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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:20 AM
Original message
Terrorist Dry Run, or Racial Paranoia?
First time I've seen this story about a NW flight from Detroit to LA last month. All I can say is, I think I would have been very very nervous.

Opinions?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/20...
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. I've read the article
It is filled with hatred and bigotry with no substantiating facts whatsoever.

Quoting Ann Coulter is a dead giveaway that this is right wing propogandistic lies.
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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
2. Racial Paranoia.
http://www.ariannaonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73...

I've been covering the shit out of this for days.

Please read!

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. I've read it--it sounds like a ton of BS
Were there Arab-looking musicians there? Probably. Were they engaged in a silly, completely transparent act of 'dry run' espionage reminiscent of Get Smart? Until there is corroboration of this woman's story, no. Note that in the original appearance of this article, the woman claims to no racial or other suspicions, yet quotes Ann Coulter of all people in virtually the next breath. It's impossible to tell, but the story sounds very dubious and borders on the ridiculous. What can be verified should be examined carefully, but her own impressions seem feverishly embellished.
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Its been corroborated by a Sky Marshall.
I watched an interview of one of the sky marshalls on the flight and he himself indicated that their behavior was very suspicious.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Can you get me to a link or a transcript?
Edited on Sun Jul-25-04 12:28 AM by jpgray
I'd like to have this information as directly as possible.
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I saw this on the Detroit Nightly news.
On wednesday or thursday. I was in Detroit on business at the time.

I'll see if I can find it though.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. I'll look around too. (nt)
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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. Fescue4u you are getting 1/2 the story.
Read my links on Post 2. The AM Radio assholes, and the Right Wing robots on TV are milking this for everything they can.

DO NOT FALL VICTIM TO THEIR PROPOGANDA.

This story is racist trash.

We work to COUNTER such nonsense.

We shall overcome!

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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. Your're proably right.
If I recall the interview I saw was condensed down greatly for the nightly news. No doubt it was a 30 minute interview, boiled down to about 60 seconds.

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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
4. One snippet...
http://www.kfi640.com/ericleonard.html

AIR MARSHALS SAY PASSENGER OVERREACTED
By ERIC LEONARD
KFI NEWS

LOS ANGELES | July 22, 2004 Undercover federal air marshals on board a June 29 Northwest airlines flight from Detroit to LAX identified themselves after a passenger, overreacted, to a group of middle-eastern men on board, federal officials and sources have told KFI NEWS.

The passenger, later identified as Annie Jacobsen, was in danger of panicking other passengers and creating a larger problem on the plane, according to a source close to the secretive federal protective service.

Jacobsen, a self-described freelance writer, has published two stories about her experience at womenswallstreet.com, a business advice web site designed for women.

The lady was overreacting, said the source. A flight attendant was told to tell the passenger to calm down; that there were air marshals on the plane.

The middle eastern men were identified by federal agents as a group of touring musicians travelling to a concert date at a casino, said Air Marshals spokesman Dave Adams.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Thank you! I hadn't read this
Finally some other accounts to this story.
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Same sky Marshall also said
That the suspects behavior was very suspicious.
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anti_shrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
5. I heard about this
O'Reilly had some guy from Philly guest hosting his radio show, and this guy was extremely.......I don't know if racist is even the word. He's so afraid of "people who look like the 19 hijackers" that he wants racial profiling to be national policy.

He had this lady on telling her story, and it seemed like he was hoping for her to go on a anti-Arab rant and it wasn't happening. She actually sounded reasonable and the host came off as even more nutbaggish.
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
7. Reasonable Fears IMO

These "musicians" were either very naive, having fun with the passengers fears, or doing a dry run.

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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. The Fears may have been reasonable
the article is NOT. Check my link on post 2. I link to a Salon article; the word of the Air Marshals, and make a number of points myself.

Its one thing to be afraid when you see something that looks suspicious to you. Its quite another to write a 3,000 word article inciting fear of people with Brown Skin, and quote Ann Coulter in doing so.

I WILL NOT TOLERATE RACISM.

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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Thats fair enough.

But we cant let fear of racism override reasonable caution. As I indicated in a couple other posts, I watched an interview with the sky marhshall and he himself indicated that their behavior was very suspicios.
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Fatima Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. I have been following the story.
The men are indeed musicians. They were on their way to a performance. After they were detained, they were released and they showed up at the venue to do their show. So much for your "dry run."

By the way, you'd have fun picking me out of a profile lineup...I seldom wear hijab, am white, and am most likely to be seen wearing biker garb as anything else.

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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. My "dry run"?
Thats not my terminolgy bud.

Thats leaves the other possibilitys...that they were just having fun playing on the fears of passengers, or just very naive.
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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. No! There is only ONE possibility!
They were just behaving normally. Their behavior WAS suspicious enough that the Sky Marshalls were watching them, but that could be true of anyone who had to use the bathroom.

The sky marshals themselves said the lady who wrote this hate mongering crap was the one causing the danger.

This is like the Florida Shonie's incident, and spreading this could get innocent people hurt, harassed, or even KILLED.

Like I said, I am a one man crew of fixing this BAD disinformation.

Won't you all help me, please?

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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Doesnt sound normal to me.
Edited on Sun Jul-25-04 12:48 AM by Fescue4u
14 (or more) guys all jumping up at the same time going to bathroom at the end of the flight? Running their finger across their neck (in a neck cutting motion).

Defintely not normal.

To me, it sounds like something I would do when I was a teenager to play on fears of "rowdy teenagers".

In addition, these guys were followed to the vegas concert and throughly checked out. If they were acting normal, this would not have occured.

The Sky marshall also said they were behaving suspciously.

IM glad to help you, but I won't overlook the obvious for the sake of being pc.
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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #21
28. That's not all correct.
I haven't seen an account where they did the "finger slashing motion."

One of their biggest "abnormalities," in my opinion was being a group of "A-rab" looking guys.

Remember that Shonies story?

First they ran a toll booth. Then they had the wrong license plates on their car. Then they made comments like "if they thought 911 was bad..."

Then it turned out NONE of that happened, and the press was reporting RUMORS, (like in this case.)

THEN the fucking freeper motherfuckers all said, "these guys keep changing their story!"

They NEVER changed their story! The irresponsible PRESS changed THEIR story!

This is important, and in my opinion, a CORNERSTONE to being a moderate or liberal.

Racial profiling and paranoia are Nazi, Fascist tactics. Give in to them, and the terrorists have already won.

PC my ass.

I get so sick of people saying PC as a dirty word, as if it was better when we called Black people the "N" word, and assumed they would rob us, or the Jews were out to overcharge us and whatever other bullshit racist motherfuckers spread.

Now anyone who has brown skin is going to set off a fucking BOMB.

I will not take it.

I will not take it, and you don't have to either!

Racism is the Devil's work.

Fear is worse than death.

Do NOT forget it!

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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #28
33. the finger-slashing motion thing
was in the original account by the woman. It was not very clearly phrased. But it was there.
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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Sorry, just went back and read it again.
Don't see any reference at all to it.

But let's look at how this idiot racist freak wrote:

The other seven men walked into the coach cabin. As "aware" Americans, my husband and I exchanged glances, and then continued to get comfortable. I noticed some of the other passengers paying attention to the situation as well. As boarding continued, we watched as, one by one, most of the Middle Eastern men made eye contact with each other. They continued to look at each other and nod, as if they were all in agreement about something. I could tell that my husband was beginning to feel "anxious."

Here, she is describing PERFECTLY the phenomenon of getting nervous about NOTHING.

The take-off was uneventful. But once we were in the air and the seatbelt sign was turned off, the unusual activity began. The man in the yellow T-shirt got out of his seat and went to the lavatory at the front of coach -- taking his full McDonald's bag with him. When he came out of the lavatory he still had the McDonald's bag, but it was now almost empty. He walked down the aisle to the back of the plane, still holding the bag. When he passed two of the men sitting mid-cabin, he gave a thumbs-up sign. When he returned to his seat, he no longer had the McDonald's bag.

So far, the most suspicious thing is the McDonald's bag is less full. Call the FBI!

Then another man from the group stood up and took something from his carry-on in the overhead bin. It was about a foot long and was rolled in cloth. He headed toward the back of the cabin with the object. Five minutes later, several more of the Middle Eastern men began using the forward lavatory consecutively. In the back, several of the men stood up and used the back lavatory consecutively as well.

This is just plain silly. A group of men using the bathroom. Not just USING the bathroom, but using it CONSECUTIVELY! I suppose she would have felt better if they'd gone inside in groups of two or three.

Here's where it gets REALLY ugly:

I knew the goateed-man I had exchanged friendly words with as we boarded the plane was seated only a few rows back, so I thought I would say hello to the man to get some reassurance that everything was fine. As I stood up and turned around, I glanced in his direction and we made eye contact. I threw out my friendliest "remember-me-we-had-a-nice-exchange-just-a-short-time-ago" smile. The man did not smile back. His face did not move. In fact, the cold, defiant look he gave me sent shivers down my spine.

The "cold defiant look" was most likely only in her imagination. And the giveaway is that she "intended" to say "hello," but instead gave her "friendliest remember-me-we-had-a-nice-exchange-just-a-short-time-ago' smile." What the fuck is a "'remember-me-we-had-a-nice-exchange-just-a-short-time-ago' smile?" I don't recommend giving ME one of those. I'll think you're making the sign for "we're at war," and I'll have to kill you. At least I would if we were baboons.

This thing really steams the fuck out of me.


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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:31 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. here it is
"I grabbed my son, I held my husband's hand and, despite the fact that I am not a particularly religious person, I prayed. The last man came out of the bathroom, and as he passedthe man in the yellow shirt he ran his forefinger across his neck and mouthed the word "No."


I agree with you, I think the language and thought process of the article is indicative of paranoia and racism. You just asked where the reference was, and I'm citing it. Like I said, it's weirdly phrased and not very clear, but it's there.
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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. Jeez, I missed that
about sixteen fucking times!

Well, that changes everything. It's time to PANIC!!!

(just kidding; it changes nothing. I don't know if it even happened based on this lady being a nut; and he could've been making a musical gesture meaning "We're cutting your solo," or he could've been saying "we're not going to crash and die," or "man did I fart up that bathroom...")

We have no way of knowing.

It is a weird way to phrase it, but then again, she's obviously not a professional writer, or anything that would imply intelligence.

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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #37
40. yeah, I know, it's very oddly phrased
The second half of the article is even less lucid than the first one, which, while full of conjecture and paranoia, at least follows a chronological narrative structure. Then it is just all over the place, which is just another way of manipulating the reader, IMHO.
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shockingelk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #20
39. Why didn't the author think of THIS possibility
"Hi, my name's Annie! I saw you brought an instrument on board, are you a musician?"

<small talk>
<small talk>
<small talk>
<small talk>
<small talk>

"You know, Ahmed, I'm glad I decided to introduce myself to you, because to be honest, I don't know any Arabs except for that guy at the gas ... well, anyway, you'll probably think this was funny, but when you all got on the plane, I actually, I mean it was just a silly thing, but for a minute there -"

"Oh, no no no. You don't worry about me. People look at me funny all times. I'm used to it, but I wish more would come and talk to me like you! People do that and then they know I just a fun guy with family like them who play that crazy weird Arab horn!"
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Fatima Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. Go back and look at your post.
You did say dry run, didn't you?
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. naive, dry run, or playing on fears
Edited on Sun Jul-25-04 12:50 AM by Fescue4u
Is what I said

But Dry run is not my term. Its been on the national news with other example.

But I suspect you already knew that. You did didnt you?
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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #17
24. Hey Fatima
For what its worth, I'm an old, long-haired White dude. I know little about Muslim or Arab culture, and I cut my teeth on the whole "people of color," "gay pride" civil rights issues, and I am SO ready to stand up and be counted as backing people who "look Middle Eastern" or whatever.

I made friends with a couple from India who run a gas station awhile back, and shortly after 911 they were having the worst time with suspicious white people...

Man this shit SICKENS ME!!!!!

I know you said you yourself are white, but I just wanted you to know that there are people out here who are NOT going to let them take the Bill of Rights away from people who "look Middle Eastern," or have little "A-rab symbols" on their license plates, or WHATEVER.

I wish to start a MOVEMENT, and I wholeheartedly invite other DU'ers to join NOW.

All you have to do is be cool, and realize that America is founded on Freedom, Liberty, and Justice for All.

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Fatima Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #24
31. I'm with ya
We really should stand up for one another, because sooner or later we will all be "suspicious" to somebody. It's a scary world we live in. Scarier than any Osama boogeyman. Sometimes I think I'd rather die than live in constant fear of who's watching who. I don't like what America is becoming.

A good book everyone should check out is Homeland by Dale Maharidge...just came out recently. He was interviewed on Air America radio. His book details much of the divide that has taken place post 9/11...struggles over civil rights, profiling, etc. I'm halfway through it, very good so far.
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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. That's right!
Don't let the mob mentality take you down!

Its like the Niemoller quote:

When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church -- and there was nobody left to be concerned.

I realize that's almost a cliche by now, but its still 100% dead accurate.

Besides, LIBERALISM is about inclusion, and standing up for EVERYBODY, whether its our Black brothers and sisters, Native American brothers and sisters, gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, or anybody.

America; land of LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.



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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
8. By the way, I'm extremely motivated about this...
I am so damn sick of racial paranoia guiding what used to be a great country.

In the thread I linked in post 2 I make this point a lot:

"Living in fear is not better than being dead. That's what the BA counts on; your fear."

Its true. There have been 2 major terrorist attacks on American soil; one was a bunch of Muslim extremists whose leader was trained by our CIA; one was a White Christian GOP'er.

Arabs are NOT dangerous by virtue of being Arab.

It is CRUCIAL we remember that.

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Kipepeo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:47 AM
Response to Original message
22. "The Hysterical Skies"
Edited on Sun Jul-25-04 12:57 AM by Kipepeo
http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2004/07/21/askthepi...

"The hysterical skies"
She survived a flight with 14 harmless Syrian musicians -- then spread 3,000 bigoted and paranoid words across the Internet. As a pilot and an American, I'm appalled....

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rumguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
26. The stupid bitch overeacted, she's just a typical wingut, nothing more
Here, even the air marshalls on board thought she overreacted...

http://www.kfi640.com/ericleonard.html
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neverborn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #26
42. Stupid bitch?
Looks like you're taking some misogyny from the idiot in your sig there.
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rumguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
27. I bet she just made up a bunch of shit for her article too
That's how the right wing works...they just make shit up.

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mellowinman Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #27
30. That's exactly right, man!
They make shit up, based on their silly fears.

Did I say SILLY fears? DAMN RIGHT I DID! Fear NOTHING! To live in fear is to live a life that is death.

That woman was a hysterical freak, and hysterical freaks do no good for anyone.

Calm the fuck DOWN America! Michael Moore has been criticized for saying you have a better chance of being killed by a lightning strike than a terrorist attack, and he's DEAD ON RIGHT.

I've got a fucking DRY RUN for you RIGHT HERE!

(that comment is not aimed at any DU poster, by the way.)

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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
29. Sounds like they were acting in a normal way
I've gotten stuff out of my bags and taken a long dump on flights before. This woman is a typical right-wing racist. They are driven by fear.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
35. Well, she mentions Ann Coulter...
What do you think?
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drdtroit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:39 AM
Response to Original message
38. One thing that no one has mentioned:
The flight was out of Detroit which has the largest concentration of people of Arab extraction outside of the Mid-East. I fly regularly between NYC and Detroit and the flights ALWAYS have 15-30 Chaldean's, Iraqi's, Syrians, Yemenites, etc.

Also, being a musician myself and touring well over a 100 days a year, I can imagine these guys, probably sensing her bigotry and paranoia, purposely deciding to fuck with her. After all, they had already been flying from Syria and making a connection in Detroit (most likely) to continue to LA. So they had gone through security in Syria, then had to clear customs at the International terminal. Then they had to recheck their luggage at the domestic terminal and once again go through security before arriving at the gate.

Finally to address the statement:
"I'll let you decide," she has said. "But I wonder, if 19 terrorists can learn to fly airplanes into buildings, couldn't 14 terrorists learn to play instruments?"
I suppose, but also couldn't 17 terrorists act as President, Vice President and their 15 cabinet members?
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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 02:25 AM
Response to Original message
41. Racial Paranoia.!
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theoceansnerves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 02:56 AM
Response to Original message
43. it's bigotry
re: going to the bathroom a lot, muslims generally "cleanse" themselves before praying, which i don't doubt these gentlemen were doing. i've read that some arab airlines have dedicated spaces in the back of the plane for washing and prayer.
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:15 AM
Response to Original message
44. Racial Paranoia...
...the only thing these guys were guilty of was FWA (Flying While Arab).
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