you're reading...

David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald & The Detention Drama: The New Despotic Western Police States or How Western ”Democracies” Initimidate and Harass Their Own [Inter]National Peaceful Political Activists or non-state mouthpiece journalists

The amazing (and one that should be distressing) breaking story today is, of course, that of the illegal detention of Messr. Glenn Greenwald’s (Guardian Contributor) partner, the Brazilian David Miranda, on his arrival at UK Heathrow Airport under the so-called ”counter-terrorism Act” apparently (which in itself is an absolute danger to whatever claims of ”democratic nature of our nationhood” there is or was, as these undermine the so-called concept of ”rule of law” by using this as a loophole to it’s legitimacy and authority as found within any other authoritarian nations).

The truth, of course, is that the act was merely a part of the usual traditional dirty methods/tricks used by our western ”democracies” (police/security and states) in intimidating and harassing their/our own legitimate and peaceful political activists (and anyone that ”drift off the line”); again there are no differences between Chinese or Russian or whatever non-western despotic or police state to our own today, the line is today completely non-existent (from blurring greyish to a complete vanish).

Below are some of the story links from various media platforms (chose any);

‘Even the Mafia had rules’: Fury over ‘despotic’ tactics as partner of journalist who reported Edward Snowden’s spying revelations is held at Heathrow for nine hours
Guardian writer’s partner detained at Heathrow
Partner of journalist linked to Edward Snowden held under Terrorism Act at Heathrow
And for Glenn Greenwald’s direct response (today’s) check out this or see below for a full article (reprinted with respect to Guardian’s copyright laws);
Glenn Greenwald: a failed attempt at intimidation
Also to appreciate the regime/state-run media character of the BBC one should lift the protest against it (which we have always called upon) and listen to how the story is ”reported” or not (try both the radio and tv platforms); from [1] absent Glenn Greenwald’s name mentioning, [2] to absent protests from many respected international actors, individuals and organizations, [3] to being buried at either the end or middle and [4] with little coverage (only in passing and in few seconds) and so forth (upholding of details and so forth).
Also for another excellent story on policing state nature of our contemporary western ”democracies” read this by Peter Francis (the whistle-blowing ex-undercover police);
Police ‘spied on activists for agency’
For highly recommended old post (from the Guardian) on these intimidation and harassing tactics of detention using ”counter-terrorism acts” at UK Ports, [must] read these very excellent articles by the brilliant activist and journalist Amy Goodman (of Democracy Now);
For other interesting headlines of the day check out this list;
EU collects ‘too little’ data on anti-Muslim attacks | Europe | DW.DE | 17.08.2013
Living as a Muslim in Paris
Your confidential medical records for sale… at just £1: Hunt insists plan to sell details to private firms is vital to combat epidemics – but critics fear ‘unprecedented’ privacy threat
Nigel Farage suggests ‘violent’ revolution against Brussels could be only way for stubborn EU nations to save their democracies
Assassination TIME: Sr. journalist ‘can’t wait’ to justify drone strike that will kill Assange
Was Princess Diana MURDERED by British soldier? Metropolitan Police ‘assessing credibility’ of new claim made in court martial of SAS sniper Danny Nightingale
Spying on Its Own The NSA’s Deep Bag of Tricks
Lobbying bill a ‘dog’s breakfast’
UK law has no power over us, says Google: Outrage at search giant’s arrogance in snooping case
The slave trade of British nail bars: How victims of human trafficking from Vietnam are exploited in beauty salons and forced into prostitution
Cameron ‘plotting new Lib Dem pact’: Prime Minister has ‘privately discussed plans with cabinet ministers for agreement if he fails to win majority in 2015’
Glenn Greenwald Response In Full:

Glenn Greenwald: detaining my partner was a failed attempt at intimidation

The detention of my partner, David Miranda, by UK authorities will have the opposite effect of the one intended

At 6:30 am this morning my time – 5:30 am on the East Coast of the US – I received a telephone call from someone who identified himself as a “security official at Heathrow airport.” He told me that my partner, David Miranda, had been “detained” at the London airport “under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000.”

David had spent the last week in Berlin, where he stayed with Laura Poitras, the US filmmaker who has worked with me extensively on the NSA stories. A Brazilian citizen, he was returning to our home in Rio de Janeiro this morning on British Airways, flying first to London and then on to Rio. When he arrived in London this morning, he was detained.

At the time the “security official” called me, David had been detained for 3 hours. The security official told me that they had the right to detain him for up to 9 hours in order to question him, at which point they could either arrest and charge him or ask a court to extend the question time. The official – who refused to give his name but would only identify himself by his number: 203654 – said David was not allowed to have a lawyer present, nor would they allow me to talk to him.

I immediately contacted the Guardian, which sent lawyers to the airport, as well various Brazilian officials I know. Within the hour, several senior Brazilian officials were engaged and expressing indignation over what was being done. The Guardian has the full story here.

Despite all that, five more hours went by and neither the Guardian’s lawyers nor Brazilian officials, including the Ambassador to the UK in London, were able to obtain any information about David. We spent most of that time contemplating the charges he would likely face once the 9-hour period elapsed.

According to a document published by the UK government about Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, “fewer than 3 people in every 10,000 are examined as they pass through UK borders” (David was not entering the UK but only transiting through to Rio). Moreover, “most examinations, over 97%, last under an hour.” An appendix to that document states that only .06% of all people detained are kept for more than 6 hours.

The stated purpose of this law, as the name suggests, is to question people about terrorism. The detention power, claims the UK government, is used “to determine whether that person is or has been involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”

But they obviously had zero suspicion that David was associated with a terrorist organization or involved in any terrorist plot. Instead, they spent their time interrogating him about the NSA reporting which Laura Poitras, the Guardian and I are doing, as well the content of the electronic products he was carrying. They completely abused their own terrorism law for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism: a potent reminder of how often governments lie when they claim that they need powers to stop “the terrorists”, and how dangerous it is to vest unchecked power with political officials in its name.

Worse, they kept David detained right up until the last minute: for the full 9 hours, something they very rarely do. Only at the last minute did they finally release him. We spent all day – as every hour passed – worried that he would be arrested and charged under a terrorism statute. This was obviously designed to send a message of intimidation to those of us working journalistically on reporting on the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ.

Before letting him go, they seized numerous possessions of his, including his laptop, his cellphone, various video game consoles, DVDs, USB sticks, and other materials. They did not say when they would return any of it, or if they would.

This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by. But the UK puppets and their owners in the US national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples.

If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further. Beyond that, every time the US and UK governments show their true character to the world – when they prevent the Bolivian President’s plane from flying safely home, when they threaten journalists with prosecution, when they engage in behavior like what they did today – all they do is helpfully underscore why it’s so dangerous to allow them to exercise vast, unchecked spying power in the dark.

David was unable to call me because his phone and laptop are now with UK authorities. So I don’t yet know what they told him. But the Guardian’s lawyer was able to speak with him immediately upon his release, and told me that, while a bit distressed from the ordeal, he was in very good spirits and quite defiant, and he asked the lawyer to convey that defiance to me. I already share it, as I’m certain US and UK authorities will soon see.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: