19 November 2009
I Think Being Polite Drives People Crazier Than Just about Anything Else
This incident occurred right here in Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. It really highlights the problem with governmental intimidation and arrogance, and also just how hard it is to effectively protect your rights.
Steve Bierfeldt, who works with Campaign for Liberty, was flying back to D.C. from St. Louis after a C4L event carrying registration money in his carry on bag. He was pulled aside by TSA.
The full audio recording can be found here. Be advised that there are a few instances of medium to strong profanity used by officials therein.
On the one hand, it is obvious that the situation was--practically speaking only-- prolonged by the refusal of Mr. Bierfeldt to give information the government had no right to have. However, isn't that just the point? Isn't the point of freedom from unwarranted searches and seizures, not to mention unjustified detentions, to be able to be free from giving such information "just to get along"? In the end, it is not a security risk to the airplane to carry money, regardless of the amount.
Parts of the audio are funny, parts are frightening. It is a study of psychological law enforcement techniques. Just part of 21st Century Amerika. Credit the ACLU for vindicating this matter in the Courts. That organization sometimes does great work-- too bad it gets grossly overshadowed by most of its other cases.