Tuesday, September 14, 2010

U.S. Citizens Have No Obligation To Answer Questions

I am really glad to see this.  I will remember this next time I cross a border.

KNIFE TRICKS: I Am Detained By The Feds For Not Answering Questions
Sherman Oaks, California

I was detained last night by
federal authorities at San Francisco International Airport for refusing
to answer questions about why I had travelled outside the United States.

end result is that, after waiting for about half an hour and refusing
to answer further questions, I was released – because U.S. citizens who
have produced proof of citizenship and a written customs declaration are
not obligated to answer questions.


Principal Take-Aways

1. Cops Really Don’t Like It When You Refuse To Answer Their Questions.
The passport control officer was aghast when I told her that my visit
to China was none of her business. This must not happen often, because
several of the officers involved seemed thrown by my refusal to meekly
bend to their whim.

2. They’re Keeping Records. A federal, computer-searchable file exists on my refusal to answer questions.

3. This Is About Power, Not Security.
The CBP goons want U.S. citizens to answer their questions as a
ritualistic bow to their power. Well, CBP has no power over me. I am a
law-abiding citizen, and, as such, I am the master, and the federal cops
are my servants. They would do well to remember that.

4. U.S. Citizens Have No Obligation To Answer Questions.
Ultimately, the cops let me go, because there was nothing they could
do. A returning U.S. citizen has an obligation to provide proof of
citizenship, and the officer has legitimate reasons to investigate if
she suspects the veracity of the citizenship claim. A U.S. citizen
returning with goods also has an obligation to complete a written
customs declaration. But that’s it. You don’t have to answer questions
about where you went, why you went, who you saw, etc.

Of course, if you don’t, you get hassled.

But that’s a small price to pay to remind these thugs that their powers are limited and restricted.

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