If this blog had a far larger footprint -- tens or hundreds of thousands of page views per day, week or month -- I might be a bit nervous. For the last two months, I've been sharing articles and offering commentary on the NSA scandal. Even before that, I have been a steadfast critic of the last two presidential administrations as well as Corporate America. In today's world, the political and economic elite don't take kindly to criticism. Criticize too often or too loudly and you become their target!
Since Glenn Greenwald has written one expose after another, he must know that he definitely is in their crosshairs. I am betting that he is extra cautious these days because he can never be sure if America or the UK might try to take him out, grab him or employ some type of intimidation or harassment.
Well, the UK government -- at the behest of the US, I'm sure -- has made their first move. His partner, David Miranda, was detained at London's airport for 9 hours without charges and had all of his electronic devices confiscated.
Here is what Greenwald had to say on the matter.
"This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process," said Greenwald. "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.
"But the last thing it will do is intimidate or deter us in any way from doing our job as journalists. Quite the contrary: it will only embolden us more to continue to report aggressively."
Just like the US Patriot Act, the UK has granted itself overly broad police powers. Miranda was held under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. According to The Guardian,
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act has been widely criticised for giving police broad powers under the guise of anti-terror legislation to stop and search individuals without prior authorisation or reasonable suspicion – setting it apart from other police powers. Those stopped have no automatic right to legal advice and it is a criminal offense to refuse to cooperate with questioning under schedule 7, which critics say is a curtailment of the right to silence.
Miranda had gone to Berlin to visit Laura Poitras, a US filmmaker, who has been working with Greenwald and others on the Snowden leaks. It is more than obvious that neither the US nor British governments believe that Miranda has ties to terrorism --he simply happens to be the partner of the man who has been making both governments look bad.
It doesn't say anything positive to think that, in today's world, a democratic government can hassle innocent people simply for doing their jobs. In Greenwald's case, he happens to be an investigative journalist who has courageously been investigating the governments responsible for having Miranda picked up...FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO TRY TO SILENCE GREENWALD!!