Saturday, July 06, 2002

I understand it's "pick on the FBI" year (and they have much to answer for). However, caution in assigning motives to a sudden killer who had not been on their radar seems understandable. It even seems wise not to get embroiled in the discussion of defining "hate crime" and "terrorism" by not mentioning either.

The NYT's snide headline implies that while the FBI is unable to determine the LAX shooter's motives, any five-year-old should be able to -- based on an interview with a single man who had known Hadayet for one month. Instapundit extends that theme to scorn the FBI for their "duck and cover" act. However, early reports of eyewitnesses mentioned an argument that spun out of control, and in another NYT article, relatives of the shooter said it was probably an argument over limousine fare. While that theory seems wishful thinking at best, it's the mess of early theories that makes it appropriate for the FBI to be noncommittal until more thorough investigation of the shooter, his relatives and acquaintances.

It's true that when it suits the FBI's purposes they spout off with half-baked theories about investigations, and when it doesn't they're mum. However, it also seems that the FBI is criticized either way. And LA's mayor James Hahn said the same thing as the FBI, but is not criticized by Instapundit.

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