The Fallout From SD-1544-09-06 : The Feds At My Door

30/12/2009 – The Fallout From SD-1544-09-06 : The Feds At My Door

Yesterday evening was like most other nights, until around 6:30pm when I received a phone call from Chris Elliot. Chris is a travel journalist, who happens to be National Geographic Traveler’s Reader Advocate, writes a regular column for The Washington Post, produce a weekly segment for MSNBC…and Chris is the other journalist who received and published a copy of the TSA’s Security Directive SD-1544-09-06

Chris and I have conversed many times before, however this phone call began by him asking me if any Federal Agents had visited me from the Department of Homeland Security this evening, as he had just been visited by a TSA Special Agent.

Moments after my call with Chris ended a sedan pulled in front of my house and two US Transportation Security Administration Special Agents were at my door with some questions and paperwork for me. I sent two of my kids upstairs, and like Chris I was served a subpoena by the Department of Homeland Security to disclose who sent me the contents of SD-1544-09-06 (you can read Chris’ subpoena HERE)

The two Special Agents were at my house for more than two hours speaking with me as I held my youngest son in my arms most of the time. When the agent left they said they’d see me again tomorrow morning, and hopefully we come to a resolution.

First let me say this, the two agents were polite and professional. I understand they have their job to do. I understand these agents have been given a task to investigate and that what they will do. I would expect nothing less. I have repeatedly written about positive TSA experiences on Flying With Fish. I am not an apologist or looking to gain favour, I simply believe the vast majority of those in the TSA are serious professionals and these two agents acted in a manner that upheld this belief.

The DHS & TSA are taking this matter seriously, and that tells me that they are paying attention to security in detail. Their issue is not that the Security Directive expires tomorrow, or even that I posted SD-1544-09-06 but that someone within the TSA sent this sensitive document outside of the agency. I understand why the TSA wants to find the person leaking this information and I wish I had a long intertwined story about how I got the document, but I don’t.

I received it, I read it, I posted it. Why did I post it? Because following the failed terrorist attack on the 25th of December there was a lot of confusion and speculation surrounding changes in airline & airport security procedures.

We are a free society, knowledge is power and informing the masses allows for public conversation and collective understanding. You can agree or disagree, but you need information to know if you want to agree or disagree. My goal is to inform and help people better understand what is happening, as well as allow them to form their own opinions.

While I sort out what happens next in this situation, and keep my opinions to myself to protect my family from the potential ramifications, I will continue working to keep travellers informed.

Hopefully this is resolved in an amicable way so that we can all move forward and focus on the greater good of servicing the public’s best interest.

Happy Flying!


  1. […] Here’s Frischling’s post. He says he received the document from an anonymous source known to be a TSA employee, who uses a gmail account (will Google be subpoenaed?). “I received it, I read it, I posted it. Why did I post it? Because following the failed terrorist attack on the 25th of December there was a lot of confusion and speculation surrounding changes in airline & airport security procedures.” […]


  1. I just got the brilliant idea to check your more recent postings. Geez. brilliant, eh?

    Disregard my inquiry.

  2. What a joke. Why dont we admit who the terrorists are and kill them. But, no, I forgot, we have one of their protectors as a President.

  3. my view is the blokes who received the email had already been on TSA + FBI radar screens and were sent the memo for the purpose of watching what each would do. then reps are sent to interview each and get a feel for whether they’ve talent to be offered to join the team. if law enforcement seriously considered either to be bad dudes, they’re have wiretapped and bugged their homes. talking to the agents is and was the right thing to do. there’s no reason to keep the boys in blue skeptical next time fed agents flash an id at your door, ask them to hold on and call 911 so your local police can get in on the action.
    profiling might not be nice but it sure is rational.

  4. The ‘real bad people’ Ann Marie refers to…would they be the well-dressed Indian of around 50 that escorted the Nigerian to the gate and insisted on meeting with the gate agent’s supervisor since the African boy was to board without a passport? Or the guy on the flight that videotaped the whole time? Perhaps the Indian that was taken away from the customs interrogation area in handcuffs after an hour of questioning once the dogs sniffed out what may have been explosives in his bag, causing the rest of the passengers that arrived on this flight and were waiting to be questioned to another ‘safer’ location? It’s terribly inconvenient when attorneys willing to open their gobs and talk are eye-witnesses at the gate and on the flight. How much official effort will it take to make them shut up so that inconvient truths don’t emerge and uncomfortable questions don’t get asked? Lots of nudges and winks are going on as this fairytale gets told.

  5. Soooo, manchild Barry Obama can bravely issue a subpoena and steal a laptop, but does not have the cojones to charge a terrorist in anything but criminal court, let alone have the guts to even call a terrorist a “terrorist.” Our chicken hearted leader should soon hit 14% in the approval ratings, which would actually be less than the unemployment numbers he and his czars have created. Independents – next time you vote, remember how wrong a choice Obama! was!

  6. The White House Mafia at work. If there had not been so many witnesses, we would never even heard of this. All we hear is propaganda. They have the information we receive under control.
    Communism at work here.

  7. Good job. You did what any ethical blogger would have. Brings me christmass cheer to see people putting their right to free speech to work.

  8. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% sure. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

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