Federal Agents Raid Reporter’s Home In Search of Illegal Weapons and Allegedly Question Her About Prior Negative Stories And Seize Documents and Notes

1e18267250px-swat_teamThere is a troubling story outside of Washington where journalist Audrey Hudson’s home was searched by federal agents who took documents related to stories and reportedly asked her about stories that she had written that were critical of the Federal Air Marshal program.  The agents had a warrant to search for unregistered firearms and a “potato gun.”  That apparently required a pre-dawn raid by armed agents of the U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security.  Presumably, the family was believed to have a whole bushel of potatoes that were considered an arsenal.

Hudson’s husband, Paul Flanagan, was found guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George’s County. The warrant stated that police were to search the residence and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.

Hudson was called by her husband who was in the driveway in their Chesapeake home to say that they were surrounded by the officers in full body armor (which appears to also protect against potato weapons). Hudson insists that they were held by the officers as they searched for the weapons. They apparently could not find nary a potato chip.

What they did find were government documents and notes from the Hudson’s files. A Washington Times reporter, Hudson alleges that one of the agents asked if she was the same person who had written a series of stories critical of the Federal Air Marshal program in the mid-2000s. When she said that she was, she says that the officer said that “Those stories were embarrassing to the agency.” According to one report, Hudson said that investigator, Miguel Bosch, identified himself as a former air marshal official.

Even more troubling is her claim that she was not informed of the seizure of the documents. She was only told that “miscellaneous documents” were taken. When she was called by Homeland Security to pick up the documents weeks later, she realized that they had taken the government records. Such documents were not listed in the warrant and all dealt with the Federal Air Marshal stories. The newspaper is preparing a legal action.

The government insists that its agents considered the documents to be “law enforcement sensitive.” The Coast Guard also took her personal, handwritten notes and accessed her personal Facebook page.

Neither Hudson nor her husband were charged or arrested. Given the Administration’s prior surveillance of journalists and their families, it was another troubling case that warrants review. The government is citing fellow employees at the Coast Guard as implicating Flanagan from alleged statements he made referring to himself as a gun collector. Even so, it would be extremely inappropriate to use such a raid to question a reporter about negative stories and remark on the government’s displeasure with her coverage. That concern is magnified by the seizure of such documents from the home of the journalist without even asking for an explanation. The fact that the agent felt comfortable in allegedly raising the negative coverage would reflect a troubling sense of impunity by officers.

73 thoughts on “Federal Agents Raid Reporter’s Home In Search of Illegal Weapons and Allegedly Question Her About Prior Negative Stories And Seize Documents and Notes”

  1. Nick,

    I used to do plumbing work when I was younger.

    Do you know the difference between a plumber and a prostitute?

    A prostitute works in a cleaner profession! lol


  2. NBC: Obama Administration Knew Obamacare Would Terminate Half Of Individual Plans

    Prison Planet.com | The Obama administration knew as early as 2010 Americans who liked their current health insurance plans may not be able to keep them, NBC Nightly News reports.

  3. CBS: More Than Two Million Americans Being Dropped From Their Health Insurance Plans

    Washington Free Beacon | Correspondent calls the number ‘just the tip of the iceberg’.

  4. Thomas Jefferson was a libertarian. Get out of that cousin mating inbred state and you’ll realize that, Julia. It’s a BIG world out there.

    1. Nick: You’re so easy. 😉

      I’ve lived in seven other states and two other countries, so I’ve been around. And I really don’t put Tea Partiers in the same category as libertarians. You’re better evolved than that those knuckle-draggers. However, the fact remains that libertarianism would be a return to feudalism.

  5. What’s the difference between a Dem and a prostitute?

    The prostitute gives you value for your money.

    How are Republicans like porn stars?

    They’re both experts @ switching positions on camera.

  6. I may have mentioned many in my family fought for the US against the German Nazis/Jap Fascist that were created by Wallst/City London Banks/Insurance Co’s/ IE; Bush family etc…

    Those family members didn’t know the facts then of who financed the Nazis at the time.

    Maybe they should have. Maybe the should have went to the local library back then & studied up a bit.

    Regardless they all hated Germans and Japs because of the war.

    I used to hate them also until I studied enough info to realize that the Germans and Japs fell into fascism in much the same manner as the current US citizens have fallen into Commie/Fascism we all find yourselves in today.

    I know it’s scary and risky to speak out in public and expose these current commie/nazi aholes that have taken over certain pieces of our govt.

    But we know there still remains some honorable people in govt and there’s war going on inside between those two groups.

    One of the main points from the study of the history of commie/fascist/authoritarian evil type governments is that it’s far more dangerous for you and your families/friends to remain silent about govt sponsored terrorism against us citizens.

    Maybe the German/Jap people didn’t know what was about to happen back then, I don’t know, but I do know you and the American people have no excuse for not knowing now.

    “There is something beyond Fear!”

    You and the American people have to get beyond your/their Fear and speak out against those evil Aholes and expose their crimes to the rest of the public.

  7. Blouise, The Washington Times is her former employer. You have much more knowledge about this area than I do but I do think with all the contracting out of services there is even less accountability. Here is an interesting new poll on libertarians, and it comports with what we read here. thttp://publicreligion.org/research/2013/10/2013-american-values-survey/ Compared to the general population, libertarians are significantly more likely to be non-Hispanic white, male, and young. Nearly all libertarians are non-Hispanic whites (94%), more than two-thirds (68%) are men, and more than 6-in-10 (62%) are under the age of 50.

  8. SwM,

    “As I understand it, when you have the clearance they can continually look at you and those you reside with.”

    That’s true when the words “look at” are used but, generally when such overt intimidation tactics going beyond “look at” are used against a family it is done in order to send a message to the employee … your family is vulnerable to us so straighten up. In this case the intimidation was used against the family in order to send a message to the wife who was not an employee. We don’t like what you are doing and can get at you anytime we want through your husband.

    To a certain extent, and definitely on the morning in question, she was completely vulnerable to those tactics but, the miscalculation on the part of the intimidatory orders was that her employer, the newspaper, was not vulnerable and is fighting back.

    What the Coast Guard did not like her doing they have now, most assuredly done to themselves … and these are the idiots in charge of protecting us. That is why I am interested in the names of those who prepared and signed the warrant.

  9. I hope some of these people of these many cases sue in court and post in public the names, pictures of their faces and their home addresses of all of those supporting all of these Nazi style Gestapo operations.

    After WW2 in Europe the citizens slaved the heads of whore businessmen/women that aided/abet the Nazis.

    I’m tempted this time to demand that these New Commie/Nazi aholes in the US be castrated and their forehead be branded with a Swastika shaped branding Iron.

    That may sound a severe punishment until one considers just how many people have been harmed and murdered by these War Criminal Creeps.

  10. lottakatz,

    I think you’re just being a Racist like Ron/Rand Paul/JT if you don’t like this new United States of Commie/Nazi Amerika and it’s multi level Nazi style Gestapo LE agencies.

    Surrender your “Preamble to the Bill of Rights” and the “Rights” there-in contained you Racist!

    LOL 🙂

    (Sarc Off)

  11. The Obama Administration and the Press
    Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America
    Committee to protect Journalists
    Published October 10, 2013

    In the Obama administration’s Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press. Those suspected of discussing with reporters anything that the government has classified as secret are subject to investigation, including lie-detector tests and scrutiny of their telephone and e-mail records. An “Insider Threat Program” being implemented in every government department requires all federal employees to help prevent unauthorized disclosures of information by monitoring the behavior of their colleagues.

    Six government employees, plus two contractors including Edward Snowden, have been subjects of felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act, accused of leaking classified information to the press—compared with a total of three such prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations. Still more criminal investigations into leaks are under way. Reporters’ phone logs and e-mails were secretly subpoenaed and seized by the Justice Department in two of the investigations, and a Fox News reporter was accused in an affidavit for one of those subpoenas of being “an aider, abettor and/or conspirator” of an indicted leak defendant, exposing him to possible prosecution for doing his job as a journalist. In another leak case, a New York Times reporter has been ordered to testify against a defendant or go to jail.

    Compounding the concerns of journalists and the government officials they contact, news stories based on classified documents obtained from Snowden have revealed extensive surveillance of Americans’ telephone and e-mail traffic by the National Security Agency. Numerous Washington-based journalists told me that officials are reluctant to discuss even unclassified information with them because they fear that leak investigations and government surveillance make it more difficult for reporters to protect them as sources. “I worry now about calling somebody because the contact can be found out through a check of phone records or e-mails,” said veteran national security journalist R. Jeffrey Smith of the Center for Public Integrity, an influential nonprofit government accountability news organization in Washington. “It leaves a digital trail that makes it easier for the government to monitor those contacts,” he said.

    “I think we have a real problem,” said New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane. “Most people are deterred by those leaks prosecutions. They’re scared to death. There’s a gray zone between classified and unclassified information, and most sources were in that gray zone. Sources are now afraid to enter that gray zone. It’s having a deterrent effect. If we consider aggressive press coverage of government activities being at the core of American democracy, this tips the balance heavily in favor of the government.”

    At the same time, the journalists told me, designated administration spokesmen are often unresponsive or hostile to press inquiries, even when reporters have been sent to them by officials who won’t talk on their own. Despite President Barack Obama’s repeated promise that his administration would be the most open and transparent in American history, reporters and government transparency advocates said they are disappointed by its performance in improving access to the information they need.

    “This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times.

    The Obama administration has notably used social media, videos, and its own sophisticated websites to provide the public with administration-generated information about its activities, along with considerable government data useful for consumers and businesses. However, with some exceptions, such as putting the White House visitors’ logs on the whitehouse.gov website and selected declassified documents on the new U.S. Intelligence Community website, it discloses too little of the information most needed by the press and public to hold the administration accountable for its policies and actions. “Government should be transparent,” Obama stated on the White House website, as he has repeatedly in presidential directives. “Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their government is doing.”

    But his administration’s actions have too often contradicted Obama’s stated intentions. “Instead,” New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote earlier this year, “it’s turning out to be the administration of unprecedented secrecy and unprecedented attacks on a free press.”

  12. Her husband apparently must have a security clearance because he works for the Coast Guard and, therefore. Homeland Security. As I understand it, when you have the clearance they can continually look at you and those you reside with.

  13. anonymously posted at 1:03 pm above, posting begins: “Democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.”—Winston Churchill”
    Excellent posting. Isn’t that everybody’s mental image of tyranny, the men that come in the night to take you or your neighbors away. We’ve been given that image in literature, movies and cold-war/nazi first-person recounting for decades. I thought it was a warning, not a preview of things to come.

    Hey, want to see some really scary pictures, reallllllly scary? Perhaps one of our psychologists can explain the psychological dynamic of having these guys face you down during a demonstration or strike.


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