WASHINGTON WATCH: Rep. Bennie Thompson Discusses The Investigation Of The Boston Bombings (VIDEO)

The investigation continues in the case the two men allegedly responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing. The questions about who else was involved and whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev slipped through the fingers of the FBI.

Since last week, a lot has been learned. Dzokhar Tsarnaev is in custody and says he and his brother acted alone. Their parents believe their sons are innocent, and Republicans are trying to figure out how to blame the whole thing on President Barack Obama.

Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, the ranking member of House Committee on Homeland Security joined Roland Martin on the set of Washington Watch to discuss the investigation in to the Boston Bombing and more.

MR. MARTIN:  Hello, and welcome to “Washington Watch.”

The investigation continues in the case the two men allegedly responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing.  The questions about who else was involved and whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev slipped through the fingers of the FBI.

Since our program last week, a lot has been learned.  Dzokhar Tsarnaev is in custody and says he and his brother acted alone.  Their parents believe their sons are innocent, and Republicans are trying to figure out how to blame the whole thing on – who else?  President Barack Obama.

We’re going to talk about all that and more today; but first, here with an update on the investigation is Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, the ranking member of House Committee on Homeland Security.

Welcome back to “Washington Watch.”

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON:  Thank you for having me.

MR. MARTIN:  So, you’re one of the members getting constant updates on this investigation.  Where do we stand now?  This young man is in custody, but in terms of where are we with this whole investigation?

REP. THOMPSON:  Well, he has just been transferred from the hospital to a federal holding facility, which means he’s getting better.  He has an attorney; [has] been read his Miranda rights, afforded the same constitutional rights any American citizen would get.  And so the investigation is going forward.

There’re a lot of things being pushed out in the media, some correct, some incorrect.  But at the end of the day, I’m convinced that we have the right person.  I’m convinced that those individuals who are tasked with the responsibility of conducting the investigation will do it all within the confines of the law.

There’re some people who want to abort the Constitution in the name of fighting terrorism, but for those of us who are of African descent, we understand that without a body of laws, we would have been in trouble.

And so we’re there.  There are some things that occurred that clearly say we need a fix.  If there was a notion that the older brother was traveling to Russia, and the Russian authorities notified us, the follow-up should have taken place.  Now, the big part of the follow-up is that while the FBI was looking at it and made a determination, the JTTF, which is the Joint Terrorism Task Force, was not notified.  And that’s the coordinating entity.

So, there’re some oversight things that we have to do, but we shouldn’t get in the middle of the investigation.  We need the investigation and prosecution to go forward while we’re looking at the other things.

MR. MARTIN:  Does it concern you, though, as the ranking member, this inability for one hand to know what the other hand is doing, when that was the whole point, after 9/11, of agencies working together to say, “We’re in this thing together to keep America safe”?

REP. THOMPSON:  There’s no question about it that the FBI, the DEA, ATF, all those state and local authorities are supposedly embedded in the same organization looking at the investigation and should be sharing that information.  We’ve even passed laws and provided money for that to happen.  We’re going to have to look at it.

Now, this notion that somehow, in a conversation, those two gentlemen said they [were] going to New York – well, that didn’t really come out in the conduct of the investigation.  That just kind of – after talk.

So, we’ll look at it, but I’m concerned that our system requires the sharing of information in real time – not six months after.  So, we’re going to have to look at it, but the notion that – the resources we put together responded to it.  The state and locals worked together with our federal partners in almost record time.  We found the individuals with the help of the citizens, now.  Obviously, if average, ordinary citizens had not provided some of the information, it would’ve been a longer stretch to catch –

MR. MARTIN:  Well, obviously, it helps in these days, because you have so many people who are taking photos, sharing the photos, shooting video, that all of a sudden, I mean you have thousands of folks sitting on evidence, if you will, because that’s the kind of society we now live in.

REP. THOMPSON:  Or, the department store camera across the street –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

REP. THOMPSON:  — actually became the camera that identified the two individuals, but it was the analytics that went with the identification that said, “Well, a bomb’s going off, and here’s a guy walking toward the bomb, rather than going away.”  That’s strange.

But we had 150 people looking at different cameras and pictures, just trying to figure out what’s wrong; and they were all in Quantico, Virginia, at the Marine Corps base there where the FBI [does] a lot of their work.  So, it’s everybody working together.

But the real issue we have, Roland, is that it looks like bad people are here already.  These are not people who’re trying to get into the United States.

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

REP. THOMPSON:  They’re here.  So, we need to look at those people who’ve become radicalized, who are either American citizens, or want to be American citizens who have no criminal record, but something triggers that.  And so it’s those kinds of individuals that cause us great concern right now.

MR. MARTIN:  You said “those kind[s] of individuals.”  The chairman of your committee is asking for an investigation based upon some crazy nonsense being pushed by Glenn Beck.

Here’s what Rachel Maddow said about that issue on her show this week.

[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

MS. RACHEL MADDOW:  Four Republican members of the House, including the Republican member of Congress who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, now, and the Republican member of Congress who used to chair the Homeland Security Committee – they have written a letter, now, to the Homeland Security Department demanding an investigation into Glenn Beck’s conspiracy theory about the guy who Glenn Beck is pitching as the real bomber in Boston, who naturally is being protected and controlled by the U.S. government, by Janet Napolitano and by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Oh, yes!  The First Lady is in on it, too!

[END OF VIDEO CLIP]

MR. MARTIN:  Does this sort of stuff, for you – is it a waste of time for the Department of Homeland Security, for members of Congress, to be chasing a Glenn Beck theory?

REP. THOMPSON:  That is absolutely preposterous.  If you follow Glenn Beck’s conversations historically, he’s made wild accusations; but for us to waste time and energy in the middle of investigating the death and injury of a number of American citizens on a Glenn Beck theory – that’s not sound science.  And I would hope my colleagues [would] not get the resources of the federal government distracted from doing the investigation on this bombing to go start chasing Glenn Beck.

I know both chairmen.  I expect more from them [and] not to go in that direction, so I’m shocked, to be honest with you, Roland, that people who traditionally have gone hard-nosed on law enforcement are now going hard right toward chasing rumor and innuendo.

MR. MARTIN:  Well, it makes no sense to me either.  So, hopefully, as a member of the committee, you can be able to persuade them to stay focused on the task at hand.

REP. THOMPSON:  There’s hope.

MR. MARTIN:  All right, Congressman Thompson.  Always a pleasure.  We appreciate it.  Look forward to having you come back, giving us the latest on what’s happening with this investigation.

REP. THOMPSON:  Thank you much.