I'm just wondering when American Airlines is going to realize that it's about to be defamed in the entire English-speaking world.
As I first noted yesterday, I have the entire "Path to 9/11" video. And one of the very first scenes makes it explicitly clear that American Airlines had Mohammad Atta in its grasp, warning lights flashing on the computer screen, yet the airline simply blew off the threat and helped Atta kill 3,000 Americans.
Unfortunately, it's a total lie.
Here's what the "Path to 9/11" claims American Airlines did on the morning of September 11. According to Disney/ABC, American Airlines at Boston Logan had Mohammad Atta at its ticket counter and a warning came up on the screen when he tried to check in. The AA employee called a supervisor who kind of shrugged and said, blithely, just let him through. The first employee, shocked, turned to her supervisor and said, shouldn't we search him? The American Airlines supervisor responds, nah, just hold his luggage until he boards the plane. The scene is clearly intended to make American Airlines look negligent.
Only problem? It never happened.
First off, Disney/ABC got the airport wrong. The warning for Mohammad Atta's ticket popped up in Portland, Maine, not at Boston Logan as the tv show claims (this is on page 1 of the September 11 Commission report).
Second, the security rules at the time said nothing about searching a passenger who has a "warning" pop up, they only required that the bags be held until the passenger boarded. The Disney/ABC tv show, on the other hand, clearly tries to imply that American Airlines violated the security rules in letting Atta go. This simply isn't true. (This is also on page 1 of the report.)
But most importantly, Disney/ABC implicated the wrong airline. And I quote the Director of the FBI:
On September 11, at 6:00 AM, Mohamed Atta and Abdul Aziz al Omari boarded a U.S. Airways flight leaving Portland, Maine en route to Boston's Logan Airport.The 9/11 Report, on page 1 of all things, makes clear that it was in Portland that Atta's warning came up. And FBI director Mueller makes clear that Atta flew US Airways Express from Portland to Boston. So, Disney/ABC, in the first ten minutes of its error-riddled tv show - a show about to be broadcast to the entire English-speaking world this Sunday - paints American Airlines as one of the most irresponsible air carriers on the planet. An air carrier that is directly responsible for killing 3,000 Americans because its own employees are too lazy to follow safety rules.
And Disney/ABC got it totally wrong, defaming one of the largest airlines in the world.
I really hope someone at American Airlines realizes that come 12 hours in Australia and New Zealand, when the show starts to air, no one is going to fly American ever again. (I of course tried to call American's government affairs office in DC to let them know this and the woman hung up on me. Oh well.)