Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Nathaniel Heatwole Is A Hero

This brave young man stands against the incompetent bureaucracy to attempt in some small way to make this country a safer place.

A student from Guilford College who allegedly hid box cutters and other banned items on four airliners to expose weaknesses in U.S. security was charged with a federal crime Monday. The banned items were discovered on two of the planes a month after Heatwole contacted authorities about his scheme via e-mail.

Heatwole described his as "an`act of civil disobedience with the aim of improving public safety for the air-traveling public.'"

However, U.S. Attorney Thomas DiBiagio said Heatwole's conduct "was not a prank. This was not poor judgment. ... It was not a test. It was not a civil action. It was a very serious and foolish action."

Heatwole's bags contained box cutters, modeling clay made to look like plastic explosives, matches and bleach hidden in sunscreen bottles, the affidavit said. Inside were notes with details about when and where the items were carried aboard. They were signed "3891925," which is the reverse of Heatwole's birthday: 5/29/1983.

Guilford is a Quaker college with a history of pacifism and civil disobedience that dates to the Civil War. Heatwole is not a Quaker but shares many of the tenets of the faith, including a belief in pacifism, according to a February 2002 interview with The Guilfordian, the campus newspaper.

If the Feds throw the book at him, it is just more evidence of this misdirected and mismanaged Justice Dept who has trouble recognizing reality.

  • Box Cutter Case
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