The Knuckleheads of the Day award
Today's winners are The Port of Oakland(California) and its Executive Director Omar Benjamin, plus Hilltop Aviation. They get the award for the following.
Oakland International Airport officials apologized for prohibiting a planeload of U.S. troops, just back from Iraq, from entering the passenger terminal during a layover Thursday, prompting conservative pundits and bloggers to hold up the incident as an example of the Left Coast dishonoring soldiers.What a disgraceful way to treat our returning soldiers. The Airport and Hilltop should be ashamed of themselves for idiotic behavior. What happened in Oakland was probably nothing political, just people not thinking. It happens all too often.
"We apologize, I apologize to any members of the military that were on this flight and may have experienced some discomfort or perception of disrespect," said Omar Benjamin, executive director of the Port of Oakland, which operates the airport.
There was no disrespect intended when North American Airlines Flight 1777 was directed to wait two hours at a remote part of the airport, Benjamin said. The plane was onits way from Iraq to Hawaii.
Benjamin's apology came in the face of conflicting reports circulating across the nation painting the airport in the liberal-leaning Bay Area as a poster child for disrespect toward U.S. troops.
Although the airport said its decision was made "together with the TSA," the Transportation Security Administration denied playing a role.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, airport officials said they did not realize that the soldiers had been screened during previous stopovers in Kuwait and New York. They also were unaware that some of the troops, reportedly Marines, had meant to see locals during their two-hour layover, said Deborah Ale-Flint, the airport's assistant director of aviation.
Hilltop Aviation, which was contracted to provide ground services for North American Airlines Flight 1777, had said there were weapons aboard the flight, the passengers had not been screened, and did not tell the airport "that some of the service men and women onboard anticipated meeting family and friends," Ale-Flint said.
"If this information had been shared in advance," she said, "there would have been a different outcome."
As evidence of that, Ale-Flint noted that Hilltop had made such arrangements for an earlier North American flight that same day, and the troops were permitted inside the airport.
The Port of Oakland(California) and its Executive Director Omar Benjamin, plus Hilltop Aviation are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.
Hat tip- Michelle Malkin. Check out her posts here and here.
Linked to- Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, High Desert Wanderer, Is it just me?, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove, Rosemary, Samantha Burns, Stuck on Stupid, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself, Yankee Sailor,