Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

St. Paul – Minneapolis Airport

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, November 24, 2006

Little Green Footballs goes into detail about how this incident sparked a media flurry.

Steve Fine even writes about it.

However, if I were to get on a plane, in a security line, or waiting to board a plane and make comments about American and Saddam I don’t think I would be treated much differently.  I hope not.  Are we taking our security too seriously or not seriously enough?

Tucker Carlson seems to get it.  What do you think?


9 Responses to “St. Paul – Minneapolis Airport”

  1. If I were in line at the airport or on an airplane and had a conversation with my traveling companions about how disgusted I am with George W Bush – and his lying, morally and financially corrupt administration —- or the disgraceful actions of some US military folks – or the reprehensible end runs around the Geneva Conventions, American principles and the US Constitution with the Guatanamo bay prison camps and the transfer of “prisoners” around the world “venue shopping” for places where torturous “interogation techniques” are somehow more acceptable — should I be denied boarding or transportation? Or do we still have any freedom of speech left in this country?

    Don’t get me wrong – a group of men dressed in conspicuously “foreign garb”, speaking a foreign language, having a “covert” anti-American conversation SHOULD raise suspicions which should be checked out. How that checking is handled and what the outcome turns out to be should be fair and reasonable.

    However, Mr. Fine suggests that he would expect to be denied boarding and reticketing on an American airline (us air?) if overheard making anti-government comments. I don’t.

    It is posted Law that comments about bombs or threats are illegal and will result in denied boarding and other actions — are we going to start seeing posted signs saying “comments disparaging to George W or American political policy are illegal and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”?

    Cindy V.

  2. Steve Fine said

    Cynthia, I think you are mistaking David’s commentary for a quote from me. I never made the comment you are attributing to me (“Mr. Fine suggests that he would expect to be denied boarding and reticketing on an American airline (us air?) if overheard making anti-government comments. I don’t.”).

    Although, as a frequent flyer, I know that even the slightest comment can get you pulled aside and subjected to very close scrutiny these days. I see it happen all the time. But I don’t like it in the least, its truly unamerican and reminds me of the old Soviet Union.

    Go to my blog and you will see I was quite upset by the incident.

  3. Steve Fine said

    Two Other things:

    It’s MINNEAPOLIS/st.paul! 😉 (I’m from MPLS.)

    When it comes to Tucker Carlson, I agree with Jon Stewart.

  4. I am very sorry for the misquote.
    cindy v.

  5. I will be very surprised if this group actually files any legal action — further research which reveals the existance of an arabic speaking witness who has made a statement to the authorities that the “loud prayers” were an anti-american government political conversation, the availability of all manner of video surveillance available to the airport authorities, and the fact that US Air refused to sell these men replacement tickets leads me to conclude that they had a very substantial basis for acting on the “suspicions”.

    Airlines take this potential liability very seriously – and though there are undoubtedly many instances where suspicions are aroused based on ignorance or prejudice, it is ultimately the ACTION which is taken that needs to be based on “American” vallues of fair and reasonable.

    One other concept “for your consideration” – some of the apparently random and bizarre incidents which end up in the popular press “may” be “tests” to the system. These kinds of things happen every day at airports all over the country. The airlines file “irregularity reports” which become part of an enormous data base for the intelligence folks to review for patterns, etc.

    Imho – it is not a question of the legitimay of the suspicions — it is a question of the official action. You know, the difference between individual and state action.

    cindy v

  6. Jim Walsh said

    Let’s not sacrifice ourselves on the altar of political correctness while radical Muslims blow us up. If 19 Swedish Lutherans had hijacked planes on 9/11, I’d be all for profiling Swedish Lutherans. Why should we pretend that the threat comes from everywhere when in fact the threat comes from the radical element of one “religious” (a word that I am hesitant to use in describing these people) group.

  7. bsflag2007 said

    This is one of those times when we are all probably closer than the rhetoric would suggest. Profiling? We would be “stupid” not to pay attention to the patterns, “profiles”.
    But there is a big difference between raising susupicions – and acting on suspicions.

    Each individual deserves to be treated respectfully. And while entering the secure area of an airport or while on a communal transportation device (like an airplane) – each individual has an obligation to be respectful of the others in the “community”.

    All of us are capable of provoking some kind of stereotypical response if we try — some people seem to enjoy doing just that. So that makes them jerks. How the rest of us (and the authorities) respond is what seperates us from them.

    My question is – do you want to be a jerk, too? Or do you want to abide by your own standards of behavior and decency?

    We can be safe and civil — we can be careful and polite, we can continue to be America and be free.

    CIndy V.

  8. Jim Walsh said

    I always aspire to be civil, but not politically correct.

  9. bsflag2007 said

    here, here!

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