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Monday, November 4, 2013

Inconsistencies in the TSA Shooting?

A couple of articles questioning some of the official accounts of the shooting at LAX this last week. The primary question in the first article is whether the shooter was actually a TSA agent, noting the similarity between the shooting and a practice drill carried out a month earlier, and witness statements that were inconsistent with statements from law enforcement.

InfoWars also steps into the fray, noting inconsistencies in the reporting.

In my mind, inconsistencies are to be expected because journalists aren't reporters--they are terrible about verifying facts and jumping to conclusions. Furthermore, eye witness testimony can sometimes be very unreliable. I was at a meeting once where, for a demonstration, they had a man suddenly burst into the conference room, start shooting his gun, and run out--all in less than 30 seconds. We were each then given sheets to write down facts of the incident including describing the event, describing the shooter, what he yelled, and the number of shots that were fired. Out of 40 or 50 people, who all saw the encounter first-hand, only a handful could accurately describe the person or the number of shots fired. Only two people were reasonably accurate as to all facts. Some people's accounts were so different from the facts that you wondered if they were in the same room.

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