OK, who was the threat?
LOS ANGELES | July 22, 2004 – Undercover federal air marshals on board a June 29 Northwest airlines flight from Detroit to LAX identified themselves after a passenger, “overreacted,” to a group of middle-eastern men on board, federal officials and sources have told KFI NEWS.
The passenger, later identified as Annie Jacobsen, was in danger of panicking other passengers and creating a larger problem on the plane, according to a source close to the secretive federal protective service.
(hat tip Patterico)
Read the whole thing.And I’ll go back to my earlier comment about
Similarly, there are two competing narratives we can construct out of Jacobsen’s story.
On one hand, a dry run or failed mission by a group of terrorists, as she suggests.
On the other, a group of foreign musicians, already somewhat out of place, being bad-vibed beyond belief by the rest of the passengers, and so acting with a less-then affable demeanor, and doing what I’ve done in the past when flying with large groups of people, which is to walk around and congregate so we can chat.
What makes me anxious is the level of blind fear and rage that this story provoked. Comments like “eject them midair” were made, which makes me worry both out of concern for the innocent (except of being Middle Eastern) who will be affected by this (and I’ll note, whose opinions of the West will be lowered) but because when we start acting out of unthinking rage, we risk losing the fight.
I’ll refer readers back to this post:
…in the actual conflict, in the actual decision to fight and fighting, I’ll take Cooper’s ‘concentration’ and Musashi’s ‘settled yet unbiased’ spirit. Showing anger – standing in front of the enemy or potential enemy, and frothing at the mouth in rage – does two bad things. First, it helps create a fight where it might have been possible to avoid one. And second, if your enemy is at all strong, it shows weakness.
Update: I forgot to include the best quote from the article at all…in fact, I think it’s so good it ought to be a national motto:
“We don’t freak out in situations like this,” the air marshal responded.
I’ll buy that guy a beer anytime.
“We Don’t Freak Out In Situations Like This.” You betcha.