Patterico's Pontifications

6/8/2007

L.A. Times Manages To Call A Spade A Spade When It Comes To “The First Terrorist Attack At An Airport In The United States”

Filed under: Air Security,Political Correctness,Terrorism — Justin Levine @ 1:55 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

Remember the terrorist attack at LAX in 2002 when the Middle Eastern terrorist killed 2 people and injured 4 near the ticket counter at El Al Airlines?

What’s that you say? You don’t recall it being a “terrorist attack”?? Well I guess you could be forgiven. After all, CNN, the FBI, the Bush Administration and L.A. Mayor James Hahn said that there was “no indication of any terrorism” and that it was just an “isolated incident” that was nothing more than a “criminal act”.

In other words, in the face of so many “experts”, you could be forgiven for not using your own common sense and deliberately choosing to be ignorant.

At the time, media outlets (including the L.A. Times) deliberately chose to be ignorant as well – publishing stories with headline howlers such as “FBI Still Seeks Motive in LAX Shootings.”

Some observers, including Patterico guest-blogger Jack Dunphy called them on their B.S.

Apparently, the L.A. Times managed to grow a brain this week when

 

 it revisited one of the victims of the attack in a front page story with the headline, “Terrorist Bullet Still Digs Deep”.

An excerpt (emphasis added) –

Phillips underwent surgery to repair the tendons damaged by the gunshot. A week later she flew home. The injury left her unable to bend her ankle and forced her to turn her right foot outward, altering her gait. The shift in the way she walked re-injured her right hip, which had been surgically repaired months before the shooting.

In some ways, it was the least of her problems. She had survived the first terrorist attack at an airport in the United States, but the aftermath would prove to be another matter.  

The article simply describes the incident for what it was – a terrorist attack. It doesn’t even refer back to the semantic bile that described it as merely an “isolated” incident of “criminal activity” in 2002. Five years after the fact, the L.A. Times has chosen to ignore the original government characterizations and use their own common sense in their writing.

For some, nothing will be considered a “terrorist attack” in their own minds unless they have hard proof that a Muslim immigrant who set out to kill Jews in America first got on the Bat-phone with Osama Bin Laden and got specific marching orders from him. Some people are genetically wired to be silly and obstinate I suppose.

The lesson here is that, regardless of where these attacks take place, its not necessary for law enforcement “experts” to officially declare if it’s a “terrorist attack”. As long as you have access to the facts yourselves, its ok to use your common sense. Really….it is. I give you permission to do so. Same principle applies to obvious terror-related “probes” on airplanes.  I wish to congratulate the L.A. Times for crossing over in this instance. 

[posted by Justin Levine]

22 Responses to “L.A. Times Manages To Call A Spade A Spade When It Comes To “The First Terrorist Attack At An Airport In The United States””

  1. The 1975 bombing at LaGuardia airport doesn’t count as a terrorist attack because?

    alphie (015011)

  2. Why, you’re right, alphie. The LA times still got it wrong.

    Pablo (99243e)

  3. When the LA Times was concerned with killing support for the war on terror, the motives of the perpetrator were mysterious, and his religion of no relevance except to Islamophobes. Now that we have a presidential election coming up and Republicans are saying that a Republican administration has prevented any terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11, look for more inexplicable crimes of the past to magically transmute into terrorist attacks.

    I predict that the mysterious beltway snipers will metamorphose into typical Muslim terrorists before the end of the year.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  4. While I agree that the LAX shooting might be classified as a terrorist act, the FBI wasn’t saying that the attack was from some mysterious motive. At least not your link, which I clicked, where it says

    the FBI is saying that if a man is not part of a terrorist organization he/she cannot commit terrorist attacks.

    I am not aware of any evidence suggesting a conspiracy or organization implicated here. Nor am I entirely sure that the attack was intended to influence government policy, even with respect to Israel.

    So this is clearly a “hate crime”. Whether this is a terrorist act is not so clear. Was the non-Muslim man Buford (?) who shot up a Jewish day care center a terrorist? How about the Laramie anti-gay murder?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  5. the FBI is saying that if a man is not part of a terrorist organization he/she cannot commit terrorist attacks.

    So then by this measure Timothy McVeigh wasn’t a “home grown terrorist” after all.

    How comforting.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  6. Eric Rudolph too.

    I’ll sleep better tonight.

    Pablo (99243e)

  7. I think Rudolph and McVeigh are easily distinguished from LAX. Rudolph is indeed a member of a conspiracy that we know helped to conceal him, plus whatever assistance he got before. And he had a specific program of the government that he wanted to change. Much the same could be made of McVeigh.

    So I repeat: are anti-Semitic crimes committed by loners “terrorist”? I gave a specific example. If you tell me yes, I’m more willing to agree that LAX was also a terrorist act. If you want to distinguish the cases, try, instead of stupid snark.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  8. Well, I think differently, so excuuuuuuuuuse me for the “stupid snark” which was clearly directed at the FBI. It’s immaterial whether some pathetic loser who decides to wake up one morning and kill innocent strangers is an “official” government-recognized terrorist or an “amateur”. The results are the same. People are terrorized and people are killed. One only need read the LAT portrait of the Canadian lady who survived the shooting at LAX. She is terrorized to this day. Only the senior senator from New York could offer the incredibly ridiculous comment that the JFK terrorists “weren’t professional” as that somehow makes a difference.

    You don’t have to be a “Muslim” to decide to terrorize Jews. The whole concept of “hate crime” is absurd on its face. It diminishes the impact of crimes against those not in the special “hate recipient” classes. It might as well be termed “acted out thought crimes.”

    McVeigh wasn’t a “member of a conspiracy” nor did he wish to “change a government program”. His act, however, was no less a terrorist act than if he was a card-carrying member of AQ. All this other nonsense about whether you have to belong to an organization to be an “official terrorist” is nothing less than an excercise in picking fly poop out of pepper.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  9. Rudolph is indeed a member of a conspiracy that we know helped to conceal him, plus whatever assistance he got before.

    You know they found him picking through a dumpster, don’t you? What terrorist organization did he belong to?

    Pablo (99243e)

  10. I remember it well. It was when I first started thinking GWB was giving us more “Read my Lips…!” when he said he wanted to win the “War on Terror”.

    Rodney A Stanton (ac27a0)

  11. I have noted also that news readers are saying “Islamic terrorism” these days instead of “terrorism,” so maybe they realize finally how silly they look pretending they simply cannot figure out the motivation.

    Patricia (824fa1)

  12. Well, Mr. Lazarus, a few minutes checking your loner gunman statement “So I repeat: are anti-Semitic crimes committed by loners “terrorist”? I gave a specific example. If you tell me yes, I’m more willing to agree that LAX was also a terrorist act. If you want to distinguish the cases, try, instead of stupid snark” would reveal the following:

    “The leader of the Aryan Nations said Friday he believed last week’s shootings at a Los Angeles Jewish community center, allegedly by a member of his neo-Nazi group, were understandable in the context of what he called a “war against the white race.”

    Richard Butler, in a telephone interview with Reuters, described indicted shooting suspect Buford Furrow Jr. as a “good soldier” in his Idaho-based organization…..” Comes from Reuters, BTW.

    Was this a terrorist act? Damn straight. Was the LAX shooting a terrorist act? Guess so, unless you insist on maintaining an ostrich posture. But, hey, war on terror is just a bumper sticker. If we all think real hard, maybe it’ll go away….

    Orthodoc (099d98)

  13. Orthodoc, the meaning of “terrorism” isn’t—quite honestly—entirely clear to me, and a lot of other people. If we’re going to define it by its use, as long as it applies in both of these incidents, I’m not making an argument about it. We just have to be clear that neither of these cases appeared to be an act of a terrorist conspiracy.

    [Aside to Pablo: he was going through the dumpster, but he was also wearing brand-new sneakers. It seems likely he was being assisted by local sympathizers.]

    Andrew J. Lazarus (458159)

  14. We just have to be clear that neither of these cases appeared to be an act of a terrorist conspiracy.

    I wouldn’t be so sure about the LAX killer. Police denied they knew his identity, but then were photographed carrying away his computers from his apartment in OC–home of Azzam the American and ISNA leader M. Siddiqi. Also, targeting El Al has been the focus of the terrorist playbook since the 60s. No co-conspirators have been arrested, but it’s clear that the FBI prefers to observe potential terrorists until they catch a big one or until a plot seems imminent.
    Chronology of Terrorism

    Patricia (824fa1)

  15. [Aside to Pablo: he was going through the dumpster, but he was also wearing brand-new sneakers. It seems likely he was being assisted by local sympathizers.]

    Or he managaed to steal a pair of sneakers …

    “Hey! Buford, here’s your new sneakers, man, I hope you still wear the same size you did when you filled out the induction paperwork. Sorry, man, that’s all we could spring for, but hey, there are a lot of excellent dumpsters about a block from here. You can catch a bite there.”

    Yep, makes sense to me.

    /stupid snark

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  16. You linked to WorldNetDaily?

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  17. but then were photographed carrying away his computers from his apartment in OC–home of Azzam the American and ISNA leader M. Siddiqi

    And home to Kevin Drum, liberal blogger of the Washington Monthly. It’s all falling in place.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (458159)

  18. Oh, does Kevin Drum attend Siddiqis’ mosque too?

    Patricia (824fa1)

  19. The results are the same. People are terrorized and people are killed. One only need read the LAT portrait of the Canadian lady who survived the shooting at LAX. She is terrorized to this day

    OK, Harry Arthur, give me an example of a serious crime that isn’t terrorism, according to you.

    Milhouse (ef8775)

  20. Five years after the fact, the L.A. Times has chosen to ignore the original government characterizations and use their own common sense in their writing.

    I don’t believe that the LA Times finally found common sense. My theory is that the LA Times sees itself as a guardian for Moslems. If they had reported at the time, that the LAX attack was a terrorist attack, then in the LA Times eyes, the yahoos, ie Americans, who are all hair-trigger mass murderers, would likely go off the beam and attack and kill random Moslems. 5 years later, there is little chance that calling a terrorist attack a terrorist attack would set the yahoos off, so it’s now safe to matter of factly call a terrorist attack a terrorist attack.

    Patterico has been exposing the arrogance and contempt of the LA Times for years, this is just more evidence of that.

    Jabba the Tutt (3e1ca8)

  21. Guys, who are we kidding? The height of the hurdle for declaring something a terrorist attack is directly related to its proximity to the airline industry.

    The inverse of the equation substitutes “airport” for “abortion clinic”.

    spongeworthy (45b30e)

  22. Folks, lets not forget folks Bush has kept up safe from terrorist attacks!!! Except of course 9/11, but that doesnt count as the terrorists did not inform him in writing in advance of their “in-tin-shins”..

    (Besides, everyone knows it was really Bill and Hillery Clinton’s fault because God punished them because he was busy getting a couple of…well you know..I would say the phrase but I am sure there are many Republicans here who are such moral folks that they and their numerous wives might be offended.. Rudy G are you reading this? Rush, how about you..Newt??)

    Lets all repeat over and over, “The war in Iraq is also making us safer.” No need to ask about the 16 intelligence agencies that said in a Congressional report “FU! IT ISN’T!). Dont worry. Bush is going to fire them all real soon so that he gets only the intelligence that agrees with..kind of like the way he deals with most problems including his war in Iraq and Global Warming, Katrina readiness and on and on..

    9/11 Commission recommendations on back burner? Not to worry..Hell!! he never wanted that commission anyway!

    Look at it this way.. no attacks means people can say “You’re is doin’ a heck of a job, Bushie!” And if there is an attack..well all the more reason to support Bush. Hey, either way we win!! Take advantage of the gravy while it lasts. Buy stock in Halliburton and mind altering drugs..continued big profits ahead especially if we are lucky enough to get involved in a war in Iran. I would gladly go but like Rush I have this pimple on my butt and ..well you know ..

    Charlie (04c679)


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