Wednesday, January 06, 2010

TSA at SeaTac airport arrests blogger Yon for no reason

Michael Yon has been providing excellent, independent journalism from Iraq and Afghanistan for the past several years. He doesn't work for anyone. He asks readers to donate to his support. His blog Yon was questioned by the TSA at Sea-Tacoma International Airport. They asked him questions that have nothing to do with security and he didn't answer. Good for him. So they arrested him. Well, they say they didn't arrest him, They just handcuffed him and detained him. What's the difference? Big Government: Yon was returning to the United States from Hong Kong to visit family when TSA officials stopped him during a routine security checkpoint. “Officials asked me what was in my bag—nothing wrong with this question,” Yon said in an interview with “I told them it was normal stuff, clothes and toothbrushes.” At this point the TSA officials escorted Yon to a designated screening area where they examined the contents of his bag. “Then they asked me how much money I make,” Yon said. Yon suggested to the TSA officials that the question was inappropriate and unrelated to transportation security. The award-winning blogger noted another TSA officer approached Yon: “he asked who do I work for.” ”I did not answer the question which clearly was upsetting to the TSA officers.” Yon was escorted to a room elsewhere in the airport where he said he remained silent during much of the questioning. According to Yon, “they handcuffed me for failing to cooperate. They said I was impeding their ability to do their job.” Yon described the TSA officials as noticeably frustrated by his refusal to answer their questions: “I always assume everything is being recorded. I was trying to be professional.” Yon continued, “They said I wasn’t under arrest, but I’m handcuffed. In any other country, that qualifies as an arrest.” Ultimately Port Authority police released Yon; according to Yon, the police were “completely professional.”

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