Monday, November 22, 2010

What do North Korea and the TSA have in common?

While surfing and reading today, I came across two web sites, and after visiting the second, I saw a connection; I'll let you see for yourself.

First--this morning--I visited Time, and saw this slideshow of photos a Chinese visitor took while traveling in North Korea.

The caption on the last slide read as follows:

When the train arrived in Sinuiju Station, as usual it took a few hours of inspection. Fortunately, after the inspector had carefully examined my wife's Canon G9 camera and deleted a few images, he shouted 'good!' in Chinese, and left. Perhaps he thought we had only brought one camera. Thus, the contents of this trip home were to be saved.

Then, just a bit ago, I read this story at the Daily Caller, about a boy whose shirt gets taken off (by his father) in the course of a "pat down" at an airport. The story includes video, captured by a man standing in line some 30 feet away, and he explains what happened next:

After I finished videotaping the incident I went through the check point myself. I collected my things and went over to talk to the father and son. Before I could get to them a man in a black suit who had been talking with the other TSA officials approached me. He asked to speak to me and I obliged, wondering what was to come. He then proceeded to interrogate me about why I was videotaping the “procedures of the TSA”. I told him that I had never seen such practices before on a young child and decided to record it. The man being frustrated at this point demanded to know my plans with the video, of which I didn’t respond. Repeatedly he asked me to delete the video, hoping his mere presence could intimidate me to obey, but I refused. By this point it became obvious that he felt TSA had done something wrong and that I caught it on tape. After the interview, I left for my gate. I called my brother who told me I should put the tape on YouTube because this had been a recent hot topic in the news.

My gate was a long way off, but about 15 minutes after arriving 2 TSA agents came and sat 15 feet or so away from me. I stood up and moved so that they were in front of me and then took a picture. A 3rd and then a 4th agent came and sat down with the others. They would occasionally glance at me and talk on their walkie-talkies. I don’t know why they were there or if it was a huge coincidence but they stayed for 30-45 minutes and left just before I boarded the plan. Interesting to say the least, intimidating? Maybe a little…

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