Annie Jacobsen (the cub reporter from Women’s Wall Street who made a sensation by recounting her suspenseful brush with not-quite-terror in the skies) has some followup comments: Part II: Terror in the Skies, Again? She breathlessly recounts being slashdotted (or whatever the equivalent term is when it happens at the hands of überbloggers; Instalanched, I think I’ve seen before), and goes on to reiterate how her story and its aftermath demonstrate that we are being endangered by rampant political correctness.
After reflecting on the story for the last few days, and reading much of the commentary on it, I disagree. It’s not political correctness. It is our cherished American freedom, embodied in our Constitution, a document that Jacobsen and others like her, who favorably quote Anne Coulter’s calls to subject all swarthy-skinned muslims to body-cavity searches in front of the other passengers before every flight, should spend more time reading.
As demonstrated lately, I’m kinda wishy-washy, in the sense that I try to pay attention to people on both ends of the political spectrum, and believe, on some level, that truth and certainty are mutually exclusive. That attitude makes me less able to spout one-sided rants (what? I could actually be worse??), but it pays occasional dividends. For one thing, it puts me in a position to notice when rational people on both sides seem to be saying the same thing.
As they are in this case. See the latest Jacobsen deconstruction from unapologetic liberal Rivka of Respectful of Otters: Terror In The Skies!!!. And from very-much-Right-leaning former Army public affairs officer and current fire-and-brimstone-spouting (at least on the subject of countering Islamofascist terrorism) Reverend Donald Sensing: Terror in the skies — Jacobsen writes more. (Update: Sensing is a self-described non-Bush-supporting centrist. My apologies for the mischaracterization.)
Though Rivka and Sensing disagree about a great many things, they are pretty much of one mind about Annie Jacobsen: She’s paranoid (Update: Sensing might not go that far — see his comment below), and almost surely over-reacting to an innocent case of “Arab while airborne.” Which isn’t a crime in the land of the free and the home of the brave. At least not yet.