Dwight Watt Internet Article #85

#85 - Overreacting or Acting Stupidly 9/18/2002

#85 - Overreacting or Acting Stupidly

Last week three Arab-American medical students were stopped on the way to Miami. At a huge cost to the taxpayers and governments, they were detained 17 hours and all their items were searched carefully. In the end they were cleared as terrorists by police. However the process and some after effects raise questions.

A lady in north Georgia had reported she overheard them celebrating September 11 and threatening September 13. The young men say they made no such comments. There is apparently some question of whether one of them ran the toll plaza, but the plaza video camera should answer it. Further questioning of both parties may be required, along with the waiter/waitress at Shoney's. It is hard to believe that in crowded Shoney's only this lady heard suspicious comments and she even says her son said they were playing with her. If she made up the story, then she should be punished. If the young men are guilty of planting the story to her, then they need t be punished just as if they had yelled fire in a crowded theatre.

Based on what we know so far, these young men are being way over penalized. First they were kept separately in police cars for 17 hours, handcuffed, and all based on rumor. The police put out the word they were uncooperative, but yet the only thing we have seen yet as far as being uncooperative, was their invoking their rights on searches, by saying they would prefer the police not search their car. This is your constitutional right in the USA. I don't see us holding Tyco former chairman in handcuffs or Martha Stewart in handcuffs for refusing to testify at the US Capitol by claiming their Fifth Amendment rights. Same Bill of Rights. We have the right to use our Rights. The police should not announce people as uncooperative if they only men by that they are using their USA given rights.

These three men have now been denied jobs at a hospital in Miami where they were going to do their residency. The administrator's explanation was that the hospital believed it was threatened because of their presence. At this point we have no reason not to believe the young men. I find it hard to believe that we could go to this hospital and find it filled with employees who have never broken a law or been stopped by the police. To the public that wanted these men fired, my question is 'What are they guilty of or charged with?'. If they are discovered guilty of threats, then fine fire them, but I have seen no evidence of ostrazation of the north Georgia lady, and charges right now are the same both ways, except we know the young men had nothing with terror with them.

We may want to also consider how tight is the traffic patrol on Interstate highways. There has been no evidence offered they left I 75 from north Georgia to south central Florida. The incident was reported in north Georgia, a regional terror alert was issued, we knew they were headed to Miami, and it was south central Florida before we found them. Thank goodness they were not bound for Atlanta as the deed would have long been done. Roadblocks were not required, but simply a patrol-person sitting by road at several locations watching for them should have spotted them in Georgia.

Let's be careful in deciding what people are saying when we report comments we have overheard. Let's not prejudge people because of race or religion both in claiming guilt, or anti-profiling (i.e. not subjecting Arab-Americans to same searches at airports). We are a melting pot and of these young men at least one was a native American, just as myself, in that we were both born in the USA.


Click to subscribe to Watt-Thoughts

Return to Watt Thoughts Web Page

Send e-mail to Dwight Watt.

This webpage is developed by Dwight Watt.

Copyright 2002.