Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
A war reporter who was detained, interrogated and handcuffed at Seattle airport for refusing to answer personal questions about his income has warned that Americans need to start standing up to TSA thugs because entering the country is now a more stifling experience than some of the worst police states on the planet.
“No country has ever treated me so badly,” Michael Yon wrote in a Facebook message. “Not China. Not Vietnam. Not Afghanistan. Definitely not Singapore or India or Nepal or Germany, not Brunei, not Indonesia, or Malaysia, or Kuwait or Qatar or United Arab Emirates. No county has treated me with the disrespect can that can be expected from our border bullies.”
“Yon was taken aside by the TSA and asked a series of questions, many of which seemed to have no bearing on national security. Finally when asked what his personal income was, he refused to answer because he felt it was none of their business. At this point they handcuffed and detained him until he was eventually released by Port Authority police because the TSA had no legitimate grounds to hold him,” reports Blog Critics.
Yon said that his experience was par for the course when entering America and not a manifestation of the Christmas Day attack. He told Breitbart.tv about a similar experience endured by his friend who was forced to give TSA agents her email password, who then proceeded to read her emails while she was in security.
Yon said he decided to stand up for his rights and “stare down” the TSA thugs. “I was like, let’s go to jail. I’m ready, because I’m not going to answer these questions, nobody’s getting my passwords,” he said, adding that he “hoped an adult would enter the room” so that he could be released.
Yon said that it was a nonsense that Americans were putting up with this kind of harassment. “We only have to deal with this because we put up with it….it’s incredible what we will allow our government to put us through,” he said, adding that harassment at American airports was even worse than that he had encountered in Israel.
“If we don’t stand up to them they will continue to infringe on our rights,” Yon warned.
Yon’s experience was similar to that endured by Steve Bierfeldt, a Ron Paul Campaign For Liberty treasurer, who was hounded and harassed by TSA agents for the crime of carrying cash and Ron Paul campaign material.
Bierfeldt was interrogated for over half an hour about his personal life and political viewpoints after he passed a metal box containing cash through a security checkpoint X-ray.
“I do not believe I should give up my constitutional rights each time I choose to travel by plane. I was doing nothing illegal or suspicious, yet I was treated like a potential criminal and harassed for no reason,” said Bierfeldt.
The ACLU fired a lawsuit on behalf of Bierfeldt, arguing that, “The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is subjecting innocent Americans to unreasonable searches and detentions that violate the Constitution.”
Incidents of TSA agents behaving like secret political police and embarking on petty power trips to harass innocent people have exploded way out of control and it has to stop now. Even overlooking the primary issues of gross violations of rights and privacy, the fact is that a large number of people have simply refused to travel to America anymore because entering the country is like trying to get into the old East Germany. This is killing the tourism industry and costing hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
A 2006 investigation by the Discover America Partnership found that tourism to America had sunk due to “a climate of fear and frustration that is turning away foreign business and leisure travelers from visiting the United States and damaging America’s image abroad.”
No less than a third of tourists vowed never to return to America after experiencing the treatment of Homeland Security officials at ports of entry. By early 2007, the U.S. had lost around 60 million visitors as a result of the stifling and intrusive security measures implemented since 9/11, which were proven to be completely flawed in light of the underwear bomber incident on Christmas Day.
America has not only lost its crown as a beacon of freedom and hospitality, turning instead into a feared police state shunned by tourists, but it has also sacrificed almost a third of its tourist industry as a result of TSA and Homeland Security thugs being given the power to treat everyone who enters the country as a potential terrorist who is guilty until proven innocent.
Watch an interview with Michael Yon below.