|The Journal Record|
Mark Faulk's ability to travel unimpeded is being thwarted by gov't agents at every turn.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: February 20, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – A local writer and filmmaker, Mark Faulk, continues to be harassed by government agents as he tries to travel home and he has informed the media today that he is presently stranded in Minnesota, waiting for the next flight to Oklahoma City.
It was nearly one year ago that Faulk, who has been active with the leftist Occupy movement, “was surrounded by TSA agents at the United Airlines ticket counter at Will Rogers World Airport.”
We noted his unfortunate experience in the March 2012 RDR post “Occupy OKC filmmaker lands on ‘no-fly list.’”
Below is the email Faulk sent out to the media on Wednesday morning:
is Mark Faulk. I'm writing this from a hotel room in Minneapolis. Sorry it's
not in press release format, I'm very sick and barely functioning. I should be
home in Oklahoma City, but after flying back from Europe I am stranded here
because of my inclusion on the TSA Selectee List. I left Amsterdam early
yesterday after spending an hour there while the airline attendant huddled up
with 4 other airline employees as they tried to get me cleared through TSA by
After an 8 hour flight, I was flagged to be searched by Customs, and spent well over an hour in a small room while my bags were being searched. I was flagged again at the gate for my connecting flight, where first three Delta airline attendants and then two TSA agents spent the next hour and half on the phone (a total of at least 6 phone calls) and wouldn't approve me to fly in time to catch my flight.
I felt like a terrorist.
It's not the first time this has happened. The first time was last March, when I was on my way to New York City to see the premiere of the documentary The Wall Street Conspiracy, on which I was the writer, field director, and associate producer. And it's happened every time since.
But yesterday was by far the worst. By the time I was sort-of cleared, there were no flights out to Oklahoma. My suitcase was taken off the plane and confiscated, then held for another 45 minutes even though it had already been searched at least twice. I was told they were waiting for clearance for my suitcase. Then I had to go through the same ordeal again, another 1 hour call to TSA by the airline employee trying to clear me to fly today, this time they knew me before she even told them my name. She said to me, "You're on a first name basis with TSA!" I chose a later direct flight because I fear getting stranded in any city that I connect through. I even asked to speak directly to them several times, but of course I was denied. They might know me by name, but I have no right to face my accusers.
Finally, after a total of over seven hours and over a dozen phone calls, I was cleared to be booked on a flight this afternoon...but not issued a boarding pass. So today, I go back to the airport, go through the entire process again: calls to TSA at the ticket counter, suitcase searched, back through screening where myself and my belongings will be thoroughly searched, more phone calls at the gate to my flight, and another search before I'm allowed to board.
As I said, I feel like a terrorist, but I'm not. I'm a filmmaker who worked on a film about Wall Street Fraud, wrote a book that helped the DOJ, FBI, IRS, and SEC indict 13 criminals, and spoke out against corruption while I was involved with Occupy OKC and Occupy OK.
And now I'm paying the price. Hopefully, by late afternoon, I'll be back in Oklahoma, where I can go to the doctor and get treated for serious flu symptoms.
Hopefully, but no guarantees.”
Looking for answers as to why Faulk was being targeted, we called the regional TSA spokesman Luis Casanova. Casanova said he was in no position to comment and that cases like Faulk’s are handled by the FBI and the “Terrorist Watch List.”
A call to Oklahoma City FBI office spokesman Special Agent Rick Rains has not yet been returned.
In the meantime, we have also put in a call to State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw), the chair of the recently formed, bi-partisan Counterterrorism Caucus. While Bennett seems most concerned about the threat of “Sharia law,” environmental terrorism and “lone wolf” terrorists like Timothy McVeigh, we were hoping to get some insight from Bennett on cases such as the one facing Oklahoma citizen Mark Faulk.
Meanwhile, Faulk has told Red Dirt Report that his critique of the SEC and Congress is likely behind him being "red-flagged." He also said they won't talk to him. All this, while he is sick with the flu. He hopes to be back in Oklahoma City this afternoon.
We hope to have more on this story soon.
UPDATE: (3:55 p.m. 2/20/13) We spoke with Special Agent Rick Rains this afternoon, and much like the TSA spokesman, he didn't "have any information" he could comment on. Once Mark Faulk returns, we hope to have more information on his status.
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