This picture is probably what the pilot saw before the plane came down. The orange "X" on the top is where the plane ran off the runway and hit 2 cars. Yes, all those things around the airport are houses. I found a great picture on Comcast.net that shows a house right behind the nose of the plane. It's like what happens when you invite John Travolta over for Thanksgiving dinner.
As disturbing and scary as that story was, the next one makes me feel far less safe. (As long as I'm not flying into Midway during a snowstorm, that is) Last Wednesday, Federal Air Marshals shot and killed an American citizen. Like the last case of shrunken Right to Life on the London Underground, this one raises more questions about how free we really are. As you might recall, in July, London police shot and killed a Brazilian immigrant in the subway. In fact, they shot him point blank in the head after he was on the ground. They then lied to the public, telling us that he was acting highly suspiciously, had been running through the subway station despite calls to halt, and was wearing a very heavy jacket on a very warm day. As it turns out, none of this was true, but it didn't keep wingnuts from declaring the shooting a victory in the .
Well, they're declaring another victory in Miami, because on December 7th, another innocent man was murdered. After claiming Rigoberto Alpizar had yelled that he had a bomb and was reaching for his pocket, federal officials have been backpedaling as it turns out it was not true. But while the wingnuts claim victory in the best case and overreaction in the worst, this is a very disturbing development in our backyard. (Your front yard, if you're reading this from South Florida) First is the fact that Alpizar was shot and killed, not in the high-risk environment of a flying plane, or even the tightly crowded environment of a landed plane, but on the embarkation ramp leading to the plane. Where shooting first and asking questions later might be good policy at 30,000 feet, American police don't (and shouldn't) operate that way. What's the police procedure for dealing with a man who may have a bomb? I have no idea. But keep in mind that this was a man who had been through at least one security clearance already. Second, why would air marshals think Alpizar even had a bomb? Not one of the passengers interviewed even recalled him saying the word "bomb". That's pretty rare, because in most stories like this, we hear conflicting stories. But not one other passenger heard "bomb". Which brings us to Third: Why are we being lied to?
I have to say, I hate being lied to. Hate, hate, hate, hate it. I've gotten used to it, though, from this administration. I don't trust this administration. I do have to trust our police, out of necessity. But it's clear that they're as willing to lie as anyone with 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on their driver's license. Shoot an innocent man? Make up a lie about him. Smear him in the press. Make him unbelievable and unsympathetic. I actually have a lot of respect for the Air Marshals, but if someone isn't harshly punished for breaching the public's trust on this, I will have lost a lot of it. Killing people and covering it up are hallmarks of the KGB or Nazi SS. Are they now going to be tactics of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)? We all say that if we behave we'll be OK. Is it true? We may never hear the full story on Alpizar because the MSM is too scared of real controversy. But if the police are allowed to get away with shooting one innocent man mere yards from his frantic wife and then lying about it to get away with it, what's to stop them from shooting you and making up a lie? They may already have a backup lie ready, just in case. Think about that the next time you're flying with a cranky 7-year old who might decide to get back at you by telling security you're a terrorist. And just hope to God you don't look South American.