A federal customs and border protection official reversed himself today, admitting a passenger from Northwest Flight 253 was placed in handcuffs, searched and released after a canine alerted officers to his carry-on luggage.Passenger and blogger Kurt Haskell made the claim that someone else was detained shortly after the episode but TSA had been disputing his account up to this reversal. Now they aren't anymore.
Many things short of a conspiracy could explain the flip-flop--all the way down to garbled accounts from agents on the scene, but this comment regarding a handcuffed man from a different flight (they were saying he could have caused the Haskells confusion) is itself weird:
A man from another flight -- Northwest Flight 249, also from Amsterdam -- was arrested at the jetway as he got off his flight and would have been led handcuffed through the area where the Flight 253 passengers were gathered, Smith said. The name of the man was not released, Smith added, because he was arrested on suspicion of immigration violations, not on a criminal matter.Number one, why would they mix the passengers from two flights (this is part of Haskell's contention--that they didn't) after an attempted bombing just to cart off an illegal alien and two, is it normal for someone to be snatched in the jetway before even reaching Customs? Why even let him leave from Amsterdam in the first place?
Besides, it's hard to believe "immigration violations" alone are enough to warrant much vigilance in this day and age. After all Obama's Aunt Z is still in the country.
This CBS News report is quite interesting. One security correspondent reported that the US was directly involved, via fighters dispatched from carriers, in air strikes against AQ targets in northern Yemen on CHRISTMAS day. They also intercepted four suicide bombers heading for the US Embassy in Sanaa. Clearly there was a coordinated attack underway from AQ in AP on December 25, and the word 'isolated' was in no way descriptive of anything that occurred. Maybe this is what prompted Napolitano to say the "system worked", as in her head she was considering the entire thing, who knows? She's been known to speak broadly in the past.
The same correspondent who spoke of the Christmas strike then basically echoed Cheney's contention that Obama is trying to downplay terror so as not to overwhelm his domestic (socialism) agenda. He just said it in a nicer way.
John Brennan then got on the air and said that despite some reports to the contrary, the Yemeni AQ detainees are still planning to be sent back home at some point because the Christmas attack was 'unique'. Follow the bouncing ball!
Schiefer also admitted that the MSM dropped the ball during the campaign by failing to ask either Obama or McCain "how" they would close Gitmo. Gee, the crazy wingers had been asking that question all along.
ONCE MORE 1/3/10
Here's a clip of Brennan making the rounds where he admits they knew about the Saudi underwear bomber but had no information AQ would use it on aircraft. Which proves that history does repeat. The same type of explanation was given by Condi Rice to the 9/11 Commission, ie, they never thought AQ would fly planes into buildings. Both are fairly implausible given what's out there in cyberspace but don't count on the lefties who excoriated Rice to do the same to Brennan.
Also, regards the statement discounting airlines--what are the chances they were actually aware of Abdulmutallub coming to America and were trailing him, figuring he might lead them to a sleeper cell here? He was a rookie terrorist, after all. Brennan did say their capabilities are bigger than Facebook, hint, they know a lot, but were not prepared for an airline component. It's simply beyond imagination to think we have all these CIA officers/assets out there yet they'd get snookered by such a rube.