Ron Paul supporter inadvertently gets iPhones banned from U.S. aircraft
Steve Bierfeldt says the Transportation Security Administration pulled him aside for extra questioning in March. He was carrying a pocket edition of the U.S. Constitution and an iPhone capable of making audio recordings. And he used them.
On a recording a TSA agent can be heard berating Bierfeldt. One sample: “You want to play smartass, and I’m not going to play your f**king game.”
Bierfeldt is director of development for the Campaign for Liberty, an outgrowth of the Ron Paul presidential campaign.
Unbeknownst to the TSA agents, Bierfieldt had activated the record application on his phone and slipped it into his pocket. It captured the entire conversation.
Officer: Why do you have this money? That’s the question, that’s the major question.
Bierfeldt: Yes, sir, and I’m asking whether I’m legally required to answer that question.
Officer: Answer that question first, why do you have this money.
Bierfeldt: Am I legally required to answer that question?
Officer: So you refuse to answer that question?
Bierfeldt: No, sir, I am not refusing.
Officer: Well, you’re not answering.
Bierfeldt: I’m simply asking my rights under the law.
The officers can be heard saying they will involve the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and appear to threaten arrest, saying they are going to transport Bierfeldt to the local police station, in handcuffs if necessary.
Near the end of the recording an additional officer enters the situation and realizes the origins of the money.
Officer: So these are campaign contributions for Ron Paul?
Bierfeldt: Yes, sir.
Officer: You’re free to go.