Murder Before Hitting The "Friendly Skies"?

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Thu Oct 4 00:17:12 MDT 2007

The Killing of Carol Ann Gotbaum?

by <mailto:libertatem at>Becky Akers
by Becky Akers

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Contortionists worldwide must be mourning the 
death of Carol Anne Gotbaum. She was an artist of 
unparalleled talent, if you believe the cops who 
arrested, trussed, and imprisoned her at Sky 
Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. 
She died in their custody last Friday because 
"[she] had possibly tried to manipulate the 
handcuffs from behind her to the front, got 
tangled up in the process and they ended up 
around her neck," according to 
Andy Hill.

Go ahead: try it. Hold your hands behind your 
back and raise them. Now you truly appreciate 
Mrs. Gotbaum's unbelievable skill: it's 
impossible to lift your arms more than a few 
vertebrae upward. They won't go anywhere near your neck.

Oddly, no account of Mrs. Gotbaum's death 
mentions her prowess as a pretzel. We learn 
instead that she was 45, that she held an MBA 
from a South African university, and that she 
leaves behind "three very small children. It's a 
very delicate matter," her grieving mother-in-law 
told the 
York Daily News.

"Delicate." Hmmm. Not exactly the word I'd use.

Mrs. Gotbaum was late for a flight on US Airways 
Express Friday afternoon. Don't even think of 
blaming the Transportation Security 
Administration (TSA) and its senseless checkpoint 
charade; tardiness is always our fault, as 
TSA's website explains: "Be prepared and plan 
ahead for security. Passenger preparedness for 
the security process can have a significant 
impact on wait times at the checkpoint."

Nevertheless, something – and it's a good bet 
those "wait times" played a significant part – 
kept Mrs. Gotbaum from reaching her gate until 
"<>the plane 
was already preparing to depart." She then made 
the fatal mistake of complaining rather than 
kowtowing when USA Airways personnel prohibited 
her from boarding. Thanks to the 
deputizing airline crews, most passengers smile 
and shuffle no matter how abusive those uniformed 
bullies become. Not Mrs. Gotbaum. As a customer 
who'd bought a seat on a plane still sitting at 
the gate, she apparently thought that the airline should accommodate her.

Since Mrs. Gotbaum isn't here to defend herself, 
we have only the word of US Airways and the cops 
on what happened now. "She was rebooked on the 
next flight, but 'she became extremely irate, 
apparently running up and down the gate area,'" 
to Derek Hanna of US Airways.

That's a no-no. The aviation industry no longer 
tolerates any reaction but subservience. It 
tacitly equates rage at its abuses with 
terrorism. This allows its myrmidons to call the 
cops when customers vent their frustration.

We aren't told how many thugs piled on to subdue 
a 45-year-old mother of three. "Airport workers
said one cop put his knee in her back to restrain 
her while others grabbed her flailing arms." 
New York Daily News quoted a witness: "I believe 
she was a little not-there. She kept punching. 
She kept screaming. She kept kicking. She looked 
really scared, really frightened. I think she was afraid to go to jail."

Meanwhile, poor Mrs. Gotbaum labored under 
another illusion as fatal as her belief that 
airlines should treat customers like customers: 
the totalitarianism at airports is meant to catch 
terrorists rather than to intimidate citizens 
while conditioning them to government searches. 
And so she sought to set her captors straight. 
"I'm not a terrorist! I'm a sick mom! I need 

Wanna bet the cops laughed at her naïveté as they 
hauled her off to a cell? But Mrs. Gotbaum didn't 
go gently into that dark night. Her kidnappers 
say she screamed and kept on screaming.

Astonishing, the mettle required of police. We 
civilians would feel responsible for traumatizing 
a fellow human being so badly that she shrieks 
without intermission. We'd try to relieve her 
distress by releasing her. Not Phoenix's finest. 
They contented themselves with 
in to check on Gotbaum every fifteen minutes. 
About five to 10 minutes had passed and the 
officers had not heard Gotbaum's voice, so 
someone came in to check on her, according to 
police." A woman healthy enough to "run up and 
down the gate area" an hour or two before now lay 
"unconscious and not breathing. Paramedics were 
unable to revive her." But 
assure us that "neither a Taser nor pepper spray 
was used on the woman." Uh-huh.

Not counting crashes, this is the second fatality 
to American aviation's credit since 9/11. Air 
marshals killed a 44-year-old missionary in 
December 2005 when they shot Rigoberto Alpizar in 
a jetway. Mr. Alpizar had changed his mind about 
flying and tried to disembark from a flight 
preparing to leave Miami. Two marshals followed 
him off the plane and slaughtered him. They 
claimed he was shouting about a bomb. 
passengers aboard the flight flatly denied that. 
Many insisted the only time they heard the b-word 
was when authorities later questioned them.

But the government's version triumphed over the 
State Attorney refused to indict the marshals for 
murder; the 
House even commended them. Those who never knew 
Mr. Alpizar as a 
gentle and caring husband, uncle, brother, son 
and friend" quickly forgot his death. He had no politically powerful relatives.

Mrs. Gotbaum does. Her mother-in-law is Betsy 
Gotbaum, a Democratic hack who's pestered New 
York City for decades. Betsy now reigns as 
Advocate – an office one step below the mayor's. 
says, "We are very concerned about what happened 
at Phoenix airport. It's under investigation and 
we are following that investigation," goons in 
Arizona tremble. They know that enforcers in a 
police state can murder folks like Rigoberto 
Alpizar with impunity. But snuffing a 
politician's family or friends
that's as big a 
no-no as a passenger's protesting shoddy service.

Betsy's got them sweating so profusely that 
spokesman Andy Hill was out there again, trying 
to bolster their lie. This time he wants us to 
believe that contortionists are a dime a dozen 
and even less law-abiding than your average serf: 
"'There are many people that are able to get 
handcuffs around their back and get them up and 
said. "How the handcuffs 'got placed on that neck area
we don't know yet.'"

Ah, but something tells me we soon will.

October 2, 2007

Becky Akers [<mailto:libertatem at>send 
her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.

Copyright © 2007
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