DHS has used its law enforcement authority to silence a reporter investigating reports of on TSA by whistleblowers within the agency in what appears to a clear case of intimidation of the Press to hide corruption with TSA and its Air Marshall Service.
The home a Washington Times reporter Audrey Hudson was invaded on August 6, 2013 by Maryland State Police and Department of Homeland Security who confiscated documents she obtained through FOIA disclosures and several small legal guns registered in the State of Maryland. In one morning they managed to violate her 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendment rights on what may be a personal vendetta instigated by a former Air Marshall Service official who is now assigned to the Coast Guard, Ms. Hudson’s husband’s employer.
The Washington Time’s is preparing legal action against DHS for violating their First Amendment protections, specifically as they apply to the freedom of the press.
In just the past week we have learned of two instances where TSA targets critics including blogger Jon Corbett and a bona fide journalist in Ms. Hudson.
The Washington Times – Friday, October 25, 2013
By Guy Taylor
Armed DHS agents seize records of reporter investigating TSA, Washington Times prepares legal action
Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.
Reporter Audrey Hudson said the investigators, who included an agent for Homeland’s Coast Guard service, took her private notes and government documents that she had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act during a predawn raid of her family home on Aug. 6.
Some of the files included notes that she had used to expose how the Federal Air Marshal Service had lied to Congress during the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks about the number of airline flights that the service was actually protecting against another terrorist attack.
A story written by Mrs. Hudson for The Times in March 2005, revealed how air marshals were protecting less than 10 percent of domestic and international flights during the month of December 2004, and that the number of flights Homeland Security officials were providing to Congress was higher than the actual number of marshals it employed.
That her private files were seized, says Mrs. Hudson, is particularly disturbing because of interactions that she and her husband had during the search of their home, as well as months afterwards, with Coast Guard investigator Miguel Bosch. According to his profile on the networking site LinkedIn, Mr. Bosch worked at the Federal Air Marshal Service from April 2001 through November 2007.
During the call, according Mrs. Hudson, Mr. Bosch said the files had been taken to make sure that they contained only “FOIA-able” information and that he had circulated them to the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees the Federal Air Marshal Service, in order to verify that “it was legitimate” for her to possess such information.
“Essentially, the files that included the identities of numerous government whistleblowers were turned over to the same government agency and officials who they were exposing for wrongdoing,” Mrs. Hudson said.
“Protecting confidential sources is a part of my honor and hits me at my ethical core,” said Mrs. Hudson. “To have someone steal my source information and know it could impact people’s careers is disgusting, a massive overreach. This kind of conduct is intimidation clearly aimed at silencing a vigorous press.”