A jaw-dropper in today’s Washington Times:

A second pilot said that, on one of his recent flights, an air marshal forced his way into the lavatory at the front of his plane after a man of Middle Eastern descent locked himself in for a long period.

The marshal found the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side.

Pardon me for shouting, but WHAT?!?

If that little anecdote is even remotely accurate, why the hell wasn’t it reported to the public? Don’t give me any bureaucratic BS about “ongoing investigations” or “we don’t want to spook the big fish,” either. If a “man of Middle Eastern descent” was caught trying to break into an airline cockpit, we damn well ought to know about it before he’s had a chance to try out the shiny new toilet in his maximum-security holding cell.

And if this is a matter of being politically correct and not ‘profiling’… then the hell with you, Norm Minetta. Your personal squeamishness is not worth risking the lives of the people you’re supposed to be protecting. That goes for you too, Tom Ridge.

UPDATE: In the comments, Jeff Harrell says,

I think there’s an argument to be made that keeping thwarted terrorist attacks secret is a key aspect of our strategy in this war.

My reply: I can see where you’re coming from, but I don’t agree. Among other reasons, I’d be too afraid that people will get lulled into apathy again if reports about possible terrorist attempts get squelched. No attempts might mean they’ve given up, right?

Speaking as somebody who flies–a lot–I want the people around me to be part of a very alert pack ($1 to Instapundit). I’m not going to hope there’s a sky marshall on board–I want my countrymen to be just as aware of the threat, and just as ready to deal with it as anybody with a government badge.

And damn it, if some freaking jihadi was really trying to break into a cockpit, I want to know about it! And I want all his buddies to know that he got the ever-loving crap kicked out of him by the infidels that caught his sorry ass.