Michelle Malkin: Terror-Monger?

Bob at Unfogged is apoplectic that Michelle Malkin lends credence to Annie Jacobsen’s fears about a group of Middle Eastern men aboard her airplane and statement that she, too, will be especially vigilant about suspicious characters on any plane she’s on.

Bob asks,

My question to you, Michelle: will you observe everyone so minutely? If you see WASPy white people who dispose of their discarded hamburger wrappers in the lav, whose eyes dart around suspiciously, who dash to the lavatories right before final descent, who read little (possibly religious!) books for comfort — will you warn the flight crew that there are terrorists aboard? You should, because you should be ashamed of your shameful terrormongering.

Until a group of WASPs hijack four airliners, crash them into buildings, and kill 3,000-odd Americans, they’ll be somewhat lower on my radar screen.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Race and Politics, Terrorism, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Joseph Marshall says:

    Well, it’s a human, if rather exaggerated, reaction on Michelle’s part. I just hope she doesn’t bring that gun she owns on the flight with her. That would be a little too much of a hard-hitting Security Mom for everybody’s taste, I think.

  2. Bob says:

    What about white men driving trucks near federal office buildings? Or teenage boys wearing trenchcoats and talking about how much they hate school? Or black men standing on sidewalks? I think that nothing the men on the airplane did was by itself worthy of suspicion — and that even foreigners should get to have their harmless quirks without having the cops called on them. The focus should not be on whether someone’s actions seem to someone like Jacobsen to be suspicious, but on whether they seem to the air marshals to pose actual danger.

  3. norbizness says:

    Last I heard, al-Qaeda operates in a multitude of countries, including the Phillipines. I’ll be sure to have my ethnicity flash cards so that I know exactly who to freak out about.

    BTW, props to Ms. Malkin. I didn’t think any cutesy term could be more asinine than “soccer mom,” but damned if she didn’t come up with one.

  4. Attila Girl says:

    Okay. So it isn’t suspicious to congregate in groups right by the cockpit door, or for a large group to take turns using the toilet more than they might naturally have to unless they all had a bad case of the runs, and to all use the same toilet, not different ones, on these repeat visits . . .

  5. carpeicthus says:

    What gets me isn’t the “should we have been suspicious or not” question. It’s the fact that because these Syrians were on board, there was an increased security presence and they were screened by federal agencies. Michelle should be overjoyed that these passengers were given at least the proper scrutiny. Given that, any THEY WEREN’T TERRORISTS BUT THEY COULD HAVE BEEN! flagellating looks like the hysteria it is.

  6. Guy from Ohio says:

    It is the duty of all Americans to keep an eye out and report suspicious activity. How can anyone argue otherwise? I’m kind of tired about the feelings of someone being offended if someone calls them out for acting suspicious, so what? I wonder if anyone on the 911 flights didn’t get involved when one of the terrorists acted suspicious before things went down.

    As far as racial profiling goes. If I were in an Arabic country and white guys were going around bombing the place I would expect to be treated differently. It’s just common sense! On the other hand, if I were the bad guys I would put recruiting old white women as agents as one of my top priorities. Everyone needs to be examined.

  7. Lee says:

    Even if I explained it, Bob would miss the irony of naming his blog “unfogged.”