Honey, Get Me Refright

We will readily grant that this is not the kind of moment we would care to experience while locking our tray table in the upright position:

The passengers sat stunned as they watched a man walk quickly toward the front of American Airlines Flight 1561 as it was descending toward San Francisco. He was screaming and then began pounding on the cockpit door.

We will also credit the AP writers for not including the language being screamed in the lead. You might guess which it is — no, not Swedish — but anybody pounding on a cockpit door should be enough to get Dear Reader’s attention.

In fact, our valiant wire-service reporters are able to contain themselves until the fifth graf:

While [Rageh] Almurisi, 28, of Vallejo, Calif., has no clear or known ties to terrorism, authorities say, the incident underscored fears that extremists may try to mount attacks to retaliate for the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden last week.

We’ll give you a moment to parse that.

It really is an amazing construction. It takes two things that are true — Almurisi has no known ties to terrorism, and we’ve been warned about potential terrorist retaliation — and combines them to create something that is untrue: A manifestly unrelated event underscores fears about retaliatory terrorism.

Did we mention that Almurisi is from Yemen? As are some al-Qaida types? That should also underscore some fears, none of which have anything to do with him, near as anyone can tell. And which certainly wouldn’t stop us from thinking all the wrong things if we were on board that moment, but we weren’t, and neither were the AP writers.

As it happens, Almurisi didn’t even provide the only flightmare (copyright Harry Shearer) that day:

There were two other mid-air disturbances elsewhere on Sunday.

A 34-year-old man from Illinois tried to open a plane door on a Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Chicago. Investigators questioned him, but did not file charges.

There was a security scare aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit to San Diego, prompting it to land in Albuquerque, N.M. Authorities did not release any more details, except to say that “no suspicious devices” were found. No one was arrested.

However, these other disturbances apparently did not underscore fears of anything, except perhaps being stuck in a pressurized airborne metal tube while some idiot tries to open the door. Luckily for his fellow passengers, the 34-year-old man didn’t speak Swedish, either.

Suspect in flight disturbance had California ID [AP/Yahoo]

What do you expect? White people are never terrorists (except libruls, ghey, atheists and other UNREAL US Americans.)

I think Black Kettle would have disagreed. And Custer wasn’t necessarily one of the worst terrorists of his time.

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