Friday, April 18, 2014

Putin Did It? (We Wish We Could Sell That Hard) Boston Bombing Bloopers? Well, Would You Believe . . . ?



Don't you hate it when we (all of US) don't seem to be getting the whole story?

I know I do.

But I really enjoy some good investigative reporting every now and then - something we never receive anymore from the mainstream media (unless it benefits (wins a meaningless prize) them). It's also good to be able to connect the dots on the next resource-stealing "security moves" (as those seem to benefit the US-ans on the bottom very little while costing them almost all they've got).

And, yes, it's a long read, but a truly illuminating one, and I know how my readers love that kind of story. So get a tall cool drink, and dive in. (Don't miss the enlightening (even more!) comments.)

. . . the plot thickens further. As the mass media predictably overwhelms the public with a fanciful scenario in which we all are “Boston Strong” and everything ends well, we believe the citizenry — and the victims of the bombing — deserve better. In our previous story, we were working from a leaked article about a forthcoming government report on the bombing — whose central message was that the bombing might have been prevented if only the Russians had not held back still more information beyond what they had provided to US intelligence. In other words, “Putin did it.”
Since then, the report itself has been released. It is the coordinated product of probes by Inspectors General from a number of intelligence agencies and other governmental entities. Actually, what’s been released is not the report itself — just an unclassified summary filled with redactions. Even so, it is enormously revealing, as much for what it does not say as for what it does.

Because the "We're All Boston Now All the Time" is such a comforting story?

It's not even a logical story.

Does New Boston Bombing Report Hint at Hidden Global Intrigue?

Posted By Russ Baker
April 14, 2014
Fresh Takes,Politics,Security,World
Comments

The US government’s latest report on the Boston Marathon bombing is so full of revealing information buried in plain sight, it seems as if an insider is imploring someone — anyone — to dig deeper. It reads like the work of an unhappy participant in a cover-up.
Properly contextualized, the particulars in the report point to:

•   A Boston FBI agent seemingly recruiting and acting as Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s control officer, interacting personally with him, preventing on multiple occasions serious investigations of Tsarnaev’s activities, and then pleading ignorance to investigators in the most ludicrously improbable manner.

•  The likelihood that the blame game between the US and Russia over who knew what, and when, regarding Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his activities, masks a deeper geopolitical game which may very well point to the sine qua non of most such struggles — the battle for the control of precious natural resources.
 
•   The sheer inability of well-meaning US government officials — who either may know or suspect that the “official” account of the Boston bombing, with the Tsarnaev brothers as lone wolf terrorists, is utterly false — to come out and state their true beliefs. The most recent report is an example of the necessity of reading between the lines.

***
The other day, we explained a key point missing from most coverage of the Boston Bombing story: that the US government may have been in contact with the alleged bombers before the Russians ever warned about them.

Now, it seems, the plot thickens further. As the mass media predictably overwhelms the public with a fanciful scenario in which we all are “Boston Strong” and everything ends well, we believe the citizenry — and the victims of the bombing — deserve better. In our previous story, we were working from a leaked article about a forthcoming government report on the bombing — whose central message was that the bombing might have been prevented if only the Russians had not held back still more information beyond what they had provided to US intelligence. In other words, “Putin did it.”

Since then, the report itself has been released. It is the coordinated product of probes by Inspectors General from a number of intelligence agencies and other governmental entities. Actually, what’s been released is not the report itself—just an unclassified summary filled with redactions. Even so, it is enormously revealing, as much for what it does not say as for what it does.

***
Be advised that this is not a short read. Our take is an in-depth look at how the government loads the dice for its own purposes. As such, it is necessarily complicated, with layers of obfuscation that need to be peeled away. But if you want to get some inkling of what might actually lie behind the Boston Marathon Bombing, read on.

Let’s start by taking a look at the Summary Report.

On Page 1 you will find this paragraph:

In March 2011, the FBI received information from the FSB alleging that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva were adherents of radical Islam and that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was preparing to travel to Russia to join unspecified underground groups in Dagestan and Chechnya.

The FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Boston (Boston JTTF) conducted an assessment of Tamerlan Tsarnaev to determine whether he posed a threat to national security and closed the assessment three months later having found no link or “nexus” to terrorism.

So, in March 2011, the FBI received information from the FSB (Russian internal security service, comparable to the FBI), warning about terrorist threats posed by the Tsarnaev family.
We have long been told that this Russian warning was the first time the Tsarnaevs were on the US government’s radar.

But wait. Go to Page 18 of the summary report, and take a close look at Section V, under a heading “INFORMATION OBTAINED OR FIRST ACCESSED AND REVIEWED AFTER THE BOMBINGS.”

That heading seems to suggest that what follows in Section V was unknown to American law enforcement prior to the bombings. The first item in the list – and the only one to be redacted — is of primary interest:

This information included certain [approximately two lines redacted] to show that Tsarnaev intended to pursue jihad


After that paragraph comes a sub-section labeled “JANUARY 2011 COMMUNICATIONS.”  The entirety of that section, including a lengthy footnote, has been redacted.

Reading a government report with redactions is like reading tea leaves in the bottom of a dirty cup. You can’t know for sure what’s been suppressed, but you can hazard some educated guesses about why certain material was deemed too dangerous for the public to know.

In this case, you have to ask: Why would the first item in Section V and the entire subsection labeled “JANUARY 2011 COMMUNICATIONS” be suppressed? The answer may lie in a story that appeared in the New York Times last week.

Based on a leak exclusive to the Times, the story quoted a “senior government official” who claimed that the Russians had withheld some key information when it informed the US about the Tsarnaevs’ jihadist leanings in March 2011 — information that might have made the US government pay more attention to the Tsarnaevs, and so perhaps could have helped avert the Marathon bombing.

As we previously noted, much earlier, back in 2013, the New York Times reported another leak. That leak asserted that US authorities had been in contact with the Tsarnaevs as early as January 2011.

If true, this assertion would be enormously consequential, because it would mean the Tsarnaevs were known to US authorities two months before American intelligence learned from the Russians that the Tsarnaevs might be terrorists.

As far as we know, no one in the media ever followed up on this leaked assertion. When we queried the Times about it, the paper never replied. Nor has the Times ever published a correction. Now, it is possible that the official who provided the Times with that earlier leak was mistaken, or that the Times got the date or the facts wrong and did not want to admit its error in public.

But it’s hard not to see a link between that leaked assertion and the government’s redaction, in the just released summary, of the entire section labeled “JANUARY 2011COMMUNICATIONS.”
What is in that section that’s so disturbing to the censors in the American intelligence community?

One possibility is that the US censors are not so concerned about the information in those “communications” as in the way that information was obtained.

Russia Eavesdropping on American Telephone Conversations?

If they are concerned about something relating to January communications captured by the Russians, it could be because the “communications” appear to have been phone conversations purportedly between Tamerlan and his mother, Zubeidat — both of whom were, in early 2011, living in the United States. (In the recent leak to the New York Times, the “senior US official” mentioned that the Russians had withheld certain information — specifically including that Tamerlan and his mother spoke of “jihad” in a telephone call.)

It would of course be news if the Russians were capturing domestic American telephone conversations, and if they were so interested in the Tsarnaevs that they launched a very risky and complicated operation to eavesdrop on that family’s communications within US borders.
This real possibility can be further contextualized. The Boston area has long been a hotbed for spy-vs-spy intrigue. With top military research going on at Cambridge-based MIT and other area institutions, that’s not surprising.

Consider that the Tsarnaevs lived in Cambridge — home to members of a ring of Russian spies that was broken up shortly before the Tsarnaevs came under scrutiny. Remember that the US rolled up a spy ring in June of 2010 — after monitoring it for a decade, and that an exchange of prisoners quickly followed. An American mole inside Russian foreign intelligence, Col. Alexander Poteyev, who was back-channeling to American intelligence while simultaneously directing the stateside ring from Russia, fled to the US before the arrests.

His role was obscured by American officials; and his identity was only revealed when a Russian court later found him guilty in absentia.

Few Americans remember Poteyev’s role, or any of the other more remarkable “details.” Indeed, US media coverage of the Russian spy ring story quickly focused on the sexiness of one of the characters, Anna Chapman, who returned to Russia as part of the exchange and became a lingerie model, corporate spokesperson, and national icon.

Anna Chapman on the cover of Russia’s Maxim [9]
Anna Chapman on the cover of Russia’s Maxim

However, US officials dismissed the ring itself as a “sleeper cell” that actually accomplished nothing. We wonder if this is true. Did the Russians really go to such enormous efforts over a decade and achieve nothing substantive?
More on this in a moment, but for now, consider the notion of an active Russian spy ring in the Tsarnaevs’ Massachusetts backyard as a basis for further thinking.

Given the “shocking” exposure of the Russian ring, it is equally shocking to contemplate that, less than a year later, the Russians have gone from spying to “helping” the US — by notifying American intelligence of potential terrorists in our midst. Either that, or the Russians were notifying the US out of self-interest, to ensure that yet another anti-Russian terrorist did not succeed in jihad on Russia’s turf.

To us, frankly, neither explanation is wholly satisfying. It seems there is more going on.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev an “Asset”?

Was the US itself monitoring the Tsarnaevs at the same time the Russians were? Of even more interest, did US authorities, as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense suggests, seek to turn Tamerlan Tsarnaev into an asset?

The defense’s claim that the FBI tried — but failed — to get Tamerlan to work for the US is hard to accept, not because the FBI doesn’t regularly try to recruit immigrants like the Tsarnaevs through a carrot-and/or-stick approach, but because it’s hard to imagine the FBI failing in such an endeavor.
The “failure” part of the defense claim seems like a concession to the likelihood that detailed information about FBI recruitment would not be admissible in such a case. Also, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lead federal public defender is accomplished at getting her clients charges reduced — in this case, presumably to avoid the death penalty — not at exposing giant falsehoods perpetrated by her government.

If the defense is half-right — that the feds pushed Tamerlan Tsarnaev to become an operative — would they simply have accepted, willingly, if he said, “No, thanks”? Intelligence and security services don’t tend to take no for an answer, and traditionally have played very rough with those who decline.
So it is unlikely that a foreign national like Tamerlan Tsarnaev — whose family arrived less than a year after 9/11 and who was given “derivative asylum status” — could simply decline to cooperate. (Family members, including Tamerlan, were later made Lawful Permanent Residents — with the hope of full citizenship. And as we shall see, the FBI agent whose job was to interact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev later said he had no objection when Tamerlan was being processed for citizenship, suggesting that he was not unhappy with Tamerlan in the least.)

For context on whether or not Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have agreed to cooperate, consider the FBI’s tactics with people from the Tsarnaevs’ extended circle who did not cooperate, as reported in this earlier piece we did.

Moreover, one line in the summary report is telling:

The FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Boston (Boston JTTF) conducted an assessment of Tamerlan Tsarnaev to determine whether he posed a threat to national security and closed the assessment three months later having found no link or “nexus” to terrorism.

Surely if he were working for the US and involved with anti-Russian activities, he would rightfully be found to “have no link to … terrorism” — inasmuch as terrorism (so far as the FBI is concerned) would likely be defined as a threat only to US national security.

Also, as the report summary notes, the Russians repeatedly pinged the Americans, presumably because they saw no serious action taking place. They provided information to the FBI in March 2011, and similar material to the CIA in September. (The report states flatly, and without emphasis, that the FBI had failed to share intelligence with the CIA — a suspiciously common practice that dates back to the John F. Kennedy assassination if not earlier).

Did the Russians decide that FBI inaction meant the Bureau had recruited Tamerlan, and either had not notified the CIA or had not done so through official channels?
In October, in any case, the CIA passed the Russian intelligence along to a range of agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department. It also passed it along to the FBI, as if it did not know that the FBI itself already had the information from half a year earlier. Finally, the information was passed on to the National Counterterrorism Center, which put Tamerlan Tsarnaev on a terrorist watch list.

Incredibly, even after this, when Tamerlan traveled to Russia three months later, exactly as the Russians said he would, and while on that terror watch list, US authorities did nothing.
Here’s what the Report Summary says about cooperation:

This lead information was investigated by the FBI through the Boston JTTF. 

Representatives from the DHS, CIA, and other federal, state, and local agencies work directly with FBI-led JTTFs across the country, including in Boston.

Notice the waffling. The summary authors state a standard principle: FBI-led investigation units “work directly” with other federal and local agencies. They explicitly do not say that the FBI did so in this case. And how could they? Because the FBI clearly did not.

Mind you, this is WhoWhatWhy’s attempt at coherently and accurately summing up the content of the Summary Report. It is instructive that those who prepared the report did not feel the need to emphasize these rather glaring and seemingly deliberate “failures” — and instead basically give the FBI and US government a free pass for their cover-up.

From Russia … With Truth?

It’s also worth considering what the Russians themselves told a visiting Congressional delegation barely six weeks after the bombing, and what they showed them: the warning letter from Moscow. Keep in mind as you read the particulars, how much more forthcoming the Russians have been than their American counterparts. This is from an account by Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) to the Washington Post:

Keating said the letter gave Tsarnaev’s date of birth, his cellphone number, information about his boxing career, weight and Golden Gloves matches. It talked about his wife and mother, giving the mother’s Skype number. The up-close look at Tsarnaev’s life raised questions, which went unanswered, about how the FSB had accumulated so much information about a family in Boston.


Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA)  

Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA)

So at least some members of Congress were deeply suspicious of our government and its awareness of Russian activities in the US (as well as Russian capabilities for spying on residents of the United States within our borders). However, in the Summary Report, what the Russians gave to the Americans has been pared down:

The Russian authorities provided personal information about both Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, including their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, and requested that the FBI provide the FSB with specific information about them, including possible travel by Tsarnaev to Russia.

The Summary Report leaves out the other details, but does include a caveat that somehow characterizes the material as less valuable (though both errors would normally be overcome by standard procedures):

Importantly, the memorandum included two incorrect dates of birth (October 21, 1987 or 1988) for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and the English translation used by the FBI transliterated their last names as Tsarnayev and Tsarnayeva, respectively.

Only later do we read that an FBI agent had no difficulty resolving these issues.

Frustrated Inspectors General, Complying, But Not Too Happily

The Inspectors General go on to say that, in considering whether information that existed prior to the bombings was at that time “available” to the U.S. government, the OIGs did look at the Russian information, but also “took into account the limited facts known to U.S. government agencies prior to the bombings and the extent of the government’s authority under prevailing legal standards to access that information.” [Italics added for emphasis]

So they began their inquiries with two predispositions: (1) that the government had very little information available on its own, and (2) that completely contrary to Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA abuses, US agencies are scrupulously careful about how they collect private data on individuals.


The Inspectors General also made clear what side they were on, a bad thing for a justice system:

[T]he OIGs were mindful of the sensitive nature of the ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions related to the bombings, and were careful to ensure that the review would not interfere with these activities. We carefully tailored our requests for information and interviews to focus on information available before the bombings and, where appropriate, coordinated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office conducting the prosecution of alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Presumably, a truly independent investigation would involve coordinating with anyone who had information to impart, including Dzhokhar’s defense.

In a rare outburst hinting at how they were hobbled, the OIG’s write:

As described in more detail in the classified report, the DOJ OIG’s access to certain information was significantly delayed at the outset of the review by disagreements with FBI officials over whether certain requests fell outside the scope of the review or could cause harm to the criminal investigation. Only after many months of discussions were these issues resolved, and time that otherwise could have been devoted to completing this review was instead spent on resolving these matters. [Italics added for emphasis]

And there’s this important note, at the beginning of a section called “CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS”:

In this section, we summarize the chronology of events relating to the U.S. government’s knowledge of and interactions with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, members of his family, and other associates before the bombings. Many of the activities and events that occurred during the period discussed below cannot be included in this unclassified summary.

That’s just a sampling of the cries of impotency from the Inspectors General. One of the three objectives stated by the Inspectors General in their summary is to determine “Whether there are weaknesses in protocols and procedures that impact the ability to detect potential threats to national security.” But if that was never the underlying game, then the Inspectors General are victims in this as well. They hint as much:

Redactions in this document are the result of classification and sensitivity designations we received from agencies and departments that provided information to the OIGs for this review. As to several of these classification and sensitivity designations, the OIGs disagreed with the bases asserted. We are requesting that the relevant entities reconsider those designations so that we can unredact those portions and make this information available to the public.

Good luck with that.

FBI Special Agent Schlemiel

As the report notes, an FBI counterterrorism officer:

conducted database searches, reviewed references to Tsarnaev and his family in closed FBI counterterrorism cases, performed “drive-bys” of Tsarnaev’s residence, made an on-site visit to his former college, and interviewed Tsarnaev and his parents.

The question is obvious: Why no effort to monitor the Tsarnaevs’ covertly? What about, instead of warning them that they were under suspicion, keeping a close and quiet watch on them? Isn’t that how you would proceed if you wanted to find out what a suspected terrorist was up to?

Instead of raising this point, the OIG summary questions why the FBI did not make even more noise, including interviewing others who knew the family. Then it notes the FBI agent’s failure to query every database, but points out that such an additional effort would not likely have garnered much new information.

And while acknowledging that the FBI failed to share information with other agencies, it gives the Bureau an out by lamely saying that if other agencies had known where to look in a shared database, they might have happened upon the information.

And If it’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium.

One of the most interesting statements in the summary report is surely this:

The DOJ OIG also determined that the CT Agent did not attempt to elicit certain information during interviews of Tsarnaev and his parents, including information about Tsarnaev’s plans to travel to Russia, changes in lifestyle, or knowledge of and sympathy for militant separatists in Chechnya and Dagestan. The CT agent told the DOJ OIG that he did not know why he did not ask about plans to travel to Russia, . . . .

The rest of this paragraph is blacked out. In fact, that’s the first redaction you come to in the whole report. For some reason, the OIGs do not make more of thisthough it demonstrates that the FBI counterterrorism officer failed to ask the questions that mattered most.

And when the CT officer’s supervisor told him to write to the Russians seeking more information, the FBI man included in his letter that Tamerlan, then in his mid-twenties, was a “former prosecutor.” (!)

When Opacity Is a Virtue

It is not hard to see how introducing a plethora of such small obfuscations into a “Summary Report” can keep even expert readers from focusing on the larger issues in play. And when the readers are less-than-expert representatives of the mass media, the tactic is even more effective. A review of articles about the report in major newspapers makes this abundantly clear.

The report concludes that a Customs and Border Patrol officer most likely notified the FBI when Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled to Russia in 2012. The Customs officer also flagged Tamerlan so his record would be visible for his own colleagues when Tsarnaev re-entered the country.

For some reason, that notification was turned off before Tsarnaev returned. (This is not to be understated — Michael Springmann, a former US consul to Saudi Arabia, has repeatedly stated [16] that his efforts to prevent jihadists from traveling to America were somehow overridden at higher levels)

In Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s case, the Customs officer told IG investigators that he had most likely consulted with the FBI agent before Tsarnaev’s record was made invisible to Customs personnel. Because of this, Tsarnaev was not subjected to a so-called “secondary inspection” (an uncomfortable process which this reporter has been through in the past). The report does not properly underline this point about the disturbing failures to monitor Tsarnaev — indeed, the way the report is written makes it all too easy to gloss over such “details.”

FBI officials interviewed by the Inspectors General played good cop/bad cop with them. While the FBI counterterrorism officer’s superiors made clear that they would have ramped up activity and interest if they had learned of Tamerlan’s visit to Russia — including reopening their investigation of the manthe local Boston CT agent insisted he “would not have done anything differently.”

This kind of inconsistency makes it all but impossible to get to the bottom of things, and the IGs don’t seem to have tried hard.
 
Everything about this case suggests that we might want to learn more about the Boston FBI agent and his most unusual behavior. Was he wildly incompetent and reckless, or operating under some kind of instructions? Unfortunately, the names of such significant personnel are almost never made public.

Amazingly, after all this, and just months after Tamerlan’s return from Russia in 2012, Tamerlan applied for US citizenship. Even more striking, that same unidentified FBI agent who knew so much about Tamerlan nevertheless stated: “There is no national security concern related to [Tamerlan Tsarnaev] and nothing that I know of that should preclude issuance of whatever is being applied for.”

A US Citizenship and Immigration Services officer says he actually met with the FBI agent and told him that Tsarnaev was on track to be granted citizenship. Despite all that he knew, the FBI agent apparently had no objection.

In its conclusion, the Inspectors General write,

Based on all the information gathered during our coordinated review, we believe that the FBI, CIA, DHS and NCTC generally shared information and followed procedures appropriately. We identified a few areas where broader information sharing between agencies may have been required….

And, finally:

In light of our findings and conclusions summarized above, the participating OIGs found no basis to make broad recommendations for changes in information handling or sharing. We nonetheless identified some areas in which existing policies or practices could be clarified or improved.

Making Sense of It All

When your instincts tell you that a major effort is underway to make sure no one gets to the bottom of things, you’re inclined to look for larger explanations. To wit: Could some kind of larger geo-strategic battle relate to the Boston bombings, with the on-the-ground players mere pawns?

We’ll have more to say later about the larger circle of national-security-community figures that has surrounded Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for years. But for now, we want to step back a little.

Given the tendency of spy services to play elaborate games with a long view, it is reasonable to wonder whether the Russians had more in mind than just being helpful when they notified the US that it ought to look at the Tsarnaevs.

Could the notice to the FBI have been a warning that the Russians knew the US was already in contact with the Tsarnaevs? Given the possibility that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was supposed to infiltrate anti-Russian jihadists, that essentially puts the two intelligence services on the same side in this matter.
Or were the Russians worried that the Americans were playing a double game, seemingly hunting jihadists while simultaneously using those jihadists to put pressure on the Russians in their majority-Muslim, oil-bearing southern flank?

There is also the possibility that, as with the US mole in Russian intelligence, Colonel Potayev, both sides thought they were controlling the Tsarnaevs. This would have made them players in a still more dazzling game. Pull out your old spy novels for this one.


Consider, as one must, what would be worth such extraordinary measures? What would justify so many redactions in a Summary Report? What would compel a bunch of Inspectors General, purportedly responsible for getting to the bottom of things, to participate in a whitewash?

What else but an issue of “national security”?

And since, as we know, there were no actual terrorist attacks or credible near-attacks on US soil between 9/11 and the Marathon bombings more than a decade later, these “national security” concerns might logically relate to something else.
We hate to sound like a broken record, but keeping the lights and computers on and the cars moving pretty well approximates national security these days. And we all know what powers the grid — and where the next big oil and gas hub is after the Middle East deposits are tapped out.
It’s the Caucasus region, the southern portion of the old Soviet Union, which encompasses a bunch of places where the US and Russia have been duking it out in recent years, including notably, Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Dagestan and Chechnya.
The first three of these are loci of military operations which saw the US and Russia on opposite sides, and the last two are restive, heavy-Muslim-majority Russian Republics with which the Tsarnaevs are associated.

If all this sounds improbable, let’s focus for a moment on several seminal moments many of us have forgotten or never knew:

• 1992, when a group under George HW Bush, helmed variously by Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, decided that the end of the Soviet Union presented an opportunity for the US to seize permanent status as the world’s only superpower, with the right and expectation to intervene anywhere, globally, at will.

• 2000, when members and confidant(e)s of that same group of neocons, now temporarily out of power, but operating via the Project for a New American Century, warned that the American public would never go along with such interventions “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.”

• 2001, when, according to former NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark, he was shown a Top Secret memo laying out seven countries the US was prepared to invade with 9/11 as the justification.

In an exclusive video interview with WhoWhatWhy, Gen. Clark expanded on that, emphasizing the role oil plays in US military policy.
It will take a lot more research to determine whether the story neither government is likely to tell is really about a titanic struggle for the earth’s wealth. But, given historical precedents, it would not be so far-fetched.

Indeed, it is only the official story of the Boston Marathon bombing which sounds far-fetched.

(WhoWhatWhy plans to continue doing this kind of groundbreaking original reporting. You can count on us. Can we count on you? What we do is only possible with your support.  Please click here to donate; it’s tax deductible. And it packs a punch.)
Comments:
email: truthatlarge@hotmail.com
To Russ, & everyone here...right now, at apprx. 11:30 AM e.s.t (4/17/14) C-SPAN, actually it is C-SPAN2 is airing a seminar/doc and showing great photos and data on the BOSTON BOMBING...I'm am sure they will repeat it.
Just wanted to let you, & give everybody a 'heads-up on this show and perhaps others (?) that might be on later...take care.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Deslauriers "oversaw...the 2010 arrests of 10 illegal 'sleeper' agents of the Russian government." http://www.fbi.gov/boston/pres...
Now you have a bad man running the FBI OFFICE IN BOSTON. Vincent LISI.
In September and October 2001, Lisi was selected to lead the Anthrax investigation of the anthrax letter attacks - a "mad scientist" was framed, and then mysteriously committed suicide
The FBI lied. They framed Dr. Bruce Ivins.
On the morning of July 27, 2008, Ivins was found unconscious at his home. He was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital and died on July 29 from an overdose of Tylenol, an apparent suicide.
No autopsy was ordered following his death because, according to an officer in the local police department, the state medical examiner "determined that an autopsy wouldn't be necessary" based on laboratory test results of blood taken from the body.
Dr, Bruce Ivins was a hero. On March 14, 2003, Ivins and two of his colleagues at USAMRIID at Fort Detrick received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service — the highest award given to Defense Department civilian employees — for helping solve technical problems in the manufacture of anthrax vaccine.
Vincent B. Lisi has been named Special Agent in Charge of Boston Division -, where martial law was declared during the manhunt for Boston Marathon Bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
It was the FBI that declared martial in the entire City of Boston. And declaring martial law in a major metropolitan city for the manhunt of one individual was an unprecedented event in our nation's history. Scarier, it was an unprecedented suspension of the U.S. Constitution.
Was Boston a dress rehearsal for when the feds declare martial law in the entire U.S. following a false flag attack?
We have met the enemy. And it is the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, & the DHS.
And Vincent B. Lisi may be the perfect guy for the job. Whatever that job may be - framing an innocent man, orchestrating a false flag attack, or declaring martial law.
He's a company man.

Link to above :  http://www.kzyx.org/index.php/...

Surprise surprise!
Government Exonerates FBI’s Lax Investigation of Suspected Boston Bomber
"One thing that the FBI does really well is exonerate itself. As I wrote earlier, the bureau’s agents have shot 151 people over the course of the last two decades, killing more than half of them, yet in its own internal reviews, the FBI has exonerated those agents all 151 times - a perfect record of blamelessness that even some of the country’s most gun-happy police departments (even in Albuquerque, NM) can’t claim.
Now another internal review, not by the FBI but by the Office of Intelligence Committee, an obscure unit which supposedly internally “oversees” the work of 17 intelligence agencies including the FBI, has smiled on the FBI’s seemingly lackadaisical investigation of Boston Marathon bomber suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, saying that its Boston office agents did an okay job in checking him out after Russian intelligence warned the US back in 2011 that he had linked up with Islamic militants while on a visit to his family in Dagestan..."
http://thiscantbehappening.net...


Russ, excellent article...you need, as was mentioned prior (!), to expand this into manuscript...I bought and read your book when (it) came out, added it to my research library and
really was impressed by your research and insights, as this area of US history is something I am keenly interested in and have been researching for over 40 years...there was even "CIA name" in your book that was even "new" to me, as I assume he had "rubbed shoulders" repeatedly with a lot and most of the "players" in many intrigues and "enterprises", foreign and domestic..it's all about $$$, drugs and corruption...for you and others may I suggest a few other books and tomes to either confirm or add/expand perspectives & perceptions:  "The Strength of The Wolf", "The Contras, Cocaine & Covert Operations", "Dark Alliance", "The Politics of Heroin" (and author's follow-up tome) "The Great Heroin Coup", "In Banks We Trust", "Hot Money". and works by Peter Dale Scott, including his excellent (& still cited "The Dallas Conspiracy"), and many other reports & books.

Your book and research are of immense contribution in shedding "light". I have been "writing" extensive comments and insights regarding the so-called "disappearance" of Flight 370 and its contradictions and distortions as reported by media lackeys like CNN on another site..so what you are saying here I am familiar with, as The CIA and Pentagon Intelligence Agencies have been penetrating, recruiting and using assets from southern Russia (and former USSR) as a "thorn" in Russia's "underbelly" and used in other locations as part of a long held policy of using thugs, criminals and "outlaws" from various countries to further a very counter-productive yet (for them & their masters and associates) a highly profitable and self-sustaining agenda & system, for a very long time ! And partially explains even the geo-political make-up in the 1970's between US, Iran, USSR & Iraq......
This reminds me of fbi involvement in the mumbai 26/11 bombing via david coleman headley. Eerily similar architecture regarding recruitment etc. to the story. India to this day cant even question headley!
I think these brothers were patsys.
Who were those Kraft Intl goons in uniform who had the EXACT SAME backpacks wit its little white rectangular design on it?
Moreover, the younger Tsarnaev kid had an off white/grey backpack and was photo'd running from the scene after the bomb went off still wearing his pack.
We were shown all of these pictures early on via the TV, but then someone made a phone call and it's all been scrubbed.
Believe NOTHING from TV news.

Great post! Let's not forget the wig wearing CIA spy outed by Russia in May 2013 - Ryan Fogle - how bizarre was that.



It takes a while between your posts, Russ, but it's so worth it.

One thing I'd like to touch on is the connection between many of these shadowy events (spy-vs-spy stuff) and the causative reason in a global struggle over control of natural resources. To those who know your work well, this isn't new. But I have to say, to those who may just be happening across this article for the first time, the segue to "struggle for the earth's wealth" from the rest of the article on FBI cover-up could strike new readers as odd, or non-sequitur. It's a leap that could either be left out, or developed a bit more. While I agree with the central thesis you've adopted from all of your amazing work, I think it's one that needs to be fleshed out more. I think you mentioned that you have a forthcoming book on the topic, and I would encourage you to finish it! It could be THE book to explain ALL things in the modern age, as Family of Secrets was so groundbreaking. Just my two cents! Big fan.


Thanks, Bryce. Agree we should try and recap past reporting and previously-stated theses in some depth when transitioning from on-the-ground stories to broader frameworks. It is hard to get that right because, as you say, our readers already know the big picture. They only need be reminded about it; they don't want the same primer over and over.



There is totally a whole other US-Russia story going on here out of public view. Lets not forget the wig wearing spy Ryan Fogle that Russia outed publicly only weeks after the bombing who was supposedly following Tamerlan on his visit to Dagestan. Russia was sending kind of message then - what your so fake we know it?!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new...


"Danny" revealed: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ma...
Story still full of holes, but we can see him now.

I am "relieved" that someone finally is putting or starting to put "the pieces together" on this story...THANK YOU!!! I came across my email "alert"
about your above article and have immediately scrolled down to add "some bits and pieces" to share with you and others. I will not assume what I share here has not been said prior, but anyway .. here goes:
I have my suspicions as to how and why ... as this to me always looked like
a "blow-back" "SYMPTOM" of cold-war/post cold -war , (current) war-on- terror machinations another "proxy army" recruited and used for and usedby those who will not hesitate to stoop and bend to any level to advance any hidden agenda it judges and deems necessary to counter and even initiate tensions in any part of the world
...

I remember the night of the Boston Bombing and a "rumor" was being circulated that someone from the Philadelphia area was involved and just happened to be a "twin" of the younger bomber...the younger brother...I thought this was odd and the odds were great of him actually being missing & so declared by his famility...he was around the same age & to me bore a strong resembalnce (apparantly I was not the only one who thought so!)..as time went on this young man's famility became distraught and police was remiss and "tried" to locate him...
I was waiting and watching for any developments to this "side-story" and suspected and anticipated the other or another "shoe to drop"... well it did shortly after..police found his body near a river and declared he had drowned but never concluded as to specifics of how or why?
also, I remember watching a newscast that a major, "a big-player" considered a Chechyan "freedom fighter" who was actually on a "watch list" and I assume known to other European Intelligence Services, WAS ( IS STILL?) WANTED BY THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT FOR CRIMES,INCLUDING MURDER & TERRORISM. According to this news report, and this was around this time last year - GUESS WHERE THIS ("OUR") "FREEDOM FIGHTER" WAS LIVING? BOSTON ... need I say more? just wanted to share this...Now I will scroll up and read this long-awaited light of truth...regards.

thanks for replying...he was a college student who inexplicabely left his dorm/apt one morning and "disappeared" & and leaving behind his cell phone, etc. and his body was reported to be later found and retrieved by police, sometime afterthe Boston Bombing took place... I have specific info on him I will dig up and pass along...his family was extremely concerned, worried and puzzled by his "disappearance" and his picture was all over the local news in the Phila area..it was "assumed" and reported that, due to his (coincidental?) likeness to the younger bomber/brother that initially he was one of the bombers...what are the odds of that? or any or all of this?...I'll go digging & get back..it may be something & maybe not...


The primary reason for the FBI to back off from an investigation is CIA priority.

Uncle Ruslan Tsarni (changed from Tsarnaev) became the darling of the US press by immediately denouncing his two nephews as “losers” and even claiming that their brains were “stolen” by some radical Islamic cleric whom he had never met or spoken to. But the media has blacked out the fact that Ruslan worked with State Department and CIA-connected USAID around the Caucasus region, and was formerly married to the daughter of a very high-ranking CIA official (whose ideas inspired the Iran-Contra fiasco).
Ruslan Tsarni incorporated, in 1995, a company called the "Congress of Chechen International Organizations" to send aid to Islamic terrorists in Chechnya. Ruslan Tsarni was listed as the company's resident agent. The company's address was the home of Graham Fuller, the former CIA station chief in Kabul and one-time Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA under President Reagan during the 1980s Iran-contra scandal, with which Fuller was heavily involved. He was also the father-in-law of Ruslan Tsarni.
The Congress of Chechen International Organizations assisted Sheikh Fathi (a Jordanian of Chechen descent, who had fought in Afghanistan and a major conduit to the Chechen rebels) in 1996 by using a “charity” called Benevolence International to get “aid” to the Chechen freedom fighters. A couple of years later, federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicted Benevolence International and the “charity” was shut down after the US Treasury Department determined that they were “financiers of terrorism”.
Uncle Ruslan Tsarni is also a Halliburton-connected oil man who profited generously from Kazakhstan’s oil fields.


The notion of CIA primacy in the matter is the ONLY thing that explains the set of facts we have been given. Well, aside from abject incompetence - which the FBI deploys at every, single instance of mishap or trouble.

 
What does not scan is the fact that Tamerlan was DENIED his US citizenship upon his return from Dagestan while Dzhokhar was granted his in 2012. In fact, Tamerlan, according to his father, undertook the Dagestan trip in part to renew his Russian passport, and then got word that DHS flagged his citizenship app upon his return. The upshot is that the feds would have been familiar with the brothers certainly from 2007 on - when Jahir received asylum. Plus, The Boston Globe reported that Tamerlan lost his shot at a boxing career due to a rule change in 2010 which barred non-citizens from representing the US in national tourneys like the Golden Gloves.
These IG reports completely omit this context in favor of utter non-sense and misdirection -- redacted misdirection at that. As Russ says, the amount of research required to dig through this stuff is daunting. I have not fully processed it all myself - but I have no reason to question the narrative I spun out a couple months ago.
http://thefreelance.tumblr.com...
Either they let it happen, which the FBI murder of the friend in Florida suggests; and as it appears 9/11 itself was allowed to progress despite ample warning; or they're just a bunch of stupid heads, as one might suspect; being as nobody I know is interested in working for the CIA or the FBI except one very stupid kid I happened to meet with very Right Wing parents; either way it's terrifying. As with W, he's either really stupid or really evil; one way or the other, We Lose. I blame the glamorisation of those careers, by James Bond movies etc. We left the jungle, and some of us just miss it like crazy. Peace would put them out of a job.
Poppy Bush as incapacitated as he is, just met privately with aka "BARI MALIK SHABBAZ " Obama in Houston last week.
It is my opinion he pulls all POTUS STRINGS, installed Obama to keep the seat warm for JEB - with Mitt being a straw man, never expected MITT WOULD GALVANIZE THE PUBLIC FOR A CHANGING OF THE GUARD.

Voter fraud was rampant in major states. SC OHIO FL.
& Philadelphia like Iraq voted 100%.

W  like OBAMA FOLLOWED A GAME PLAN.
PARTIES ARE A REALITY SHOW.
IT IS POPPY BUSH WHO IS EVIL.
AMERIKKA IS A CAPTURED OPERATION.
 
"Peace would put them out of a job."
CIA agents are not nearly as incompetent as you seem to believe. They regularly get away with murder, including of a sitting president, a civil rights leader and a presidential candidate.
It was JFK's efforts to end not only the nascent Vietnam War but the Cold War as well that led to his elimination.
The Coup d’État against JFK: The CIA Killed Peace in 1963



Not mentioned:


Censored: Uncle Ruslan Tsarni May Have Funded Terrorists

http://wp.me/pwAWe-1GqIs This the Man Who “Radicalized” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?
http://wp.me/pUM5o-5v

Intelligence fingerprints are all over this.

How many "lone wolf" actors do we have to see before we understand they are not alone? Norway included...

Initially the Russian warnings were protests to the U.S. about sending their man through Russian territory on his way to meet with U.S. funded extremists on Russia's southern flank. Tsarnev transited Russia, both to and from Dagestan (sp?), with a false passport. So where did Tsarnev get this from? The Russian warning was probably along the lines of "next time your man will be held for extensive questioning."
The deep state within the U.S. and Russia make many "deals" back and forth, with their respective assets just pawns in the great game. Petroleum energies and which consortium will profit is the sine qua non along with bureaucratic jealousies and empires to maintain.
Russia recently did a roundup of 140 extremists on it's southern border, and one has to question what was the other side of that deal for the U.S.? Perhaps not supplying Assad with better weaponry? Who knows?
Behind all of this intrigue sits the one world bank financing all sides. When it comes down to it, all of us "little people" are just pawns, whether as victims of a Gladio, Marathon, 9/11 type event or the horror of a proxy war. Sometime after we are all dead and gone the truth will be revealed while for those then living deep state machinations will be continuing. Until then the hidden truth will be as a festering boil poisoning the body of society. It will ever be that way until all the little people of this world unite and take control in some permanent fashion.
Great investigative journalism by Mr Baker and colleagues to be sure!

I think the preceding is enough public information to start relevant parties digging quite a bit more into why we're being told that touting the Boston Bombing (illegal) shut-down and searches were the height of American freedom.

Or something.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

When a Loss for the Republican Party Is a Gain for the Radicals Within (Pay for Performance? It Depends on the Measuring Stick)


What Digby says:

As the conservative movement godfather Richard Viguerie likes to say:

Sometimes a loss for the Republican Party is a gain for conservatives. Often, a little taste of liberal Democrats in power is enough to remind the voters what they don’t like about liberal Democrats and to focus the minds of Republicans on the principles that really matter. That’s why the conservative movement has grown fastest during those periods when things seemed darkest, such as during the Carter administration and the first two years of the Clinton White House.
Conservatives are, by nature, insurgents, and it’s hard to maintain an insurgency when your friends, or people you thought were your friends, are in power.
As Rick Perlstein explained in his piece called “The Long Con,” maintaining an insurgency is how Conservative Movement Inc. stays in business. The above Viguerie quote is from 2006. The morning after the 2012 election, Viguerie wrote “[O]ut of that disaster comes some good news: conservatives are saying ‘Never again’ are we going to nominate a big government establishment Republican for President.” He put this on his website along with a fundraising pitch:
They’ve been making a nice profit at this sort of thing for a very long time.
What’s new in this cycle is the rise of the agitated “moderates” who are taking to the pages of their traditional media to lash out in anger at Tea Party excesses — or at least at a certain “non-mainstream” Republican who can sit in as the far right’s all-purpose sin-eater. (You don’t want to directly confront that rabid Tea Party base. It bites.) That man is Sen. Rand Paul.

Take, for example, this raging screed from none other than GOP strategist John Feehery, who has to count as one of the most reasonable of Republican fellows, a man who is commonly seen on MSNBC’s daytime shows sparring genially with Democrats and otherwise giving the impression of having a very even temperament.

He’s taking issue with Obama’s foreign policy, but uses Paul’s dovishness to stake out the “True Republican” position on national security and civil liberties — just in case some Tea Partyers might get it in their heads that when they rail against Big Government, they’d better not be talking about the Military or Intelligence agencies. That’s sacred GOP territory:

Paul is practicing the politics of paranoia, aimed directly at the American government. It’s a form of populist libertarianism that posits that the biggest threat to our liberty comes not from foreign powers but from our own government.
That kind of paranoia is not grounded in reality, but it unquestionably has a following in this country. Edward Snowden, for example, enjoyed a warm welcome at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, despite being the houseguest of Putin.
That Snowden could somehow continue to attract admirers despite his obvious betrayal of American national security says a lot about the deep vein of distrust that Paul is exploiting for his own political purposes.
But we live in an ever more dangerous world, and neither Paul’s paranoia nor Obama’s weakness is going to make America any safer.
But the best example in recent days is this scathing “modest proposal” by Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative Wall Street Journal columnist Brett Stephens, in which he sarcastically advises the GOP to nominate Rand Paul so as to hasten its final descent into madness after which it can rise from the ashes with a new and better party. Ironically (and I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way) he seems to think Jeb Bush is just the guy to lead the moderate New Jerusalem.

His indictment of Paulism is centered on Paul’s (admittedly lame) attempt at Hispanic and African-American outreach, considering his own racist associations. But what seems to bother him the most is the fact that back in 2009 Paul implied that Dick Cheney might have been influenced to go into Iraq because of his long-standing ties to the military contractor Halliburton. Them’s fighting words:

Cui bono — to whose benefit? It’s the signature question of every conspiracy theorist with an unhinged mind. Cheney. Halliburton. Big Oil. The military-industrial complex. Neocons. 9/11. Soldiers electrocuted in the shower. It all makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

If Mr. Paul wants to accuse the former vice president of engineering a war in Iraq so he could shovel some profits over to his past employer, he should come out and say so explicitly. Ideally at the next Heritage Action powwow. Let’s not mince words. This man wants to be the Republican nominee for president.
If there’s one thing that really gets these nice moderate “grown-ups” upset, apparently, it’s the suggestion that Dick Cheney might not be one of those nice moderate “grown-ups.”

Stephens concludes with this:

[M]aybe what the GOP needs is another humbling landslide defeat. When moderation on a subject like immigration is ideologically disqualifying, but bark-at-the-moon lunacy about Halliburton is not, then the party has worse problems than merely its choice of nominee.
I don’t know if he’s being serious, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see plenty of Republicans quietly whispering to each other that a landslide defeat would be just what the doctor ordered. The Holy Grail of an enduring Republican majority rests on the myth of the epic Goldwater loss propelling a grass-roots conservative movement that in 16 years, and in the wake of a monumental Republican disgrace, came to dominate American politics for a generation. One could easily see many of them dreamily traveling back in time to 1965 and thinking they could repeat those glory days.
But the purpose of all that was to build a grass-roots movementAnd they succeeded wildly. Today it forms the core of the Republican base, it elects conservatives to office and it wields considerable power over the political establishment. If what these Republican writers want is for the moderate wing of the GOP to rise like Pheonixes from the ashes of a major landslide they are going to have to activate a group of people who are unlikely insurgents:  temperamentally low-key, judicious, restrained Republicans. I don’t know how many of them even exist anymore but they would seem to be an unlikely group to organize as an insurgent political movement.
It’s true that they will have millionaires on their side. That is, after all, the real “moderate” constituency that opposes both the anti-immigrant right wing and the potential isolationists among the Paulites. There’s a whole lot of money at stake.  But even in this upside-down democracy of ours, they still only have one vote. It’s very hard to see how they can  find enough moderate Republicans out there to mobilize a partisan insurgency against the conservative movement they helped build over the course of 40 years.
After all, as Richard Viguerie makes very clear, no amount of losing will change their course:

Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed. It’s going to take more than a mere embarrassing landslide to tame that beast. They thrive on such losses.
It seems that the Republican establishment is finally seeing that enabling their radicals might have been a mistake. Unfortunately for all of us, it’s probably too late.  Their monster is feeling his oats and it’s going to be very hard to stop him.

(Heather Digby Parton is a writer also well-known as "Digby." Her political and cultural observations can be found at www.digbysblog.blogspot.com.)


I remember thinking long ago as an engineering grunt, hearing that my company was going out of business but that the executives were getting million-dollar bonuses for selling it, that the pay metrics for the executives must be based on star-based (Dick Cheney-based?) measurements.

Or something.

But as long as they're paid for performance it's okay, right?

Pay for Performance? It Depends on the Measuring Stick


April 12, 2014
Year after year, as executive pay continues its inexorable climb, it’s amusing to watch corporate directors try to justify the piles of shareholder money they throw at the hired help. Check out any proxy filing for these arguments, which usually center on how closely and carefully the executives’ incentive compensation is tied to the performance of company operations.

But pay for performance is only as good as the metrics used to determine it. And as a recent study shows, some metrics — including the most popular — are downright ineffective at motivating executives to create shareholder value.

The study was done by James F. Reda, a veteran compensation consultant, and his associate David M. Schmidt, both of whom are in the human resources and compensation consulting practice at Arthur J. Gallagher & Company. They analyzed pay metrics used by 195 large companies over the five years that ended in December 2012. By comparing those measurements with moves in these companies’ stock prices, the study identified the common pay metrics that corresponded with above- or below-average performance.
Their analysis will come in handy for investors examining the executive-pay tallies for 2013. As usual, the numbers are staggering:
The median compensation for C.E.O.s at the 100 largest companies that have filed so far was $13.9 million, according to the Equilar 100 C.E.O. Pay Study, conducted by Equilar, an executive compensation data firm. That’s up 9 percent from 2012.
But investigating the basis of these amounts takes some digging. Consider Oracle, whose chief executive, Lawrence J. Ellison, received $78.4 million, placing him atop our 2013 pay list. Only by reading the company’s proxy do you learn that Oracle determined its incentive compensation — meaning most everything but salary — based on growth in what it calls “non-GAAP pretax profit.”

In Oracle’s lexicon, that means the company’s earnings before income taxes and minus the costs of stock-based compensation, acquisitions, restructurings and other items. In other words, the Oracle number is not based on generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, and that makes its numbers look better.

Oracle’s approach is just one of many benchmarks companies can choose. Some boards award incentive pay based on a company’s total shareholder return or earnings-per-share growth; others use return on invested capital or return on equity. Most companies use more than one measure. And all argue that their methods justify the incentive pay they award.
But which measurements work and which don’t?

According to Mr. Reda and Mr. Schmidt, stocks of companies choosing the most popular gauge — total shareholder return — as a performance metric for at least one year out of the five in the study underperformed stocks of companies using other benchmarks. By contrast, stocks of companies that used earnings-per-share measures based on generally accepted accounting principles outperformed.

The analysis also determined that companies making frequent changes to their pay metrics vastly underperformed those that stuck with their benchmarks.

It is dismaying that companies using total shareholder return as a performance metric tended to underperform, given its rising popularity in pay practices. Among the 195 companies in the study, just over half — 53 percent — used total shareholder return as a metric. Those companies’ shares had an average loss of 0.18 percent, annualized, over the five-year period. That compares with an average gain of 1.15 percent among all 195 stocks, regardless of the benchmark they used.

Even more striking, stocks of companies that did not use total shareholder return as a measure gained an annualized average of 2.67 percent.

“What this says is companies should look for alternatives to the total shareholder return measure,” Mr. Reda said. “They should look for growth drivers that management can control and not do the knee-jerk thing.” That knee-jerk thing, he said, is total shareholder return, and he said that using it routinely was a mistake.

Interestingly, the study found that stocks of companies using a much less popular metric — earnings-per-share growth — were more likely to outperform. Only 37 percent of companies used that measure at least once from 2008 to 2012, the study found. Still, these shares generated a gain of 1.37 percent, annualized, during the five years, above the 1.15 percent average gain across all the companies.

Neither Mr. Reda nor Mr. Schmidt could say with certainty why the benchmark of total shareholder return seemed so closely linked to lackluster corporate performance.

But Mr. Reda was willing to speculate on why earnings-per-share measures were less popular in the boardroom. They are harder to manipulate than other measures that burnish results by removing costs from the equation, he said. (Of course, earnings can be enhanced by stock buybacks and other management machinations, but most of those tricks can be spotted fairly easily.)

“Earnings per share seems to be the best measure, and lots of investors and shareholders think it is important,” Mr. Reda said. “But companies hate it. They don’t want to be held accountable for the costs of discontinuing product lines or closing factories.”

Another conclusion from the study is this: Shares of companies that chose a metric and stuck with it generally did better than those of companies that changed their measures. For example, the 24 companies that changed their performance measures three times over the five years generated an average loss of 2.65 percent, annualized. The 56 companies that maintained the same metrics over the period — it didn’t matter which metric they used — showed gains of 5.09 percent.

Stability of design has value,” Mr. Reda said.

Perhaps the study’s clearest message is that one size does not fit all when measuring pay for performance. For instance, not all companies’ stocks underperformed when their managers were judged on total shareholder returns.

Health care equipment and services companies are an example. The returns of those that used total shareholder return exceeded the average returns of their peers, the study found. Of the 11 companies studied in that industry, the stocks of the three using total shareholder return generated average annualized gains of 4.4 percent in the period. That compares with 1.9 percent for shares of companies that didn’t use the metric.

Similarly, the use of earnings per share didn’t always translate to stock outperformance, the study found. This was the case in the energy, insurance, media and retailing industries.

As a result, Mr. Reda said, boards must design their pay packages with goals that are specific to the company’s strengths and weaknesses, but that will also promote the kind of growth that shareholders want.

“Large companies can be unwieldy,” Mr. Reda said. “If management is not really focused on what they need to do, they are unlikely to succeed in getting their houses in order. If you can focus management on things they can control, investors might be better off.”

Also, management may not get the millions in bonuses?