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A textbook example of... [Updated]

..."the first report is always wrong."

Passenger sets off firecrackers on Detroit flight.  I rather expect that URL won't last, so we'll do a little excerpting:
ROMULUS, Mich. – A passenger aboard a plane at Detroit Metropolitan Airport set off firecrackers Friday, causing a commotion and some minor injuries, a Delta official said.

Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Susan Elliott said the passenger was subdued immediately. She had no details on the injuries.

One passenger from the flight was taken to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, hospital spokeswoman Tracy Justice said. She didn't know the person's condition, or whether the person was a man or woman. She referred all inquiries to the FBI.

An FBI spokeswoman in Detroit said the incident is being investigated.
Instead, it turns out that a non-Rotarian with a non-euro-sounding name apparently tried to blow himself up, in a troubled outreach for assistance, which, coincidentally might have resulted in the destruction of the aircraft and his fellow passengers as an unforunate side-effect.

Which, in a sad commentary on the state of the debate, would not have stunned me to see advanced as an explanation so as to maintain the invisibility of the elephant in the room. 

Perhaps things are getting a wee bit better, since the White House came out pretty quickly using the t-word, as this Washington Post article reports
A Nigerian man, claiming to be linked to al-Qaeda, allegedly tried to set off an incendiary device aboard a transatlantic airplane Friday as it descended toward Detroit's airport in what the White House called an attempted act of terrorism.

The man was quickly subdued after another passenger leapt on top of him, others on the plane said, and Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam landed safely around 1 p.m. Friday. The suspect was being treated at a hospital for burns he suffered while igniting the device, the Transportation Security Administration said.
More detail at the link, should you need it.  We applaud the passenger who took the initiative, and his fellow passengers and flight crew who back his move.  Be glad, sir, you did it in Detroit.  Had it been Heathrow, you might have been arrested for unlawful self-defence...

It might be hard to blame this one on HLD and the TSA, the flight having orginated in Nigeria and transited Amsterdam - be interesting to see what they have to say about it.  I also have no doubt people will try hard to grind axes, regardless.

Update: Then again, reference HLD/TSA/The Gov in General, here's a nice set of questions to open that discussion, from Skating On Stilts (h/t, SWWBO).

8 Comments

 What kind of coupe would that have been, blowing up an civilian airliner over an American city on Christmas Day??
 
Just a match or lighter away from being transported to the BBFN o's Utopia. 
You all have a Merry Christmass, and hopefully a better New Year.   May things get better in 2010 and beyond.  
 
Just curious:  Was the passenger who subdued him Dutch or American?  Not that it makes a whole lotta difference as he is hero, but I am just curious.

Good on him, bad on the airlines.
 
I Just deleted the comment I was about to post. It would have been very politically incorrect. I'll be over at the Occidental Observer, or maybe the Autism Hub. F'ing humans! Even the best of them are pretty bad!
 
As I read the accounts of this event, it was said that he had a fire in his lap. *Ouch!* By the way, how does "White Christmas" go? "Chestnuts roasting over an open fire..." Rats, it's 'over', not under.

Just maybe Thomas Barnett  was right about Robert Reed, it was a good thing he was dumb enough to use his shoe heel. We should be glad he didn't choose other places. You decide you want to fly, TSA decides they want to do 'full cavity searches' and they are not dentists.
 
Interesting post from Powerline:

[T]he White House says 'Obama's military aide told the president about an incident aboard a plane as it was landing in Detroit just after 9 a.m. here [in Hawaii].' The Delta flight landed in Detroit at 12:01 local time. Honolulu is five hours behind Detroit, so 'just after 9 a.m.' in Hawaii would be after 2 p.m. in Detroit.

That is, two hours or more after the flight landed, not "as it was landing." Just another bit of routine dishonesty from the Obama administration, trying to make the President look relevant when he isn't.


In other news, the Administration still seems determined to send Gitmo detainees to Yemen for rehab. That's like sending drunks to a distillery so they can dry out...
 
That's not funny, Grumpy. I was reading about this over at Bruce Schneier's crypto blog, (or maybe it was about the a-hole bomber in Saudi)  and Shannon Larratt, of BME fame, showed up in the comments to point out that he knows people who can  get amazingly large objects up into places where they don't really belong.

Sigh. I miss air travel in the late fifties and early sixties, when airports still mostly smelled like gasoline instead of kerosine, and they only looked at you funny if you weren't wearing a tie.  Oh, and the head was kinda cool in a DC-6B; you tended not to waste any time in there, looking out the window and noticing you were right in the plane of rotation of that big propeller.
 
Justthisguy, I wish things were different, but they are not. Things are are going to get worse for a long time after both of us are gone.

About a year ago, I was in the hospital emergency room, with another Vet and they brought in an Arabic male. We're waiting to go home, but first there is the paperwork.

While waiting there, the overhead speakers come on, "Surgical team for an extraction to the emergency room!" There was a paramedic in the room at the time, he came out. He said, "Oh he was carrying a fifth of whiskey and couldn't put it down." I'm thinking, I didn't see  any whiskey." Then it dawns on me, he's carrying it in his a-hole. A police officer came by, I asked him to get a report and push it up the chain of command, which he did, I know people higher in the chain. He said, "Get everything done and I'll take you guys home." He had a colorful past in Viet Nam. We've both have known each other for over 45 years. As we were all leaving, here comes the surgeon and he's visibly agitated, the first time in 30 years. He's walking towards me, I grab and maintain eye contact for about eight feet. I then turned toward a corner. In the corner was a stainless or titanium  rod of three quarters of an inch of diameter by 3 feet long.. Doc took a look and smiled and the old bounce in his step came back. The whole incident took less than 5 minutes, the police officer and took us home.