Tuesday, August 21, 2007

MSM Refuses to Help FBI; Paper Refuses to Publish Photos of Two "Unusual" Ferry Passengers

The FBI has taken the somewhat unusual step of requesting assistance from the public to identify two men photographed recently observed "behaving unusually aboard several Washington state ferries."

Washington state ferries are generally regarded as a "high potential" terrorist targets, both for the possible economic disruption as well as for the terroristic potential of a strike against a Pacific Northwest icon.

The FBI has been trying to identify the two men for weeks, using normal law enforcement channels, to no avail. The FBI is not accusatory, it says there is no specific threat and that it only wants to identify these men in order to clear things up.

Special Agent Robbie Burroughs acknowledged "that the FBI rarely publicizes information from an investigation, unless investigators are seeking a suspect wanted for a crime," and she added that the decision to publish the photos came from "an abundance of caution." Passengers and crew members have reported the two as "overly interested in the workings and layouts of the ferries." The FBI would like to identify the men as quickly as possible and by doing so, resolve whether or not any threat exists.

But Seattle's Post-Intelligencer has chosen not to publish the FBI-supplied photographs of what the paper described as "what look like two Middle Eastern-looking men."

The paper defends its decision not to publish the photographs because "neither man is considered a suspect nor has either been charged with a crime."

Now that's helpful. The same could be said for participants in the Sea-Fair parade, the crowds at the baseball games, or the dozens of other photos the paper runs each day.

While it might be difficult to drive a truck onto an airliner, it happens a thousand times a day on the Seattle ferry system. An explosion on a ferry in Elliott Bay would be visible from the P-I's editorial offices. In fact, the paper's writers might find it prudent to stand back from the windows until this is resolved, one way or another.

The P-I retired from the battlefields of the war on terror a long time ago. Now it refuses to help, even at its own front door.

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