Well let's talk about that.
You're saying, effectively, that in order to enjoy the full liberties of citizenship within the United States, a scholar must not question the active participants in the area of her study.
Does that sound American to you? 'cuz it sounds kinda Soviet to me. A li'l bit Pyongyang.
We know that the NSA is banking the metadata of every bit of communication every single person in the United States makes across international lines, always and forever. So this guy, a journalist at Boston College, reaches out to an Iranian terrorist group, the Taliban and pseudo-ISIS just for this article. Either he's comparison shopping for the jihad of his choice or he's, you know, conducting journalism.
And while I know the TSA has no sense of humor whatsoever, everything I know of the CIA indicates that they understand the power of the eyeroll.