Apologize for What?


It is my pleasure to introduce John Cardillo as a new contributor here at America’s Right. John served with the New York Police Department throughout the 1990s before moving south to Miami and becoming a bona fide Internet powerhouse. John’s company, Sentinel Tech Holding Corp., is the fusion of his experience with data and investigations, and has succeeded in making the World Wide Web a safer place for our nation’s children and younger generation.

Sentinel introduced SentinelSAFE, the world’s most powerful sex offender detection tool utilizing more than 100 points of identification, and in December 2006 partnered with MySpace.com, the world’s largest social networking site with over 400,000,000 profiles. About six months later, Sentinel and MySpace booted nearly 30,000 sex offenders from the site.

John and his team work closely with law enforcement and non-governmental organizations such as The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), with which they partnered in January 2007, in order to ensure safer and more secure online experiences. In 2008, he received a tribute by the Florida House of Representatives for his work in, online crime and predator detection, online child safety, and for protecting over 300,000,000 internet end users from criminals and sexual predators. Today, John is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on online safety and security, as well as related products and technologies.

In his spare time, John sits on the boards of directors of the South Florida Make a Wish Foundation and The Family Online Safety Institute. He is a Young Founder of Mt. Sinai Medical Center on Miami Beach, and a Fellow with the Lloyd Society, a Washington DC based think-tank. He is also a member of Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center’s Internet Safety Technical Task Force, and the FBI’s Infragard program.

It is an absolute pleasure to have John here at America’s Right, and I look forward to his contributions on everything from politics to law enforcement to the manifestation of his keen insight on the ins and outs of his online security industry and its legislative aspects. His conservative voice, grounded in his unique background, will be an immense asset to this site.

– Jeff


Apologize for What?
by John Cardillo, America’s Right

On Saturday January 3rd, 2009, AirTran Airlines issued the following apology:


We sincerely regret that the passengers on flight 175 did not have a positive travel experience on January 1, 2009. Security is a shared responsibility and this incident highlights the multiple layers of security that are in place in today’s aviation environment. While ultimately this issue proved to be a misunderstanding, the steps taken were necessary.

The apology was the end result of an incident on New Year’s Day in which nine Arab Muslims were removed from an AirTran flight from Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Florida. Of the nine passengers, six were adults, three were children. All but one was a U.S.-born citizen, and all adults were wearing traditional Muslim garb.

The incident began when two other passengers alerted the air crew after allegedly hearing something suspicious from the Muslim group. In turn, the air crew alerted two federal Air Marshals onboard. Subsequently, the Marshals relayed the alert to airport police who then made the proper notifications to federal authorities. The pilot, acting on all of the information–including the actions of the Air Marshals–made a decision to delay the flight and de-board the aircraft. TSA, Airport Police and FBI then rescreened the passengers, baggage, and interviewed the suspected parties. After two hours, the plane took off nine passengers lighter.

As reported, the actions taken were a very logical and reasonable application of, and reaction to, the post 9/11 mantra of “if you see something, or hear something … say something.” Passengers were understandably concerned because seven years ago, murderers who used airplanes as weapons looked very much like the people saying suspicious things on that plane. Of course, such a concern was feast upon by the press, and the mainstream media was quick to accuse the reporting passengers of racial profiling. The usual reporting from the usual suspects ensued, and one by one the far left talking heads decried profiling as the most horrible thing since the Bubonic Plague.

But, is there anything wrong with profiling? No, in my opinion, there is not.

In fact, I believe that racial, ethnic, and religious profiling are highly effective elements of investigative and risk assessment. Yes, I said it — racial, religious, and ethnic profiling, when used to secure the Homeland or in the course of law enforcement investigations, are good things. They are also very necessary in our post-9/11 world.

Flying quite often on business, I am always loathe to see the walker- or wheelchair-bound Irish grandfather from Des Moines, Iowa struggling to deal with the intrusiveness and extensiveness of extended screening. Even if grandpa did have ill intent, even if there was a reason for that extended screening, the poor man would need two rest stops long before he got from seat 14C to that armored cockpit door. Yet, inevitably, while he’s being screened, a group of young Arab Muslim males stroll up to the metal detector without so much as a second look.

Wait, did I just say “Arab Muslims” and not identify them as “ethnic youths,” or “men of south Asian descent,” or merely mention they were “dark-skinned?” Yes, yes I did, because I refuse to allow the P.C. movement to rob me of my common sense. Before we can address a threat, we must identify that threat. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Arab Muslim males killed 3,000 innocent people. Let’s not forget that. Arab Muslim males are the Taliban, the Insurgency, and the homicide bombers.

Am I saying that all Arab Muslim males are terrorists? Of course not. The vast majority are honest, hard-working Americans just like you and me, or law-abiding visitors enjoying a vacation, education or business in America. However, because a terror threat does exist, and because the risk of that act of terror being carried out by a young Arab Muslim male is disproportionately higher than the risk of that same act being carried out by old white, black or Hispanic people, Arab Muslim males in the 18-45 age range should undergo extended screening far more often than–and long before–the elderly vice chairwoman of the Syracuse Ladies Auxiliary.

“How can you be so bigoted!?” my liberal friends, family members, and business associates often ask. My response is always the same: “How can you be so clueless?” I’m not a bigot, but I am a pragmatist, a safety and security professional, and a former New York City cop. Currently, under my direction, my company is responsible for finding and removing dangerous sexual predators from online communities with over 400,000,000 end users. We police an environment with a population greater than that of the United States. I have just a bit of investigative experience and have come to know which tactics work, and which do not. Profiling is one that works.

For many years, law enforcement has effectively profiled by race and ethnicity. The NYPD, FBI and other agencies have organized crime task forces which focus on particular ethnic groups and geographies. Yet, because the subjects of those investigations are not Arab Muslim, the liberal darlings du jour in the mainstream media largely ignores them.

When investigating La Cosa Nostra, for example, the NYPD and FBI profile Italian Americans. As an Italian American, I applaud that common sense approach, and encourage it to continue. Likewise, cocaine trade investigations focus on Latin Americans, and when the Westies, the extremely violent Irish mob from Hell’s Kitchen, was a violent problem in New York City, Irish cops staked out Irish pubs looking for Irish bad guys. It’s common sense, and the alternative is ludicrous — unless they intentionally want to waste valuable time and money, law enforcement officials would be ill-advised to set up in a Polish neighborhood looking for Bloods and Crips.

Why then, if the NYPD and FBI focus their terror investigations on mosques along Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, or certain cities in Michigan which have the largest Arab Muslim population in the United States, is there media uproar about this recent incident? Why, when Arab Muslims are profiled, after suspicious activity or conversation on an airplane, is the media so quick to vilify the passengers reporting? These actions, after all, are not an indictment of all Arab Muslims, but rather are simply sound reactions to a perceived threat based on empirical information. Unfortunately, the P.C. crowd wants to obfuscate that truth and twist it until it fits their dangerous agenda. Even more unfortunate is that they have a tremendously powerful public relations wing in most of the mainstream media.

Of those kicked off the Air Tran flight, one was a doctor and another a lawyer. Two highly educated successful people who, probably better than most, understand the suspicion their appearance brings and why. As the good patriotic Americans that I’m sure they are, they should appreciate the diligence. Instead of wanting an apology, they should commend AirTran, the Air Marshals, the FBI and all of the other agencies involved for their methodical and rational reaction to such a situation.

Next time, it might not be a false alarm, and an alert passenger might just protect their own children. As far as I’m concerned, an apology is never owed when sound decisions are made to protect innocent lives.

—————
John Cardillo, a former NYPD officer now considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on online safety and security, is president and CEO of Sentinel Tech Holding Corp., an Internet security company which specializes in online crime and predator detection, online child safety, and the protection of Internet end users from criminals and sexual predators. Cardillo lives in Miami, Florida and, in his spare time, can be found astride his Harley-Davidson, in the Florida Keys, at the shooting range, or on South Beach. He has been contributing to America’s Right since January 2009.

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Comments

  1. Laurie says:

    John/Jeff,

    Outstanding read!! Welcome the “clear,” “intelligent” and non-PC view. I heartily agree with every word, John. Welcome to America’s Right!

  2. Anonymous says:

    You are a great NAZI, congratulations!
    Seig Heil Nazi!

  3. Bodenzee says:

    I can’t agree more.

    Would you accept a position as Secretary of Homeland Security in Jeff’s Cabinet?

    With any luck we’ll be looking for a new administration very soon.

  4. BlueWater says:

    No joke – the last time I flew out of Detroit Metro Airport, two of the security personnel doing security and checking me out were wearing traditional Muslim garb – a male and a female. The world is truly backward.

  5. American Mama says:

    You are a great NAZI, congratulations!
    Seig Heil Nazi!

    Congratulations! You get a seat on the next hijacked airplane. Enjoy your flight.

  6. Jeff Schreiber says:

    BlueWater said…

    No joke – the last time I flew out of Detroit Metro Airport, two of the security personnel doing security and checking me out were wearing traditional Muslim garb – a male and a female. The world is truly backward.

    Thank you — I had been having trouble thinking of what photo to run. Now I remember a good one!

    Check it out in just a moment.

  7. Marie says:

    This was wonderful! The sad thing is that reading such a no-bull, clear, common sense opinion about this controversial topic seemed strange because it is so rarely presented this way. It’s what most of us think to ourselves when we hear people on CNN railing against racial/ethnic profiling but we never say it out loud!

    Jeff, you are going to revolutionize the conservative movement!

  8. Seeks Truth says:

    John, Welcome! If I knew how to do an emoticon with hands clapping up over my head, I would.

    Here is a related article from Hugh Fitzgerald from over at Jihad Watch. I tried to link it but could not. Sorry this is so long. Check out Fitzgerald’s reaction vs. the reaction of the Arab Muslim family.

    Airline apologizes for taking Muslim passengers off flight

    Raymond commented on this story here, but it reminds me of a story of my own: Once I was facing a long flight delay, with hours in the airport. So I started working. As it happened, while I was working on this site, Jihad Watch, someone saw “jihad” on my laptop screen and contacted police. Presently I was surrounded by police, at least one of whom had a large police dog with him, and they told me to come with them. Just at that moment I lost my Internet connection, so I was unable to show them who I was or what I was working on, and had none of my books or anything else with me, even any of my business cards. I had nothing with me except a Qur’an and some jihadist literature.

    Ultimately I was able to explain to them what I was doing, and they let me go. Did they apologize? No. I would not have expected them to. I did not become irate or make “inappropriate comments.” I did not contact CAIR or MPAC. I did not sue or threaten to sue. On the contrary, I thanked the police officers for their alertness and vigilance.

    Why are these nine passengers different? “We felt very disrespected,” one of them says. Once again, it is all about their honor, and not about the need to protect innocent civilians from jihad attack. And so now yet another bad precedent is set. These nine passengers may have been completely innocent, but to apologize for questioning them is to make it harder to question the next suspicious passenger. Once again political correctness comes before security concerns.

    An update on this story. “AirTran apologizes for removing Muslim passengers,” from AP, January 3 (thanks to Marc):

    WASHINGTON – AirTran Airways apologized Friday to nine Muslims kicked off a New Year’s Day flight to Florida after other passengers reported hearing a suspicious remark about airplane security. One of the passengers said the confusion started at Reagan National Airport just outside Washington, D.C., when he talked about the safest place to sit on an airplane.

    Orlando, Fla.-based AirTran said in a statement that it refunded the passengers’ air fare and planned to reimburse them for replacement tickets they bought on US Airways. AirTran also offered to take the passengers back to Washington free of charge.

    “We apologize to all of the passengers — to the nine who had to undergo extensive interviews from the authorities and to the 95 who ultimately made the flight,” the statement said. “Nobody on Flight 175 reached their destination on time on New Year’s Day, and we regret it.”

    AirTran said the incident was a misunderstanding, but the steps taken were necessary.

    Two U.S. Muslim advocacy groups, however, were critical of the airline’s actions. The Muslim Public Affairs Council called on federal officials Friday to open an investigation. And the Council for American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation, saying “It is incumbent on any airline to ensure that members of the traveling public are not singled out or mistreated based on their perceived race, religion or national origin.”…

    Family members were upset that AirTran didn’t allow them to book another flight. The airline said in a news release Friday that one of the passengers became irate, made inappropriate comments and had to be escorted away from a gate podium by local law enforcement.

    “We felt very disrespected,” Irfan said. He said FBI agents had cleared their names and asked AirTran to put them on another flight, but to no avail….

  9. Anonymous says:

    While i think profiling probably makes security checks more efficient, i think that doesnt apply at all in this scenario when someone is proven to be undoubtedly guilty. Why would u apply profiles to someone who’s innocent? So yes, they should have to apologize, regardless of protocol.

  10. Anonymous says:

    In the 70′s my husband and I were flying home from a convention in New Orleans. Just as we were starting to taxi the runway his boss, who spent way too much time on Bourbon street the night before, lol, yelled out, “let’s hijack this sucker”! Within seconds he was “tackled” to the aisle by 4 huge security guards. I have no idea where they were and hadn’t even noticed them before that moment. Needless to say, his boss spent another night in New Orleans but it wasn’t pleasant, lol. He deserved what he got and should have known not to say something that stupid. Oh, but that wouldn’t be politically correct today now would it? Thanks for your post here on America’s Right and thank you for all you have done in the past and are doing now to keep us safe. Both of my sons are in law enforcement and I know it isn’t an easy job.

  11. gailbullock says:

    Bravo!

    Jeff, you struck gold again!

    Mr. Cardillo, I have only one question: How on God’s green earth have you managed to use your EXPERTISE to do SO MUCH GOOD in SO MANY AREAS without the umbrella of the U.S. Government?!

    Thank you for your police service. Thank you for caring about the Missing and Exploited Children. Thank you for caring about and protecting our children relating to the Internet. Thank you for all of it, including your article.

    I read your credentials and your wonderful article and thought, “And he did it without the government’s help or oversight!”

    JEFF SCHREIBER FOR PRESIDENT; (and seconding Bodenzee’s suggestion) JOHN CARDILLO FOR HEAD OF HOMELAND SECURITY!

    I’m thinking blue background with gold accents and lettering for my yard sign.

    God! I love this site!

  12. Mary Ann says:

    While I’m not ready to return to the “red scares” of the McCarthy era, I am also NOT ready to just give all Muslims a free pass just because we’re Americans and we’re stupid about this racial profiling thing.

    Wake up people! The malcontented walk among us every day, sleeper cells, taking over neighborhoods street by street. Did you get a look at the anti-Israel protests covered by an oogling press? Surely it must all be Israel’s fault because American Muslims (is that an oxymoron?) said so. After all, Muslims are always right and they don’t cheat (much).

    Give it up folks, racial profiling will always exist, depending upon the crimes du jour.

    BTW, welcome aboard, John! Glad to have your clear and concise opinion.

  13. tjcache says:

    John THANK YOU! I feel the same way about racial profiling. I’ve started calling it “demographic” profiling when debating so I don’t set people off right away.

    Jeff, thanks for the respite from the MSM twilight zone.

  14. Julie says:

    Well done! Some things just shouldn’t be said “PC.” I agree with you completely. Seven years ago, 3000 Americans lost their lives. Profiling is NECESSARY to security. We should do more, instead of worrying who we might offend.

  15. carder says:

    Wow, Jeff, how did you find Cardillo?

    Goodness, I’m afraid of who’s next in your intensely fabulous writers’ roster.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Great post. I am all for profiling. I think it is needed and it just makes sense. However, I think the apology that the airlines made was appropriate. It was not an apology regarding the actions the airlines took, it was an apology regarding the inconvienance the passengers experienced. There is a difference, and, in any “service industry” an apology is just the polite and right thing to do. I don’t equate common courtesy with political correctness. Again, according to the statement made, I don’t think the airline apologized for their actions. So I don’t agree with you entirely, but I do agree with the “spirit” of your post in that a minor or even major inconvienance is a small price to pay to make sure that the neccessary steps are taken to ensure safe air travel and that all passengers, not just arab muslims, should understand that in a post 9/11 world.

  17. Anonymous says:

    As I flew back from Europe A couple years ago I had a layover in Houston. I left the security area in search of a good meal. At that point I’d had very little sleep and was hungry. A fellow standing in line to go on a plane was mouthing off with comments like “how much longer are we going to have to put up with this?” I think he resented having to take his shoes off. I turned and snarled “AS LONG AS IT TAKES!” A few years ago when a family member was seriously ill, I flew often on short notice or standby. I’m a middle aged white woman, no burqua and got searched constantly.

    I’ve got no problem with security but political correctness is stupid. Let’s put our resources and efforts into what works. Thanks for what you do.

  18. C.M. Hatem says:

    I’ve often wondered why there was a need to have a sense of fairness when it comes to screening airline passengers.

    I’m still not entirely sure what was said that was suspicious as the articles I read concerning the remarks was unclear and disjointed.

    In all cases, when the people you’re looking for fit a particular decription, it makes sense that you exclude people who DONT fit that description from your search.

    However, we should keep aware that tactics will change to defeat static security procedures.

    Just like mules are used to traffic drugs. It’s conceivable that certain types of people could be exploited to circumvent securty.

  19. sharon says:

    Welcome John !! thank you Jeff!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Found this comment posted on World Net Dailey in response to NBC’s decision to ban Ann Coulter FOR LIFE because they don’t like people saying bad things about Obama.

    It’s starting folks. Fight or flight. You choose.

    WND comment posted tonight,

    “The media is a very powerful entity, but it is entirely dependent on the public. That being said, collectively, we are more powerful than the media. I propose a country wide ban on NBC and all of it’s advertisers starting tonight! Post lists on all conservative websites of advertisers peddling their wares on all of NBC’s channels.

    Starting tonight, no more! Let’s show these liberally spoiled brats what the “United” in the United States of America really means.

    Let’s shut these whining cry-babies down once and for all. If we do not act immediately, this will be just the beginning of all that they plan to take from us!”

  21. Ladalang says:

    I’m not so sure a conduit into the police state and the poster boy for the fear mongering side of the Republican party is such a good idea for the American Right, but your choice.

    just like after Pearl Harbor profiling was a great idea until we had to apologize to our fellow American citizens who were victimized because it seemed like a good idea under the circumstances. Profiling goes against everything the Constitution says. A time of turmoil is not a time to abandon our civil liberties in the name of safety.

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety,deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”–Benjamin Franklin

  22. CalifGirlInMaine says:

    Article is very good, and I agree with almost all. In the case of the airline passengers, I think a little common sense, along with security consciousness, could have been useful.

    I heard the family was talking about “safe seats.” If that is truly what they were saying, to me that is not a security flag per se. If I, a middle-aged white woman, was talking about which seats in the airplane are safest, would someone get suspicious? Not likely. There are some locations in the plane which ARE safer in the case of a crash, and discussing those seats does not mean there is going to be a crash. In fact, if this family was talking about “safe seats” I wouldn’t think they were planning to blow up the plane or use it as a weapon, because in those situtations there are NO safe seats!

    I was not there, I do not know the exact circumstances, and what I heard could be all wrong. I just hope the Air Marshals, TSA and so one use a little common sense as well — but if they err, err on the side of safety.

    As an aside, I have frequently had more thorough searches when going thru airport security. I don’t think I look suspicious, I don’t think I fit any kind of dangerous profile, but I often get picked. Though come to think of it, middle-aged women CAN be quite dangerous…… ;)

  23. BlueWater says:

    Chris,
    Good point – profiling will only go so far, but I would still much rather have them search me every time I fly (I have been confused for an Arab due to my coloring – no big deal if it keeps the country feeling safer) than bother with the nun in Jeff’s great picture, or my blond, obviously German wife. Profile, but be flexible – I guess that’s what I am saying!
    Bob

  24. tanker says:

    Hear, hear, Mr. Cardillo!

    Political correctness does indeed leave us morally and intellectually defenseless before our enemies. We cannot say that our culture of life, love, and individuality is superior to their culture of nihilism and subservience. We cannot call the War on Islamofascism by its rightful name; how can we fight it if we can’t name it? We cannot use our senses to distinguish between foe and friend, leaving us groping blindly, wasting time, resources, and eventually, lives.

    I look forward to more. Thank you for your leadership.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Well the question that comes up in my mind is not about the professionals but the public who claimed to hear something suspicious. Maybe the public was racially motivated. We need to be careful that a bigoted public is not allowed to cause problems for people. Central to this story would be a careful exact reporting of what the muslims were reputed to have said. Then what happened when first these people were interviewed.

    I also do not like the idea of using one incident to make rules that then affect everyone else. For example I do not agree with the loss of freedom from the so called Patriot Act. I am not convinced that the one incident was sufficient reason to remove freedoms that have made our country strong for over 200 years.

    Our country is much too quick to make laws after one incident. More laws are not the answer to our problems. A bigger government is not good. Obama now proposes some 600,000 more people on the tax roles. This is a recipe for Bankruptcy. These people will be the result of new laws. The result of the Gov trying to Control everyone and everything in every case. More control means the loss of more freedom. This is the wrong direction.

    More control has never and will never work. Governments are always saying well give me more power & control and it will work. That is ridiculous on its face. More freedom is what made our country great. As we remove freedom we destroy our country.

    The great destruction from 911 was not the loss of the twin towers and the people. The real great destruction has been the destruction that we have caused to ourself since 911. We continue to destroy ourself in the name of 911. They are not destroying us but we are self destructing. The United States that existed before 911 is no more. It is gone replace by a scary America.

    Not only have we been systematically destroying ourself but we have elected an Arab Muslim to be our President. Are we on the road to a complete takeover of our country and culture by the muslims?

  26. Patty says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! It couldn’t have been better put!!
    Welcome aboard John!!

  27. catsden says:

    I think you miss the fact that once the FBI cleared all nine passengers, the airline refused to provide them with another flight. They said, “No,not allowed” and handed them their money back. If they are not terrorists, are American citizens, and just look different, then the airline should have put them on a different flight and let them get wherever they were going. Does this mean that if people are killed every day in my city by gangs, it is now okay for me to say I won’t ride the bus with…? Supply your own racial epithet. Get a grip!

  28. Carlyle says:

    Spot on, John. You are welcome here.

  29. suek says:

    >>I'm still not entirely sure what was said that was suspicious as the articles I read concerning the remarks was unclear and disjointed.>>

    I've never read specifics either, but I remember at the time that those who overheard whatever they overheard were people who understood the language – it wasn't just that they were speaking arabic. I remember thinking at the time also that it seemed to me to be a deliberate action on the part of the muslims in order to elicit exactly the response they got. In fact, that was a fairly common supposition on various blogs – that the actions of the muslims were intended to provide fodder for raising money from a lawsuit against the airlines, and/or to make it expensive for the airlines so that other muslims acting suspiciously wouldn't be challenged.
    Didn't a court rule that the airline acted appropriately? I don't remember…

  30. Tom C says:

    Welcome John, we applaud you for your great work, you are a Great American. Like you said, profiling is done every day and the hyprocritical media is one of the biggest profilers. How many times do you hear or read of them singling out Christians for one thing or another? Oh, that’s right, that is freedom of the press!

    I don’t know if these people were speaking English or not, but my opinion is that English should and must be the only language spoken in public, especially enclosed areas such as an airplane. But thanks to our elected officials such as our newly elected President, his Secretary of State, and numerous others, a bill to make this happen was defeated. English in America, how un-American?

    Profiling, that’s un-American too, just ask the “two” who made the Nazi comments here (which they have every right), their’s being much more American and any discenters are Nazis. Even worse, they feel they have the right to condemn you to death by putting you on a “hijacked plane.” I’ll bet even they, if on a flight in which you spoke up and maybe saved their pitiful butts, hopefully would see the light. Hummm, I remember Madeline O’Hare (sp). It’s about time the majority once again starts to rule exposing and stopping the one, or few, from ruling the majority.

    Thanks, Jeff, once again excellent choice.

  31. Lil says:

    Great article, John. While I do agree with most of it, catsden brings a very important point,why were they not allowed back in the plane once they were cleared by the FBI??

    After 9/11 airport screening became highly enforced even in my home country of Mexico. I remember being asked once to remove my belt and my high heel boots for them to be thoroughly inspected and I was only flying from Cancun to Mexico City. Yes, this made me mad, but it was something I had to do in order to be allowed on board.

    It just doesn’t make any sense that these people were not allowed back on the plane once they were cleared by the FBI.

  32. Old Codger says:

    Hey, Tom C, did you really mean this?:

    “I don’t know if these people were speaking English or not, but my opinion is that English should and must be the only language spoken in public, especially enclosed areas such as an airplane.”

    Unless you’re multilingual, that would mean that you could never travel anywhere where English is not spoken.

    No trips to Italy (unless you speak Italian), no trips to Greece (unless you speak Greek) — and worst of all for us, that would mean that no foreign travelers could visit the U.S. unless they’re English speaking.

    Well, it’s either stay home or stay silent in public. That gives new meaning to “the right to remain silent.”

  33. Lilly says:

    John & Jeff-
    Great read and perfectly said! My blind 72 yr old mother's first flight last year and she was picked for search. Huh?!?!?! Thank you for some common sense and for your hard work in helping keep us all safe!

  34. Jan says:

    John –
    Welcome aboard! Gread read! I could not have said it better myself. I thank God that we still have minds in this country with common sense. I look forward to reading more of your insights.

  35. suek says:

    >>catsden brings a very important point,why were they not allowed back in the plane once they were cleared by the FBI?? >>

    Have you considered the time period required for the FBI to clear them? Do you really think that the plane should stay on the ground with all the other passengers aboard until the process was complete???

    I suspect the reason they didn't reboard the plane was that the plane had left. And probably arrived – at its destination, wherever that was…

  36. Tom C says:

    Thanks “Old Codger” I guess I tried to combine two problems into one. Although I think they overlap. I certainly don’t have the answer to protect one without intrusion into the other.

    I just find it hard to comprehend sitting next to Atta and his cohorts discussing their plans of taking a shortcut through the World Trade Center towers on their way to Disneyland after boarding an Airplane on American soil. I guess it’s my responsibility to be knowledgeable of all languages that would be aboard.

    No, I’m not against freedom of speech, foreigner visits or world travel. Maybe, someone should invent something that we can put in our ear that will allow us to hear, no matter what language spoken, in our own toungue. Wait, that has already been done, it was called the Holy Spirit. So, I guess, short of intervention by God we then are at risk and there is nothing we can do, except vigilence. Which is always a good idea.

    I guess I was just thinking out loud earlier and hopeing someone smarter than I can merge the two with reason and success.

    My apologies to any non-English speaking that may have been offended. But, then, how would they have known to be offended?

  37. Anonymous says:

    You are a security professional and a racist. LMAO Don’t deny it, once you start profiling people, it becomes part of your psyche. Scientific studies have been done on this hypothesis before. So you’re “liberal” friends ARE correct. You are a bigot. But don’t worry, as the good people at Stormfront.org would say…”So what?” Don’t deny it and disguise it, You my friend John are a biot.

  38. Anonymous says:

    You know what the ironic thing is. I am damn well sure everyone commenting here is white americans lol. Spread the racism around everyone! Someone responded that they want America back? Do you honestly think that will happen? Never, even with a conservative at the head of the presidency there will NEVER be retrogression to the reagan years. Why? This world has changed too much, whether or not for the better or the worst, it has changed.

  39. toto says:

    Being the spouse of a TSA federal officer, there are good reasons for everything they do. As you can imagine, not even I, know all of what they do, and what I do know, I can’t repeat. Let me just say this, if the terrorist see something that we pay no attention to, just what do you think they will use to get access to the planes? If we allow one hole in our security, thats the hole they will use. This isn’t NAZISM as one suggests, its just plain ole common sense. WE need to protect ourselves any way we can, and if you can’t see that, you aren’t very american in my mind.

    Look at some numbers for a minute, there are about 1.5 billion in this world, and no they aren’t all terrorists, but, about 10-15% are. That means folks, there are about 115 million muslims who feel we should be gone, is that what you want? IMHO, we can do even more, if only we could get the whiny little radicals out of the way.

  40. Maria says:

    Great article…Well said John and thanks for your work…
    I think profiling does work. Looks like people are confusing racial discrimination with racial profiling, well is not the same thing. Racial discrimination is to treat differently a person or group of people based on their racial origins. Power is a necessary precondition, for it depends on the ability to give or withhold social benefits, facilities, services, opportunities etc., from someone who should be entitled to them, and are denied on the basis of race, color or national origin. Racial profiling is the inclusion of racial or ethnic characteristics in determining whether a person is considered likely to commit a particular type of crime or an illegal act or to behave in a predictable manner. Profiling is necessary in law enforcement…
    To the person who said that all the people here are white… I’m not white I am Hispanic…

    Thanks Jeff, this is a great blog, keep up the good work…

  41. Anonymous says:

    Not only have we been systematically destroying ourself but we have elected an Arab Muslim to be our President. Are we on the road to a complete takeover of our country and culture by the muslims?

    Can we possiby get any more of the looney right to post, an Arab Muslim? Jesus I didnt realize those on the right were so weak minded to believe this nonesense

  42. suek says:

    Would someone care to define “racism”?

    It seems to me that recognizing that one person’s skin is darker than another’s is hardly racism. Are you suggesting that in order to be _not_ racist, I have to lose the ability to discriminate between races on a visual basis?

    Isn’t that just plain _stupid_??

  43. goddessdivine says:

    Bravo!! Welcome to the site. I look forward to more straight-forward, not pulling any punches posts from you. ;-)

  44. Anonymous says:

    There’s a point being missed in all the furor and hubbub on both sides…none of these events occurred until the passengers were ON BOARD. Think about it. Most of the comments here are praising the passengers who reported the “suspicious comments,” but these nine had already undergone preliminary screening when they bought their tickets, identify confirmation when they picked up their tickets, a second confirmation at the security checkpoint AND metal detectors and carry-on X-rays to boot.

    For would-be hijackers to make it through all of that and THEN start talking about “safest seats on the plane” or “right next to the engines” would be the height of stupidity, and we’ve learned that our enemies are NOT stupid.

    So, is this vocal defense of the other passengers and AirTran’s actions really an acknowledgment that airport security is full of holes, or are we just working from a sense of group paranoia?

  45. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Two words (well, one hyphenated word):

    BOX-CUTTERS

    3,000 innocent people in NYC, PA and DC were killed seven years ago by ideology facilitated by box cutters. Remember that it doesn’t always take something complex, that security is often behind the terrorists (like the liquid ban which was enacted only AFTER a liquid explosive plot was stopped).

  46. suek says:

    >>…none of these events occurred until the passengers were ON BOARD.>>

    Actually that's not true. The events started in the loading zone seating area in the airport when the muslims began a very public and apparently very loud and noticeable prayer period, drawing attention to themselves.
    The on board problems began because 1) someone who understood arabic overheard comments that seemed to be threatening, and
    2) the muslim passengers started switching seats – not just discussing which were safer – and disregarded the instructions of the stewardess to be seated, and
    3) one or two of them requested seatbelt extenders used for very overweight people in spite of the fact that they themselves were not overweight. The extenders are effectively belts with heavy buckles and could conceivably be used as weapons.

    In other words, they behaved suspiciously.

  47. Anonymous says:

    John is a welcome addition.

    if you remember back in the early 70′s there was an organization called “The Italian American Civil Rights League” created to stop racial profiling of Italian Americans in organized crime investigations.

    the only problem was the organization was created by mob boss Joe Columbo. I remember all the wiseguys collecting donations from local businesses in Brooklyn

    what a racket.

    now CAIR and similar organizations are using the same tactics with the backing of the media and the left.

    it defies reason

    JB
    Staten Island, NY
    USMC 1977-1981

  48. Anonymous says:

    Suek, do you have a source for that information? I can’t seem to find it regarding the incident we’re discussing. There was another incident, some months ago, that fit your description – is it possible that we’re confusing the two?

  49. La Muse Poetique says:

    I disagree. I think apologies are always owed. I think it is owed ANYTHING, ANYONE is contained and questioned and nothing is found out.

    I don’t think that an apology of something equates to them doing something wrong.

    They did the right thing. But they found that their suspicions were wrong. And they should apologize for that.

  50. MaddHatter01 says:

    If anti white anonymous Marxist cries Nazi you know you are doing something right.

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