By Daniel Hopsicker
Former top CIA official Graham Fuller lied in a press interview about his former son-in-law, Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of “The Brothers Tsarnaev,” Tamerlan, now dead, and Dzhokhar, soon to go on trial in Boston for allegedly planting a homemade pressure-cooker bomb packed with shrapnel near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
“A story on the Internet implying possible connections between Ruslan (Tsarni) and the Agency through me is absurd,” Fuller said in an Apr 27 2013 story headlined “Former CIA officer: ‘Absurd’ to link uncle of Boston suspects, Agency,” in Washington-D.C.-based Al-Monitor, which bills itself as the “Pulse of the Middle East.”
Fuller was responding to an exclusive report published here headlined “Was Boston Bombers ‘Uncle Ruslan’ with the CIA?”,which he and reporter Laura Rosen churlishly refused to credit, calling it merely a “story on the Internet” even as they labored to debunk it. Yet it was reported and re-published so widely in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon terror attack that Fuller felt compelled to respond.
Well, compelled to respond may be a little strong. Still, respond he did, in an interview which marshalled arguments to indicate questioning whether Ruslan Tsarni’s connection with the CIA had been through his famous former father-in-law were not just an exercise in futility. They were absurd.
Just to be clear, there is zero evidence to indicate either Uncle Ruslan Tsarni or the CIA hired the Tsarnaev Brothers to blow up Boston. There is, however, abundant evidence that elements of the U.S. Government have been playing footsie with Chechen terrorists, presumably to divert Russia from committing the kind of rash Neo-Communist Gangster stuff they’d be doing already unless we’re very very careful.
Here’s a troubling question: If it was blow-back from that campaign which blew up in Boston—throwing covert U.S. support at Chechen terrorists—do you think anyone in the U.S. Government is eager to let the American people in on that no-doubt classified-for-reasons-of-national-security secret?
Why, the very idea seems—to use Mr. Fuller’s word—absurd.
Uncle Ruslan meets ‘the boys’
In his interview, Graham Fuller admitted that a second bombshell disclosure in an exclusive Apr 26, 2013, report headlined Boston bombers’ uncle married daughter of top CIA official, also was true: The Tsarnaev Brothers’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, was his former son-in-law.
Tsarni was married to Graham Fuller’s daughter Samantha between 1994 and sometime near the dawn of the millenium, Fuller grudgingly admitted. Still, he insisted,without explanation, that suggestions that law enforcement should be checking to see if Ruslan Tsarni had “hooked up” with the CIA through Fuller were “absurd.”
It was an odd assertion. At the very moment he was making it, investigators with the FBI—who remained convinced the Tsarnaev Brothers had outside help and support—were in an intensive manhunt to find foreign connections to the case. Asking questions about links between Ruslan, the CIA, and the bombers would not be seen as out of bounds. Or would they?
Of course, statements by former top CIA officials should be taken with a large grain of salt. Double the salt allowance if the “former” official is still engaged in intrigue in Central Asia.
Hannibal crosses the Alps; Fuller fords his Rubicon
And that’s before discounting fstill further for being widely and infamously known as the man who convinced the Reagan Administration that it would be a neat idea to send a callow Marine Lt. Col. named Oliver North with a cake under one arm and some TOW missiles under the other to a meet-and-greet in Tehran with the Ayatollah.
But back to the body blows being thrown against the credibility of anyone with the temerity of reporting the obvious…
“Fuller retired from the agency almost a decade before the brief marriage,” sniffed Laura Rosen, the reporter selected to give him a sympathetic hearing.
“I, of course, retired from CIA in 1987,” Fuller offered helpfully, suggesting his Agency past had receded into the far reaches of recorded history, a dimly-remembered time located somewhere just this side of Hannibal crossing the Alps.
If Fuller retired, moved to Florida, and taken up golf while decked out in the vibrant hues of lime-green and canary-yellow sweater-slack combinations favored in the Florida golfing fraternity, he might have a point.
That was not, alas, how Fuller chose to spend his dwindling years. Even today he keeps stirring the pot in Central Asia, a long-time player in what previous generations called the Great Game.
He’s a consultant at Rand Corp; and he’s written a prodigious number of books with Great-Game-y titles: “Turkey & the Arab Spring;” “The Arab Shia’a;” “The Future of Political Islam;” “Turkey’s Kurdish Question;” “The Geopolitics of Islam & the West. “
Kazakh-style crony capitalism, illustrated
Ruslan Tsarni’s former father-in-law isn’t his only link to the CIA. There’s also his decades-long work history, discovered in a press release from a dodgy oil-related company with no assets and a ridiculous name whose President had been somehow lured away from a life-long career with Halliburton.
It reveals that Tsarni had worked in Central Asia for the Agency for International Development (USAID)—a U.S. Government Agency often used for cover by the CIA, including a two-year stint in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan during the “Wild West” days of the early 1990’s, when anything that wasn’t nailed down in that country was up for grabs.
At a time when vast natural resources and enormous fortunes were ‘in play’ during the economic free-for-all in the “Stans” after the collapse of the Soviet Union, 24-year old Ruslan Tsarni was already a ‘player.’
Ruslan Tsarni is once again working (since 2010) working for USAID. Oddly enough, Russia, the country competing with the US for influence in the region, unceremoniously kicked USAID out of the country just months before the Boston Bombing terror attack, for, according to a Putin spokesmen, encouraging his political opposition.
Ruslan Tsarni & the Congress of Chechen International Organizations
In his interview with Laura Rosen, Fuller uncorked a whopper. Said Fuller,“Like all Chechens, Ruslan was very concerned about his native land, but I saw no particular involvement in politics [although] he did try to contact other Chechens around.”
Perhaps Fuller felt that no one would notice. Perhaps he felt immune to fact-checking, a sentiment common among Reagan-era CIA officials. But whatever his motivation, he has been caught in a provable lie. Ruslan Tsarni, as Fuller well knows, has been up to his neck in Central Asian political intrigue for decades.
On August 17,1995, while Ruslan Tsarni and Graham Fuller’s daughter Samantha were still virtual newlyweds, Tsarni incorporated a company in Maryland called the “Congress of Chechen International Organizations.”
Ruslan Tsarni was listed as the company’s resident agent. The group sent aid to Islamic terrorists in Chechnya, including thousands of pairs of combat boots, coordinating its efforts with another so-called “charity,” Benevolence International, designated “financiers of terrorism” by the Treasury Department before being shut down by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
The company’s listed address, 11114 Whisperwood Ln. Rockville MD., was the home address of former top CIA official s Graham Fuller.
Today, the home remains listed in his wife’s name.
“An impromptu press conference aired live on network television”
With worldwide attention on the upcoming trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, what facts could possibly be being deliberately de-selected and hidden from view?
In “Long Mile Home” a book about the Boston Marathon Bombing by two Boston Globe reporters, everything they have to say about Ruslan Tsarni isn’t much:
“On the Friday morning after Tamerlan was killed, with police still hunting for Dzhokhar, investigators and reporters found their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, a corporate attorney living outside Washington D.C.
When he emerged after speaking to FBI agents inside his home, he walked up to television cameras and reporters gathered outside looking for the latest in what had become the biggest story in the world. In an impromptu press conference aired live on network television, Tsarni offered condolences to the bombing victims, denounced his nephews, and ordered Dzhokhar to turn himself in.
Asked to explain what provoked the brothers to attack, Tsarni said, “Being losers. Hatred for those who were able to settles themselves. These are the only reasons I can imagine. Anything else—anything to do with religion, with Islam –that’s a fraud. It’s a fake.”
Asked how he felt about the United States, Tsarni said, “I respect this country. I love this country.”
An opinion writer for the Washington Post called his words “inspiring,” and said his press conference was “a moment we all needed.”
The New Yorker said he “looked like he might hunt his nephew down himself.”
That’s it. That’s everything they wrote about Ruslan Tsarni. Nothing about his work overseas for USAID. Nothing about being the former son-in-law of a top CIA official, or about running an organization out of his house that was sending aid to Chechen terrorists. Most of all nothing about his being—at the same time he was calling his nephews “losers”— a guy involved, according to the London Telegraph, in the biggest bank fraud in history.
By anyone’s standards, that’s a lot not to report. The authors must be proud.
“Uncle” Ruslan Tsarni is the elephant in the living room
“News,” someone once wrote, “is selection.”
And selection is always based on an ideology and an agenda. Just something to remember the next time you’re reading, or watching, the ‘news.’
As jury selection proceeds in Boston in the upcoming trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the most pressing question about the attack remains one which is so obvious even Time Magazine is asking it: Did They Really Act On Their Own?
The logical place to start would be with Uncle Ruslan, who’s been married to the daughter of a former top CIA official who remains a”player” in Central Asia’s Great Game. But, of course, it ain’t gonna happen.
Whether by accident or design, Ruslan Tsarni played the same role in the aftermath of the Boston terror attack played after the 9/11 terror attack by Rudi Dekkers, manager of Mohamed Atta’s flight school in Venice. And just like Rudi Dekkers before him, his pronouncements were received uncritically.
The mainstream media fawned all over him. He was soon being called “Uncle Ruslan. He became the primary go-to source on the suspects, peddling his brief about the perfidy and all-around loser nature of his two nephews, one of whom, who he’d helped raise and bring to America, had just been killed in a hail of gunfire with police.
There were no tears for Uncle Ruslan. He was “protected,” and no doubt glad for it.
When Graham Fuller fibbed about Ruslan’s political activities, was it out of personal loyalty, or in support of a larger operation which had Ruslan Tsarni leading every 24-hour news cycle for more than a week during the biggest story of the year? Is there anyone in America who still thinks this happens by accident?
What does this say about the CIA’s ability to mold news coverage of a major event?
Already a valuable asset, Uncle Ruslan hadn’t even executed his most valuable task yet. Tsarni would soon be single-handedly responsible for leading the entire mainstream media of the Western World on a two-week long wild goose chase. Like a Pied Piper for the electronic age, he led the world away from whoever had actually punched the Tsarnaev Brothers ticket to jihad, towards something that didn’t even exist, “a chubby red-haired Armenian Muslim exorcist named Misha.”
More on this in our next story.
Uncle Ruslan’s network for “international corruption”
When he was pontificating daily on live network television, why had no one thought to ask him about his contemporaneous involvement in what London newspapers had begun calling “the biggest bank fraud in history?”
That’s the other side, the well-connected oil executive-side, of Ruslan Tsarni, that remains hidden. When one reporter had the bad manners to ask him what he did, Tsarni got touchy, and would say only, “I work for a living.”
Tsarni is implicated in an international criminal investigation that oddly enough also involves another name currently in the news: Britain’s Prince Andrew, who sold his run-down estate to a Kazakh billionaire banker-turned-fugitive looking for asylum in London who paid Andrew $10 million more than it was worth.
Before he left Almaty for a more exciting life in London, the banker, with Tsarni’s help, had made off with a cool six billion dollars. Six billion. With a “B.”
More on this in our next story too.
When Graham Fuller was caught lying, it confirmed growing suspicions that huge chunks of the truth about the Boston Marathon Bombing—the biggest act of terrorism in America since the 9/11 attack— are deliberately being hidden from view.
In truth, news that another cover-up is underway comes as no great surprise. What is surprising is how much of cover-up, both in the 9/11 and the Boston Marathon terror attacks, was first identified here, in The MadCow Morning News, whose very name points out the surrealistic absurdity of contemporary American journalism.
Novelist Thomas Pynchon put it best: “If they can get you to ask the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.”