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Profiling, Pompousness, And Presidential Madness

Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2002

President Bush has told us that protecting the lives of American citizens is his number one priority. If this is true, why would he be "madder than heck" at an American Airlines captain for making a decision to protect the lives of his passengers and crew?

The story goes like this. On Christmas Day, an armed Arab-American Secret Service agent tried to board an American Airlines jet at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The plane's captain, backed by law enforcement personnel in Baltimore, suspected that the agent's credentials were not authentic. Furthermore, the agent behaved in a "very hostile" manner and made "loud, abusive comments." Therefore, the captain refused to allow the agent to board his plane.

The captain was acting in the best interests of his passengers and crew. In the face of the horrific events of September 11, he opted for caution. He should be praised. He was not. Instead, the agent and even President Bush are crying, "racial profiling." Bush is quoted as saying he would be "madder than heck" at the captain's performance if he thought racial profiling motivated it. Incredible!

First we are told that the protection of the American people is the most important priority of the federal government and the airline industry; then, when an airline captain makes a decision to protect the flying public, he incurs the wrath of - egad - the President of the United States!

It seems that Bush (and the rest of that crowd in Washington, D.C.) believes that protecting the American people takes a back seat to being a good little politically correct captain who must give preferential treatment to Arabs, or is it just Arabs who carry a federal badge? Instead of berating the brave captain, Bush should be proclaiming him a national hero!

Then, there is the matter of the agent's attitude. Does this conduct honor the Chief Executive or the American people? It seems to me that, if the agent had any character whatsoever, he would appreciate the caution of the pilot and try to set an example for the rest of law enforcement to follow. Remember, though, this is a federal agent.

Federal agents are not accustomed to hearing the word "no." They make their living bullying people. When confronted by a conscientious captain who exercised his lawful authority, the agent apparently went into a rage. (Mind you, these guys are allowed to carry guns on planes.)

Even though there is no hint of racial profiling in this incident, profiling of all sorts is a very necessary tool for effective law enforcement. Only morons would try to hamper a lawman's ability to bring criminals to justice by removing this tool from them.

That President Bush would be "madder than heck" at this conscientious and courageous captain and would give political correctness more consideration than the safety of the people on board that airplane is the height of hypocrisy, to say the least!

I was thrilled to hear that American Airlines CEO, Don Carty, said he backed his captain all the way. Hooray! I hope you will give him a call and tell him you do, too. The toll-free number at American Airlines is 800-433-7300. While you are at it, you might want to give the White House a jingle.

© Chuck Baldwin

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