Ibragim Todashev's Father Speaks at CAIR-FL Press Conference

I thought the Ibragim Todashev shooting stunk to high heaven, and now I’m really curious:

The Boston FBI agent who fatally shot a Chechen friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in Florida last year had a brief and troubled past at the Oakland Police Department in California. In four years, Officer #8313 took the Fifth at a police corruption trial and was the subject of two police brutality lawsuits and four internal affairs investigations. He retired from the department in 2004 at age 31.

Over the past year, FBI and Massachusetts officials have refused to identify the two state troopers and the agent involved in the May 22, 2013, shooting of Ibragim Todashev, 27, in his Orlando apartment, where he agreed to be interviewed. During the session, Todashev, a mixed martial arts fighter with a criminal record, turned violent, flinging a tabletop at the FBI agent and brandishing a metal pole at the trooper, they said. He was stopped by seven bullets from the FBI agent’s gun.

Even Florida, which often identifies such officers, declined to do so in this case, citing concerns for the investigators’ safety.

The Globe obtained their names by removing improperly created redactions from an electronic copy of Florida prosecutor Jeffrey L. Ashton’s report — which in March found the shooting of Todashev justified — and then verifying their identities through interviews and multiple government records. Those records include voting, birth, and pension documents.

That research identifies the FBI agent as Aaron McFarlane, 41.

McFarlane’s full name and birth date on records in Massachusetts and New Hampshire match that of the Oakland police officer who was involved in several controversies during his four years with that police force. He retired with a pension of more than $52,000 annually for the rest of his life.

‘To protect and serve’

20131226_096 Boynton Beach FL USA

Cops choking and kicking 6th graders:

On Tuesday, the Boynton Beach, Fla. police department released two student-shot cell phone videos that show police officers detaining two sixth graders who’d reportedly just been removed from a school bus. In one video, an officer appears to put a student in a chokehold; in another, an officer kicks a student in the back of the leg, causing the student to fall.

That’s the kind of senator you want


One who’ll sacrifice his home state on the altar of his own political ambition:

Of all the states that stand to suffer from climate change, Florida is facing potentially the bleakest consequences. A New York Times report noted last week that global warming was already having an effect on everyday life, like leading to flooding on streets that never used to flood.

Meanwhile, a National Climate Assessment has named Miami as the city most vulnerable to damage from rising sea levels. While a Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact paper warned that water in the area could rise by as much as two feet by the year 2060.

On Sunday, one of the state’s U.S. senators, Marco Rubio (R), was pressed about the general subject of climate change, and despite the warnings outlined above, he argued that there was nothing lawmakers could or should do to reverse the climate trends (whose origins he also questioned).

“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” Rubio said, according to excerpts released by ABC “This Week,”


This is from China’s version of America’s Got Talent. Watch the whole thing:



The Times has an in-depth look at the case against Blackwater for shooting into a crowd in Iraq:

WASHINGTON — The team of F.B.I. agents arrived in Iraq to investigate a shooting involving a private company that provided security for Americans in a war zone. It was October 2007, and the name of the company — Blackwater Worldwide — did not yet mean anything to the agents. But what they found shocked them.

Witnesses described a convoy of Blackwater contractors firing wildly into a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad the previous month, killing 17 people. One Iraqi woman watched her mother die as they rode the bus. Another died cradling the head of her mortally wounded son.

“This is the My Lai massacre of Iraq,” one agent remembers John Patarini, the team’s leader, saying as they were heading home.

Whether it concerns bankers after the crisis in 2008 or the shooting of innocent civilians by American contractors in Iraq, the prosecution does not seem to be up to the task.

That shooting in Nisour Square, along with the massacre by Marines of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha and the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, became a signature moment in the Iraq war. Five Blackwater security guards were indicted on manslaughter and weapons charges, and a sixth entered a plea deal to testify against his former colleagues.

But over the years, a case that once seemed so clear-cut has been repeatedly undermined by the government’s own mistakes.

Prosecutors are trying to hold together what is left of it. But charges against one contractor were dropped last year because of a lack of evidence. And the government suffered another self-inflicted setback in April when a federal appeals court ruled that the prosecution had missed a deadline and allowed the statute of limitations to expire against a second contractor, Nicholas A. Slatten, a former Army sniper from Tennessee who investigators believe fired the first shots in Nisour Square. A judge then dismissed the case against Mr. Slatten.

The appeals court unanimously rejected the argument that letting Mr. Slatten walk free would be a miscarriage of justice. If such an injustice occurred, the court said, it was caused by the government’s delays, which the court called “inexplicable.”

Thanks to Kush Arora.

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