Glenn Greenwald to be indicted by US, UK?

The latest NSA news — over the weekend — is the detention for nine hours at Heathrow Airport of a family member of Glenn Greenwald, his partner David Miranda. Miranda is one of the journalists working with the under-appreciated Laura Poitras in releasing the Edward Snowden whistle-blown NSA material.

Greenwald says Miranda’s laptop and cellphone were confiscated by the British authorities, and never returned. One theory is that they’re taking his electronics in preparation for an indictment against Greenwald himself. More on that below.

Base details — Miranda (the detainee) was flying from Berlin after meeting with Poitras on his way to Rio de Janiero. As near as I can tell, he was simply changing planes and not exiting the airport (Glenn says Miranda did not attempt to go through Customs). Miranda was perhaps carrying documents from Poitras to Greenwald. The detention was carried out under an anti-terrorism law. Nevertheless, the interrogation centered on Snowden and Greenwald.

That’s a lot to absorb, so I’ll tease out the threads a bit. (To jump to just the headline information, about possible prosecution of Greenwald, click here.)

We start with Greenwald himself (my emphasis and some reparagraphing everywhere):

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. …


Glenn Greenwald

Section 7 of the [2000] British Terrorism Act allows the authorities to detain someone for up to nine hours for questioning and to conduct a search of personal items, often without a lawyer, to determine possible ties to terrorism. More than 97 percent of people stopped under the provision are questioned for under an hour, according to the British government.

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.


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.

Now let’s follow a couple of threads.

Take 1: This truly is abuse of terrorism laws

Here’s Andrew Sullivan saying what many are saying (h/t Naked Capitalism):

Cameron Proves Greenwald Right

… [T]hey held him [David Miranda] for three hours before informing his spouse and another six hours thereafter. I can see no reason for those extra six hours (or for that matter the entire nine hours) than brute psychological intimidation of the press, by attacking their families.

More to the point, although David was released, his entire digital library was confiscated – including his laptop and phone. So any journalist passing through London’s Heathrow has now been warned: do not take any documents with you. Britain is now a police state when it comes to journalists, just like Russia is.

In this respect, I can say this to David Cameron. Thank you for clearing the air on these matters of surveillance. You have now demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that these anti-terror provisions are capable of rank abuse.

Unless some other facts emerge, there is really no difference in kind between you and Vladimir Putin. You have used police powers granted for anti-terrorism and deployed them to target and intimidate journalists deemed enemies of the state. You have proven that these laws can be hideously abused. Which means they must be repealed.

And so say I. Strong stuff, and accurate. The State is nothing if not self-protective. What is “terrorism” in the eyes of the State? First and foremost, it seems, “terrorism” is resistance to the State.

Repeal the Patriot Act, repeal the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, and we end much of this nonsense. Support Rep. Rush Holt in doing so.

Take 2: The UK opposition government reacts

Avedon’s Sideshow tips us to this. Avedon writes:

This morning’s Guardian reports that the Shadow Home Secretary

“has called for an urgent investigation into the use of anti-terror powers to detain David Miranda, the partner of a Guardian journalist who interviewed US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said ministers must find out whether anti-terror laws had been ‘misused’, after Miranda was held for nine hours by authorities at Heathrow airport under the Terrorism Act.”

(Am I the only one who gets queasy when officials call for “investigation” when the facts are already on the table? Of course the law was “misused” – the question is about who made it happen, and why.)

No, Avedon. You’re not the only one.

Take 3: Are indictments against Greenwald being prepared?

The following, if it proves true, is perhaps the biggest piece of all. The comment is speculative, but not from nobody. Henry Blodgett at Business Insider has this interesting catch from author and political expert Ian Bremmer:

One initial theory about the detainment in the Twittersphere was that UK authorities were trying to hassle and harass Greenwald, who is obviously the bane of secrecy-loving government authorities these days.

But this morning, geo-political expert Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group suggested that the motive was far more serious. Bremmer thinks it’s likely that the U.S. and U.K. authorities are preparing “indictments” against Glenn Greenwald.

UK move against @ggreenwald‘s partner isn’t a scare tactic. If they’re taking his electronics, US/UK working on indictments.

— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) August 19, 2013

In response to a question from Business Insider, Bremmer clarified that these indictments would be against Greenwald.

Which leads to the question: If Greenwald (and only Greenwald) is indicted, why wouldn’t, say, Barton Gellman be indicted, or his wife be detained and questioned when she crosses a cop, or TSA, radar?

About Ian Bremmer, here’s this from Wikipedia:

Ian Bremmer (born November 12, 1969) is an American political scientist specializing in US foreign policy, states in transition, and global political risk. He is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, a leading global political risk research and consulting firm, and a professor at Columbia University. Eurasia Group provides financial, corporate, and government clients with information and insight on how political developments move markets. …

Bremmer has authored/published eight books, including the national bestsellers Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World (Portfolio, May 2012), which details risks and opportunities in a world without global leadership, and The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations (Portfolio, May 2010), which describes the global phenomenon of state capitalism and its implications for economics and politics.

He also wrote The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall (Simon & Schuster, 2006), selected by The Economist as one of the best books of 2006.

Interestingly, it is not difficult to imagine the U.S. and U.K. ascending the right (authoritarian) side of Bremmer’s J-Curve as we speak.

Much more at the source. Neither Blodgett nor Bremmer are your run-of-the-mill roadside spectators. Indictments coming? This is worth watching.

My bottom line

My take is simple — As before, so now.

When challenged by Bin Laden, the State proved up to the task of destabilizing, destroying, its own internal democratic element. Now the State, when challenged to stand down, or at the very least, explain itself in the post-Snowden world, is proving up to the task of painting itself into a corner, and nakedly rebranding itself as it truly is — “despotic” (to borrow Greenwald’s term). Again, nakedly so.

As I’ve written elsewhere (and as Marcy Wheeler has confirmed), this State contains the seeds of its own destruction. More, the extent to which it “succeeds” hastens its collapse, especially under climate crisis pressure.

When less-rich whites can’t get FEMA aid (for example), because more-rich whites have already drunk dry the well, it’s over for the State. The revolt from the anti-wealth majority will have begun, and no state survives that intact.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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184 Responses to “Glenn Greenwald to be indicted by US, UK?”

  1. mary782 says:

    as Anita said I’m alarmed that some one can earn $9885 in 4 weeks on the internet. description w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  2. RyansTake says:

    I could have been more specific than just saying bad. I was mainly referring to things like top secret knowledge of assets and who knows what.

    I’m very much a guy who favors transparency and thinks the vast majority of our secret documents could be quickly released to the public because they shouldn’t be secret in the first place.

    However, there are some legitimate cases to be made for secrets, particularly surrounding national security. I have to imagine, given the breadth of these documents, that Greenwald has at least some of those. That’s what I meant by ‘bad enough.’

    I certainly don’t think we should cover up any atrocities.

  3. Quassla says:

    Burying evidence of horrible atrocities is “ethics”? Err…what?!

  4. Manuel Rodriguez says:

    Greenwald would be wise to NOT use his partner Miranda as courier for him anymore.


  5. BloggerDave says:

    When it comes to GP, it’s always drama queen fail…

  6. karmanot says:

    Drive by troll with virtually no record.

  7. karmanot says:

    A nasty little fascist troll

  8. karmanot says:

    Troll fail

  9. archiebird says:

    The American Police State. Get ready for the next stage.

  10. cole3244 says:

    wow, i don’t think you quite got my point but thanks for the mistake.

  11. Indigo says:

    As you say, gratuitous. :-)

    Greenwald is a bit much but the story he’s telling is quite a bit more much than that. I like him well enough but it’s the story that’s the thing. It amazes and distresses me that his partner was dragged into it by the UK-stapo.

  12. lilyannerose says:

    I’ve admittedly been on the fence regarding Snowden as I have too many questions regarding how he managed so much access and as to his true intent, however, I’m not on the fence regarding this outcome. Despite my reservations about Greenwald I have no reservations in condemning the actions of the Brit authorities in detaining his partner.

  13. goulo says:

    It’s a great secrecy-preserving scam that the government has successfully convinced so many people (seemingly including you) that if a whistleblower doesn’t agree to obediently be tortured, put on a sham trial, and imprisoned for years, then the whistleblower is a coward and the revealed secrets are somehow less interesting/valid.

  14. goulo says:

    Equating the left’s dislike of the abusive surveillance police state to the right’s dislike of social/education/environmental/health programs? That’s pretty weak trolling, conundrum.

    Hint: “helping” and “protecting” people are not the same as “spying” and “harassing” people.

  15. Bill_Perdue says:

    We call the ones who are afraid to look down Democrats (and Republicans).

  16. ezpz says:

    Yes, I enjoyed the chit-chat, too.


  17. mirth says:

    I now watch more than I’ve ever watched on tv, more in amount and also in variety, but you need fast streaming capabilities to do it.

    Good chatting with you, friend. Now I guess we should stop hijacking this thread.

  18. BloggerDave says:

    Sure.. If your aim is to be ineffective…

  19. Bill_Perdue says:

    Libertarians are just as bad as Democrats or Republicans. On Tuesday, , the 4th of November, 2014 and on Tuesday, the 8th of November, 2016 vote socialist, write in Brad Manning or just
    sit it out as a protest vote.

  20. Bill_Perdue says:

    conundrum has been posting for less than a day so aside from the fact that we’re dealing with a mindless right winger, we’ll have to see if conundrum works for the RNC, the DNC or the NSA-FBI-CIA. I think it’s be the DNC but time will tell.

  21. ezpz says:

    Aha, so it’s not like you don’t ‘watch’ anything anymore. Just not on tv.
    I have an old desktop, which is still fine, but the monitor is not that big, and it’s not situated in a space conducive for viewing.

    I never heard of those shows/movies you mentioned. I’ll look at the link. Thanks. Always open for something new.

  22. mirth says:

    YW for the link.

    All of it is online, plus I have a large screen monitor and my desk chair is very comfy, and the great option to click a vid or not.

    Movies? Right now, between comments, I’m watching Ewan McGregor’s (and Charley Boorman, but Ewan McGregor!) <a href=" Long Way Down, 6 episodes, of their motorcycle trip from the northern tip of Scotland to Capetown, South Africa. wowowow

  23. JayRandal says:

    Greenwald would be wise to NOT use his partner Miranda as courier for him anymore. Detention of
    Miranda was a warning to Greenwald that his partner could be taken from him incarcerated in prison.
    In a way UK and US governments are trying to cause tension between Greenwald and Miranda to break up as partners. Stripping Greenwald of love in his life a tactic to depress him into suicide.
    Whatever Snowden leaked to Greenwald has freaked out NSA and President Obama tremendously.

  24. ezpz says:

    And thanks for the link.

  25. ezpz says:

    Impressive about the tv. Very commendable. I doubt I could do it as there are some (non news or related) shows that I really enjoy. Movies, too.

  26. mirth says:

    No tv for about 3 years. Harsh as I did it, cold turkey, but I highly recommend it.

    I didn’t watch the vid, but the comments are worth a read.

  27. karmanot says:

    dum da da dada dum dum.

  28. karmanot says:

    You seem to be an expert on taking a dump.

  29. mirth says:

    I gotta go with Gaius on this one (duh, as if everyone doesn’t know I’m mad for him), even when you may not have intended it as conundrum thinks you intended it.

  30. karmanot says:

    Hello condom…….keep on trolling

  31. ezpz says:

    No tv? That’s great.

    Do you have the link for the transcript you’re reading?

    As I said, the other guest who was on with Toobin was great:

    Jesselyn Radack from the Government Accountability Project backed up Greenwald and Miranda, calling Toobin’s theory “completely vacuous.” She said, “David was serving as an in-between, not as a drug mule. I have to wonder why the U.S. government and our allies are so desperate to keep our illegalities secret and our lawbreaking secret, that they are willing to use a terrorism law to stop a journalist.”

    She said much more, and it was excellent.

  32. karmanot says:

    “Make it small enough to drown in a bathtub” You are small enough to drown in a teacup.

  33. karmanot says:

    Dear condom you are trolling on the wrong blog. Go away.

  34. karmanot says:

    Before we forget that we’ll forget you.

  35. karmanot says:

    I know. Isn’t it wonderful!

  36. karmanot says:

    Troll fail……next

  37. karmanot says:

    I’ll second that.

  38. mirth says:

    Thanks. In my extended period without tv, I have discovered my mind is in a much better place. For the most part I’d rather read the words that hear them or see the faces they come out of, Toobin’s being an excellent example.

  39. karmanot says:

    Great link!

  40. ezpz says:

    Yes, that’s the one. Mediaite has the clip. I’m sure CNN does, too.

  41. JayRandal says:

    conundrum are you a NSA stooge?

  42. JayRandal says:

    I said if Obama had Greenwald detained and prosecuted, then he should be impeached for doing it.

  43. mirth says:

    I was just reading the Toobin thing – Miranda, the drug mule. That one?

  44. JayRandal says:

    You can call me whatever you want but I am NOT a Republican. President Nixon overstepped bounds of presidency and resigned before being impeached. Obama
    is on verge of overstepping his authority as President. If he arrests journalists for
    reporting on shenanigans of government agencies, then he is involved in cover-ups
    of criminality. If Obama crosses the line he should be impeached or resign before.

  45. ezpz says:

    YW. That segment was followed by another segment with Toobin being the tool he is.
    That segment also included a female attorney who kind of put the tool back in the bin.

  46. mirth says:

    Thanks for the link, ezpz.

  47. mirth says:

    Oh my. Well, like I said, it’s useless to engage people with your stunningly ignorant beliefs.

    Still, for your sake, you might want to take a look (I’m guessing your first one) at the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Pay close attention to the words “free exercise thereof.”

  48. grayzip says:

    If he wasn’t willing to stand trial he wouldn’t have leaked in the first plazzzzzzzzzzz

  49. BloggerDave says:

    You’re always so over the top…

  50. RyansTake says:

    The truth doesn’t hurt, but it’s time consuming to rebut people like you trolling to hoodwink people. I imagine Samiz’s frustration is one in pursuit of the truth… and saving time.

  51. RyansTake says:

    1. Any release early in the story misses facts. That’s the nature of early reporting. Even if you’re one of the only two people at that point who has the files.

    2. You’re wrong about the warrants. What passes as a “warrant” at FISA is pretty ridiculous, and would be like calling a blank check a check instead of a metaphor. The “warrants” basically gives the NSA unfettered access to anyone who matches any set of datapoints that the NSA itself defines.

    Case in point: the family who’s home was raided because the wife was searching online for pressure cookers at the same time her husband was searching for backpacks. Their searches ‘flagged’ the system, not anything hey actually did, and men in dark suits and dark SUVs were sent to an innocent family’s homes. How in any way is that a ‘warrant’ when the ‘warrant’ was for search terms as defined by the NSA (not the courts and with no evidence for its necessity or defense counsel to contest it), not people.

  52. mirth says:

    Oh yes. Definitely you are the one. Your ignorance is actually stunning.

  53. conundrum says:

    Is this a paraphrase of the Republican “Make it small enough to drown in a bathtub”, or just an echo of the Tea Party’s hatred of all things government? I hear that refrain so often “Whatever makes it difficult for the government is a good thing”. Truely the far left and the far right are getting hard to tell apart.

    I thought liberals and progressives were all about good government and government helping people, government protecting people.

  54. conundrum says:

    And you are so sure that I’m the one who should be embarrassed?

  55. conundrum says:

    Technically, yes, they are criminal enterprises; but generally we look the other way because we recognise the value of oversight by the press.

    British law is very different. Publishing government secrets is a crime. I suspect that bit of theater with destroying the drives at the Guardian was about that.

  56. samizdat says:

    Frankly, my country needs a good bitch-slapping. So, whatever happens which embarrasses or pisses off the fascists, from Drone-bama to corporate supranational boardrooms to Congress, I will enjoy ir while I still have strength to breath. When secrets are used to spread fear and subjugate the citizenry, it is long past time for some sunshine.

  57. conundrum says:

    “Journalism isn’t about releasing everything”

    In Greenwald’s case, it’s about releasing only those things that support you narrative, supressing relevent facts until a day later after the outrage has netted plenty of publicity, never, ever admitting that yes, there were also documents about oversight, legal limits, and getting a warrant whenever a U.S. citizen is involved, and milking your good fortune for all it is worth. How about a $50,000 interview fee?

  58. mirth says:

    Aren’t you embarrassed, even just a tad, to display such sycophantic ignorance for all the world to read?

  59. conundrum says:

    Obviously you’ve looked down, so why are you still here?

  60. conundrum says:

    Destruction is always so much easier than building.

  61. mirth says:

    It’s useless to engage someone who cannot distinguish between a thief who takes for their own gain and a whistleblower who takes to prove wrongdoing, but here’s a question for you:

    Since every newsroom contains classified material which has been transported some somewhere else, are they all criminal enterprises?

  62. RyansTake says:

    Why would Greenwald have ever had reason to suspect anything like this would happen?

  63. conundrum says:

    Yes, since Glenn and Snowjob, we’ve had such detailed discussions about what intelligence is necessary for the security of the nation, and how much intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens is acceptable, why there hasn’t been a single case of exaggeration, withholding facts, hyperbole, name calling, or any of that.

  64. conundrum says:

    I know, it’s just that he’s too yellow to come back and stand trial like a real whistle blower, so he has to settle for what he can get.

  65. RyansTake says:

    1. Berlin is not one of the world’s largest cities. One of the most important? I guess.
    2. Air travel generally goes by major hubs. I’m sure Berlin is a fairly large hub within Europe, but the two largest airports for international flight in Europe by far are in the UK and France.
    3. Why on earth would David Miranda have had reason to think his detainment was even a possibility? He had done literally nothing wrong and was travelling in supposedly ‘free’ countries that would never in a million years abuse anti-terrorism laws (/wink wink).
    4. Greenwald has a lot of documents. It’s probably not within his power to read over all of them so quickly and figure out the ‘whole story.’ That said, his story has felt pretty ‘whole’ to me. What does ‘whole story’ even mean? You don’t have the documents; you don’t know. He’s certainly not going to release them all willy nilly. Not even WikiLeaks does that.

    Journalism isn’t about releasing everything, it’s about being judicious guardians over what is in the interests of the people. Greenwald has done that job spectacularly; that’s why these governments are after him so hard.

  66. conundrum says:

    You’ve been around Republicans long enough to know the title of the law is often quite different from the contents; remember “Clear Skies Initiative”, and “Healthy Forests Initiative”, or even “Patriot Act”? The actual law is a bit more broad than it’s name would suggest and contains it’s own definitions:

    Section 1

    (1) In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where-
    (a) the action falls within subsection (2),
    (b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government [or an international governmental organization][2] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
    (c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [, racial][3] or ideological cause.

    (2) Action falls within this subsection if it-
    (a) involves serious violence against a person,
    (b) involves serious damage to property,
    (c) endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,
    (d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or
    (e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

  67. RyansTake says:

    There is literally no reason to believe any of their claims. Let’s not forget that the head of the NSA, who is the head of all our int’l intelligence agencies, *lied directly to congress while under oath* about the NSA’s domestic spying programs and has not only not been punished, but put in charge of ‘investigating’ what went wrong.

  68. RyansTake says:

    Yes, there are Democrats who are willing to do that. Elizabeth Warren, for example. Lots of people in the House, Alan Grayson being the loudest, but far from only voice.

  69. conundrum says:

    Drone? Takes one to …

  70. conundrum says:

    The truth hurts when you’re trying to catapult the propaganda, no?

  71. samizdat says:

    Oh, now I get it: you’re a Drone-bama bot.

    Carry on.

  72. conundrum says:

    Sure they do, whatever you say. You’ve seen the files, right?

  73. conundrum says:

    Not stupid enough, but maybe manipulative enough, or hungry enough for publicity. It certainly has been a PR coup.

  74. samizdat says:

    John, can we shit-can ‘conundrum’, the troll? He’s just an ass gumming up the works.

  75. RyansTake says:

    I imagine there’s plenty things Greenwald has his hands on that are bad enough that he’d never even print them. He’ll post anything that’s merely an embarrassment or an infringement on our rights as individuals, but I highly doubt he’d print anything beyond that.

    Unlike the NSA and UK spy agencies, Greenwald has ethics.

  76. samizdat says:

    You are nothing more than a tool. I don’t know your function, your politics, or anything about you, but when the government keeps secrets from us for the purposes of intimidating citizens, and working at the behest of corporate supranationals and the super-rich, we have a right–yes, a bloody RIGHT!–to know precisely what is going on.

    Anything else is despotic tyranny.

    Go troll somewhere else, you wretched excuse for a human being.

  77. conundrum says:

    The destruction of the drives was a stunt for public consumption; nobody involved was dum enough to think there were no backup copies.

  78. RyansTake says:

    Or so you say. The likelihood of Poitras getting those documents by hand is far smaller than them being sent by a secure file transfer with a password having enough random digits to keep it safe from even the NSA’s best.

    You and I have absolutely no idea what was being ‘passed off’ between them, if anything. Not even Miranda did. Yet, it’s more likely to have something to do with a documentary than anything else.

    Even if it was “classified documents” though, the press has a right to those documents once they get them. They can’t steal them, but if given them it is their constitutional right to print it or stories on it. That’s been long established by the Supreme Court. So even in your tin-foil-hat world, you’re still advocating for gross abuses of the first amendment.

  79. conundrum says:

    You don’t have to visit Fire Dog Lake to get that unhinged left-wing rant anymore.

  80. conundrum says:

    Wow, a quote from Greenwald himself, almost a real fact among the “reality-based community”.

  81. conundrum says:

    Why would the Brits care if he was a non-US citizen? They might care if he was a British citizen.

  82. conundrum says:

    There’s always a choice fact that Greenwald holds back and reveals after he gets his clicks and outrage. So we get the story about David being detained, the outrage of them “going after family, something even the mafia doesn’t do”, and then we get an oh, by the way he was carrying encrypted thumb drives from Glenn to Laura, and from Laura back to Glenn. But, but, the authorities had nooooo reason to detain him.

  83. conundrum says:

    Yes, repeating rumors is a proven way to get at the truth.

  84. conundrum says:

    It’s so much easier to impeach your own credibility by calling for a groundless impeachment.

  85. conundrum says:

    How do we know you were not involved?

  86. conundrum says:

    Wow, the lines of racist Republican from your keyboard!

  87. conundrum says:

    Sure you were a liberal, sure.

  88. conundrum says:

    So it’s going to be another Bradley Manning style document dump.

  89. conundrum says:

    Wow, that sounds exactly like the Tea Party. Sure you’ve got enough guns?

  90. conundrum says:

    Yes it’s criminal how you had to get around all those obstacles to read this story on the Guardian, or the New York Times, or the Washington Post, and how all those newspapers were too terrified to cover the story.

  91. conundrum says:

    We’ll just forget David Miranda was traveling on a business trip paid for by the Guardian to courier stolen classified documents between Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.

  92. conundrum says:

    Ah, this is where the loony libertarian left goes to work themselves into a santorum over Snowden.

    So first we’ll dismantle all the programs for the poor and the social safety net to make the right happy, then we’ll dismantle all the intelligence programs and the military to make the left happy, and then freedum!

    Hating the government isn’t just fore the tea party anymore!

  93. Blogvader says:

    Remind me again how we benefited from electing Democrats?

  94. GaiusPublius says:

    That’s a literally true statement. The State, like all organisms, protects itself first and achieves its goals second. Totally agree, archiebird.


  95. archiebird says:

    Journalism. It’s the new terrorism.

  96. Ninong says:

    It was claimed by the BHO that the US was informed but not involved in the decision to detain and question Miranda. Better?

  97. mirth says:

    Never have I not trusted Glenn Greenwald – his news instincts, his research and delivery, his integrity. Now, with a lot of hope for his and David’s safety, I continue to trust him being one step ahead of state-sponsored thuggery with forethought and decisiveness, particularly in the event of indictment.

    Few will like this: While I am profoundly sorry and angry for and disgusted by David’s terrifying ordeal and now that he is safe, I’m glad it happened. It’s a whole new ballgame now, a slew of new issues to be examined. After the spectacle of the destruction at the Guardian’s office and David being seized and held against his will, no one can doubt that Glenn still has his hands on some really good stuff and he will deliver it to us.

    Excellent stuff, Gaius. I had not read Ian Bremmer’s input.

  98. karmanot says:

    That’s an excellent article

  99. karmanot says:

    You are so worthy, take a bow and then go.

  100. karmanot says:

    Excellent reporting Gaius. The attack on Greenwald by proxi is akin to the last incident of downing a Latin American President’s plane, searching for Snowdon. These events are not just crude thugish events, but blatant ratcheting up for public acceptance the American Police State. I imagine the propaganda will be forthcoming fast and furious from now on.

  101. BrandySpears says:

    Welcome to the 21st Century – where nations view passengers lists of persons entering their countries.

  102. BrandySpears says:

    Always admire insults from anonymous internet trolls.

  103. nicho says:

    Why would they be looking at the passenger list and tracking him? You’re beginning to make less and less sense — although I didn’t think that was possible.

  104. nicho says:

    Or brandy repository

  105. TheAngryFag says:

    Said it before and I’ll say it again… the terrorists have won. They don’t need to attack us to destroy us. Their very existence causes us to destroy ourselves.

  106. nicho says:

    Frankfurt — where the Germans, on instructions from the US, would have detained him. Well, that makes me feel better.

  107. gratuitous says:

    Truly; I’m ordinarily a fan of TBogg and his lovely Bassetts, but I’m thinking he decided to hang it up one week too late. A bad note for him to go out on.

  108. karmanot says:

    The John Walker Lindh story is a tragedy and an exemplary demonstration of the farce that is American justice.

  109. karmanot says:

    Go away ditto troll

  110. karmanot says:

    Move along Spear carrier

  111. cambridgemac says:

    Chomsky argues, convincingly I think, that we accomplished our aim in Vietnam: we showed the rest of the world what would happen to them and we got the Indonesian military to organize the coup that killed a million people, destroyed the largest communist party in the world (after China) and installed a 30 year rightwing pro-corporate dictatorship. As for the other wars, you could argue that the Real Americans (corporations dontcha know) are pretty happy with the results. Not perfect, but happy enough. They might not have won the wars, but they won the contracts.

  112. BrandySpears says:

    It’s called a passenger list. Look it up.

  113. cambridgemac says:

    Wow. Thanks for THAT info!

  114. nicho says:

    And let’s not forget Jose Padilla — one of the first Americans held illegally and tortured by the Bush administration.

  115. grayzip says:

    In a similar vein, people love to criticize Snowden for decamping first to China and finally to Russia. After all, doesn’t he know these countries are *worse* than the U.S. on x, y and z???

    Yes, he does. My guess is he doesn’t much like Russia, and his living there certainly isn’t an endorsement of its government. It was just the best available of his limited options and living there or wherever else and always under a cloud is part of what he was willing to put himself through in order to expose what he felt needed exposing.

  116. nicho says:

    I don’t, but I’m not the one who made a claim without any support.

  117. nicho says:

    Why would the US be given a “heads up” and consulted before the UK did what it did? Miranda wasn’t a US citizen. And how did the UK know Miranda was on that flight. Was the UK tracking him? That doesn’t make any sense. The UK has no interest in him — only the US. But, we’ve seen you here before. So your remarks are typical.

  118. cambridgemac says:

    He has released only a tiny portion of Snowden’s documents.

  119. BrandySpears says:

    You are the one that has repeatedly claimed that the Obama administration was directly involved. You even insinuate that the UK is a puppet state to the US government. You have no evidence for any of these paranoid claims. Show us that the US was given more than “a heads up” by the UK government.

  120. Monoceros Forth says:

    …In fact, I just did a little checking and if Sr Miranda had taken a
    Lufthansa flight, he could’ve gotten a flight from Berlin to Rio with a
    stopover in Frankfurt.

    A direct flight with a stopover! That’s a new one.

  121. okojo says:

    John Walker Lindh comes to mind. He was held injured, on an aircraft carrier with his legal team barred in seeing him. He pleaded to a deal that got him 20 years in prison. Yaser Esam Hamdi, who was captured at the same time as Lindh, was in the same prison riot that the US Gov’t was going to charge Lindh with murder of a CIA operative, was released in October of 2004, no charges on the condition of renouncing his US citizenship..

  122. texcynical says:

    How do you know that they were?

  123. YesMan6 says:

    GG has said he’s planning a trip to the US soon, so we shall see if we live in a police state or not.

  124. nicho says:

    That’s the hell of it. He’s not a journalist. His partner is. They’re going after families — very dictatorial action.

  125. Guest says:

    So much for freedom of the press. Oh wait, that doesn’t exist anymore.

  126. cole3244 says:

    can the drones coming to silence real patriots be far behind, the pols in america have become the reason to fear not hope.

  127. DrDignity says:

    Be careful, Glenn, Ian & David. The hegemonics are paranoid borderline cases who can be violent & unpredictable. You are backing them up into a corner.

  128. nicho says:

    I think we’re into First Law of Cartoon Physics territory on this. Characters in cartoons who run off cliffs stay suspended in space — until they look down. Then they fall. We’re off the cliff. A lot of us just haven’t looked down.

  129. karmanot says:

    American Police State Many of us have been writing about it for several years now and finally it’s here, out in the open and we are expected to comply as a norm. It’s high time to impeach Obama and his administrators.

  130. nicho says:

    Then STFU. Say absolutely nothing until you get before the judge. Then
    tell the court if you will need them to provide you with a free

    Easier said than done — especially when you’re sitting in a dank, windowless room, with numerous agents grilling you. No food or water, and vague or not-so-vague threats about being sent to a facility for further questioning as a terrorist. After a couple of hours, it would get pretty lonely and frightening.

  131. nicho says:

    The US was notified but not involved in the decision to question Miranda.

    How do you know they were not involved?

  132. nicho says:

    Oh, the authorities know what they have.

  133. nicho says:

    And he’ll be lucky if they don’t “find” (i.e. plant) child pornography on it.

  134. nicho says:

    All they wanted from Tsarnaev was to see how much he knew about the “plot.” Remember, about 99 percent of “terrorist plots” that are “thwarted” by the authorities are actually FBI sting operations with FBI agents feeding the ideas to the participants. They had enough evidence to convict Tsarnaev without questioning him, but they needed to know what he knew. Had he known too much, he might have met the same fate as his brother and his brother’s friend Todashev.

  135. nicho says:

    Well, the thought at the time was that Lindbergh actually killed the baby and hid the body. The story was that the child was retarded and Lindbergh was a Nazi-sympathist who believed in racial purity. As usual, the official story is/was full of holes.

  136. nicho says:

    Because, despite all their spiffy-sounding talk, they will be totally ineffective in standing up against the corporatocracy. Nobody who threatens the corporatocracy.military-industrial complex will be allowed near the White House — even if the corporatists have to use extreme measures –e.g. the Mid-Sixties Massacre — JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X.

  137. nicho says:

    Well, another motive is to “set an example” by persecuting people like Greenwald — and even their families (very dictator-like behavior). This will make other journalists think twice about revealing the truth. You notice they don’t “detain” the talking heads on the cable chatter channels — or their spouses. And the message is that they won’t either — as long as they keep prattling on with the “official” government propaganda.

  138. chris10858 says:

    If I were Greenwald, I would marry Mrianda ASAP in order to help shield him from being arrested and then made to testify against Greenwald.

    Also, I woudl highly doubt Greenwald would be stupid enough to send his partner to Germany to pickup important documents from a known journalist famous for investigating spying programs AND then sending him through the Heathrow airport.

    It’s a shame when journalists have to use Al-Qaeda style communication tactics just to get information to the people.

  139. caphillprof says:

    Apparently Sr. Schwarzkopf missed that Sr. Lindbergh was in on the kidnapping.

  140. chris10858 says:

    I for one think the US government asked the Brits to stop Miranda as they thought he had some additional Snowden documents on him. It makes me wonder then, if Greenwald has already released the juiciest bits about the USA/NSA spying program, why then do they work so hard to intimidate Greenwald or try to confiscate the materials?

    I can’t help but think there are even worse things the US has done that they don’t want the American public to find out about.

  141. Ninong says:

    It was David Miranda who was detained and questioned in Britain. Glenn Greenwald was home in Rio at the time. The British Home Office said they questioned Miranda because they believed he was in possession of stolen information that could be helpful to terrorists. The US was notified but not involved in the decision to question Miranda. It’s quite possible that British Intelligence was aware of exactly what was going on and therefore detained Miranda all on their own and then notified the US of their spectacular coup.

    The Guardian has announced that they are supporting David Miranda in a lawsuit against the British Home Office alleging illegal detention and questioning.

  142. chris10858 says:

    I’m an unabashed liberal and have voted straight-line Democrat for over 20 years (since I was 20 years old) yet now there is a part of me that wants to vote for some of those “no-government” Liberterians like Rand Paul. Sure, he is racist, homophobic, and wants to gut much-needed programs like social security, medicare, and assistance for the poor…. yet, it seems right now, we need some brave folks who will stand up and fight back the government’s overreach of powers. Why can’t we find anyone in the Democratic Party who is willing to do that? I know there are a few people but why isn’t the entire Dem Party stopping this? We just play right into the hands of the Repubs stereotype of Dems loving big government.

  143. nicho says:

    Another bit of trivia (while we’re at it). The person who set up the Shah’s ruthless and brutal secret police SAVAK was none other than Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. — who was also the point man in the Lindbergh kidnapping investigation.

  144. nicho says:

    No, there are no direct flights. But troll away.

  145. Indigo says:

    Them too.

  146. Indigo says:

    Yeah . . . they like to dislike.

  147. Naja pallida says:

    Seems likely that they simply never anticipated such ridiculous overreach on the part of the UK, at the behest of the US. Especially against a non-US citizen, who obviously has no ties to terrorism. The UK government either just proved they’re nothing but puppets of American spying interests, or they’ve proved they are scared to death that their complicity is soon going to come to full light.

  148. Ninong says:

    Eisenhower did that at the request of the British, whose oil companies were about to be nationalized. One other little bit of trivia: the CIA agent in charge of that operation was Theodore Roosevelt’s grandson. The Shah didn’t think the rebellion was succeeding, so he fled town. They had to get him back and tell him the deed was done and they were putting his ass on the peacock throne, where he would do as he was told.

    I’m probably older than you because I remember when it happened.

  149. Bill_Perdue says:

    Oh, you mean the police.

  150. JayRandal says:

    If Greenwald is illegally detained and prosecuted as journalist, then President Obama should be
    impeached by House and convicted for removal by Senate. Apparently NSA goons are telling BHO what to do which implies perhaps blackmail of him or willfully overstepping bounds of presidency.

  151. JozefAL says:

    I’m just curious about how this played out. Are there NO direct flights from Berlin to Rio? You’d think that two of the world’s largest cities would have a direct flight. And, if he was just in London to “switch planes,” why? London-to-Rio versus Berlin-to-Rio is only about a 500-600-mile shorter flight. (In fact, I just did a little checking and if Sr Miranda had taken a Lufthansa flight, he could’ve gotten a flight from Berlin to Rio with a stopover in Frankfurt.)
    I believe Greenwald and company KNEW what would happen. It wouldn’t really surprise me if Greenwald or the Guardian just “slipped up” and “inadvertently” revealed Sr Miranda’s flight plans so that he would be interviewed because there is absolutely NO reason for Sr Miranda to have travelled to London based on what Greenwald and company have CHOSEN to release to the public. (Isn’t it funny how Greenwald doesn’t have a problem with releasing ONLY what he feels is important, rather than telling the WHOLE story?)

  152. grayzip says:

    I think a big part of why Snowden, Greenwald, Poitras and now Miranda are heroes is that they are brave enough to procure and expose the government’s toxic secrets despite laws that in Snowden’s case definitely will and in Greenwald’s and Miranda’s well could land them in jail.

    I don’t think the point of the detention was primarily to intimidate the above crew or journalists generally (and if anything it’s had a galvanizing effect.) I think that the U.S./U.K. had intelligence that Miranda would be in possession of some of Snowden’s files and while there’s no real chance there aren’t duplicates, they nevertheless would likely very much like to know exactly which classified documents these people have. As for the length of Miranda’s detention, my guess is the longer they interrogate him, the more ammunition he may inadvertently give them with which to later ensnare Greenwald.

    In this one case it would be great for our side if governments didn’t prosecute leakers or detain couriers and confiscate their payloads. I don’t think it’s outrageous or even surprising that they do or did, though; that’s how governments operate even in free democracies, and they’re pretty upfront about it. And again, I think S,G,P and M know all this and proceed regardless, and for that we owe them a debt.

  153. Ninong says:

    They questioned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for days before finally reading him his Miranda rights, then he immediately stopped talking and stopped cooperating in the investigation. Everyone still has their full constitutional right to remain silent and to demand that the court provide them with an attorney if they can’t afford one. Apparently a lot of the people who find themselves in trouble with the law don’t understand that simple fact.

    The Supreme Court invented the so-called public-safety exception in 1984 (an appropriate year). They can go for as long as four or five days before reading the Miranda warning provided they perceived an imminent threat to public safety. The questioning is supposed to be focused only on the specific threat and nothing else. According to Glenn’s reporting, they questioned David exclusively about Glenn’s NSA reporting and what NSA documents Glenn might possess. I wouldn’t be surprised if we learn that the British totally destroyed everything they confiscated (after copying it) in front of witnesses and videoed it.

  154. Naja pallida says:

    … and to make sure the passive-aggressive cowards have a down arrow to express their profound disapproval.

  155. Ninong says:

    Glenn and David are in a civil union. They’ve been living together for the past 8 or 9 years. The reason Glenn moved from New York to Rio is because Rio recognized partners in civil unions for immigration rights. He couldn’t bring David to the US as his civil union partner but he could move to Brazil as David’s partner! In that area at least Brazil was years ahead of the US in civil rights!!!

    I don’t know if GP linked to anything above that mentions this but, according to the Guardian, some time ago the British authorities confiscated and totally destroyed a certain number of disc drives at the Guardian that they claimed stored secret NSA documents. The destruction was carred out right there on the premises under the watchful eye of IT experts. The Guardian editor who made that claim did not say exactly when that happened.

    It’s almost certain that all of the stuff Snowden took from the NSA is now stored in more than one place and more than one country.

  156. nicho says:

    For the record — even the Mafia doesn’t go after your family.

  157. nicho says:

    Well played

  158. SkippyFlipjack says:

    OK but I was just making light of the fact that his last name is Miranda…

  159. ezpz says:

    And now there’s this:

    Obama Administration Petitions Supreme Court For Warrantless Cellphone Search Powers

    Hmmmm…..I wonder which “liberal” anchor or pundit from MSNBC will be reporting that one.

  160. nicho says:

    And Edward Snowden is an emotionally unstable, uneducated lowly hireling.

    And Bradley Manning is an emotionally unstable, GAY, lowly hireling.

    And Hugo Chavez was mentally disturbed

    And . . . . . .

    I was just reading about the US/UK destruction of democracy in Iran — 60 years ago — and how they treated democratically elected president Mossadegh.

    The U.S. government …………. easily had manipulated Western media
    into denigrating Mossadegh as intemperate, unstable and an otherwise
    unreliable ally.

    And we all know what the blowback from that move was.

  161. nicho says:

    The truth is that the authorities only need to give Miranda rights if they’re looking for information they intend to use in court. If they’re just trying to squeeze information out of you for other uses, Miranda doesn’t come into play.

  162. Hue-Man says:

    Here’s a CBC Radio interview from yesterday, Aug 19, with an American you probably haven’t heard from for a long time – Noam Chomsky. He talks about the file the CIA kept on him (the link has copies of some docs), the destruction of government documents, NSA/Snowden, and an incident I’d forgotten about, the diversion of Bolivia President Morales’ plane because the US thought Snowden might be aboard ( ). He’s angered more by the current massive domestic snooping by the US and other governments and less so by the CIA revelations, which he’d assumed were in place at the time anyway.

    From the CBC website: “Following last week’s revelation that the CIA had apparently been keeping tabs on Noam Chomsky, guest host Kevin Sylvester speaks to the outspoken author, philosopher and MIT emeritus professor about government surveillance, then and now.

    In the wide-ranging interview, Chomsky shares his thoughts on the CIA’s file and the NSA scandal, as well as the state of American foreign policy and why we sometimes like to “forget” certain aspects of law.

    As for current surveillance revelations in the U.S., Chomskywarns: “It’s dangerous when people are willing to give up their privacy.”

    You can read the Chomsky documents uncovered through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act here or here, or in the document embedded below.”

  163. Indigo says:

    A joke indeed. And increasingly the 21st century iteration of the 20th century South American dictatorships. What have we wrought? I’m not scared but I’m increasingly wary of public discourse. I anticipate that blogs like these won’t have safe harbor by 2020.

  164. Monoceros Forth says:

    It’s so bizarre, isn’t it? TBogg over at Firedoglake is one of the greatest offenders.

  165. gratuitous says:

    Sorry; Glenn Greenwald Derangement Syndrome. For some folks around the intertubes, you can almost hear them keening: “Oh, we’d be upset about the intrusiveness of the security state, but since Glenn Greenwald is involved bringing this to our attention, it’s just so unseemly to pay it any mind. He’s so shrill!”

  166. Monoceros Forth says:

    Indeed. I’ve been darkly amused at how bloodthirsty fans of the “War on Terror” have claimed doing stupid things like invading and occupying Iraq was necessary to prove to the world that we were strong and scary, while the pettifogging lefties who objected to such aggression were just going to make us look weak and vulnerable. But can you imagine anyone looking at what’s happened to the U.S. after 9/11 and think that we’re cutting a impressive figure? I should think we look like an international joke rather.

  167. quax says:

    My understanding is that they are currently in a civil union and plan to marry soon.

  168. ComradeRutherford says:

    Now, they could just take all his electronics just because they can. The USA does this all the time, steal people’s electronics for no reason. Who is going to make the Feds give it back? This is probably more harassment by the fascist states of USA and UK against people that dare to tell the truth.

  169. jomicur says:

    A bit of a side issue: Does anyone know if Greenwald and Miranda are married? I’ve been involved in a discussion about this on another site. (Every time I’ve seen Glenn mention David, it’s always as “my partner,” not “my husband.”) If Glenn is indicted in the US, will David have immunity from testifying, since he’s Glenn’s spouse? With DOMA gone, the question seems quite pertinent.

  170. Indigo says:

    Yes, you did. ;-)

  171. Bruce says:

    I did say supposed free

  172. Indigo says:

    As long as they can keep their guns, they’re happy. That’s all they’ve got, that’s all they want.

  173. Indigo says:

    Free is not the first adjective that comes to my mind. Corporate or totalitarian come to mind instead.

  174. Indigo says:

    That was a remarkable win. It showed how frail our system was.

  175. Indigo says:

    It helps to keep the local crazies heavily armed.

  176. Indigo says:

    You’re the first one I’ve heard say that out loud (in print, that is). But that’s been an open secret since . . . Reagan? I forget.

  177. nicho says:

    And now we know that the UK consulted with the US before doing this. So the US either ordered it or agreed to it, which makes the Obama administration an accomplice at the very least. At worst, the puppet master.

  178. nicho says:

    Miranda rights? How quaint. Those aren’t really in force any more.

  179. gratuitous says:

    It’s interesting to me the number of folks afflicted with GGDS who think that the totally coincidental detainment of Greenwald’s partner as a terrorist (not a spy, not a receiver of stolen government documents, not a courier of purloined material – a terrorist) is nothing to be all that exercised about. I wonder if the groundless, lawless arrest of their spouse (should these loyal subjects of the Security State ever get crosswise with it) would change their tune, or would we hear even louder paeans of praise to our all-knowing overlords?

  180. Bruce says:

    Its frightening when supposed free nation work in concert together to suppress an individuals rights. The USA and Great Britain both need to pull back on their police state tactic. Both Gov’t have forgotten there charter. This is a scary world we live in. The population of both countries should fight to protect Greenwald and Snowdens rights they did us a great service by bring this intrusion to light .

  181. nicho says:

    So, Bin Laden was able to topple the US democracy with 19 guys and three stolen airplanes. And here we are with a military that costs six gazillion dollars and we can’t win in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

  182. Bill_Perdue says:

    Good analysis.

    Obama and the Congress are hell bent on gutting the Bill of Rights and creating a police state here. They’re almost there and they’re assured of cooperation by their satellite governments.

  183. SkippyFlipjack says:

    His boyfriend was detained in Heathrow instead of JFK because there’s no Miranda Rights :)

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