With wild googly eyes and a crazy unkempt orange beard, Edward Hasbrouck looks a bit crazy. But not terrorist crazy. Geeky crazy. Actually, he’s a very proud American: proud enough to assert his rights in the fear that if he doesn’t, he’ll lose them. He isn’t afraid to question authority. And most importantly, he isn’t afraid to question the murky and nebulous “authority” of TSA contractors demanding to see his identification.
Unfortunately for Ed, that’s exactly the sort of thing that the petty, power-tripping rent-a-cops employed by the TSA hate. So upon a recent flight from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, Edward found himself detained by the TSA and eventually being questioned by the police, merely for asking who precisely he had to show his identification to in order to clear customs.
Worse yet? Edward was told by the TSA that he did not have to show his passport to contractors because there was no law that required it… but if he didn’t, he couldn’t pass security.
Edward’s tone with the officers may be a bit obsequious: many of you may wonder why he even bothered questioning people presenting themselves as figures of authority. But we dig Edward, because he’s asserting the legal rights we all have been too eager to give up in the paranoia that followed September 11th, at the price of his own personal inconvenience (and a whole lot of annoyance).
Unanswered Questions at Dulles Airport [Hasbrouck.org]