RAMALLAH, Feb 22 (JMCC) - After visiting the Gaza Strip
in 2008, US journalist Brandon Jourdan has found that trips back into the United States are now a burden. Repeatedly, he has been taken aside and had his notes and photographs searched and copied by officials when entering the United States.
BRANDON JOURDAN: They took me to, I guess, a Homeland Security office within the JFK airport. At that point, they began looking through all of my clothes, everything. I strategically put a copy of the First and Fourth Amendment in my bags, because this has happened before, and also on my computer and my smartphone and on my hard drives. They took my journal, all my business cards, all that. They said they were going to photocopy them all. They took—
AMY GOODMAN: Did they explain why they were doing this?
BRANDON JOURDAN: I asked them, “Why are you doing this?” They basically said, “You’re on a list. We don’t know why. These are orders—
AMY GOODMAN: You’re on a list?
BRANDON JOURDAN: Yeah. And “These are orders from Washington.” And they copied my hard drive. They copied my laptop. They copied every single one of my compact flash cards that I use for my camera, which is absurd to me, because I was documenting people building schools and a country devastated by an earthquake.
Jourdan is only one of numerous journalists who report similar experiences, a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union told