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Terror in the Skies, Again? - WomensWallStreet ***1/2 Gold Star***


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Terror in the Skies, Again? - WomensWallStreet ***1/2 Gold Star***
Topic: Current Events 7:47 pm EDT, Jul 16, 2004

] On June 29, 2004, at 12:28 p.m., I flew on Northwest
] Airlines flight #327 from Detroit to Los Angeles with my
] husband and our young son. Also on our flight were 14
] Middle Eastern men between the ages of approximately 20
] and 50 years old. What I experienced during that flight
] has caused me to question whether the United States of
] America can realistically uphold the civil liberties of
] every individual, even non-citizens, and protect its
] citizens from terrorist threats.

I'm always extra observant these days when I get on a plane. I size people up. I assess them. I've never seen anything that ended up bothering me. This person did. This is your worst nightmare airplane story.

By Jeremy's Gold Star system I'm giving this story a 1/2 gold star. This is simply the scariest thing I've read in 3 years. Don't read this if you're not prepared. Its fucked up.

Its also important. You're reading about this because of the blogosphere. I imagine that this will get wide coverage online and the mainstream press will pick it up, like the Trent Lott thing. If this is what it claims to be its as important as a successful attack. People need and want to know that things like this are going down. DHS and the airline industry would rather they didn't, for various reasons, not all of which are bad ones.

Is it what it claims to be? Thats primarily the reason why it will be important. Its impossible to know how accurate this account is until someone from the Government actually makes a statement on it. That won't happen until a large number of people are talking about it.

This story is also seriously flawed, hence the 1/2 star. Once the facts are presented, the not so facts are presented. Ann Coultier is quoted. The lack of racial profiling is questioned. Unfortunately the fact that those ideas are tagged onto this information will cloud the value of it. People on the left will think twice about blogging it or considering it. People on the right will be drawn into its conclusions by its information.

The fact is that its properly called Islamic Extremeism, not Arab Extremeism, and there is a very good reason for that, only part of which is the fact that not all Arabs are Muslim. The critical issue from a security standpoint is that if you focus all your investigative efforts on Arabs you will find an airplane full of guys from the Sudan rammed right up your ass, and you cannot tell the difference between guys from the Sudan and guys from Atlanta based on what they look like.

Those that argue for a crackdown on Arabs are not just racist, they're stupid. And not only because they're missing part of the puzzle, but also because whats good for the goose is good for the gander, and they never seem to consider that, even in the context of bombings by radical fundamentalist Christians.

This does not imply that 15 Arabs on a plane acting sketchy as all hell is not a something you ought to investigate. Clearly, in this case, if the story is true, it was investigated. To what end, who knows. I seriously doubt that if there was something substantive going on here that the agents would have just let these guys go and forgotten about it. I also seriously doubt that they would have let this woman know what they did when she called. But its irrelevant.

Assuming this information is accurate, I'll say I no longer find jokes about DHS's alert system so funny.

(Of course, its worth reading this from the other direction. Maybe it was just a group of guys from Detroit rolling down to do a show. Lots of Middle Eastern people in Detroit. Maybe they had a lot to drink and all needed to hit the bathroom. Maybe they wanted to chat in the hallways because they weren't sitting near eachother. But there was enough going on here to spook the security forces. Her fears were not totally unreasonable.)

Terror in the Skies, Again? - WomensWallStreet ***1/2 Gold Star***

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