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October 27, 2013

Do journalists lose their Fourth-Amendment protections when they write articles that make the government look bad?

Washington Times, October 25:
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 Marshals Service.

Reporter Audrey Hudson said the investigators, who included an agent for Homeland Security’s Coast Guard service, made a pre-dawn raid of her family home Aug. 6 and took her private notes and government documents that she had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents, some which chronicled her sources and her work at The Times about problems inside the Homeland Security Department, were seized under a warrant to search for unregistered firearms and a “potato gun” suspected of belonging to her husband, Paul Flanagan, a Coast Guard employee. Mr. Flanagan has not been charged with any wrongdoing since the raid.

Is anyone here ready to argue that the warrant was anything other than a pretext for an illegal search and seizure to punish Ms. Hudson for her negative reporting?

1 comment:

RoamingChile said...

Disconcerting, to say the least.