DHS Raid For Firearms Used To Confiscate Journalist’s Private Notes

Daily Caller is reporting that a freelance journalist had her private notes taken by police in a raid allegedly caused by suspicions about her husband and firearms.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, journalist Audrey Hudson revealed that the Department of Homeland Security and Maryland State Police were involved in a predawn raid of her Shady Side, Md. home on Aug. 6. Hudson is a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter.

A search warrant obtained by TheDC indicates that the August raid allowed law enforcement to search for firearms inside her home.

The document notes that her husband, Paul Flanagan, was found guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George’s County. The warrant called for police to search the residence they share and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.

But without Hudson’s knowledge, the agents also confiscated a batch of documents that contained information about sources inside the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, she said.

According to Hudson, the agents actually asked her about her journalistic work:

After the search began, Hudson said she was asked by an investigator with the Coast Guard Investigative Service if she was the same Audrey Hudson who had written a series of critical stories about air marshals for The Washington Times over the last decade.

It wasn’t until a month later that Hudson was informed that her confidential papers had been stolen (that’s the word that should be used; not merely “taken”!). Nothing about her notes or property was included in the warrant. They told her that they saw an official TSA document and had to verify it was “legitimate” for her to have it in her possession. It was a document that she had received legally through a FOIA request. It didn’t explain why they also took several other files of her handwritten notes.

Hudson is now terrified about what might happen to the whistleblowers who trusted her to protect their identities.

And, yes, the raid was the usual SWAT-Gestapo cliché with thugs in full body armor. The reason for the investigation of her husband looks pretty arbitrary. Note that the Coast Guard and the air marshals are both under DHS.

Even if the husband was some kind of horrible criminal, taking a journalist’s private notes is a criminal and tyrannical act. It breaches both the Fourth and the First Amendments. While it is great this story is getting out, I suspect the government wants everyone to know what they did. They have little fear of any repercussions, and they send a message to anyone else who knows about corruption or criminal activity: If you blow the whistle we will find out who you are.

We live in a police state. We cooperate with it because we think we’re safe. We’re not.