Sunday, May 07, 2006

Foreign languages + flight materials = terrorist?

Shame on Americans, again. Shame especially on passengers on American Airlines Flight 1874 , which departed from DFW on May 6, 2006. Shame on them for their reaction to hearing fellow passengers speak "foreign languages" and seeing them carry information on flying airplanes.

From the Associated Press, as reported on Yahoo! news:

Sat May 6, 10:18 PM ET
NEWARK, N.J. - Five airline passengers speaking in foreign languages and carrying "aircraft flight materials" were briefly detained Saturday until authorities determined they were simply returning to their home countries after attending a U.S. helicopter training school.

Fellow passengers on American Airlines Flight 1874, which had departed from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, became suspicious of the men, said Steven Siegel, a spokesman for the
FBI's Newark office. A federal marshal on the plane notified authorities at Newark Liberty International Airport about the men's behavior.

. . .

He 'notified authorities...about the men's behavior'. What 'behavior'? Since when is speaking a foreign language a crime? And, despite September 11, I do not think that carrying aircraft flight materials is a crime, either. I guess it's the particular combination of foreign languages, aircraft flight materials, and probably the men's skin colours, that threatened these stupid Americans.

I want to know the name of the federal marshall who orchestrated this. He should be penalized for such a costly mistake, for humiliating those men. And so should the idiot American passengers who started this whole debacle in the first place. They should be publicly named and then put in the town stocks. Their own embarrasment should meet and exceed that which they caused for these innocent visitors to our country.

When is enough going to be enough? When is this fearmongering going to end? Where will this racism cloaked in the guise of 'national security' stop?

. . .

The men — identified only as four Angolan military personnel and an Israeli — had attended helicopter training school in Texas, Siegel said. Police officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, took the men into custody soon after the plane landed around 3:20 p.m., said a Port Authority spokesman.
After being questioned by authorities, the men were released around 6 p.m., Siegel said.
The plane was carrying 121 passengers and five crew members. All other passengers had been released.

No comments: