December 15, 2005


Dead Man Tells No Tales: Media docility and another no-cost federal killing (James Bovard, 12/15/05, Reason)

Two air marshals gunned down an American citizen last week in Miami, and most of the establishment media seemingly couldn't care less.

It's not that folks don't care, but that we're all reassured by it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 15, 2005 12:58 PM

He was American?

But I haven't been following it.

Posted by: Sandy P at December 15, 2005 1:06 PM

What mistake?

Posted by: David Cohen at December 15, 2005 1:11 PM

The good news is that both of the Federal Marshals hit what they were aiming at and felt sufficiently certain that their judgment would be sustained that they did so without hesitation. Suicide by cop.

Posted by: Ray Clutts at December 15, 2005 1:22 PM

They guy says, or seems to say, "I have a bomb in here," and then reaches into his backpack. In that situation, I want the air marshalls to take him at his word--because if they don't, or if they hesitate, and he's telling the truth, dozens of hundreds of innocent lives are lost.

It's sad and unfortunate that the man's mental illness led him to his death, but it's not the marshalls' fault.

Posted by: Mike Morley at December 15, 2005 1:35 PM

I read he was South American, don't remember if it was Columbian or Venezuelan.

Posted by: erp at December 15, 2005 1:46 PM

It's not that folks don't care, but that we're all reassured by it.


Posted by: Athena at December 15, 2005 1:49 PM

Maybe they need to add another entry to that long list of things to do or not do when taking medications: "Failure to take properly may cause behavior leading to accidental death while flying commercial airliners."

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 15, 2005 1:49 PM

The airlines wonder why their business is, pardon the expression, dying.

Before 9/11 the lax airline security allowed all sorts of poor souls, weird folks and bad guys to wander even into the cockpit. The policy was semi-official to allow a highjacker some leeway assuming that the highjacker only wanted to land some unscheduled place, e.g., Cuba, Libya, etc. Meanwhile knowing full well that Israel Air never had a highjacking despite their dangerous situation because they sealed their cockpit doors and had zero tolerance for highjackers.

After 9/11, US airlines get a bailout, a free pass for their careless behavior and the heavy handed notion of air marshals re-instituted (it was tried before). One of the possible worse-case scenarios has now been enacted with this tragic mistake.

What have we learned? Who knows. I don't fly much though (only once since 9/11).

Posted by: oldkayaker at December 15, 2005 2:05 PM

Shorter version of the above comment:

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

BTW: Elal doesn't get hijacked in lg pt b/c they have a very stringent screening process, full of lots'o, gasp, profiling.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at December 15, 2005 2:24 PM

I am (according to most posters on this site) a left-wing moonbat, and, if the facts of this story are accurate, I really don't see any wrong doing on behalf of the airline, the air marshals, or the government; a very unfortunate series of events, but I only see 2 possible solutions to situations like this which are:
1) Having the airline be more aware (through whatever means) of mentally unstable passengers and
2) Having air marshalls use non-lethal weapons.

Posted by: Grog at December 15, 2005 2:29 PM

"Having air marshalls use non-lethal weapons"

Sorry, but I want the Air Marshall to have the quickest, most lethal means available.

Posted by: mike at December 15, 2005 3:05 PM

Grog, You're a kinder gentler troll than other trolls who've commented here. Using non-lethal methods of stopping potential bombers is fine by me.

Posted by: erp at December 15, 2005 3:10 PM

Grog isn't a troll. The official (more or less) definition of a "troll" is someone who posts derogatory and insulting comments just to get a rise out of others, without regard for persuasion or rational discourse.

Posted by: Mike Morley at December 15, 2005 3:20 PM

I'm with OJ: I'm feeling reassured.

I roomed once with a mentally imbalanced person who would do great if he took his meds, but was a bit paranoid about everything, including his meds. One day during a "session" dealing with one of his fits of paranoia, I made the suggestion that maybe his concerns were due to something he WASN'T taking. Three hours later, he was grinning and feeling muuch better: he decided he was suffering from withdrawals from his meds, and so STARTED TAKING THEM AGAIN. I, of course, praised him and didn't have trouble for several months until his doctor changed his prescription.

For people like this, maybe they'll get paranoid about getting a paranoid episode on a plane and getting shot by an air marshall, and thus STAY OFF the plane.

Grog, of course, takes the lefty/lib route, exonerates the guy who didn't take his meds, looks for the "big guy", and suggests that HE adjust himself. "Not my fault! It's someone else's fault!" is a mantra that lefty/libs not only use themselves, but are "unionized" and will indulge in secondary "support strikes" with the understanding that the favor will be returned.

Posted by: Ptah at December 15, 2005 3:40 PM

John (oldkayaker),

One of your better posts. Don't drink anymore tonight. You'll feel better in the morning.

Your Friend,


Posted by: AllenS at December 15, 2005 5:14 PM

It's illustrative that he thinks that the "media couldn't care less." They cared enough to report it. What he means by "media caring" is that they set themselves up as inquisitors to determine justice - not reporters, but judges.

Posted by: Brandon at December 15, 2005 6:02 PM

It's also that time of year when various self-promoting organizations will give out their "Censored" and "Spiked!" awards for this years stories that weren't actually censored by the government, or suppressed by the press, but just weren't covered to suit Leftist sensibilities. Maybe "oldkayayer" can nominate this one so it will get a little more of the attention he thinks it deserves.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 15, 2005 9:17 PM

I heard that his wife, who perhaps was on the plane with him, was the one who stated he hadn't taken his meds. So if you're looking for someone to blame...

Posted by: Genecis at December 15, 2005 10:25 PM

Why is the magazine called "Reason"? I seldom see any reason in it.

Posted by: Bob at December 16, 2005 11:09 AM

Because to each his own.

Posted by: oj at December 16, 2005 11:16 AM

Thanks Allen...

if this were an honest site you would see the coments I posted... but OJ has decided to be dishonest....

Posted by: oldkayker at December 16, 2005 7:34 PM

Lost your paddle?

Posted by: Genecis at December 16, 2005 9:27 PM