When it comes to "intelligence gathering" to protect us from "terrorism", we've been told countless times from both sides of the pond of the many safeguards in place to insure that this vast and immense power is not abused. But the growing story of the 9-hour detention of investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald's spouse has blown the lid off of that fairy tale.
In the aftermath of this situation, Alan Rusbridger -- the editor of The Guardian -- revealed some shocking information at how far the British government was willing to go to try to suppress any more revelations. Behind the scenes, not only did they threaten legal action, but they sent two official to The Guardian's London office.
And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. "We can call off the black helicopters," joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.
Only a complete numbskull would believe that this had ANYTHING to do with fear of Chinese spies. It is more than obvious that this action was undertaken at the behest of America's NSA. While some of the revelations printed in The Guardian have taken aim at GCHQ, the vast majority have stripped veil after veil away from the ubiquitous US spy operation.
It is unclear at this point if the destruction of hard drives was meant to be purely symbolic or the British higher ups are incredibly naive. Their efforts in no way have stopped The Guardian from investigating and reporting on this overall topic. I mean, it's not like they kept ALL of the leaked documents on one or two computers in one location. Glenn Greenwald, for example, lives in Brazil!
The most telling quote from Rusbridger's column is about as ominous sounding as you can get: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back."
After I finished writing this post, an anonymous US government official admitted that the detention of David Miranda was purely to intimidate Greenwald and other reporters. See how brazen they have become? Here is a statement that the British government -- I'm confident this was done at the behest of the US -- explicitly misappropriated the use of their own laws for strictly political purposes! They detained Miranda even though they knew beforehand he had no connection to terrorism whatsoever.
Really, can there be any doubt now that unchecked authority will be abused with impunity?