"The man who prefers his country before any other duty shows the same spirit as the man who surrenders every right to the state. They both deny that right is superior to authority."
Lord Acton

Monday, January 31, 2011

The TSA does not have police powers... for now

Well this is very welcome good news.  We in the US can count this as a victory for the side of freedom!  The man who was recently arrested in Albuquerque, NM for filming the TSA, and refusing to give ID has been cleared of ALL charges

From The Register:
Mocek's video, shot in November 2009 at the Albuquerque International Airport, portrays a passenger politely refusing officers' request that he show ID and stop videotaping his encounter with them.
“Is there a problem with using a camera in the airport in publicly – in publicly accessible areas?” Mocek calmly asks.
“Yes, there is,” an officer answers.
“I think you're incorrect,” the passenger replies.
As the confrontation continues, one officer tells the man: “You pushing it, OK? You're really pushing it.”
Another officer says: “Buster, you're in trouble.”

Here's his video:

The findings state that individuals have the right to travel within the US without ID, and you have the right to film and record the TSA.  Thank you Phil Mocek, you are a true patriot!

1 comment:

  1. True story... I had to fly last February without ID. Due to the California budget crisis (office closures, etc), my ID was several weeks late. I'd hoped it would arrive by my pre-Valentine's Day flight to Dallas but 6 weeks after a trip to the DMV, it hadn't. I'd lost my passport on a flight to Chicago two months earlier so all I had was my birth certificate, two bank cards, my latest W-2s, business cards, and a Costco card with my photo. I brought EVERY single piece of identifying paperwork I had and hoped for the best...

    I had no problem getting out of San Francisco and even called the TSA to check beforehand to see if I'd have any problems. Believe it or not, TSA told me the airline would be the real problem, not TSA. They said the airline would ask for ID to check my bag and if I didn't have it, they could technically deny me. They didn't. SFO was a breeze. I didn't even get pulled aside (I look pretty damn sketchy but really, is a girl with a tattoo on her neck going to do ANYTHING conspicuous?!).

    Fast-forward a few days and I'm trying to get out of Dallas. First the airline slyly ripped up my pre-printed boarding pass and replaced it with a new, "SSSS" branded pass. Now if I were a terrorist (some may consider me one, let's be honest), wouldn't I know that the SSSS meant I was branded higher security and therefore subject to additional screening? Whatever. Worse, she smiled at me while she did it in typical Texas fashion.

    Then I got to the ancient piece of beef jerky that was supposed to be my TSA agent. He wasn't at all entertained by any of this even though I had this stack of paperwork and was RETURNING home, not trying to get on a flight out of town. I explained to him that I'd promptly gone to the DMV to get my license renewed after losing my passport but he didn't like this explanation ("I'm not sure if you know this but California is broke..." I told him). It wasn't until two Mexicans without airport ID or any ID for that matter showed up trying to get to the airport McDonald's that I was waved through by a supervisor.

    "You better take care of that!" he snarled at me as I went to get my flight. Oh, you mean the delay in receiving my license that I have absolutely no control over??? Umm OK, I'll get right on that.

    They are confused as to why they have jobs and obviously don't know how to do them. A TSA agent in Richmond told me I had to throw away my hot pink, fake bullet belt because it was a "replica weapon" which is not allowed. Yeah, I'm going to threaten the whole plane with fake plastic Hot Topic bullets that are glued to my belt, bro, look out!

    I like messing with them by stashing as many inappropriate but allowed items as I can in my carry-on. If we're going to get violated, might as well get our own sick thrill out of it at the same time. Fun at the airport is explaining a vibrating BDSM-clad duck with a ball gag in its mouth to a red-faced TSA agent who dared to pull it out in front of everyone.