Pubdate: Fri 13 Aug, 1999
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
Copyright: 1999 Cox Interactive Media.
Author: Mike Christodoulou


I was angry when I heard that law enforcement officers stormed a
commercial plane and pulled six adults and a child from their seats in
order to get one man ("FBI halts Atlanta flight for search," Page One,
Aug. 4). This man was targeted because he had the nerve to pay for his
airline ticket in legal tender. And I was absolutely livid to hear an
FBI agent explain that they'd "rather be safe than sorry."

Safe? How can I feel safe getting on a plane, wondering if I might be
yanked out of my seat because I paid cash for my ticket or because the
man next to me has matched some part of a "profile"?

Our government is out of control. None of us can ever be safe again as
long as these people can, with impunity, arrest anyone who they think
might commit a crime.

The FBI justifies its actions, saying that there were a "preponderance
of circumstances," which they won't discuss, of course. They will get
away with such assaults on our freedom because John Q. American will
simply shrug it off. I wonder how safe he'll feel when he accidentally
fits a "profile"?

Christodoulou, of Norcross, is a software development manager.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek Rea