Friday, August 31, 2007

Peekaboo, I See You

photo: caribb

Jet Delayed Overnight: Iraqis Speaking Arabic

American Airlines Flight 590 was delayed overnight in San Diego Wednesday night after a woman traveling with two children expressed concern about 6-7 Iraqis speaking Arabic, after the plane had started to taxi to the runway. Due to the lateness of the hour the flight was rescheduled for the following morning.

Houston Chronicle

The Iraqis had been training Marines at Camp Pendleton and worked for Defense Training Systems, a unit of International Logistics Services Corp. of Anchorage, Alaska, said Dave Stephens, the company's chief executive officer.

"They did nothing wrong," Stephens said Wednesday. A company press release called it "an unfortunate situation for all flight passengers."

Local law enforcement questioned the men, who were quickly released, said American spokesman Tim Wagner. The Transportation Security Administration did not get involved.
"9/11 changed everything." Yes, it did. Now any damn fool can turn a jet around with irrational fears of dark people talking in another language. And because of 9/11, no one can say "Hey Lady, that's crazy talk." Every report has to be checked out. People have to be "careful" how they behave. There's a chilling effect.

In this case an entire plane-load of passengers was stopped from reaching their destination. Hotel reservations were broken. Appointments were missed. Plans were rescheduled. Romantic plans were blown. People on their way to meet people had to wait an extra half-day in Chicago to meet them. In Chicago.

How much money and aggravation did this delay cost? At what point do we give up useless security theater? Can't we agree it's not worth it any more when all we've got is a woman from highly conservative San Diego with her two children who is afraid of the dark men with the funny foreign language?

When is enough enough? When can I have my country back?