Simon Jenkins writes: The detention at Heathrow on Sunday of the Brazilian David Miranda is the sort of treatment western politicians love to deplore in Putin’s Russia or Ahmadinejad’s Iran. His “offence” under the 2000 Terrorism Act was apparently to be the partner of a journalist, Glenn Greenwald, who had reported for the Guardian on material released by the American whistleblower, Edward Snowden. We must assume the Americans asked the British government to nab him, shake him down and take his personal effects.
Miranda’s phone and laptop were confiscated and he was held incommunicado, without access to friends or lawyer, for the maximum nine hours allowed under law. It is the airport equivalent of smashing into someone’s flat, rifling through their drawers and stealing papers and documents. It is simple harassment and intimidation.
Greenwald himself is not known to have committed any offence, unless journalism is now a “terrorist” occupation in the eyes of British and American politicians. As for Miranda, his only offence seems to have been to be part of his family. Harassing the family of those who have upset authority is the most obscene form of state terrorism. [Continue reading…]
Reuters reports: U.S. officials did not ask the British government to question the partner of the journalist who first reported secrets leaked by fugitive U.S. intelligence agency contractor Edward Snowden, the White House said on Monday.
British authorities did, however, give their U.S. counterparts a “heads up” before detaining the partner of American journalist Glenn Greenwald, Brazilian David Miranda, the White House said.
“This was a decision that they made on their own, and not at the request of the United States,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing. “This is something that they did independent of our direction,” he added.
Who needs direction when all it takes is a nod and a wink? The White House knew exactly what was happening and it had absolutely no objections.