Sunday, July 25, 2004

dry runs and bands

Clinton Taylor has an article on the band that caused all that ruckus last week. He says it was all legit.

Not so fast.

What he actually determined is that the lead singer is legit. The band is another story. First, we don't even know if anyone on the plane was actually playing at the casino. But that level of deception would be easy to detect, so lets neglect it. The use of a large band still looks like a good way to smuggle terrorists into the US.

Who would notice if three or four guys of a fourteen-man band didn't show up? In fact, I'm not sure anyone would notice if they did show up but weren't actually playing their instruments. How many people have a good enough ear to be able to tell if there are two or three trumpets playing? And some of them might not claim to be musicians. There are other jobs on a band. And who says that there aren't some terrorists who can play instruments?

So although Taylor did some good work, and although I'm still skeptical of the dry-run theory, the issue isn't settled by that article. It's still possible that this is a real singer, and even a real collection of musicians, but that there were some ringers in the band. Possibly even some known terrorists flying under the identities of legit musicians.

I'm only pointing out gaps in our knowledge. I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other on the facts.

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