“Gestapo tactics” used to detain tourists in locked hotel
Paul Joseph Watson
October 8, 2013
Feds used “gestapo tactics” to treat senior citizens like terrorists during the shutdown of Yellowstone National park, placing them under armed guard in a locked hotel as panicked tourists thought they had been arrested, vowing never to return to America.
Pat Vaillancourt was part of a tour group of senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States who were in Yellowstone national park when the government shutdown was announced last week.
When the party briefly exited their tour bus to take photos of a herd of bison, they were aggressively ordered by armed National Park Service rangers to get back in the vehicle on the grounds that they were involved in “recreation,” and that this wasn’t permitted during the shutdown.
The group had booked to stay in a hotel within the park, which soon turned into a prison as the visitors were told to remain in the building until their stay expired, despite the fact that the tour guide had already paid the $300 fee to enter the park.
“We’ve become a country of fear, guns and control,” Vaillancourt told the Eagle-Tribune , adding “They looked like Hulk Hogans, armed. They told us you can’t go outside.”
The tourists were placed under armed guard and locked inside the hotel as NPS rangers stood outside the doors.
Asian tourists visiting from more authoritarian countries thought they had been placed under arrest.
“Some of the Asians who were on the tour said, ‘Oh my God, are we under arrest?’ They felt like they were criminals,” said Vaillancourt.
When the tour bus was leaving the park, it was also prevented from stopping at a full service rest room on the way out, which had been threatened with having its license revoked if it allowed the bus to stop there.
Vaillancourt said her father, who had spent 3 years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, “always said to stand up for what you believe in, and don’t let them push you around,” but that she was now embarrassed, angry and heartbroken for her country as a result of her experience.
Tour guide Gordon Hodgson accused the park service of using “gestapo tactics” to intimidate the seniors.
“The national parks belong to the people,” he told the Livingston Enterprise. “This isn’t right.”
Hodgson added that the foreign tourists vowed never to return to America after the treatment they received.
The incident is yet another example of how the federal government is exploiting the government shut down to punish American citizens as part of a political ploy to make them blame Republicans for the situation.
Last week, an unnamed park services official told the Washington Times that they had been ordered  to, “make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”