Three separate investigations, one conclusion: if six guys start takbir-ing in the terminal, then get on a plane and sit in terrorist formation while talking about Osama Bin Laden, err on the side of caution.
How stupid does it get? This stupid:
The suspicious behavior cited in the report included “changing seats, stating anti-war, anti U.S.-Iraq involvement, negative comments concerning the president of the United States.” The report noted that “two of the passengers requesting seat-belt extensions when their body size did not appear to warrant their use.”
Mr. Shahin told television reporters that he needed the seat-belt extension because he weighs 280 pounds. However, the police report lists his weight as 201 pounds. Weights listed for the other imams ranged from 170 pounds to 250 pounds.
He’s got a decent muffin top going there for sure, but unless a pound weighs something different under shari’a, ain’t no way he’s pushing 280.
Meanwhile, Debra Burlingame, er, weighs in at Opinion Journal. Short but sweet: unless Captain Rick Ellensburg’s behind the controls, there is no dissent at 40,000 feet.
Here’s what the flying public needs to know about airplanes and civil rights: Once your foot traverses the entranceway of a commercial airliner, you are no longer in a democracy in which everyone gets a vote and minority rights are affirmatively protected in furtherance of fuzzy, ever-shifting social policy. Ultimately, the responsibility for your personal safety and security rests on the shoulders of one person, the pilot in command. His primary job is to safely transport you and your belongings from one place to another. Period.
This is the doctrine of “captain’s authority.”… When a passenger’s conduct is so disturbing and disruptive that reasonable, ordinary people fear for their lives, the captain must have the discretionary authority to respond without having to consider equal protection or First Amendment standards about which even trained lawyers with the clarity of hindsight might strongly disagree. The pilot in command can’t get it wrong. At 35,000 feet, when multiple events are rapidly unfolding in real time, there is no room for error.
I wonder if her brother looked twice at any of the nice young Arab men filing onto his plane that morning at Dulles.