Saturday, May 06, 2006

FBI detains, releases foreign passengers on US airliner - Yahoo! News

FBI detains, releases foreign passengers on US airliner - Yahoo! News: "FBI detains, releases foreign passengers on US airliner"

Well, at least these guys weren't shot for suspicious activity. At least they were still alive to be released later when it was discovered that they were legitimate. I suppose, that's a plus for security operations after the London tube shooting and the guy on the tarmac in Florida.

But the reasons theses guys were suspect are even less reasonable than any cited in those other cases. From the news report ...

The men raised suspicions on a domestic flight headed to Newark International Airport as they were referring to helicopter flight manuals and speaking to each other in a foreign language.

"Rightfully so, people got suspicious," said Stephen Kodak, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

RIGHTFULLY SO? Has it become suspicious to do business in a language other than English on flights? ALL these guys were doing was working on a plane, exactly what thousands of other businessmen and technical specialists do every single day. They happened to be doing it in a foreign language ... since when did that become illegal, or cause for suspicion?

I am happy this didn't end in a more serious situation. But several men were detained for no reason except the prejudice of passengers and air marshalls ... at NO time did these men behave in a threatening manner, or in a way that suggested they were a threat to anyone. I refuse to give up so much of my freedoms that I am willing to condone the detention of people who did nothing except work on a plane in a foreign language. To accept that as normal is to admit the terrorists have already won ... they've already forced us to abandon our belief in equality, justice, rule of law, and trade it in for fear and paranoia. I sincerely hope that hasn't happened, and the fact these guys aren't dead on the tarmac is perhaps a baby step in the right direction. But they were four technical guys doing business on a plane ... we should be ashamed at trying to justify what happened.


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