Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Michael Yon detained at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Acclaimed independent war correspondent and photojournalist Michael Yon was handcuffed yesterday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for refusing to disclose his annual income to Customs personnel.  If you don't know who Michael Yon is, you really should.  He has single-handedly produced some of the best eye-witness coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. From his website:
Michael Yon is a former Green Beret, native of Winter Haven, Fl. who has been reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2004. No other reporter has spent as much time with combat troops in these two wars. Michael’s dispatches from the frontlines have earned him the reputation as the premier independent combat journalist of his generation. His work has been featured on “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, ABC, FOX, as well as hundreds of other major media outlets all around the world.
From an exclusive interview with Big Government:
Award winning war correspondent Michael Yon was detained and handcuffed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Yesterday by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel.

Yon was returning to the United States from Hong Kong to visit family when TSA officials stopped him during a routine security checkpoint. “Officials asked me what was in my bag—nothing wrong with this question,” Yon said in an interview with BigGovernment.com. “I told them it was normal stuff, clothes and toothbrushes.”

At this point the TSA officials escorted Yon to a designated screening area where they examined the contents of his bag. “Then they asked me how much money I make,” Yon said. Yon suggested to the TSA officials that the question was inappropriate and unrelated to transportation security. The award-winning blogger noted another TSA officer approached Yon: “he asked who do I work for.” ”I did not answer the question which clearly was upsetting to the TSA officers.”
From Michael's Facebook page:
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.
Last week, I watched two interviews on Fox News with Isaac Yeffet, former head of El Al Airlines (and retired officer in the Israeli Secret Service).  He observed that many screeners at TSA are unqualified and untrained.  He stated that the key to airline security is qualified, well-educated screeners that are proficient in at least two languages.  He also said that airline security is a 'holy mission.'

The harassment of Michael Yon is a stark confirmation of  Mr. Yeffet's observations, and the failure of our government to heed the lessons of 9/11.

I have followed and supported Micheal Yon's reporting since 2005.  You can view what I believe is his most heart-wrenching photo here.

Update:  I have corrected this post after reading Michael's clarification on Facebook.  He was handcuffed by Customs (CBP) personnel, not TSA.

1 comment:

  1. i saw wath Michael had done about the war indians the tents for remembering their death every one who comment where very impress and thankfull to Michael as i was