Glenn Greenwald's martyrdom
I think the Vatican should look into making him a saint - even though I don't think he's a Catholic.
A reporter who wrote the articles on NSA suveillance with highly classified material supplied by Edward Snowden is upset that his domestic partner has been caught up in the case. Say what you will about Snowden - and Greenwald for that matter - as far as being heroes for unmasking the NSA's snooping. They are. But not to realize that the law was broken in releasing that information - if not publishing it - and that the US and Britain wouldn't be interested in questioning those closest to the reporter and leaker, is disingenuous, and, at best, laughable naivete.
Glenn Greenwald's companion was detained at Heathrow for 9 hours, as British authorities sought to glean as much information about how Greenwald got the classified material as they could. Greenwald calls it "intimidation" and there is no doubt an element of that is present.
But really, what did Greenwald expect? No one is that stupid, which leads me to believe Greenwald may have known that his lover would be in for some grilling when he came to England and, given the writer's penchant for self-promotion, saw an opportunity to gain a little free media from the incident.
The UK terrorism act is abominable - but it's the law. Don't like? Change it. Until then, don't conflate your personal situation with some broad attack on the press, as Greenwald does here.
David Miranda, who lives with Glenn Greenwald, was returning from a trip to Berlin when he was stopped by officers at 8.05am and informed that he was to be questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The controversial law, which applies only at airports, ports and border areas, allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals.
The 28-year-old was held for nine hours, the maximum the law allows before officers must release or formally arrest the individual. According to official figures, most examinations under schedule 7 - over 97% - last less than an hour, and only one in 2,000 people detained are kept for more than six hours.
Miranda was released, but officials confiscated electronics equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles.
Since 5 June, Greenwald has written a series of stories revealing the NSA's electronic surveillance programmes, detailed in thousands of files passed to him by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The Guardian has also published a number of stories about blanket electronic surveillance by Britain's GCHQ, also based on documents from Snowden.
While in Berlin, Miranda had visited Laura Poitras, the US film-maker who has also been working on the Snowden files with Greenwald and the Guardian. The Guardian paid for Miranda's flights.
"This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process," Greenwald said. "To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ. The actions of the UK pose a serious threat to journalists everywhere.
Um, no. Just journalists who accept information from a leaker that could be considered among the most closely held secrets of the US government. The surveillance programs are "legal" in the sense that the justification for them is based on an overly broad interpretation of the 2008 FISA act amended. I hope Rand Paul is successful in getting the Supreme Court to review these programs. But until the high court says otherwise, the US government is duty bound to try and protect the secrets that many feel protect us from terrorists.
Most of us don't agree with that interpretation of the programs. But if you believe in the rule of law, the law must be upheld. And questioning Greenwald's partner by the British, who also benefited from the surveillance programs, might be construed as intimidation, but it also must be seen in the light of governments trying to protect information that, if known by the enemy, might give them an advantage in avoiding discovery and capture.
Sorry, but I can't work up much outrage over what happened to Greenwald's partner - not when I've watched Greenwald for 7 years and am familiar with his use of over the top, exaggerated, hyperbole on issues and personalities with which he disagrees.