Ron Paul proposes the “American Traveler Dignity Act”

Yesterday, Texas Representative Ron Paul introduced H.R. 6416, the American Traveler Dignity Act.

Said Paul in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday:

“My legislation is simple. It establishes that airport security screeners are not immune from any US law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person, or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person. It means they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us.”

Despite security risks referenced by Paul – like last Christmas’ underwear bomber – the Representative speaks out against the Advanced Imaging Technology machines, calling them a violation of personal privacy, questioning the harmful effects of radiation and referring to recent press reports that question the efficacy of the machines.

He also rails against the TSA itself, calling it an organization created “in a simple-minded and unprincipled attempt to appease public passion in the wake of 9-11.”

“The TSA version of our rights looks more like the ‘rights’ granted in the old Soviet Constitutions, where freedoms were granted to Soviet citizens — right up to the moment the state decided to remove those freedoms,” said Paul.

Paul has also expressed his support for National Opt Ot Day, taking place this coming Wednesday, which is encouraging travelers to “opt out” of enhanced security screenings from Advanced Imaging Technology machines.

Click below to see a video of Paul discussing the American Traveler Dignity Act:

Passenger alleges TSA harassed him, records questioning with iPhone

iPhone – a tool for freedom?

When Steve Bierfeldt was pulled aside and questioned by Transportation Security Administration at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in March, he activated an audio recording application on his iPhone and recorded the entire conversation. Bierfeldt was carrying $4,700 in cash, campaign donations for Ron Paul, and contends that the TSA both harassed and unlawfully detained him.

Bierfeldt was taken to a windowless room and questioned for nearly 30 minutes. A partial transcript of the interrogation shows Bierfeldt continually asking his legal rights, while agents continued to press him. At one point an agent says, “You want to play smartass, and I’m not going to play your f**king game.”

Though Bierfeldt was eventually allowed to leave and catch his flight, American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, using his recorded questioning as evidence of unlawful detainment and harassment.

[Via CNN]

TSA detains man for carrying cash

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.