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Thee is a diary on the reclist claiming that the UK government was correct to hold Glenn Greenwalds partner David Miranda.  Miranda may have been carrying a thumbdrive with documents related to Edward Snowden.  Diary  This completely misses the point.  Had the UK government detained Miranda claiming that the documents he was carrying somehow violated UK law, that would be within the law.  Maybe not what we would like to see but it would be legal.  Instead, Miranda was detained under and anti-terrorism statute.  

In what world is carrying documents for a journalist an act of terrorism?  This is the same is detaining somebody for drug smuggling (when you know that they are not smuggling drugs) so thatyou can search their luggage for evidence that they are a tax cheat.  The crime Miranda was stopped for (terrorism) has nothing to do with what he was actually doing.  Actually, I take that back.  It seems that in the mind of some helping to question the US government in the press is a terroristic activity.  God forbid we have a well informed debate about what our government is getting up to.  

By all indications this is not something Greenwald setup.  If you heard that your spouse was being detained in a foreign country for terrorism, wouldn't your first reaction be to worry?  

What should concern us is the total incompetence showed by US and UK governments.  Not only did they create yet another PR mess, it seems Julian Assange has uploaded all the Snowden files as a result of Miranda's arrest.  I suspect that will cut down on the number of USB drives that need to be passed back and forth.  Like the Morales flight, this seems like another instance of the NSA/GCHQ causing an uncontrolled escalation.  Now that all of the documents are out there, they have to pray no foreign government is able to ge their hands on the encryption keys.  Once again we are far less secure because out intellignece agencies took action than we would have been if they had done nothing.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Agree, it was a dumb move. (8+ / 0-)

    And for all we know the thumb drives contained articles Greenwald had been working on about the Snowden files, and not the Snowden files themselves.

    It appears the reporter he was meeting had been given the files directly from Snowden himself, so why would they need to give each other redundant copies of things they are already in possession of, wouldn't it make more sense that they were exchanging notes about the files?

    Either way, it was a boneheaded move, and probably over nothing anyway.

    "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

    by MichiganGirl on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:05:29 PM PDT

  •  Agree, do you have a link for this.... (9+ / 0-)

    "it seems Julian Assange has uploaded all the Snowden files as a result of Miranda's arrest."

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:09:06 PM PDT

  •  No I think we are far less secure because of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Assange.  The more I hear about him the more I dislike him.

  •  I actually don't think the point was missed (25+ / 0-)

    I think the idea was to get back to jeering and cheering and baiting and counter-baiting over the subject of Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, or WikiLeaks, or whatever the weapon of mass distraction is because the real story, what was leaked, and what may be leaked in the future, doesn't leave a lot of room for putting critics of post-Cheney era sustained, institutionalized, if not expanded, Cheneyism on the defensive.

    Let's face it.

    The powers that be inside the UK and USA could be filling the jails with journalists each and every day if carrying classified material that was not authorized was the charge.

    Every Pentagon correspondent on basic cable could be arrested at any time at the airport because something in their briefcases is classified somewhere. It's their job.

    Detaining every single one of their favorite go-to journalists they have ever deliberately leaked a politically useful or convenient classified document could shut down the Village media if it was all about the principle of the matter and the rule of law.  

    I'm marveling at how stupid, hamfisted, and clumsy this was. Like the Bush years, the smartest people in the room are proving to be a fertile ground for idiots who might give Doug Feith a run for his money at a dumbfuck contest.  

    What is the upside of doing this?

    Glenn Greenwald is a volatile man with a defiant personality that thrives on confrontation and conflict. He is about as hard to bait as a hook if you push the wrong, or the right, button.  

    This just fuels the fire for more, and pointedly retaliatory in terms of how inconvenient and damaging the information is, leaks.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:11:55 PM PDT

    •  On this: (25+ / 0-)
      Glenn Greenwald is a volatile man with a defiant personality that thrives on confrontation and conflict. He is about as hard to bait as a hook if you push the wrong, or the right, button.  
      I think one thing that is getting lost in the Rox vs. Sux aspect of the NSA story is how badly, incompentently, and consistently wrong, the powers that be in DC have been about looking at the political chessboard and making moves.

      I have a seriously hard time trying to come up with a worse thing to do if you want to take control over this mess. This is about as smart wearing a Kim Jong-Un Sucks! T-Shirt to the DMZ for a tri-lateral sitdown with Northa and South Korean Military BigWigs. Or inviting John McCain to the White House for a state dinner and rubbing it in his face for three straight hours about how badly he got his ass kicked by Bush in 2000 and by Obama in 2008. Know who are dealing with. Put a fucking intern on it. Ask your daughter to Google the man and write you a report about his personality and how he handles matters.

      The Obama administration is supposed to be filled, chock to the brim, with the best and brightest veteran and young minds in American non-Conservative politics.

      Where are they?

      You couldn't read a man more wrongly than Glenn Greenwald has been by the current administration and now the Brits. It's amazing. Guessing randomly how to deal with this man would be more fruitful as a political and tactical regime.

      You don't have to love, hate, disdain, or admire the man to see that doing what was done was a move guaranteed to escalate the mess, and lead to more leaks and more headaches.

      This is not a popularity contest. You don't win anything if Glenn Greenwald isn't welcome at the White House Correspondent's dinner for life. If every American hates Glenn Greenwald's guts, thinks he's an asshole, whatever, it doesn't change the dynamics of the politics or the potential for more headaches in the future.

      Dumb. Fucking. Moves.

      Over and over and over again.

      Fifty kids from the local community college, hell, a decent high school, who are total political and political pop culture junkies could probably handle the NSA scandal better than the best minds in Democratic Party politics.  

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:29:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read Cassiodoros diary from yesterday? (6+ / 0-)

        It was definitely food for thought.

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Warren 2016

        by dkmich on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:45:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah (5+ / 0-)

          Went and read it. Sheepishly, I should first say thank you for the link, it was food for thought, and further clarify then.

          I wasn't using the Rox v. Sux in the traditional Obama Rox v. Sux sense.

          But in the Greenwald Rox v. Sux sense. So far, I have found GG to be incredibly fertile territory for the sort of black and white binary tribalism that is far more complicated and nuanced and gray shaded when the topic is parsing Obama the President and the man.

          I've been talking, and using the Rox v. Sux meme as if it has transcended where it originally started.

          If that is only happening in my world, or my head, and I am confusing the shit out of people as I attempt to avoid getting caught up in any flavor of Greenwald Derangement Syndrome (crap, did it again) or its baited backlash... my bad.

          I think too much and write as thoughts pop into my head too often that sometimes I miss where I might be on my own real estate thinking I'm in the public park.

          I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

          by LeftHandedMan on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:02:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, I think the Cassiodoros diary was (9+ / 0-)

            very similar to the old 'pragmatism' arguments that we had to endure from the neo-liberals. I could see his point, but it wasn't a convincing argument.

            It's impossible to separate the story of NSA overreach from the policies of the Obama administration...they basically are the same thing.

            And as far as Cassiodoros' claim that we are spinning our wheels because no one has offered any counter suggestions...I don't buy it because I've read a lot of articles by progressives -- not on this site -- that offer very astute suggestions on how to move forward.

            Your original analysis was closer to the truth. I remember Watergate, and I followed that story very closely when it happened....and I see many similarities between the way it played out in the Nixon White House and the way the NSA and the Obama White House are handling this current problem...and you're right: they're acting as if they don't have a clue.

            •  I didn't get any of that from his diary. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              unfangus, CroneWit, ScienceMom, Dr Know

              The proof is in the pudding.  I've seen no evidence of a successful movement to put a Democrat from the Democratic wing of the party into the White House, cabinet, or any place else going back to Watergate.    

              What I got is that there is Democratic wing and no sux, - not one that is effective enough to impact much of any thing.   Oh yeah, we can gay marry, but we better keep our mitts off the power and money.  Republican, Democrat, rox and sux are just shorthand and false equivalencies.  Just as the ACA was turned into ObamaCare, the labels are short, vague and open to mean whatever one thinks they mean - even if it gives substance to something that doesn't exist.

              I'm sure Cass would agree that the overreach  of the Obama administration cannot be separated from his polices on NSA,  war on drugs, environmentalists as terrorists, and journalists.   And what will the left and sux do about it?   Elect and contribute to Hillary because Nader.

              What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Warren 2016

              by dkmich on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:39:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think a lot of lefties see the problem with (0+ / 0-)


                And what will the left and sux do about it?   Elect and contribute to Hillary because Nader.
                And you're right when you say that you won't find any positive input on how to change directions from the members of this site, but I have read some very good ideas posted on places like Truthdig and The Smirking Chimp...

                It the left doesn't get out in front of this, they might very well be fighting Hillary, Christie, and Rand Paul at the same time...

      •  Agreed. Which all goes to (7+ / 0-)

        the overall efficacy of how we are waging this GWOT & whether N$A is delivering value.
        Ian Curtis wrote an altogether wonderful piece,BUGGER that deserves more eyes. While the focus is the UK & MI5,it is pretty clear they are all Bozos on this Bus.

        Disasters like the total intelligence failure over the WMD in Iraq would suggest that nothing much had changed. But the trouble is there is no way we can ever find out. The spies live behind a wall of secrecy and when anyone tries to criticise them, the spies respond by saying that they have prevented attacks and saved us from terrible danger. But they can't show us the evidence because that is secret.

        It was recently revealed that back in the 1970s - at the height of the obsession with traitors - MI5 trained a specially bred group of Gerbils to detect spies. Gerbils have a very acute sense of smell and they were used in interrogations to tell whether the suspects were releasing adrenaline - because that would show they were under stress and lying.

        Then they tried the Gerbils to see if they could detect terrorists who were about to carry a bomb onto a plane. But the gerbils got confused because they couldn't tell the difference between the terrorists and ordinary people who were frightened of flying who were also pumping out adrenaline in their sweat.

        So the gerbils failed as well.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:02:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eeeeeps,ADAM,not Ian,Curtis. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ask, JVolvo

          "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

          by tardis10 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:23:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ian hung (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            himself more than 30 years ago. Sad end to Joy Division.

            Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

            by ask on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:28:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I have to say (7+ / 0-)

          If I were somebody high-ranking in some nefarious dictatorship or state, or overseeing their intelligence agency or secret police outfit, and in a position to be seeing US Intelligence as the opposition, I'd be laughing at the whole NSA mess, at how Snowden, and Greenwald for that matter, have been dealt with as well. Both in terms of watching another nations domestic politics and in terms of the international chess game pigfuck of a pile-up involved. No wonder Putin held out his middle finger and said 'suck me' to these folks that I voted for. He probably expected it to be botched from second one.

          That bothers me to no end. It gnaws at me. I was so fucking proud to have voted for this White House in 2008. I felt like I had done something so vitally important that I'd look back on it as if I'd voted for FDR in 1932.

          Not "better than McCain being in there" not "better than Mitt Romney being in there". Like I'd dodged a bullet, rather than gotten a transformational visionary leader.

          Yep. Better than a GOPer. By far.  

          But we could have gotten the NSA outcome we've got, as well as the mainstreaming and bipartisanshipping of Cheneyism, from a President McCain or Romney and I wouldn't have felt like I helped make it happen.

          I will not regret voting for Obama, the alternative would have been a million times worse. But I didn't see this administration as a "lesser of two bad outcomes". I thought he was destined for so much more.

          Gaaaaaah. Just get us to 2016 without another war and without setting the stage for America's low-information voters to turn to thuggish troll Chris Christie as a reformer and a white knight on a sagging broken-backed horse. I'll take that at this point.

          I didn't vote for putting Doug Feith or John Bolton in an important job. No matter how dark the Bush years got, I always had that.

          I voted for people who thought James Clapper would be epic win, and handling the simmering pot of piss and vinegar that is Glenn Greenwald like he's Mr Rogers.

          Movement Conservatives have been trying to fling shit at this administration for five years, God help us, how much damage would have been done if the GOP freaks had not just taken yes for an answer on a 'Grand Bargain' but had just gotten out of the way and let the kind of dimwit who thought detaining Glenn Greenwald's partner at the air port was going to be epic win get this administration from embarrassment to humiliation to shit show?

          A kid with an internet account and Google could have done a better job running down how to handle Glenn Greenwald politically in a crisis.

          I hated the Bush years, and I hated the Bushies, but in a way, the Bushies being the Bushies was less of an agony for me because I didn't vote for them. I never trusted them.

          I voted for this fucking mess.

          James Fucking Clapper? Holy Shit. Really?

          Fuck. Me.

          No wonder Larry Summers is up for a job.

          You can't depend on this White House to even put a low-ranking intern to the task of fucking Googling any of this easy-to-find-out shit.

          If I knew nothing about Glenn Greenwald, what I could learn about him in 48 hours just lurking on liberal blogs and looking at archives, I could have done a better job handling him politically.

          It pains me to say this, but Dough Feith might have done a better job than what we are seeing right now.

          And that fucking embarasses me as an Obama voter.

          Frankly, at this point, I am shocked that how dimwitted the "best and brightest" inside the US government is hasn't emboldened more powers that be that want to do us harm as a nation. The idiots in the GOP were so hard at work at engineering a scandal they gave our nation outrage fatigue that guarantees this never turns into the sort of 21rst century Iran-Contra it might have with a smarter and more compent opposition.

          The lesson I think the bad guys are learning from 2000 to today is that you can screw the US up into knots not by terrorist attack, but by getting the US to humiliate itself on the grandest of stages and in the most public of ways.

          US government officials seem very adept at shitting their pants or slipping on a banana peel when ruthless competence is what is most called for.

          Thank god our enemies, foreign and domestic, are such over the top idiots ideologies and hate-blinded zealots. Thank god.

          We would be so screwed if they weren't so much more incompetent in the great incompetence off of the last few years.

          I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

          by LeftHandedMan on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:34:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "weapon of mass distraction" (0+ / 0-)


      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:23:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bingo:"the total incompetence showed by US and UK" (26+ / 0-)

    That's what gets me about this.  This wasn't thought through by the NSA and GCHQ, how this would end up biting them in the ass even if they DID find something incriminating on Miranda.  What were they going to do?  Arrest him and put him on trial for UK Treason, or extradite him to the US?

    Do they have any inkling how self-destructive that would have been if they had done that?

    So they basically created another no-win situation for themselves, just like the Evo Morales plane downing.

  •  You have to keep in mind how it is defined (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, CroneWit, BachFan

    There's legalese "terrorism" and popular "terrorism," and they shouldn't be confused, just like many on the right confuse scientific "theories" and popular "theories."

    Among other things, the UK law defines "terrorism" very broadly to include actions that threaten public safety, which are undertaken to influence a government and driven by a political or ideological cause (  I'm no expert on UK law, but I can imagine an argument that transferring stolen classified information (which may include information on anti-terrorist activities) for the purpose of publicly disseminating it and thereby pressuring a government to change its ways could fall within those parameters.  Anyway, it's the substance of the law that's important, not the label.  I don't think anyone is pretending that Miranda is a "terrorist" in the popular sense.

    The pleasure of hating...eats into the heart of religion...[and] makes patriotism an excuse for carrying fire, pestilence, and famine into other lands. - W. Hazlitt

    by rfahey22 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:24:47 AM PDT

    •  More to the point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster

      When someone in a relationship with one reporter known to have trafficked in leaked classified material, goes to visit another reporter known to have trafficked in leaked classified material (with a history of using others as mules for it), it's reasonable to assume that someone just might be carrying leaked, classified material.
      Reasonable enough that a lot of hostile entities, from Al Qaeda to South Korea, could think of it, too. Miranda's frankly lucky he even made it Heathrow.

      "Religion is to spirituality what a Big Mac is to food." - Huffington Post commenter "Wolf 123"

      by Jaxpagan on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:37:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That diarist never claimed Miranda's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    possession of documents was an act of terrorism. Your diary is based on an entirely false claim.

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster

      and this diarist also fails to know that the simple possession of information that could be of "material aid" to a terrorist is illegal in the UK. Therefore detailed questioning about the contents of those memory sticks was perfectly proper in the context that such details could be contained in the reports being prepared from secret documents.

      The encryption meant that the files could not immediately be read to find out if they were capable of such use and Shedule 7 allows for precisely that by permitting the confiscation of the data media and the questioning of those in possession to judge whether the criteria for the offence in the Act had occured.

      We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:17:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the law permits detention at the border of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Musial, Justanothernyer, VClib

    anyone in possession of documents that would be useful to terrorists.  documents on the mechanics of counter-terrorist Intel programs seem to fit that pretty easily.

  •  I noticed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that in the NYT article, GG is quoted as saying that Miranda was carrying "documents pertaining to" and the paragraph ends with an un-attributed sentence "All of the documents came from the trove of materials provided to the two journalists by Mr. Snowden." Neat morph of the contents of the storage devices, no?

    "I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night..."

    by Killer on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:40:05 AM PDT

  •  I have to question this statement -- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lisa Lockwood


    it seems Julian Assange has uploaded all the Snowden files as a result of Miranda's arrest.
    -- which is the premise of your last paragraph.  I have not seen any reporting on this.  Can you provide a source?

    I do remember seeing, over the weekend -- before Miranda's detention -- that Assange had released a document cache asking others to download it, but nothing was known (at that time) what the encrypted cache contained, and the key had not been released.  Some writers made the supposition that the release was tied in some way to the Manning case.

    Have you conflated these two reports, perhaps?

    It seems very odd to me that Assange would distribute Snowden's files.  If you have seen this reliably reported, please provide links so we can read the full story.  

    I have rec'd, but will have to un-rec unless reliable links are provided or the last paragraph edited.  Nothing personal here, just deeply concerned that even even accidental misrepresentation on anything Greenwald/Snowden-related will be grabbed and blown hugely out of proportion.

  •  I just want to go on record as opposing... (0+ / 0-) the strongest terms the British government's execution of Mr. Miranda.  That was a total miscarriage of justice.  

    Wait, you mean they didn't execute him, but rather detained him for nine hours?  Never mind.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:39:21 AM PDT

  •  Have not even finished the diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, ScienceMom

    and rec'd for title.  The point to me is that they abused their own law.  In no way is seeking truth about secret new potentially illegal actions on the parts of govt an act of terror.  The terrorism was the UK govt trying to intimidate the family member of a journalist.  We used to abhor governments that did this.  Now we live in one and support others.  The world has truly gone mad!  American freedom is something we will speak of in the past tense eventually if this continues.

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