I just clued into the other thing that bugs me about the Annie Jacobsen story. Michelle Malkin, among others, writes smugly that this event highlights the stupidity of a policy against secondary questioning of more than two Arabs per flight. See also Ann Coulter’s racist whine, which Annie Jacobsen cited in her original article.
But Annie Jacobsen also noted that the 14 Syrians on her flight were… pulled aside and questioned in LA. This was confirmed by government officials. So, ah, doesn’t that kind of undercut the concept that the airlines have a policy against questioning groups of Arabs?
A lot of people aren’t thinking that one through. Or, more to the point, they’re assuming that a policy restricting “secondary questioning” means that airlines can never under any circumstances pull aside more than two Arabs per flight.
It’s also worth noting that the original source for the information about this policy, John Lehman, never said that he knew the policy was in effect. He said he thought it was still in effect; which, of course, was reported without the element of uncertainty inherent in “I think.” Paying attention is hard! And why should Mr. Lehman worry about getting the details right in something so important as the 9/11 hearings, anyhow? They seem like a fine forum to promulgate unverified beliefs about our security.