Reporters forced to show papers or be “detained for 72 hours” by Homeland Security

Steve Watson
Aug 29, 2012

Independent Journalists documenting the level of security theatre surrounding the Republican National Convention in Tampa were threatened with being “detained for 72 hours” by Homeland Security agents, after they filmed TSA employees occupying a Greyhound bus station close to the security perimeter.

The reporters with the Houston Free Thinkers captured video of no less than five blue shirted TSA workers manning the ticket office at the station, ready to conduct bag searches and pat downs on bus passengers.

The station, at 610 Polk Street in downtown Tampa, was adorned with TSA and Homeland Security notices, designating it a high security screening area.

After filming the TSA workers inside, the reporters turned their attention to a parked Homeland Security vehicle across the street, claiming that the agent that sat in the car was taking photographs of them.

Upon crossing the street to ask the agent why he was taking pictures, two more DHS vehicles pulled up and agents jumped out and immediately confronted the reporters, asking them for ID.

When the reporters refused to provide ID and asked why they were being detained, one DHS agent stated “You are filming a federal compound… that in itself is against the law.”

“The fence?” one reporter questioned.

“Everything behind the fence.” the agent replied, before again asking the reporter for ID.

When the reporter again questioned why he needed to show ID, the agent stated “This is not a game, I don’t want you to tell me anything. I want to see something, or I can hold you for 72 hours, it’s your choice.”

The reporters provided ID in order to avoid detainment, but made it clear to the DHS officers that they believed the agents were violating their rights.

Watch the exchange below:

As the reporters’ live internet video feed went down, the DHS officers asked them if they had any weapons. One agent asked “Do you mind if we check your bag, while you are standing on federal property?”

“The street is federal property?” the reporter asked.

“You pay your tax dollars to who?” the agent replied, before answering his own question, “The State AND the Fed.”

The agent then claimed that as soon as the reporters set foot in the State of Florida they were “on federal property”.

Watch the exchange:

The HFT reporters then posted a follow up analysis of their run in with the DHS:

As we reported yesterday, TSA screeners have been seen conducting bag searches at bus and train stations close to this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.

A short video clip filmed by journalists working for AMTV shows TSA workers putting personal belongings through an x-ray screener at the entrance to the convention.

AMTV’s Christopher Greene included a photo of his RNC press pass in the blog post to prove that the TSA screeners were at the convention.

As we reported last week, TSA workers were also present at a recent Paul Ryan political event in The Villages, Florida, where the screeners conducted invasive bag searches as well as pat downs.

As we have previously documented, airport security style checkpoints and inspection procedures are already in place at bus terminals,train stations, and are rapidly being expanded to the streets of America.

Agents have even been spotted roaming around at public events such as sports games and music concerts, and even at high school proms.

The ‘Transportation’ part of the TSA’s acronym has presumably been dispensed with as the Department of Homeland Security attempts to create an occupying army of security goons at every public event.

The TSA even moved beyond its own borders this summer as agents were dispatched to airports in London for the Olympic Games.

The TSA has also announced its intention to expand the VIPR program to include roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, setting up a network of internal checkpoints and rolling out security procedures already active in airports, bus terminals and subway stations to roads and highways across the United States.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

The Emergency Election Sale is now live! Get 30% to 60% off our most popular products today!

Related Articles