One of the memes that is flowing quickly out of the right wing media and blogosphere is the complaint that the Tsarnaev family received some forms of public assistance. It totaled about $100,000 over ten years, apparently. Phyllis Schlafly provides a good example of the poutrage:
Once admitted into the United States, the entire family cashed in on generous U.S. welfare benefits, cash and food stamps. Those receiving taxpayer handouts included the two criminal sons, both of their parents and, ultimately, Tamerlan’s wife and child.
Tamerlan can be said to have financed his radicalization with welfare handouts from our taxpayers. Those were the years when Tamerlan became a more devout Muslim, gave up drinking in order to devote himself to “God’s business” and sought out jihadist websites.
When accused of domestic violence against a girlfriend in 2009, he had the benefit of a taxpayer-funded attorney to get his case dismissed. Welfare was terminated only in 2012 when his wife’s salary pushed their income outside of eligibility limits.
And…therefore…what? What on earth is the point? That we shouldn’t provide food stamps or section 8 housing assistance because someone who receives it might later do something terrible?
When the younger brother, Dzhokhar, was naturalized as a citizen. He would have been required to swear that he renounces “all allegiance” to any previous country and that “I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.” What did our naturalization bureaucrats do to assure that Dzhokhar was not using the Koran-authorized practice of taqiyya, i.e., tell a lie in order to advance Muslim objectives?
Seriously? There’s been absolutely nothing that has come out that would suggest there was even the slightest evidence that the younger brother was anything but a regular immigrant seeking citizenship. To all the world, the family seemed like a quintessential American story, a family that fled persecution and came to the US seeking freedom. Does she think that they walked around with signs on their back saying “potential terrorist”?
Why didn’t our FBI recognize the signal that the older boy was named for one of the most brutal murderers in all history? The name Tamerlan is known throughout Asia as a 14th-century Muslim who called himself the “Sword of Islam” and murdered 17 million people, beheaded many and displayed their heads to showcase his brutality.
This is what passes for a reasonable position by nuts like Schlafly. Should we also reject any immigrant named Joseph? That was Stalin’s first name and he killed millions.