Armed Cops Raid Reporter’s Home, Seize Files

Armed agents bashing down your door before dawn, while you’re still asleep in bed or in the shower or on the toilet, pointing guns at you and screaming, scaring the shit out of you and your children, and often, one of their favorites, shooting your family pet? And sometimes, for good measure, raiding the wrong house?

Where does this happen? And how often?

In the USA. Every day. Every day. Over 100 times every day.

Don’t believe it? Then you don’t know what’s going on in your own country. Maybe you should watch something other than American Idol or Homeland or MSFuckingNBC and read something more than just emails from MoveOn or your Fearless Leader who sits in the White House.

These raids happen in this country every day. (I know, I know, but it’s usually “just” drug dealers or “terrorists,” so you don’t give a shit.) Even though it’s false that it happens to “just” drug dealers or terrorists. Because it happened to computer analyst Thomas Drake. It happened to Cheye Calvo, mayor of a small town in Maryland. It happened to dozens of non-violent peace activists. I could keep listing people, but at over 100 a day, every day, I’d run out of bandwidth.

So it should come as no surprise that the latest home invasion by our fascist overlords — and yes, that’s precisely what they are — took place at the house of a journalist. An ordinary American journalist.

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.
The warrant, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, offered no specific permission to seize reporting notes or files.
The Times said it is preparing legal action to fight what it called an unwarranted intrusion on the First Amendment. 

. . . Ms. Hudson described a harrowing ordeal the morning her family home was raided.

The agents, who arrived at 4:30 a.m. in full body armor, collected several small arms during the raid, although no charges have been filed against Mr. Flanagan, 54, during the nearly three months since.

Ms. Hudson, 50, said that while the authorities were raiding her house, Coast Guard investigator Miguel Bosch — who had worked at the U.S. Marshals Service — began asking questions about whether she was the same “Audrey Hudson” who had written “the Air Marshal stories” for The Washington Times. Ms. Hudson said she responded that she was.

. . . While Mr. Flanagan has a police record from the mid-1980s related to the unlawful possession of firearms, including automatic weapons, Ms. Hudson fears her private documents may have been the real target of the search.

“They tore my office apart more than any other room in my house,” she said, adding that agents did not take other potentially non-TSA-related documents from the office.

“I had a box full of [Department of Defense] notes,” she said. “They didn’t touch those.”

These are the actions of a police state. I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again — when are people going to fucking get it?

  • 1Finngal

    No comments?! Is this a sign of the apathy afflicting US citizens? I’m well aware of the increased police state of our nation and the daily erosion of our freedoms and rights. What I don’t get is why people are just accepting this. It doesn’t have to be this way.

  • neroden

    People aren’t accepting it. People are waiting. And trying to figure out where to start organizing.

  • Barak

    What are you doing to make a change?

  • 1Finngal

    I’m trying to share the truth…to educate people as to the truth. The more people who know the truth, the better the chances of taking positive action. Too many people are still in denial and believe that our government has our best interests at heart.

  • Bob Muenchausen

    WTF! Shades of the Gestapo. Seems like the SS and friends got a lot more done with fewer people, but then, they weren’t facing folks who might be heavily armed. Nonetheless, it is really hard to conceive why this much artillery and manpower was necessary in this instance. I guess I am just one of those apathetic citizens who lives somewhere where this hasn’t happened yet. God help the cops when there is a real reason here to need this sort of display of force, because they might just be out gunned. I worry about that at least as much as any police state.

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  • jamie

    Friends, EVERY institution is ‘broken’ and has ALWAYS been ‘broken’.
    After reading Lundy Bancroft’s book, ‘Why Does He do That. Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men’, I now had a clear picture of what is so wrong with the world; Misogyny is at the root of all social institutions.
    This book could easily be applied to those that manipulate financial markets ( which are wicked at their roots ), build weapons of mass destruction ( insane! ), implement social standards ( i.e. through the use of media propaganda ), and the list goes on and on of the complete misogyny of 99.9% of all social institutions.
    ( If anyone believes that religious institutions are exempt from misogynistic underpinnings then I would respectfully ask each and every person to go back and reread the ‘bible’; It is rife with misogyny. )
    This is all about value systems and what we, as a collective, and individually, ‘value’. We are being given an opportunity to redefine ( or better yet, refine ) our values.
    Since misogyny is the root of all dysfunction on planet Earth then it might be better to create, from the ground up, a completely different social structure without all of the “revolting”, “marching”, “demanding” and self righteous indignation that is required in dismantling a system that has no inherent value to anyone.
    We have the power, intelligence and, more importantly, the desire, to create any system we so choose without asking permission from the entrenched powers. This is their system/game and if we want to play this game we must play by their rules or suffer the consequences. We are all suffering unnecessarily within the parameters of their rigged game.
    Who is to stop us, those who want a more just and loving system, from creating such a system through the way in which we interact with each other?
    If everyone decided tomorrow, ” I don’t think I will play this game any longer” and just stopped supporting it with our time, energy and “worthless dross” then this would be the beginning of real and lasting change for we will have created a new value system that does not require the “cremation of care”.
    “Care” should be the foundation of ALL social institutions!
    How do we begin this process of creating a loving and just society?
    1) Do not acknowledge Court/”Judicial” systems, There is no justice!
    If we want to create a fair and honest system then we must disenfranchise the current one by ignoring it. We need to be kinder to each other and court systems are not kind.
    2) Do not support “Banking” systems.
    Money should never define the health and wealth of our living this life. Those who have more paper and coin do not deserve to live more than those who die from not having any! Insane!
    3) Do not support systems of “Higher education”
    Universities and Colleges are ‘for profit’ and are chaired by those who wish to uphold the ‘values’ of this misogynistic system; Wittingly or unwittingly.
    I have met some of the most profoundly intelligent, talented and loving beings that are not in possession of papers declaring their “pedigree” or “authority”. A piece of paper does NOT bequeath to one wisdom, talent or refinement. These require a spiritual awareness.
    4) Do not acknowledge any “governmental” body as long as those bodies uphold the misogynistic value system of the 1%.
    5) Collectively come together to agree to stop paying mortgages, rent, insurances, utilities, food ( something all must have to survive) and other “monthly” bills to these misogynistic institutions but, instead, agree to volunteer our services to each other and the new just and loving value system. These things will probably have to be done as soon as possible as the iron grip of oppression is closing tighter.
    If we can create and support chaos, degeneration and brutality then certainly the opposite can be created.
    6) Don’t ask permission to create a new just and loving system. We have the capacity to self lead. This is called personal autonomy and this is what misogynists do not like. Religious and State Institutions cripple the human Spirit! Set it free!
    Our minds and hearts are the key to what the future will look like. Anger and self righteous indignation only prolongs this suffering….this blood-letting.
    If we can take our focus off of those misogynists and their destructive systems then we could spend that energy and time in creating a completely new one.
    It is a choice and always has been a choice to follow or lead and I know that we each can take responsibility for aligning with such an aberrant system and then remove ourselves from this system.
    I have children and grandchildren that I do not want to see harmed emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically, yet, every day, in such an aberrant system, they are harmed in all ways. I believe that most people feel the same as I do and it is from this place of emotional understanding that we must operate; First, do no harm.
    It is the hour of our lives. This is it. There is not another moment to waste in trying to dismantle a broken system.
    Shall we do this? Shall we create the opposite of what these misogynists have created?
    I believe in the 99%. My heart is with all who feel this is the hour…the time to change. I believe we can do whatever we set our minds and hearts to!
    The cry goes out to all hearts who will hear, “All hands on deck!”

  • Hoskins James

    This story is not about a reporters notes per se. This story is about a felon Paul Flanagan being able to obtain a security clearance with the coast guard and work on gun systems. He was able to have a job created because his wife is a reporter, and management officials with the coast guard back in 2003 were all white. Mr Flanagan was hired as a term employee not to exceed 4 years by the coast guard in 2003 at the end of his term in 2007 he was hired to work on the MK 75 62 mm gun system for the us coast guard. The question should be how was he able to pass the background investigation and obtain a security clearance with the us coast guard. His wife is trying to turn this story around to protect her husbands career with the us coast guard. Charges have been filed against Mr Flanagan his court date is set for 4.11.2014 in Annapolis MD.