It’s not often that you get to here the truculent questioning of our fine officers from the Transportation Security Administration, but traveler Steve Bierfeldt managed to surreptitiously record an encounter with the TSA when he was detained in St. Louis.
What was he detained for? Carrying $4,700 in cash.
If you watch this video, you’ll hear about 2 minutes of back-and-forth between TSA personnel and Bierfeldt in a windowless detention room in the St. Louis airport. The TSA wants to know what Bierfeldt does for a living and why he’s carrying that kind of cash. All Bierfeldt asks in reply is whether he’s legally required to answer those questions. The audio leaves off with personnel telling Bierfeldt that he’s being taken downtown to a regional Drug Enforcement Agency office for further questioning.
Fox New’s Freedom Watch, of course, jumps on this like Oprah on a buffet line, flashing a picture of the 25-year-old Bierfeldt and asking, “Is this the face of a terrorist?”
Why was he carrying $4,700? Turns out Bierfeldt was working for an organization called Campaign for Liberty and was returning from a local fundraiser carrying the proceeds from book sales, ticket sales and other merchandise.
Missouri is one of the only states in which law enforcement maintains that the Campaign for Liberty is a terrorist militia group.
When Democratic presidential nominee hopeful John Edwards dropped out of the race late last month, he stood in front of his supporters in New Orleans and talked about an unfortunate site he witnessed on the way into town. “We passed, under a bridge that carried the interstate,” he said, “where 100-200 homeless Americans sleep every night.”
In response, everyone’s favorite hatemonger, Bill O’Reilly, took a jab at Edwards by questioning whether the homeless enclave actually existed. “[W]e called the Edwards campaign and asked where exactly is that bridge so we could help those people. Apparently, they don’t know or they wouldn’t tell us. The Edwards campaign can’t pinpoint the bridge.” Watch a video of his response here.
Well, Bill, I was in New Orleans last week, and on the way out of town, I passed under a bridge where hundreds of tents were pitched. It’s known as “Tent City” and it’s a very, very real thing. I’d estimate that there were well over 500 tents stretching in both directions at this location alone.
If you’re interested in staying true to your word and helping those people, Bill, they can be found, among other places, under the I-10 bridge at Canal and Claiborne. In fact, here’s a map to help you get they’re a little quicker. People need help, and they’re waiting for you.