I do blame the administration, however, for not making sure that authorities had the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the Tsarnaevs' plans. The Associated Press reported that federal investigators were surprised when a federal judge and prosecutor entered Dzhokhar's hospital room Monday and read him his Miranda rights. (A public safety exception allowed authorities to delay administering Miranda rights for 48 hours in order to gain intelligence.) Tsarnaev immediately stopped cooperating.
No surprise there. In 2009, would-be underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian, told the FBI he was from al-Qaida in Yemen, until agents read him his Miranda rights. Then he, too, clammed up.
We know that there was bureaucratic bungling. Having been warned by the Russians, the CIA and the FBI placed the elder brother, Tamerlan, 26, on separate terrorist watch lists -- and nothing happened. The Department of Homeland Security later learned Tamerlan went to Russia, but it didn't do anything about it.
In the wake of the Boston attacks that left Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi and Sean Collier dead, news organizations are committed to uncovering everything that went wrong. That is as it should be. After the Benghazi attack, however, many in the media dismissed GOP criticism of the administration's cover-up as partisan. It was partisan, but that doesn't mean the criticism was wrong.