Monday, February 20, 2006

Ominous, anomalous CDL tests in Ozarks

Maybe there's a saying among fundamentalist Islamfascists to the effect that America will sell them the licensing they need to destroy us.

FBI probes Ozarks trucking school ... Over 18 months 60% of tests taken by men with middle eastern names

The superintendent of the West Plains public school district, which runs the South Central Career Center Truck Training Program as part of vocational training, said the FBI had told district officials the investigation was focused on people who took the tests for a commercial driver's license.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, security efforts have included scrutiny of schools that train pilots as well as truck drivers who might be behind the wheel of rigs carrying tons of fuel or hazardous materials.


Of about 520 people who did not train at the school but took the test there from May 2004 through December 2005, over 300, or about 60 percent, had names that could be Middle Eastern in origin.

The records are a monthly income statement for the school and do not include any addresses or other information, just the names of test takers.

Missouri can issue commercial driver's licenses to noncitizens residing in the state if they provide proof of identity, training and legal residence in the United States, according to the Department of Revenue Web site.

West Plains, about 100 miles southeast of Springfield near the Arkansas border, is a town of about 11,000 people in Howell County, where the population is over 95 percent white, according to the U.S. Census. The largest immigrant population is Hispanic.

``We don't have any community of Middle Eastern immigrants,'' Howell County Commissioner Larry Spence said, adding he was not aware of any similar immigrant groups in neighboring counties.

To its credit, the truck driving school contacted the FBI in 2003 about suspicions that a large number of Middle Eastern men were applying for CDLs. All was quiet until about two weeks ago when the FBI jumped on the facility in force.

So what did they get for their attempt to be good citizens?

Since then, the district school board has put Proffitt and one of the examiners on a leave of absence with pay on the advice of the districts lawyers.

The Highway Patrol has also removed the South Central Career Center Truck Training Program's ability to test for commercial driver's licenses, Eslinger said.

Let's hope that this is not another case of blaming the messenger instead of tracking down the bad guys.

Let's also hope that there isn't some terrorist plan out there to coordinate a multi-city, multi-state attack using trucks as the primary weapons.


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