Fourth Amendment

Don't Mess With Ron Paul's Army


Here's a happy headline! "Airport rules changed after Ron Paul aide detained." The story:

An angry aide to Rep. Ron Paul, an iPhone and $4,700 in cash have forced the Transportation Security Administration to quietly issue two new rules telling its airport screeners they can only conduct searches related to airplane safety. […]

The new rules, issued in September and October, tell officers "screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security" and that large amounts of cash don't qualify as suspicious for purposes of safety. […]

The ACLU sued in June on behalf of [Steve] Bierfeldt, who was detained after he sent a metal box with $4,700 in cash and checks through an X-ray machine at the airport.

He had the cash as part of his duties as director of development for the Campaign for Liberty, the offshoot group that Mr. Paul, Texas Republican, created from his failed presidential bid.

Mr. Bierfeldt recorded audio of the confrontation on his iPhone, including threats, insults and repeated questions about where he obtained the money.

"Are you from this planet?" one officer told him, while another accused him of acting like a child for asking what part of the law forced him to answer their questions about the money.

Whole thing here. Reason on the Bierfeldt case here, and make sure to re-read our classic February 2004 cover story on the TSA, "Dominate. Intimidate. Control."

NEXT: "Every Day is a Bonus": Veterans Day in D.C., November 2009

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  1. TSA spokeswoman Lauren Gaches … said the directives would not be released unless a Freedom Of Information Act request was submitted by The Washington Times.

    How’s that “transparency” thing comin’ along?

    1. We have begun to roll out surveillance equipment that will allow us to see your junk through your clothes. While we promise not to actually look at your junk, we do expect to be able to help whittle down the national debt by selling videos through our pay-per-view website.

  2. I call BS on the TSA. This is also in reponse to another case they lost. The rules probably say that screening can’t be used to detect non-transportation related crimes, but, if they happen to see contraband in a bag on x-ray, they can call for a “secondary screening”, check the bag, and call over the cops. And all they have to say is that “they thought they saw a knife/gun/bomb” and just happened to see this contraband, and then were required to call the cops. So it’s pretty meaningless.

  3. You’re acting like a child.

    You’re acting like a tyrant!

  4. $4,700? That will be pocket change after a few years of hyper-inflation to pay for the stimulus/health-care circle jerk.

  5. That’s good news. It’d be better news if government officials had to pay damages and face criminal charges every time they exceeded their authority.

  6. When we’re all aides to politicians, we’ll all be free.

    After we sue.

  7. Secret Service Vehicles Hit and Kill Pedestrian…..10628.html

    1. Interesting that they’re going to do a tox screen in the autopsy to see if the victim was drunk / on drugs, but they didn’t mention anything about the SS guys.

      Of course, they aren’t little people.

  8. I just took a couple of plane trips, and I thought it was notable that they either can’t or don’t enforce the liquids/gels rule. I brought the stupid mini-containers and the quart-sized plastic bag, but didn’t ever bother to bring it out for inspection, and went straight through both times. That’s also consonant with my couple of previous trips, and, glancing around, seemed to be pretty much the scenario for most of the other travelers.

    I’m not sure if that indicates that they just can’t tell if you actually have liquids in your bag, or if they can tell and have quietly stopped enforcing it.

    I’d rather that the rule — which, I think, manages the rather impressive feat of being universally acknowledged as the most meaningless “safety” kabuki-rule ever — were formally stricken, though.

    1. They found my two bottles of hot sauce in a packed bag with just the X-ray. Fucking bastards.

      1. Some high-octance pepper sauces should be label as bio-weapons. You could blind someone with that stuff 😉

        1. I accidentally got a pocket knife through the Philadelphia Int’l Airport security a few years ago. I had no idea what they were talking about when I tried to get back on the plane in Ft. Lauderdale until the guy pulled it out of my bag. Literally, some guy came over and measured the blade and luckily it was under, I guess, because they let me go.

    2. Lucky you. I was scolded just the other day by a TSA minion due to not having my little baggie out for inspection.

  9. Counting down to three years since I’ve been on an airplane.

    1. I was on a plane WITH FIREARMS about two months ago. Private planes, bitches!

      But I haven’t been on a commercial aircraft in like five years.

      1. Thats why I take trains. Met a gal with 160 OZ of the finest BUD in OR too. Fantastic.

        Can’t do that on a plane.

  10. On most of my recent trips I’ve gotten to watch someone being forced to give up a bottle of something palatable at a checkpoint. They seem to be better at 8 oz+ containers and better at glass.

    BTW, NutraSweet, twice it has been hot sauce. How much do you fly, man?

    1. Three or four times a year. And not being able to bring a lot of types of food back is killing me.

      Although, I think both the hot sauce incidents was the same trip, the one back from New Orleans last week. I also couldn’t buy a wide array of creole mustards I saw. I did bring back and entire Central Grocery muffuletta, though.

  11. FDA plans to ban the sale of Gulf of Mexico raw oysters from April through October.

    Ass bastards.

    1. So, if like the article says, Louisiana writes over-riding legislation, do we have a nice little 10th Amendment fight on our hands? Will the Feds be battling the State Police in the streets of the French Quarter? Suckier movies have been made.

    2. What jurisdiction does the FDA have over Gulf oysters consumed in Gulf states?

    3. Those Fucks!!!

      The last time they tried this was when Clinton was President.Try and tell me again there is no difference between the two parties.If history repeats : good luck getting your eggs fried over easy pretty soon.Fuck the FDA, Fuck DemocRATS, Fuck Obama, Fuck “liberaltarians”.

      Look out for the “frozen in the shell” Chi-com oysters.Pretty soon that will be all you can get.

      I am declaring WAR!

  12. just read that

  13. Has TSA issued the jack boots to go with the rest of the uniform yet?

  14. The TSA serves as an idiot filter.

    To make it through security, you just need to go the TSA website and print the “rules”. Then as you pass through security, you keep your mouth shut.

    This ensures that only quiet sheep with enough brains to find the “rules” can get on an aircraft.

    There is no benefit to actual operational safety from this process of course.

  15. I remember foolishly buying a Starbucks prior to going through the TSA checkpoint. This was just after the “liquids” ban. The TSA goon told me to toss the iced Americano I’d just paid $2.50 for. I drank as much as I could swallow before tossing it in the trash.

    You’d think seeing someone actually drink the liquid would be good enough proof that it’s not an explosive component, but I guess that would take intelligence and critical thinking ability.

    1. Not only that… lets say the coffee was high explosives… you are now going to walk on a plane with a stomach of high explosives.

    2. There could be a false bottom in the cup, separating the coffee from the nitroglycerin in the bottom half.

      As W said, the terrorists are always thinking of creative ways to destroy us — and so do we.

      1. Unfortunately, TSA does not do creative. But they are really, really good at heavy-handed.

  16. I took a flight to Indiana from LAX in May and they hassled me about my SwissArmy USB keychain. The keychain had a 1″ letter opener blade, in addition to scissors intended to cut string. Needless to say, they flipped their shit and started holding up the line. One of the goons had the sense to suggest I “break off the knife attachment”…but that I had to do so OUTSIDE. They wouldn’t let me break it off inside and I had to board immediately, so I told him to fuck off and took the keychain off, getting in the face of all of the goons as I left.

    I still really, really hope they tried to use the (really nice) USB keychain. I had recently tried to fix my wife’s old computer – it was so full of rootkits NOD32 AV couldn’t delete the viruses faster than they were being downloaded. I assume the rootkit installed itself on the drive.

  17. I’d like to see all the TSA agents who have been busted STEALING from passangers checked baggage.

    1. Yeah, good luck getting a hold of that information.

  18. Baked Peng: Do you remember when they forced a woman to drink her own breast milk?…..milk_x.htm

  19. Yeah. Personally, I think I’d prefer Starbucks.

  20. I’m glad there are people with the time, money and resources to tell the gubment to go fck themselves.

  21. Fuck the TSA.

    Fuck them in every hole.

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