This really ticks me off. Michael Yon, who I follow regularly as he travels with embedded troops around the world as they fight insurgents, Taliban, al-Qaida and other terrorists was handcuffed and detained by TSA security at SeaTac earlier today when he was returning from overseas.
Update: Yon did not say that TSA handcuffed him – I made that assumption. My guess is that it was Customs or Immigration when he was re-entering the USA. I just updated my post headline accordingly.
Update 2: More at Big Hollywood who seems to have an exclusive interview that mentions the TSA multiple times. It is possible I would assume Yon needed to exit the secure area and go back through security – and the TSA security theater – when making a connection. Also read Yon’s post Border Bullies from Jan. 2009. Insightful.
Get this. They wanted to know what his annual income was, and since he elected not to tell them, he was handcuffed and detained at the airport. From Yon’s Facebook page posted about two hours ago.
Got arrested at the Seattle airport for refusing to say how much money I make. (The uniformed ones say I was not “arrested”, but they definitely handcuffed me.) Their videos and audios should show that I was polite, but simply refused questions that had nothing to do with national security. Port authority police eventually came — they were professionals — and rescued me from the border bullies.
… When they handcuffed me, I said that no country has ever treated me so badly. 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.
Hat tip to Morrissey at Hot Air and Malkin. I monitor Yon’s RSS feed for his main Web site, and I hope he’ll post a bit more about the event over there. (Gosh, do I really have to start monitoring Facebook fan pages and Twitter feeds?)
Unless there is more to this story, an apology would be the least owed to Yon. When an American citizen with a valid passport presents himself for travel, there should be some reasonable screening to verify identity and to determine whether there is a physical risk, ie, weapons and the like.
Jim Hoft over at Gateway Pundit also writing.
I’m certain that Yon has quite a few entry stamps in his passport that would raise an eyebrow or two, but come on. This is just another example of how innocent Americans are loosing their freedoms specifically due to the war on terror. I can see the terrorists happy their actions are putting Americans like Michael Yon through this crap.
You can support Yon through his Web site to ensure his reporting and excellent photography continue. He’s an independent journalist, not on the payroll of any large news organization who would be paying for his travel.