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July 25, 2005

Mark Steyn: PC Kills

Did you guys ever read about this? I never have:

WITH hindsight, the defining encounter of the age was not between Mohammed Atta's jet and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, but that between Mohammed Atta and Johnelle Bryant a year earlier. Bryant is an official with the US Department of Agriculture in Florida, and the late Atta had gone to see her about getting a $US650,000 government loan to convert a plane into the world's largest crop-duster. A novel idea.

The meeting got off to a rocky start when Atta refused to deal with Bryant because she was but a woman. But, after this unpleasantness had been smoothed out, things went swimmingly. When it was explained to him that, alas, he wouldn't get the 650 grand in cash that day, Atta threatened to cut Bryant's throat. He then pointed to a picture behind her desk showing an aerial view of downtown Washington - the White House, the Pentagon et al - and asked: "How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it?"

Fortunately, Bryant's been on the training course and knows an opportunity for multicultural outreach when she sees one. "I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from," she recalled. "I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could."

So a few weeks later, when fellow 9/11 terrorist Marwan al-Shehhi arrived to request another half-million dollar farm subsidy and Atta showed up cunningly disguised with a pair of glasses and claiming to be another person entirely - to whit, al-Shehhi's accountant - Bryant sportingly pretended not to recognise him and went along with the wheeze. The fake specs, like the threat to slit her throat and blow up the Pentagon, were just another example of the multicultural diversity that so enriches our society.

That's new to me. Steyn goes on to, as usual, be brutally funny about things that really aren't funny at all. Heh/Indeed/Read the whole thing.

Belated Hat-tip to Craig. I've had this article open in a window since last night and I'd forgotten where I'd gotten it from.

Mark Steyn Loose Shit?: Arthur writes to say the Bryant story is questionable:

Great way to start the column. But there's a timeline problem with the Bryant story. FBI says Atta had not entered the country yet. Lot's of references to questionable validity of Bryant via google.

Well, maybe. Let's just say I'm not convinced the FBI or CIA have a complete understanding of Atta's comings and goings, either to America or to, say, Prague, just to pick European city at random.

Spongeworthy tips this piece suggesting the FBI has the timeline wrong (based on numerous facts) and yet won't admit they flubbed it.


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posted by Ace at 11:41 AM

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