Journalist says CBP agent refused to return passport until he admitted to writing 'propaganda'

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
79,586
72,414
So. Md.
The DHS, in general, needs some serious house cleaning. The department and the agencies within it have become rogue under Donald Trump. And yes, i do hold him at least partly responsible.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection official withheld a journalist's passport until he admitted to writing "propaganda," the reporter says.
Here's how Watson recalled the conversation, as published in Defense One:

CBP officer, holding Watson’s passport: “What do you do?”
Watson: “Journalism.”
CBP officer: “So you write propaganda, right?”
Watson: “No.”
CBP officer: “You’re a journalist?”
Watson: “Yes.”
CBP officer: “You write propaganda, right?”
Watson: “No. I am in journalism. Covering national security. And homeland security. And with many of the same skills I used in the U.S. Army as a public affairs officer. Some would argue that’s propaganda.”
CBP officer: “You’re a journalist?”
Watson: “Yes.”
CBP officer: “You write propaganda, right?”
Watson waited five seconds. Then: “For the purposes of expediting this conversation, yes.”
CBP officer, a fourth time: “You write propaganda, right?”
Watson, again: “For the purposes of expediting this conversation, yes.”
CBP officer: “Here you go.”
At that point, the CBP officer handed back the passport.
Watson said that, since the incident, journalists who have experienced similar treatment have been contacting him. While Watson said he can't validate any of their stories, he's certainly hearing a lot of them.

"I’m finding more stories every time I open my inbox or check my text messages. That’s alarming. I didn’t expect that. I figured a little bit ... but not how much I’ve heard," Watson said. "It’s interesting how people feel empowered in a way to share this."

In February, a CBP agent similarly questioned a BuzzFeed News reporter at New York's JFK Airport, asking the reporter about coverage of President Donald Trump, according to BuzzFeed. CBP later apologized for the official's conduct.

In May, a freelance journalist said he was detained by CBP for hours after returning home to Austin, Texas. Officials even parsed through the photos, videos and communications on his iPhone, the reporter said.

In August, a journalist passing through Los Angeles International Airport said a CBP official accused him of "being part of the ‘fake news media,'" and wanted to know if he had ever worked for CNN or MSNBC.

I never thought I'd hear of such things happening in this country. I don't like what Trump is turning this country into. It's un-American.
 
Sep 2016
26,904
23,394
My own world
Why are these CBP agents still employed? Get their full name, record the date and time and any names of witness and then make a
formal complaint and threaten to sue. I'm sure he wasn't the only one harassed for their job as a journalist perhaps there is even cause for a class action with an organization for the protection of journalists can pick up the bill.
 

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
79,586
72,414
So. Md.
Why are these CBP agents still employed? Get their full name, record the date and time and any names of witness and then make a
formal complaint and threaten to sue. I'm sure he wasn't the only one harassed for their job as a journalist perhaps there is even cause for a class action with an organization for the protection of journalists can pick up the bill.
It's a whole culture in ICE and CBP. They're a bunch of fascists. But they take their lead from Trump.
 
Jul 2015
33,968
25,801
Florida
Why are these CBP agents still employed? Get their full name, record the date and time and any names of witness and then make a
formal complaint and threaten to sue. I'm sure he wasn't the only one harassed for their job as a journalist perhaps there is even cause for a class action with an organization for the protection of journalists can pick up the bill.
Are you kidding, someone who does that NOW is guaranteed to keep his job.
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
50,798
38,953
Toronto
It's just ironic, to me, I have said this before...

I compare, again, America and Russia.

One is supposed to be this shining beacon of liberty, with a long tradition of resisting tyranny and defending democracy

while the other has mainly known ONLY tyranny for most of its miserable history


Yet it is in the top one, where people seem to be afraid to so much as say a word back at anyone in uniform. Only "Yes, officer" Sure, officer. Thank you, officer." No matter what... I have seen so many supposedly libertarian conservative Americans here on PH and elsewhere justify this behavior to me.

Whereas in Russia, it is basically normal to NOT comply with authority, especially since many/most people there now despise this authority, and the uniforms that represent it. They KNOW their rights too, over there. An actual citizen over there KNOWS that a cop cannot, according to the post-Soviet Constitution, simply stop him on the street and demand his ID, his passport. So, when a cop does try, this citizen tells the cop to fuck off. And majority of cops, actually, who also KNOW they are in the wrong, generally do back off and retreat, when run into someone like that, because they also don't need a bloody mess on their hands...

That's the ironic thing. Russia is supposed to be the "police state", but police over there are much, much less confident in their "authority", as your American cops. I have talked before about, for instance, how they are very, very strongly discouraged from shooting people, over there, also, because that too would only create a fucking mess for them and their bosses, if they gun down some innocent person. Over there, people would make them answer for that, either legally or... well... Lets put it this way, that cop would then have to spend rest of his life looking over his shoulder, every time he goes out on the street, especially when off duty, without uniform or gun... May just catch a knife in the back in some dark alley somewhere... Revenge is quick and simple, in that part of the world.

As an example, years ago, in St. Petersburg, there was a riot police officer named Vadim Boyko, a sadistic SOB, who liked to brutalize people at protests and such



He was also known for wearing that pearl bracelet everywhere. Pearl Ensign, they called him, for his rank.

Well, one day, when he was off work, someone caught him on the street, and smashed up his own damn head: Accused Russian Policeman Attacked

Difference between people there and on this side of the pond, unfortunately. Over there, sure, they have Putin and all that shit. But, they do not put up with crap from every dog in uniform. They do not. Something to learn from, maybe...
 
Jul 2011
37,019
3,796
Tennessee
The DHS, in general, needs some serious house cleaning. The department and the agencies within it have become rogue under Donald Trump. And yes, i do hold him at least partly responsible.








I never thought I'd hear of such things happening in this country. I don't like what Trump is turning this country into. It's un-American.
I'm sure he's lying.
 

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
79,586
72,414
So. Md.
I'm sure he's lying.
Based on what? How can you sure he's lying? Did you read the article and see that other incidents have been reported by other journalists? It's just a coincidence? Everybody who reports anything bad about this administration is lying according to people like you with your blind allegiance. Wake up.
 
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Jul 2011
37,019
3,796
Tennessee
Based on what? How can you sure he's lying? Did you read the article and see that other incidents have been reported by other journalists? It's just a coincidence? Everybody who reports anything bad about this administration is lying according to people like you with your blind allegiance. Wake up.
Where are the witnesses?

The person was standing in line with everyone else.