“FBI’s release of ferry passenger photos resented”

posted at 3:48 pm on August 23, 2007 by Michelle

Over at MM.com, I’ve been blogging about the FBI’s search for two suspicious men who’ve been photographed and observed by Washington state ferry employees engaging in strange behavior the past several weeks. The Seattle Times follows up today with a smallest violin concerto for Muslim activists who are…resentful:

For Arabs and Muslims across the Puget Sound area, a rise in the nation’s threat level or a bombing halfway around the world often can mark a period of unease.

In the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, leaders in that community say incidents of profiling and harassment have ebbed and flowed — increasing when Muslims are linked to news of the day.

Now the FBI’s release of photographs of two men of unknown origin, who the agency says were observed acting suspiciously aboard as many as six different Washington ferry routes in recent weeks, is creating new worries in the community.

Muslim- and Arab-American leaders are upset that the FBI didn’t consult them — as it has done in other instances — before releasing the photos on the Internet and to news organizations. They worry that the action may fracture the relationship the agency and the community have carefully built.

The FBI has stressed that the release of the photos is a rare move, taken only after it had exhausted other efforts to identify the men. The agency also has said the men’s actions could be innocuous, but it needs to question them.

The photos were snapped by a ferry captain last month after crew members alerted him to suspicious activity. The men seemed inordinately interested in the operation of the vessel, took photographs of the interiors of the boats and went into areas tourists and commuters don’t normally go, the FBI has said. The agency has received many tips but has not yet found the men.

Dozens of Muslims and Arabs have complained to community leaders about the photographs. The fallout has led to a meeting planned today between Muslim- and Arab-American community leaders and law-enforcement officials.

“We need to get some type of apology from them and figure out how to get back to where we were,” said Rita Zawaideh, head of the Arab-American Community Coalition.

Yes, for doing proactive work and seeking out the public’s help, the FBI must apologize. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

Meanwhile, the Seattle P-I’s managing editor is still doing what newspaper managers do best in times of crisis and danger: Talk about themselves. David McCumber trots out the well-worn Benjamin Franklin quote about “essential liberty” and “temporarary (sic) safety.” At least he didn’t Dowdify the quote.

Elsewhere at the P-I, the all-important haiku editor has moved on from mocking homeland security to weightier issues:

Banning baggy pants.

No, I don’t miss the Seattle journalism scene one bit.


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Perhaps the FBI should investigate Arab-American Community Coalition. They sound like they are hiding something

BTW, nice to see you MM

Wyrd on August 23, 2007 at 3:57 PM

They worry that the action may fracture the relationship the agency and the community have carefully built.

Um, I thought the relationship was already in place. As in, if it’s a federal crime, the FBI owns your a$$. Period.

“But officer, don’t you worry this speeding ticket may fracture the relationship the police department and I have carefully built?”

saint kansas on August 23, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Hmm….sounds like even blonde/blue Swedes would have been watched/photographed if they were behaving like these men were. Odd or suspicious behavior tends to get attention regardless of ethnic appearance.

PatrickS on August 23, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Surprisingly, the folks in Seattle are skewering him, nicely, in the comments section.

yo on August 23, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Without full groveling by the FBI, it’ll be time to cue Islamic Rage Boy.

eeyore on August 23, 2007 at 4:00 PM

Glenn Beck has been flashing these guys pictures also.

Maybe a whole lotta nuthin, but just in case, I would like to see what the dots look like.

Kini on August 23, 2007 at 4:02 PM

Maybe The Flying Imams, Inc. Legal Division can file a SLAPP suit against the FBI and the Washington State Ferry System.

eeyore on August 23, 2007 at 4:04 PM

Dozens of Muslims and Arabs have complained to community leaders about the photographs. The fallout has led to a meeting planned today between Muslim- and Arab-American community leaders and law-enforcement officials.

And, so – have dozens of Muslims and Arabs helped out by, say, helping to identify and locate these guys? Nope. They have “complained” and they seek an “apology”. And then wonder why there are those of us who don’t trust them, their motives, what they say, or any claim they make to be as horrified by bombings and the threat of terrorism as the rest of us.

reine.de.tout on August 23, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Seattle is, surprisingly, not nearly as liberal as one would think. I’m continually surprised by it after moving out here.

Arizona was more liberal than this.

askheaves on August 23, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Um, I thought the relationship was already in place. As in, if it’s a federal crime, the FBI owns your a$$. Period.

“But officer, don’t you worry this speeding ticket may fracture the relationship the police department and I have carefully built?”

saint kansas on August 23, 2007 at 3:59 PM

LOL! Very good point.

reine.de.tout on August 23, 2007 at 4:06 PM

boo-freakin-hoo

Defector01 on August 23, 2007 at 4:06 PM

Let’s ban baggy pants, there’s potentially terrorists scoping out ferries, and they’re calling for a ban on baggy pants?

Liberal Nanny Staters: Screw security, there’s arbitrary banning to be done!

/and I don’t care what anyone thinks about the stupid baggy pants, its nanny statism, and nanny-statism is worse than dumb gangsta wannabes

Bad Candy on August 23, 2007 at 4:06 PM

We need to get some kind of apology…

Okay: “We are sorry that your feigned outrage is getting so much press.”

Hey, it’s some kind of apology!

common sensineer on August 23, 2007 at 4:08 PM

Like my wise Mother always told me, better resented than dead (or something like that).

TheBigOldDog on August 23, 2007 at 4:09 PM

As I’ve said before, cue Joe Cocker: “♫Cry me a river…♪”

Bigfoot on August 23, 2007 at 4:10 PM

Defector01 on August 23, 2007 at 4:06 PM

That’s boo-freakin-hoo

eeyore on August 23, 2007 at 4:11 PM

I saw those pictures. How can you be sure they are Muslims and Arabs just by looking at a photograph? Seriously how can the Muslim- and Arab-American leaders be outraged unless they are telling us that the two men in the photo are definitely Muslims and Arab. You wouldn’t think that these leaders are profiling the two men just by their appearance.

BohicaTwentyTwo on August 23, 2007 at 4:11 PM

If trying to stop terrorism by asking help from the public “fractures” the realtionship between so-called muslim leaders and the FBI, then there never was a relationship to begin with.

I’m tired of the whining from the muslim community when they do so little to begin with to reel in their radical brethren.

Typical “victim” behavior … “why are you picking on us? Waaaaa”

darwin on August 23, 2007 at 4:13 PM

Resentful? But are they in full ‘seething’ mode yet?

“figure out how to get back to where we were”

I think I know!

MikeHu on August 23, 2007 at 4:13 PM

So the FBI said they were specifically looking for Middle Eastern men? I was under the impression they published pictures of men and asked if anyone had information about them. Why is the Muslim community all up in arms and insulted?

jmarcure on August 23, 2007 at 4:13 PM

common sensineer on August 23, 2007 at 4:08 PM

Okay: “We are sorry that your feigned outrage is getting so much press.”

Hey, it’s some kind of apology!

Or how about…I’m sorry that you buddies are going to have such a tough time committing their terrorist act now…

doriangrey on August 23, 2007 at 4:15 PM

The photos were snapped by a ferry captain last month after crew members alerted him to suspicious activity. The men seemed inordinately interested in the operation of the vessel, took photographs of the interiors of the boats and went into areas tourists and commuters don’t normally go, the FBI has said.

Does increased attention, based on the above, really need to be explained? The fact that these Savages are complaining implies that they expect apologies and corrective actions on the part of our Government – once again, political correctness rears its ugly head – and, why? … because Americans have bought into being nothing but apologists.

As for me, if you don’t like scrutiny, get thee back to the Middle East – and enjoy the tranquility granted you by a loving and peaceful religion.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 23, 2007 at 4:15 PM

Seattle is, surprisingly, not nearly as liberal as one would think. I’m continually surprised by it after moving out here. Arizona was more liberal than this.

askheaves on August 23, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Wha–? Seattle errected statues of Lenin in public parks and elects stupefyingly left-wing representatives at every election I’ve ever had the misfortune of casting a ballot in…

The only way you could think this place is more conservative than Arizona is if you sublet the storage shed behind Michael Medved’s house.

ScottMcC on August 23, 2007 at 4:16 PM

“…Yes, for doing proactive work and seeking out the public’s help, the FBI must apologize…”

Of course and why not? We do just that all the freakin’ time! By now, all but the truly hopeless know exactly what is what with this “religion”, yet we preface every move with “but it’s a religion of peace!”, and we equate it with actual religions; “you know, Christianity was really bad a gazillion years ago so you better stay outta my buddies mosque!”. I can only imagine how hard they’re laughing at us as they patiently go about their business. Pathetic…

JWS on August 23, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Actually they look like a couple of Mexicans I met in Cancun the other day….Did the FBI really ever say they were looking of Muslim/Arab men???

jimwesty on August 23, 2007 at 4:22 PM

Screw that bunch in the People’s Republic of King Country and the greater Seattle area. If the FBI has a valid national security reason for releasing the pictures then they should release them. And since when do federal law enforcement authorities have a responsibility to consult with every ethnic group before they act to protect the interests of the our country? This is absolute nonsense.

rplat on August 23, 2007 at 4:22 PM

How can you be sure they are Muslims and Arabs just by looking at a photograph?

Exactly. This is entirely un-like the katrina photo caption mess. FBI releases photo of two men, we come to our own conclusions as to their ethnicity and religion. If the preponderance of our experience with terrorism leads us to think muslim/middle east, whose goddamn fault is that?

If the only relationship the FBI had was that they always kissed some @$$ before they sought the help of a vigilant public, then that’s one “relationship” I think we can live without.

TexasDan on August 23, 2007 at 4:31 PM

“We need to get some type of apology from them and figure out how to get back to where we were,” said Rita Zawaideh, head of the Arab-American Community Coalition.

FORGET THE APOLOGY! But as far as the rest of her needs. She just needs to go to the local airport ( You know, the one where christmas isn’t allowed ) and buy a one way ticket back to the Middle Ages East. NOW WAS THAT SO HARD TO FIGURE OUT?

Masscon on August 23, 2007 at 4:37 PM

If these turds are innocent, why don’t they come forward and straighten this thing out. And if the muslim community is sooooo worried about backlash, why are they not seeking out these guys themselves to either prove they are innocent, thereby reinforcing their argument? Or helping to bust these bums thereby generating good will and trust in their community.

Oh, I forgot, we are the only ones that are supposed to generate good will. duh

conservnut on August 23, 2007 at 4:37 PM

I heard the Seattle gay community was up in arms as well until someone mentioned they were looking for two “Ferry” passengers.

Nethicus on August 23, 2007 at 4:40 PM

Seattle is, surprisingly, not nearly as liberal as one would think. I’m continually surprised by it after moving out here. Arizona was more liberal than this.

askheaves on August 23, 2007 at 4:05 PM

I haven’t spent much time in Az, but I spent most of a year in Seattle. True, there are many conservatives in the state, but the Ca. immigrants have just about completely taken over the government there. Seattle itself was ridiculously liberal in its encouragement of every leftist cause.

From the endless bumper stickers, to the Bushitler posters on every bulletin board and that overpass the leftists would dangle their slogan of the day from, it is just a ridiculously naive and activist city.

San Fran wins the hippy sweepstakes hands down in my experience (what other place can you go to a party and watch a 20-something elementary school teacher roll a joint while she argues with you over your assertion there are 50 states). But Seattle ain’t far behind.

krakatoa on August 23, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Islamic jihadi fools want to commit acts of terror in the U.S. This is no secret. As a result, Muslims and people in the U.S. of middle easter descent are going to be subjected to racial profiling. Among moderate, U.S. residing, Muslims with whom I communicate, they expect and tolerate racial profiling as a result of 9/11. Some have pointed out that if the situation was in reverse and I as an American was living in a middle eastern country while rogue Americans carried out an act of terror against citizens in that country, I wouldn’t have the chance to experience racial profiling…I would be dead.

jediwebdude on August 23, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Thank you for the photo.

Are there any more?

RushBaby on August 23, 2007 at 4:47 PM

“Muslim- and Arab-American leaders are upset…”

Who cares?

I thought the MM’s talking point was that all of these “moderate/liberal” Muslims were on our side? If so, then HELP THE FBI and quit whining already!

nottakingsides on August 23, 2007 at 4:50 PM

I’ve read maybe ten stories on this from various sources and maybe half dealt with the P-I refusal to publish the pictures but it wasn’t until I read this story about the Arab/Muslim Community whining that I felt even one smidgeon of resentment toward any Arab or Muslim in the Community because of the ferry story or what the FBI has done to find these two. In fact their community and it’s members hadn’t even entered my mind.

Anecdotal, I know, but, still, I doubt my attitude was out of the mainstream. I swear, though, the best thing the Arab/Muslim Community could do to reduce resentment of the Arab/Muslim Community is to throw their Community leaders under the bus.

Dusty on August 23, 2007 at 4:50 PM

In fact their community and it’s members hadn’t even entered my mind.

Dusty

Same here …

darwin on August 23, 2007 at 4:54 PM

For a culture who never apologizes for anything, Arab Muslims certainly do demand a lot of apologies from everyone else. In fact, they are not demanding fair treatment, but recognition of their superiority to non-Muslims.

Tantor on August 23, 2007 at 5:06 PM

It would help ease a little tension though, if the FBI would tell us what exactly the suspicious behavior entailed…..(So-and-so saw this and that) Why so secret?

nottakingsides on August 23, 2007 at 5:06 PM

Relations with Muslims in this country will greatly improve when they are perceived as supporting the US and being against terrorism. Until then, people wonder if Muslims in the US are supporters of the war on terror or enablers of those trying to kill us.

katieanne on August 23, 2007 at 5:06 PM

I hear lots of whining from the death cultists, but no indication of willingness to help identify these two men. Gee, I wonder why….?

Master Shake on August 23, 2007 at 5:07 PM

What else is new. Is there anything about us the Koranimals don’t resent?

infidel4life on August 23, 2007 at 5:08 PM

How about a Wnnted Dead or Alive poster? I wonder if these people (Muslims and Arabs) know they are just one more attack away from some real prejudice. The kind that leaves people hanging from trees, midnight visitations and the anger a violated America is capable of, even if the Democratic party disagrees.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on August 23, 2007 at 5:19 PM

How about this for an apology?

“We won’t stop doing it, but we’re sorry we have to do it. As a matter of fact, go on and have a further preemptive apology for the next time. Sorry.”

James on August 23, 2007 at 5:45 PM

The agency also has said the men’s actions could be innocuous, but it needs to question them.

For some reason, what really bothers me about this story is that the P I and other lefties feel the need to protect these innocent-as-babes men. They did something weird and as yet unexplained. Why is it too much to ask that they come forward and explain that themselves? If they have a good explanation for their actions, wouldn’t they have come forward by now? The fact that they haven’t is the most damning evidence against them.

And no, I don’t care if they claim they were too scared to come forward. Adults should act adult and do what’s right.

MamaAJ on August 23, 2007 at 6:11 PM

In the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, leaders in that community say incidents of profiling and harassment have ebbed and flowed — increasing when Muslims are linked to news of the dayMuslims killing innocents and demanding death for anyone who looks at them sideways.

peski on August 23, 2007 at 6:44 PM

It would help ease a little tension though, if the FBI would tell us what exactly the suspicious behavior entailed…..(So-and-so saw this and that) Why so secret?

nottakingsides on August 23, 2007 at 5:06 PM

From the story above:

The men seemed inordinately interested in the operation of the vessel, took photographs of the interiors of the boats and went into areas tourists and commuters don’t normally go, the FBI has said.

That’s not enough? Does the normal ferry passenger do such things — repeatedly, and on different ferries? What exactly is so “secretive” about that description of their behaviour?

Nichevo on August 23, 2007 at 7:10 PM

Our intelligence services, like other organizations that we depend on to keep us reasonably safe are shell-shocked and I am not surprised that we miss as much as we do because of the behavior of the vocal opposition of the MSM in general. I’m pretty sure that this is at least part of what kept us from pursuing the kind of strong strategy we now have in place in Iraq.

TBinSTL on August 23, 2007 at 7:11 PM

McCumber says:

I understand that people have a hard time with the concept that we get to decide what is news and what isn’t, and what is fair and what isn’t.

They might have a hard time with that concept because it’s no longer true. Welcome to the 21st Century.

Jim Treacher on August 24, 2007 at 12:25 AM

The Seattle P-I, which subcribes to the NYT wire service, is the height of hypocrisy. Earlier this year there was a crane collapse in Bellevue, on the area suburbs. The crane operator was securing the crane for the night, when the base failed and toppled the crane. One person was killed when the boom smashed an apartment building across the street. The operator survived because the cab stopped about 15 feet above the pavement.

The P-I immediately blamed the operator and published that he had previous convictions for drug abuse and suspicions of sex with underage teens. Of course, the cause of the accident wasn’t determined and announced to the public for weeks. And the operator’s past had nothing to do with his operation of the crane and nothing to do with the failure.

So the P-I does not care about the civil liberties or privacy of a white male. But suggest that two middle eastern men were casing a ferry and wanted for questioning by the FBI, well that is just a threat to our freedom and constitution, as well as racist.

The newspaper is a joke and it’s circulation is plummeting.

Mallard T. Drake on August 24, 2007 at 12:54 AM

No, I don’t miss the Seattle journalism scene one bit.

Gee…I wonder why??? ; )

The Ugly American on August 24, 2007 at 12:56 AM