View Full Version : The Cost Of Blind Political Correctness

04-29-2004, 03:01 PM
Arab Hijackers Now Eligible For Pre-Boarding
April 28, 2004 (Ann Coulter)

In June 2001, as Mohamed Atta completed his final "to do" list before the 9-11 attacks ("... amend will to ban women from my funeral ... leave extra little Friskies out for Mr. Buttons ... set TiVo for Streisand on 'Inside the Actors' Studio' ..."), Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta was conducting a major study on whether airport security was improperly screening passengers based on ethnicity. As Mineta explained: "We must protect the civil rights of airline passengers." Protecting airline passengers from sudden death has never made it onto Mineta's radar screen.

A few months later, after 19 Muslim men hijacked U.S. airplanes and turned them into weapons of mass destruction on American soil, Mineta was a whirlwind of activity. On Sept. 21, as the remains of thousands of Americans lay smoldering at Ground Zero, Mineta fired off a letter to all U.S. airlines forbidding them from implementing the one security measure that would have prevented 9-11: subjecting Middle Eastern passengers to an added degree of pre-flight scrutiny. He sternly reminded the airlines that it was illegal to discriminate against passengers based on their race, color, national or ethnic origin, or religion.

Mineta would have sent the letter even sooner, but he wanted to give the airlines enough time to count the number of their employees and customers who had just been murdered by Arab passengers.

On Sept. 27, 2001, The ACLU sent out a press release titled, "ACLU Applauds Sensible Scope of Bush Airport Security Plan," which narrowly won out over the headline: "Fox Approves Henhouse Security Plan." As a rule of thumb, any security plan approved by the ACLU puts American lives at risk. ACLU Associate Director Barry Steinhardt praised Bush's Transportation Department for showing "an admirable degree of restraint by not suggesting airport security procedures that would deny civil liberties as a condition of air travel." The ACLU had zeroed in on the true meaning of 9-11: Americans needed to be more tolerant of and sensitive toward ethnic minorities.

Flush with praise from the ACLU, Mineta set to work suing airlines for removing passengers perceived to be of Arab, Middle Eastern or Southeast Asian descent, and/or Muslim. If we're going to start shifting money around based on who's rude to whom, my guess is Muslims are going to end up in the red. But that's not how Mineta's Department of Transportation sees it.

Despite Mineta's clearly worded letter immediately after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and another follow-up letter in October, the Department of Transportation found that in the weeks after the 9-11 terrorist attacks carried out by Middle Eastern men, the airlines were targeting passengers who appeared to be Middle Eastern. To his horror, Mineta discovered that the airlines were using logic and deductive reasoning to safeguard their passengers in direct violation of his just-issued guidelines on racial profiling!

The Department of Transportation filed a complaint against United Airlines, claiming United removed passengers from flights in "a few instances" based on their race, color, national origin, religion or ancestry. Mineta gave United no credit for so scrupulously ignoring ethnicity on Sept. 11 that it lost four pilots, 12 flight attendants, and 84 passengers (not including the nine Arab hijackers). In November 2003, United settled the case for $1.5 million.

In another crucial anti-terrorism investigation undertaken by Norman Mineta, the Department of Transportation claimed that between Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2001, American Airlines which lost four pilots, 13 flight attendants and 129 passengers (not including 10 Arab hijackers) on Sept. 11 by ignoring the ethnicity of its passengers removed 10 individuals who appeared to be Middle Eastern from American Airline flights as alleged security risks. On March 1, 2004, American Airlines settled the case for $1.5 million.

The Department of Transportation also charged Continental Airlines with discriminating against passengers who appeared to be Arab, Middle Eastern or Muslim after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In April 2004, Continental Airlines settled the complaint for $500,000.

Like many of you, I carefully reviewed the lawsuits against the airlines in order to determine which airlines had engaged in the most egregious discrimination, so I could fly only that airline. But oddly, rather than bragging about the charges, the airlines heatedly denied discriminating against Middle Eastern passengers. What a wasted marketing opportunity! Imagine the great slogans the airlines could use:

"Now Frisking All Arabs Twice!"

"More Civil-Rights Lawsuits Brought by Arabs Than Any Other Airline!"

"The Friendly Skies Unless You're an Arab"

"You Are Now Free to Move About the Cabin Not So Fast, Mohammed!"

Worst of all, the Department of Transportation ordered the settlement money to be spent on civil-rights programs to train airline staff to stop looking for terrorists, a practice known as digging your own grave and paying for the shovel. Airlines that have been the most vigilant against terrorism are forced by the government into re-education seminars to learn to suppress common sense. Airlines are being forced, at their own expense, to make commercial air travel more dangerous.

If John Kerry would promise to fire Norman Mineta and start racial profiling at the airports, I would campaign for him. Unfortunately, like George Bush, Kerry doesn't travel commercial air with the little people.

Alan D. Hyde
04-29-2004, 03:44 PM
Mineta is a disgrace, and his appointment and continuation in office is one of G.W. Bush's most egregious errors.

I wonder if Walter Williams would accept an appointment to that position?

IF he can manage and delegate, what a refreshing change he might make.


04-29-2004, 03:52 PM
truly disgraceful, we should profile passengers but provide special passage for members of the royal familiy or people with the last name, Bin Laden. Yes?
Maybe pulling over folks who match similar racial types as TimothyMcVeigh and Ted Kuszinski would be a good idea.

04-29-2004, 03:58 PM
profiling is the basis and ONLY basis for most police work ...

Why is it so wrong?

Pretty soon, the guy with the sock hat, trenchcoat and mask in a bank in July will be able to sue for profiling ...

I am ALL for profiling, when handled correctly ... in ALL situations.

It's the basis for our economy, our social lives and our law enforcement ...

Alan D. Hyde
04-29-2004, 04:09 PM
"Discriminating yachtsmen prefer Chris-Craft."

"Discriminating motorists choose Cadillac."

Discrimination is a primary basis for rational judgment. Some forms of discrimination are unlawful: discriminating in hiring or housing because of race or sex, for example. But attempting to evaluate suspects more carefully when they look like the perpetrators to date is neither irrational or unlawful. And telling Congressional Medal of Honor winner Joe Foss that "at the airport, we have to treat you just like everyone else," is profoundly stupid.


Ian McColgin
04-29-2004, 05:48 PM
You know, I don't have all the numbers in my head, but it seems to me that even in the days of hijacking to Cuba, the terrorist who did it were not mostly Cuban though perhaps mostly Hispanic. And the days of the Red Brigade and such taking airliners to the desert - any number of euroterroristtrash, a few Japanese. That ship named after the greek hero - Achilles' Heel or whatever - was taken by some sort of middle east bunch as I recall. So were other airliners.

Point is - If we're just looking out for swarthy folk with strong noses, we're kinda missing the point.

Racial profiling is the sole reason that the Yarmouth MA police busted by ever so respectable middle aged three piece suited friend and his wife for DWB.

Racial profiling is not even junk science.

04-29-2004, 06:15 PM
Ah, Ian, you prove the point. Years of conditioning to political correctness have blinded you to a common sense perspective.

Prior to 9-11 we had a level of airport security that served us well in that it stopped random hijackers/nut cases. Now we are focused on a specific enemy, easily identified as a racial/cultural subset. And yet we seem to go out of our way to avoid offending/inconveniencing a few to potentially save many. No one is saying we have to give all Arabs/Muslims a full cavity search- but it would be OK to let the pendulum swing back to a more common sense position.

[ 04-29-2004, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: Conrad ]

04-29-2004, 06:50 PM
I'll beg to differ, Ian ...

I used to own investment property in what some would call bad neighborhoods ...

In my town, for a white person, that means few whites, few nice cars, VERY few young white males doing anything in that area other than buying women or drugs ...

In a span of two years, I was pulled over and questioned no less than three times by black officers ...

See, I fit the profile of the typical suburbanite down there buying crack.

I NEVER had a problem with it ... I encourage it.

With one exception, they were very cordial, once they knew who I was and what I was doing ...

Of course, there are bad cops just like there are bad people in any walk of life ... some do abuse it.

I make no excuses for racism, or bad cops. I do not mind, and endorse profilng what is typical ... and what is questionable.

The same profiling will also get a good ol' white man in an old 4x4 Chevy harassed from time-to-time in my 'hood!

04-29-2004, 10:09 PM
Airport security failures justify snoop system (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/26/airport_security_failures/)

n testimony before the House Aviation Subcommittee, Inspector General for Homeland Security Clark Ervin and GAO Managing Director Norman Rabkin said that the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) well-paid screening personnel are no more effective than the inexpensive rent-a-cops provided by private contractors. A comparison between federal screeners and those participating in a pilot program for private contractors called the PP5 Program.

According to Ervin, federal and private screeners "performed about the same, which is to say, equally poorly." He added that "this result was not unexpected, considering the degree of TSA involvement in hiring, deploying, and training the [private sector] screeners."

It's believed that TSA's interference in the PP5 Program and its bureaucratic inertia are important reasons why the private-sector screeners failed to outdo their civil-service counterparts. Both reports are biased against the TSA. They assume that TSA is a lost cause, although, ironically, it had originally been touted as a much-needed fix for the incompetence of private contractors, upon whom blame for the 9/11 atrocity was conveniently fixed in the immediate aftermath.

It now appears that TSA is seen as the chief source of security incompetence and failure. "TSA's tight controls over the pilot program restricted flexibility and innovation that the contractors may have implemented to perform at levels exceeding that of the federal workforce. TSA needs to establish a more robust pilot program that allows greater flexibility to test new innovations and approaches," Ervin said.
Defective detectives

Indeed, passenger screening is no better than it was 17 years ago. Covert testing conducted in 1978 - back when screeners were reasonably polite and quick and unobtrusive about their business - found that 13 per cent of threat objects passed undetected. Today, in the wake of post-9/11 security hysteria, and its attendant aggressive bullying of the public and punishment-strip searching of anyone daring to pass a sarcastic comment, the figure is 20 per cent. BTW, why pick on Minetta - or can't you tell the difference between the FAA and the DOHS that operates the TSA? Probably some spew from the immortal Rush the Pill.

Dennis Marshall
04-30-2004, 06:25 AM
One of the problems with profiling in this particular case is that it promotes the false impression that Muslims are primarily of Middle Eastern/Semitic extraction. This, of course, is not the case. How long do you think it will be before caucasian or oriental Muslims, for example, take up the sword of terror? What then?

Jack Heinlen
04-30-2004, 07:17 AM

Then you change your tactics. In the meantime, to spend resources on caucasian grannies from Ohio and WWII medal of honor recipients, and not look more closely at Arabs, seems the height of foolishness.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-30-2004, 08:20 AM
We've seen a lot more Catholic bombs than Moslem bombs - should we start to harass nuns at airports?

04-30-2004, 08:26 AM
I see your intent, ACB, but it makes no sense. Although, it is quick-witted.

If nuns begin to facilitate, make, distribute or detonate bombs ... most certainly, they will be treated differently at airports ...

Unfortunately for the nuts with which you folks must deal, they're not even sure why they do what they do. In the name of God!!! :rolleyes:

High C
04-30-2004, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by brad9798:
If nuns begin to facilitate, make, distribute or detonate bombs ... most certainly, they will be treated differently at airports ...
You're right. They'd be treated better than they are now. We're now foolishly bending over backwards not to "offend" people who fit the physical profile of Islamic terrorists. It's insane. This brand of political correctness is as dangerous as terrorism itself.

Dan McCosh
04-30-2004, 08:59 AM
I do recall, shortly after 911, when I was waiting to board and a sweaty, mideastern man showed up late and looked awfully suspicious to me. He was the pilot.

04-30-2004, 09:05 AM
But, Dan, you were then aware enough to notice your surroundings ...

Garrett Lowell
04-30-2004, 09:12 AM
Anybody who's ever been on a date is guilty of profiling. :D

stan v
04-30-2004, 11:14 AM
Garrett :D