Press Targeted By DHS
By Ralph Forbes / AFP Southern Bureau
Are you of the opinion that the invasive Transportation Security Administration “pat downs” at airports are a violation of your constitutional rights? Wait until they start treating you the way they treat investigative journalists, writers, filmmakers and activists who question the many official conspiracy theories and non-conspiracy theories. The mass media is 99.9% controlled, but the corporatocracy cannot tolerate a few investigative journalists blowing the whistle.
One victim is Laura Poitras, an Oscar-and Emmy-nominated filmmaker and intrepid journalist, who spent years producing a trilogy of documentary films showing the loss of liberties around the world—and particularly in the United States—under the pretense of “the War on Terror.”
Her laptop, camera and cell phone are routinely seized and not returned for weeks. On several occasions, government agents seized her notebooks and copied them—violating her journalist-source relationship. Her credit cards and receipts have been copied on numerous occasions. Time after time, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents have detained and interrogated her in foreign airports. They threatened her that she would be barred from boarding her flight back home.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents have met her plane at Newark Liberty International Airport, detained her and taken her to interrogation rooms. Each time this has happened in the past, Poitras—as a journalist—has taken notes. Her lawyer also advised her to keep notes of her interrogations in order to chronicle what is being done to her, to document the journalistic privileges she asserts and her express lack of consent and to obtain the names of the agents involved. Multiple CBP agents told the American journalist she was prohibited from taking notes on the ground that her “pen could be used as a weapon.”
This chilling treatment escalates, even though Poitras has never been accused of violating any law—and the DHS has been forced to admit that in six years they never found anything to justify their continuing abuse and harassment other than they didn’t like her expressing non-official viewpoints.
Our security is guaranteed by a free press. We have no security if free speech is repressed—especially by the big lie that it is being done in the name of national security.
Be thankful that you have the right to be forewarned about these threats to your freedom and security—just as we at AMERICAN FREE PRESS are grateful to you—and all of our readers for keeping our torch alight in the vast darkness of censorship and lies.
Ralph Forbes is a freelance writer based in Arkansas. He is also a member of AFP’s Southern Bureau. Contact him at [email protected]