wtf: documentary filmmaker’s notes copied by government agents

Filmmaker Laura Poitras makes a documentary called The Oath about Abu Jandal, who was once Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard and is now a cab driver in Yemen. So of course she’s now probably on all sorts of government watchlists, to the point where she often has troubled getting on an airplane.

She’s a journalist, mind. Not a terrorist.

But Poitras recently let drop another tidbit about how her freedom of the press is being intruded upon by the United States government. From Fishbowl LA:

Not only do Customs agents question Poitras as a matter of routine upon her reentry into the United States, they’ve photocopied her reporters notebooks repeatedly.

“I’ve been questioned at airports since 2006 after finishing My Country, My Country,” Poitras tells FBLA. “When I started traveling to Yemen in 2007 is when my papers, including notebooks, were photocopied upon re-entry to the U.S.

“I’ve been questioned over 20 times at airports, though my notes have been copied perhaps 6-8 times. Lately I’ve denied to the photocopying consent which has been respected (although not on my last reentry frying from Toronto — my papers & business cards were copied).”

This is not America. This is America Lite. Same great taste, just without so many of those troubling freedoms.

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