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Detroit airport (Derek KT W)

If you read nothing but the headlines on the AP article, you get the idea that police were doing these folks a favor: No charges filed against three detained at Detroit airport. See? No harm, no foul. In fact, the AP article concentrates on the fright given the passengers after the plane was redirected from its normal gate and boarded by a SWAT team.

"I said, `Oh my God,'" Duggan said. "All of a sudden, a SWAT team went through and saying, `Please place your hands on the seat in front of you.'"

The police had three dogs with them, she said. After leading the three cuffed passengers away, police asked the remaining passengers to board buses and took them to the Romulus police headquarters for interviews, Duggan said.

Not only did the police board the plane with dogs and lead three passengers away in handcuffs, the North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled two F-16 fighters to shadow the plane from Denver to Detroit. All of which sounds as if there must have been cause for serious concern.

However, when you read Shoshana Hebshi's blog Stories from the Heartland, you get a very different picture of what happened.

Before I knew it, about 10 cops, some in what looked like military fatigues, were running toward the plane carrying the biggest machine guns I have ever seen–bigger than what the guards carry at French train stations.

My last tweet:

Majorly armed cops coming aboard

Someone shouted for us to place our hands on the seats in front of us, heads down. The cops ran down the aisle, stopped at my row and yelled at the three of us to get up. “Can I bring my phone?” I asked, of course. What a cliffhanger for my Twitter followers! No, one of the cops said, grabbing my arm a little harder than I would have liked. He slapped metal cuffs on my wrists and pushed me off the plane. The three of us, two Indian men living in the Detroit metro area, and me, a half-Arab, half-Jewish housewife living in suburban Ohio, were being detained.

After hours of questioning, it became clear that the only reason that the three of them were being held was that they looked vaguely as if they might be ... Arabic? Muslim? Brown. And just happened to be seated together. None of them knew each other. The seat assignments came from Frontier airline. The three didn't even talk until the plane had landed. However, that didn't stop the flight crew at Frontier from getting on the radio and calling for help. The suspicious behavior that warranted this action? Both of the men went to the bathroom. What landed Ms. Hebshi in handcuffs? She didn't know the men, didn't talk to them, didn't even go to the bathroom. But of course, she had ... a look.

No one is asking that either officers or airline attendants ignore threats. However, when pure racial profiling is rewarded by massive overreaction and hordes of attention, it only feeds on itself. The passengers go home shivering over the scare they got by sharing a plane with a brown person. Those taken in for no reason go home in humiliation, with poisonous looks from everyone they pass. Their stories are very different.

This is not precaution, it's paranoia. It's not safety, it's cowardice. It shouldn't be America 10 years after 9/11, but it is.

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Comment Preferences

  •  welcome tot eh world of black people (28+ / 0-)

    beenn dealing with that for hundreds of years....
    deal with it........a few rotton apples who actually blew up everything......adn kill at will...yuup profiling is the thing now.

    MJTaylor22--concerned citizen who believes in giving back.

    by mjtaylor22 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:33:24 AM PDT

  •  We have met the enemy (28+ / 0-)

    it is ourselves.

    The only terrorism we saw came from DHS.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:33:27 AM PDT

  •  We live in a nation that seems to confuse (21+ / 0-)

    'safety' and 'cowardice' rather often

    'Intelligence' isn't simply information, it is information processed and acted upon with proportion, sense and rationality.

    Under that definition, this was bad intelligence.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:34:07 AM PDT

  •  Welcome to America in 2011 (9+ / 0-)

    But, hey, at least they stopped what could have been three terrorists, right?

    This horseshit WILL continue ad nauseum until people hit the police where it hurts most - in the wallet.

    Sue the machine guns right out of their damned hands!

    " ... or a baby's arm holding an apple!"

    by Lavocat on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:38:25 AM PDT

  •  I am so ashamed of America! (9+ / 0-)

    This is no longer the United states of America.  It is a war zone where the cops and other military types are the law makers.  Our rights were subjugated by Bush and Obama is allowing this to continue.  Well maybe it is time to fight at the ballot box or move.

    " A lot of money is tainted - taint yours and taint mine." Unknown author

    by libbie on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:38:48 AM PDT

    •  notice all these para types are in camo? (9+ / 0-)

      A couple of years ago, a SWAT team deployed locally.  As I watched them, my first impression was the building was under assault by deer hunters

      •  Heh, the only camo my deer hunting menfolk (3+ / 0-)

        have is either from vietnam era (packed away) or my kid's current, which he doesn't wear when on leave.

        They hunt in jeans and hoodies, with a bright orange cap and vest so no noodlehead with all his fancy camo sleathy shit will shoot them.

        •  But then they don't get the fun (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, delver rootnose, rhonan

          of dressing up and playing army.

          "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

          by dumpster on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:26:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, safety is for wimps! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spoc42, brein

            Playing mighty hunter is a lot like playing army.And the paramilitary style a lot of police have adopted, the high and tight hair or shaved (like a fucking skinhead!!!!), etc.  I actually brought that up once to a cop I know (who was actually a decent community policeman and had no pseudo military haircut).  He wasn't impressed by the militarisation of community police forces (this in a community of less than 25K).

            I agree with you 100%

            •  i have never worn camo; blaze orange (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, Friendlystranger

              is the only garb I will consider since some erstwhile hunters shot a tractor here locally.  OTOH i should not have been surprised; it was a John Deere

              •  LOL.... (0+ / 0-)

                Where's the rack on a tractor?  That's some serious buck fever.  :)

                But I bet they were wearing camo and the face paint and all the accessories!  Real hunters.

                •  when we lived in Richmond VA there was the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza

                  case of the first time hunter who burst into a store blurting out that a field down the road was full of bears.  He had shot them until he ran out of ammo and he needed more ammo.  The locals were suspicious and went to look.

                  He had shot up a herd of prize winning Angus cattle.  The good news was he still had his bear tag to fill so he could hunt another day (after he paid the cattle owner for the dead cattle and the ones that had to be destroyed)

                  •  facepalm.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    entlord

                    Aside from the inability to tell a cow from a bear, he must have had a super special bear tag that he thought he could shoot a bunch of them (or did a tag in VA allow for multiples)?

                    That's a person who should not be allowed to hunt.

                    Thinking about it, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people seeing a brown person on a plane would immediately think OMFG!!!! A TERRORIST..even though the plane had already landed.

                    Speaking of Frontier Airlines and paranoia:

                    http://www.baltimoresun.com/...

                    •  one tag= one bear but he was excited (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      capelza, Spoc42, brein

                      I also remember a couple of hunters returning home with no game and a bad attitude who, as they crossed the railroad tracks on their way home shot an African American walking along the tracks killing him.
                      They were arrested when they bragged about the shot later to friends and co-workers so there are all types out there under the camo

  •  WTF? right... no profiling here... (8+ / 0-)
    I never had any run-ins with the law. Since 9/11, though I felt a heightened sense of how my appearance would affect my travel plans, I never had any concrete reason to think I would be targeted. I passed through security without excessive searching (except that one time they thought they saw a pocket knife in my husband’s backpack, which they couldn’t find anyway even though it was there). Because I am my father’s daughter I am aware of the possibility of anti-Arab and anti-Semitic sentiments that have increased dramatically, but luckily  no members of my family nor myself have had to endure what so many others have gone through in this country and throughout the world. As Americans we are scared and horrified by acts of terror. But I am not sure that what we are doing to dissuade and protect are working.
    He said there had been 50 other similar incidents across the country that day.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:39:35 AM PDT

  •  Bush's legacy (15+ / 0-)
    is not precaution, it's paranoia. It's not safety, it's cowardice.

    captured succinctly with no fluff or posturing.
  •  This is why blonds are being recruited (11+ / 0-)

    by Al Qaeda, etc.

    We really would benefit from learning how the Israelis screen passengers....by talking to them when they arrive at the airport....not by visual inspection.

    During the First Gulf War a man I know with a Scottish and Pennsylvania Dutch background was verbally attacked by some redneck yahoos who couldn't tell him from a perceived (Arab) enemy. Must have been the black hair and mustache.  

    •  Customs does inspect every international... (0+ / 0-)

      arrival, though clearly not as rigorous as Israel does.

      A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

      by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:44:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Being a domestic flight customs wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

        have been a factor here, and even then, if you're holding an American passport, it's a very quick "Where did you go, how long were you gone, nothing to declare, OK, welcome home"

        At least that's been my experience with US customs. Although I'm not brown, so I'm sure that makes it easier.

        TEABAGGER: Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights

        by yg17 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:47:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but this was a domestic flight... (0+ / 0-)

          and the comment referred to people who arrive in Israel, which is why I noted the distinction.

          A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

          by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:54:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  after 9/11 I believe 3 men were killed in (6+ / 0-)

      retaliation murders by outraged Americans looking to even the score.  In all the cases, the  men murdered were Sikhs. Most Americans are unaware that many Muslims do not wear turbans or that there is a wide variety of fashions and clothing between Muslim cultures

      •  We had a Sikh family who owned a (3+ / 0-)

        AM/Pm type store.   They were scared and some fruckwits actually verbally attacked them.   I was so pissed for them that they had to plaster American flags all over their windows and a notice that they were not Muslim or Arab (not that it should have mattered if they had been Arab or Muslim).

        But years before, during the Iranian Hostage era, a friend who was of Indian descent (from India), his girlfriend orinted up a t-shirt for him that said "I'm Indian, not Iranian!"

      •  also, Sikhs are not even Muslims (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spoc42

        The Sikh religion is relatively new (15th century), was founded in northern India, and is an offshoot of Hinduism with an Islamic feature or two tossed in (like they only believe in one god not many).

        To Muslim fundies, Sikhs are just as infidel as Hindus are.

    •  It's funny, but I flew from Europe shortly after (7+ / 0-)

      9/11 and was interviewed before my return from Barcelona quite expertly by an American security person. It was far from unpleasant and I suspect he was using techniques similar to what the Israelis used. I don't think anyone would object to the questioning I had- it wasn't even that intrusive. However, I'll bet you have to be VERY highly trained to do this properly and that's why we've got all those damn machines and delta semi-morons going through your luggage.

    •  Use the Israeli method (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris, duufus

      Of behavioral screening, leaving things up to the judgment of screeners, and you will get complaints that certain groups are being unfairly targeted, that the method permits racial profiling without calling it that.

      •  Too expensive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brein

        Trained behavioral screeners are a lot harder to hire/train than minimally-trained TSA grunts and flight crews and the untrained general public.

        Israel can do it only because it has a much smaller volume of passengers to screen.

        Besides, we certainly couldn't go about spending government money on training for skilled jobs, now can we? That'd just be unamerican.

      •  And you will be right in all probability. (0+ / 0-)

        you will get complaints that certain groups are being unfairly targeted, that the method permits racial profiling without calling it that.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 01:15:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Israelis ask everyone.....no targeting... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enhydra lutris

          They start from the idea that everybody wants to be safe and they start with friendly chat.

          That's how they found a bomb in the luggage of an Irish woman whose supposed boyfriend gave her a wrapped present not to be opened until she got home from Israel.

          "Did you pack your bags yourself?" line of questioning. Very normal.

          •  Not likely to be the way it would go down (0+ / 0-)

            here, and I don't trust that it is all plain vanilla ask everybody the same thing over there, either. There have been too many cases of persons being turned away because of ideological reasons, because of who they were, etc.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:36:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  John Wooden speaks (15+ / 0-)

    He said, "Don't confuse activity with achievement." I think a lot of the DHS histrionics is just that - activity masquerading as achievement. They continually assert that the fact we haven't been attacked (by swarthy brown folk) means they're succeeding in keeping us safe.

    My anti-polar bear rock has kept me safe from polar bears here in St. Louis for over 20 years. Heck, if you're from here you know that my rock actually killed all the polar bears at the St. Louis Zoo (true story). That's one good anti-polar bear rock.

    (Missouri 2nd Congressional District)

    The Universe is a big place ... perhaps the biggest. -Kilgore Trout

    by fugitive on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:42:04 AM PDT

  •  Poster child for paranoia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thomask

    right here in North Carolina.

    Psycho Sue

  •  I'd sue (4+ / 0-)

    In. A. Heartbeat.

    Anyone know the chances?

    •  Sovereign immunity (7+ / 0-)

      is a tough nut to crack and most sane lawyers know this.  Hence, abuses such as this one will continue.

      Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:56:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ok, here is what I found out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brein

      about the legality of what happened here:

      The key is whether the flight falls under regular domestic rules about searches and detainment or whether if falls under the "border crossing" rules.  

      Under 'regular domestic rules" I refer to rules governing Terry Stops.  

      A Terry stop is a brief detention of a person by police[1] on reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminal activity but short of probable cause to arrest.

      Reasonable suspicion here (in a plane, at an airport) has a very low bar. In short, the police could easily board the plane and ask you to come with them for whatever reason they state.  For a "reasonable period of time." An imprecise phrase, but anything more than 1/2 hour and case law strongly suggest that the police would need probable cause.

      They can only detain you for the amount of time described in this incident if they have probable cause.  That is a high bar.  

      So what happened here?  I think it is the border crossing exception.  Terry stops don't apply when you cross a border.  They can detain you for whatever reason they like.  (reasonable suspicion)  Here, the plane was in Detroit.  Either the plane could have been going to Canada, or another foreign country.  OR.  The Detroit Airport could be close enough to the border with Canada to qualify.

      That I don't know.

  •  Are there no Civil Liberties (3+ / 0-)

    actions possible in these cases?

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:43:27 AM PDT

  •  Also notice the use of "enhanced (8+ / 0-)

    interrogation techniques".  She was held for several hours with a painfully full bladder but ordered not to use the toilet in her cell.  Hell, I am surprised they didn't give her a diuretic to make things even worse.

  •  Frontier Airlines, I see a lawsuit in your future. (8+ / 0-)

    And, of course, the maroons that scrambled an F-16 and didn't look at the flight manifest or see where the seat assignments came from deserve all the derision we can muster.

    Any idea if any of them had a DHS "personal encounter" before boarding the plane?

    I wonder who on the Frontier flight crew gets bathroom timing duty, sounds like a jobs program....

  •  the future's easy to predict. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marjmar, The Dead Man, Cartoon Peril

    The TSAssholes and others will expand their reach, entrench their arguments that they are serving the public, and portray some lame events as an example of the success that they have achieved as a result of these ridiculous policies.

    As the public gets angrier and angrier, administration reps and PR folks will caution about unknown dangers, viable, likely, but unconfirmed, which explains the need for ever tighter security and scrutiny.

    Finally, something will bust. Most likely, some innocent, wrongly accused, will die because of TSAssholism. People will complain strongly, and nothing will happen. Not immediately.

    Only when it seems as though
    a) the people won't take any more
    b) the people forgot about how TSA murdered an innocent, or
    c) CIA secret support for Taliban opium smuggling comes to light,

    will they finally change these ridiculous rules.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:46:31 AM PDT

  •  my son has quit flying because he "looks Arab" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Marie, Cartoon Peril, Spoc42

    or Greek or Spanish or Jewish or Italian or any other number of "swarthy" nationalities.  However Americans never forget their paranoia.  Brown people are waiting to murder us all in our beds on board airliners, hiding box cutters and just waiting for the chance.

    There are also all sorts of speculations about why the 2 men went to the restroom and why they spent so much time in there.  Some people are even calculating the average time a reasonable person takes in a restroom (wait til you age a little bit and your bowels take a bit of prompting......time it then)  Give it a week and Malkin or Geller will prove that they were carrying anus bombs and that Hindus are really covert Muslims.  Can't you anticipate the uproar from the same people who declared the VA Tech shooter a Muslim mole?

  •  Devils advocate. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, skymutt

    Its pretty easy to sit here on our computers and judge but if we were in that situation whats to say we would have acted diffrently? Im not saying its okay but to sit here safley behind our desks and act like we might not have been nervous if several middle eastern looking men sitting together got up and went to the bathroom one after another wouldn't make us nervous is disingenous. The fact is had people reacted in that manner on 9/11 things may have happend diffrently. Again racial profiling isnt right but for us to judge without being there sounds like monday morning quarter backing.

    P.S- My wife is Iranian.  

    So long and thanks for all the fish.

    by Stillwatch on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:51:26 AM PDT

    •  BS... it is just being fearful... (4+ / 0-)

      ...i am large person and when I do fly I frequently wait untill someone else in the row gets up to go to the bathroom just to not disturb the others in the row.  Only difference is I am white.  So nothing strange there huh.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:07:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

        The uncomfortable fact is that middle eastern looking men account for a very small percentage of passengers and have accounted for a very large percentage of hijackers.  Given that, I think that most people-- not a few dyed in the wool racists but most people-- would have a lower bar for suspicious behavior for the middle eastern guys than they would a white guy.  I admit that I probably would.  I'm not nervously looking around the cabin for middle eastern looking men on flights or anything, and I have never seen a situation on a plane that made me fearful, but I can imagine a scenarioon a plane where a perfectly innocent action by a person I believed was middle eastern would make me more nervous than someone else.

        •  They weren't even Middle Eastern. (5+ / 0-)

          That's the thing.  They were from India.  

          So it's pretty much anyone who is brown...apparently the defining characteristic of looking Middle Eastern.

          But thanks for the advance notice.  My husband and I are flying soon to visit our son.   The husband has that "suspicious" but undefined Eastern European look, with some Native American, and the genetic traits of my parents render my, as I have been told, appearance as "sorta Central Asianish"....I'll be sure to hum Yankee Doodle Dandy when I go to the bathroom.  Or perhaps I'll just hold it.  So as to not make the other passengers "nervous".

          •  Oh good gravy. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skymutt

            As I stated above my wife is persian. She has a very large persian family who do loads of traveling every year to Tehran. They are completley aware that every time they get on a plane they are receiving more scrutiny than anyone else. They are not bitter or resentful. They understand that its a result of the circumstances in the world.  

            Thats not to say that they like it, of course not. However to pretend like their isn't a rational (albeit unfair) cause for heightened awarness of them is silly.  They are aware of this and they deal with it.

            To illustrate my point every white male youth who might have short to shaved hair wearing work boots and tight jeans might not be a skin head but you bet your ass ill be paying extra attention to them if their in my neighborhood. Thats not racism thats reality.

            So long and thanks for all the fish.

            by Stillwatch on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 01:22:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good gravy indeed. (3+ / 0-)

              I am very sorry that your wife and her family have to go through this and I certainly hope they haven't experienced the absolute crap this lady and the two Indian men had to go through.   There's scrutiny ( coming from Tehran would bring scrutiny on anyone) and then there's catering to any ignorant asshole that is scared of brown people going to the bathroom.  And beyond, the behaviour of the police, etc.   Though you should remember this was simply a flight from Denver to Detroit.

              But I am also telling you that my husband and I have talked about this,  and fuck that noise, seriously.    It's bullshit and shouldn't be understandable.   Hearing about this kind of thing certainly makes us nervous.   Apparently all it takes is some "nervous" passenger to seriously ruin ones trip, to say the least.

        •  so are you fearful when... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza

          ...you see white people around federal buildings?

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 12:45:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  of and brown looking people going... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza

          ...to detroit.  Really unique.  Isn't dearborn like the largest arab/persian population in the US.

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 12:47:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Under what scenario (0+ / 0-)

      do two guys who were sitting right next to each other constitute a potential threat as soon as they each happen to use the bathroom? Were they passing sekret messages to each other via the loo? Did each of them carry only half of teh kodz for a weapon to be set off in there? Neither scenario appears at all realistic to me.

      What could they have been doing that would be dangerous?

      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

      by Nowhere Man on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 04:50:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These people can pursue claims... (0+ / 0-)

    against the airline, but what were the authorities to do?

    Indeed, the AP story says that "police asked the remaining passengers to board buses and took them to the Romulus police headquarters for interviews"

    "Due to the anniversary of Sept. 11, all precautions were taken, and any slight inconsistency was taken seriously," Berchtold said. "The public would rather us err on the side of caution than not."

    Can anyone argue against that?

    If this was the only incident from all flights that day, I do not think it shows racial profiling by the authorities, but perhaps negligent overreaction by one group of airline employees.

    A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

    by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:52:09 AM PDT

    •  The authorities could have let her take a piss (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Helpless, Friendlystranger, brein

      rather than insist she hold it with a painfully full bladder for several hours.  Had to soften her up for the DHS interrogation, after all.

      •  Yep, but they treat most everyone in custody... (0+ / 0-)

        the same.  That goes without saying.  And I am not saying it's right.  

        But the media also has its way to sensationalize, with predictable effect.

        A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

        by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:02:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ugh! Please knock it off. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, brein
        The floor was some sort of stainless steel, and a stainless steel toilet that has probably never seen the good side of a scrubbing brush, instructed me to keep holding my stretched bladder as long as I could. Near the ceiling above the toilet there was a video camera.

        She did not WANT to use a prison toilet!  

    •  I can argue this... (4+ / 0-)

      ...this is a perenial excuse for overreaction.  I think we have been erring on the side of caution for far too long.  The same excuse is used by Cheney to justify waterboarding for gods sake.

      And I would seriously doubt they can get any money from the either the airline or the government.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:05:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If it was your family on the plane... (0+ / 0-)

        you might feel otherwise.  It seems like the same thing occurred at JFK and they did NOT overreact.

        The facts and law will determine if there was a wrong and if compensation is justified.

        A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

        by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:09:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no I wouldn't change my mind... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza

          ...And I bet these people will not get a cent.  The government would have to allow itself to be sued and the airlines will just use the same BS excuse you just did.

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:23:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I was not there I cannot say... (0+ / 0-)

            what actually occurred.

            What did the government do wrong here?  

            And what BS excuse are you talking about?  Two ticket agents that allowed some of the 9-11 participants to board had suspicions but did nothing because they didn't want to be accused of prejudice, of harboring suspicions because of racial feelings.  Look where that got us.

            Unless there is law to the contrary, one may pursue a claim if the airline did not act within reason, which would be determined by the facts.  I would not be surprised if the airline made some settlement in the future.

            A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

            by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 01:04:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why was it necessary (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, brein, delver rootnose

              to take them out in handcuffs and hold them in prison cells? Why not simply talk to them first? For Universe's sake, if they were about to set off bombs, they would have done it before the plane touched down, not afterwards.

              The difference between cautious but civilized treatment and what they actually received is pretty damned large.

              Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

              by Nowhere Man on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 04:54:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  the government will claim.... (0+ / 0-)

              ....soverign immunity or similar and the airline will claim they were doing what the government asked, or they will use your BS abundance of caution excuse.

              We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

              by delver rootnose on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 12:44:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I can. Utter BS when only the darker people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, vcpnttp

      get arrested and strip-searched.  Burden is on the thugs who did this to prove not racially motivated.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 01:56:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thugs, eh? (0+ / 0-)

        That shows such an open mind as to the facts and circumstances.

        And if they meet the burden?

        A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

        by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 02:15:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And what good does it do to detain anyone (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, Cartoon Peril, Nowhere Man, brein

      when the plane lands?

      Detroit police overreacting.

      I'm a fucking retard.

      by Helpless on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 02:01:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could be. Just seems to me... (0+ / 0-)

        from reading the comments that many people find this the rule, rather than the exception.  I think it's the latter.

        As for your question, it may have been to investigate.  It seems like they were questioned, along with the passengers, then released.

        I hate the flying experience as much as anyone.  I know who to blame for the whole mess, too.

        A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

        by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 02:13:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rgjdmls
          It seems like they were questioned, along with the passengers, then released.

          Did you even read the article and blog post?

          •  Of course I did. Did you? (0+ / 0-)

            In my original comment I quoted from the article itself.

            Here is part of what was written:

            After leading the three cuffed passengers away, police asked the remaining passengers to board buses and took them to the Romulus police headquarters for interviews, Duggan said.

            Authorities cleared the aircraft at 5:15 p.m. EDT after it was searched, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

            Kowalchuck said luggage was removed from the plane for inspection by police K-9 sniffer dogs.

            Or are you saying these people remained in detention after the questioning and search of the plane and luggage?

            A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

            by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 02:26:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Were the other passengers cuffed and thrown in a (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rgjdmls, brein

              cell?   Get the full treatment?

              I was laughing at your banal words....

              It seems like they were questioned, along with the passengers, then released.

              Anyone reading what you  wrote would think they were treated just like the other passengers..when in fact they were anything but.   Again for the sin of...what?

              •  I cannot help how YOU read it. (0+ / 0-)

                The diary is pretty clear about what occurred, as are my comments.  I find your projection no less banal.

                A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

                by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 06:04:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  If by "these people" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, brein

              you mean the three who were detained, then yes. And please read the blog post by the woman who was detained.

              Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

              by Nowhere Man on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 04:56:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why assume I had not read it? (0+ / 0-)

                As she said:

                He apologized for what had happened and thanked me for understanding and cooperating. He said, “It’s 9/11 and people are seeing ghosts. They are seeing things that aren’t there.” He said they had to act on a report of suspicious behavior, and this is what the reaction looks like.

                I agree this was an unfortunate event and I understand her anger.  But this did not occur in a vacuum either.  Should we err on the side of caution, or what?

                A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

                by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 06:16:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your comment was very ambiguous (0+ / 0-)

                  You wrote:

                  Or are you saying these people remained in detention after the questioning and search of the plane and luggage?

                  What did you mean by "those people"? If you were meaning to suggest that the three who were detained were released as soon as the search of the plane and luggage was done -- and so, were released at about the same time as the other passengers -- then it would appear that you hadn't absorbed what the blogger had written about her experience.

                  That is in fact the more obvious interpretation of what you wrote, but I'm trying to give you a chance to clarify.

                  Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                  by Nowhere Man on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 07:41:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Questioning includes their questioning, too. (0+ / 0-)

                    Nothing more, nothing less.

                    I never insinuated they were treated like the other passengers, and don't understand why this would be important to you.

                    I merely asked if these people were detained once the investigation was completed, which necessarily meant ALL questioning whatsoever.

                    A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

                    by citizen53 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 10:53:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You have yet to clarify what you meant (0+ / 0-)

                      by "these people", although it now seems you do mean the three main detainees.

                      And yes, if you replace the word "questioning" from your original comment with "investigation", as you did here, then your original comment doesn't sound as uninformed. Unfortunately, that's not what you wrote.

                      You may have meant the same thing all along, but only you could have known that; and in that case, what you wrote is not the same as what you meant.

                      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                      by Nowhere Man on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 04:48:41 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  In my experience, people will misinterpret... (0+ / 0-)

                        virtually any comment, or at least try to.  Which is sad because what I wrote was not such a big deal to require this back and forth.

                        A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

                        by citizen53 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:34:31 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  And even if they had been traveling together... (8+ / 0-)

    ...WHAT THE FUCK OF IT?!?

    Beezus, being a family while flying while brown is now a reason to freak out?

    We've come a billion miles in racial sensitivity in this country, and yet we've still got a billion miles to go.

    I'm a concert pianist with a double doctorate... AND YOU CAN BE TOO!

    by kenlac on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:52:48 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure who deserves the most blame (9+ / 0-)

    The passengers for thinking 3 brown people was suspicious and worth reporting to the flight crew.
    The flight crew for taking their suspicions seriously instead of telling them to shut their racist fucking ass up.
    The military for dispatching fighters to escort a plane because 3 brown people were on board.
    The cops who treated these people like they were criminals when their only crime was flying while brown.

    TEABAGGER: Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights

    by yg17 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:54:14 AM PDT

  •  It's becoming worse, too ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gatorcog, Cartoon Peril

    ... and not just on the airlines.

    This country has gone mad. And, coupled with the rampant stupid, it's an accelerating descent.

    At least Euros have something more to laught at when they look across the pond.

  •  You know what gets me about these stories? (9+ / 0-)

    You always hear about some passenger reporting "suspicious behavior", but the passenger is never identified. Whatever happened to the right to face your accusers?

    I say, if you report "suspicious behavior" to the flight crew, and something like this is the result, the accused individuals have every right to face you afterward.

    Sad sack mumbling colostomy bag Joe Lieberman. ~Tbogg

    by MeMeMeMeMe on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:55:32 AM PDT

    •  I wanted to report the flight crew (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcpnttp, Cartoon Peril, brein

      on my last flight. They went into the cockpit and didn't come out the entire flight. They made apparently nonsensical and irrelevant - I think coded - announcements over the PA. Like, who really cares that we are flying at 37,000 feet? And why would anyone talk about "in the event of a water landing" if they weren't actually plotting to land in the water. Sadly, I was ignored. Who knows what those weirdos are up to now?

  •  Gotta keep the MIC fed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie

    No defense or espionage cuts to the budget.

    It is not all books that are as dull as their readers. Thoreau

    by blueoasis on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:55:47 AM PDT

  •  It's just reasonable precautions (15+ / 0-)

    Don't you remember how white male Army vets were stopped and questioned near government buildings in the wake of the Oklahoma City attacks?

    Yeah, me neither.

    Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:56:08 AM PDT

  •  And let me guess they... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Cartoon Peril

    ...won't be able to sue either the airline or the gubment.

    This type of shit should require a large payment and a personal appology from the president.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:59:12 AM PDT

  •  I Was Riding A Subway (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo

    And saw a guy standing by the door. He wasn't doing anything overtly suspicious at all. He had not come on board with an attitude or anything -- he just stood by the door. However, he had a look. I don't know what the look is but I know it when I see it. I knew he was up to no good but as far as proof goes, had none. I watched him and as soon as the doors opened at the next stop, he grabbed the gold chain off of the neck of the woman sitting by the doors and ran.

    Was I profiling? I had no proof that this person was going to do anything other than a feeling about his look. I don't go around thinking other people have a particular look, just some. Maybe it was just dumb luck but I don't think so.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 11:59:51 AM PDT

    •  That's what the Israelis do (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, tmo, Friendlystranger, brein

      when they do the security screening at the airports -- only they talk and check out everyone, not just those with "the look". And you didn't specify that the person was black, brown, white, or purple with pink polka-dots -- that's not profiling, but rather observing behavior and mannerisms. Profiling would be if you saw someone in a kufi and assumed he was going to blow up the train, or a Hispanic and figured he was an undocumented immigrant.

      Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:08:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a job at the TSA for you (0+ / 0-)
  •  didn't the government (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, enhydra lutris, Anne Elk

    issue a warning right before this 9/11? They have slipped back into the bushies method of terrorizing and frightening the populace with showing the jack boot every once in a while 'to keep us safe' and remind us that we at the mercy of our 'security state'. Homeland Security is a sick name to begin with and stinks of you know what. A little display of power to let us know what could happen to anyone who even looks suspicious . chilling and much scarier then any would be 'shoe bomber'  Who will protect us from the likes of Homeland Security and the odious Patriot Act not to mention the spooks who Betrayus.    

  •  Didn't these dangerous brown people (10+ / 0-)

    just get x-rayed, de-shoed and fondled at the gate?  And they're still a mortal threat?

    Paranoia.

    I used to be Snow White...but I drifted.

    by john07801 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:01:28 PM PDT

  •  In The 90s, We Had DWB (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, capelza

    Now it's Flying While Brown.

    I hope she sues the fuck out of Frontier. I hope the FAs involved who thought the three are terrorists are fired.

    I'm too outraged to speak further, but let's just say I've had my own run-ins with TSA, CBP, et al in the past post 9/11, and this "everyone is a potential terrorist" bullshit just has to stop. Right now.

  •  What did they do to create the suspicion? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, capelza, Cartoon Peril, vcpnttp, brein

    They used the bathroom on the plane when they knew they were not white.  Actually, boarding that plane was sufficient.

    How does DHS write up the report for this situation and their assault on these people?

    How do the other passengers, the ones who reported these suspicious non-whites, live with this?


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:05:38 PM PDT

    •  Probably more to do with the seat assignments (0+ / 0-)

      The "suspicious" activity was three brown people being independently assigned to adjacent seats who then took sequential trips to the same lavatory. In this case, it seems that it was all coincidental, but I can certainly see how some people got spooked.

      Racism exists. Trying to pretend otherwise won't make it go away.

  •  FWB: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enhydra lutris, Cartoon Peril

    flying while brown.

    Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche. 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by greenbird on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 12:41:58 PM PDT

  •  Being aware (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril, brein

    of "activities" aboard an aircraft is prudent.

    However, reading the story further just reveals an over the top reaction on the part of the authorities.

    Although I wasn't there it comes accross as plain ass wrong on so many levels that many people here have outlined.
    The tactics employed in my view is akin to using the wrong tool for the job. Granted there is a place and time for a SWAT team deployment, but I am having a difficult time believing this was it.

    Oh the hell with it. This was bullshit idiocy on parade in 2011 America.

    "The greater the ignorance, the greater the dogmatism." Sir William Osler

    by wxorknot on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 01:15:15 PM PDT

  •  of course (0+ / 0-)

    there is no comment about it on any of the major conservative blogs

    18, Dem, PA-07, Democratic Nominee for Ward Commissioner in Springfield (Delco) Ward 1

    by Cole Stevens on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 01:39:28 PM PDT

    •  They might not even know about it (0+ / 0-)

      It got twittered and Facebooked like crazy yesterday, at least partly due to Nicholas Kristoff of the NYT posting it to his twitter and Facebook accounts. Conservatives simply might not be tapped into the people who would subscribe to Kristoff's feeds. Also this story doesn't seem to have made it to the major media. At least one person twittered it to Rachel Maddow though so maybe it'll make it onto tv.

      The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by tmo on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 01:47:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sad... (0+ / 0-)

    Precaution? Hah! Paranoia.

    15 years old and a proud progressive and Phillies phan.

    by vidanto on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 01:45:47 PM PDT

  •  The problem is that it is impossible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, brein

    to "ratchet down" the security, because in the poisonous political climate, whoever issued the order to relax any security measure will pay a huge price the next time some real "incident" occurs.  I see that Sec'y Napolitano has revealed that they are making plans to stop having us take our shoes off, but of course if a shoe bomber tries it again after that, she'll be pilloried for having "surrendered to terrorists."

    Something even more horrible than what's recounted in this diary will have to happen before this will all change.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 02:09:04 PM PDT

    •  The only way it will change is if (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevvboy

      someone like Sarah Palin or a Senator is dragged off a plane in hand cuffs and detained for several hours with "enhanced interrogation techniques".  

      Otherwise, as I have seen in some comments here,  well blech.

    •  Yeah, there's a great story (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brein

      in The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn. On Stalin's birthday, all the workers and managers turned out to celebrate the great leader's birthday. The whole factory stood and applauded a picture of Stalin. Some time went by, still clapping. About 30 min into it, one guy thought, "that's enough clapping." So he sat down. The secret police took him off to the Gulag the next day. That's the way they obliterated any trace of initiative or independence in Soviet society. The TSA has done something similar here. But as the screening and tracking technology becomes ever more powerful, we will see it seep out into everyday life and will barely notice its all-encompassing power. It all started with the TSA being able to intimidate Americans into doing stupid things like taking their shoes off. Once you start accepting these lame orders, you are on the way to obeying all kinds of things. To resist is to disobey. To disobey is to be a criminal. To be a criminal is to be an outcast. Outcasts are eliminated.

  •  The irony is that any danger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril, brein

    at the airport is now in the long security lines. Surely, it hasn't escaped the brilliant minds at Al Qaeda® that a suicide bomb in a carry-on bag in the midst of a security line would cause as much mayhem as any action on a plane? In fact, coordinating such an event at a few major airports would bring the entire system to an immediate and prolonged halt. The fact that that hasn't happened means, most probably, that there is no significant, organized terrorist threat to the USA, unless one includes the TSA as itself the terrorist threat.

    The TSA reminds me of the kind of email that used to float around a few years back where the message warned about a certain virus. Of course, there was no virus, just a viral email that spread all over the world. That's what the TSA is.

  •  9/11 was truly a masterstroke (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza

    For the fearmongers.  Even today I wonder why, a decade after the attack, media outlets like CNN continue to stoke paranoia with their concern trolling over possible terrorist threats. The world lived with terrorist threats for decades, perhaps centuries - but until 9/11/01, Americans didn't much care about terrorism. Now they do, of course, but in a totally irrational way that plays perfectly into the hands of those that would keep this nation afraid, cowed, pliant and easily manipulated. What a genius move indeed.

  •  Out of curiousity (0+ / 0-)

    When this story broke, did anyone else hear/read that the two men were in the bathroom having sex?

    I am sure I heard that somewhere (exact words were "joining the mile high club"), but it seems to have disappeared.

    The best pizza comes from New York.

    by JakeC on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 04:09:28 PM PDT

    •  There was a lot of disinformation going around (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brein

      One thing that we need to learn is not to trust the initial reports. Not that the later reports are always trustworthy, but the initial ones almost never are.

      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

      by Nowhere Man on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 05:04:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "misinformation" (0+ / 0-)

        I didn't mean to imply that the incorrect info was being spread deliberately, just that someone, somewhere, was misinformed, and spread that misinformation.

        Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

        by Nowhere Man on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 05:05:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Clearly an anal bomb will only work if one is in (0+ / 0-)

    the bathroom - its common sense.  

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

    by choco38 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 04:49:42 PM PDT

  •  Added to Dkosopedia (0+ / 0-)

    This article, and a reference to Shoshana Hebshi's blog post, have been added as references to Prosecuting Officials for Crimes on Dkosopedia.

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