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Terrorists or traveling band?

Annie Jacobsen's "Terror in the Skies" has gotten a lot of attention today, helped along by Michelle Malkin.

(Apropos of nothing, Malkin's continuing attempts to refashion herself as a columnist/commentator/journalist/pundit/blogger are each more embarrassing than what came before. I hope someday she'll find her natural talent, but none of these things are it.)

I won't take a position in the debate over how much of Jacobsen's account of Flight 327 is embellished by her own fears, except to say that I think Donald Sensing is (mostly) right. She was already terrified by the sight of a large group of Middle Eastern men waiting in the terminal when she boarded her flight; all of her observations past that point (i.e. the whole damn story) is filtered through this lens of fear.

We can be sure of only one thing. There weren't any other passengers on that flight who avidly read conservative blogs. If there had been, they probably would have posted a comment or two on these blogs corroborating Jacobsen's story. As of now--nada.

(Conservative blogs, for example, here, here, here, and here.)


Michelle Malkin started as a journalist/columnist/pundit. I would hardly call her move into the blogosphere a refashioning. As for Jacobsen's article, her hypervigilance when confronted with a group of secretive and seemingly hostile Middle Eastern men is completely understandable. Only someone in the terminal stages of "sensitivity training" would assume the threat posed by Middle Eastern men and Irish nuns is equal.

No one said the threat was equal. The problem is how to avoid the extremes of too much p.c. on one side, and too much irrational fear of Middle Eastern people on the other.

The question isn't whether Jacobsen should have been afraid; the question is, why was she afraid. I wasn't there; I don't know whether any of the events she relates would have scared me. Those guys could have been terrorists-in-training, or they could have been musicians. If they were musicians, then no harm done; we know why only one passenger (Jacobsen) seems to have come forward with this story.

If they were terrorists, their appearance and ethnicity is only one of many reasons why Jacobsen suspected them.

What do you think about elections?

http://www.artofresistance.org/bush_mosaic/ - fine thing :)