Sure We Hassled Boy Scouts at the Border, But You Can't Prove We Pulled a Gun, Says DHS


Boy Scout
Boy Scouts of America

In July, members of an Iowa Boy Scout troop returning from an extended trip complained that they were searched, threatened, and had a gun drawn on them by Customs and Border Protection Officers while crossing from Canada into Alaska. This was all precipitated, said Scoutmaster Jim Fox as well as the scouts, when one of the group took an apparently forbidden photograph of the port of entry. They said the officers immediately flipped out, threatened fines and imprisonment—and things went downhill from there.

But wait! It wasn't all that bad, insists the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General. Sure, CBP officers forced a scout to delete photos of the border crossing. But they never specifically threatened fines or imprisonment! Honest! And yes, they tossed the kid's luggage after spotting an image of a marijuana bud on the phone while confirming the deletion. And of course they confined other members of the group in their vehicles under threat of "being detained." But claims that an officer actually drew his gun are "unsubstantiated."

It's an interesting insight into what government officials think is just A-OK. Though even they are still apparently a bit squeamish about pulling guns on Boy Scouts.

According to the Inspector General's investigation:

At 8:50 p.m., July 7, 2014, a group of Boy Scouts and their adult chaperones arrived at the Alcan POE in four vehicles.

During the primary inspection process, a Boy Scout (Boy Scout 2) took pictures of the POE. A CBPO (CBPO 2), CBP, Alcan, Alaska, instructed Boy Scout 2 to delete the pictures and to show him that the photos were deleted. After Boy Scout 2 deleted the last photograph, CBPO 2 saw another photograph of a hand holding what appeared to be marijuana. Boy Scout 2 admitted that it was his hand in the photograph holding a marijuana bud /flower. CBPO 2 subsequently searched the vehicle while the occupants waited in the POE office and the rest of the group waited in their respective vehicles. During the search, CBPO 2 instructed thedrivers and occupants of the other three vehicles to remain in their vehicles, and that the failure to do so would result in being detained.

Need we point out that "Nothing of evidentiary value was found in the search of the vehicle or bag."

It was during the search, say two of the scouts, that an officer pointed a gun at one of the scouts, who was trying to retrieve a bag from the top of a vehicle so the border guards could paw through it.

Uh uh, says the report. "A review of the POE security video gave no indication that a CBPO withdrew a firearm during the encounter." The officers also deny threatening "a fine and jail time" for photographing the port of entry, even if all the fun started when they forced a kid to delete photos from his phone. The alleged penalties were set at $10,000 per photo, and 10 years in prison (not mentioned in the report) which seem like awfully specific numbers for scouts and their guardians to pull out of the air.

Contrary to American Civil Liberties Union guidance, the report insists that photographing the port of entry, even though it's a public place in plain view, is rightfully prohibited according to General Services Administration rules once you pass a sign saying, "NOTICE NO PHOTOGRAPHY BEYOND THIS POINT." Using a telephoto lens from the other side of that sign is, no doubt, just swell.

The group was held at the crossing for 49 minutes, according to the report, over a photograph of a public place and an accidentally discovered picture of a plant. And it was all good.

NEXT: Bill Clinton, George Bush Yuck It Up While Announcing "Presidential Leadership" Scholarship

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    1. "Ok, we pulled a gun on them, but this thing about holding a knife to their throats and calling them infidels? NEVER HAPPENED!"

    2. Paramilitary youth organizations is how it starts.

      1. Be sure to say thank you and take the scimitar blade first, or they'll cut the corner off of your Totin' Chip.

        1. I have my Blood of the Infidel badge. And Knot Tying, for those long desert nights in the tent with my special friend.

          1. I thought that was Animal Husbandry.

            1. "He just put his nose under the edge of my tent! I swear!"

              1. He was freshly sheered and baaaaaasking for it!

                1. That reminds me of the Australian Sheep-Shearing joke.

                  the punchline of which is,

                  "I'm not shearing this sheep with anybody!"

          2. And Knot Tying

            That's Pioneering to you, civilian.

            /Eagle Scout

            1. I was never one of you because of a crippling neckerchief allergy.

              1. Well, they also don't allow vegisexuals.

                1. "half a melon heated up in the microwave"

              2. So you never learned the art of stealth killing, taught between the Life and Eagle ranks?

            2. I had a really good friend that was an Eagle Scout. He was very calm and composed after he shot me.

              1. Oh, absolutely. When, say, a Scout First Class shoots you, he'll giggle and blush, ruining the quality of the shoot. An Eagle Scout, on the other hand, keeps his cool and is ready for the next shoot. After all, to qualify as an Eagle Scout, you have to have at least three confirmed kills.

                1. Damn, they keep lowering standards.

                  We had to have five kills AND we had to bag them and tag them ourselves.

                  1. Yeah, what do you expect from kids these days? Soft.

  1. We are the government and we want to fuck you so hard your head falls off. -DN

    1. Perhaps that explains our government. It simply has an uncontrollable and carnal lust for all of its citizens.

  2. Using a telephoto lens from the other side of that sign is, no doubt, just swell.

    Actually it is. Just like on military bases, the CO can set photography policy, off-base he has no authority and its perfectly legal to photograph Top Secret stuff from across the street.

    Not to say that the police won't hassle you (as we already know) but if its secret, its *base's* responsibility to ensure that its not out in the open.

    As an example - the shape of the screw on a submarine is classified tech, cruise down San Diego bay and you'll see the subs in drydock will have their screws covered.

    Or when the B-2 was first being displayed it was always parked with the arse end in a hangar so no-one could get a photo of its exhaust ports.

    1. the shape of the screw on a submarine is classified tech

      ? So when it's boarded by Russkies they'll be all "Philips head - DAMMIT!"

  3. 'Government' is the name for the guns we choose to point at each other.

    1. *laughs*


  4. Once again, increasingly we see that every encounter you have with a government goon could turn ugly depending on, well, just about anything. They don't like the look of you? They're having a bad day? You look like the guy that banged their wife? You smell as bad as NutraSweet? Doesn't matter. If for whatever reason they decide to fuck with you, they can and will. In fact, in many cases they can beat or kill you and face no consequences.

    It's completely arbitrary. Even if the bad encounters are a low percentage, the fact that any encounter with LEOs could end with your death is extremely fucked up. I'm so glad we live in a first world country.

    1. U.S. Customs border fucks are the worst of the worst. I used to travel regularly between Canada and the U.S.

      Rude ass motherfuckers that probably make more than you and can't be fired.

      1. I've found the Canadian ones to be equally bad. No matter what country, the worst people are going to be drawn to a job that lets people seriously fuck with you and your plans if they feel like it.

        1. I wonder if there is competition across the border to see which side can be shittier to the other side's citizens. Or perhaps it's their own citizens. I've always been treated much more poorly by the US border people than by any other country's. And I have heard that Canadians often have similar experience crossing the US border back to Canada.

          1. It's really a crapshoot. Some are exceedingly pleasant and some are rude, arrogant pricks. On both sides of the border.

            Usually the ones at the smaller border crossings are nicer - I guess they get bored not doing anything for most of the day.

            1. So shouldn't it be our duty to apply for those jobs so we can get more nice people in them & reduce the amount gov't fucks with people?

        2. Speaking for myself, my experiences driving north were good in terms of politeness. I was regularly pulled over for further questions by our customs agents to the north because I was a single dad traveling with a child so kidnapping.

          But they were always polite.

          I was never pulled out going south, but received rude, discourteous treatment every time.

    2. You know, over the last year fewer and fewer people think my "treat cops like strange dogs" analogy is crazy. Smile, be polite, show neither fear nor aggression, and try to end the encounter as fast as possible. They may not be dangerous, but don't ever trust them just because they aren't growling.

      1. Do NOT smile. Showing your teeth is a sign of aggression.

    3. I have a wonderfully bracing personal scent. Go eat a stack of charred orphan cocks, shitslurper.

      1. You'd smell less bad if you stopped eating those, you know.

        1. Waste not, want not.

    4. Good thing my ENTIRE STATE falls within the jurisdiction of these border agents.

      1. Assuming that they claim their special "no rights zone" to be 100 miles from coasts as well as land borders. Even today I kind of doubt that would fly as that includes so many major populated areas.

        I've never found a clear answer about whether they claim their special zone only near land borders or what.

        1. The fact that they can declare such things at all shows how far away we are from a free republic.

          1. Oh, yeah. It's totally fucked in either case. It bothers me enough how few rights I have when crossing the border back into the country that I live in.

            "What is the purpose of your trip?"

            "I fucking live here, I don't need a reason."

            1. Yes, I'm a little unclear on why they can do anything more than maybe make sure I'm not importing nukes.

        2. I'm pretty sure SCOTUS has backed them up on that. So they can do whatever they please, sadly.

          1. What difference does it make to me which part of government denies me my freedoms?

            1. I'm just saying that Zeb is an optimist.

              1. Damn right I'm an optimist. I try to be a realist too, but no sense making yourself miserable all the time.

          2. Backed them up on what? Land borders, or the entire periphery of the country? I know they've got their wish on land borders, but I haven't seen anything that clearly says whether they have claimed extra powers near the coast. If they have, then it includes most of the biggest cities in the country. Which is insane (though I guess it shouldn't surprise me too much).

    5. Hey, it's not SF's fault, it's a glandular thing.

      1. Thank you, good sir. I'll remember this the next time you ask me to mail you a pair of my dirty underwear.

    6. Cheer up - we're just like the rest of the world now.

  5. is rightfully prohibited according to General Services Administration rules once you pass a sign saying, "NOTICE NO PHOTOGRAPHY BEYOND THIS POINT."

    Which, uh, elected officials passed this law so that we may redress our grievances democratically?

  6. Well, I'm told that freedom of movement is a cosmotarian fantasy, so I don't know what those Boy Scouts are complaining about.

  7. The sound you hear is Osama bin Laden laughing from beyond his grave.

    1. Beyond what grave? He's probably fine, given the level of truth this administration has provided to date. Maybe they hired him to delete e-mails. Ruthlessly.

      1. Fuck. I think I'm sad that nothing--not even this--can trip my "that's absurd!"-o-meter anymore.

        But I can't feel anything any more, so that's sort of numbly comforting, at least.

      2. He's running the healthcare exchanges.

  8. OT: Ray Rice has just had the remainder of his contract terminated and been released.

    It's about time that one of the Ravens' many psychopaths finally has to pay some kind of price for his misdeeds.

    1. you beat me.

    2. So he won't be paid millions anymore? Maybe the wife has finally found her reason to leave him.

  9. John Roth had a long career with the DOJ. That explains why CBP 'appears' to have done nothing wrong after spending thousands of your tax dollars investigating.

    Our federal government is managed by the most astoundingly arrogant schmucks ever pushed out of a vagina.

    Only a society-crooning progressive or god-fearing nitwit could overlook the massive backlog of harassment constantly leveled upon ordinary citizens.

  10. OT:Ray Rice is cut.
    I find it hilarious that people have all the sudden gotten pissed after seeing the video, what did they expect to see already knowing she was knocked out?

    1. If a picture is worth a thousands words, a video is worth a million.

      1. but the video of Ray dragging her around the hotel was more damning than the video imho. The video kind of showed her wailing on him and then him just cold cocking her, I kind of expected it to be much worse.

        1. The video shows her starting a fight, and him fighting back? Based on the reactions I've heard all day I thought he just punched her repeatedly for shits and giggles.

          1. The video sucks, but it appears to me she came at him he moved back, she came at him again and he cold cocked and she dropped.

          2. She slaps and scratches at him and he hits her once.

            You can't fight back. That's what equality is all about.

      2. I would think that a video would have to be at least 41 seconds long to be worth a million words.

    2. It's just another opportunity to show rrighteous indignation.

      I'm more virtuous than you because I'm angrier than you about this!

    3. What is the Obama administration trying to distract us from this time?

  11. What? You gonna take the word of a boy scout over mine?

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