TSA withdraws blogger subpoenas, says you’re welcome for all the traffic.

In the interest of fairness, I’m sure, the TSA has withdrawn subpoenas they served to two bloggers who posted about the TSA’s new, post-Christmas Day Underwear Bomber security protocols.

Story background here. The new developments:

Just days after serving subpoenas to two travel bloggers, the Transportation Security Administration withdrew the subpoenas late Thursday, saying its investigation into how the bloggers received a sensitive security directive “is nearing a successful conclusion.”

With little explanation, the TSA withdrew subpoenas of bloggers Steve Frischling and Christopher Elliott seeking information on how they obtained a December 25 security directive. The directive, which had been sent to every airline and airport in the United States, ordered precautions after the failed terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253.

The TSA acknowledged in a previous statement that it was investigating the leak and publication of the document, saying, “Security directives are not for public disclosure.

“Security directives are not for public disclosure?” What, weren’t they going to tell us we couldn’t have a blanket in our laps during the final hour of our flight?

Frischling, founder of the Travel Strategist blog, said TSA agents came to his Connecticut home Tuesday evening to question him about his source, leaving for a brief time to go to Wal-Mart to buy a hard drive in a failed effort to copy his hard drive that night.

Wal-Mart? Isn’t that against the Obama administration’s political protocols?

The agents returned Wednesday morning and left with his laptop computer, Frischling said. Frischling said the agents threatened to call a client — an airline — and have them sever his contract, saying he was a security threat.

If true, that’s awfully heavy-handed. Makes you think about keeping recording equipment handy.

Here’s Frischling’s blog. And here’s Chris Elliott’s – he’s the other blogger who received a subpoena. This little event couldn’t have been fun for them, but at least their blog traffic probably skyrocketed. I’m sure the TSA is hoping to settle out of court in exchange for that.


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