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U.S. State Department Pulls Scott Ritter Off Plane on His Way to Economic Forum in Russia

Scott Ritter, apparently an invited speaker at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) and a major critic of the plunge into a nuclear confrontation, was pulled off of his plane in New York by the U.S. State Department and prevented from traveling. The former U.S. Marine intelligence officer told RT: “My passport was seized by the State Department. I was pulled off the airplane. I’m fine, just aggravated.”

Sputnik said that Ritter told them: “As I was boarding my flight out of New York I was pulled aside by three CBP [Customs and Border Protection] officers, who seized my passport. When asked why, they said orders of the State Department. No further information was provided. My bags were removed from the flight, and I was escorted out of the airport.” The State Department has not provided any explanation for their actions.

RIA Novosti reported that popular commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano was also removed from the airplane. They quoted Ritter as reporting: “Former New Jersey Supreme Court Judge Andrew Napolitano, author and host of the Judging Freedom podcast on YouTube, was also removed from the plane en route to Russia.”

The spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, upon hearing the news, inquired as to which amendment to the U.S. Constitution provided for confiscating the passport of ex-intelligence officer Scott Ritter: “Is this made under the First Amendment or the Fourth Amendment?” For American citizens who may not be as familiar with the constitutional amendments as Zakharova, the First Amendment guarantees, in particular, non-interference with freedom of speech and assembly, and the Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.