Michael Yon, a popular war blogger and former Green Beret, was handcuffed and detained this week at Seattle’s airport when he refused to disclose his salary to federal agents.
Yon told the Custom and Border Patrol Agents that his salary had nothing to do with national security.
He also refused to tell them for whom he was working, which prompted them to lead him into a back room for further questioning.
The following is according to Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog, who claims they had an exclusive interview with him:
According to Yon, “they handcuffed me for failing to cooperate. They said I was impeding their ability to do their job.”
Yon described the CBP 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.”
He was eventually released by Port Authority Police, but now the incident has created a political fray between conservative and liberal pundits over who is to blame.
It was just over a year ago when Yon criticized Homeland Security officials for coercing a female friend into giving them her password to her email account, which showed correspondences between Yon and his friend.
The latest incident comes on the heels of an incident in which the Transportation Security Administration served subpoenas on two travel bloggers in an attempt to find out who leaked a security directive to them.
Blogger Chris Elliot refused to cooperate and the subpoena was withdrawn. But travel blogger Steven Frischling complied with the request. Agents ended up destroying his laptop. It is not clear if they will compensate him for the broken computer.
I really need to stress that if people are going to shoot video for Youtube, for fucks sake, please hold the camera steady. Please point the camera at your subject. And please learn to edit the damn video if you haven’t done any of that.
That being said, the above video is revealing as it is, even if it jarring and frustrating to watch.
A man named Andrew who calls himself an “elevator photographer” gets chased out of the Campbell Court Building in Roanoke, Virginia by a janitor because he was, well, taking photos of an elevator.
Rather than swing the video camera everywhere and at nothing, he should have pointed the camera directly into the janitor’s face while he was being threatened and ordered to leave the building. It just makes for a much better video.
The photographer then steps out of the sidewalk and calls the cops but the janitor apparently has also called the cops, so the cops pull up and naturally harass the photographer.
For a few seconds, Andrew actually points the camera at the cop, but the cop orders him to shut the video camera down.
Thankfully, he at least keeps the camera running even if he doesn’t point it at the cop’s face.
Now I people might disagree with me, but I would have continued filming the cop even after he ordered me not to. I would have informed him I’m doing it to protect myself.
I might end up getting arrested but cops eventually have to learn that photography is not a crime. And they have to learn that it is an unlawful order to order someone to stop filming or taking pictures of them.
So we are treated to a black screen for several minutes while we hear Andrew explaining himself in the background. He does do a good job of asserting his rights to the officer, informing the officer that he is well aware of his right to take pictures.
But the cop tells Andrew that he shouldn’t be surprised that people get upset at him for taking their picture because for all they know, he might “put their face on a naked body or something.” No, I’m not kidding. He actually said that. What a dumb ass.
The cops eventually give him a “trespass bar letter,” which apparently means he is no longer allowed in the courthouse. After all, the letter says, photographing an elevator is “suspicious activity.”
Six months after a group of South Florida cops were exposed on a dash cam recorder conjuring a lie to protect one of their own, they are on the brink of getting fired.
Obviously, things work a little slow in the city of Hollywood.
Although the evidence against the cops is overwhelming, the police union is claiming that they are helpless victims of political persecution.
And The Miami Herald is touting Chief Chad Wagner’s decision to fire the officers as a “major crackdown” in the ‘scandal-plagued department.”
Nobody is pointing out that these five officers were sitting at home on paid administrative leave for the past six months while the chief sat on his decision.
And even when he finally made his decision, it came in a letter stating “I intend to terminate your employment” as if they needed more warning. Imagine that happening in the private sector.
Hell, all I got was a fucking phone call from NBC the morning after I pulled a weekend shift when they sacked me.
You may recall the story of how a cop rear-ended a woman who had been drinking. The accident was clearly his fault because the woman had been stopped at a traffic light.
But the arriving officer on the scene, Dewey Pressley, decided to twist the truth. Or in his own words, to “do a little Walt Disney to protect the cop.”
“Well, I don’t want to make things up ever, because it’s wrong, but if I need to bend it a little bit to protect a cop I’m gonna.”
So they introduced a cat to the scenario even though there was no cat at the scene. They claimed the lady had been driving with a cat on her lap when it jumped out the window into the lane of the officer.
They claimed the ever-cautious officer swerved to avoid hitting the cat – because as one of them said, it could have been “a fucking kid” – and ended up crashing into the woman’s car.
The whole scheme was caught on their own dash cam video recorder. One of the cops conjured the story while the others went along with it without hesitation, proving that these types of schemes are not that uncommon, despite the Herald’s claim that this was “an unusual incident.”
In fact, the officers laughed as they agreed to go along. And they probably laughed for the past six months as they sat on their ass collecting their tax-funded salaries. And they are probably laughing now as the union fights for their job.
But this is no laughing matter.
Not only should we be outraged but every police officer in this country should be outraged. Well at least the ones who actually abide by the oath they swore to uphold.
Because it is videos like this that makes them all look bad.
"We’ll do a little Walt Disney to protect the cop"
From coast to coast, Americans are being told they need special permits to pursue their First Amendment freedoms in tax-funded parks.
First it was California where a photographer was told he needed a permit to photograph his family.
Now it’s New Hampshire – the state that prides itself on its Live Free or Die motto – where a videographer was told he needed a permit to film a Youtube clip.
Jonathan C. Doyle, who was attempting to film a performance art video that included himself dressed in a Bigfoot costume atop of Mount Monadnock, was told he needed a permit for “organized or special events which go beyond routine recreational activities.”
But he is claiming the New Hampshire law is vague and a violation of First Amendment rights. And the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Foundation is backing him up on his claim.
In a Dec. 14 letter to George Bald, commissioner of New Hampshire’s Department of Resources and Economic Development (which includes the Parks Department), Foundation Staff Attorney Barbara R. Keshen says the special permit rule is vague, giving “unchecked discretion” to the park director.
“The Permit requirement is unconstitutionally broad on its face and as applied to Mr. Doyle and his production team,” the letter said.
Doyle said he hasn’t received any reply from the parks department.
Amy Bassett, a spokeswoman for the N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation, said the letter had been forwarded to the state Attorney General’s office.
“At the time we were following our administrative rules,” she said.
“At this point (we’re) just waiting to hear back from the AG’s office.”
Doyle said he and his friends were filming the video on a trail away from the general crowds, so they were not interfering with anybody else’s right to use the park.