After listening to a forensic anthropologist discuss, for almost four hours, the grisly exhumation of Whitey Bulger’s alleged victims from their secret, shallow graves, I stepped outside the federal courthouse Wednesday, wanting a shower.
Instead, I walked straight into a shower of lunatics.
In this day and age of 24-hour news cycles and anybody-can-get-on TV, I suppose we should now be accustomed to a traveling circus of publicity-seekers at any event that draws a crowd and a camera.
But the aggressive self-promotion of the clowns who showed up to shout support for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, was disturbing on so many levels.
I wasn’t out of the courthouse 15 seconds before one of them was on me like a used car salesman. He explained that he had come here from Nevada, or maybe it was California, and that he believed that Tsarnaev was being framed as part of the American government’s plan to take our rights and our guns away.
I asked the guy if he had a gun. If he said yes, I was going to point him out to one of the nearby US marshals. Instead, spooked by my question, he meandered off to find some other sucker who might actually care about his crackpot theories.
The assembled wackos gathered outside the Joe Moakley courthouse were just a variation of the Westboro Baptist Church, the traveling sideshow of bigots from Kansas, or the more mundane, local idiots who wrapped themselves in the flag to protest a Worcester undertaker’s efforts to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the other alleged Patriots Day bomber.
Tamerlan might have joined his little brother in court Wednesday, had not said little brother run him over in his hasty, albeit brief, flight from the law that Friday morning after the bombing.
During the morning recess of the Whitey Bulger trial, Tommy Donahue, whose father, Michael, is one of the 19 victims Whitey is charged with murdering, remarked on the odd symmetry of the day.
“The two biggest scumbags in recent Boston history are in the courthouse at the same time,” Donahue said. “Whitey and that little terrorist. Actually, come to think of it, Whitey was a terrorist, too.”
That’s true. There was a period, in the 1970s, 1980s, and into the 1990s, when Whitey terrorized the city, aided and abetted by the FBI, which allegedly allowed him to maim and murder with impunity because he was their informant.
Where were all the conspiracy theory nuts when there was an actual conspiracy to theorize about?
We still don’t know what the FBI knew about Tamerlan Tsarnaev and why they didn’t tell local cops, especially the cops in Cambridge, where the Tsarnaevs lived, so they could keep an eye on him.
It’s government corruption like the FBI’s cynical protection of a vicious sociopath like Whitey, or the arrogance in not sharing information, that feeds the various conspiracies of the various screwballs who gathered to make a spectacle of themselves outside the courthouse, defending a 19-year-old sociopath who was so bored at his arraignment that he yawned at one point. It got worse: those screwballs actually got seats in the courtroom for the arraignment.
Is this a great country, or what?
In the hours before Tsarnaev’s arraignment, Coast Guard gunboats cruised the inner harbor, sharing the water with commuter ferries and tourist boats. The last time that happened was two years ago, when Whitey was arraigned at the same courthouse.
Whitey terrorized people to accumulate wealth and power.
Just why Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, stoner turned terrorist, placed a backpack with a bomb on a crowded Boylston Street sidewalk on Patriots Day is anybody’s guess. He attacked the country that gave his family sanctuary and every imaginable benefit and opportunity. He got scholarships American kids couldn’t get. He lived in Cambridge, the most welcoming community to immigrants in America.
Before he was pulled from that boat in the backyard in Watertown, he scribbled some juvenile manifesto about killing Americans because Americans were killing Muslims. It’s war, he argued. As if he has the first clue about war, smoking dope on scholarship at UMass Dartmouth.
If he ever has the good fortune to have children of his own, and they ask him, “Daddy, what did you do in the war?” Dzhohkar Tsarnaev can tell them he put a bomb right in back of an 8-year-old boy named Martin Richard, which killed the boy, maimed his 7-year-old sister, and blinded his mother in one eye.
Whatever Tsarnaev believes in, it isn’t barbers. He entered the courtroom looking as shaggy as the night the Transit cops slapped the cuffs on him in honor of their wounded comrade, Dic Donohue.Continued...