Tsarnaev family welfare benefits said to exceed $100k

State government officials, including Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, have resisted divulging any details about the welfare benefits enjoyed by the Boston bombers and their parents.  This is an absolute outrage.  No aspect of the welfare state should be hidden from the people who pay for it, especially when the beneficiaries become terrorist bombers.

But it’s easy to see why the government doesn’t want to talk about those welfare benefits, because WCVB in Boston has sources that claim the Tsarnaev family collected over a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of benefits from various programs over the past decade:

The House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight is reviewing hundreds of documents collected from state agencies that may have provided benefits to the suspects or their families since 2002.

Sources who have seen the 500 pages of documents sent to the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight told News Center 5???s Janet Wu that the Tsarnaev family — including the parents of the two bombing suspects, the two suspects themselves, their sisters, the widow of the suspect killed and their child — received “every conceivable public benefit available out there.”

One source told Wu that the amount of state, federal and local benefits totaled over a $100,000 in the past decade.

“I am concerned that the taxpayers and victims here may have been funding terrorists,” said Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, a Republican representing the 3rd district. “People have a right to know if that’s the case and they have the right to know immediately.”

These sources told WCVB that the panoply of benefits made available to the Tsarnaev clan included “Medicaid, SNAP – also known as food stamps – cash assistance, federal benefits like Social security disability which the father of the suspects received, as well as Section 8 housing.”

The article notes that neither of the bombers personally received direct welfare payments; they got their benefits through their parents, and from September 2011 to November 2012, Tamerlan got them through his wife.  The state is investigating whether any of these benefits were received improperly.  Will the story become better, or worse, if the answer is “no?”

Concerns have been expressed for protecting the privacy of minor children included in the audit committee report.  This is understandable, but no adult welfare beneficiary should have any expectation of privacy in the matter of his taxpayer-funded benefits.  These programs are sick with fraud and abuse, at both federal and state levels.  Complete transparency is the only hope for cleaning them up.  And of course, once a crime is involved – particularly something as horrific as the Boston Marathon bombings – transparency becomes even more urgent.

The grim coda to the story is that the legal and medical needs of the surviving terrorist, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, will be fully covered by the government.  His legal team just picked up crusading anti-death-penalty lawyer Judy Clarke, who helped to keep the Unabomber, Tucson shooter Jared Loughner, and Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph off Death Row.