The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Lawsuit: TSA Targeting Ron Paul Supporters

Posted by iusbvision on June 24, 2009

What law enforcement power WONT be abused by this administration? How is carrying money on a plane a danger to the flight? Answer: it’s not.

AP:

Suit accuses TSA of unreasonable airport detention

By JIM SALTER

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A lawsuit filed Thursday against the Transportation Security Administration alleges a Ron Paul supporter was unreasonably detained at the St. Louis airport because he was carrying about $4,700 in cash.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of Steven Bierfeldt, director of development for the Campaign for Liberty, an organization that grew out of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The organization had hosted an event in St. Louis that included the sale of tickets, T-shirts, stickers and other materials and Bierfeldt said he was carrying the cash proceeds in a metal box when he was detained at Lambert Airport for about 30 minutes on March 29.

The lawsuit does not seek money but asks the court to declare the TSA’s actions unconstitutional and to prohibit the agency from similar searches when there is no evidence aircraft are endangered.

“It’s obviously important that the safety of flights be ensured,” Bierfeldt said in a telephone interview. “But subjecting innocent travelers like me who are doing nothing wrong — I think it diverts TSA away from its core mission of safeguarding air travel.”

TSA spokesman Greg Soule said the agency would not comment on pending litigation.

Bierfeldt said he refused to answer when a TSA official asked what was in the box. Another TSA official arrived, and Bierfeldt was taken into a separate room where he used an iPhone in his jacket pocket to record the officials’ questioning.

An audio clip provided by the ACLU includes repeated questions from a TSA official about why Bierfeldt was carrying so much money, and his repeated refusal to answer. On one occasion, the questioner swears and asks, “Is there any reason you’re not answering questions?”

Bierfeldt answers, “Am I legally required to answer the question?”

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