A lot of people on Twitter are talking about how dumb-as-shit Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college buddies, Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev, and Robel Phillipos were when they allegedly removed evidence relating to the Boston Marathon bombing and threw it in the trash or (in the case of Phillipos) lied about those activities.
I’m not convinced, though.
I’m not defending what the young men did. Nor am I vouching for their intelligence. Nor am I saying they shouldn’t be prosecuted — they should!
But I’m having a hard time distinguishing what they did from what, say, HSBC did, for years. Aside from the fact that HSBC affirmatively helped terrorists, rather than just covered up that help. And aside from the fact HSBC made a billion dollars doing so.
As a reminder, where’s what HSBC did — eliciting nary a blink of an eye from the same DOJ that is now (rightly) prosecuting these dumb-as-shit kids. They were a key — perhaps the key — bank providing Saudi al-Rajhi bank cash dollars. Details emerged in 2001 that the bank had been providing the dollars terrorists used in their plots, including the 9/11 plot. It took four years for HSBC to begin to get worried about it. But it still only halted the dollar trade for al-Rajhi while its US regulator, OCC, looked into its money laundering practices (it says something about HSBC’s awareness of the sensitivity of this issue that they didn’t halt their other abundant money laundering activities).
And then, once OCC was out of its hair, HSBC moved back into the cash dollar business with al-Rajhi, a bank reportedly involved with the most spectacular terrorist acts of recent years.
Just HSBC’s brief exit from the cash business with al Rajhi is similar to what Dzhokhar’s dumb-as-shit buddies did when they put his backpack in the public trash. Covering up terrorism.The dumb-as-shit buddies have done nothing amounting to what HSBC did before and after, making $1 billion off a trade that probably helped terrorists finance their plots.
And yet the dumb-as-shit buddies are probably going to do prison time (and be deported in the case of the two Kazakh buddies).
The folks involved in HSBC’s support for terrorism?
They got promoted.
Again, I’m not defending what the dumb-as-shit buddies did. Just noting that elsewhere in society, richer white people get rewarded for doing worse. Maybe these dumb-as-shit buddies just thought they were auditioning for a job at HSBC?
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