Well, for those of you out there who already don’t like the Transportation Security Administration, here’s another reason:
A few days ago, a story broke about TSA agents detaining a man at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Sounds normal, right? Well, wait until you hear the reasoning behind it: he was carrying $4,700 cash. Now, the man, Steve Bierfeldt, works for Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, and some people have said that TSA agents saw the literature and that’s why he detained him. Proponents of this theory cite a Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report intended to help law enforcement identify militia members. The report said that “It is not uncommon for militia members to display … Campaign for Liberty … material. These members are usually supporters of former Presidential Candidate: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr.”
According to the Campaign for Liberty blog, Bierfeldt was probably only detained because of the cash, and I would agree. TSA agents are federal agents, not state agents, and probably wouldn’t have even read the MIAC report. I think people are putting too much into the fact that he was a Campaign for Liberty worker. There’s no evidence that they detained him for any reason other than the large amount of money (not that that justifies it).
What makes this case even more special is that Bierfeldt was able to record most of the conversation that went on while he was detained:
And here’s a video that was on FOX News with an interview with Bierfeldt:
Alright, so, as you can see, the TSA agents were way out of line here. Notice how they would never tell him that he didn’t have to answer their question about where the money came from. They were just as uncooperative as he was being! They weren’t advising him of his rights. It doesn’t matter if he’s suspicious – they can keep him from going through to the terminal just for being suspicious, but they can’t detain him. All of those agents should be fired for unlawfully detaining him.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the TSA is necessary (although very annoying at many times), but this crossed the line. We can’t have law enforcement officers detaining whoever they want “because they’re suspicious” – that sets a BAD precedent!