May 2, 2013

Uncle Ruslan's org funneled military supplies from Al-Qaeda to Chechen rebels

One of the big questions left hanging about the Bomb Brothers is how did their useless family get asylum in the U.S. despite going back and forth to the country they supposedly had to flee? Is it just that our overall immigration system is too lax on immigrants? 

That's not a good question for the "immigration reform" marketing push, so you might think an alternative answer would be getting some media love: the Tsarnaevs had rare family connections inside the American deep state that got their asylum application some special string-pulling.

But that would be a Conspiracy Theory, so we can't dream of that. 

Thus, the only reporter who seems to be following up on the deep state link is Daniel Hopsicker of Mad Cow Morning News. In "‘Uncle Ruslan’ aided terrorists from CIA official’s home," he seems to demonstrate that the Congress of Chechen International Organizations was registered in 1995 by Ruslan Tsarni (the Bomb Brother's father's brother who goes on TV to call them losers) out of the house of his father-in-law Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council then working for the RAND Corp. 

And Hopsicker has a copy of a letter suggesting that Uncle Ruslan's NGO played middleman to deliver 2,500 pairs of combat boots to Chechen rebels from the Al-Qaeda front Benevolence International. They went to Sheik Fathi, a Jordanian of Chechen descent, who had spent 10 years fighting in Afghanistan.

Since the postman would presumably deliver mail for Uncle Ruslan's operation to Mr. Fuller's mailbox, it's hard to imagine that Fuller, a Central Asian expert, was oblivious to the organization's general existence, although it's hard to say how much more deeply he was involved. 

Nor can we say for sure what side Uncle Ruslan was actually on. What Kipling called the Great Game can be played in many ways.

Let me make a general point about Conspiracy Theories, which is that almost nobody takes a reductionist approach to them. The typical Conspiracy Theorist is driven by the urge to put forward as complex, crazy, and omnipotent a conspiracy theory as possible. In contrast, the conventional wisdom is that conspiracies don't exist.

My impression, in contrast to both perspectives, is that conspiracies happen all the time, but most of them are pretty ineffectual. When all is said and done, more is said than done. 

For example, let's assume for the minute that Fuller was involved in supplying combat boots to Chechen rebels in 1996 as part of a CIA conspiracy that went All the Way to the Top, even though the Clinton Administration was also strongly on the side of Yeltsin's Russian government. Why would the U.S. government do something to hurt its ally?

Well, one reason is in case the Chechens win, then the CIA would have a connection to the winners. "Hey, we gave you those boots, remember?" 

Or, it gives the U.S. something to trade to the Russians in return for something more valuable. It's quite common for Powers to give a little aid to rebels in a rival country to strengthen their bargaining position. For example, in the 1970s Henry Kissinger agreed to the Shah of Iran's conspiracy to aid Iraqi Kurds in their rebellion against Baghdad to punish Saddam Hussein, who had Soviet ties. None of the outside conspirators really wanted the Iraqi Kurds to win and get their own state (Kurds also live in Iran and NATO member Turkey), but it was fun to use them to pester Saddam.

But then in 1975 Saddam secretly made a concession to Iran regarding the crucial border in the Persian Gulf in return for the Shah stopping his aid to the Kurdish rebels in the north of Iraq. This came as a nasty shock to Kissinger (not to mention the poor Kurds, who got hammered by an Iraqi offensive without any of the expected protection from Iran).

So, it can be useful for a rich country to funnel a little aid to some rebels even when it doesn't want them to win.

Or, it doesn't even have to be governmental -- gentlemen adventurers have been poking around in that part of the world since Lord Byron set off to free the Greeks in the 1820s.

This reductionist approach to conspiracy theories doesn't lead to all-encompassing answers to the Big Questions, but it does dredge up plausible sounding answers to interesting little questions like: How did the Tsarnaevs get asylum?

Or maybe the immigration system is just way too lax.


Anonymous said...

We can't be having Uncle Ruslan's name tarnished. He's the multi-culti immigrant hero of the moment.

Anonymous said...

even though the Clinton Administration was also strongly on the side of Yeltsin's Russian government. Why would the U.S. government do something to hurt its ally?

The US was pro-Yeltsin AND pro-breakup of the Soviet Union/Russian Empire. They weren't mutually exclusive.

Hunsdon said...

One, two, many conspiracies.

Readers who remember AfPak in the 90s might get a kick out of this one: "Happiness is multiple conspiracies."

From the man who unified China under the Mandate of Heaven (or Marx, anyway): "Let a thousand conspiracies bloom."

Even in Eco, if I am rightly recollecting, the various conspiracies were separate. There wasn't a grand overarching conspiracy, the Rosicrucians were working parallel to, but not with, the Templars and the Novo Ordis Mundi.

Guys from the Bureau of Intelligence might have a little plot cooking along, and agents of the Intelligence Directorate might too, and DGSE might have an idea or two if it in any way touches Francophone Africa.

Kind of like those radical meetings in the 1970s where half the guys were from the NYPD's red squad and the rest were from the FBI, busily reporting on each other, everyone dropping subtle hints about how a little direct action was called for.

Or maybe the immigration system is just too lax.

Chicago said...

One can see the utter amorality of state behavior in all of this, spreading death and misery throughout the world as they play their games. Most victims are just the simple people who live in the areas that get caught up in all of the intrigue fostered by outsiders. In our own case things like this come from politicians who go on about 'spreading democracy', or they 'feel your pain', or act concerned about 'human rights', provide photo-ops of themselves leaving church on Sunday so you know they're upstanding people. It's beyond cynical.

SF said...

In 2001, my wife and I were in a famous beer hall in Munich and were joined by a man who eventually said he was a Russian Embassy employee. During the discussion he said both the US and Al Khaeda were aiding the Chechens. I thought he was a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

Anonymous said...

Too lax is Occam's answer. Ruslan may have learned this from dealings with the Yanquis. Easy to picture him using the same hectoring tone he used about his nephews to encourage their parents to move here in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. America is now to suffer a perpetual Mariel boat lift from everywhere. Can you imagine what this Country will be like in another 25 years of this? Why do we have rulers committed to its destruction? How is it to be saved?

Alice said...

The US was giving aid to the Chechens, AQ was, and so were the Russians. The Russians are the finest of all at funding enemies to create trouble so they can then consolidate more power. Remember the oligarchs aren't on the same side. Different clans. Each used the is probably academic to ask if the Chechens used them.

The problem is the people playing these games are no longer loyal citizens of anywhere. At least before we had loyalists and traitors. Now the elites believe the nation state and the benefits of citizenry are for rubes. Even the Marxists are in it for themselves.

hbd chick said...

oops: tsarnaev third cousin a prominent islamist in dagestan

and tamerlan hung out with him.