Apparently, Kip isn’t the only one.
This is a post from Flyer Talk. Click on the headline to read the entire, incredible post. (Warning to all you editor-type nerds: lots of typos.) The post also has links to various points in the thread that contain his complaint to the TSA, the only TSA response to date, CNN and WaPost reports on the incident, the ACLU letter to TSA, and more.
Yes, I know. This should probably be on ROVER. ;)
“I was detained for about 25 minutes today after passing though the TSA checkpoint at MKE terminal E.
I thought about posting this in the other treads devoted to their experience today under the new new liquids-are-okay-in-a-quart bag rule, but I decided it needed its own thread.
Yesterday, while discussing the new rules a fellow Flyertalker suggested we write ‘Kip Hawley is an Idiot’ on the outside of our clear plastic quart bags. So I did just that.
At the MKE ‘E’ checkpoint I placed my laptop in one bin, and my shoes, cell phone and quart bag in a second bin. The TSA guy who was pushing bags and bins into the X-ray machine took a good hard look, and then as the bag when though the X-ray I think he told the X-ray operator to call for a bag check/explosive swab on my roller bag to slow me down. He went strait to the TSA Supervisor on duty and boy did he come marching over to the checkpoint with fire in his eyes!
He grabbed the baggie as it came out of the X-ray and asked if it was mine. After responding yes, he pointed at my comment and demanded to know ‘What is this supposed to mean?’ ‘It could me a lot of things, it happens to be an opinion on mine.’ ‘You can’t write things like this’ he said, ‘You mean my First Amendment right to freedom of speech doesn’t apply here?’ ‘Out there (pointing pass the id checkers) not while in here (pointing down) was his response.’
When the deputy got over the TSA supervisor showed him the bag and told him what had happened to that point. After he had finished I started to remind him he had left out his statement that my First Amendment rights didn’t apply ‘here’ but was cut off by the deputy who demanding my ID. I asked if I was under arrest, and his response was ‘Right now you are not under arrest, you are being detained.’ I produced my passport and he walked off with it and called in my name to see if I had any outstanding warrants, etc. The TSA supervisor picked up the phone about 20 feet away and called someone? At this point two more officers were near by and I struck up a conversation with the female officer who was making sure I kept put. I explained to her who Kip Hawley was, why I though he was an idiot, and my surprise that the TSA Supervisor felt my First Amendment rights didn’t’ apply at the TSA checkpoint. She didn’t say much.
After he was assured I didn’t have any warrants out the first office came back and I had my first chance to really speak, I explained that I was just expressing my opinion and my writing should be protected my by First Amendment rights. When he didn’t respond, I then repeated that the TSA Supervisor stated my First Amendment rights didn’t apply at the TSA check point and I asked if he (the deputy) agreed that was the case. He responded by saying ‘You can’t yell fire in a crowed theater, there are limits to your rights.'”