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December 05, 2004

PC Will Be The Death Of Us: Literally

This morning I emerged from the warmth of the marital bed and set off, fully armed with coffee mug and two slices of what my youngest son used to call 'razor toast', in search of egregious idiocy to mock.

It didn't take long.

Jet Noise readers know by now that I'm no fan of the 9/11 commission. Lord knows it had its entertaining moments, but the commission's various pronouncements could hardly have been improved upon for sheer, blithering idiocy.

But having endured months of the aptly-named Dick Ben Veniste's brand of Low Comedy, one wonders: what was the point of studying how that attack could have been prevented if we're not serious about preventing future attacks? The WSJ opines:

One of the highest priorities for Homeland Security Secretary-designate Bernard Kerik should be to take political correctness and a fear of litigation out of national security decisions. From immigration enforcement to intelligence gathering, government officials continue to compromise safety in order to avoid accusations of "racial profiling"--and in order to avoid publicly acknowledging what the 9/11 Commission finally said: that the enemy is "Islamist terrorism." This blind antidiscrimination reflex is all the more worrying since radical Islam continues to seek adherents and plan attacks in the U.S.

The article outlines DOT's mystifying insistence on strip-searching little old ladies and career military officers while suing the living daylights out of Airlines who detain passengers that actually fit the profile of the men who killed almost 3000 Americans on September 11th.

So what are the DOT's guidelines for avoiding a lawsuit?

"Ask yourself," advise the guidelines, "But for this person's perceived race, ethnic heritage or religious orientation, would I have subjected this individual to additional safety or security scrutiny? If the answer is 'no,' then the action may violate civil rights laws."

This sounds reasonable enough until you look at how it works in practice:

Somehow, DOT lawyers failed to include in their complaint one further passenger whom American asked not to board in 2001. On Dec. 22, airline personnel in Paris kept Richard Reid off a flight to Miami. The next day, French authorities insisted that he be cleared to board. During the flight, Reid tried to set off a bomb in his shoe, but a stewardess and passengers foiled him. Had he been kept from flying on both days, he too might have ended up on the government's roster of discrimination victims.
Jehad Alshrafi is typical of those who were included in the suit against American. On Nov. 3, 2001, this Jordanian-American was scheduled to fly out of Boston's Logan Airport (from which two of the hijacked planes--including American Flight 11--departed on 9/11). A federal air marshal told the pilot that Alshrafi's name resembled one on a terror-watch list--and that he had been acting suspiciously, had created a disturbance at the gate, and posed unresolved security issues. The pilot denied him boarding. Alshrafi was later cleared and given first-class passage on another flight.
According to DOT, the only reason American initially denied Alshrafi passage was because of his "race, color, national origin, religion, sex or ancestry." Never mind that there were at least five other passengers of Arab descent on his original flight, none of whom had been given additional screening or kept from flying. In fact, on virtually every flight on which the government claims that American acted out of racial animus, other passengers of apparent Middle Eastern ancestry flew undisturbed.

A little sanity here would be refreshing; we're talking (at worst) about delaying an innocent passenger on a single trip. Compare that "irreparable harm" to the cost of allowing a single determined terrorist to board a plane.

By demanding airlines effectively ignore race, religion, and national origin, the DOT in its infinite wisdom has created the perfect cover for would-be Islamic terrorists. The good news is that we’re safe from elderly women and career military.

Nice going.

Posted by Cassandra at December 5, 2004 07:55 AM

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» Fly The Politically Correct Skies from Ed Driscoll.com
Cassandra, formerly of I Love Jet Noise now has her own blog. And she's none to happy about having to fly the PC skies when she travels commercial.... [Read More]

Tracked on December 6, 2004 04:04 PM


Sheer lunacy..................if you travel with a one-way ticket I guarantee you will be screened.On a recent flight (one-way tix) with #2 son (7yrs old) we were pulled out of line, frisked with wand,de-shod,patted down, and had to open our carry on.I asked the TSA employee "How many terrorists were middle-aged rednecks traveling with their kids?"
He replied that he was just doing his job....but I was pretty p.o'd by now."I'll tell you what they all had in common.They were ALL young male A-RABS (this being how we pronounce it in Texas)who just happened to have one-way tickets to 'paradise'"
"We are going to Raleigh,N.C"

Makes me mad even 2 months later.


Posted by: Greg at December 5, 2004 09:20 AM

The Unit gets violated in every conceivable way every time he travels (almost always on USMC orders). It's ludicrous - I breeze right through the checkpoints and he ends up having to remove half his clothing 2 or 3 times.

If I didn't know better.... :)

Posted by: Cassandra at December 5, 2004 09:40 AM

I have a simple solution: make everyone fly naked. Thank you.

Posted by: spd rdr at December 5, 2004 10:34 AM

Clarification: in my prior comment, the Unit was travelling on USMC orders, not being violated on USMC orders....

Posted by: Cassandra at December 5, 2004 11:43 AM

Thanks for clearing THAT up......I knew the USMC career track was tough, BUT....................


Posted by: Greg at December 5, 2004 12:09 PM

Well actually they've been known to violate both of us with disturbing regularity, but I wasn't going to go there because it's so wrong... :)

Posted by: Cassandra at December 5, 2004 12:33 PM

As they say where I'm from, the family that is violated together stays together.

Posted by: KJ at December 6, 2004 08:53 AM

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