Friday, January 8, 2010

Michael Yon Is A 4th Estate Prima Donna

Michael Yon, veteran of the Iraq War and one of the media based bloggers who got his start reporting on the Iraq War from the frontlines has attacked Customs and Border Protection. Very good origional reporting, but his recent Facebook attack on CBP is filled with lies.Many otherwise good blogs have been commenting on this, but most have gotten it wrong: Michelle Malkin: Zippers: Pundit: Air: all accused the Transporation Security Administration (TSA) of questioning, then arresting Yon.Well, when you are a conservative, it is important to get your facts straight. They just jumped to conclusions, airport + arrest + Michael Yon = TSAWell, you guys got it wrong. Yon was detained, he was handcuffed, he was questioned, but it was not TSA, it was Customs and Border Protection. A note to conservative bloggers, TSA Transporation Security Officers, the screeners at the airport, do not have authority or authorization to handcuff you or ask questions about your income. They are not even issued handcuffs and can't carry their own.You see Yon was arriving in the U.S. at SEATAC (Seattle/Tacoma) Airport. He was arriving from a foreign country, some information says it was Hong Kong. He obviously went through customs and immigration inspection. In the customs part, he decided he would not answer the perfectly legal questions that a Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBPO) asked him. One of the questions that CBPOs sometimes ask is how much money do you make. This is part of the profile of drug smugglers. It is a telling question, since most poor people do not or should not travel internationally. Alot do, but they are using your tax dollars from welfare payments, thank you very much, to travel, but still the same, it is a telling question. Alot of poor people who travel are drug smugglers, and although not the usual suspect, Yon fits a profile for drug smugglers, at least in part. He travels frequently to drug source countries, like Afghanistan and Thailand.Here is his story from his Facebook profile:"Got arrested at the Seattle airport for refusing to say how much money I make. (The uniformed ones say I was not "arrested", but they definitely handcuffed me.) Their videos and audios should show that I was polite, but simply refused questions that had nothing to do with national security. Port authority police eve...ntually came -- they were professionals -- and rescued me from the border bullies." (, Michael Yon, even though he is now a member of the Fourth Estate, must learn that CBP does not just ask questions related to national security. And when you refuse to answer questions from a CBPO you will get delayed. It is a common tactic by illegal aliens and drug smugglers to challenge the CBPO and act aggressively, basically play the civil rights activist in order to intimidate and deflect the questioning by the CBPO.But in such cases, that usually just resorts in a detailed inspection of your person and luggage, not usually getting handcuffed. You have to do quite alot to get handcuffed by CBP. Bascially Yon was being a prima donna, being a member of the Fourth Estate has probably gone to his head, and thought he was above inspection by officers of the United States at a Port-of-Entry.Interstingly enough, there is also an immigration angle to this. Yon has been stopped before. He travels to the U.S. frequently with his Thai girlfriend or friend, who is not a legal permanent resident, but a visitor visa holder. Now it is quite unusual for an unmarried young Thai woman to get a visitors visa, much less when they have an American "boyfriend" who lives in the U.S. you ask, because most Thai young women who previously got visitors visas came to the U.S. and never left.The money quote: "Our Homeland Security was focusing on a 40-year-old Thai bank officer while there are real bad guys out there. Thailand and the United States have had good relations for 175 years, and Thailand is one of the few countries in the world that is proud to say they are friends of the United States."Well, Michael, CBP has duties other than asking national security questions. While DHS and its components, CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) like to brag about how much their mission is about national security and terrorism, that is not quite true.First the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the agency charged by law, with protecting our national security, legislatively charged with fighting terrorism and espionage. That is not true of DHS and its components. Their primary responsibility is the day-to-day enforcement of our customs and immigration laws. Not to denigrate that, but that is their primary responsibility. Now proper and vigorous enforcement of those laws will impact on national security, but their primary responsibility is enforcing certain laws and those are the immigration laws and customs laws of the U.S. Check them out, they are in Title 8 of the United States Code, Title 19 of the United States Code, and sometimes Title 21 of the United States Code, and in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration in the case of Title 21, obviously. (Wink, wink, to those who are in the know.)It seems that we have a meme here with Yon. Apparently he will answer no questions that are not related to national security. Well, Michael, get with the program. As someone who has been in the Army, you should know about rules, laws and regulations. You followed them in the Army, why not know? Why are you giving cover to Islamists who will follow your policy of intimidation of CBP Officers in an attempt to bully their way past inspection of themselves and their possessions?Also, Yon claims that he was rescued by the SEATAC Police Officers. Well, CBP is a federal agency and does not answer to a local police department. This just exposes you as the arrogant bully that you want to be. Perhaps SEATAC PD informed CBP that they had caught a journalist, then they let him go. You were detained, not arrested, just see the Supreme Court decision Terry v. Ohio to learn the difference. were also searched with the wide authority that the Supreme Court has acknowledge exists for border searches. See also United States v. Montoya de Hernandez. Michael Yon thinks that customs and immigration laws don't apply to him or his friends. Alot of people think that, but they are in jail, or President of the United States (just where is that birth certificate?).

UPDATE: 01/08/10

More info is now out on the Yon incident. As I always said, it was a CBP not a TSA incident and that has been confirmed now.

Also new is that it appears the reason that Yon was handcuffed and detained by CBP is that he became belligerant during the inspection. CBP then called the Port of Seattle Police Department, refering him for most likely was a disorderly conduct case. The Port Police decided that no State crime was committed and released him.

What this does tell us is that the CBP officers had cause to both handcuff and refer Yon to the police for a possible criminal act.

What we do know is that CBP does not handcuff people for not answering questions, except for aliens who if they refuse inspection are set up for refusal. With regards to U.S. citizens going through the customs inspection, refusal to answer questions usually means that they are trying to hide something, so their baggage gets a good going over.

However, we don't know what more than refusal to answer questions occured that caused Yon to be handcuffed. Was he enraged, shouting, making a disturbance? I certainly would like to know. Someone should request the police indicident report or FOIA the CBP incident report. In those I think we might find some more information.

Oh yeah, there aren't any video surveillance recordings in the FIS, if so, they would routinely be entered into evidence in smuggling and alien cases.


Xiaoding said...

"Also, Yon claims that he was rescued by the SEATAC Police Officers. Well, CBP is a federal agency and does not answer to a local police department. "

BULLSHIT. EVERYONE answers to the SEATAC PD. Don't beleive it? ASK THEM.

What the hell does "answer to" mean, anyways? The law is the law! The Federals get a pass on the law, because they are higher up? DON'T WORK THAT WAY.

The problem the CBP had now was, there were credible witnesses on the scene, who could ASK QUESTIONS AND TAKE NAMES. And that's when the bully boys start to get sweaty!

No cameras, eh? HOW CONVENIENT!! What is the CBP hiding?

Federale said...

Yeah, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution specifically states that SEATAC PD is da bomb.