U.S. Customs and Border Protection is examining a report that a reporter was bothered at Dulles International Airport in Virginia by a passport screening authorities who consistently asked whether he composes “ propaganda. ”
Ben Watson, a news editor for Defense One, informed HuffPost on Saturday that in the beginning, he believed the officer was joking when he questioned him while holding his passport.
Then the officer asked a 2nd time.
“ That ’ s when I understood his tone was not a jokey tone, and I understood this person is major, ” Watson stated of the Thursday occurrence. “ Unfortunately, I understood I was handling a specific kind of specific at this moment, and it differed from any specific I’d ever handled.”
Watson shared the complete account in a story for Defense One, remembering that he was asked the concern an overall of 4 times upon his return from a project in Denmark.
The exchange, as Watson blogged about it, was as follows:
CBP officer, holding Watson ’ s passport: “ What do you do? ”
Watson: “ Journalism. ”
CBP officer: “ So you compose propaganda? ”
Watson: “ No.”
CBP officer: “ You ’ re a reporter?”
Watson: “ Yes. ”
CBPofficer: “ You compose propaganda, right? ”
Watson: “ No. I remain in journalism. Covering nationwide security. And homeland security. And with much of the exact same abilities I utilized in the U.S. Army as a public affairs officer. Some would argue that ’ s propaganda. ”
CBP officer: “ You ’ re a reporter? ”
Watson: “ Yes. ”
CBP officer: “ You compose propaganda, right?”
Watson waited 5 seconds. : “ For the functions of accelerating this discussion, yes.”
CBP officer, a4th time: &
ldquo; You compose propaganda? ”
Watson, once again: “ For the functions of accelerating this discussion, yes. ”
CBP officer: “ Here you go. ”
Watson has actually considering that submitted a civil liberties problem, and a Department of Homeland Security representative informed Defense One that the company ’ s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is examining info on the interaction.
In a declaration to HuffPost, a CBP representative informed stated it is “ knowledgeable about the claims presented by a Defense One editor about an officer ’ s declared improper conduct at Washington Dulles International airportand we are examining the claims. ”
“ CBP officers take an Oath of Office, a solemn promise that communicates excellent duty and one that needs to be performed at all times with the utmost professionalism, ” the representative included. “ We hold our workers responsible to our core worths of watchfulness, stability and service to nation, and do not endure unsuitable remarks or habits by our workers. ”
Watson informed HuffPost he doesn ’ t understand what triggered the representative ’ s line of questioning.
“ The bottom line is this was not regular, ” he stated, including that “ it wasn ’ t like any previous episode ” he ’d ever had with a homeland security worker.
Since stepping forward with his story, Watson stated he has actually spoken with lots of people, both females and males, who have had comparable experiences of what he referred to as “ bullying habits. ”
“ I spoke with a lot more individuals because this occurred, ” he stated. “ I have actually pertained to the viewpoint a minimum of up until now that this is a good idea ” that individuals are sharing their stories.
In February, BuzzFeed News reported that CBP said sorry to among its reporters after a representative strongly questioned him at New York City ’ s JFK Airport over his protection of President Donald Trump .
British reporter James Dyer stated in an August Twitter thread that he was come by a CBP representative who implicated him of belonging to the “ phony news media ” at Los Angeles International Airport.
DHS did not instantly return HuffPost ’ s ask for discuss Thursday ’ s event.