Monday, March 07, 2005

Profiling isn't nice, but is that all that is important?

It’s not nice to suspect someone is up to no good just because of the way they look. We have had it jammed down our throats for years that profiling is wrong, despite logic to the contrary.

Yet a story today indicates that political correctness may have had a hand in allowing two of the 9-11 terrorists to board an airliner that morning.

A former U.S. Airways ticket agent who issued boarding passes to the terrorists who later hijacked a plane out of Boston on Sept. 11, 2001, says he felt guilty afterward.

Michael Tuohey, of Scarborough [Maine], said he was suspicious of Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari when they rushed to make their flight out of Portland International Jetport early that morning.

Atta's demeanor, his angry-looking eyes and the pair's first-class, one-way tickets to Los Angeles made Tuohey think twice.

"I said to myself, 'If this guy doesn't look like an Arab terrorist, then nothing does.' Then I gave myself a mental slap, because in this day and age, it's not nice to say things like this," Tuohey told the Maine Sunday Telegram. "You've checked in hundreds of Arabs and Hindus and Sikhs, and you've never done that. I felt kind of embarrassed."

A few hours later, Tuohey was blaming himself as he watched news reports of the attacks on the World Trade Center.


Rebecca DeVendra said...

You would think this would open up some eyes. But no. Now we strip search old ladies so the airline won't be accused of being racist.

JL Pagano said...

The moral of this story is simply that Mr Tuohey should not blame himself, and if it takes a personal phone call from the president to get that across to him, then so be it.

To suggest any change in security policy would presume terrorist organisations to be extremely lacking in intelligence. Since his face has been splashed all over the media for the past 3 and a half years, do you REALLY think Al Qaeda would have someone resembling Atta carry out a similar attack?

So we can't just look for shifty-looking Muslims? Ok, we'd better search ALL muslims! Wait a minute, what if they cross-breed with white people and recruit them, what if they start recruiting old ladies, what if, what if......

I have been searched myself in American airports. ( I did not like it. But at the end of the day, I understood it.

James Shott said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Shott said...

I believe you have exaggerated Mr. Tuoyey’s feelings. I don’t believe he is on the verge of suicide or anything so dramatic, but regrets not acting on his impulses. And why did he not act? Because of all the PC indoctrination about profiling.

And would al Qaeda still utilize Arab-looking men and women for its evil? Damn right it would. Which is not to say it isn’t also trying to recruit murderers of whatever nationality or appearance it can find who are weak enough, or hate-filled enough to be lured into believing that heaven and 72 virgins await them after they murder innocent men, women and children who are their targets simply because they aren’t Muslims. And, what if other Muslims get killed in the process? Well, they shouldn’t have been living and working among infidels.

Make no mistake, JL, Muslims who look like the stereotypical Muslim are still the most likely profile for attackers for radical Islam to use.

What is really dumb is to not just routinely search little old ladies, but to hassle them, and others who have no reason to attract the attention of security personnel except that they are in an airport.

Like you, I don’t like the hassle of the routine airport security process, but I understand it. I would be incensed, however, if I was randomly chosen for a more thorough check in an American airport or other such location just because I was the next fifth person in line, or some other totally inane method of choosing which of the innocent travelers to hassle.