I'm sure that Annie Jacobsen would like to get back to writing about mutual funds and retirement planning. She's good at it. Unfortunately for her, she's also good at writing about Flight 327, and staying on top of the story. Before she's done learning about federal bureaucracy, I'll bet she wishes she were only covering the finer points of Eliot Spitzer's plan to remake the world through litigation.
The latest developments come from another passenger on the plane, Billie Jo Rodriguez who corroborates the details Annie reported, plus this:
I also have to tell you one detail that you didn't catch. I emailed this detail to the Department of Homeland Security but I haven't heard back. As I mentioned, the tall man in the jogging suit sat right behind me. He got up and passed by me to go to the bathroom up in first class. (Note to readers: This is the same man that, according to a first class passenger, pushed another passenger out of the way to get into the lavatory first. This is also the man mentioned in a TIME magazine article who spent 10 minutes in the bathroom, which alarmed a Federal Air Marshal who then searched the lavatory).
The man was gone for a very long time. And when he came back, he reeked of chemicals -- the chemicals from the toilet bowl. He absolutely reeked of it. And I thought, what was he doing in the toilet? He didn't smell like chemicals when he got up to go to the bathroom -- it was when he came back. It was so spooky. What was he doing in there? That he would smell so strong of chemicals from the toilet?
Now, we've heard how the men were just washing up for prayers. But in the toilet? Those sinks are small, but not that small.
At this point, Annie has collected corroboration (to varying degrees) from seven other passengers, and has also established that the FBI considers Flight 327 an ongoing investigation.
The Vast Left-Wing Fever Swamp (VLWFS) may consider Mrs. Jacobsen as paranoid racist. The New York Times takes the somewhat gentler view that the whole thing was merely a misunderstanding, fueled by cultural differences. The Syrian Ambassador, though, has thrown in with the VLWFS, and is acting like a Kerry Campaign official charged with explaining what these 14 men were doing in Cambodia. But there were lots of nervous people on that plane.