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Truth and Consequences By: Tammy Bruce
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Eunice Stone is a true American. Her actions prove how responsible we are when it comes to how we view our neighbors. Stone, you'll recall, is the woman is called authorities after hearing three men of Arab descent laugh about September 11 and make comments that indicated a terrorist threat.

Here's what Ms. Stone, a 44 year-old mother and nurse from Cartersville, Georgia, said to reporters about what she heard at a restaurant on September 12, 2002: "At first, you know, I just went ahead with my breakfast," she said. "But they were laughing [about September 11]. And I have very good hearing." She then said she heard one of the men say, "If they mourn September 11, what will they think about September 13?"

Obviously, Ms. Stone should be commended for doing what she did. But the incident has become fodder for Radical Islamists in this country to further the brainwashing against citizen vigilance, with claims of "paranoia" and "hysteria" of the average citizen putting Muslims at risk. The media, of course, has also joined the chorus. The New York Times ran a story from the Associated Press story covering the incident with the headline "Fla. Scare Raises Questions on Tips."

What nonsense. What this situation actually proves is how reliable, vigilant and responsible Americans really are. On September 12, in a country over one quarter of a billion people, on Orange Alert, just one level lower from the highest terror alert possible, only one serious threat tip was called in by the public. The whole of this situation confirms our sensible nature, and also reinforces the fact that perpetrating a hoax about the mass murder of Americans is a bad idea.

The families of the men in question, of course, held a press conference calling Ms. Stone a racist (unbeknownst to them, her family includes people of Arab descent), and complained about "prejudice" against Muslims. The usual Muslim civil rights groups (talk about an oxymoron!) are calling it racial profiling. It would be more appropriate to direct their anger at Radical Islamists, their brothers who have brought this shame upon every Muslim. The complaints of racism from the families indicate to me something other than decency — it illustrates a distrust and revulsion of Americans and what this country stands for. How dare they.

It's time to clear up the politically correct mess we've been subjected to since this happened. The men in question have been repeatedly referred to as "American." Let me make something very clear: being a U.S. citizen does not make one an American. Being an American is a frame of mind, which includes commitment and loyalty. These are not dirty words despite what the Left Elite in this country want you to believe.

Many citizens of the U.S. actually consider themselves Mexicans, or Palestinians, or French or Yemeni. That's fine, but let's be honest here. Two of the three men Ms. Stone overheard were born in Jordan, one being a Palestinian, with the third of Iranian heritage. Law enforcement officials said one of the three men was a United States citizen by birth, another was a naturalized citizen and a third was a foreign national in the United States on a valid student visa.

You've also heard that these men are medical students from "Ross University-School of Medicine." A few, but not all, reports have mentioned in passing that the campus for this school is in a different country — Dominica, an island in the Caribbean. There is no U.S. campus. Consequently, these three men have been out of the country for at least the past two years, weren't here for the attack, and have not been here during this last, painful year.

I believe they made the comments Ms. Stone says they made, and I think it a much easier prospect to "joke" about the tragedy if you were staked out in the Caribbean during the entire awful, reprehensible event. In the very least, it removes you from the seriousness of what we've all been subjected to this past year.

Sure, we've seen these three men dressed in suits, being very diplomatic during the few days on various television programs and at press conferences. They apparently presented a very different side of themselves to the police than they did to Larry King, however. The arrogance and disrespect that would promote obscene comments about September 11 manifested with law enforcement which reported that when stopped they at first refused the search of their car, were belligerent and uncooperative. When asked by Larry King why they refused, one of the men actually replied it was because his mother packed his bags and he didn't want them mussed up. Sure, and I'm Anna Nicole Smith.

Ultimately, it must have come as a shock to these men that even joking (if you can call it that) about terrorist threats is a crime. Just on September 14, two days after this incident, a man was arrested after making a joke about a bomb while aboard a Delta flight from New York to Florida. So, to protect themselves their only option is to deny that they had ever said it in the first place while calling Ms. Stone, as they did in a press conference, a liar.

I don't think so. You must consider who has what to gain and lose in this game of she said-they said. In my opinion, from what I've seen including the glad-handing with the media, these men are self-serving and arrogant and hold a disdain for this country that manifested in remarks meant to frighten a woman and her child. Ms. Stone's comments were thoughtful and believable, and yet as the men in question parade themselves on "Larry King Live" and other programs, Ms. Stone lay in a hospital room with chest pains.

They say they want their reputations back. I think they have their reputations intact. They¹ve only been more exposed. The actions they¹re accused of cost untold thousands of taxpayer dollars and emotional distress to millions of Americans. They¹ve felt compelled to assure us of the truth that they¹re not terrorists. Perhaps they are only guilty of arrogance and cruelty, but they should go further and admit their wrongdoing. Yes, telling the truth sometimes comes with consequences, but it is an important concept, especially for us non-terrorists. If not, these men should be arrested as our system was set up to let juries determine who is telling the truth. In this case we know someone is lying — and I believe Eunice Stone.

Tammy Bruce is a Fox News Channel Contributor and author of The Death of Right and Wrong.

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