Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Citizen intervention" on train in Belgium raises questions about bystander "responsibility"

CNN has been covering all day the “citizen’s arrest” made by three young Adult Americans (two in the military or National Guard) and one Brit (and one Frenchman) on a high-speed train as it passed through Belgium from Amsterdam to Paris. This was very much a new "Strangers on a Train" movie. 
The best news story seems to be here

This is frightening; given current security, this could happen anywhere. Note that there has been little more information recently about the May 2015 Amtrak crash in Philadelphia.

One important point concerned the “moral” accountability of citizen bystanders in this sort of situation, reminding one of the United Flight 93 event, or even the shoebomber incident in 2009. The British observer said, "Don't just stand by or run."  I can remember back in the 1960s, during the Vietnam era, before I was drafted, than in a public emergency, you go to someone "in uniform". 

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