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October 25, 2013

Feds Use Search for Weapons as Pretext for Confiscation of Reporter's Confidential Files

A Daily Caller exclusive.

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.

. . .

After the search began, Hudson said she was asked by an investigator with the Coast Guard Investigative Service if she was the same Audrey Hudson who had written a series of critical stories about air marshals for The Washington Times over the last decade.

More at the link. The search for firearms was shaky, but obviously it was just a pretext for searching for what they really wanted, her notes and information on sources.

I know, abuse of authority. Dog bites man. But at some point we have to reconsider the scope of the benefit of the doubt we grant to bureaucrats like these, that they're always acting lawfully. A while back Ace discussed public choice theory which is the the idea that political actors are self-concerned and act to maximize their own position.

Previously economists had not studied the operations of government (at least not using the economic tools and assumptions of each person seeking to maximize his own wealth/power), believing government to be outside the scope of economic analysis. This cleared the field, at least intellectually, for political scientists to consider public policy choices in the same terms that politicians described them, that is, sanctimoniously, romantically, with the assumption that any public policy choice was about "the good."

Buchanan rejected that and applied the assumptions of economics -- political actors are self-concerned and act to maximize their own position -- and thus demystified and demythologized the Great Men of Politics, as conventional academic thought would term them.

Public choice theory is focused on political actors and economic analysis, but it seems something similar should be applied in other areas of government. The people involved in the search and seizure above are not Great Men of the Law who are only interested in justice; they're self-interested just like any other human being.


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posted by rdbrewer at 11:30 AM

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