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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 26, 2013/ 16 Iyar, 5773

Could We Have Caught the Boston Bombers Earlier?

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Twelve years after September 11, our intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies still haven't fixed the data-sharing problems that make us vulnerable to more attacks. It's difficult to reach any other conclusion after unnamed counterterrorism officials at the CIA this week revealed that Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev remained in their system as a person with possible ties to terrorism, while the FBI had closed its investigation into the man.

If this information had been shared between the agencies and the FBI had continued to monitor his activities, could the bombing have been prevented? That is a question no one can answer definitively. It may be that our laws still would not have given the FBI sufficient authority to track him. And the sheer number of individuals whose profiles suggest they pose similar risks may simply overwhelm our ability to keep a close eye on all of them.

But one thing does seem clear: Government authorities should have been able to identify him as a suspect almost immediately after the bombing. If they had done so, it would have saved MIT police officer Sean Collier's life, prevented injuries to other police officers who pursued the brothers, and perhaps saved millions of dollars in shutting down major sections of Boston and surrounding communities and the police efforts required to apprehend the suspects.

Since the FBI was involved in the investigation into the bombing from the beginning, why didn't they search their database for individuals who had been investigated for potential ties to terrorism over the past several years? Surely Tsarnaev's name would have turned up. And if not, why not?

If his name had come up, wouldn't the FBI or other law enforcement figures have gone out to interview him immediately after the bombing? We know from the secretary of homeland security that his departure for Russia was noted in the department's counterterrorism database. Surely investigators who knew that he'd recently visited the Russian province of Dagestan, a hotbed of Muslim extremism, should have quickly put him on a list of possible suspects. If the information available to the CIA and homeland security were available to all federal counterterrorism agencies, it should have triggered alarms as soon as the bombing occurred.

If this act of terrorism had been an ordinary crime — say the abduction of a child — law enforcement immediately would have combed their records for the presence of individuals in the surrounding community who raised suspicion based on previous crimes, or who had been the subject of investigations for unsolved crimes. So why did the feds not turn up Tsarnaev's name? After all, a foreign government had alerted U.S. authorities that he was a person who might be involved in terrorist planning or activities.

Hindsight is always 20-20, and there is a tendency to think we should be able to prevent bad things from happening. But as former President George W. Bush said, in order to do so, we have to be right 100 percent of the time, and the bad guys only need to be right once. We have uncovered similar plots, and it may be that we will never be right every time, especially since we need to balance protecting our civil liberties and privacy rights with being able to prevent terrorism. None of us wants to live in a police state that monitors everyone's move.

But that doesn't mean we can't do better. We may not be able to prevent every single act of terrorism, but we should be able to quickly apprehend those involved when their names are already on our watch lists. Thankfully, Tsarnaev and his younger brother were stopped before they could finish the job they started — which included bombing Times Square, as investigators learned Thursday.

We won't get better at preventing such terrorist acts, however, until all counterterrorism information is shared between agencies. Congress should investigate why this isn't happening. If the reason is that the agencies lack the legal authority to do so, Congress should change the laws. But even before that happens, the FBI should launch its own investigation into why officials in their Boston office didn't quickly discover Tsarnaev's name in their own files and act on it immediately after the bombing.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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