Philly talk show host Michael Smerconish reported to NRO readers back in April (it was reprinted in the NY Post a few days later) John Lehman’s warnings about airline policy, both that which was already publicly available and what Smerconish learned in interviewing Lehman (the quote the excerpt below begins with is from Lehman):
“We had testimony a couple of months ago from the past president of United, and current president of American Airlines that kind of shocked us all,” Lehman told me. “They said under oath that indeed the Department of Transportation continued to fine any airline that was caught having more than two people of the same ethnic persuasion in a secondary line for line for questioning, including and especially, two Arabs.”
Wait a minute. So if airline security had three suspicious Arab guys they had had to let one go because they’d reached a quota?
That was it, Lehman said, “because of this political correctness that became so entrenched in the 1990s, and continues in current administration. No one approves of racial profiling, that is not the issue. The fact is that Norwegian women are not, and 85-year-old women with aluminum walkers are not, the source of the terrorist threat. The fact is that our enemy is the violent Islamic extremism and the overwhelming number of people that one need to worry about are young Arab males, and to ask them a couple of extra questions seems to me to be common sense, yet if an airline does that in numbers that are more than proportionate to their number in particular line, then they get fined and that is why you see so many blue haired old ladies and people that are clearly not of Middle Eastern extraction being hauled out in such numbers because otherwise they get fined.”
Read the whole Smerconish piece here.
My first question: Where is the SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION? Nevermind the Sec’t of Homeland Security. This all seems outrageous and downright unacceptable, no?