Why no link(s) to this?

    “We have reported that the Tsarnaevs had a number of significant links to the American national security apparatus prior to the bombs going off. That their uncle, who helped them come to the US, was married to the daughter of an important CIA official.”

  5. spiderman says:

    ugh wait so how is bringing hundreds of thousands poor unskilled uneducated invaders with fundamentalist ideals clueless about the characteristics of a constitutional republic, who only know complete tyranny, and will only continue to vote for the welfare state, beneficial to this nation, when we are in nearly 20 trillion debt?

  6. FiuToYou says:

    It’s just so unbelievable what’s happening in American politics period. The whole nest of vermin need to be cleared out and replaced by people who care and are intelligent and most of all HONEST!

    • Jonn Mero says:

      You mean that the average American should start listening to Noam Chomsky, Tom Engelhardt, Andrew Bacevich, and Glenn Greenwald, to mention a few? That would demand that they could and would read, which is a steep requirements to a population spoon-fed on easily digested propaganda telling them how exceptional they are.

  7. sfulmer says:

    It might help to define “typical”.

  8. Kevin says:

    Ben Carson also believes in forced vaccinations.