Fourth Amendment

Don't Mess With Ron Paul's Army

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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."