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Saturday, December 12, 2009

AirTran Airways Coverup?

Could AirTran Airways be covering up a terrorists dry run on one their recent flights this past November 17th?  Thankfully, we have not had a terrorist attack on American shores since 9/11. President Bush was never given credit by the mainstream media for his efforts in preventing another terrorist attack in America after 9/11. We all thought  that the U.S. would be targeted inside America by Al Qaeda in the months and years after 9/11. Even though we have not been hit since 9/11 which is certainly a huge achievement considering the times we find ourselves in, the fact that we have not been hit since 9/11 may have a detrimental effect if we are going to become complacent and less vigilant. I personally have had conversations with friends who tell me, "we have not had another attack since 9/11, we should be focusing more on the economy instead of national security." This seems like the prevalent attitude in our society today.  While its true that we have been able to avoid another terrorist attack since 9/11, terrorism is alive and well in this country and in the surrounding world. If we become complacent as it seems we have become, the U.S. will be on a collision course for another terrorist attack G-dforbid. (Remember after the 1993 WTC attack, there was a lull of eight years before the terrorists struck us again) What people do not understand is that the war against Radical Islam, which supports and provides aid to the terrorists who struck us on 9/11, is an ongoing battle. If we at any time reach the conclusion that we can cease attending to national security and solely focus our attention on other matters, we are in for a rude awakening. (The terrorists are hoping that we will do just that).

Unfortunately, with the recent news that AirTran Airways may be covering up a terrorists dry run on one of their flights, it is clear that even the airline industry does not fully understand today's reality.   According to AirTran Airways' own account, AirtTran Airways flight # 297 on 11/17/09 which was scheduled to fly from Atlanta to Houston had to return to the gate after a passenger would not stop talking on his cell phone. However, there appears to be more to the story. One of the passengers, who was late and missed boarding this flight, claims being told from other passengers who made the flight that several Arab men were singing loudly in Arabic on the flight prior to leaving the gate. They refused to sit down when asked by flight attendants. Furthermore, these men took out their cell phones to take pictures of other passengers. And, according to this passenger, the men proceeded to pretend to shoot other passengers with their fingers.

Now, in all fairness to AirTran, I was not on board this flight and am only hearing about the incident through news reports. Maybe the incident on AirTran is nothing more than a fluke and nothing to worry about. It should also be pointed out that these men were questioned by police and released. But, something seems very awry when passengers have conflicting accounts of what occurred on the flight.  Someone is telling the truth and someone is clearly covering up what occurred. Unfortunately, AirTran has more to loose by clearly articulating  what occurred, namely that several Arab men were taking pictures of other passengers and pretended to shoot other people. After the six Imams who received a lot of money from US Airways after being kicked off a flight for allegedly engaging in suspicious conduct, the airlines are afraid to accurately assess a situation because they are afraid of insulting Muslims. Because of this fear, it appears that AirTran sugarcoated what occurred and has decided to dispute any other account as being a "conspiracy theory."  AirTran should not flippantly dismiss passenger accounts (AirTran execs were not on the flight, these passengers experienced what occurred)  which is what they did in their press statement. If the airlines are going to be bullied in remaining silent to such an extent that AirTran can not address the missing pieces to this story and can not respond to media requests for an explanation as to the varying accounts, the airline industry will  be adopting a mindset that will result in the American people becoming vulnerable as opposed to being secure.

While, under normal circumstances, it is prudent to avoid offending people, social niceties do not mix well with security especially in this day and age. The simple fact is that the airlines can not be put in a position where they will be precluded from identifying the perpetrators of disturbances on their flights because of a fear of a lawsuit or because of political correctness.   (The airlines should have no qualms about identifying whomever is causing a disturbance on their flight whether they are Muslim or from some other nationality) Otherwise, the terrorists will use our relaxed environment to their diabolical advantage.


Tamar Yonah said...

Right, the U.S. should not let it's guard down, but first, it must not be afraid to 'name' its enemy.