Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Bureaucratic Incompetence Interpretation at UC-Merced

Given the recent mayhem in San Bernardino, the stabbing incident at UC-Merced in early November has been pushed from the national headlines. But not entirely, as will be noted below. Not surprisingly, it still is newsworthy in the local Merced area.* However, beyond the local news, various conservative news media allege a cover up of the UC-Merced incident, i.e., that it was really terrorism. The allegation arose shortly after the event** and continues to the present.*** 

Shortly after the UC-Merced incident, the local sheriff indicated that the student perpetrator was not a terrorist – presumably meaning someone acting out of religious and/or political beliefs. It was instead due to the mental issues of someone angry about being rejected from a study group. This interpretation was based on a manifesto the stabber left behind. The document was reportedly slated to be released a few days after the incident.**** Put another way, the Merced incident was similar to the incident at UC-Santa Barbara in May 2014 where the perpetrator killed people out of anger at not having a girlfriend. In that case, the killer left behind a manifesto “explaining” his motives.

In contrast, the UC-Merced manifesto hasn’t been released, although there have been various news reports since the incident that somehow interpret what is allegedly in it. At least one blogsite has filed a public documents request which has been rejected. See below:

…In pursuit of the story LLC filed a formal CA Public Documents Act request asking to be provided with an un-redacted copy of Mr. Mohammad’s manifesto. This morning we received the following reply:

“Upon review, we have concluded that the information you have requested is integral to an ongoing investigation. The disclosure of it at this time would endanger the successful completion of that investigation. Therefore we are denying your request at this time…”

Yours truly suggests that the conspiracy/terrorism interpretation could be quickly put to rest if the UC-Merced police would simply release the manifesto (and whatever other relevant documents there are). Surely the UC-Merced police have a copy or could get one from the Merced sheriff. The local sheriff shortly after the event said, "We had an upset teenager that was upset because he got kicked out of a study group."**** Given that official view – no terror conspiracy/just individual mental problems – a view which has not changed in any news report since, there remains only the Galanter hypothesis (see above) as to why the manifesto has not been released, even without a public document request. With all the calls for “transparency” in public matters, not honoring the request seems like bureaucratic incompetence.
***  Excerpt: …Yet, more than a month after the Nov. 4 attack at University of California Merced, local and federal authorities continue to insist that Faisal Mohammad, 18, carried out the vicious attack because he'd been banished from a study group. (John) Price, whose son Byron Price, a 31-year-old construction manager for the family business who was working nearby and was stabbed when he heroically intervened, suspects the White House's reluctance to identify acts of radical Islamic terror has trickled down to investigators who are still probing the Merced attack…

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