The Washington Post reports that United Flight 923 from London to Washington D.C. was diverted to Boston's Logan airport because a female passenger became claustrophobic.
Well, she might have been a terrorist. How many times in the last week have you heard this phrase: you can't be too careful. The answer, of course, is a resounding: YES YOU CAN. You can absolutely be "too careful". It's not even hard to think of an example: any time you enter a highway in a car, you take a notable risk of being killed or maimed in an accident. You could decide to never travel again. If you did, some reasonable people might reasonably conclude that you were being "too careful".
Our state looks fascist when you read about what happened to Flight 923. It landed at Logan where "State Police and federal agencies took control of the plane after it landed." You can't be too careful. But let's not overlook the fact that Flight 923 was escorted to Logan by a pair of fighter jets. I wonder how old the pilots of those jets were? I wonder if either of those pilots could ever make a mistake.
You may recall -- no, you probably don't--that immediately after 9/11, there was some discussion about when a fighter plane would shoot down a civilian aircraft that was hijacked to prevent it from crashing into a building. There was some discussion of who makes that call. Lucky for us, it was Dick Cheney. Ha ha! Don't be too sure I'm wrong about that.
Actually, the truth is that the air force was ordered to shoot down any plane that strayed into the air space above the White House without asking questions. After an actual airplane did stray into the air space over the White House and an actual jet fighter refused to actually shoot it down because, he could kind of tell that the guy was just lost and was waving at him-- take note, Al Qaeda!-- the policy was quietly rescinded.
Anyway, back to Flight 923. Two fighters escorted it to Logan where "State Police and Federal Agencies took control of the plane" (Washington Post). Well, well. Isn't that reassuring. A woman complains of claustrophobia. OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE SHE'S A TERRORIST GOD HELP US SHE HAS A BOMB SHE'S CARRYING LIQUID SOMETHING IS THAT A SCREWDRIVER IN HER HAND, HELP!! HELP!!
And that's just the pilot.
It's a good thing I was not on that flight. You see the state and federal authorities decided that YOU CAN'T BE TOO CAREFUL so the passengers we're all put on a bus, their luggage was scattered on the tarmac, and explosive sniffing dogs were brought out. Not "explosive dogs" but "explosive-sniffing" dogs, you see.
I would have objected.
What I want to know is, what if I was on that flight and I didn't want to get on a bus... What do you think? Do you think a wise, mature, reasonable "state or federal official" would have said, well sir, you haven't committed any crimes and are not reasonably suspected of having committed any crimes, so it's entirely up to you what you do because we don't live in a fascist police state governed by paranoid boot-licking cretins. So long..."
I rather think not. I think I probably would have been hand-cuffed and led away to be interrogated by "state and federal officials" and then probably charged with some catch-all offense like mischief or contributing material support to satire or something, just to show that you are not allowed, in Amerika, to not be paranoid.