Skip to comments.Um, Shouldn't You Have Asked Me These Questions Before I Got on the Plane?
Posted on 09/02/2011 4:10:48 PM PDT by mgstarr
Got home from the airport last night just in time to see Channel 8's piece on how Dallas PD and the FBI are prepping for the 10th anniversary of September 11. Would have been home a little sooner, but, ya know, I stopped by a Northwest Highway construction site. Oh -- and I was briefly detained by a man with a badge at Dallas-Fort Worth International. Perhaps I should explain.
I was out of town yesterday, in Los Angeles. Left Tuesday night, came back Wednesday night. Very uneventful. Left the hotel room just long enough to do an interview. Arrived yesterday on the 9:10, a very full flight. Slept, drank a Dr Pepper, re-read Moneyball; landed just as I got to the part about how players love playing for Ron Washington, who, under Billy Beane, was the Oakland A's first base coach. So far, so thrilling.
So. We landed at Terminal D. I was near the back and among the last to deplane. As I walked down the glass-lined corridor to the terminal, I noticed a handful of folks loitering around the mouth of the ramp -- men and women clad in khakis and short-sleeved knits that came in various shades of breige. They looked like they were waiting to meet and greet passengers, like in the old days -- before the fall of 2001, when you could get through security without a boarding pass and greet a returning family member with a hug, a kiss or divorce papers. Thought that odd, and kept walking, thinking about how fun it must be to play for Ron Washing ...
"Excuse me, sir, do you mind coming with me for a moment?"
A gentleman, perhaps a foot shorter than me, had stepped in my way, blocking me from leaving. He'd come out of nowhere, from a small hallway near the jet bridge exit. He was dressed like the others, like a guy behind the counter at a muni golf course's pro shop. He also looked a little like the guy who plays Det. Esposito on Castle. (Aw, leave me alone.)
At the end of the lanyard around his neck was his I.D. Said: "U.S. Customs." He flashed a badge.
"This will only take a moment."
He asked to see my I.D.
"Coming home, are we?"
F#ck, I hope so.
"Um, yes," I said. But it didn't sound like me. It sounded like my sister. If I had one. That's what she would have sounded like.
"And how long were you in Los Angeles?"
I tried to ask: What's this all about? He cut me off and repeated his question.
"Short trip," he said, in a tone of voice that suggested it was all very ... suspicious. But, really, for all I know, that's just the way he talks. Like, maybe he also thought my voice is always this high. Like Tiny Tim high. The squinting, though, was unnecessary. I also wondered if he could tell I was beginning to vibrate.
"Business or pleasure?"
I kept expecting him to put his hand on my arm and ask me to come with him. At this point I began wishing I hadn't spent so many years watching so many movies. I also tried to calculate how long I could hold my breath, should it come to that.
"What were you doing there?"
I mean, really. At some point I realized I was no longer nervous (no reason to be, but that's the way random interrogations go) and was just a little ... peeved. My dad was outside, waiting to give me a ride home. I wanted to get home. I'd slept maybe two hours in the past 36. I'd done nothing wrong. It's the deep, rich weekend summer tan, isn't it, officer? You're suspicious.
I told him I was there working, doing an interview. "I'm a journalist."
"Unh-hunh. Did anyone give you anything to hold before you got on the plane or while you were in transit?"
Well, the cab driver did give me my receipt. I knew I shouldn't have taken it. Damn thing was covered in ink. And he was from Moscow too! Told me he used to be an engineer, but now all he could do in U.S.A. was drive cab. Clearly, the man was a spy. They have been tailing me since L.A. I am the Will Smith character in a Tony Scott movie.
"Um, noooo ..."
I looked around and noticed the guy who'd been sitting next to me was also being questioned. You gotta be kidding me. The guy who'd slept the whole way? Who'd been listening to Al Green on his iPod? (Yeah, I look at shit like that.) Who woke up long enough to read some sex workout article in Men's Health? Two, three other passengers had also been stopped. Enough already.
I asked again: What's this all about?
Finally, he said: "We're just doing advance security. You know, the anniversary of September 11?"
Yeah. And ...?
"You answered all my questions in a normal tone. If not ..."
He didn't say anything else. He clearly liked the dramatic weight of those ellipses. He handed me back my I.D. He said I could go.
"Have a nice evening."
I’ll probably end up in jail after telling him to go have relations with himself.
“You answered all my questions in a normal tone. If not ...”
I start to sweat and get nervous when Im stopped going through security...
Im in big dodo
You and me both.
The brownshirts have landed? What is this, US customs officers harassing people that haven’t been out of the country?
you, what you’re saying is, don’t be the last one off the plane ?
The title says it all.
(Except why ask these questions in the first place?)
I'm not trying to hijack the thread with this comment: I pray that one day we don't have to play cowboys and muslims for real.
They were newbies and someone sent them there as a joke on them ?
Precrime dry run.
That’s probably part of the new “Israeli style” security they’ve been talking about.
I have more to fear of my own government than would-be terrorists.
I can’t see where customs has any authority there. I think I’d call 911 and tell them I’m being illegally detained at the airport by someone pretending to be a federal agent.
I have not flown since pre 9/11.. Thanks for reminding me to keep it that way.
Nobody is going to hijack a plane I’m on with a stupid little boxcutter. At least not until I bleed out.
All this and the security behind the scenes is pathetic.
Good idea...every one of them should’ve called a cop and made a report of false detainment.
Just another reason why I will never board another plane. If I can’t drive there, I won’t go there.
I’ve been to all the places I wanted to see, and retirement is nice so I can take a leisurely drive to anywhere in the Continental USA.
I hear ya, unfortauntely I have to travel a lot for business. If this becomes commonplace I’ll have to get a job at Burger King.
It’s a pity that it’s come to this.
Just because there are criminals in the world, we all have to be treated like criminals...........
We have internal Customs now?
“Idle chitchat or do you really think you are a clever spy?”
I think everyone forgets that now U.S. Customs and Border Protection is under Homeland Security...so yes they can and do operate where they want to.
Yup' same question popped into my mind.....
One has to wonder what "powers" Janet Big Sis has bestowed upon custom agents to move outside the purview of their jobs...?
Of course they could have simply been jackoffs and getting off on a little power trip or they were jealous of the TSA perverts having all the fun
Just like in third grade when one bad kid in class ruined it for everyone else.
You’re right and they are planning to do more of these outside airports as well.
“What is this, US customs officers harassing people that havent been out of the country?”
Yup, they now have the authority (thanks to your friendly neighborhood statist judges) to operate within US borders. I thought there is a rule that they can only operate within 100 miles of the border, but Dallas is further than that, so they must also be allowed to operate anywhere in international airports now. If you live or are going to travel through a border state now, keep an eye out for INLAND customs checkpoint roadblocks, up to 100 miles from the border. These are like DUI checkpoints; they will try to detain you and search you and your vehicle with no probable cause.
See ya there.
I’m doing some checking on their jurisdiction. Apparently, the recent authority given to them to set up inland checkpoints isn’t the cause of this. Basically, what I’m gleaning (it’s hard to find reliable and clear info on this), is that since Customs is a Federal agency, they technically have jurisdiction ANYWHERE in the U.S., even though they normally only work at ports of entry.
OK, so explain how they can detain someone, question them and search them.
So people with speech impediments or anxiety disorders get wrung out every time they try to get on or off a plane?
What about people who blush easily, or who suffer from abnormal sweating?
Bunch of sh*t.
“That’s probably part of the new “Israeli style” security they’ve been talking about.”
You are correct and it is needed here. Some foreign countries do it both coming in and going out. I never felt intimated just more secure.
Like I said, it’s pretty difficult to find any clear and reliable info about this on the web, so don’t bother asking me for the details. It just seems that they have “federal jurisdiction”, which I guess extends to anywhere in the country.
If they do have jurisdiction, they can detain you for questioning without probable cause, according to the Supreme Court. Searching is a thornier issue, but not when you are in an airport.
Add smokers to that list as well. I know that when I get off a long flight, the only thought in my mind is to get my baggage and get out of the airport so I can light up. If someone was to delay me, I would most assuredly be aggravated, tense and stressed out.
Gee, if they really wanted to do advanced security, why don’t the close down the borders, and stop letting everyone and their brother Muhammed into the country without proper documentation. And apparently, the IRS (I didn’t read the thread) has been given billions to illegal aliens. Anybody try check them out? For all we know, the Fed Gov, via the IRS, has been funding terrorists on domestic soil for some time.
They let guns run into Mexico to arm the narco gangs, so why not!
The frick’n inmates are running the asylum.
You know it would be a violation of HIPAA for anyone to be compelled to divulge any illness or disability.
Oh, yes, I forgot.... I am GUILTY and w/o rights until I am able to prove my innocence.
It is not needed here. This is an un-American idea. This land is for free men.
You really need to see this one.
I’d have to seriously think about getting all the badge information, then answering his question with a question:
“Am I under arrest?”
and then really push things from there.
People need to start standing up.
Spend some time learning what tourettes syndrome behavior is. I did once for a story I wrote. Out of the blue one day I tried on a TSA puke. Start talking normally and blurt out a few F words with $hit and some others. I have now done this a couple of times with predictable and very funny results.
Someone should remind them to go to the “Departures” side of the terminals.
First words: “Excuse me, sir, do you mind coming with me for a moment?”
Doesn’t ANYBODY ever say “Yes I do mind” anymore?
Once you get off on the wrong foot, you just keep bending over and they keep inserting. So don’t get off on the wrong foot in the first place.
Internal checkpoints a la the Soviet Union.
Care to bet how long it’ll be before we will need to show our passports to cross state/county lines? Or how long it’ll be after that when there will be external AND internal passports, costing an arm and a leg each.
And how we’ll have our law and order types saying it’s for the best...
This was so poorly written that it was unreadable. I can’t believe something this bad was published.
(RINO vs. Tea Party)
That IS normal. As intended.
Maybe Obama gave LA to Mexico.
It's starting to feel that way...
Our 'protectors' have recently made the American people the 'other'... They're the new 'us', we're the 'them' - - an early step toward a police state.
Thanks Janet and Homeland Security... you're destroying what makes this country worth defending.
Coming soon: checkpoints between cities.
The freedoms that made this country worth defending are falling away under Big Sis - Nurse Ratched... More than one cukoo's flying over this rat's nest...
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