Another Terrorist Dry Run: Part II Interview With Witness Dr. Keith Robinson — UPDATED

by Melissa Clouthier | December 3, 2009 10:37 am

Yesterday, I shared the account given by Tedd Petruna about Air Tran Flight 297[1] from Atlanta to Houston Hobby. Today, I interviewed Dr. Keith Robinson, Corps Commander of the Houston Regional Community Chaplain Corps, as he actually took the flight, with the Arab men after Tedd and many other passengers got off the plane, once it was clear that both the TSA and Air Tran were going to allow the threatening passengers to stay on the flight.

Over at RedInk Texas[2], you’ll see how distorted the actual news accounts were of this incident. This incident was not just a matter of an unruly passenger refusing to hang up on a phone call. The whole flight crew refused to fly and had to be replaced.

Air Tran 297 is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. Recall the Flying Imams controversy[3] where the men sued the airlines[4] and passengers[5] and won a settlement from the airlines.

This circumstance occurred shortly after Major Hasan killed twelve soldiers at Fort Hood. The passengers were sensitized to a terrorist threat before the flight.

Dr. Robinson gave his first-hand account [find link here[6]], typing up his impressions during the flight:
The flight crew hurriedly walked past me leaving the plane with their baggage. The flight
attendants were emotionally shaken, red faced, in tears and were sobbing. A new flight crew
was ordered for the flight. All remaining passengers awaited their next crew, unsure of the
ultimate destiny of this flight.

When I boarded the plane the air was tense and filled with emotion. Many of the passengers
were obviously upset and at wits end. Often passengers would look back then forward to

assess any change in the suspicious activities of the 10 hostile Middle Eastern passengers.
Although my seat was 22D I moved to the back of the plane to gain a better view of any actions
that might take place in front of me. Some of the Middle Eastern men were in the Business
Class area and the remainder was seated in the back of the plane. They spoke only Arabic and I
did not understand what they were saying although a strange burst of laughter would erupt as
they spoke.

His conclusion from the plane flight was thus:
Obviously, in Atlanta the officials from Air Tran had been placed in a difficult ethnic position that directly resulted from the inappropriate, threatening actions of these 12 Middle Eastern men. And, obviously vacillating between appropriately removing these men permanently off the plane and sequestering them for the threats they made toward these passengers on the flight…or taking the “politically correct” action of taking them off, questioning them and then putting most of them back on the plane…Air Tran took the easy way out and put most of them back on board. As in most dilemma situations both parties are never equally affected by the resulting action. By putting 10 of the men back on the plane, Air Tran decided that it was better to emotionally traumatize each and every one of the remaining passengers on Air Tran Flight 297 for the remainder of the flight. They had a chance to remove the offenders…but didn’t.

Please listen to the podcast for a 45 minute detailed account. The first many minutes are Dr. Robinson giving his background. He gets into the meat of the experience around the 20 minute mark.


Download MP3[7]

To subscribe on iTunes, just click here![8]

When Melissa isn’t on the radio, you can find her at[9] and on Twitter. Her username is MelissaTweets[10].


Ace has this analysis[11]:

They seemed to make every effort to draw attention to themselves, which makes me think it’s unlikely this is really a terror-deal, or even a dry run for terror. Perhaps “probing,” but again, they seemed to really go out of their way to get some TSA lovin’.

Not necessarily terror, then, but the demonstrations of a thin-skinned bunch determined to fuck with the legitimate fears of infidels. And prove some stupid point. And maybe get a nice fat lawsuit out of it too.

I wrote recently — about the shootings at the Texas army base — that it is the ambiguous and contradictory orders, the confused and deliberately confusing orders from the policymakers and bureaucrats, that force those attempting to execute their intentionally-baffling non-policies to err on the side of not rocking the boat and not getting fired.

I don’t see anything changing this. Even after 14 people were killed at that army base, it’s not going to change.

Thanks to rockhead.

He also links to the Canadian Free Press[12] (notice how many stories they’ve been breaking recently?):

On November 17, an incident took place aboard AirTran Flight 297 scheduled to fly from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to Houston that the media does not want to cover and everyone from the airline to the TSA and other government agencies want to keep very quiet. The reasons, I have been told, is fear of predatory lawsuits, negative publicity from accusations of religious profiling, and the obligatory subjugation to mindless mandatory Muslim sensitivity training that make a mockery of our American system of values. Interestingly, one airline official told me “we don’t want to become another flight 300,” which is a reference to a very similar scenario that took place aboard US Airways Flight 300 exactly three years ago.

I was first contacted about this incident two days after it happened by a passenger who was aboard AirTran Flight 297. Based on the allegations made by this passenger, we conducted additional research, interviews and investigation, all of which takes time to insure accuracy, and are now able to release our report of the incident that took place aboard that aircraft. Be prepared to be shocked, angered, and perhaps saddened by our national and corporate acquiescence to mafia-type tactics by Islamists who are engaged in a full frontal assault, and laughing about it.

It’s also hitting airline industry blogs[13].

  1. shared the account given by Tedd Petruna about Air Tran Flight 297:
  2. RedInk Texas:
  3. Flying Imams controversy:
  4. men sued the airlines:
  5. passengers:
  6. here:
  7. Download MP3:
  8. To subscribe on iTunes, just click here!:
  10. MelissaTweets:
  11. Ace has this analysis:
  12. Canadian Free Press:
  13. airline industry blogs:

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