Federal agency tasked with airport security now routinely interrogates Americans about their financial affairs
Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Monday, October 24, 2011
A traveler flying into Los Angeles was questioned by the TSA about his small collection of silver coins, another example of how the federal agency is acting more like a secret police unit than an airport security outfit, routinely interrogating Americans about their financial affairs.
Alex Jones talked to Jeff, a software engineer, after he passed through security, who told him that TSA agents had questioned him about why he was carrying silver coins and demanded to know their value. The screeners also asked if Jeff was collecting them for a hobby or an investment.
Jeff explained that he was simply planning to cash in the coins and use that money on his vacation instead of dipping into his bank account. The total value of the coins was no more than $600 dollars.
The delay led to TSA agents telling Jeff they couldn’t guarantee that his bags would even make it onto the plane.
This is not the first time US citizens have been harassed by TSA screeners for carrying items of any value, or refusing to answer invasive questions about their financial affairs.
In 2009, Ron Paul campaign treasurer Steven Bierfeldt was detained and interrogated for nearly half an hour by TSA officials for the crime of passing a cash box through a metal detector which contained $4,700 in campaign funds.
During the interrogation, Bierfeldt was threatened with arrest and bombarded with questions about his personal life and political viewpoints.
“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 Department of Homeland Security is training TSA agents to act like secret police, quizzing people on their financial status and political persuasions. This has nothing to do with airport security.
Another example involved war reporter Michael Yon, who was handcuffed and detained after TSA officials demanded to know Yon’s personal income.
“No country has ever treated me so badly,” 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 said he stood firm and refused to allow his privacy to be violated by TSA thugs because his friend had told him of how she was forced to hand over her Internet passwords and watched in horror as TSA screeners read her private emails.
Eventually, Yon was released by Port Authority police because the TSA had no legitimate grounds to hold him.
Given that TSA goons are now stationed at highway checkpoints in order to conduct searches of vehicles, we can expect to see many more examples of invasive interrogations where Americans are guilty until proven innocent, as the country begins more and more to resemble an authoritarian police state where citizens are constantly mandated to show their papers in order to travel anywhere.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.