Friday, May 07, 2010
Osama has won: Two arrested on NH Greyhound bus were not terrorists, just passengers
by Larry Geller
The news is everywhere, for example here or here. A woman saw something suspicious on a bus, the guy looked foreign or talked funny, she called 911, the police paramilitary forces, sharpshooters and swat team arrived. The state government went into emergency mode.
From the first article:
At about 2 p.m., 2 1/2 hours after arriving in Portsmouth, passengers began leaving the bus one by one, holding their hands in the air as they walked slowly past tactical teams with guns drawn. As they disembarked, some could be seen lifting up their shirts, apparently to show they were unarmed, and being quickly surrounded by authorities. Some could be seen in handcuffs.
Passengers in handcuffs??
Nine harrowing hours later they figured it out. There was no bomb. The “suspicious” guy was from Burundi, legally in this country, if it matters. He hasn’t been charged with anything. But two other people are. They were just passengers on the bus. From the second article:
According to police, John Smolens, of Lewiston, Maine, is charged for refusing to listen to SWAT team instructions after leaving the bus and refusing to cooperate with law enforcement officials regarding the bail process.
Calvin Segar, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is charged with obstructing the police investigation by providing false names and false information.
Smolens and Segar are scheduled to be arraigned Friday.
All those folks really did was buy themselves a bus ticket and get on a bus. It should have taken them to their destination, but they ran into the current American paranoia wherein anyone can call out police forces with automatic weapons just by making a cellphone call to 911.
The New York City SUV bomber has kicked this sort of thing up a notch. Expect repeats.
One day the police will kill someone in one of these incidents.
Osama has won.