Monday, December 28, 2009

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain

Yes, things are as insane as you thought they were. And maybe moreso.

In what can only be described as a very bizarre coincidence, another Nigerian man on Northwest flight 253 on Sunday spent too much time in the lavatory and had to be forcibly removed by kicking in the door and removing him. This time the passenger wasn't trying to blow up the aircraft. Instead, he had a stomach ailment which kept him in the lavatory for an hour, obviously raising major concerns with the airline crew and passengers aboard the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The plane's captain called ahead declaring an emergency and had law enforcement authorities meet the aircraft at the end of the runway. A while later after the dust had settled it was determined that the man wasn't a terrorist after all, had no weapons or bomb making capabilities, and was actually ill while in the lavatory.


Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Senator Joeseph Lieberman (I-CT), who leads the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has a vision of "tomorrow's war."

"Somebody in our government said to me in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, Iraq was yesterday’s war," Lieberman explained. "Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow’s war. That’s the danger we face."

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), also appearing on the program, seemed to agree, calling an attack against Yemen "something we should consider."

  Raw Story

Already Joe Lieberman and several Republicans are calling for more preemptive strikes on targets in Yemen, and it’s not hard to see that the US is very close to opening up yet another "front" in our eternal "war on terrorism."


[A]llegations that the Detroit incident was planned and carried out by al-Qaeda in Yemen can be traced back to "IntelCenter," a mysterious private contractor with a dubious reputation [.pdf] (see frames 89-100) that does business with the intelligence community.

  Justin Raimondo

Read Raimondo’s article for more reasons to wonder just what is really going on here, including statements from other passengers, and the fact that the man was allowed onto the flight with a one-way ticket to the US and without a requisite passport at the urging of a third person. And what about the calls by his father three months ago to alert authorities that his son might be up to something?

In addition to lighting a fire under the pre-emptive attack squad, the incident has insured that air travel will now be even more unpleasant.

The T.S.A. issued an update on its Web site Sunday that said passengers would be subject to greater security, but its information was not as detailed as the memorandums sent by the agency to airlines this weekend. The airlines said the new T.S.A. measures required an additional round of searches, including body pat-downs at airport gates overseas.

International travelers were also told that they could not leave their seats for the last hour of a flight, during which time they also could not use a pillow or blanket.


I hope they are going to provide adult diapers.

Every time there’s a new airline passenger threat, the airlines make a rule to try to preclude that particular method of attack. We are another step closer to flying naked if we want to get on an airplane. And there won’t be any doors on the toilets.

Henry Chen, 48, a businessman who lives in San Francisco, said he was shocked to have a female flight attendant barge in on him in the restroom while he was washing his face during a flight from Seoul. “It was kind of weird, to have a lady try to get in,” he said. “She said that they had to watch people being in the restroom too long.”


Sarah Woodhouse, of Norwich, England, said she could understand the new steps. Before leaving Amsterdam for Newark Liberty International Airport, she said she was asked to switch on her camera to prove it was not an explosive device.

And if it had been an explosive device and switching it on was the trigger?

I’ll be watching the further reports to see if anything is mentioned about the person who oiled the way for Mr. Abdulmutallab to get on that flight without a passport.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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