This Is Your Country "On Alert"

Remember reading that there were some "security incidents" this past Sunday after authorities "erred on the side of caution" for fear of a 9/11 anniversary attack? James Fallows at The Atlantic has some dispiriting insights into one of them: A half-Arab, half-Jewish self-described suburban housewife and former journalism student was detained because, by chance, she was seated on a plane row between two Indian men. As she wrote:

Silly me. I thought flying on 9/11 would be easy. I figured most people would choose not to fly that day so lines would be short, planes would be lightly filled and though security might be ratcheted up, we'd all feel safer knowing we had come a long way since that dreadful Tuesday morning 10 years ago. 

But then armed officers stormed my plane, threw me in handcuffs and locked me up.

Is Flying While Semitic the new DWB? No wonder American Jews are the most sympathetic, according to Gallup, to the plight of American Muslims; they're cousins, facing similar hatred for being different, both in terms of religion and ethnicity. As a friend of mine would say, darkly: Hey, she's lucky they didn't lock her up in an internment camp. Or Guantanamo.

As Fallows points out, the disturbing part -- okay, one of the many disturbing parts -- is that the policy that enabled this sort of "caution" is entirely butt-coverage for politicians. We can't know what the next domestic danger will look like -- who imagined Oklahoma City, Columbine, or 9/11 before they happened? -- but we can be nearly certain it won't be three olive-to-brown-skinned folks all in a row heading to Detroit, which has been destroyed without any terrorist help, thank you.

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