December 15, 2006

Imamagine That: An Elaborate, and Dangerous, Orchestration

Katherine Kersten, of the official “mainstream source” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, has done the most important part of the dot-connecting process relating to the six imams incident at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in November — from the Muslim extremists in the Middle East, to Congressmen Keith Ellison and John Conyers, to Conyers’ End of Racial Profiling Act (with a serving of stepped-up civil litigation on the side), to increasing the likelihood that a future aviation-based terror attempt will be “successful” (column here; blogpost with comments here; bolds are mine):

On Dec. 1, a curious report on the grounded-imams incident at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport appeared on the website of the Iranian Quran News Agency. The report quoted extensively from Madhi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation. The foundation is the American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, “the world’s most influential Islamic fundamentalist group,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Bray’s initial statement about the incident had an all-American, see-you-in-court ring. He demanded “large financial compensation for the imams,” adding, “We want US Airways and any other airline displaying this type of behavior against Muslims to be hit where it hurts, the pocketbook.”

….. But the report on the Iranian website, which has appeared on a variety of Muslim websites worldwide, had a larger primary focus. After the imams incident, it quoted Bray as saying Muslims want “new, broad-sweeping legislation that will extract even larger financial and civil penalties for any airline that participates in racial and religious profiling.”

….. One piece of legislation in the works is the End Racial Profiling Act.

….. The act, although it doesn’t as yet impose large penalties, would bar any federal, state or local law enforcement agency from “relying, to any degree, on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion in selecting which individuals to subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities.” That would include questioning, searches and seizures.

One of the act’s central features is its definition of illegal profiling. Under it, if airport security personnel question passengers who are disproportionately Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent, this alone would constitute a presumptive violation of the law. Law enforcement agencies would bear the burden of proving that discrimination was not the cause.

What would the effect of such a law be?

“A law that would compel security professionals to focus on keeping their statistics within certain norms rather than on their mission keeping airline travel safe would have a devastating effect on our ability to ensure airline safety,” said Daniel Horan of the Los Angeles Police Department in an interview.

The End of Racial Profiling Act has languished until now. What did it need to reinvigorate it? New congressional leadership, and that’s coming in January. But it needed something else in this media age: a high-profile incident to jump-start it.

What better than the media circus at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Nov. 20?

The End of Racial Profiling Act changes the calculus totally. Passenger safety moves to a distant third place on the priority list, behind:

  • Not investigating anyone who might be suspicious if the balance of investigations done previously will tilt in the “wrong” direction (i.e, not letting law-enforcement and homeland security people do their jobs).
  • Not offending anyone, especially of “Muslim or Middle Eastern descent.”

If such a bill passed, it would make hijacking and/or commandeering a plane by those who fit the profile of those who have done so in the past much easier. It’s as if September 11, 2001 never happened. Political correctness would trump safety, even survival — all brought to you by a lazy media that with the sole exceptions of Kersten and The Washington Times (which the elitists claim doesn’t count anyway), has refused to follow up meaningfully on new information relevant to the imams story after the initial incident.

Not as important but still very relevant — Anyone in the traveling public who becomes convinced that airport security has been handcuffed will choose to drive to their destinations when possible, and fly less often, if at all. Enough of that, and airlines start going out of business.

All of this is why folks like Richard Miniter, Debra Burlingame, and several center-right bloggers have felt the need to step into the breach. If the beat reporters were doing their jobs, none of the others’ work would have been necessary.

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