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Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327

What is it with wacky women writers named Annie? Remember Annie Jacobsen, the business writer on Northwest Flight 327 in June, 2004 who got hysterical over seeing 14 Syrian men and went on national tv to say they were terrorists out doing a dry run? Even after she was told by air marshals the men had been hired as musicians to play at a casino in the desert and had return flights on Jet Blue, she didn't let it drop. She turned it into a regular series.

Via Memeorandum, we learn she's back, with her 13th column about the flight. This one has details about a recent visit she says she got from Homeland Security agents. Details, she says, of facts never before released. Like that Mohammad Attah was on actor James Wood's much publicized flight from Boston to LAX in August, 2001 [note: Wood's account, as told to Bill O'Reilly, is here.] Jacobsen writes:

...actor James Woods flew on an American Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles one month prior to 9/11. Alarmed by the behavior of a group of four Middle Eastern men, Woods summoned the pilot and told him that he was "concerned the men were going to hijack the plane." A report was filed with the FAA on Woods' behalf but, tragically, no one followed up with Woods or the men. A few days after 9/11, several federal agents showed up in Woods' kitchen. Woods can't talk about what was said -- he believes his testimony will be used in the trial of the supposed 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui-- but, in an interview with Bill O'Reilly, Woods revealed that his flight "was a rehearsal [for 9/11] with four men."]

Standing in my kitchen, one of the agents said, "What I can tell you is this: Mohammed Atta was one of the passengers on that flight with James Woods." (Apparently, this information has never been made public.)

Annie describes the end of the interview:

As they stood to leave, one of the agents shook my hand and said, "Thank you for writing those articles." The most senior agent asked if he could touch my very pregnant belly. Then he said, "As a fellow American I can say you did your duty."

Roger Ailes has more on Annie's new column. World O' Crap gives her take from Annie's August, 2004 update. And this from TBogg, just about says it all:

If I let my imagination run away with me and start to believe that Jennifer Anniston wants to play naked wheelbarrow with me....well, who's to say it isn't true?

One more addendum: Clinton Taylor, a lawyer, Ph.D student and co-director of the Stanford University radio station did a little digging and learned the Syrian men were part of a band backing up a Syrian singer named Nour Mehana and they indeed did perform at Sycuan Casino & Resort, near San Diego on July 1, 2004. The singer and band were booked by James Cullen of Anthem Artists, who books all sorts of acts at the casino, including Carrot Top. Describing the music that Nour Mehana plays, he says, "Well, Mehana comes across not as an angry jihadi, but rather more like the Syrian Wayne Newton."

And if Jacobsen was wondering why one man in a dark suit and sunglasses sat in first class while everyone else flew coach, well, it seems pretty clear that this was the Big Mehana himself.

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  • Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 10:51:31 PM EST
    If people can help to stop the murder of people good.

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 11:34:48 PM EST
    Yeah, damn murderous musicians.

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#3)
    by scarshapedstar on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 12:04:27 AM EST
    Did somebody say 'idiot'?

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 03:23:08 AM EST
    Racial profiling and complete hystaria. Just like whites following minorities around in stores. Just like police stopping blacks in expensive cars. If I were one of these guys on the plane, being constantly watched and secretly feared and hated, I would have intentionally acted suspicious just to scare the hell out of this idiot. Then again, I'm a jerk so...

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 04:04:39 AM EST
    Of course if the bad guys pick up on this it gives them a 'Ghandi' approach to terrorism. Put enough wild eyed arabs on enough flights, recite some of the Koran loudly (exercising rights to religious freedom) and wait for the fun to start.

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#6)
    by cp on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 04:16:07 AM EST
    the fact that this singer is described as "the Syrian Wayne Newton." is reason enough to arrest him! does the world really need more than one wayne newton? i think not! in fact, i would go so far as to say that even one wayne newton is one too many!

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 05:18:07 AM EST
    ughh bigotry/ignorance at its worse. why do americans hate world music? Maybe the band members can send this lady a cd!

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 05:54:21 AM EST
    Somebody smack this broad, snap her out of it. Every brown skinned person is NOT out to get you. Jeez.

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 06:54:34 AM EST
    They were just so swarthy!

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 08:38:29 AM EST
    How do we get Annie on the "do not fly" lists?

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 09:15:26 AM EST
    Boy, I want to go nuts on one thing and turn it into a writing career for “news” outlets that don’t pay anything .... That was Chapter XIII of her "Terra in the Skies" saga. How will it end?

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ed Drone on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 09:25:16 AM EST
    So, now that she's in the news again, how long before a "Law and Order" or "CSI (your state's name here)" episode with a bunch of Syrian / Lebanese / Iraqi musicians being the "red herring" in a murder scenario? Ed

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#14)
    by desertswine on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 09:54:26 AM EST
    Jeez, let's hope this woman never gets into a NYC cab.

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 10:38:47 AM EST
    LOL @ "The Syrian Rip Taylor". Ah, forget about a dramatic series, her potential TV version should just go the laffs (intentionally this time) and include an inflight cast of The Syrian Ben Stiller, The Syrian Richard Simmons, The Syrian Cedric the Entertainer... With a new list of characters each week it could be like an updated version of the Love Boat. Tom Ridge for Executive Producer?

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#16)
    by Walter on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 10:57:36 AM EST
    wasn't there also a case like this in Georgia or Florida? Wasn't it the woman's pancakes she was eating at IHOP telling her that the men in the next booth were terrorists? Maybe it was a finger floating in her chili that was giving her a sign

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 11:14:38 AM EST
    Good one dwine. In fact, she better stay out of NY all together...her head would start spinning from merely walking down the street in the melting pot. Not to mention all those falafel stands that are surely terrorist fronts:)

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#18)
    by john horse on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 04:11:41 AM EST
    If you play the records of these Syrian musicians backwards you'll hear the full details of the plot.

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 09:35:30 AM EST
    Good one Walter. Actually I saw their visages in a water stain in a Chicago expressway underpass.

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 12:37:36 PM EST
    Ah. People are just really paranoid these days. The fact that she got all bent out of shape is one thing... minor thing... but the fact that she exploited it to read as they WERE terrorists is stupid... and the most stupid of all is the fact that people are still giving this moron air-time.

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#21)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 04:34:13 PM EST
    Not to be a spoiler or anything, but where is she wrong on the facts?

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 04:46:02 PM EST
    It's the interpretation, the rush to judgment, the racial profiling... and the fact that the men turned out to musicians on their way to a gig. And her gall at turning a non-event into 13 columns, perpetuating her ethnicity-based belief that something untoward was happening. If you don't see what's wrong with that, that's your problem.

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#23)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 05:12:12 PM EST
    But,where was she wrong on the facts?

    Re: Annie 's Back with More About Flight 327 (none / 0) (#24)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 05:29:33 PM EST
    You mean the musicians on their way to a gig with expired visas aren't a problem? You mean that a bunch of Middle Eastern men cutting up on an airplane oughtn't be a problem? You do remember 9-11, don't you? You mean that the feds' interest in this didn't really happen? Or shouldn't? That she could get thirteen columns or whatever out of this is a testament to her energy in following up. It's not as if she wrote the same thing thirteen times. You know that, aside from a couple of immigration problems, the nineteen highjackers couldn't have been arrested for anything right up until they knifed the first stewardess? Which is to say that James Woods needs a sensitivity training class, right? As one Arab journalist noted, not all Muslims are terrorists, but practically all terrorists are Muslims. His view took into account the world, including the Bali bombing, the ongoing crap in the Phillipines, in Kashmir, and so forth, reducing Tim McVeigh's percentage considerably. So if a bunch of guys who look an awful lot like the Nineteen start acting up on an airplane, it's not silly to worry. And if the reasons given are not all that reassuring, it's not silly to ask for clarification or followup. Unfortunately for the musicians, their coreligionists have put them in a very bad spot. They'd have to be idiots to either not know it, or to take advantage of it for a game. The lady in the restaurant heard the guys talking about terrorism. Whether they were just talking or taking the opportunity to spook an infidel is beside the point. This is blinking serious. No scorn to her except from the folks who think the bad guys will come for you last. One blogger said something like the following: They will take you from your cell down a quiet corridor,your hands shackled and your head covered. You will come into a room whose floor is tile and slopes toward a drain in the corner. In the room will be a table. On the table is a knife And you will say, "But I'm on your side!!" It will destroy you to find out they don't care. Unfortunately, due to your work, it will be too late for the rest of us, too. So, many of the rest of us object. That you don't like it doesn't worry us.