A pilot with a major United States airline was confronted at his home in early December by four Federal air marshals and two sheriff’s deputies who were there to confiscate his Federally-issued firearm and his state-issued permit to carry a concealed firearm.
His crime? He posted a series of videos to YouTube that showed flaws in the Transportation Security Administration’s screening procedures.
The videos — since removed from YouTube — demonstrate how the flight crews are subjected to intensive pre-flight TSA screenings while the ground crews that service the aircraft are able to access secure areas by swiping a card, pushing tool boxes that are never searched. The videos also show a rescue ax on the airliner’s flight deck… available to pilots who have just been screened for weapons.
The pilot is Chris Liu, a 50-year-old who was deputized by the TSA to carry a gun in the cockpit and is a helicopter test pilot in the Army Reserve who has flown missions for the United Nations overseas.
The pilot’s attorney, Don Werno, said he believes the Federal government sent six people to Liu’s home to send a message: “And the message was you’ve angered us by telling the truth and by showing America that there are major security problems despite the fact that we’ve spent billions of dollars allegedly to improve airline safety,” Werno told Sacramento’s News10.
Meanwhile, new WikiLeaks revelations show that U.S. Ambassador to France Craig Stapleton believes the U.S. should “retaliate” against nations that are resisting the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
In the cable, Stapleton writes: “Mission Paris recommends that that the USG (U.S. government) reinforce our (sic) negotiating position with the EU on agricultural biotechnology by publishing a retaliation list when the extend ‘Reasonable Time Period’ expires. In our view, Europe is moving backwards not forwards on this issue with France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the Commission. In France, the ‘Grenelle’ environment process is being implemented to circumvent science-based decisions in favor of an assessment of the ‘common interest.’ Combined with the precautionary principle, this is a precedent with implications far beyond MON-810 BT corn cultivation. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices. In fact, the pro-biotech side in France — including within the farm union — have told us retaliation is the only way to begin to begin to turn this issue in France.”
MON-810 is a genetically-modified corn created by the food giant Monsanto.
What do these seemingly unrelated stories have in common? Both demonstrate how an unaccountable government reacts to opposition.
The pilot who demonstrated the folly of the TSA screening procedures — which do nothing to keep us safer — has his privileges revoked for speaking the truth. Sovereign nations expressing their desire to reject GMOs risk retaliation from the U.S. government as it seeks to do the will of its corporate masters.
Many commenters took me to task for defending Julian Assange — mindlessly suggesting he be subjected to hideous torture or calling for his immediate murder — and his efforts at outing the thuggishness of the U.S. regime and its foreign policy.
But both Liu and Assange have done us a great service in exposing secrets Big Brother wants to hide from the masses. And they did so at great risk to themselves.