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This is a test. This is only a test...

With yesterday's scare at the port of Miami, I find myself having a strange sense of deja vu: we've been through this -- or something very similar to this -- recently.

Let's recap: a tractor trailer attempted to enter the port. Its paperwork was in order, but the driver acted suspiciously. He denied knowing the contents of the truck, and said he was alone in the truck when there were two others in the cab with him.

After considerable investigation and time and effort, the three men are still being held, but actual charges are not likely to be filed. Officials say that it is entirely possible that the misunderstanding was a consequence of a failure of communication -- the driver apparently doesn't speak English very well, and the guards didn't speak Arabic.

The guards did the right thing. Here they had a Middle Eastern male, between the ages of 18 and 39, attempting to enter a highly sensitive area with a truck and not being able to give accurate answers to basic questions. The best thing would be to simply declare it a "great training opportunity" and give the guards pats on the heads, as well as the driver and passengers a good scolding -- as well as the driver's boss, for sending him to the Port so woefully unprepared.

But I am reminded of the infamous Flying Imams Incident.

To recap: six Imams -- Muslim religious leaders -- boarded an airplane and promptly set about fulfilling nearly every single item that makes up the "potential terrorist" checklist. They were removed from the plane after passengers notified the air crews, and now are working fervently towards becoming the latest poster children for "America's vile Islamophobic culture."

In both cases, we had Muslims acting in a way very reminiscent of terrorists, but in the end turning out to be innocent.

I don't think that there is a conspiracy behind the two incidents (although I have my suspicions about the Imams being a deliberate act), but both of them show that -- by accident or design -- our domestic anti-terrorism are being tested.

The odd thing about these tests, though, is we never know whether or not we passed. I think we passed the one in Miami. The Flying Imams one is still up in the air -- it might end up damaging the whole notion of "profiling" potential terrorist behavior.

And there's no way of knowing how many other tests we've been subjected to and failed.

But never -- never -- doubt that the guards at the Port of Miami and the passengers and crew of US Airways Flight 300 did the absolutely right thing.


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Comments (16)

In both cases, we had Mu... (Below threshold)

In both cases, we had Muslims acting in a way very reminiscent of terrorists, but in the end turning out to be innocent.

I wouldn't call the 6 lying imams innocent. They deliberately terrorized the other passengers and flight crew on that plane in an attempt to get themselves thrown off the plane, so they could cry racism and islamophobia.

Prepare yourself Jay. The ... (Below threshold)

Prepare yourself Jay. The Moonbat Brigade will arrirve in force very shortly telling you how stupid you are to even "think" those poor innocent "immigrants" were up to mischief and actually were only job-hunting.

You'll be able to recognize the "bats" by their smell; soap is a foreign substance to most of them.

It is good thing we don't p... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

It is good thing we don't profile money or ownership in the USA since the Port Miami Terminal Operating Co. which manages operations there is half-owned by a DP World subsidiary out of Dubai.

Sigh, now that poor bastard... (Below threshold)
Jim in Texas:

Sigh, now that poor bastard's gonna have to have sensitivity training on his day off......

A guy I work with works wit... (Below threshold)

A guy I work with works with the FBI. Ran into him this morning, and he mentioned his opinion is that tests like these are conducted regularly, as terrorists are poking and prodding to check for openings.

Basically no harm no foul if we are wrong about this, but, what if we are right, and this was a test for some future action?

Will the moonbats here celebrate like they did when they found out it 'might' not be what everyone thought initially??

What don't we know? You mi... (Below threshold)

What don't we know? You might want to check out Brent Bozell's 12/6 column. For simplicity, you can click on my name here and get sent to his column at townhall.com. First: I'm not saying anything about Mr. Bozell's reliability, writing ability...etc. etc. However, he does relate a rather interesting flying experience of his own that I'm sure most, if any, of us never heard about:

On Oct. 14, I was in Grand Rapids, having boarded United 5832 to Chicago. It was one of those smaller commuter jets with two seats on either side of the aisle. The flight was perhaps one-third full, giving sardined passengers the opportunity to move to the multiple open rows after the boarding process was complete. That's when I noticed the two men, one a younger Muslim, the second an older black man, make their way from the back to the two seats behind the bulkhead on the right side of the plane, one row in front and across from me.

Odd. If they wanted more breathing room, why were they choosing to sit together again in crammed quarters, given all the open rows? Why did they move at all? And if they remained together because they needed to visit, why didn't they exchange a single word? I watched them as they just sat, staring straight ahead. And the plane also just sat by the gate, for a good 15 minutes.

And then the hatch flew open and a half-dozen DHS/FBI agents rushed in, surrounded these two men and, flashing badges, ordered them off the plane.

Now stop for a minute. Imagine you were one of these two, and you were innocent. What would be your reaction if suddenly confronted by a small army of heat-packing federal agents demanding your removal? You might literally jump out of your seat in surprise. What? Me? Huh?! Why? What's going on?! What'd I do? What's the meaning of this? And the like. And that's when it really got creepy.

I watched as the two men stood up and, without a word, without a shred of emotion on their faces, calmly accompanied the agents off the plane. How else to explain this? They were expecting their detention.

His point, basically, is: how often are things like this happening and does it mean we're doing a good job or just being probed heavily. Like he says, it's not the event that was so disturbing, it was the reaction of the two to their removal from the plane.

Uhhh...please pretend all b... (Below threshold)

Uhhh...please pretend all but the first and last paragraphs are italicized since they are quotes from Mr. Bozell's column.

One tiny little nit to pick... (Below threshold)

One tiny little nit to pick with you Jay.

I don't think we know for certain that the three Miami guys are Muslim. Males of mid-eastern descent, in the typical terrorist age group, yes. But they could be Christians, or atheists or even Jews for all we know.

But I agree with your points, and I think the guards did the right thing.

And ditto for Falze. How did Bozell know one guy was Muslim, and the other was "just" black? "Muslim" is not a race....

Good point. I think they'r... (Below threshold)

Good point. I think they're playing the averages, but a distinction should still be adhered to.

Testing-1 2 3 4 te... (Below threshold)
Black Elk:

Testing-1 2 3 4 testing!!!

Has anyone wondered how the... (Below threshold)

Has anyone wondered how the truck driver passed
his commercial driving test as he does not speak
good english? Can he read english?
I think it should be investigated as to how
he got his license and through who.
BTW, in getting a commercial license there is
a walk around on the rig he's assigned to

A 1) group of young Middle ... (Below threshold)

A 1) group of young Middle East men with 2) a large truck and 3) stow-aways and 4) near a port, are enough for me to make inquiries.

If you don't see the need for same, you're delusional.

Yes, it may well have been... (Below threshold)

Yes, it may well have been a test. Abosultey, investigate. What's hilarious is the way Kim found a way to piss on the Democrats before the facts were out.

Just great. Now we have those who work at the port sneaking illegal Middle Eastern men into the country through the ports. Are the Democrats prepared to handle with with heavy fist? I seriously doubt it.

Are the Democrats ready to handle the terrorized right-wing blogosphere playing whack-a-mole with the panic button?

No. We've seen the results of panicked, disturbed Republicans jumping to conclusions and spreading false information to suit their political agenda for many years now.

Of course, Democrats do know that the Republican M.O. is to repeat the same lie over and over again, hoping it will stick -- and like the proverbial broken clock, if these Republican victims of the war on terror keeping hitting the panic button every time a cloud obscures the sun sooner or later they will be right.

I just wish you guys would act like adults sometimes.

Lee do you ever stay on f-i... (Below threshold)

Lee do you ever stay on f-in topic?

Almost everything you write is designed to veer the thread into some course that you see fit with complete disregard for the discussion at hand. And you chastize others for not acting like an adult. What a mindless, hypocritical twit you are.

It sure does seem like in both cases the proper thing was done with the individuals in question. If they are going to act like they did, whether on purpose or by lack of communication skills, then by all means remove and question them.

J.R. Glad we agree that it ... (Below threshold)

J.R. Glad we agree that it was properly investigated - no argument there. Glad also that you agree that injecting a discussion about politics and Democrats into this story was a childish act on Kim's part.

I mean, you're not being hypocritical and suggesting it's ok for conservatives to do so but liberals shouldn't, now are you?

You don't have to answer that question and take this comment thread further off topic, by the way -- the answer is obvious - but I'm glad you gave me an opportunity to explain. Have a great day.

I just wish you guys wo... (Below threshold)

I just wish you guys would act like adults sometimes.
:: by Lee on January 8, 2007 1:15 PM ::

Lee I'm not sure what your definition of Adults is. Do you mean like this example?






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