Breaking: Michael Yon arrested at Seattle airport

posted at 1:22 pm on January 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Thank goodness our Homeland Security people are on the job after the EunuchBomber botched attack on Christmas Day.  We certainly don’t want to have independent war correspondents passing through our airports without revealing their annual income:

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 eventually came — they were professionals — and rescued me from the border bullies.

When they handcuffed me, I said that no country has ever treated me so badly. Not China. Not Vietnam. Not Afghanistan. Definitely not Singapore or India or Nepal or Germany, not Brunei, not Indonesia, or Malaysia, or Kuwait or Qatar or United Arab Emirates. No county has treated me with the disrespect can that can be expected from our border bullies.

Jazz Shaw wonders what the hell is going on:

Very strange. Even if you’re into profiling, Yon would hardly fit one you’d be interested in. Of course, his passport, by now, doubtless has a list of countries stamped into it which could give an inspector pause, but that’s no excuse. Very, very strange. I expect this one will be high profile enough that you’ll see an apology coming from the government.

Unless there is more to this story, an apology would be the least owed to Yon.  When an American citizen with a valid passport presents himself for travel, there should be some reasonable screening to verify identity and to determine whether there is a physical risk, ie, weapons and the like.  Why should border security be interested in Yon’s annual income?  How does that relate to national security and border protection?  Unless this is an arm of the Internal Revenue Service, it doesn’t, and Yon was right to refuse to answer the question.

Instead of hassling American citizens about their income or watching the ice melt, how about paying attention to actual security and intelligence issues?  Please?

Update: Media Matters wants to quibble over the use of the word “arrested,” but when the cops slap handcuffs on you and detain you, you’ve been arrested, both literally (as in “motion stopped”) and practically.  Yon didn’t get booked, or charged with any offense, as Yon himself notes.


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