The latest case to come out of the circus we here at TFR like to call “corporate media” is a story that’s, as per usual, “hard to believe”:
A San Francisco social media maven and former political consultant who was wanted on suspicion of possessing explosives has been taken into custody after a three-day manhunt.
“I was sitting in my car and I heard some commotion,” he said. “So I looked over my shoulder and saw that somebody was getting arrested. There was some commotion going on so I got out of my car, got my phone out, and started recording. I didn’t really know what I was recording at first, but it became quickly evident that it was more than just some traffic stop violation. He was yelling help when he saw me filming him. So he looked basically right at me as I was filming him and yelled help.”
Morgan Manos, an Uber car driver who witnessed the arrest and captured it on video, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Chamberlain “looked pretty surprised and frantic.”
Chamberlain was wearing shorts, a sweatshirt and a beanie hat, Manos said, adding: “They took him down hard.”
Brooke Wentz, his boss at a music rights consultancy group, said Chamberlain last contacted her Friday to remind her to deposit his paycheck in a new bank account. The conversation was uneventful and Wentz said she was “tremendously dumbfounded” by the news that the contractor she had hired to handle her company’s social media accounts was wanted by the FBI.
Apparently, political consultants just happen to go completely ape just a few days after a mass shooting that “tore the nation apart”. These times sure are crazy, aren’t they? But who is Ryan Kelly Chamberlain II, why are we using his whole name, and why doesn’t anyone call him “Ryan Chamberlain Jr.”? Could it possibly be because this man is being set up to be a patsy of some sort?
According to CNN affiliate KPIX, Chamberlain posted an apparent suicide note to friends on Facebook titled “Goodbye.” The letter describes a history of depression, despair over a broken relationship and career problems.
“In the span of a few months, everything that mattered me to me betrayed me,” the writer said.
But the FBI is not calling the letter a “suicide note,” a spokesman told CNN.
Peter Lee, the FBI’s spokesman in San Francisco, said investigators are trying to verify the origin of the post.
She said he seemed to be under financial pressure because he told her that two friends who were leasing his apartment left without telling him and he had to scramble to pay for two rentals.
“I wondered what kind of friends would do something like that,” Wentz said. “I tried to ask him about the situation, but he was kind of evading my question.”
After Chamberlain was taken into custody, the SFPD bomb squad was called in to search his car. A robot did the initial check, followed by an officer and a dog. It didn’t appear they found any explosives, but tourists were intrigued.
The door to Chamberlain’s apartment is still sealed with duct tape. Even though we could not enter, video from Al Jazeera America gave us a glimpse into his world. The apartment is disheveled with belongings scattered about the ground.
His landlord, Jim Hirsch, who showed the current state of Chamberlain’s apartment, never saw him as a troubled tenant. Hirsch said, “Mr. Chamberlain never exhibited any peculiar behavior or did anything to raise our suspicion that he might be involved in some nefarious activities.”
Chamberlain’s Twitter page, which featured a lighthearted stream of jokes and local observations, was active as recently as May 30. He follows comedians and local journalists. There is no obvious indication on the profile of any tendencies toward violence or anything illegal.
The same goes for his Instagram account, which looks like it belongs to a regular guy — pictures of beer, pretty girls and videos of dogs. He seems like a partier more than a terrorist.
Apparently, Ryan was a smart guy. He was even a lecturer at USF:
Chamberlain taught one course as an adjunct professor in 2011 at the University of San Francisco. His faculty profile has been taken down by the school, but a spokeswoman confirmed his employment to SFGate.com.
From his Linkedin profile:
Chamberlain also has a long history of political involvement, beginning with his degree in political science from Iowa State University, where he graduated in 1993. He went on to get a master’s degree in political campaigning from the University of Florida. In the Bay Area, he was known as an “all-around communications expert” who knows about “politics, policy, government, tactics, and strategy,” according to what his current employer wrote on his Linkedin profile.
Or maybe it could be as simple and pedestrian as the precedent being set here, which would simply be an extension of the precedent-setting that’s currently being carried out in the wake of the Santa Barbara shooting: That even if you pose no immediate threat to yourself or others, you can still be arrested, taken to a mental hospital, or otherwise held against your will based on the idea of “pre-crime” and the word of someone who may not have your best interests at heart.
First of all, we have no idea who this guy is, except that he’s deep into the public relations circles in Southern California. All of the other information that’s been gathered about this individual has, admittedly, not been fact-checked at all:
A source told NBC Bay Area that “crews found a chemical in the apartment that, if not handled correctly, can kill. The person may have bought the chemical — which is often used in assisted suicide situations — on the internet …”
Reports of the presence of Ricin — or any other chemical or biological substance — at the apartment were dismissed by authorities, refuting earlier news reports.
Not only that, he seems very rational to me, leaving an extremely logical and understandable response on Twitter:
According to KTVU, Chamberlain switched from supporting Republicans to Democrats.
So, once again, libertarians and what few conservatives and democrats still have their heads on straight are going to have to sit there and let the media drone on and on about how we need more gun control and less restrictions on locking people up based on pre-crime (even though Ryan Chamberlain wasn’t armed and we’re not even sure if the “diary he wrote” or the “explosives he had” were illegitimate like the ricin that was “found and then not found” in his apartment turned out to be).
“Actually, as I was walking down here, I thought it was a film set,” onlooker Faisal Choudry said. “And somebody said the FBI is here investigating, and they’ve been here since the morning.”
As Judge Napolitano would say, “Another fake terror threat bites the dust.”
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