He was shouting "The government is barmy!"
He was fined $50 for a breach of the peace, and sentenced to 20 years for revealing a state secret.
The FBI yesterday detained an unnamed passenger who provoked a two-hour closure of a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport by making a "suspicious comment". Details are sketchy, but the unnamed man was on Southwest Airlines flight 1182 from El Paso, Texas, when he apparently joked to another passenger that he had …
I guess Bin laden/AL Qaida has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams by getting under the American's skin, helped in no small measure by the media Propoganda & frenzy whipped up by the Bush Admin.
Such paranoid knee jerk reactions are proof enough of that!
Its more like a war on peoples psche now. All your thoughts are belong (& to be controlled by) to us, even if inappropriate!
I got held at George Bush Intercontinental (Houston) for 45 minutes at gunpoint, to have every item in my laptop bag chemical tested for explosive.
Then to have the counter assistant say... it was a false positive.... A FALSE POSITIVE.... I was shitting myself surrounded by guys with machine guns pointed at me without explaination...
Obviously my laptop and a copy of Jackass the movie were going to cause a terrorist incident.. either that or me wearing a green day t-shirt upset them...
Mine's the coat with the wires hanging out the back.
Anyone who remembers the IRA's bombing campaigns in the UK will know that the governmental response at the time, whilst often hugely overblown in its treatment of Irish people, was essentially to ensure "business as usual" for as many people as possible.
Since 9/11 the US, and by extension the UK because we now apparently take the lead from them in this area, have operated quite the opposite policy, and it is a disaster. They and we now jump at the slightest squeak, talk up every threat, and promote the idea that if one terrorist attack is prevented then this policy is justified.
No, it isn't.
We need to say to anyone who wants to change us via terrorism that while we will do our best to stop them, we will not change our lives to achieve that. We need to say that you can continue to blow us up, but you will not change our minds. We need to tell them that they will not make us run scared by threat alone. To make a difference they will have to penetrate our defences every time. A threat, or a failed attempt, should have no impact on our lives.
It seems cliched and obvious to say it, but terrorists win when we react to them, in any way. Yes we should continue to act to prevent acts of terror when we discover them; but we must get far better and facing down the threat, telling and showing them that we are not scared of them, and that we will not capitulate.
Otherwise we have already lost.
Watch for the post idiocy witchhunt, where, having blow some guys comments out of proportion, they will then attempt to punish him hard for their own idiocy to justify the situation.
Particularly watch for the mention of 911, that's a dead giveaway that they know they were overreacting.
Same as the Boston bomb scare when they blew up "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" LED signs then tried to prosecute the ad agency for making this 'terrorist hoax' that existed only in the mind of the Tom Menino mayor of Boston.
Too true, just reminds me of the student woman who was busted for walking thru an airport with circuit boards stuck to her in various places. Some kind of art stunt. You see circuit boards = Bomb triggers.
And to a lesser extent the whole Boston Mooninite fiasco a year ago - Some comedy channel publicity stunt involving an LED illuminated cartoon character billboard thing, hung in various places throughout Boston - put the whole city into DEFCON ONE! TERROR ALERT TERROR ALERT TERROR ALERT.
You see LED illuminated cartoon characters = Bomb.
The TV and print press, and various government departments all contributed towards it.
Jokes and (especially US) security people don't mix.
Few years ago on BBC "airport" series there was as wise-guy with a violin case who when asked by security what was inside thought he'd be funny and said "I come from Chicago and we keep guns in these" ... and was the shocked to find police were called, he was arrested, cautioned and informed that the airline (one of the big US ones) had placed a lifetime ban on him. And this was well before 9/11 etc.
Similarly I heard someone describing how before flight from US to UK they'd been pulled over for random security screen. After placing all bags, items etc on counter for search she noticed mobile phone was still on so she picked it up saying "I better turn this off before I get on the plane as we don't want it to crash" (meaning she was following rules on no mobiles on in flights) ... however US security interpreted this as a direct threat to the flight (and told other family members travelling with her this) and immediately pulled her off the flight. Fortunately she was travelling with BA so after several hours of grilling by security pilot from next BA flight interviewed her and rapidly concluded there was no problem and was happy to allow her on the plane but added that due to what US security had sad there was still a questionmark as to whether Heathrow would allow a plane carrying her to land ... in the end it was all ok.
Maybe security do need to take everything seriously but there's a point where some common sense should come into the equation!
A. Yeah baby, I got something explosive in my pants for you.
Of course, your average terrorist who has spent the best part of a year planning his own fiery death is prone to making stupid mistakes just like this. You'd think that stopping someone who behaves suspiciously would be a waste of limited resources, surely the terrorists are trying extremely hard NOT to draw attention.
BTW, I use Linux, I roleplay and I listen to 'Heavy Metal' so I am pretty much never getting into the USA (unless I cross the border from Canada).
Here in Spain everytime there is some injustice associated to ETA, or the anniversary of the Madrid train bombings, invariably there are marches the following weekend with people waving white sheets about and ranting on about peace in virtually every major city. If a death was involved then the marches might be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also a time will be given for a miuntes silence when everybody except me will pile out into the streets in observation. I sit there alone in the office thinking what better way to show the terrorists that people are taking notice of them, what better way to encourage them to do worse next time and get a bigger reaction. I explain this to my colleagues and though they can see the logic behind this they still go out.
I was a student in London during a very active time of the IRA and the most reactionary thing I can remember is the police taking away the rubbish bins from the streets. How things have changed...
He himself said nothing, it was his dvd with classic Dr Whos and the Daleks were intoning w-e s-h-a-l-l e-x-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-e y-o-u . Obviously resonated with the security peeps.
Anyway, the only way to survive a trip to the land of the brave and home of the free is to switch everything off and go zombie during the journey. Name rank and number is all. No jokes, no smiles, no thinking, no silent insubordination, no emotion. Zombie role: big polished shoes, white socks, an ulcer, and BO.
Once you're thru the gate, though, way-hay!!
(Paris, showing us how to think during the trip...)
Granted, the armed police and roadblocks were there (much like they're nowadays swarming through airports) but the difference is they werent at the stage of evacuating london and carting you off to a "detention facility" for trying to pass one of the road blocks with a brake light out.
Nowadays, that'd be a clear indication that obviously your brake light isnt working because you re-wired the electrics for it to the hundred pounds of semtex you clearly have strapped to the underside of the car.
That you're still allowed to take such a potectially explosive liquid as water onto a plane. Lets face it, if an aeroplane toilet is the equivalent of the sort of chemical lab required to make a liquid explosive, then seperating water into its, highly explosive, components using one shouldn't be too hard.
I was a policeman during some of this time and a student in London later and, even later, working in the centre of London. Apart from very special cases, I know for a fact fact that in most of life the IRA, despite their successful acts, were widely ignored in that day to day life went on as normal, despite some annoying delays at major stations as I tried to get home. There were even three IRA bomb explosion in the road where I lived as a student.
I, even as a policeman myself, do not recall seeing armed police evident on streets, stations or airports. Apart from the removal of litter bins and some worry about tartan holdalls (at one time a favoured way of carrying explosives), I recall no fear and no avoidance of Irish people (indeed, some good police colleagues and fellow students were Irish and very much liked as such). I knew people who had been caught up in Birmingham and the Harrods bomb, still no fear and loathing, at least in my circles.
Of course, a big difference was that the USA was supporting the IRA with money and arms, so that was all right then. Wonder why it took the USA so long to discover "terrorism". Perhaps that is the difference.
Even English speakers are adopting Americanisms as fast as possible; that affects the way we think. Is that part of the problem? Funny, mainland Europe seems to have less fear, even though far from immune.
Anonymous for working reasons.
I recently flew from Manchester to Amsterdam via Gatwick. I had the full security check at Manchester and then, even though I went through flight "transfers" at Gatwick I had to go through the security rigmarole again not once but twice, a seperate x-ray of my shoes after having gone through the x-ray / metal detectors the first time.
Contrast this with my Experience at Amsterdam. I walked into the airport, walked straight to the gate for my flight where I went through a normal x-ray / metal detector. No long queues for everyone in the airport to get through just a simple x-ray machine and a metal detector dedicated to that gate.
I know I didn't feel any less safe at Amsterdam but I did feel a little more relaxed!
"Funny, mainland Europe seems to have less fear, even though far from immune."
I think you're mistaking something else for actual fear amongst the populace.
I was much more concerned that the IRA might detonate a device in my vicinity than I am that some deluded God-botherer will. The IRA were far more active.
What you're seeing and identifying as "fear" is the Government's attempts to inculcate Fear as our base mental state. It's working to some extent, but as far as I can tell amongst my friends, colleagues and other associates, it's generating more resentment than fear.
Everyone knows that the 100ml restriction on liquids in the passenger cabin of aircraft is utter codswallop and resents having to remove their shoes.
Everyone knows that all the government control measures have nothing to do directly with defeating Terrorism and everything to do with trying to make themselves look good so we'll vote for them next time. This becomes a self-sustaining vicious circle as they have to keep adding to their excesses to maintain the illusion that they a) know what they're doing and b) are acting only in our best interests.
Another thing that feeds the paranoia-generators is the fear of having not been seen to have done "everything possible" to prevent atrocities. Our *leaders* are *terrified* of the terrorists. Look at Spain. The Spanish Government got blamed for the Madrid train bombings and was, to all intents and purposes, overthrown by it. Or that's the way it looks to the terrorists and to the gutless wonders we've got in charge of us.
HMG fears an atrocity, not for the deaths that would occur, but for the public relations backlash.
I thought it worth mentioning that the only time there was any headway made in finding a solution was when they all started thinking pragmatically and sitting down to resolve the underlining issues, which there was even the DUP stopped saying 'Never/No'.
Terrorism just doesn't pop out of thin air after all. The internments, thousands of soldiers and hardline RUC done nothing to curb the problems diplomacy and reconcilary action did.
'Land of the free and the home of the brave'?
Now, land of the free and home of the weenies, or more accurately, land of the self-suppressed and home of the we-jump-when-a-canary-says-boo.
I live in London and was here during the busy IRA time in the 80s. There was a real bomb in the tube station just below my building. We were told to stay away from the plate glass windows, and that was that.
The former stoic courage and plegmatic calm of the British was always admirable. I'm sorry that we now see a rise in the flap-doodle, let's-make-everything-a-drama mentality, presumably shipped over from the States.
Coming back from the US once, I was singled out for a brief pat-down, then I was asked what I had in my pocket. I replied "gum" and took out a mangled packet of chuddy to show him. At the time, being a worn out unit of airline cattle, I wondered why he gave me a funny look. On a later connecting flight when I had chance to think about it, I shat myself.
All the fear mongering probably does you a favour when it comes to tourism. I wonder how many would-be-tourists are scared away because of all the bother ?
Come to London, be harassed by police and be fearful of being blown up!
Goes doubly for yankland.
I'm off down the pub to experiment with mixing Ethanol and Dihydrogen Monoxide.
2000: Travelling back to Blighty from New York with three mates. I'd already made several suggestive comments on the way to the airport about how I'd like to get very intimate with some good looking American girls. Especially ones in uniform and how there would be a massive explosion of love... You know the sort of stuff. Think David Coverdale and Whitesnake lyrics and you're on the right track.
Get to the airport, check in bags, answer all the questions properly and politely. Get through security and on the way to the gate when a small uniformed Hobbit like creature approached me and asked if she (I think) could please check my backpack. She proceeds to open a sachet and wipes it over the bag.
My three mates are stood off some distance. I try to make conversation with the creature and ask what she (I think) is checking for. Deadpan comes the response:
"I'm looking for traces of explosives, sir"
That's it, my mates are on the floor wetting themselves. They're taking bets on whether I've got the gall/cojones/stupidity repeat my comment from earlier. I saw a small diamond shaped scar where the operation to remove the sense of humour had been carried out on the uniformed creature facing me.
A night in a New York prison did not appeal to me, so I said "Oh." and kept my peace.
One mate had to change his underwear he had been laughing so hard.
If I can turn down a chance to make a lewd, suggestive joke because there's at least one night in prison facing me if I do then surely even the meanest intellect can figure out you don't make jokes about bombs at or around airports.
Even at my local hick airport (East Midlands) there are plenty of signs up that say things like "do not joke about dangerous / illegal substances in your luggage as these will be taken seriously"
Now, what fuckwit, in any day and age let alone today's absolute age of paranoia jokes about having explosives in his luggage at an airport and expects the authorities to not do the following:
(1) point guns at him
(2) shout a lot
(3) examine every little item he has in his possession
(4) examine every orifice where anything can be hidden
(5) pull him from the flight
(6) prosecute him
(7) deport / travel ban him
(9) place him on the "no flight" list
Should have just assumed it was a bomb jacket and shot him. SO19 would have shown you how to do it.
"Maybe security do need to take everything seriously but there's a point where some common sense should come into the equation!"
If they had common sense, they'd be holding down a real, productive job instead of making strangers take of their shoes.
The US Administration has profited greatly from inculcating the gullible with the "War on Terror" and the UK government has seen that and enviously tried to outdo Bush & Co.
Only the stupid and the deliberately ignorant can fail to see that the "War on Terror" is in fact a war on the free citizens of both nations, and a bald-faced attempt to abrogate the freedoms guaranteed by the blood of the generations that have gone before, as far back as the Magna Carta.
There's nothing remotely funny about the modern Schutzstaffel.
"I have just read an explosive story that will blow the entire corrupt Bush regime apart" at which point some looney inbred George Bush fanatic to stupid to get any jobs better than airport security guard decided the guy was clearly a threat not only to the US but the entire universe, After all, isn't the US the centre of everything?
Seriously though, the guy is a complete lackwit. Anyone that does that deserves to have a full cavity search done by someone with hands the size a xmas ham. But did they need to close the entire airport for 2 hours?
with the court's permission, i'll copy and paste an excerpt from an article i posted on my blog a while back, featuring one of my own brief encounters with intellectually challenged airport security:
mid 1990s - manchester airport
i am waiting to pass through airport security, on my way to malaga airport in spain, for a college trip to córdoba. when it’s my turn to go through the metal detector, i take off my leather jacket and my bullet belt and hand them to the customs official to check by hand, as i know they’ll set the detector off.
“what’s this?” she asks, holding up the belt [for lo’ t’was a she this time, proving - if nothing else that fuckwitted stupiditiy is not an entirely male preserve].
“it’s a belt” i say
“you can’t take ammunition on an aeroplane!” she almost squeaks in her astonishment
[at this point i should point - out for those unfamiliar with what a bullet belt is, and who may be tempted to side with the customs officer and chide me for a fool and a knave - that a bullet belt is a belt made by clipping together spent cartridge cases, which the MOD sells on to army surplus shops and the like. they are widely available in such shops [at a considerable markup] and - polished up or chrome plated - from from various punk and alternative clothing ’boutiques’. they are “ammunition” in the same way that an empty beer can is an “alcoholic drink”
anyway, back to the fun:
i lift up the belt and show the customs woman that the belt is made from spent cartrdges
“it’s not ammunition” i say patiently “they’re spent cartridges”
“yes, well they could be made back into ammunition!” she states firmly
“on a fucking aeroplane!” this time i’m the one whose voice has gone up an octave in disbelief - my mind filled with the vision of myself sat in my aeroplane seat with a pestle and mortar filled with sulphur and saltpetre on one side of the fold-down table in front of me and a crucible full of molten lead on the other - trying to convert my bullet belt back into some kind of lethal weapon. god knows what i was supposed to be going to fire the fuckers out of tho’. presumably she thought i looked capable of whipping up an automatic rifle from a couple of plastic forks and a complementary hot towel, too!
“don’t you think someone might notice?” i continue, incredulously
“you can’t take ammunition on board the aeroplane” repeats the customs woman blankly. falling back, at this point on another of the unwritten rules of the job; “no matter how idiotic and illogical your knee-jerk reaction to a given situation is, you must never, under any circumstances, deviate from that position, no matter what. you are wearing a cap and badge - ergo you are *always* in the right”
in the end i have to go and find a luggage storage kiosk at the airport, where i hand my belt over, for keeping until i return from my holidays. so i board the plane beltless, but in the company of several people carrying large bottles of duty free vodka, many of whom are no doubt also carrying cigarette lighters or matches. presumably taking your own molotov cocktail components onboard being seen as posing significantly less threat to the aeroplane than a dented brass belt made of old bullet casings!
paris, because aiport security staff make even her feel intellectual by comparison
... in Birmingham Airport once (The only airport in the UK, AFAIK, where security still carry firearms; H&K MP5's for the buffs) at check in. He was asked if he had anything in his baggage he shouldn't, and he replied "Oh, just a bomb!".
He was promptly greeted by shouts of "On the ground!" while several security staff extended the stocks and hit the safety catches on their guns, and the guy almost pissed himself.
This isn't about America being thought police, but about aircraft being blown up by morons and the idiots who joke about it INSIDE AN AIRPORT.
Think you'd say you had a backpack full of explosives on the Tube nowerdays?
Sure protection is good. But they've got to lighten up. By reacting like this they are giving the terrorists what they want (apart form our deaths) loss of freedom. I doubt a terrorist with explosives would say a thing since they have made it clear they want to kill as well as scare. If they had explosives they would opt for the deaths not the scare. The scare is for when they don't have explosives. See the pattern? I ask, how many terrorist attacks have been prevented by this kind of reaction to spoken word? And how many attacks have been successful where someone has said they have explosives? I doubt there are any...
Lighten up or others will do the same just to make a point.
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