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October 26, 2013

When the Freedom to Communicate is Stolen: Journalist’s Home Raided.

I read an article online today, one that left me incredibly unsettled.

To be honest, as a writer, it really ticked me off. But, more so, as a citizen of this Nation—I am infuriated.

“To struggle against censorship, whatever its nature, and whatever the power under which it exists, is my duty as a writer, as are calls for freedom of the press. I am a passionate supporter of that freedom, and I consider that if any writer were to imagine that he could prove he didn’t need that freedom, then he would be like a fish affirming in public that it didn’t need water.”  ― Mikhail Bulgakov

Reading through, one might assume these events were pulled directly from the pages of a Tom Clancy thriller; sadly, they describe the violation of one reporter’s civil and constitutional rights.

It begins with a pre-dawn raid executed on August 6, 2013 by armor-clad State and Federal Law Enforcement personnel. The ‘target’ was reporter Audrey Hudson, a veteran Washington D.C. investigative journalist, twice nominated for the Pulitzer prize—and whose work has sparked numerous congressional investigations leading to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The allegation? That Ms. Hudson was in possession of illegal firearms.

And though the scope of the original search warrant was limited to the search for said illegal firearms, it soon became clear: these agents were there looking for a little something more.

As Maryland State Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel stormed through her home, they began collecting Ms. Hudson’s carefully organized personal notes and documentation regarding a developing government scandal—one that would have implicated the Federal Marshal Service in lies to Congress concerning protections against terrorist attacks.

These files also contained detailed information about sources inside the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration.

So, what does that mean?

It means those with the courage to step forward and speak out against their own agencies had both their personal contact information, and details of their evidence turned over to their Agency management.

But, more importantly, it means the rights of these informants guaranteed under the Whistleblower Protection Act, have been violated.

It also seem to be a case of foul play—in which our constitutional and civil rights are being handed over to the ‘playground bully.’

If you’re not angry, you should be, or, at the very least interested in the types of headlines that are often relegated (and subsequently, buried) in the “Local News” section.

So, what do we do when our freedoms can no longer be guaranteed?

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Ed: Catherine Monkman

{Photo: Daily Caller.}

Tara Lemieux

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