CBS had a fascinating scoop this morning, reporting that (presumably in the hours when he was holed up and authorities searched just blocks away), Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote a part-confess part-manifesto on the wall of the boat.
The note — scrawled with a marker on the interior wall of the cabin — said the bombings were retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and called the Boston victims “collateral damage” in the same way Muslims have been in the American-led wars. “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” Tsarnaev wrote.
Tsarnaev said he didn’t mourn older brother Tamerlan, the other suspect in the bombings, writing that by that point, Tamerlan was a martyr in paradise — and that he expected to join him there soon.
The CBS version of the story suggests this sharpie manifesto may make up for any evidentiary problems given the FBI’s refusal to give Dzhokhar a lawyer.
Miller explained that while Tsarnaev admitted many of the same details to authorities during his 16 hours [sic] in custody, those admissions came “during the time he was interrogated but before he was given his Miranda warning.” The note gives prosecutors supporting and clearly admissible evidence even if there is an fight over whether things Tsarnaev said before he was given his Miranda rights are admissible as evidence.
Though it’s unclear whether CBS’s reporter came to this conclusion on his own or that’s what his sources told him.
Which brings us to this laughable detail in the ABC version of the story.
Spokespeople for the Massachusetts State Police and the Watertown police had denied the existence of the writings when first asked about them by ABC News two weeks ago.
Today, both departments referred reporters to the FBI. A federal law enforcement official confirmed reports first broadcast by CBS News that writings had been discovered inside the boat.
The discovery of writings intensified tensions between the FBI and local police when FBI agents believed some Boston officers and state police had taken cell phone pictures of the writing.
Agents demanded the phones of all officers at the scene the night of the capture of Dzhokhar be confiscated to avoid the photos becoming public before being used as evidence at trial, according to two law enforcement officials.
A FBI spokesperson said agents cannot confiscate phones without a warrant and officials said none of the police approached would agree to turn over their phones to the FBI.
Hahahaha! The cops would turn over their phones, with their evidence of Dzhokhar’s manifesto, without a warrant!!!
Only, there’s something funny about the story. Why would cell phone pictures of the manifesto matter if the FBI had properly documented photos taken immediately after the arrest when the chain of custody was intact? I mean, I could see worrying about tainting the jury pool, but the leaked content of the interrogations already said all this stuff anyway.