I draw your attention back to this post.
Well, here's further info (scroll down) on it.
LOS ANGELES July 22, 2004 – Undercover federal air marshals on board a June 29 Northwest airlines flight from Detroit to LAX identified themselves after a passenger, “overreacted,” to a group of middle-eastern men on board, federal officials and sources have told KFI NEWS.
The passenger, later identified as Annie Jacobsen, was in danger of panicking other passengers and creating a larger problem on the plane, according to a source close to the secretive federal protective service.
Rachel Lucas thinks this is a shoddy explanation. But The Politburo (who I am ashamed to admit wasn't on the ol' link list until today) thinks otherwise.
Personally, I'm not sure what to think. We (Americans) definitely need to be observant and possibly less inclined to give suspicious persons the benefit of a doubt, but we must remain rational. I guess it comes down to a level headed analysis and evaluation of all things at all times. It takes effort, it means we have to use our brains, but when it comes down to it that's the only thing we really have.
This situation is tricky. On one hand you have the account of a potentially overreacting passenger (who's actions could place the entire flight in danger as well as expose the undercover air marshalls on board). On the other hand you have the statement of a government agency charged with protecting us in the skies (who just might find it easier to discredit the passenger who called attention to a potentially embarrassing situation- 14 Syrians with expired documentation).
Actually, writing it out like that has kind of cleared things up a little. This woman is a writer, and it's been my experience that writers tend to be more high-strung than the rest of us. I guess it's the price of being an artist or some such. Taking everything I know (which admittedly isn't as much as I'd like to, but is probably all that I'm going to) into account, I have to reach the conclusion that it's far more likely that she over-reacted than it is that the air marshalls are launching a (rather pathetic) smear campaign to cover up the fact that (surprise!) there are foreigners with expired documentation in our country and that they sometimes board planes.
I still think that the original idea behind the post I linked to is a good one. We should think about what we would do in a hijack situtation. It never hurts to be prepared (or at least as prepared as possible).