Is this Paranoia? Not a trick question

Saturday's NYTimes carried this op-ed by James Zumwalt, id'ed as former Marine and member of the Committee on the Present Danger (an old Cold War neo-con group--I think).

Zumwalt makes a great deal of the Imam case in Minnesota, six muslim clerics who were removed and barred from a flight forsuspicious behavior. The airline found nothing, but they missed the plane. They are now suing the airline and the passengers who reported their behavior.

Zumwalt has drawn some startling conclusions. Among them:

"While the imams may or may not have suffered an injury, the harm these John Doe claims can cause will go far beyond what the defendants themselves will suffer by being dragged into litigation. It is clear this lawsuit seeks to warn Americans against voicing similar concerns. For if they do, they run the risk of opening themselves up to liability and incurring enormous legal defense costs. The effect this would have discouraging Americans from playing an active role on the home front in fighting the war on terrorism is chilling."

Read the whole thing, if you have access, and report back!

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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