Don’t these folks know that ‘real’ terrorists do not show themselves. They hide in bushes and peek out with long camera lenses.
It looks to me like he was trying to see how far he could push the security personnel. I think they were polite and pretty accommodating. He was photographing a national security installation. You could probably spend all day taking pictures of the F-4 on display, or hang around the end of the runway and photograph the planes coming and going. Someone might ask you what you are doing, and you can answer that you are taking photos of planes. Lots of people do that. On the other hand, we could be reading an article about a terrorist who hung around taking pictures of the gate of an Air Force Base and everyone would be indignant that nobody ever challenged him.
I’m not sure if this is actually constructive.
If nothing else, it is an attempt to answer some of the “what would happen if…” questions we all have.
Well, on one hand the military and police personnel were pretty tame, so a certain amount of credit to them for not freaking out. But then I think “is that the best we can hope for these days?” As the local cop clearly says, Bunny Boots can film anything he wants outside the perimeter, so why should they hang around and do the passive-aggressive-intimidation thing? I understand, this is maybe not common, they see something out of the ordinary and their guard goes up, but the military is not more important than the Constitution.
Makes you wonder if some escalations aren’t built on a ladder of words. Interesting to not grant any engagement on that front.
Near the end, I looked at the people manning the checkpoint booth, and thought “Where’d we end up stashing the binoculars? I totally told you we’d need them some day.”
Standing around, when the MPs do it, is no more of a first amendment violation than when he does it.
And added to the no-fly list in… 1.
I’m kind of glad there’s somebody out there testing the limits, because without that, we wouldn’t know when they are closing in. Frankly, I think these guys are doing a pretty good job, all things considered. They’ve been told, probably 100 times, that terrorists would show up and photograph stuff. (Where did that theory even come from?) Now suddenly here’s a weirdo photographing military stuff. As soon as he invokes the fifth, it’s obvious he’s no terrorist. But this story could have gone much, much worse.
Could the MP’s have been less nosy? Murphy dictates that the day they start ignoring weirdos with cameras will be the day a dangerous one shows up. So they have to make a display of vigilance - but thank goodness it wasn’t accompanied by pepper spray and truncheons.
I can definitely see a constructive side to it. So many cops and the like get swept away in their own authority, and start thinking that everyone has to do what they say at all times, regardless of the law that they’re supposed to be enforcing. And they start to think that pissing them off is breaking the law. This guy is very benignly reminding them that just because they don’t like something doesn’t mean they have a right to stop it. And then he’s posting that lesson for the world to see, making that lesson available to lots of other cop type people too.
Now do it in front of a playground and see how that goes.
you get confronted by MP’s
You get confronted by an MP’s what?
I don’t know, these guys seemed to have handled this pretty well. They didn’t roll up in MRAPs err Tanks (forgot I was on BoingBoing) so that’s a plus. Can we get someone to try this in another country, see how they handle it?
With the shit pot that conservative media was stirring on the lead up to 911 they handled it very well and I wish these guys would further a career in law enforcement. Science knows that Houston could use it right now.
I am pretty fuck the po-lice but this… eh, maybe I missed something when I didn’t watch the full 30 min and just skipped around, but it seems to kind of validate the authorities. They investigate a weirdo outside of the base, but don’t actually do anything. They seemed more or less polite, informed him about the limits of what he could do, tried to figure out WTF was going on, but otherwise were pleasant and polite. I can’t blame the authorities for keeping a polite eye on the weird mute dude filming an air base. If I had been a security personnel around the base I wouldn’t have suspected him for being some sort of terrorist, but I probably would have watched him more worried that he was just a garden variety crazy.
Like I said, maybe I missed something, but I think this First Amendment Test was a pass. The First Amendment doesn’t protect you from people thinking you are kind of a creeper weirdo who we should probably keep an eye on.
Also, good to see the cops being on the other end of a sting operation than they usually are.
the non-uniformed people whomever they were obviously wanted this guy to have repercussions and/or for there to be conflict and were not at all helpful, in a normal situation their cowardly actions would have been fuel on the fire and would have ignited things to escalate, but the camera man was completely non-verbal which denied them the conflict they were so set on finding.
Surprisingly the two uniformed people responded much better then i would have anticipated. I actually have to take my hat off to them in this case, it could have been aggravating that he wouldn’t respond to them, but they handled it better them most people would have.
This video did raise the internal observation that I have acquired a distrust of uniformed personnel and their potential to abuse thier positions of authority. I thought for sure some agro uniformed person was going to end this badly…for once i’m glad that I was wrong.
I agree 100%, that is the part of the video i found most interesting and what kept me watching.
I found myself wishing he had earplugs in so he could further avoid the temptation to respond.
No matter who, what, where or when- someone will always get indignant.
I spent a significant chunk of my life working at industrial plants. Refineries, chemical plants, compressing stations, storage facilities, manufacturing plants. Places like those.
At least once a week an idiot would visit. Some would try to cross a perimeter fence. Some would park in front of a giant NO PARKING sign potentially blocking emergency vehicles. Some would try to follow an employee into the facility. Over and over and over. The list of stupid was endless.
Not all of them are harmless. At a storage facility were I worked, the receptionist at the front desk was shot dead by one of those idiots. He believed it was his God given right to kill her because the company that employed her was evil. Regardless of the company’s unblemished environmental record and obsession with safety.
My Grandfather worked for the Air Force. He had a few stories of idiots at the front gate brandishing weapons for all sorts of “reasons”. Wife left him. Dog left him. Got another DWI. The list of stupid was endless.
Two simple facts: 1. Places like industrial plants and military bases attract the lunatic fringe; 2. It is extremely difficult to differentiate between harmless stupid, like the guy who made the video, and deadly stupid. In other words, the authorities handled the situation very professionally.
Sidebar: One of the idiots drove up to the gate, shut off his vehicle, lit a cigarette, in front of a clearly visible NO SMOKING sign, and started chatting like we were old friends. Which is a rather serious problem at a facility that converts propane from a gas to a liquid. I have no idea what the police did with him but I do hope it was unpleasant.