Sunday, August 18, 2013

Intimidation, Abuse, And Other Methods Of A Peaceful, Democratic Government

So, Glenn Greenwald's partner has been detained for nine hours at Heathrow for questioning about 'Terrorism'. Nine hours is the maximum permitted time under British 'anti-terror' laws that a suspect can be held (at a border point, such as an airport) without actually being arrested and charged. See this article for more details:

Now, on every level this is wrong, disturbing, and vile. Greenwald is a journalist, and in breaking the Edward Snowden stories, Greenwald is doing exactly what a journalist should. There is no possible justification for grabbing his family, friends or other personal contacts, and subjecting them to a nine-hour interrogation. This is Stalinist bullshit, and I am beyond appalled. Words fail me. I'm enraged.

I'm a writer. I have political opinions. If I publish them, can I expect my family to be targeted? No, I'm nowhere near any 'whistleblowers' -- but what makes you think they're going to stop with Greenwald? If they can get away with this kind of intimidation and abuse, how long before it becomes a standard weapon in the arsenal, for use against any dissenting voices?

There's worse, though.

Notice that they took away David Miranda's electronics. All of them. Phone. Computer. USB sticks. Game devices.

Notice also that David and Glenn are in a gay relationship.

Notice that David comes from Brazil.

Now, finally, let me point out that a very easy Wikipedia check shows that the age of consent in Brazil is 14.

How long will it be, do you think, before the British authorities crack any encipherment and "find" some gay porn on David's electronica? And how much would you like to bet that some of it depicts boys of 14-16 years of age?

What do you think it will do to Greenwald's reputation once they make public what they've "found" in his partner's possession?


You think I'm excessively cynical? Well. I think we'll have an answer to that within two or three weeks. If Glenn Greenwald shuts up and backs away from Ed Snowden, then we'll know that the pressure was applied successfully. But if we keep hearing news from Greenwald that makes the Yanks and the Brits look bad, I'm betting that the "found" contents of David Miranda's electronica will mysteriously be leaked.


  1. Could have been worse, he could have been a refugee seeking asylum.

    I can understand your concern with regard to Glenn Greenwald given how your activities with regard to writing overlap.

    The nail in the back for me at Heathrow was the sign telling me it was an offence to make a joke about security.

    I just want the most developed, wealthiest and powerful counties in the world to stop acting as if they are afraid all the time.

  2. I thought these jokers worked for us, seems they don't think so and and don't want to.

  3. Well, I certainly didn't hire the cunts.

  4. "I'm a writer. I have political opinions. If I publish them, can I expect my family to be targeted?"


  5. Also interesting given that Snowden is protected by Russia, which has new anti-gay laws.

    And I'm gobsmacked at what has happened to Manning. From Crikey: (and sorry for the quantity, but it's relevant.)

    A short list to illustrate the US government's priorities when it comes to military justice:

    Twenty-four unarmed Iraqi men, women and children were killed by US marines in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005. Result: staff Sgt Frank Wuterich convicted of a single count of negligent dereliction of duty, sentenced to three months' jail, suspended, and a pay-and-rank reduction;
    Blackwater military contractors killed 17 civilians and injured 20 more in Baghdad in 2007. Result: a US judge dismissed charges against four "contractors" in 2009. The charges were reinstated in 2011; proceedings are ongoing;
    In 2007, airstrikes from US helicopters killed two Reuters journalists and a number of civilians and injured others, including two children in a van that stopped to help one of the injured men. Result: no charges;
    In a 2004 US assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah, 800 civilians were killed, unarmed and bound prisoners were executed, and white phosphorous was used. Since then, there has been a massive increase in childhood cancers and infant mortality there. Result: no action;
    In 2002, in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, 30 people were killed when US forces bombed a wedding party. Result: no action;
    In 2008 in Deh Bala, Afghanistan, 47 people (mostly women and children) were killed when US aircraft bombed a wedding party. Result: no action;
    Between 2004 and 2013, at least 168 children, and likely many more, have been killed by US drone attacks. Result: Pentagon recently agreed drone operators will be awarded a special "distinguishing device," after a backlash against earlier decision to award medals;
    In 2011, Denver teenager Abdulrahamn al-Awlaki was killed with six other civilians in a US drone strike while eating dinner at a Yemeni village. Result: the man who ordered the strike, John Brennan, was promoted to head the CIA.
    In contrast, in 2010: Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning released material revealing war crimes, corruption, State Department spying and much else by the US government. The US government later admitted, after an extensive study, that no one had been harmed as a result.

    Result: Manning sentenced to 35 years' jail.

    1. I don't mind the lengthy comment. I'm well aware of these things -- but it would be stupid of me to assume that everybody is likewise.