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Meet the future of American diplomacy! (He’ll fit right in…)

Posted By Kathy Shaidle On February 11, 2010 @ 12:01 pm In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

I like the irreverent Washington Rebel blog, but unless this post is dripping with more sarcasm than I’m picking up, they missed something.

Yeah, this kid looks harmless (if face-slappingly earnest). But during questioning, I’d become “suspicious” of the “clean cut college guy” too:

The Wyncote native was detained for five hours after Transportation Security Administration screeners grew suspicious about something in his pockets.

Arabic-language flash cards.

George, who was 21 at the time, and about to fly back for his senior year at Pomona College in Claremont, Ca., says he answered every question to the best of his abilities, and figured he’d be quickly sent on his way.

According to a federal suit filed Wednesday on his behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union, a TSA supervisor asked him, “How do you feel about 9/11?

He said he hemmed and hawed a bit. “It’s a complicated question,” he told me by phone. “But I ended up saying, ‘It was bad. I am against it.’ “

Seriously, dude? That was your answer?

Not your answer under questioning, when you were under duress, mind you — but your answer when you’re talking about it later, in complete safety and comfort, talking to a reporter, probably on your mom and dad’s phone.

Every day I get on my knees and thank God I didn’t go to college.

There is nothing “complicated” about 9/11. “It was bad. I am against it” is really the best you can do?

Well, maybe when you have liberal, ex-hippie parents, the answer is “yes”:

A police official, meanwhile, was quoted as saying it was George’s ID in Arabic that caught their attention – from his Jordanian studies – and police were suspicious that the student’s hair was shorter that day than it was in his Pennsylvania driver’s license photo. “That,” Lt. Louis Liberati said, is “an indication sometimes that somebody may have gone through a radicalization.

Candace Putter, George’s mother,  thinks that’s an amazing statement. She is a longtime advocate for teens in trouble with the law. She said she came of age in the 1960s, when long hair was associated with a different sort of radicalism.

“You can’t change the world on me that completely,” she said, laughing.

Yeah, well, no comment.

There’s a lot of goofiness to go around in this story. And I worry about Muslim terrorists and our ability to find and punish them. A lot.

But the existence of possibly thousands of 21-year-old Americans like that guy up there should concern us, too.

Oh, did I mention this kid wants to take the Foreign Service exam one day?

We are SO doomed.


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