BREAKING: U.S. Senate Building Evacuated After Suspicious Package Report

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Senate Office Building Briefly Evacuated After Threat, Nothing Hazardous Found

Several floors of a Senate office building on Capitol Hill were briefly evacuated Tuesday afternoon, following a report of a suspicious package that Capitol Police described as a bomb threat.

Investigators did not find anything hazardous.

Staff, lawmakers and reporters were kept out of parts of the building for about an hour while police investigated the scene. U.S. Capitol Police told Fox News they received the call reporting a suspicious package in a third-floor room of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Read the rest of this entry »


The Freedom to Warn: Michelle Malkin on Whistleblower Protection Post-9/11

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Every 9/11, pundits talk about how “everything changed” after the attacks. But the homeland security bureaucracy is as petty, vindictive, wasteful and stupid as ever.

Michelle Malkin writes: “If you see something, say something.” That’s what our homeland security apparatchiks incessantly preach. But 13 years after the 9/11 attacks, the freedom to warn is in danger and vigilant whistleblowers are under fire.

Listen to Robert MacLean. He’s a former Air Force nuclear weapons specialist and Border Patrol agent recruited by the government to serve as one of the first federal air marshals after 9/11.

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“I blew the whistle because I had to. I could not live with the tragedy risked if I had been the cynical silent observer.”

— Robert MacLean, federal air marshal testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. His legal case heads to the Supreme Court this fall

In 2003, MacLean underwent emergency training to prepare for a new round of al-Qaida hijacking threats. Jihadists exploiting visa and screening loopholes had planned to target East Coast airliners, according to intelligence analysts. For unknown reasons, however, the Transportation Security Administration abruptly called off air marshals from duty on nonstop, long-distance flights — just two days before the anticipated hijacking.

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“Quinn, a former Secret Service agent, insisted that air marshals abide by military-style grooming standards and a rigid business dress policy regardless of weather, time of year or seating arrangement. Yes, really. Marshals were ordered to dress like characters straight out of ‘Men in Black’ — leaving them vulnerable to terrorist identification. Critics of the code dubbed Quinn the Captain Queeg of homeland security.”

How did they notify the air marshals? Cue the Keystone Cops. “TSA chose to send the unlabeled text message to our unsecured Nokia 3310 cellular phones instead of our $22 million encrypted smart phone system. There were no markings or secrecy restrictions on the message,” MacLean recounted to Congress this week. “We all thought it was a joke given the special training we had just received and the post-9/11 law that nonstop long-distance flights were a priority.”

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“How did they notify the air marshals? Cue the Keystone Cops. “TSA chose to send the unlabeled text message to our unsecured Nokia 3310 cellular phones instead of our $22 million encrypted smart phone system.”

A supervisor told MacLean the agency was broke and there was nothing he could do. Appalled at both the dangerous pullback and the reckless way in which the feds notified the air marshals, MacLean then contacted his department’s inspector general hotline and was warned he would be “cutting (his) career short if (he) pursued the issue further.” Instead, he went to the press and made his homeland security concerns public. In 2006, MacLean was fired. Read the rest of this entry »


CHILL: Washington Times Sues Homeland Security over Seizure of Reporter’s Notes

SEAL_s160x160Kellan Howell reports: The Washington Times and one of its former journalists on Thursday sued the Department of Homeland Security, accusing federal agents of illegally seizing the newspaper’s reporting materials during the execution of a search warrant in an unrelated case.

In a motion filed in federal court in Greenbelt, The Times and reporter Audrey Hudson asked a judge to force the federal agency to return all reporting files and documents it seized from Ms. Hudson’s home office during a raid in early August.

The newspaper alleged that federal agents accompanying Maryland State Police on the raid took materials from Ms. Hudson’s office that were not covered by the search warrant that authorized the collection solely of evidence about guns and a potato launcher allegedly possessed by her husband, Paul Flanagan.

The seized materials included documents the newspaper had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act as well as notes and memos that identified confidential sources from a series of investigative stories that exposed problems inside the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.

The seizure violated Ms. Hudson’s and the newspaper’s constitutional rights, the court filing argued. Read the rest of this entry »


Feds Confiscate Confidential Files from Investigative Reporter Who Probed DHS Corruption

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The Daily Caller’s Alex Pappas reports: A veteran Washington D.C. investigative journalist says the Department of Homeland Security confiscated a stack of her confidential files during a raid of her home in August — leading her to fear that a number of her sources inside the federal government have now been exposed.

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. Read the rest of this entry »