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Home > Blog > Overreacting or Under-reacting?
Out of Our Minds
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 10:08 AM
Overreacting or Under-reacting?
Anita Sharpe on Life

Here's a story that first appeared online and is beginning to attract mainstream media attention.

The gist: is political correctness keeping U.S. airlines and the government from thwarting potential terrorists who are currently practicing dry runs on commercial flights?


RM3 Frisker - 7/24/2004 3:03:00 AM
Linkage Supporting The Thesis of the original 'Terror in the Skies' article by Annie Jacobsen ...

'[The New York Times has] since spoken at length with Ms. Jacobsen, and also with an official of the Federal Air Marshal Service, who confirmed the gist of Ms. Jacobsen's narrative, if not her interpretation.' http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/20/business/20road.html

Facts supporting that terrorists do perform blatant, stupid dress rehersals ...
The actor James Woods' study of several men (all 9/11 hijackers) acting strangely on a flight BEFORE 9/11 ...

Instead of hijacking maybe they will try something different ...
'Terrorist bid to build bombs in mid-flight' by Jason Burke, chief reporter @ The London Observer

It has happened at least twice since 9/11 on two different airlines ...
'Scouting jetliners for new attacks' by Audrey Hudson @ The Washington Times

Northwest Airline Flight Attendent Union's 'Letter to the Editor of WomensWallStreet.com published 7-19-04' ...

Northwest Airline Flight Attendent Union's Press Release mentioning the incident in the context of Transportation Safety Administration's failure to follow through with flight attendent safety training ...

Transcript: MSNBC 'Scarborough Country' for July 19 ... the interview is BURIED deep inside the transcript ...

Transcript: MSNBC 'Scarborough Country' for July 22 ... the band members all had expired visas (ooops) ...

Transcript: CNN Newsnight with Aaron Brown ... this interview is ALSO BURIED deep inside the transcript

And obviously a link to the followup Article by the Original Author of 'Terror in the Skies'
anita - 7/23/2004 5:05:03 PM

Truth be told, I would not have felt more secure. It's hard to know what the answer is, but it seems like everywhere we go now -- department stores, driving on the Interstate -- we're all on Candid Camera. Somebody is always watching through closed-circuit TV. I have to believe that's the ultimate airline solution, too. I would not be surpised to see spot monitors in in-flight bathrooms (or some method to detect unusual activity -- so much for the mile-high club). If it comes to that, somehow I don't think the flying public will squawk too much.

P.S. Thanks for the nice words.
Dave - 7/22/2004 11:58:46 PM
Really? For all this 'extra measure of protection' existed, can you REALLY say that YOU would have felt more or less secure with how the flight went?

It really is a complicated - and therefore realistic - scenario that will happen again and again. Rights... freedom... responsibility... they intermingle.

There's no right or wrong solution OR course of action here. To suggest anything else is to be unrealistic. My problem with Shelley's comments is how she simply blows off any other possibility except her viewpoint - suggesting that if you don't agree with it, you are the one being stereotypical!

Oh, and Anita... I've commented here a couple of times before but have not taken the time to tell you how much I like this blog... I'm looking forward to the print version.
anita - 7/22/2004 8:23:33 AM
What appears to have happened in this case --based on the writer's account -- is the airline put several air marshals on the flight,which seems like the right and prudent solution. No rights were compromised, yet passengers had an extra measure of protection.
Dave - 7/22/2004 7:47:45 AM
Shelley, I guess you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

The meaning I got out of this story is quite different than yours. It's about 'what if's.

Should we treat suspiscious airline passengers differently? How difficult is it to not get stressed when something like this happens? After all the money and resources spent trying to prevent another 9/11, the authorities still can't do their jobs? Oh, and the biggest one.... if another 9/11 does happen, would YOU crucify Bush like you constantly do in your blog?

You yourself conform to one stereotype whether you like it or not.

Damned if you do - damned if you don't.
Walker's dad - 7/21/2004 3:25:43 PM
Shelley, regardless of your opinion that, 'There is no justification that blond and blue eyed folks acting strange shouldn’t also be treated with the same cautions that we insist on applying to Middle Eastern looking people.' Okay, I guess your argument is to treat everyone as a terrorist threat?
Please look at the facts the the proliferation of terrorist acts in this day and age are committed by Muslim extremists. They want us converted or dead. Not much of a choice.
Yes, there are those that do not fit the normal profile of a terrorist, but to trot out the McVeigh story as opposed to the daily acts perpetrated by Muslim fanatics only proves you have spent to many a night curled up with Noam Chomsky. How is Zinn doing also. I bet your copy is dogeared quite nicely.
Halliburton, Enron, Florida recount.. your agenda is transparent.
anita - 7/21/2004 12:34:21 PM
I agree with you. Still, I think a lot about a trip I took to Tunisia as a college student. Students traveling to north Africa at that time were assumed to be seeking more than sunshine, and so we knew going over that we would be pulled aside and thoroughly searched and questioned. It just went with the territory of being that age and traveling to that part of the world.
Shelley - 7/21/2004 11:58:09 AM
Before 9/11 it would make sense that the terrorists did the moves they did. After all, no one was worried.

But folks are assuming Al Queda is stupid. These people are not stupid. They're not going to act on planes now in such a way to generate attention. Not in the climate in this country.

The lady thought the people were acting odd. She informed the flight attendents. The FBI was brought in. The men were investigated and found harmless. End of story.

There is no call that we have to be given their names, so that we can 'prove' their innocence ourselves. I think the FBI is more capable than any of us.

And it's foolish to sterotype the danger, because then the danger will come from a new direction. There is no justification that blond and blue eyed folks acting strange shouldn't also be treated with the same cautions that we insist on applying to Middle Eastern looking people.

After all, the man who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma wasn't a Muslim, or Middle Eastern.

Avi Solomon - 7/20/2004 6:34:34 PM
CAVEAT EMPTOR but don't forget the 9/11 Dry Run:
Shelley - 7/20/2004 12:35:43 PM
This story is the worst form of hearsay. As the NY Times has reported, the group was checked out, investigated, and released. They did their thing, and then left again.

As for the hundreds of terrorists performing blatant, stupid dress rehersals in planes -- where is the facts to support this? Where is anything other than one woman's story and a lot of hysteria?

(Times story at http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/20/business/20road.html)

This is hearsay, and shows the dangers of naive webloggers and their thirst to 'get in on the story'. And our link madness.

Just in time for the elections, too. Fancy that.


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