Thursday, October 31, 2013

WAYNE MADSEN : Obama's NSA Continues to Spy on U.S. Citizens; NSA/Bush/CIA Crime Timeline

Americans continue to fund crime and their own destruction with their tax dollars, NSA spying, TSA, BATF; creation of weaponized super-viruses designed to kill them en masse, bankrolling next world pandemic

Wayne Madsen Report
By Wayne Madsen

The National Security Agency (NSA) continues to conduct warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens at a frenetic pace, according to informed NSA sources. Much of the surveillance of American citizens and legal residents, known as "U.S. persons" in the NSA eavesdropping lexicon, is now being conducted under the aegis of the U.S. Cyber Command. NSA director General Keith Alexander doubles as the commander of the Cyber Command. Both agencies' headquarters are located at Fort Meade, Maryland.

AT&T is the ENEMY of United States Citizens
Warrantless wiretapping began during the George W. Bush administration in the wake of 9/11. The program was authorized by Vice President Dick Cheney's chief counsel David Addington and was never known as the so-called "Terrorist Surveillance Program," or "TSP." The Terrorist Surveillance Program moniker was a cover story developed by NSA, Justice Department, and White House officials to mask the true targets of the warrantless eavesdropping operation: U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. Primary targets include journalists, their government sources, and political office holders and other government officials. The latter includes members of Congress, state governors, senior military officers, U.S. diplomats, and Cabinet officers. Some of the intercepted communications of Americans was entered into an NSA database known as PINWALE.

WMR has learned that although NSA's acting general counsel Vito Potenza and NSA Inspector General Joel Brenner claimed they were not given access to "The Program's" key implementing documents, both individuals had worked with Addington and other members of the Bush White House, including chief of staff Andrew Card, to implement massive NSA spying on U.S. citizens. The two NSA lawyers worked closely with Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel attorney John Yoo to craft the illegal program. Yoo's actions were approved by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

NSA "counsel," spy Joel Brenner, a dangerous Nazi
At NSA, the warrantless eavesdropping program is simply known as "The Program." The classified code word for "The Program" was STELLAR WIND before the code phrase was leaked to the media. The Bush administration used "The Program" to gain intelligence on its political enemies and friends, alike. The Obama administration maintains "The Program" to similarly engage in political surveillance within the United States.

"The Program" was largely the brainchild of then-NSA director Michael Hayden, who was later promoted to the first Deputy Director of National Intelligence and, subsequently, to Central Intelligence Agency director.

TRAITOR:  Former Bush AG Alberto Gonzales with his "god"
Warrantless wiretapping was also instituted to ensure that critical intelligence possessed by NSA about the planned 9/11 attacks was withheld from the Congress and the public after what became known as the "second Pearl Harbor." In the aftermath of 9/11, several NSA employees knew that the agency was in possession of actionable intelligence that could have prevented the attacks. As a result, many career and military NSA personnel suffered physical ailments and severe mental stress amid a climate of absolute enforced silence about what NSA knew beforehand. As a result, a number of NSA personnel were either prevented from testifying or not invited to testify before the 9/11 Commission.

However, NSA's director of signals intelligence, Maureen Baginski, termed 9/11 as a "gift" to NSA. Hayden ensured that NSA craftily hid behind the FBI and CIA to avoid any blame for the 9/11 attacks and stay "clean."

In an unprecedented manner, the Obama administration is using the 1917 Espionage Act, with its 1950 amendment, known as the McCarran Internal Security Act -- passed during the espionage scandal involving State Department official Alger Hiss and the "Pumpkin Papers" affair -- to indict government officials who leak information to the press. The Obama administration has also stepped up NSA and other surveillance of journalists in an effort to discover their sources.

The doctrine being followed by the Obama administration comes from a 2010 book, titled Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law, authored by the neo-con Hudson Institute's senior fellow Gabe Schoenfeld. In the book, Schoenfeld called for the government to prosecute reporters and editors, particularly those at The New York Times, for revealing details of the warrantless wiretapping program. Schoenfeld is a former senior editor of the Jewish Zionist publication Commentary. He has also written for the neo-con Weekly Standard and New York Sun. NSA sources have told WMR that the Obama administration has "taken a page from Schoenfeld's book" in continuing the NSA warrantless surveillance program.

Whistleblower destroyer, Obama Nazi William M. Welch II
Meanwhile, the Justice Department continues to use prosecutor William M. Welch II, the former chief of the Public Integrity Section at Main Justice, to investigate government whistleblowers and journalists. However, in a serendipitous development, WMR has learned of four run-ins with the law that Welch had in his native Massachusetts. Covered up by the Justice Department, these infractions of the law call into question Welch's suitability to hold down a job as a Justice Department prosecutor. WMR is pursuing leads in the Welch matter.



Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Madsen has over twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. 

Wayne Madsen
Madsen has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club, Madsen is based and reports from Washington, D.C. 

Commentary From The Underworld

Our frequent correspondent weighs in on All Hallows Day

By (Beezel) Bub

On All Souls Eve, may you
Be transported on ethereal Wings;
 Be divider and butcher of people and things;
Be one who twists pain into sheer Pleasure;
Be greedy for Riches beyond all measure;
Be the taster of corporeal Delights;
Be Victor over bishops and knights;
Be supreme over this conquered Orb;
Ah, so many lessons yet to Absorb, as you shall see;
Be powerful, splendid, Shameless and wise;
Be a teller of fiction, nonsense and Lies;
Be Unafraid of archangels heaven holds dear;
Be skeptic of their claim for Why still am I here?
To pilot the drone, guide the bombardier;
To keep the weak and innocent living in fear;
Be the Eye in the sky, seeing though clouds;
Be up in the air to cover gore with a Shroud;
Be All of the Above
In service to Me\
Till the hour of your demise.
Just call me Bub, professor of treachery and betrayal to the bubbas of the world, quick with the tricks and cheap on the treats, theorist of mayhem and conspirator at large, founder of Zion and other heresy wherever it crops its ugly head to raise again the immortal undead.
My pagan holiday greetings to a befuddled humankind.
Celtic magic, the most powerful from the reign of the elves. The elven charms and leprechaun spells kept this Old Bub at bay from the Emerald Isles, but the being the clever rascal slipped aboard St. Patrick's ship as stowaway disguised in the robes of a drunken monk on secret assignment on behalf of the Crown and its English bishopric, which can be spelled in Olde Englishe more accurately.

Old Bub is a Middle Easterner, you see, a Donmeh hidden one from the sweltering desert, and therefore could not fly the icy winds over the Irish Sea, which reminded him uncomfortably of that frozen space way back in time where he lost altitude against that untrustworthy and disloyal colleague Michael, an arch lapdog who preferred slavery to goodness rather than power in evil, what a fool to be taunted on All Soul's Eve! On this eve, save your green beer for St. Paddy, and follow my command: Not a root or brance of Vegan, only bloody rare red meat! Cheers and curses to all! And do never forget that bringer of thrills and spills - me.
With boundless sincerity, I am
Beelzebub, Crown Prince and Lord of the Flies


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Seymour Hersh Attacks Obama, Fellow DC Journalists

One word:  Bloodbath

By Andrew Kreig

New Yorker columnist Seymour Hersh harshly attacked President Obama and fellow journalists in comments from the summer published over the weekend.
Seymour Hersh
The Pulitizer-winning Hersh, left, said of official accounts about the death of Osama bin Laden: ‘It’s one big lie, not one word of it is true.’'

The White House released a now-iconic photo at showing Obama and cabinet reaction to a video of the 2011 raid.

The Hersh comments caused a stir over the weekend in journalism circles, although he noted to me Sept. 30 that his remarks were from a lecture in July on investigative journalism, and were just now being reported.

Lisa O'Carroll of the Guardian reported also that Hersh told his audience at the City University in London program on investigative journalism that most network broadcasters should be immediately fired to improve news coverage. 

The acerbic Hersh, born in 1937, is best known for breaking the story of the My Lai Massacre by U.S. troops during the Vietnam War. The London-based Guardian headlined her story Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the 'pathetic' American media.

Publication of the Hersh comments comes at a time of increasing criticism of the White House, Congress, and the mainstream media. 
My Lai Massacre
Updates: Two American journalists known for their investigations of the United States' government said Saturday they've teamed up to report on the National Security Agency's role in what one called a "U.S. assassination program," the Association Press reported Sept. 28:

"Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to the Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of Dirty Wars, said he will be working with Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden."
Wayne Madsen
Additionally, author and former NSA analyst Wayne Madsen reported Sept. 30 that the Navy War College in Rhode Island, which he attended as a Navy intelligence officer, is deeply involved in monitoring social media and using it to slant mainstream news coverage in pro-military directions. 
Regarding activism on other topics, Ralph Nader attacked those in Congress who ignore the plight of an estimated 200 Americans who die needlessly each day on average for lack of health coverage, according to a major study. Also as amplified below, Madonna released a video calling for a major worldwide campaign to promote artistic freedom.

Hersh said he would describe details of the 2011 raid in a forthcoming book about intelligence services.
Hersh most likely on Bush/Cheney and now Obama "kill list"
Hersh is the first American journalist who primarily publishes with the corporate-owned mainstream media to air such an allegation to the best of my knowledge.

Any discrepancies in the official story would implicate top leaders of the Obama cabinet. Among them would be 2016 Democratic presidential front-runners Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, who are portrayed in the photo, as is the former Obama Defense Secretary Bob Gates at lower right in the photo. Other major Republicans would be embarrassed. So would leading news organizations and other major corporations.

Yet others with significant media credentials have claimed for years on web media and radio talk shows that the raid was phony.

One of those skeptics has been Madsen, a frequent commentator on major TV and cable news shows in years past. Another is former Wall Street Journal associate editor Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, an author and conservative scholar. Two others have been free market radio host Alex Jones and left-wing author Dr. Webster Tarpley. 
Schindler's attacks on Madsen have now drawn scrutiny from his enablers and Independent Media upon himself

Their claims of inadequate or deceptive official government reports, including on 9/11, have brought heavy reprisals from major news outlets for the most part.

Madsen, widely published as an op-ed columnist on less controversial topics, quipped Sept. 28 that Hersh should be prepared to have his Pulitzer taken back. Madsen has withstood a campaign of coordinated disparagement by a few anonymous trolls who have submitted hundreds of adverse edits onto his Wikipedia bio.

Also, Dr. John Schindler, a U.S. Navy War college professor affiliated with the National Security Agency (NSA), has undertaken relentless efforts to influence the news. One non-controversial way is by appearing on cable TV networks. Another, which has a sinister dimension, to use social media to mock an array of others in public life. 
 These include President Obama (particularly notable for and a Utah congressman skeptical of the NSA's domestic spy program, whistleblowers and journalists such as Greenwald and James Bamford who report on whistleblowers and spy programs, as I described in a three-part series this summer excerpted below. 
One of Schindler's special targets is Madsen, who has found his normal outlets hit by anonymous but clearly concocted protests of those arguing he should not be quoted or employed.
Rear Admiral Walter "Ted" Carter, Jr.
Rather oddly, the leading society of editorial writers and other opinion writers, the Association of Opinion Journalists, has chosen to hold its annual convention near the War College's base in Newport, Rhode Island and bestow its highest annual award on Rear Admiral Walter "Ted" Carter, Jr., the college president who has presided over these kinds of faculty initiatives to mock and intimidate those in the media. The conference theme is water security, in which the college plays a significant role. No discussion is listed regarding press freedom or privacy issues raised by intelligence agencies dominating the news all summer following Edward Snowden's revelations..

The journalists' bestowal of their leadership award to Carter seems clearly in the realm of back-scratching to achieve access. He assumed command of the war college on July, and would have been unlikely to have achieved momentous achievements in water security during the few weeks before the award was announced in mid-summer. 
Edward Snowden
The choice of Carter suggests either abject deference to the might, majesty and priorities of the military/security complex -- or a certain cluelessness to the behind-the-scenes struggles between the military/intelligence sectors and the vestiges of the traditional news profession.

The ultimate prize? Control over commentary about major issues in an era when, more than ever, mainstream news coverage of war zones and secretive agencies is primarily by journalists whose access requires, in effect, approval on an ongoing basis by government leaders whose actions are the subject of news stories. 
Glen Greenwald
Resisting that process are a few gutsy whistleblowers and columnists, including old hands such as Hersh and Bamford (author of three major books about the NSA) and a next generation that includes Greenwald.

Another is Madsen, a commentator, alumnus of the War College in a certificate (non-degree) program, and former NSA analyst who supported Obama's election in both 2008 and 2012.

Nonetheless, Madsen's challenge of the truth of the bin Laden raid undermined one Obama's major claims of first-term accomplishment, as well as the president's basic honesty and that of his cabinet.

In 2011, Madsen described the raid site in Pakistan, Abbottabad, as doubtless familiar to bin Laden in the 1980s when bin Laden worked with Americans and would have known the locale as heavily infiltrated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency "and its CIA overseers" and U.S. Special Forces. Madsen wrote that special forces operated from the nearby Kalabagh air force base.

"Why Bin Laden would want to locate a massive safe house in the heart of Pakistani and American counter-insurgency and intelligence activity is curious," Madsen wrote in 2011. 
The unidentified body of a man is seen after a raid by US Navy Seal commandos on the compound where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad

"Bin Laden's body was reported by the Pentagon to have been buried somewhere in the north Arabian Sea from the aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson," Madsen continued on his subscription-only website, the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR):

The Pentagon has assured the public that they confirmed Bin Laden's identity through DNA sampling and are '100 percent' certain that the body they buried in the sea was that of Bin Laden. The question remains as to where Bin Laden's comparative DNA samples were obtained over the past several years when the terrorist mastermind was supposedly a phantom-like fugitive. However, the word from WMR sources at NSA is that no signals intercepts, from Pakistan or U.S. military sources, indicate that the man shot to death in Abbottabad was Osama Bin Laden.

Such claims raise further questions about self-censorship, pack reporting and reprisals against reporters who provide independent analysis.

The bin Laden raid held great symbolic importance for the nation and the Obama presidency. It was a centerpiece of news coverage and the major film Zero Dark Thirty when it was reported in the spring of 2011.

Also, it was a centerpiece of the 2012 re-election campaign. But even GOP politicians have refrained from publicly disputing the bin Laden death.

If problems arose from investigative reporting those missing the story could justify their actions by saying they have no one to quote if Republicans fail to dispute the raid.

But that is a stenographer's role for the media that Hersh is right to reject.

To my knowledge, no major reporter has ever insisted on obtaining thorough answers about precisely what the participants in the photo were watching. Nor have the major media reported why a DNA details of a positive ID of the raid's targets could not have been made public to assuage doubters who had long suspected that bin Laden died many years ago from kidney failure or an attack. The suspicion among skeptics is that bin Laden was kept "alive" in the popular imagination as a reason for continued war by the U.S. military/political establishment and their financiers of both parties.
Cass Sustein
Defenders from both parties of official accounts denounce such criticism and questions as "conspiracy theory." Obama adviser and friend Cass Sunstein, shown at left in a photo via Wikipedia, even advocated in a 2008 law review article that the government secretly hire journalists and academics to infiltrate professional circles to thwart such ideas.

Sunstein thought such deception such a good idea that he boasted of it in an academic working paper. But that level of government-orchestrated deception would be proof positive of a conspiracy, just by itself.

Obama placed Sunstein in charge of all federal regulation in the White House Office of Management and Budget, and hired his wife, Samantha Power, for a series of high-level posts. She is currently U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and at the forefront of seeking the bombing of Syria until the Russia-brokered plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons. 
Samantha Power
More recently, Sunstein returned to government as a member of the presidential commission to restore public confidence in the NSA following revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about its domestic spying program. Author James Bamford and Madsen are among those who have exposed the program vast scope and privacy violations for years.

Snowden's extensive documentation via reporting by Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian and Barton Gellman of the Washington Post gave the privacy violations wide exposure beginning in June.

My new book, Presidential Puppetry, focuses upon this and other important stories long under-reported, but not the Obama raid. I knew of the skeptics but was not in a position to nail down that particular story, in part because of the unprecedented secrecy now enveloping every kind of major military and intelligence story. 
Puppetry makes the overall point that stories involving national security are becoming off limits for the media except for a few hand-picked reporters, who often are selected because of their cooperative demeanor to receive leaked government information shared with the rest of the media and public in ways that are unverifiable.

It's not possible for one reporter, even one of Hersh's stature, or book to examine all such mysteries. But every book and serious journalist should appreciate that it is high time to recognize that a crisis in self-censorship is occurring.

I am in the process of organizing two high-profile panel discussions, one in Washington and one in New York City, whereby top reporters who dare to report on such matters can present their latest findings and thereby make possible wider coverage from peers operating under self-censorship by top management reluctant to antagonize news sources in government and financial backers of their news outlets.

One of the biggest hidden stories is that news organizations, at the highest levels, are intimidated not by government and advertisers, but more importantly by ownership interests that can overlaps with donors to politicians and the biggest advertisers. Hence the concept of "puppet masters," or "Wall Street" or similar shorthand names.
Andrew Kreig is Justice Integrity Project Executive Director and co-founder with over two decades experience as an attorney and non-profit executive in Washington, DC. An author and longtime investigative reporter, his primary focus since 2008 has been exploring allegations of official corruption and other misconduct in federal agencies. He has also been a consultant and volunteer leader in advising several non-profit groups fostering cutting-edge applications within the communications industries. In 2008, he became a senior fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and an affiliated research fellow with the Information Economy Project at George Mason University School of Law.

Andrew Kreig
As president and CEO of the Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI) from 1996 until 2008, Kreig led its worldwide advocacy that helped create the broadband wireless industry. Previously, he was WCAI vice president and general counsel, an associate at Latham & Watkins, law clerk to a federal judge, author of the book Spiked about the newspaper business and a longtime reporter for the Hartford Courant. Listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World from the mid-1990s and currently, he holds law degrees from the University of Chicago School of Law and from Yale Law School. Reared in New York City, his undergraduate degree in history is from Cornell University, where he was a student newspaper editor, rowing team member, and Golden Gloves boxer

U.S. Marines Turn Up Noses At Obama’s New ‘Girly’ Hats; Some Fear It Looks Too French

Maniacal Obama now following in exact footsteps of fascist Nixon criminals - and as with Nixon's fruitcake "uniforms" Marines will shitcan his fantasy of "controlling" Marines; White House spastic had damn well better remember when the lead starts flying who the trigger-pullers are; time for the Commandant to take a stand on this lunacy but oops - he's up for Office Hours

By Cheryl K. Chumley 

Marines are decrying a new look President Obama has planned for their uniforms — namely, a unisex-style cap that they say looks more French than American, more “girly” than hard-charging.

“We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets and the DoD [Department of Defense] is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats,” one senior Marine said to The New York Post. “The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.”

One estimate is that the new hats could cost about $8 million.

The hats are thinner and smaller, aimed at looking equally good on females as well as males. They’re called the “Dan Daly” hat, in honor of a Long Island sergeant who earned the Medal of Honor during World War I.

But the present hat has been a Marine Corps fixture since 1922, and it’s not just tradition that has some decrying the new hat. It’s the feminine feel of the proposed cap.

Nixon's freak uniforms wound up in Alice Cooper's band
“The Dan Daly cap looks too French, and the last people we want to associate our Marines with would be the French military,” one critic wrote on the Marine Times website.

Marine Corps head Gen. James Amos makes the ultimate decision, and officials have until the end of this week to give their thumbs-up or thumbs-down to the proposed hat.

But an informal survey of the Marine uniform advisory board already found: “The group members did not like the appearance of the Dan Daly cap on the male Marine,” The Post reported.

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Spain Opens Inquiry Into NSA Spying Operations

As with Bush/Cheney, Obama criminals will now be imprisoned in U.S., unable to travel abroad for fear of arrest


Spain’s public prosecutor has opened a preliminary inquiry into allegations that the US spy agency has conducted illegal surveillance operations on millions of Spanish citizens. 
NSA Gestapo Chief, U.S. traitor Napolitano
Spain’s Attorney General Eduardo Torres-Dulce called for an information gathering process to determine whether a crime was committed and if Spain should consider opening a formal investigation, his office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The public prosecutor's office said it would “determine the reality of the facts and their circumstances” on whether the alleged large-scale spying on Spanish citizens could involve criminal aspects and evaluate their eventual penal consequences.

The statement comes a day after the Spanish Foreign Ministry summoned American Ambassador James Costos regarding media reports that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on 60 million Spanish telephone calls in a single month.

Spain has warned that mutual trust between Madrid and Washington could be broken if the allegations prove to be true.

Several other countries have also summoned US ambassadors to explain the NSA spying activities.

European countries announced they will send a nine-member delegation to Washington to seek answers to US’ massive spying activities on telephone and online communications of citizens and more than 35 world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

This is while Germany and Brazil are spearheading efforts to draft a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly to condemn US spying on other countries. The measure is gaining international support as 21 countries including France and Mexico have so far joined talks to hammer out the resolution.


Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Armed Agents Seize Records Of Reporter, Washington Times Prepares Legal Action

Obama murderers, traitors attempt to silence yet another truth-telling journalist in USSA    

By Guy Taylor

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 of 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.
“While we appreciate law enforcement’s right to investigate legitimate concerns, there is no reason for agents to use an unrelated gun case to seize the First Amendment protected materials of a reporter,” Times Editor John Solomon said. “This violates the very premise of a free press, and it raises additional concerns when one of the seizing agencies was a frequent target of the reporter’s work.

“Homeland’s conduct in seizing privileged reporters’ notes and Freedom of Information Act documents raises serious Fourth Amendment issues, and our lawyers are preparing an appropriate legal response,” he said.

Maryland State Police declined to comment except to say that “evidence and information developed during this investigation is currently under review by both the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office and the United State's Attorney's Office,” and that a determination has yet to be made on any charges.
The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that it seized and reviewed Ms. Hudson’s documents but insisted it did nothing wrong.

Capt. Tony Hahn, a spokesman at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, said the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) was involved in the case because Ms. Hudson’s husband, Mr. Flanagan, is a Coast Guard employee.

During the search of the home, said Capt. Hahn, “the CGIS agent discovered government documents labeled ‘FOUO’ — For Official Use Only and ‘LES’ — Law Enforcement Sensitive.”

“The files that contained these documents were cataloged on the search warrant inventory and taken from the premises,” he said. “The documents were reviewed with the source agency and determined to be obtained properly through the Freedom of Information Act.”
U.S. journalists abroad will fight back, using deadly force on CIA
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.
It was not until roughly a month later, Ms. Hudson said, when she was notified that the agents had quietly seized five files from her private office — including handwritten and typed notes from interviews with numerous confidential sources related to her exclusive reporting on the Air Marshals Service.

The search warrant for the raid, issued to Maryland State Trooper Victor Hodgin by a district court judge, made no reference to the documents. A copy obtained by The Times indicates that the search was to be narrowly focused on the pursuit of “firearms” and their “accessories and/or parts,” as well as any communications that that might be found in Ms. Hudson and Mr. Flanagan’s home related to “the acquisition of firearms or accessories.”
David W. Fischer, a private lawyer contacted by the couple, said the raid is a potential violation of Ms. Hudson’s constitutional rights.

“Obviously, the warrant is about a gun, nothing about reporters’ notes,” he said. “It would be a blatant constitutional violation to take that stuff if the search warrant didn’t specifically say so.”

“This is a situation where they picked very specifically through her stuff and took documents that the Coast Guard, or the Department of Homeland Security, would be very interested in,” he added.

The raid could constitute illegal search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment — and the fact that the materials were related to her work as a reporter could violate First Amendment freedom of the press protections.

Once the documents had been “cleared,” Homeland Security decided to return the documents to Mr. Flanagan and Ms. Hudson, Capt. Hahn said.

The Coast Guard, like the Federal Air Marshals Service, is an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

A Reporter’s Word

What concerns Ms. Hudson and The Times is the fact that private reporting documents were seized during the search being conducted on totally unrelated grounds.
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.”

Some of the files included notes that she had used to expose how the Federal Air Marshals Service lied to Congress during the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks about the number of airline flights that the service was protecting against another terrorist attack.

An article written by Ms. 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.
Ms. Hudson said the experience of having “a half-dozen armed officers rifle through my personal belongings for the three-hour search was traumatizing.”

“But when the files were returned to me and I saw all the notes that had been in their possession for a month, it was gut-wrenching,” she said.

That her private files were seized, said Ms. Hudson, is particularly disturbing because of interactions that she and her husband had during the search of their home, as well as months afterward, 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 2002 through November 2007.

It was Mr. Bosch, Mrs. Hudson says, who asked her during the Aug. 6 search if she was the same Audrey Hudson who had written the Air Marshal stories. It was also Mr. Bosch, she says, who phoned Mr. Flanagan a month later to say that documents taken during the search had been cleared.
During the call, according Ms. 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 Marshals 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,” Ms. Hudson said.

Reached on the telephone by a reporter for The Times, Mr. Bosch refused to comment on whether or not journalist-related documents were seized during the search of Ms. Hudson’s home.

“I got to get on the phone with Coast Guard legal before I talk with you,” Mr. Bosch said. “It’s still an open investigation.”

Asked specifically whether documents related to Ms. Hudson’s reporting activities were taken during the search, he responded: “There was a lot of stuff taken.”

Legitimate Case?

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains that it has done nothing wrong in the case and that the investigation into Ms. Hudson’s husband is based on legitimate suspicion that he was illegally in possession of firearms.
The warrant outlines how Mr. Flanagan was found guilty in 1985 — when he was 25 — of resisting arrest in Prince George’s County, Md. A concealed weapons charge in the same incident related to an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon was dropped.

It also alludes to a no-contest plea to charges related to a tax on weapons manufacture, a conviction the justice of which Mr. Flanagan disputes on the basis of mishandled evidence and unclear advice from federal gun regulators.

In the warrant, authorities also noted that Mr. Flanagan was arrested in 1996 by police in Anne Arundel County for possessing a handgun in his vehicle, a charge that later was dismissed.

The warrant outlines how sometime this year Mr. Flanagan drew the interest of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after allegedly attempting to purchase “possible machine gun parts from a Swedish national.”
The warrant says the information was handed to the Coast Guard’s investigative service — since Mr. Flanagan worked at the agency — which conducted an interview during which “Flanagan was evasive but stated he did receive a ‘potato gun’ but it was defective and it was thrown away.”

The term “potato gun” is “slang used during the illegal importation of silencers,” according to the warrant.

Ms. Hudson said the “potato gun” claim is outrageous.

She said her husband did, in fact, purchase a “potato launcher” from an online company based in Sweden five years ago as a novelty item, but it was discarded within as few weeks because it did not work.

She noted that the law enforcement agents who raided her home did not take a “golf ball launcher” that also belonged to her husband as a novelty item. They did, however, confiscate small arms belonging to Ms. Hudson that she had legally registered with the Maryland State Police as far back as 2005.
The search warrant allowed for the weapons to be confiscated, and Ms. Hudson said the agents told her that because her husband pleaded guilty to a resisting arrest charge nearly 30 years ago, she was not allowed to possess the guns under state law. The guns she owned were for recreational shooting, she said, as well as for security concerns resulting from many of her investigations.

“I swear to God, we’re not smuggling machine gun parts from Sweden,” said Ms. Hudson, adding that the potato launcher in question “didn’t even work.”

Ms. Hudson has been a reporter in Washington for nearly 15 years and covered Homeland Security for The Times after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks through December 2009.

Her reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to legislation signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She has won numerous journalism awards for her investigations, including the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi bronze medal for public service and the Society of Professional Journalists Dateline Award in Investigative Reporting, and was nominated twice by The Times for the Pulitzer Prize.

“Protecting confidential sources is a part of my honor and hits me at my ethical core,” said Ms. 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.”

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