Glenn Greenwald just released a statement/essay on the nine hour detention of his significant other partner by British security officials as he changed flights to Brazil from Germany via London under Schedule 7 of the "Terrorism Act."
As this tweeter put it
Piss off and attempt to intimidate the journalist sitting on thousands of classified docs. That'll go over well. http://t.co/...— Ryan Devereaux (@rdevro) August 18, 2013
Excerpts from Greenwald's statement:
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."Simply Despotic.
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.
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."
As more and more relevations pour out about the security apparatus, governments become more and more reactionary, their cries of faux pain translating into creepier and creepier tactics.
They completely abused their own terrorism law for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism: a potent reminder of how often governments lie when they claim that they need powers to stop "the terrorists", and how dangerous it is to vest unchecked power with political officials in its name... they kept David detained right up until the last minute: for the full 9 hours, something they very rarely do...O'Brien would be impressed. But just maybe he won't win in the end.
This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It's bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It's worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic...
If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded.
5:45 PM PT: Statement from Brazilian government.:
he Brazilian government expresses grave concern about the episode that happened today in London, where a Brazilian citizen was held without communication at Heathrow airport for 9 hours, in an action based in the British anti-terrorism legislation. This measure is without justification since it involves an individual against whom there are no charges that can legitimate the use of that legislation. The Brazilian Government expects that incidents such as the one that happened to the Brazilian citizen today do not repeat.http://www.itamaraty.gov.br/...