Monday, August 20, 2007

Travel Tantrum Highlights News Coverage

The event is minor. A California Congressman, on his way to visit Iraq, had to wait for his luggage at Dulles International Airport, around 6 pm today.

It's all "allegedly," but it seems that Congressman Filner got tired of waiting, and went into an "Employees Only" area. An airline employee had the audacity to confront the congressman. A WJLA ABC-7 reporter "spoke with several witnesses who said they heard Filner yell 'You can't stop me,' before pushing aside the employee and refusing to leave the office.

"Filner disputed the account in a statement issued by his office.

"'Congressman Bob Filner is on his way to Iraq, visiting our troops, and will have a full statement when he returns. Suffice it to say now, that the story that has appeared in the press is factually incorrect - and the charges are ridiculous,' the statement said.", a Washington Post publication, gave an extremely brief account of the situation, and concluded: "Since we don't know much about what happened, we can only guess that Dulles-induced travel stresses might be to blame."

Why bother with an event that is only slightly connected with the war on terror?
  1. Congressman Filner is one of this country's leaders. Although his office said that "the charges are ridiculous," the Class 1 misdemeanor charge of assault and battery was real enough to give the Congressman a court date of October 2, 2007, in Loudoun County General District Court in Virginia. Perhaps I am naive, but it seems to me that lawmakers should not break the law.
  2. The televised ABC-7 report did not identify Congressman Filner's party. The omission of a common bit of information left the initial reports open to the charge of bias. ABC-7 has since added Filner's political affiliation to their online report.
  3. This 'alleged' Congressional temper tantrum raises an uncomfortable question. How many of our leaders find dealing with stress this hard? And, how reasonable can we expect them to be, when faced with situations more serious than late luggage?
The Congressman hasn't had his day in court, of course, so what actually happened at Dulles hasn't been officially determined.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.