TSA Smacks Bloggers – Threats and Intimidation

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Well, well, well… Look who is beginning to show their true colors.

From Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON – As the government reviews how an alleged terrorist was able to bring a bomb onto a U.S.-bound plane and try to blow it up on Christmas Day, the Transportation Security Administration is going after bloggers who wrote about a directive to increase security after the incident.

TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public.

Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents Tuesday night at his Connecticut home for about three hours and again on Wednesday morning when he was forced to hand over his lap top computer. Frischling said the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn’t cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo.

Threats, intimidation – from our own government. Who woulda thought it? True, it is a leak of security information, but I fail to see the need for these types of tactics in people’s homes.

As I understand it, the information listed the screening measures going into place because of the panty bomber incident. May I just point out that if you followed the example of the Israelis, all this hush, hush on screening measures would be unnecessary? Who gives a rats ass if the bad guys know since they couldn’t possibly get through. The only thing I see below that they are pissed about is the line on who is exempt:

The TSA directive outlined new screening measures that went into effect the same day as the airliner incident. It included many procedures that would be apparent to the traveling public, such as screening at boarding gates, patting down the upper legs and torso, physically inspecting all travelers’ belongings, looking carefully at syringes with powders and liquids, requiring that passengers remain in their seats one hour before landing, and disabling all onboard communications systems, including what is provided by the airline.

It also listed people who would be exempted from these screening procedures such as heads of state and their families.

May I ask how you can be sure that a ‘head of state’ or his family are NOT terrorists? Middle East anyone?

This incident shows just how fragile free speech is and how keeping the public informed can lead to governmental interrogation and intimidation. I understand that TSA is looking for ‘who’ leaked the info from within – but this smacks of thuggishness in my book.

On the Net:

http://www.elliott.org/blog/full-text-of-my-subpoena-from-the-department-of-homeland-security/(pound sign)more-10228

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/flyingwithfish/2009/12/30/the-fallout-from-sd-1544-09-06-the-feds-at-my-door/

UPDATE: Outside The Beltway – TSA Bullies Bloggers Who Published Leaked Procedures

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