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Don't Ask, Don't Tell

An airplane dispatcher who works for American Airlines is claiming that she was ordered not to report the Shoe Bomber.

The American Airlines dispatcher who was monitoring a trans-Atlantic flight when the captain reported that a passenger had a shoe bomb said today that her supervisor tried to prevent her from notifying the authorities.

The supervisor worried that law enforcement officials would delay the plane on the ground, the dispatcher said. In a complaint filed with the Federal Aviation Administration, the dispatcher said her supervisor "instructed me to hold off informing the authorities because the flight would be remotely parked, and `it would be forever before we could get the plane out of there.' "

It seems that the airline may be trying to fire her, so it's possible she's making this accusation to save her job. But if it's true, it's horrifying -- and it's not entirely implausible. I've run into bureaucrats who really do think that way.


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