Because Freedom, That’s Why

Not at all surprising and a permanent part of the national security state:

The partner of the Guardian journalist who has written a series of stories revealing mass surveillance programmes by the US National Security Agency was held for almost nine hours on Sunday by UK authorities as he passed through London’s Heathrow airport on his way home to Rio de Janeiro.

David Miranda, who lives with Glenn Greenwald, was returning from a trip to Berlin when he was stopped by officers at 8.30am and informed that he was to be questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The controversial law, which applies only at airports, ports and border areas, allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals.

The 28-year-old was held for nine hours, the maximum the law allows before officers must release or formally arrest the individual. According to official figures, most examinations under schedule 7 – over 97% – last under an hour, and only one in 2,000 people detained are kept for more than six hours.

Miranda was released without charge, but officials confiscated electronics equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles.

Don’t you feel safer knowing that a reporter’s partner has had his Playstation Pro confiscated? Of course, this is not surprising at all, and what governments do when people act up- they harass them:

Although the allegations were without evidence, they may be related to Poitras’s many detentions and searches. Hendrickson and another soldier told me that in 2007 — months after she was first detained — investigators from the Department of Justice’s Joint Terrorism Task Force interviewed them, inquiring about Poitras’s activities in Baghdad that day. Poitras was never contacted by those or any other investigators, however. “Iraq forces and the U.S. military raided a mosque during Friday prayers and killed several people,” Poitras said. “Violence broke out the next day. I am a documentary filmmaker and was filming in the neighborhood. Any suggestion I knew about an attack is false. The U.S. government should investigate who ordered the raid, not journalists covering the war.”

In June 2006, her tickets on domestic flights were marked “SSSS” — Secondary Security Screening Selection — which means the bearer faces extra scrutiny beyond the usual measures. She was detained for the first time at Newark International Airport before boarding a flight to Israel, where she was showing her film. On her return flight, she was held for two hours before being allowed to re-enter the country. The next month, she traveled to Bosnia to show the film at a festival there. When she flew out of Sarajevo and landed in Vienna, she was paged on the airport loudspeaker and told to go to a security desk; from there she was led to a van and driven to another part of the airport, then taken into a room where luggage was examined.

“They took my bags and checked them,” Poitras said. “They asked me what I was doing, and I said I was showing a movie in Sarajevo about the Iraq war. And then I sort of befriended the security guy. I asked what was going on. He said: ‘You’re flagged. You have a threat score that is off the Richter scale. You are at 400 out of 400.’ I said, ‘Is this a scoring system that works throughout all of Europe, or is this an American scoring system?’ He said. ‘No, this is your government that has this and has told us to stop you.’ ”

Why does freedom taste like fascism these days?

551 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    While in Berlin, Miranda had visited Laura Poitras, the US film-maker who has also been working on the Snowden files with Greenwald and the Guardian.

    So, um, not exactly a completely random and harassing search of an innocent traveler.

  2. 2
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Why does freedom taste like fascism these days?

    Because white people over the age of 50 are permanently frightened of their own shadows. And have been since they first left their caves and saw some teenagers with baggy loincloths.

  3. 3
    Johannes says:

    That is…utterly disgusting. Here’s Greenwald’s account..

  4. 4

    It sucks when something like this happens to a friend of a friend.

  5. 5
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Only three more years of this before President Hilary, and the national security state suddenly ceases to matter among our progressive betters.

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    fascism?

    you’re nuts.

  7. 7
    Random Task says:

    Cry me a river. You act like he’s not the partner and collaborator of someone who is routinely leaking classified material.

    Amazing this gets you all upset — not the fact that Assange expresses his admiration for Drudge, and Rand Paul. Just admit that the idea of anyone looking at your digital trail (with justification, here, mind you) is the worst thing you can think of happening to you.

  8. 8
    askew says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Exactly. Many of these paranoid white men who are railing against the national security state will stop having any issues once a white person is president again.

    And it sure sounds like Cole didn’t get the whole story here. Greenwald’s spouse was working with Snowden and was said to be carrying top secret documents. Now, I see Greenwald is making threats against releasing top secret docs. So, if he releases these docs and people get killed/compromised (which is what happened when Cheney outed Plame), will Cole still be saying Greenwald is a hero?

    I think Greenwald’s entire goal in this Snowden mess is turn himself into the next Woodward. He thinks he can bring down Obama’s presidency with this mess. Too many white male “progressives” seem to be more than willing to help him even if Greenwald’s facts don’t check out.

    On an unrelated note, Bloomberg wants to fingerprint everyone who lives in public housing? How is that constitutional?

  9. 9
    sdp says:

    How ironic his last name is Miranda!

    How ironic his last name is Miranda!

    How ironic

  10. 10
    Liquid says:

    Remember kids — We can’t be free because we have to be safe!

  11. 11
    FlipYrWhig says:

    “Why does my troublemaking muckraking keep making trouble for me and my associates?”

  12. 12
    aimai says:

    If you read the post it says that this kind of harrassment happens to the documentary filmmaker and that she is without recourse since, of course, being flagged is beyond recourse. Whatever you think about greenwald the fact that people who are obviously not terrorists get stopped and have their electronic shit taken is truly disgusting and frightening. If the argument is that the partner simply got swept up by accident where is the apology? And if the argument is that the partner was being harrassed that is totally unconscionable. Ditto for Poitras.

    Again: whatever you think about Greenwald and/or Snowden the security theater surrounding planes and borders has been allowed to get massively out of hand.

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    Well, it wouldn’t make much sense for them to take the laptop and leave the phone and memory sticks. And it wouldn’t make much sense to pretend that Greenwald might not use his partner to transmit information physically. Wait. What’s the shock here?

  14. 14
    Botsplainer says:

    And for the rest of the story, considering the role that Glenn’s Freedom of the Press foundation plays in funding Wikileaks:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.co....._Rand_Paul

    Today, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange gave an interview to Campus Reform and revealed that he’s a “big admirer” of the craziest libertarian racists in US politics: Ron and Rand Paul.

    *guffaw*

    “The libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice really in the U.S. Congress,” said Assange. “[I] am a big admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very principled positions in the U.S. Congress on a number of issues.”

    **pounding floor when guffawing over Greenwald’s boy Assange says this**

    “Matt Drudge is a news media innovator… It is as a result of the self-censorship of the establishment press in the United States that gave Matt Drudge such a platform and so of course he should be applauded for breaking a lot of that censorship,” said Assange.

    Why was Glenn’s partner stopped?

    http://littlegreenfootballs.co.....Out_Ensues

    The real question is how Greenwald and his partner could have been so out of touch with reality that they didn’t expect something like this to happen, when David Miranda was returning from a visit with Greenwald’s collaborator, Laura Poitras. And Greenwald has stated openly that his partner was given copies of the documents stolen by Edward Snowden.

    Greenwald is a raging incompetent who doubled down on Assange’s ruination of Manning’s life (after Glenn undoubtedly gave shitty advice gleaned from his single client “civil liberty” *snicker* practice) by ruining Snowden’s life. Everything he has touched has literally turned to shit under his steerage.

    He’s Orly Taitz without the charm.

  15. 15
    Loneoak says:

    Just idle curiosity about which freedom/fascism this is, but I wonder if she could actually accumulate all those threat level warnings automagically based on surveillance of her communication metadata, her travel patterns, etc. Maybe it ain’t personal? Not that it makes it any better, just more Kafkaesque.

  16. 16
    MikeBoyScout says:

    1. Hunter Gathers Pretty much nails it. BOO!
    2. @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: No, there is no hero from any side who shall stop this BS. To the extent that anyone does not like the “stop and frisk” mentality in the name of safety it shall take a mass movement where at least a significant part of the scared older white community puts its own freedom at risk.
    3. @cleek: Yes, “like fascism” HSBC Holdings personnel are not being detained because of their known association with criminals; quite likely they can acquire VIP privileges so they needn’t be inconvenienced with security theatre like you.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    If you can’t run with the big dogs stay on the porch.

  18. 18
    srv says:

    Yawn, it’s ok when it’s done to GG.

    And I’m sure if he was really carrying secret docs, he’d be let go, but I’m happy to just lap up those unproven accusations because that’s how we Obamabots roll.

  19. 19
    hildebrand says:

    Mr. Cole, there are times when I forget how old you are, and for what nation’s armed services you used to work, because your naivete is just draw-droppingly amazing. Next you will tell me that police forces around the country will sometimes pull people over simply because of the color of their skin. Or perhaps stop everyone at a checkpoint 50 miles inside the US just to see whether they might have drugs or illegal immigrants stashed in their vehicle.

    Of course civilized nations should be above such knavery – but your feigned surprise is rank foolishness. Likewise, I do find it interesting that you are far more concerned about Greenwald, Snowden, et. al, than about the people for whom this is a daily problem. I think more folks around here would cut you some slack about this whole Greenwald thing if you were consistent in your outrage about civil liberties infractions. Other front-pagers seem to manage that, why do we only hear from you about this when its a Greenwald related problem? Yes, I am being a pain – and don’t just slag me, answer the question honestly.

  20. 20
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    If the argument is that the partner simply got swept up by accident where is the apology?

    SInce the Guardian article says that Poitras is working with Greenwald on Snowden’s documents, I don’t think it was an accident that Miranda was suspected of possibly carrying documents from Greenwald to Poitras or vice versa.

    Again, it’s not like Miranda was on a completely unrelated trip and got questioned like this. He visited someone who is actively involved in the Snowden situation that his domestic partner has been reporting on, so he was suspected of ferrying documents between the two of them.

  21. 21
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    Nobody outside of the US believes its bullshit about freedom, democracy, and shining city on the hill anymore. Mostly it looks like a very wealthy, powerful corporatist state.

  22. 22
    Barentw says:

    This is the second-best thing that’s ever happened to Greenwald, he probably arranged it in the first place.

  23. 23
    gogol's wife says:

    @raven:

    Precisely.

  24. 24
    gogol's wife says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    Unlike that bastion of freedom, Putin’s Russia.

  25. 25
    The Dangerman says:

    @cleek:

    fascism? you’re nuts.

    This!

  26. 26
    raven says:

    @Barentw: Ding.

  27. 27
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But that’s not the point of John’s story! Quit bringing up facts, people just aren’t interested in hearing them. Government is evil and it should never stop anyone at any time for any reason, no matter what.

    Anything else is tyranny!

    @Johannes:

    No. Actually, fuck no. If I want to get the facts on a story, Glen Griftwald is that last fucking place to look for them.

  28. 28
    askew says:

    Miranda’s trip was paid for by The Guardian and Greenwald stated publicly that Miranda would be carrying documents illegally obtained by Snowden. Miranda was involved in this Snowden mess and both Snowden and Greenwald have threatened the U.S. if their conditions are not met. That is more than enough reason for UK government to question Miranda under their broad laws.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    Thought this was about stop and frisk. Will wait for the next post.

  30. 30
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    Agreed.

    So out of hand that a question like
    Why does freedom taste like fascism these days?

    isn’t really out of bounds.
    What was it Ben said?
    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    And he was off by a little.
    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain nothing at all, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Fixed it for him.

  31. 31
    The Sheriff's Galaxy S2 says:

    @aimai: In all honesty, you’re exactly right.

    The problem lies in the quandary Mandalay summed up a few days ago: The Dems won’t fix it because they’re scared of looking soft on national security. The GOP won’t fix it because they’re running scared of their base. Where do we go from here that fixes the issue without heading to Paulville?

  32. 32
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @aimai:

    Whatever you think about greenwald the fact that people who are obviously not terrorists get stopped and have their electronic shit taken is truly disgusting and frightening.

    They’re obviously not terrorists, but the laws that cover terrorism and may be called things like “Terrorist Act” can also apply to other major crimes, no? The same was true in the meta-discussion about Snowden being prosecuted under what was originally called the Espionage Act, then later used to crack down on internal dissent, even though he was not being prosecuted for espionage or dissent per se. If someone was stopped and had their stuff confiscated under the terms of this “Terrorist Act” and evidence was turned up proving him to be a spy or a smuggler or, I don’t know, a counterfeiter, I don’t think that would in and of itself be “truly disgusting and frightening.” Whatever contributes to that reaction, it’s not that, I don’t think.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Ruckus says:

    @ranchandsyrup:
    Nice link but I don’t need web hosting at this time.

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @gogol’s wife: Imagine a hypothetical media figure who was gay and a vaunted champion of civil liberties and personally involved in internal Russian politics who was willing to remain silent about a Russian homophobic crackdown. Judging by all I know about his career, Glenn Greenwald would be savaging that guy daily.

  36. 36
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Botsplainer:

    He’s Orly Taitz without the charm.

    Well, and the DDS.

  37. 37
    askew says:

    @Barentw:

    This is the second-best thing that’s ever happened to Greenwald, he probably arranged it in the first place.

    In a way, he did. He has his paper pay for his partner’s ticket, he publicly announced his partner might be carrying top secret documents and then he sat back and waited for the obvious to happen. The Guardian is already capitalizing on it by putting it on the front page of their paper.

  38. 38
    Scott S. says:

    “I’m going to be carrying illegal espionage documents!”

    “Hey! They stopped me for carrying illegal espionage documents! No fair! This is just like fascism, except that no one shot me or put me in a concentration camp!”

  39. 39
    Botsplainer says:

    @srv:

    If a guy publishing leaked documents tells the world he’s sending them to his partner, guess what’s going to happen to said partner?

  40. 40
  41. 41
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @gogol’s wife: Neither the Russian government nor the Russian people constantly yap about bringing Freedumbs and Democracy, If you want to believe that there is some significant amount of people outside the USofA that believe that clap trap, s’your call. Hell, bring that up in a pub/bar in Europe or Asia and the laughs it brings may just get you a free drink.

  42. 42
    divF says:

    @Ruckus: The link was buggered. I went to the correct one, and here it is.

  43. 43
    Botsplainer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Judging by all I know about his career, Glenn Greenwald would be savaging that guy daily

    And shopping interviews to NBC for some sweet cash.

    Never forget the cash when it comes to Greenwald. Single client civil liberty law practices marked by hyperbolic excess and losses don’t exactly pay as well as punditry.

  44. 44
    Suffern ACE says:

    Ok. I’m confused. Did Greenwald really write in advance that his partner would have documents on him? Because it would be ridiculous to think that the Brits wouldn’t spend time searching for them.

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    @askew:

    On an unrelated note, Bloomberg wants to fingerprint everyone who lives in public housing? How is that constitutional?

    I got fingerprinted when I applied for admission to the bar. Unitl you can provide some more context, I’m not getting excited.

    And a link would be nice, as well.

  46. 46
    Haydnseek says:

    @hildebrand: He can’t. Cleek is correct. Cole wouldn’t know fascism if it bit him in the ass. This doesn’t keep him from shooting from the hip at every opportunity, and then telling everyone who points this out to go fuck themselves. Then we get a few pet pics, and later a “gee, sorry I was an asshole” post. Fuck that.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    TG Chicago says:

    @Random Task:

    Amazing this gets you all upset — not the fact that Assange expresses his admiration for Drudge, and Rand Paul.

    I think it’s amazing that someone would care more about what silly words Assange says rather than the government detaining and harassing an innocent person. Assange is in no position of power, so it’s not really important what he says. Not compared to abuses of power by the government.

    Just admit that the idea of anyone looking at your digital trail (with justification, here, mind you) is the worst thing you can think of happening to you.

    I have a feeling we can all think of something worse — namely, being harassed and detained for 9 hours for doing nothing illegal.

  49. 49
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Suffern ACE: I’m curious about that too. It’s almost too convenient as a way to make Greenwald look bad. askew, got a cite?

  50. 50
    Richard says:

    Miranda’s trip was paid for by The Guardian and Greenwald stated publicly that Miranda would be carrying documents illegally obtained by Snowden.

    From that, it sounds like the entire idea here was to generate an incident that could be used as a publicity stunt. How very Greenwald.

  51. 51
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ranchandsyrup:
    Bad link. Please to fix?

  52. 52
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Why does freedom taste like fascism these days?

    Because Barack has brought hope and change at last, that’s why.

  53. 53
    ChrisNYC says:

    Oh please. I got an SSSS screening once. One way ticket to London. And the only thing I was carrying were deposition exhibits. Not fascism. Tho it did make me miss my flight.

  54. 54
    Jane2 says:

    @Mnemosyne: You believe everything the government shills misinform you about? How in any way is that a terrorist act, and how in any way is that Britain’s concern?

  55. 55
    burnspbesq says:

    @aimai:

    whatever you think about Greenwald and/or Snowden the security theater surrounding planes and borders has been allowed to get massively out of hand.

    False, at least in part. From the beginning of time, all nations have had the absolute and unreviewable power to decide who and what can cross their borders. Nothing has “gotten out of hand.” Unless you can point to a treaty pursuant to which the countries in question have agreed not to exercise that power, you’ve got nothing.

    The “security theater” at US airports is a separate issue, and shouldn’t be conflated.

  56. 56
    Amir Khalid says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    Or the real estate agent’s licence. Or the blond good looks.

  57. 57

    I for one, cannot imagine how the partners and associates of someone who possesses stolen classified national security data including the alleged NSA handbook on how they conduct surveillance would end up being stopped by the authorities of allied nations.

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @burnspbesq: I listened to it and I think it’s an off the cuff remark by Bloomberg, and probably something he’s thought about, but it didn’t seem to be anything he’s going to do before he leaves office. He thinks he’s in a position to replace stop and frisk with something, but I don’t think he is.

  59. 59
    mk3872 says:

    Such HARASSMENT!! I’m sure this has nothing to do with his partner in Brazil or the person he was visiting having stolen top-secret documents from the US & UK, right??

  60. 60

    So is the libertarian hero Snowden still in that bastion of freedom, Russia?

  61. 61

    @Mnemosyne: He was detained under a Terrorism statue, not spying/espionage. Even so, are you okay with people stoping AdNags’ spouse, or Matt Bai? What about David Gregory’s? Do we even know what Miranda went to Germany? You never know, maybe it was just to see how much harassment GG would get if he traveled somewhere.

  62. 62
    Liquid says:

    There was this hilarious article about ‘improved’ security measures at Whatever-Corporation-Bought-Seahawks Stadium. It’s pathetic, I could strap a shotgun to my back and they’d never notice.

    We don’t negotiate with terrorists, we just let them intimidate us.

  63. 63
    John Cole says:

    @aimai:

    If you read the post it says that this kind of harrassment happens to the documentary filmmaker and that she is without recourse since, of course, being flagged is beyond recourse. Whatever you think about greenwald the fact that people who are obviously not terrorists get stopped and have their electronic shit taken is truly disgusting and frightening. If the argument is that the partner simply got swept up by accident where is the apology? And if the argument is that the partner was being harrassed that is totally unconscionable. Ditto for Poitras.

    Again: whatever you think about Greenwald and/or Snowden the security theater surrounding planes and borders has been allowed to get massively out of hand.

    Why do you hate freedom?

  64. 64
    Jane2 says:

    Ted & Hellen: It’s shocking, but not surprising, how many comments are completely accepting of a loss of personal liberties because Assange/Snowden/Greenwald are assholes of some ilk.

  65. 65
    Salacious Crumb says:

    Glenn’s partner, David is a racist because he chose Glenn as his partner to anger the Dear Leader, who can do no wrong. So what if the govt wants to know what color underwear I wear??? the Dear Leader has every right to know, and no one can criticize his actions.

    on a similar note Morsi is a racist because he forced the Dear Leader’s hand to chose sides. now Obama looks like he is on the side of the Egyptian authoritarian military. Had Morsi ruled well, Obama would not have supported his overthrow

  66. 66
    gussie says:

    He asked for it.

  67. 67
    Ted & Hellen says:

    I’m reading eight comments into the thread now and Cole has already been accused of racism. Love it!

    lol

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    this ain’t tiddlywinks.

    nobody is playing with these muthafuckas.

    you wanna play in the Big Leagues..

    get ready for the blowback.

  69. 69
    Jane2 says:

    @aimai: Bingo.

  70. 70
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Or the blond good looks.

    That made me throw up in my mouth a bit, you’re a very bad man Amir.

  71. 71
    hildebrand says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yep – there is the nub of the whole bit regarding Snowden. He first went to China and then to Russia – to protest infractions of civil liberties by the US government? Cole or one of the others who are championing Snowden and Greenwald really need to explain how this makes any sense, at all.

  72. 72

    @Richard: Where is the backup for that assertion you highlighted?

  73. 73
    burnspbesq says:

    @TG Chicago:

    being harassed and detained for 9 hours for doing nothing illegal.

    Actually, being in possession of classified information without an appropriate security clearance is illegal. And unlike the US, the Brits do preventive detention, under laws passed during the Troubles, for up to 42 days. Had the FBI been on its toes, it could have arranged for him to be held by the Brits pending receipt of an extradition request.

  74. 74

    @burnspbesq: Who said Miranda did anything illegal? You sure love jumping to conclusions.

  75. 75
    gussie says:

    @rikyrah: Yeah, like all those hippies in Wisconsin. You don’t wanna get arrested? Don’t sing in the Capital Building.

  76. 76
    raven says:

    This post raises the asshole of the century for comments, what else do you need to know?

  77. 77
    rikyrah says:

    Imani ABL @AngryBlackLady

    Guardian paid for dude’s trip AND he was visiting Poitras. So maybe he’s more than just “ @ggreenwald’s partner.” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08.....leaks.html

    Arapaho415 @arapaho415

    @AngryBlackLady Outrage in my Twitter timeline have all been from white, mostly male. Let’s ask the outraged about “Stop & Frisk,” shall we?
    3:04 PM – 18 Aug 2013

  78. 78
    gene108 says:

    Oh boo-hoo, Greenwald’s boy-toy gets treated like legal immigrants at ports of entry have been treated since the War on Terror began.

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Phil Perspective: IANAL, but it seems that statutes nominally about terrorism are also often drafted to cover other crimes, such as espionage and the handling of classified information. The PATRIOT Act covers things like money laundering too. Being detained under a provision of an anti-terror law doesn’t necessarily mean being detained under suspicion of being a terrorist.

  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Thanks.
    The quote still holds though. Yes Ben was talking about the states ability to tax but that was for the public good. I don’t see the security theater that we have going on in this country as being valuable at all. And we are giving up a lot of things for security theater in this country. Most of which is behind closed doors that we can’t know about. Secret courts? Secret laws? A quick and probably imperfect analogy is having a speed limit that is not posted, is secretly changeable and is enforced by hidden speed cameras with your bank account charged without your knowledge. You have no idea if you are breaking the limit or are even under suspicion. You have no way to fight or deal with this other than go along. You have no recourse.
    The journalist in this case at least knew or should have known he would be suspect, both by his actions and associations.
    What law is not against the interests of the state? So the patriot act and it’s enabling departments covers/supersedes all other laws?

  81. 81
    Yatsuno says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Or the blond good looks

    We gotta talk dude…

  82. 82
    raven says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Uh, this was in the UK.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jane2:

    You believe everything the government shills misinform you about?

    That’s a direct quote from the Guardian’s story, not a quote from government sources. If the Guardian has now joined the ranks of “government shills” whose information cannot be trusted, then you’re totally fucked.

    @Phil Perspective:

    Even so, are you okay with people stoping AdNags’ spouse, or Matt Bai? What about David Gregory’s?

    Did AdNags, or Matt Bai, or David Gregory announce that said spouse was going to be transporting classified documents that they’re not supposed to have?

    Again: this was not random harassment. Miranda traveled to Germany to visit a filmmaker who is working with Greenwald on the Snowden story and was stopped on his way back. So your position is that governments are not allowed to try and retrieve stolen property when they have reason to believe someone is transporting it across a country’s borders?

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    Who said Miranda did anything illegal? You sure love jumping to conclusions.

    Show me where I said Miranda did anything illegal. You sure love failing basic reading comprehension.

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jane2: Help, help, my personal liberties as a courier for classified information have been ruthlessly trampled upon!

  86. 86
    jayackroyd says:

    @aimai:

    The ability to confiscate electronics without any real cause has been in place since W. Bruce Schneier wrote about it in 2008

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/a.....order.html

  87. 87
    Botsplainer says:

    @Salacious Crumb:

    Glenn’s partner, David is a racist

    Dunno about David, but Glenn surely qualifies as one.

  88. 88
    burnspbesq says:

    Mission accomplished, John. Lots of clicks on an otherwise slow day.

  89. 89
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @raven: Right, I had a sloppy edit in there — I meant that if the Patriot Act, America’s own anti-terrorist law, covered things other than terrorism, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that the UK’s laws against terrorism likewise cover things other than terrorism.

  90. 90
    Jane2 says:

    @Mnemosyne: The fact that Miranda was visiting the filmmaker is indeed a fact. So how does that translate into anything related to terrorism and warranting detaining?

  91. 91
    Josie says:

    @gussie:

    But that’s the point, isn’t it? Those hippies stuck around and got arrested on purpose to make their case in front of everyone. Snowden did not. Instead he left the country to go make friends with countries who do not wish us well. There is a big difference here. He and Greenwald both think they can play this game and run away to play another day. In international politics, it just doesn’t work that way.

  92. 92
    MikeJ says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Had the FBI been on its toes, it could have arranged for him to be held by the Brits pending receipt of an extradition request.

    What does the FBI have to do with any of this? I didn’t see how the US government was involved at all.

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    From the New York Times story:

    The trip had been paid for by The Guardian, Mr. Greenwald said, and Mr. Miranda was on his way home to Rio de Janeiro, where they live. (emphasis mine)

    So is the New York Times making shit up and attributing it to Greenwald, or is Greenwald now one of those untrustworthy government shills whose information can’t be trusted?

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: Do you have a source for Greenwald’s “announc[ing] that said spouse was going to be transporting classified documents”? Because it seems tremendously important.

  95. 95
    Ruckus says:

    @burnspbesq:
    Are you fucking kidding me?
    You got fingerprinted when you wanted to become a member of the court. I got fingerprinted when I got my top secret clearance.
    What the fuck does someone living in a building have to be fingerprinted for?

  96. 96
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jane2: Does the UK’s anti-terrorism law cover espionage and/or classified information as well as terrorism? If so, there’s your answer.

  97. 97
    Ahh says fywp says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: Ha ha, no, then u just get to find out who is a raging misogynist.

    I once opposed Hilary because I thought the GOP hated her so much they would make the nation ungovernable.

    Lol.

  98. 98
    Botsplainer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Help, help, my personal liberties as a courier for illegally obtained classified information that my dumbass boyfriend said he was getting to me have been ruthlessly trampled upon!

    FTFY

  99. 99
    Suffern ACE says:

    He added: “This is obviously a serious, radical escalation of what they are doing. He is my partner. He is not even a journalist.”

    Ok. To those worried that Dick Gregory’s wife might be detained someday, it does appear that the Guardian paid for the trip. And that no, this is not a radical escalation.

  100. 100
    Mark S. says:

    Jesus Christ, this place has really turned into a cesspool. Congrats, Obots, you’re every bit the pleasure to read that the Bushies were 8 or 9 years ago.

  101. 101
    lamh36 says:

    So are people alleging that the Obama admin somehow used it’s influence over the UK govt and made them hold Greenwald’s partner? Seems to me to be more so an overreach by the UK, right?

  102. 102
    lamh36 says:

    So are people alleging that the Obama admin somehow used it’s influence over the UK govt and made them hold Greenwald’s partner? Seems to me to be more so an overreach by the UK, right?

  103. 103
    gussie says:

    @Josie: That’s definitely the point. If you run afoul of the authorities, you’d best accept the consequences. This ain’t tiddlywinks. Nobody is playing with these muthafuckas. You wanna play in the Big Leagues, get ready for the blowback.

  104. 104
    PIGL says:

    The once-hyperbolic claim as to the emergence of fascism in the USA is certainly being substantiated by the large number of authoritarians posting here.

  105. 105
    Adam C says:

    Remember when the British government used to seize American people and property whenever they felt like it? Good times.

    There was a time when the American Republic was all about the injustice of extrajudicial punishment, but now half of the commenters on a progressive-leaning blog are happy with “he had it coming”. Not just in this case, which is relatively minor, but in many others as well.

  106. 106
    MikeJ says:

    @jayackroyd:

    The ability to confiscate electronics without any real cause has been in place since W. Bruce Schneier wrote about it in 2008

    People really should write their MPs and complain about all this US law being practised in the UK,

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jane2:

    The fact that Miranda was visiting the filmmaker is indeed a fact. So how does that translate into anything related to terrorism and warranting detaining?

    Other than the possibility that Miranda was transporting stolen classified documents to Poitras?

    Why, nothing at all. After all, it’s completely legal to posses stolen classified documents and give them to other people, amirite? It’s not like any government would want people to not do that, so obviously this was just completely unjustified harassment.

    ETA: If you don’t like that the UK is using their terrorism laws to question people about other activities, you should probably write to your Member of Parliament.

  108. 108
    MikeJ says:

    @Adam C:

    Remember when the British government used to seize American people and property whenever they felt like it?

    Isn’t he Brazilian?

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam C:

    Remember when the British government used to seize American people and property whenever they felt like it?

    You realize Miranda is not an American, right? He’s a citizen of Brazil traveling through the UK. I really don’t get what US law has to do with this story at all.

  110. 110
    MikeJ says:

    @lamh36:

    So are people alleging that the Obama admin somehow used it’s influence over the UK govt and made them hold Greenwald’s partner? Seems to me to be more so an overreach by the UK, right?

    Everything is always Obama’s fault.

  111. 111
    Jane2 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Where in the Guardian article does it say Miranda was transporting classified documents? And how does this related to terrorism?

  112. 112
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Mission accomplished, John. Lots of clicks on an otherwise slow day.

    Yes, and you’ll note that most of the clicks are comments from Botspainers and Otards such as yourself, desperate to shut down the conversation by conversing about how unworthy of conversation it all is, and if people would just stop talking about how black Obama is or something something there would be no talk of fascism which is totally lame anyhoo because Russians are meaner and Snowald is gay or something and Assange is unattractively blonde so shut up stop talking racist.

  113. 113
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Adam C:

    There was a time when the American Republic was all about the injustice of extrajudicial punishment

    When was that time? Was it before or after the slavery and the lynchings?

  114. 114
    Citizen_X says:

    @Ahh says fywp:

    I once opposed Hilary because I thought the GOP hated her so much they would make the nation ungovernable.

    I had that thought too. Joke’s on us, huh?

  115. 115
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Ruckus: The only reason that I can think of, other than dickishness, is for fingerprint access control to the building.

  116. 116
    Amir Khalid says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    @Yatsuno:
    Heh heh heh.

  117. 117
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Jane2:

    Racist!

    You would not ask that question if there was a white man in the white house.

  118. 118
    raven says:

    @MikeJ: Who cares? HYSTERIA!!!!!! NAZI’S!!!!!!

  119. 119

    OT: Editor kitteh update, he made it to the first page of ICHC overnight. All in all Robert Samuelson has been a great mews for me.

  120. 120

    @Amir Khalid: Are we sure that is not a wig?

  121. 121
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @MikeJ:

    I didn’t see how the US government was involved at all.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  122. 122
    efgoldman says:

    @burnspbesq: I’m sure I’m not the first one in with this:

    “The people that live (in public housing), most of them, want more police protection,” the three-time mayor said on his weekly WOR radio broadcast Friday. “They want more people. If you have strangers walking in the halls of your apartment building, don’t you want somebody to stop and say: ‘Who are you, why are you here?’”
    He added: “What we really should have is fingerprinting to get in, since there’s an allegation that some of the apartments aren’t occupied by the people who originally have the lease.”

    http://rt.com/usa/bloomberg-fi.....using-610/

  123. 123
    Mnemosyne says:

    By the way, since people don’t seem to remember why the UK might be a little pissed off at Snowden on their own account:

    Snowden leaks reveal Britain spied on G20 members

  124. 124
    Hunter Gathers says:

    For the record, Greenwald is a complete fucknut for getting his partner caught up in all this. I don’t care if you gave your wife/husband the plans to the Death Star, if you’re going to prick the side of a mighty beast and entirely fail to run, you keep your better half out of it. Even if they want to be the one to exploit the vulnerability of an unshielded thermal exhaust port. Having The Man come after you is one thing. Having The Man go after your partner is something completely different. If I had gotten my wife caught up in this shit, I would have been singing soprano for the Vienna Boy’s Choir last fucking week.

  125. 125
    geg6 says:

    Jeebus, Cole. I know people who have lived under actual fascist regimes. They’ll be happy to explain the difference between the US and Mussolini’s Italy or, well, don’t wanna go Godwin but…I have relatives in Germany who could school you on that.

  126. 126
    Mark S. says:

    @Ruckus:

    HOW DARE YOU QUESTION BURNSIE DON’T YOU KNOW HE’S A LAWYER?

  127. 127
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jane2: Once more. Slowly. A law whose name suggests it was crafted to fight terrorism MAY ALSO have provisions that cover THINGS OTHER THAN TERRORISM. Consequently, someone could be picked up under the authority of the law with “Terrorism” in its name WITHOUT BEING SUSPECTED OF TERRORISM. Is that what happened here? I dunno, I’m not a lawyer, much less a barrister, but it’s really not hard to grasp the concept, is it?

  128. 128
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Dear God. Who would make a wig that ugly?

  129. 129
    Sinnach says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The UK terrorism laws are pretty broad and can probably shoehorn it in.

    Coupled with Greenwald’s Dr. Evilesque ‘bring the country to it’s knees’ quip it definitely fits.

  130. 130
    Jane2 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: My reading of the Act says no…that would be the Official Secrets Act (UK).

  131. 131
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ruckus:

    The point, which I would have thought not beyond your ability to comprehend, is that absent context that was in fact absent (and still is, since you certainly didn’t add any), there is no reason to assume that such fingerprinting is improper. If you can point to something in either the Federal or New York Constitution or a currently applicable Federal or New York statute that makes it so, please do.

    There are plenty of real outrages happening in the world. Absent more and better information, this doesn’t appear to be one of them.

  132. 132

    @Amir Khalid: The same people who provide wigs to the follically challenged in the Senate.

  133. 133
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @hildebrand:

    Naah, Cole doesn’t have to explain anything, he used to be a Republican. Knee-jerk is all he used to do and sometimes he has a brief relapse.

    I haven’t looked over at Daily Snowden yet but I bet the really cool, All American KosKidz are in full metal emotarian meltdown. The other day they were infested with Randroids and that was truly a sight to behold.

  134. 134
    Jane2 says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Not to mention a sellout because I don’t think Assange’s love for Rand Paul matters a damn anywhere to anyone.

  135. 135
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ETA: If you don’t like that the UK is using their terrorism laws to question people about other activities, you should probably write to your Member of Parliament.

    Maybe they thought Miranda was a Jacobite.

  136. 136
    Jane2 says:

    @MikeJ: You seriously believe that the British government would act on anything to do with Snowden if it wasn’t in the US government’s pocket?

  137. 137
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jane2:

    Well, there’s your problem — he was questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

    Perhaps you should be looking at the relevant law as cited in the story instead of deciding on your own which one they should have used.

  138. 138
    Ruckus says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    I’m pretty sure you aren’t agreeing with this, just trying to figure out a possible reason? But then this is Bloomberg, the guy who liked Stop and Frisk, especially when the “wrong” people are overwhelmingly the ones frisked.

  139. 139
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jane2: OK, fine. At any rate, it doesn’t seem like the UK government needs to think Miranda was a terrorist to detain him under the terms of an anti-terrorist law, and that was the extent of my narrow point.

  140. 140
    Security comments says:

    So, why do you hold the guy just 5 minutes less what you need BEFORE you need a warrant? 9 hours?

    I’m sure that is coincidence.

    Basically, what you are saying is anyone who visits both greenwald and his journalist partner in Germany, is fair game for being detained.

    And that is bullshit.

    If you have a problem with Greenwald EXTRADITE him. Charge him with a crime. Don’t do this backwoods bullshit intimidation.

    But the security guys used the “stop for any reason I want because I say so”.

    They should have charged him if they were going to hold him 9 hours

  141. 141
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    One of these days you’ll make a useful contribution to a conversation on this blog.

    Alas, today is not that day.

  142. 142
    Jane2 says:

    @Mnemosyne: There’s no mention of that in the Guardian article. Further, if that was indeed a fact, Miranda would have been detained for that….even though I’m still at a loss to explain just how secret documents translate into an offense under the Terrorism Act 2000.

  143. 143
    srv says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Having The Man go after your partner is something completely different. If I had gotten my wife caught up in this shit, I would have been singing soprano for the Vienna Boy’s Choir last fucking week.

    If you can’t run with the big dogs stay on the porch.

  144. 144
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jane2: Greenwald’s employer is British, isn’t it? For better or for worse, I don’t think the UK and UK interests are ancillary here.

  145. 145
    hildebrand says:

    @PIGL: Actually, I would argue that most folks here would love to have a discussion about government overreach – but the people who have precipitated the crisis are so problematic that is is nearly impossible to have that discussion. This is not an ad hominem attack, it is pointing out that the central players (Snowden and Greenwald) are such flawed vessels that they are actively knee-capping or hamstringing the civil libertarian position. Snowden’s actions, especially, call into question whether he is an honest player in the debate. Greenwald’s support of Snowden calls into question his motives. This latest bit simply reinforces the potential that these guys really aren’t all that concerned about civil liberties.

  146. 146
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mark S.:

    HOW DARE YOU QUESTION BURNSIEGREENWALD DON’T YOU KNOW HE’S A LAWYER?

  147. 147
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam C: Remember when the British government used to seize American people and property whenever they felt like it? Good times.

    People were press-ganged and ships seized, held for nine hours under reasonable suspicion of possession of stolen classified material and then released?

    I don’t like what the NSA is doing, I think Congress needs to investigate and put some serious checks in to place with clearly written laws, and this is no question the thing Obama has done that has disappointed me the most, but from the puerile comparisons like this to the more than slight whiff of self-agrandizement of those who fling around terms like “statism!” and “fascism” without addressing what Snowden has actually done, the people I agree with fucking wear me out.

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jane2:

    You seriously believe that the British government would act on anything to do with Snowden if it wasn’t in the US government’s pocket?

    Considering that several of Snowden’s revelations have been specifically embarrassing to the UK, uh, yeah, I’m pretty sure they’re willing to act on their own.

  149. 149
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mark S.:

    Ruckus can question me any time he/she wants, on any subject, and I’ll answer, because I know he/she is acting in good faith.

    You, on the other hand, can go fuck yourself.

  150. 150
    Ruckus says:

    @Hunter Gathers:
    If making you a soprano was the most your spouse did you’d have gotten off lucky.

  151. 151
    MikeJ says:

    @Jane2: You need to drink less or I need to drink more.

  152. 152
    e.a.f. says:

    Upp made me feel a whole lot safer knowing this person has a score of 400 and no criminal record or record of violence. She likes to make movies and show them. Upp that is violent alright. Who knows she might even have a bomb in that candy bar.

    What a fucking waste of tax payer money. I’d feel a whole lot more secure if I knew the jets were properly maintained and the crew had sufficient sleep. I’d feel safer if there were fewer gun and rifles in the U.S.A. I’d feel a whole lot safer if the security at the gates actually knew what they were doing and perhaps were qualified military people instead of who knows what.

  153. 153
    cleek says:

    @MikeBoyScout:
    none of which has anything to do with fascism

  154. 154
    Ruckus says:

    @Mark S.:
    So is I believe Orly.
    Not a good recommendation in my book.

  155. 155
    Jane2 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Perhaps you should resist getting snarky with me until you quit speculating and do some basic reading on what the law actually does or does not contain.

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jane2:

    There’s no mention of that in the Guardian article.

    You mean, other than the mention that I put in the very first comment on this thread? Follow the link and read the article. I didn’t make it up.

    This was not a random stop. The Guardian financed Miranda’s trip to visit Poitras. You really think they did that out of the goodness of their hearts so Miranda could have a fun trip to Germany and not so he could assist Poitras with her work on the Snowden story?

  157. 157
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @hildebrand:

    Actually, I would argue that most folks here would love to have a discussion about government overreach – but the people who have precipitated the crisis are so problematic that is is nearly impossible to have that discussion. This is not an ad hominem attack, it is pointing out that the central players (Snowden and Greenwald) are such flawed vessels that they are actively knee-capping or hamstringing the civil libertarian position. Snowden’s actions, especially, call into question whether he is an honest player in the debate. Greenwald’s support of Snowden calls into question his motives. This latest bit simply reinforces the potential that these guys really aren’t all that concerned about civil liberties.

    You are very concerned, aren’t you…concerned about everything but the heart of the matter of course.

  158. 158
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jane2: I found a Guardian article from 2011 decrying the expansive powers emanating from Section 7. Time for an independent review of the Terrorism Act’s schedule 7. The writer states at one point that “Schedule 7 empowers police officers to stop and question travellers at UK ports and airports without needing reasonable suspicion to believe that the person is engaged in any acts of terrorism.” That answers your question. It doesn’t make it a good law, but it makes it a relevant one.

  159. 159
    Snarla says:

    @Mark S.: OMG SO IS GREENWALD. HIS INTEGRITY IS UNIMPEACHABLE. NEWS GATHERING = STEALING CLASSIFIED NATIONAL SECURITY DOCUMENTS.

  160. 160
    lamh36 says:

    Ugh. Is it we 2016 yet. Its obvious the Obama admin will never be able to get anything done that will be satisfying to people when it comes to stuff like this. Serious question are all these things just the overflow from Bush era, national security policies? Or these all things of the Obama admin own makings?

    Also if 2014 is anything like the last midterm elections then Obama will have an even worse Congress to deal with. How can ANY admin get anything done under these kind of circumstances?

    Just wondering?

  161. 161
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jane2: I refer you to the above. You were saying?

  162. 162
    blueskies says:

    @burnspbesq: @burnspbesq: There’s a choice aspect that you seem to be missing.

  163. 163
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ruckus:

    I suppose there’s an argument to be made that there should be better security in public housing so that only people who actually live there have access to it. Since subletting seems to be a tradition in NYC, I’m not sure how you enforce it, but fingerprinting seems to be Bloomberg’s (stupid) suggestion for how to do it.

  164. 164
    LT says:

    Well, it’s going to be defended ala Bob Cesca and Charles Johnson on the Balloon Juice front page before long, John. IN a Fox News *balance* sort of way, I guess.

    ADDED: Oh, wow, this thread. John – this thread is a direct response to having writers like ABL, Zander, and Betty Cracker here.I know, I know – you’ve had shit commenters forever. But this particular flavor of shit – and it’s a very, very bad one – is all about those writers.

    Thanks, I guess. We still love you, but christ, the shit you done done, son.

  165. 165
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @hildebrand:

    Actually, I would argue that most folks here would love to have a discussion about government overreach – but the people who have precipitated the crisis are so problematic that is is nearly impossible to have that discussion. This is not an ad hominem attack, it is pointing out that the central players (Snowden and Greenwald) are such flawed vessels that they are actively knee-capping or hamstringing the civil libertarian position. Snowden’s actions, especially, call into question whether he is an honest player in the debate. Greenwald’s support of Snowden calls into question his motives. This latest bit simply reinforces the potential that these guys really aren’t all that concerned about civil liberties.

    THIS.

  166. 166
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @hildebrand: I would put it even more simply than that. I refuse to accept that Glenn Greenwald has earned my credulity. If I am skeptical of Greenwald’s version of, well, any and everything, that makes me want to argue about Greenwald-related stories irrespective of my stance on any underlying issue these stories happen to raise.

  167. 167
    Yatsuno says:

    I suppose if we’re gonna have a TBogg unit thread might as well be this one.

  168. 168
    Keith G says:

    @askew:

    Exactly. Many of these paranoid white men who are railing against the national security state will stop having any issues once a white person is president again.

    You may be 100% right (My emphasis BTW).

    And also many people here and elsewhere may stop their strident defense of executive overreach once a person of color is not the President.

    Maybe?

  169. 169
    Ruckus says:

    @burnspbesq:
    From almost everything you’ve ever posted you have the analytical power of a bucket of sand. You can’t see beyond the written words in all those law books to see that some ideas are stupid and wrong even if they are written down in a leather bound volume. Or that if your betters write something down in one of those books that makes everything OK. Or that restrictive and racist ideas don’t make good law.
    A bucket of sand.

  170. 170
  171. 171
    Josie says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Oops. You’re a faster typist than I am.

  172. 172
    MaximusNYC says:

    It depresses the hell out of me how so many BJ commenters these days contort themselves to rationalize “democratic” governments detaining journalists’ family members and confiscating their electronic gear under “terrorism” laws.

    Guys, time for a basic gut check. Would you have a problem with this if it was happening during the Bush years? I think most of you would.

    But of course: Snowden Is A Traitor and Greenwald Is An Egomaniac! So, it’s OK.

  173. 173
    MikeJ says:

    @lamh36:

    Serious question are all these things just the overflow from Bush era, national security policies? Or these all things of the Obama admin own makings?

    This is a British law passed in 2000. Not a US law. Not a response to 9/11.

  174. 174
    Heliopause says:

    Every once in a while you get a post here on Balloon Juice which generates unpredictable commentary.

    This is not one of those posts.

  175. 175
    LT says:

    @LT: Replying to myself in lieu of an edit:

    And now there is an actual Bob Cesca link on the BJ front page regarding this story. Wow.

    And I really shold have added soonergrunt to the list.

  176. 176
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I get why Bloomy would suggest this, just like he suggested Stop and Frisk was a good law. But thinking through the ramifications of either law shows that both of them would restrict the rights of people to assemble.

  177. 177
    Botsplainer says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    It depresses the hell out of me how so many BJ commenters these days contort themselves to rationalize “democratic” governments detaining journalists’ family members and confiscating their electronic gear under “terrorism” laws.

    I realize you’ll repeat this a dozen times on a dozen forums regardless of my pointing this out, but you do realize that this wasn’t just a lark trip – the Guardian paid for Miranda to see Poitras at Greenwald’s bidding.

    What is Glenn going to do come passport renewal time? Tick tock, tick tock nothing ever stops the clock…

  178. 178
    gogol's wife says:

    @Keith G:

    It won’t be a story any more then. When Hillary or a Republican is president, everyone in the media will go back to not caring.

  179. 179
    Keith G says:

    @Botsplainer: Are you saying that this administration would deny him a passport and would be legally justified in doing so?

  180. 180
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Botsplainer:

    What is Glenn going to do come passport renewal time?

    Hope for a President Rand Paul or seek a Brazilian passport.

  181. 181
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    Guys, time for a basic gut check. Would you have a problem with this if it was happening during the Bush years? I think most of you would.

    Bush’s administration prosecuted Sandy Berger for improper handling of classified information and I don’t recall a lot of hyperventilating about that meant we were on a slippery slope to fascism.

  182. 182
    hildebrand says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Actually, at this point, I don’t see how you separate the issue from the people pressing the issue – at least not in this case. Though I think you were being snarky, I think the question you raise is most important. Would you rather not have better people pressing the case against the US regarding civil liberties? I mean that, are Snowden and Greenwald really the best advocates for change? Don’t you find it at least somewhat problematic the way Snowden has handled this?

  183. 183
    PIGL says:

    @hildebrand: Well, you would have a good point, I admit, except for Mnemosyne’s comment number 1. And a contembtible dropping of boot-licking, power-worshipping authoritarianism it is, to be sure. “Targeted” and “arbitrary” and are not antonyms, as she pretends.

  184. 184
    lamh36 says:

    @MikeJ: I was talking about the overall subject of NSA/national security in general here in the USA not UK ie was this all also happening under GWB and they were just better at keeping leaks from happening?

  185. 185
    Keith G says:

    @gogol’s wife: It might, just because it will be an old story and other super important calamities will be in the fore, but my question was to the obvious statement made by askew that this story is driven by the genetics of our current president.

  186. 186
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PIGL:

    And a contembtible dropping of boot-licking, power-worshipping authoritarianism it is, to be sure. “Targeted” and “arbitrary” and are antonyms, as she pretends.

    So, to be clear, if Miranda goes on a trip paid for by the Guardian to make a week-long visit with a filmmaker who has been working closely with Greenwald on Snowden’s files, it’s an unjustifiable outrage that one of the governments whose information was revealed by Snowden would try and find out if Miranda is carrying any classified documents?

    Again, it’s not like Miranda was stopped and frisked after going on vacation. He was traveling at the behest of Greenwald and the Guardian. So, no, not an innocent bystander caught up in government overreach, unless “accomplice” is now a synonym for “innocent bystander.”

  187. 187
    Botsplainer says:

    @Keith G:

    Are you saying that this administration would deny him a passport and would be legally justified in doing so?

    He has to go into a consular office to sign renewal docs.

    Might he be detained? Will they youtube the hysterical whining or will I be stuck having to pay to watch it over pay per view? Will I get unlimited viewing with my payment, or will I not be allowed repeat viewings?

    So many questions…

  188. 188
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @hildebrand:

    Hell no, I don’t.

    Fuck off with your fake sincerity/concern about the quality of the messengers.

    The quality is just fine. It’s the quality of our government security state that you wish to distract from.

    You’re a ratfucker for the cause of Obama’s security state and anyone who questions it is a racist, yes?

  189. 189
    MaximusNYC says:

    @Botsplainer: So the Guardian paid for Miranda’s trip. That may implicate him in Greenwald’s and Poitras’ journalism, yes. (And Greenwald should be up-front about that.) But how does it make him a possible terrorist?

  190. 190
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: Greenwald seems like he’s trying to have it both ways here, too, with Miranda becoming both a journalist and not a journalist in a Schrodinger-like fashion. If he were a journalist, the government would be harassing a journalist, which is bad, but if he weren’t, the government would be harassing an innocent associate of a journalist, which is worse. But while you’re here… what’s your source for the claim that Greenwald said he had conveyed classified documents via Miranda?

  191. 191
    Keith G says:

    @hildebrand:

    I mean that, are Snowden and Greenwald really the best advocates for change? Don’t you find it at least somewhat problematic the way Snowden has handled this?

    So, do we fold our tents and wait for better people to risk all that they have and might have to make a new case less problematic for this new purity pony patrol?

    Can we take out an ad to try to find a new Rosa Parks?

  192. 192
    Botsplainer says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    But how does it make him a possible terrorist?

    It makes him a potential possessor of stuff he shouldn’t have.

    He should have better taste in boy pals, as oh-so-romantically-exciting can become a drag if on gets himself dragged into harebrained schemes.

  193. 193
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But while you’re here… what’s your source for the claim that Greenwald said he had conveyed classified documents via Miranda?

    Sorry, I don’t think I was clear — I’m not sure Greenwald said he was sending documents that way. My point was more that it was not unreasonable for the UK government to suspect Miranda of carrying classified documents given the circumstances. I’m assuming Greenwald was smarter than that, frankly.

  194. 194
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    But how does it make him a possible terrorist?

    According to this linked article, that section of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000 authorizes such searches at ports and airports, etc., without suspicion of involvement in terrorism.

  195. 195
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    Rich White Male Secret Repub Cole cares about the concerns of Rich White Male Secret Repub Saint Glennie of Rio and his boy-toy.

    Meanwhile, pretty much everyone in America who isn’t a Rich White Male has it worse than any of these privileged fucks and we don’t hear one goddamn peep. Looks like it was a mistake for me to come back.

  196. 196
    Keith G says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Will they youtube the hysterical whining or will I be stuck having to pay to watch it over pay per view? Will I get unlimited viewing with my payment, or will I not be allowed repeat viewings?

    And will you have your box of tissue at the ready, or an old sock?

  197. 197
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Greenwald seems like he’s trying to have it both ways here, too,

    Or maybe he is just successfully getting the government to do things that end up wasting our tax money and making the security apparatus look silly.

    Mission accomplished?

    Edit

    @Pinkamena Panic:
    C’ya, sweets!!

  198. 198
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    Can we take out an ad to try to find a new Rosa Parks?

    You think you’re joking, but the NAACP knew they needed a defendant with absolutely no skeletons in her closet in order to win. That’s why they did not use the two previous women who had been arrested for refusing to give up their seats and instead used the secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP who already had media and nonviolence training.

    The civil libertarians could take a page from the book of civil rights defenders, but I doubt they ever will.

  199. 199
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: I think the important corollary to the distinction between the messengers and the message is that it’s also fair game to challenge the messengers. IOW, “I think Greenwald’s story is misleading in the following ways” is not the same thing as “Glenn Greenwald is a dick” or “Boy, I sure like expansive laws against terrorism and espionage.” There’s a media-criticism component to Greenwald/Snowden stories too.

  200. 200
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    But how does it make him a possible terrorist?

    I dunno…How did the Clear Skies Act actually promote clear skies?

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.”

  201. 201
    BethanyAnne says:

    I don’t know if this will come out clear, but I’ll give it a try.

    What this reminds me of is the way corporations plastered their walls with motivational posters throughout the 80s and 90s as they fired their way toward incrementally more profits. I think maybe more people used to fall for it – but after 20 years, most folk see that the bottom line is the bottom line.

    The US and UK are burning goodwill and their image as lawful societies to fuck with Snowden. Downing Morales’ plane was the one that really stuck out for me. This current crap is minor league bullshit compared to that. But every drop adds a little to the perception of the bullshit behind the PR.

    And I gotta say, the “Fucker was asking for it, going up against the US and UK” attitude really really makes my sympathetic with Snowden. It just does. It’s like a race to see who can be the bigger asshole at this point. Greenwald is a pro, but my money is on the US.

  202. 202
    MaximusNYC says:

    @Botsplainer:

    It makes him a potential possessor of stuff he shouldn’t have.

    “Potential posessor of stuff he shouldn’t have.” That’s a good one. Is that a sub-category of “bad guy”?

    And you’re really OK with using terrorism laws to detain people implicated in the offense of journalism about the subject of out-of-control national security and intelligence agencies?

  203. 203
    divF says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Obama’s security state

    If you want to criticize and excoriate the US security apparatus (which in its current form goes back to WW II, with strong bipartisan support), that is a discussion that is worth having. When you personalize it to Obama, your status as a ratfucker (to use your term) is strongly suspected.

  204. 204
    pluege says:

    Why does freedom taste like fascism these days?

    because George Orwell. That’s why.

  205. 205
    PIGL says:

    @Mnemosyne: accomplice in what crime, exactly? Pissing off the security state? What’s your precise stance on the kids in Santa Barbara or New York, pepper sprayed by the cops? I am sure they were breaking some law. Or other. There is no daylight between these things; both are harassment and intimidation of dissent. If there were any evidence of a crime being committed, there is no shortage of law that would allow for arrest and search.

  206. 206
    hildebrand says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Ah, I see, reasonable questions are not welcome by you, are they? If you cannot see that Snowden is hurting the cause you are blind, and willfully so. But then again, I really don’t think you care about the issue. It is a lovely hobby-horse, but you don’t actually care about civil liberties or the security state, these are phrases that you parrot because it makes you sound like a bad-boy provocateur, a ‘daring’ voice crying in the wilderness. You, like Snowden, want to shock, but not actually change.

  207. 207
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: Maybe that too. But “They’re cracking down on press freedom by harassing me vicariously through my partner who isn’t a journalist even though his trip was funded by a newspaper” is pretty convoluted. If he wanted to emphasize the restriction on press freedom, he could talk about his partner as a journalist; it would make his case stronger. It doesn’t look like he was just a dude on a jaunt. He doesn’t _have_ to be just a dude on a jaunt. But that’s the way Greenwald tells the story. That’s the kind of thing that raises my eyebrow when Greenwald does it.

  208. 208

    Does a government have a right to stop people who may be material in a matter of stolen classified documents?

    I would say yes. So maybe that’s why I’m not screaming fascism.

  209. 209
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @divF: Yep.

  210. 210
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PIGL:

    accomplice in what crime, exactly?

    Stealing classified documents. What, you thought that was Snowden did was legal and the US is just being old fusspots for objecting?

    What’s your precise stance on the kids in Santa Barbara or New York, pepper sprayed by the cops?

    Yes, you’re so very outraged by protesting students being pepper sprayed that you can’t even be bothered to remember which UC it happened at. (Try the Google. It was not Santa Barbara.)

    Why exactly am I supposed to take your opinion seriously if you can’t even get the basic facts of your outrage correct?

  211. 211
    gogol's wife says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Yes. And I would say the same if a Republican were president.

  212. 212
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ha! You are a riot, dear. I taught US Hist (1877 – Whenever) for ahhh twenty sumpin anos. (I know…you were unawares)

    I did not think I was kidding.

    Ding ding ding…that was my point. It’s not gonna happen.

  213. 213
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    kids in Santa Barbara or New York, pepper sprayed by the cops?

    When did kids in Santa Barbara get pepper sprayed?

  214. 214
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MaximusNYC:

    And you’re really OK with using terrorism laws to detain people implicated in the offense of journalism about the subject of out-of-control national security and intelligence agencies?

    If that’s a problem, it’s a problem with British law, and it’s been a problem with British law for 13 years. We can certainly complain about British law; God knows we’ve been complaining about Russian law. But it doesn’t sound like “The British government accused my partner of being a terrorist because my journalism irks them.” It sounds like “The British government gave my partner a hard time because they suspected he had classified documents.” Again, the latter story in itself could suggest abused authority. But he’s not content to tell the latter story, he tells the former story. And I don’t trust it when people do that. And Greenwald does it fairly often.

  215. 215
    Botsplainer says:

    @Keith G:

    And will you have your box of tissue at the ready, or an old sock?

    Only if he screams when tased, but I’ll still be happy without the tasing.

  216. 216
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why exactly am I supposed to take your opinion seriously if you can’t even get the basic facts of your outrage correct?

    So…ah…you want to kill blogging as we know it?

  217. 217
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    Ding ding ding…that was my point. It’s not gonna happen.

    It’s not going to happen because, frankly, the “civil libertarians” who are most vocal don’t care enough to take the steps necessary to make it happen. I suspect that Greenwald thought he had his very own Rosa Parks in Edward Snowden, but turned out not so much, because Greenwald didn’t bother to vet his source.

    ETA: A lot of people seem to think the Civil Rights Movement happened by happy accident, with people who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. As you well know, that was not the case, to say the least.

  218. 218
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Keith G: under the standards, Rosa Parks would be under qualified for the position.

  219. 219
    Botsplainer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I suspect that Greenwald thought he had his very own Rosa Parks in Edward Snowden, but turned out not so much, because Greenwald didn’t bother to vet his source.

    You assume that he made his decisions competently. Remember, Glenn was a shitty lawyer with a single client civil rights practice consisting of a violent white supremacist before he decided to try punditry for a living.

  220. 220
    hildebrand says:

    @Mnemosyne: Bingo. The voice carrying the message does matter. I know people don’t like be confronted by such shallow realities, but it is true. Why didn’t Snowden stay in the US and throw down his challenge? If you are going to stand on principle, stand on fucking principle. And then he runs to China and Russia? Good lord, people, how can you not see this as decidedly problematic for the cause of civil liberties?

    You want to have the argument, fine let us have the argument, but you at least have to admit that Snowden and Greenwald are hardly the best people you could choose to be your standard bearers. Is that unfair? Yep. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. We are being screwed in this debate because we are playing such a weak hand because the people making the case have handled it about as badly as you can imagine. Think of the courtroom – sometimes a bad prosecutor or poor defense attorney makes such a hash of what should be an open and shut case that they lose. That is what has the potential to happen right now. Snowden and Greenwald may have valid arguments, but they have screwed up in the handling of the case so badly that they are close to losing a case that we can’t afford to lose.

    What I don’t understand are the people who are unwilling to accept that their standard bearers are shitty at their job.

  221. 221
    Thlayli says:

    @Keith G:

    The State Department has 100% discretion over who gets a US passport and who doesn’t. They can revoke Greenwald’s passport tomorrow, no “legal justification” needed. Holding a passport is not a right.

  222. 222
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    A lot of people seem to think the Civil Rights Movement happened by happy accident,

    Surely not a happy accident. The antecedents stretched back for centuries including many different times and types of struggle.

    But there was a very fortuitous window of time for the CR Movement to playout in the (debatable) most optimal way possible.

    One of my most grievous concerns is that many of the events that we know as the Civil Right Movement could in no way be carried out today. The CRM blossomed at the height of our ability to move and communicate easily, pre surveillance state. Could a new Malcolm, a new MLK, or a new SNCC be free to be as effective as the originals in America 2013 and beyond?

  223. 223
    Yatsuno says:

    Thread is slowing down. I r disappoint.

  224. 224
    Tripod says:

    @LT:

    So… you’re keeping a list?

    How very Nixonian of you.

  225. 225
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yatsuno: I was thinking five hundred, easy

  226. 226
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    The CRM blossomed at the height of our ability to move and communicate easily, pre surveillance state.

    You might want to read the FBI files on MLK and Malcolm X before you decide they lived in a “pre-surveillance state” wonderland. Hoover’s goons seemed to do a pretty thorough job of surveillance long before the internet.

    ETA: Also, too, COINTELPRO doesn’t exactly say “pre-surveillance state” to me.

  227. 227
    divF says:

    @Yatsuno:
    Me too. I was hoping for a hissyfit response from T&H.

  228. 228
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But it doesn’t sound like “The British government accused my partner of being a terrorist because my journalism irks them.” It sounds like “The British government gave my partner a hard time because they suspected he had classified documents.” Again, the latter story in itself could suggest abused authority. But he’s not content to tell the latter story, he tells the former story. And I don’t trust it when people do that. And Greenwald does it fairly often.

    Have you read the piece by Al Giordano from 2008 to which Mom Sense has linked on numerous occasions? I believe this fits the pattern of Greenwald’s intellectual dishonesty when it comes to framing debate.

  229. 229
    Yatsuno says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: @divF: All I ask is that we get ONE thread to a TBogg unit. Just one. It would be a great send-off to his Bassetness, peace be upon him.

  230. 230
    Suffern ACE says:

    Actually, I hope more people are detained for touching these documents. And that more are revealed. I don’t follow GGs civil libertarianism because he seems to believe the government should never be able to investigate any crimes.

    That said, the more people that the security apparatus harasses over documents, the more light is going to be thrown on the harassers. This is about as close to civil disobedience we are going to get out of GG.

  231. 231
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Jebus, dude, if you wanna see a TBogg unit, you’ve gotta troll it up your own self!

  232. 232
    Keith G says:

    @Thlayli: How do our notions of due process and equal protection intersect with this? Can an irritating person be sanctioned is such a way? And more importantly, is it a good idea to do things that our adversaries regularly do?

    I remember the US complaining when China or Russia would use travel restrictions to punish non-criminal embarrassments.

  233. 233
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Yatsuno: Woof.

    cleek said it all, also too.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  234. 234
    hildebrand says:

    @Yatsuno: The overlords stepped on the thread – didn’t want people to actually think about all of this stuff. People were starting to ask questions and make valid points. Can’t have that.

  235. 235
    max says:

    @hildebrand: Actually, at this point, I don’t see how you separate the issue from the people pressing the issue – at least not in this case.

    Is the government (in the form of the NSA) engaging in activities forbidden by the 4th amendment (amongst other things) or not? Based on the (real) evidence at hand, the answer is yes.

    Though I think you were being snarky, I think the question you raise is most important. Would you rather not have better people pressing the case against the US regarding civil liberties?

    I would prefer that Obama had stuck to his prior position regarding this stuff instead of effectively reversing himself on the QT. (I would also wish that Pelosi had done so as well, but I understand her situation – she can’t sell out the head of her party.) Given that his (apparent) support for shutting down the post-911 idiocy was one of the two main reasons I had to support him (the other was econ policy, and post-2009 he has done exactly everything that I had reason to suspect Clinton would have got up to), I’m kind of hosed here. So be it. However, I have exactly zero reason to want to carry water for him or a policy that I never supported in the first place. (And incidentally, back in 1988, Bush the Elder came out and denounced the ACLU for (basically) being ‘communists’. I promptly donated a 100$ to them. I say this to indicate that I have a very long-standing interest in the subject (which includes the wretched excesses of the drug war and mass black re-enslavement imprisonment), just in case someone is inclined to say something stupid.)

    I mean that, are Snowden and Greenwald really the best advocates for change?

    Nope. But they have traction, so I’ll take them in lieu of someone better.

    Don’t you find it at least somewhat problematic the way Snowden has handled this?

    Which part?

    max
    [‘Cole felt stirring up the hornet’s nest did he?’]

  236. 236
    Yatsuno says:

    @Keith G: Revocation of a passport has nothing to do with due process or equal protection. You do not have a right to a passport. The State Department can grant or deny one at their total discretion.

    @max:

    Cole felt stirring up the hornet’s nest did he?

    Just pageclick, baby.

  237. 237
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yatsuno:

    I have been informed by the Spousal Unit that talking about going for a bike ride is not actually the same as doing it, so I’m afraid I have to leave the scene of battle for now. I tried holding up my end of the Tbogg Unit!

  238. 238
    divF says:

    @Yatsuno: To get a flavor of the history of this process, read about Ruth Shipley .

  239. 239
    Klaus says:

    @LT: Yes. ABL was the watershed moment. The African-American experience of white indifference towards systematic government harassment against African-Americans has made people like ABL complete authoritarians in the face of white people getting harassed, particularly since these white people are critical of an African-American president.

    So here we are, on a path to fascism…BJ commenters saying Greenwald asked for it, because the US gov is like a mafia, and you don’t want to fuck with those, so what do you expect. And The Guardian paid for the trip, which makes stopping the traveler perfectly legal, and because it’s legal it’s ok. And Greenwald is an attention whore anyway, and Assange is a racist who likes Ron Paul. And in any case it’s fine because stop and frisk is much worse.

  240. 240
    Yatsuno says:

    @Klaus: Thanks for the whitesplaination. I feel so much better now.

  241. 241
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Klaus: it’s getting so you feel like you have to apologize for being white!

    What was illegal about the UK gov’t’s detention of Miranda?

  242. 242
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @max:

    Is the government (in the form of the NSA) engaging in activities forbidden by the 4th amendment (amongst other things) or not? Based on the (real) evidence at hand, the answer is yes.

    IMHO it sounds like things we’d all have thought would be forbidden by the 4th Amd are actually kosher by virtue of Supreme Court decisions, like the “pen register” one, the notion that your phone bill is the phone company’s, not yours, etc. So it’s not clear to me that the NSA is doing anything inconsistent with the laws that exist. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t come up with ways to change the laws that exist such that they’re more in keeping with the spirit of the 4th Amd. In my view, we’re overdue for re-thinking phones and privacy to better suit a world where your phone travels with you and does a lot more than make calls.

  243. 243
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne: Here we go again with the Mnemzzy “Let me put words in your mouth” treatment.

    Yes, there was surveillance. It was the Cold War, fought as it was against true Commies the those Americans “WE” didn’t like.

    There were solid limits to technology in the analog era – limits of access, limits of time, limits of communication, limits of information storage and limits to information analytics.

    Who’da thunk we’d miss the days of J Edgar Hoover’s minions planting a bug in the bedroom or going through the garbage.

  244. 244
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ll wave if I see ya ride by.

  245. 245
    gogol's wife says:

    @Keith G:

    I don’t miss those days. Why do you? Things were much worse for civil liberties under J. Edgar Hoover than they are now.

  246. 246
    hildebrand says:

    @max:

    I would also wish that Pelosi had done so as well, but I understand her situation – she can’t sell out the head of her party

    Nonsense. If this was such an affront to her sensibilities, she was duty bound to call him out, head of the party or no. Pelosi should not get a pass on this.

    This is the problem – this ‘is’ a huge issue, and I agree that the government is far beyond the pale on this issue, as well as a whole host of other fourth amendment violations that I see on too regular a basis (which none of the Snowden and Greenwald supporters like to talk about on this blog), but when you plan on going after the big stuff you have to do it in such a way that you are not immediately discredited, or in such a way as to actually know how to articulate and carry out your program to show that the government is acting contrary to the Constitution.

    King knew that if violence became the topic, Civil Rights was doomed, even though you could very much make a case for at least self-defense. You have to be above reproach if you plan on taking on the government – it ain’t fair, not even close, but that is the way it is. Why the Snoden and Greenwald admirers can’t admit this is beyond me.

  247. 247
    Yatsuno says:

    @hildebrand:

    as well as a whole host of other fourth amendment violations that I see on too regular a basis

    How many of those affect white males?

  248. 248
    LT says:

    @Klaus:

    The African-American experience of white indifference towards systematic government harassment against African-Americans has made people like ABL complete authoritarians in the face of white people getting harassed, particularly since these white people are critical of an African-American president.

    Please don’t think I sign on to that. I’ll leave explanations of the African-American experience to African-Americans.

  249. 249
    Mandalay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    At any rate, it doesn’t seem like the UK government needs to think Miranda was a terrorist to detain him under the terms of an anti-terrorist law

    Correct, as stated in Schedule 7 (section 40(1)(b)) of the Terrorism Act 2000. The focus of that Act is certainly directed towards the “terrorist”, defined a person who “is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”.

    But then the weasel words in the fine print state:

    An examining officer may exercise his powers under this paragraph whether or not he has grounds for suspecting that a person falls within section 40(1)(b).

    The bottom line is that the British authorities can legally detain travelers for any reason (or no reason at all) for up to nine hours, and seize their posessions, without explanation.

    Of course something being legal does not necessarily make it right, or a good idea, but that is a separate issue (raised by Cole, Greenwald and several posters).

  250. 250
    Klaus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Does law make right?

  251. 251
    Klaus says:

    @Yatsuno: Race matters, like the firebagger West said.

  252. 252
    hildebrand says:

    @Yatsuno: Ah, now, see, that will get them back out the woodwork. Nothing offends the Snowden and Greenwald defenders like making the mistake of mentioning that all sorts of people have been suffering fourth amendment abuses for a rather long time. They think they are special snowflakes that are singularly put upon – and thus proves that Obama is the worst authoritarian since Mao.

  253. 253
    LT says:

    @Tripod: You’re making a shopping list? How very Nixonian of you.

  254. 254
    eemom says:

    shit, I miss all the fun around here.

  255. 255
    Botsplainer says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Revocation of a passport has nothing to do with due process or equal protection. You do not have a right to a passport. The State Department can grant or deny one at their total discretion.

    I just enjoy the notion of him sweating a consular office visit to apply.

  256. 256
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Pinkamena Panic:

    Looks like it was a mistake for me to come back.

    I think so.

  257. 257
    Keith G says:

    @Yatsuno: Still, what does the history of our practice in this regard tell us? (Rhetorical). Do we tend to use that sanction as China does? Have we set a higher standard?

    Ah…real time research. I will assume this is not definitive, but is does point to a direction that I thought was reasonable.

    Kent v Dulles is the first case in which the US Supreme Court ruled that the right to travel is a part of the “liberty” of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. It did not decide the extent to which this liberty right can be curtailed. The Court was first concerned with the extent, if any, to which Congress had authorized its curtailment by the Secretary of State. The Court found that the Secretary of State exceeded its authority by refusing to issue passports to Communists.

    So Yutsano and others, it may….may…not be as clear cut and authoritarian as you indicated.

  258. 258
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @LT:

    So you’ll leave explanations for Brazilians who’ve been detained by the UK to Brazilians detained by the UK, amirite? I mean, why trust Greenwald or Cole on this?

  259. 259
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Pinkamena Panic: No, it’s not a mistake for you to come back. Everyone here obviously doesn’t share Cole’s point of view. We all don’t view Greenwald/Snowden as heroes. Some of us hope that the Patriot Act will be reformed given all this brouhaha and that the NSA will be reigned in. And many of us don’t share Greenwald’s desire to bring down the current administration over NSA’s activities.

  260. 260
    Keith G says:

    @gogol’s wife: Adjust thine meter o sarcasm

  261. 261
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I know that… but I’m a little tired of being nagged by an endless stream of Firebaggers led by a so-called “former” Repub who’s taking his DTs out on us.

  262. 262
    Botsplainer says:

    @Klaus:

    firebagger West

    Uncle Cornel has his useful purposes, doesn’t he? I liked his segue from Trayvon to the martyrdom of St Edward Snowden.

  263. 263
    LT says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Hey now, Jonah Goldberg is officially Derp Vader – don’t try to steal the title from him!

  264. 264
    Keith G says:

    @Botsplainer: Uncle?

    Oh never mind.

  265. 265
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @divF:

    When you personalize it to Obama, your status as a ratfucker (to use your term) is strongly suspected.

    Newsflash: He’s been president for FIVE fucking years. He can call off the goons any time he pleases.

    This old “Obama has no power” trope is always dragged out when convenient. And is always weak bullshit.

  266. 266
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Pinkamena Panic:

    Low fucking blow, and not for the first time. I disagree with Cole on the issue, but I’m more than willing to consider the probability that he’s cranky no matter his relationship to alcohol.

  267. 267
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mandalay: It might not be right to use that authority on people who aren’t terrorists. OK, fine. That still doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to say that because his partner was messed with under the authority of Section 7, it must mean that the UK government (probably on orders from the US) used the specter of terrorist involvement in hopes of silencing Glenn Greenwald. It sounds to me like he was suspected of having classified documents relating to Snowden — not an unreasonable suspicion, given that he was visiting Laura Poitras — and detained under the authority of Section 7 while his stuff was searched. On the face of it, that doesn’t sound badly wrong to me. 9 hours sounds like a lot. If it had been 2 hours, would it be as bad? I dunno, my spidey-sense is tingling on this, but I’m reflexively on edge when it comes to Greenwald, so I’m not sure if I trust my own judgment anymore.

  268. 268
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @eemom: Snooze, ya lose.

  269. 269
    Lynn Dee says:

    Just to add to the mix: Game consoles apparently use encrypted communications and get confiscated for that reason.

    http://rt.com/usa/dhs-crack-video-game-624/

    Got this from booman:

    http://www.boomantribune.com/s.....27/7085#53

  270. 270
    Mandalay says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    We all don’t view Greenwald/Snowden as heroes. Some of us hope that the Patriot Act will be reformed given all this brouhaha and that the NSA will be reigned in.

    You may not view Greenwald/Snowden as heroes, but there is no way that ANY curbing of government powers would be under current consideration if it was not for the information they have revealed.

    For clear evidence of that, you only need to contrast how James Clapper is being treated now compared to how he was treated after he lied to Congress back in March, prior to Snowden’s revelations.

  271. 271
    mapaghimagsik says:

    I had no idea there was so much love for the right authoritarians, and that selectively applying the law was more than “playing in the big leagues”

    Of course, to me, big leagues means getting the job done, not settling old scores.

    Such an environment makes it easy for the next Timothy McVeigh, because we’re too busy working out to stick it to opposition.

    I eagerly wait for the sides to change when the parties switch. it seems like we learn too damn slowly.

  272. 272
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    but I’m reflexively on edge when it comes to Greenwald,

    Why not let it go? I’m serious. Why not let it go?

    I don’t care about him any more than I care about any player in the media/info/news/polemic landscape. I do care about the flow of info and I am willing to let info accumulate, be vetted and then given context.

    Greenwald is not my friend nor my savior. Neither is Obama. They are beings whose internal processes I can not know – So I watch both with varying mixtures of skepticism and hope knowing that what I see now will not be the full story understood later.

    I save being on edge for trips to my doctor or dentist.

  273. 273
    eemom says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I WASN’T snoozing! Was doing productive RL shit, which is worse.

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Totally right about that being a low blow, and not the first time. I’ve never been a Cole cheerleader, but this trend of gratuitous assholery about his drinking issue recently, epecially when it has ZERO the fuck to do with the topic of the thread, is exactly that, the lowest of the low.

  274. 274
    Mandalay says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I don’t think we yet know enough to determine how appropriate it was to delay Miranda, and confiscate his electronic media. My main point was to support your claim that the authorities were acting legally.

    But it is worth pointing out that Miranda wasn’t even visiting Britain – he was only a transit passenger en route to Brazil. And even though the detention was legal, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect the British authorities to provide some explanation. (If none is forthcoming I predict that British visitors to Brazil for the next soccer World Cup and Olympics can expect similar treatment.)

  275. 275
    LT says:

    @Keith G:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    but I’m reflexively on edge when it comes to Greenwald…

    Why not let it go? I’m serious. Why not let it go?

    1) That’s another version of the standard header of a Charles Johnson and Bob Cesca post: “It’s not that I’m FOR NSA abuses….”

    2) Greenwald is the rope they can’t stop climbing.

  276. 276
    ericblair says:

    @Mandalay:

    The bottom line is that the British authorities can legally detain travelers for any reason (or no reason at all) for up to nine hours, and seize their posessions, without explanation.

    Immigration officials of any country you care to name have broad powers to search, detain, and seize possessions at their borders; and try making a drug joke or two with the immigration guy of your choice to see how that goes down. Also, British and Canadian officials (as well as the US, of course) can be bastards a fair bit of the time. Judging by some of the comments, I’m wondering how many of the people freaking out have travelled internationally.

    @Lynn Dee:

    Just to add to the mix: Game consoles apparently use encrypted communications and get confiscated for that reason.

    Cryptography export restrictions. They’re stupid and outdated and are a pain in the ass for software manufacturers and business travelers. A lot of companies have sanitized laptops for international travel that don’t have any restricted crypto or other export sensitive stuff on them.

  277. 277
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: I’m a literature professor. Keeping alert about how a writer is trying to play me is kind of my thing. I think it’s important to do that _along with_ having debates about policy.

  278. 278
    divF says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Thank you. It took a while for you to come back and not respond to my initial statement, but engage in more ad hominem attacks.

    He can call off the goons any time he pleases.

    Please be a little more specific.
    What parts of the national security apparatus does a President have the statutory authority to dismantle ? What actions can he take unilaterally ? Which of those should he take unilaterally ? Which of those can be undone by some future President ?

  279. 279
    Mandalay says:

    @Pinkamena Panic:

    I’m a little tired of being nagged by an endless stream of Firebaggers led by a so-called “former” Repub who’s taking his DTs out on us.

    Then fuck off and post somewhere else you condescending prick.

  280. 280
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @LT:

    Stopped clocks and blind squirrels…And a logical fallacy on you’re part:

    A blue bear said, “BOO!”.
    You said, “BOO!”
    You are a blue bear.

    Admit it- you just don’t fucking care about Stop and Frisk or any other chickenshit law (try driving through a wealthy white ‘burb with that pine tree air freshener dangling from your mirror while at the same time not being a white person) used to harass racial minorities in this country every day, every year, hundreds of thousands of people a year. Get in the back of the car, come down to the cop shop, enjoy your three hots and a cot for the next 72 hours.

    Meanwhile, the type of thing that has you shouting, “FASCISM!” is the equivalent of the police running your plate at a stoplight to see if it matches the plate of any stolen vehicles- you will, 99.999% of the time, never know that it happened, and it will never have any negative impact on your life. The fact is, you are much more likely to be stopped and searched for the air freshener trick, but you didn’t care to notice how that little bit of the code is abused when applied towards black people.

    Well fuck you, asshole. Your inattention to the little bits of chickenshit are what got us to this point in the first place.

  281. 281
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Keith G: You know, it would go better for your nerves if you flossed in the evening and lost that 25 pounds you promised you’d lose after your last phyisical.

  282. 282
    Keith G says:

    @eemom: Miss Pink Asswipe reminds me of a take of Churchill’s observation.

    The (alleged) issues faced by the other she mentions are temporary. Her afflictions, on the other hand, are forever permanent.

  283. 283
    Mandalay says:

    @ericblair:

    Immigration officials of any country you care to name have broad powers to search, detain, and seize possessions at their borders

    True, and that seems fair enough in principle.

    Worth noting though that Miranda could only be detained for a maximum of nine hours, and that is exactly how long they detained him, and offered no explanation. The authorities may not care about how that looks, but I suspect that the politicians who get elected in Britain might.

  284. 284
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @gogol’s wife: So? I’m not seeing how “but look at that guy over there” makes things any better in America.

  285. 285
    Seth Owen says:

    @MaximusNYC: Precisely. Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs seems to have forgotten the lesson his former Wingnut days should have taught him. The law that protects us ‘nice’ people needs to protect the ‘assholes’ and ‘gadflies’ too. Every blessed negative thing ever said about Greenwald, Assange, Manning and Snowden could be perfectly true. So effing what? It is still possible to rape a prostitute, it’s possible to murder a mafioso, it’s possible to burgle an illegally built home.
    What, are we going to wait until the government detains Soledad Obrien before we get upset?! Guess what? It will be way too late then.

  286. 286
  287. 287
    Socoolsofresh says:

    Keep on explaining away, authoritarian explainers! You will always find a way to obscure, blur, and willfully tie oneself into a knot to make sure you look like good cheerleaders! Can’t wait to have you guys outraged again when there is a republican president!

    Also, love how talk goes to saying that the messengers need to be saints or the message isn’t worth doing anything about. Ya, hahaha the ACLU should vet the next whistleblower to make sure he/she is up to your guys standards of what constitutes a model citizen! It’s the only way you are going to take this issue seriously!

    But again, this is nothingburger, right guys? You always knew that GG’s partner was a potential terrorist! Some of you guys even knew this in 2006!

  288. 288
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Seth Owen: Are we heading in that direction or not? Not to laugh off the specter of Soledad in the pokey, but is anything different than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago that would lead someone to believe that the trajectory is toward Soledad in detention?

    Is it possible that the NSA freakout is not that much different than the Sexting/hook up culture freakout?

  289. 289
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And a good thing, since guile is such a free-flowing commodity hereabouts.

    Still the questions were serious. I wonder about those (not necessary you) who can’t separate the information from the transmission device.

  290. 290
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    Gee, seems I’ve made the little whiners angry. Well, hey, you guys wanna kiss his ass when he abuses everyone? Fine, be my guest. Privilege-defending little fucks.

  291. 291
    Suzanne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I don’t like what the NSA is doing, I think Congress needs to investigate and put some serious checks in to place with clearly written laws, and this is no question the thing Obama has done that has disappointed me the most, but from the puerile comparisons like this to the more than slight whiff of self-agrandizement of those who fling around terms like “statism!” and “fascism” without addressing what Snowden has actually done, the people I agree with fucking wear me out.

    We should end the thread right here, because this is the most cogent thing I’ve read on this issue.

  292. 292
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    Cry me a fucking river. You want to be abused? Fine. I won’t save your stupid asses from yourselves.

  293. 293
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @divF: Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.

  294. 294
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    Tremendous number of boot lickers on this thread. No wonder the US is circling.

  295. 295
    Loviatar says:

    Color me surprised, a former Republican who is now an Authoritarian Democrat manages to attract a bunch of like minded idiots.

    ———-

    Give John this much credit at least he understands and realizes that if the government can attack the spouses and family members of those on their shit list it will stifle freedom. While many have no problem accepting the consequences of their actions, they will hesitate if they know that their action will cause harm to their family.

    By their comments here, I see many of John’s fellow travelers would have cheered the deaths of both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Both of them being inconvenient rabble who challenged the Democratic hierarchy.

    – 11th Dimensional Chess / Obots forever

  296. 296
    Botsplainer says:

    Heh – a tweet that got caught by LGF.

    i think the real lesson we all learned today is don’t date glenn greenwald.

  297. 297
    divF says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    It is precisely my fear for what happens when we have another president truly lacking in scruple (a description that does not fit the current one) that I look for standard-bearers and whistleblowers that are sufficiently without blemish that they can serve as rallying points for the US public. Without broad public support for changing the laws and institutions, they won’t change, and the infrastructure that we have in place now will almost certainly be used ubiquitously, secretly and without regard for legality.

  298. 298
    hildebrand says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Also, love how talk goes to saying that the messengers need to be saints or the message isn’t worth doing anything about.

    You get both parts of this particular argument wrong.

    First, it is not being argued that the messengers need to be saints, which is an impossibility (all of us being flawed in our own ways), but that they need to be ‘better’ messengers than the ones we have in this little drama.

    Second, it is likewise not being argued that we don’t need to do anything about the abuses being perpetrated by the government – we do, very much so.

    The problem is that Snowden (especially) is so flawed that what good he potentially could have done is likely going to be drowned out by the way in which he is acting. In fact, they very fact that he is such a blundering knave (‘sigh’, going to China and then Russia was ironic, at the very least, if you are going to talk about the heavy hand of government, no?), is making it easy for the government to cast aspersions on his motives. He is making it easy for the government to chalk off the entire discussion as something of a joke.

    So yes, the messenger matters. I really don’t know why that is so hard to fathom. Nor do I see how admitting that immediately renders all arguments invalid.

  299. 299
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Sorry, I meant to respond earlier

    There’s a media-criticism component to Greenwald/Snowden stories too.

    This is certain. And then pile on the various agents of aggrieved victimhood.There are so many knots to be teased out.

    But we don’t have better conditions or messengers. We do have a window in time to affect the momentum and direction of an ongoing problem.

    edit

    @hildebrand:

    So yes, the messenger matters. I really don’t know why that is so hard to fathom. Nor do I see how admitting that immediately renders all arguments invalid.

    So again, I will ask: Does this mean that we just drop this and all go home until fate aligns us with a better set of messengers?

  300. 300
    Yatsuno says:

    YAY!! Three fifths of the way there!!!

  301. 301
    divF says:

    @Yatsuno:
    Next.

  302. 302
    Yatsuno says:

    @divF: Might be petering out, but the Glenn batsignal might be on the fritz. Usually we get more howler monkeys than this.

  303. 303
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @LT:

    You are a strange person

    .

    Yeah, and what of it? You don’t come across as typical to me, either.

    The fact is, I’ve had lifelong friends who have been subjected to this sort of chickenshit harassment, based on nothing but the color of their skin. I’ve witnessed it only once, but I’ve heard so many accounts of it happening that I was the person who got to explain “DWB” to a casual acquaintance- who was young woman, who’d grown up black in an area where black people actually ran the government, so she wasn’t aware of the practice. When it happened to her for a second time (different cop, same ‘burb), she becme a bit less apprehensive about my contributions to her informal education.

    I fear that this could happen to my sister’s kids some day. It isn’t uncommon for grievous bodily harm to occur to the “suspects” pulled over in such stops. You don’t need a black person to tell you this.

    Oh, and you know what the big difference between this and David Miranda is? None of the people I’ve known were associating with anyone dealing in anything illegal- not with drug dealers, not with people who have been given unauthorized access to highly classified documents.

    Lastly, I’m awaiting the Greenwald’s analogue to, “To hell with Spain! Remember the Maine!”

  304. 304
    divF says:

    @Loviatar:

    the deaths of both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

    They stood their ground in this country, with the knowledge that their lives were at risk. I don’t see any of the principals here (Snowden, Greenwald) doing the same.

  305. 305
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @hildebrand: This is hilarious. So, next time someone wants to whistleblow, they will need to look deep within themselves, and ask, am I a model citizen? Cause if not, all this crazy info I have on government overreach no one is going to care about, because I didn’t graduate from university or something. Maybe I can convince dude five cubicles over to do the whistleblowing. He is handsome and was high school president.

    A lot of people think that Snowden is just fine as a messenger. But over here, you guys would be demonizing him and saying he was flawed no matter what he did or how he looked. It’s a great little game you play to make sure that no one will ever fit the bill of who you think is justified to leak and who you will take seriously. The evidence he has matters not one wit. He has to have the soul of MLK and the looks of Cary Grant.

  306. 306
    NR says:

    @Jane2: It’s terrorism because he might have been carrying documents that might have made Obama look bad. Duh. That’s definition of terrorism around here.

  307. 307
    divF says:

    @Yatsuno: I’m trying to do my part for a change (normally I lurk), even though I am onthe last day of my vacation.

  308. 308
    Narcissus says:

    Harassing Miranda isn’t fascism. This is fascism*. Thanks for playing though.

    *actually fascism is a specific thing and not a catch-all for authoritarianism but that horse is dead

  309. 309
    Donut says:

    @raven:

    That was pretty much all that needed to be said.

    I’m not bothering to read anyone else’s comments (not that anyone should care).

    Raven has this right. Don’t whine, Greenwald. Stand up and take the heat, man. You asked for this, and your partner asked for it by involving himself. You guys fucking own it now, so face the consequences. Anyone with a brain knows this is harassment. So to pretend this is shocking is just silly and theatric.

  310. 310
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Yatsuno: Love that this is what passes for humor here. Heh heh, lets see if we can get up to 500! Woo!

  311. 311
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @divF: Blemishes will arise to whomever challenges government power. You will never find someone who will reach your saintly ideals of what a leader needs to be.

  312. 312
    Yatsuno says:

    @Socoolsofresh: There’s playing obtuse and there’s being obtuse.

    These threads never generate light, only heat. Therefore taking them seriously is ridiculous.

  313. 313
    LT says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Meds. Really. You are lost in a conversation I have not and do not want to be part of.

  314. 314
    divF says:

    @Socoolsofresh:
    As indicated in my comment above yours, as a practical matter, we need heroes. They don’t have to be good-looking, just possessed of courage and a moral compass (Gandhi was hardly handsome).

    ETA: And don’t tell me we can’t have them, because we have had them in the past.

  315. 315
    Stillwater says:

    Why does freedom taste like fascism these days?

    Good on ya Cole. Keepin it real.

    I haven’t read the thread, but I assume you’ve been accused of trolling, firebagging, traitoring, subversivizing, anti-Obaming and such stuff. It’s a tough crowd here!

    Edit: Mnemo comes out guns ablazin, as per usual, but Cleek and Flip? Really?

  316. 316
    NR says:

    @MaximusNYC: “Botsplainer” is OK with anything and everything being done to anyone who is even mildly critical of Obama. I guess he’s now expanded that to include those people’s friends and loved ones, too.

  317. 317
    hildebrand says:

    @Keith G: The movement needs to go out and find better messengers. Right now. If we continue to think that Snowden and Greenwald are going to be taken seriously, the jig is up. The American people will tune out faster that you can imagine if they sense that Snowden is out to make himself the story (which is what he is doing). Once that has happened, the story is dead. If the argument cannot be made against a Democratic president, what hope could we possibly have if a Republican is warming the big chair? We already know how the Republicans know how to play the ‘civil liberties in the time of war’ card.

  318. 318
    NR says:

    @hildebrand: Yes, of course. All the Very Serious People around here would just love to have a Very Serious Discussion about civil liberties and this administration’s handling of such, if only Those People hadn’t ruined it. But Those People are just so odious, you see, that all the Very Serious People can do is lie down on the fainting couch and fan themselves to get over the bad case of the vapors that Those People cause. No one can possibly have a discussion about civil liberties while Those People are around, it’s just not possible.

  319. 319
    divF says:

    @hildebrand:
    This is in fact the safest time to be a hero.

  320. 320
    Yatsuno says:

    @NR: Even for you that’s an incoherent mishegas.

  321. 321
    Thlayli says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    Yeah, Greenwald’s boots must be squeaky clean by now.

  322. 322
    tybee says:

    @TurdfistsHelen& Hellen:

    thank dog you didn’t click or post to the this thread.

  323. 323
    tybee says:

    @TurdfistsHelen:

    thank dog you didn’t ever click or post on this thread.

  324. 324
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @LT:

    Really. You are lost in a conversation I have not and do not want to be part of.

    Really?

    I’ll leave explanations of the African-American experience to African-Americans.

    What was that?

    Oh, and then there’s this, a slight variation on a pet theme of yours (finally adding a white contributor to your list- after being called out on it yesterday. How very fucking liberal! Doesn’t come across as racist any longer! At all!):

    Oh, wow, this thread. John – this thread is a direct response to having writers like ABL, Zander, and Betty Cracker here.I know, I know – you’ve had shit commenters forever. But this particular flavor of shit – and it’s a very, very bad one – is all about those writers.

    So let’s review: You call out Zandar and ABL (oh, yeah, and B.C., too. Hooray, you! ), who have nothing to do with the OP, who hadn’t and still haven’t commented on it, you get called out by Klaus, you try to bullshit your way out of it, I call you out further for the bullshit, you think you can get out of it by making personal insults, then claim it is a conversation you don’t want any part of.

    I think that you DO want to have this conversation, as long as every-fucking-body agrees with you.

  325. 325
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @eemom:

    I’ve never been a Cole cheerleader, but this trend of gratuitous assholery about his drinking issue recently, epecially when it has ZERO the fuck to do with the topic of the thread, is exactly that, the lowest of the low.

    I’m rather fond of the oft-mistaken, fat fuck myself, but this is precisely the problem with going public with such an intensely personal issue as alcoholism or other substance abuse issues: The ongoing process, pace, ups/downs, success/failure/relapse, etc. all become fodder for public comment because the person in question MADE IT SO BY GOING PUBLIC IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    The Internet, and BJ in particular, are not locales known for their gentility and kindness, and Cole doesn’t mince words regarding the failures and weaknesses of others as he sees them (depending to which tribe they belong of course), so why should he be spared the same?

    The solution: For the most part, keep it to yourself, recovering person!

  326. 326
    hildebrand says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    You will never find someone who will reach your saintly ideals of what a leader needs to be.

    Your willful obtuseness is a sight to behold. Likewise, your inability to differentiate between a good and bad messenger is utterly amazing.

    It is as plain as the nose on your face that many in this discussion are not asking for perfection – we are asking for competence and conviction.

  327. 327
    NR says:

    @Donut: Just curious, exactly what “consequences” do you think people who criticize the government should have to face? Can you be specific here?

  328. 328
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @hildebrand: Not sure who is tuning out. Seems like it’s you who wants to tune out until Ryan Gosling becomes a whistleblower.

  329. 329
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Klaus: You didn’t bring up right and wrong, you brought legality, and race, for reasons that I’m sure you understand.

  330. 330
    hildebrand says:

    @NR: Your snark is so thick that it has become impenetrable. You may want to provide a translation guide out of the original Contemptuous Asshole.

  331. 331
    NR says:

    @Yatsuno: Try reading it again, a little slower. You’ll get it eventually.

  332. 332
    fuckwit says:

    @askew: This is 2013. WHY DOES ANYONE CARRY DOCUMENTS?? Scan them, encrypt them with PGP, and FTP them somewhere (or, for fuck’s sake, use DropBox or YouSendIt or any one of the dozens of file-sharing sites). How long does it take to send 1GB of documents from, say, Germany to Brazil? Like 10 minutes? A half hour?

    Pro tip: you don’t have to courier shit all cloak-and-daggery going through airports in 2013. Really, you don’t.

  333. 333
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @hildebrand: Don’t you see? Anyone who who goes against the government is going to be considered a ‘bad’ messenger. It is part of the deal. If they can successfully tarnish their opposition, then flakes like you won’t care about the message.

  334. 334
    hildebrand says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Competence. That is what I want. If that is too high a bar for you…

  335. 335
    NR says:

    @hildebrand: Fine, I’ll say it more plainly: The failings of Snowden, Greenwald, et. al., are just an excuse for you guys to not talk about something you really don’t want to talk about. If Snowden, Greenwald, et. al., were actual, real-life saints, you would just find some other excuse not to talk about this administration’s handling of civil liberties.

  336. 336
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Yatsuno: You did ask for the howler monkeys.

  337. 337
    divF says:

    @Socoolsofresh: I (and others) have presented a line of reasoning for what we need as whistleblowers, and why. In particular, I have already blowtorched your strawman of latching onto physical attractiveness as a requirement. Daniel Ellsberg was hardly a matinee idol, and MLK was (from the POV of 1960’s white America) “a Negro (ick)”. Now, either respond to the rest of the criteria, or admit you don’t want to engage.

  338. 338
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    Breaking, NYT reporting Miranda was acting as a document mule.

  339. 339
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Yatsuno:

    These threads never generate light, only heat. Therefore taking them seriously is ridiculous.

    And yet you’re in every single one of them, commenting ironically of course, I’m sure.

    You must be a Lady Gaga fan.

  340. 340
    Mandalay says:

    @divF:

    They stood their ground in this country, with the knowledge that their lives were at risk. I don’t see any of the principals here (Snowden, Greenwald) doing the same.

    You are engaging in a false equivalence fallacy.

    The reality is that MalcolmX and MLK had no other option anyway – they had to remain in the United States. And another reality is that Snowden has been far more effective messenger for his cause precisely because he left the United States. Had he remained here you would have heard as much from him as you heard from Bradley Manning once he was incarcerated (i.e. nothing at all).

    The suggestion that Snowden and Greenwald harm their cause by not behaving like MLK or Malcolm X or Rosa Parks or Gandhi or Daniel Ellsberg (who never spent a minute in prison) is absurd.

    And the notion that Snowden and Greenwald are obliged to play by rules set by the authorities and remain in the United States, and they lack integrity if they don’t, is asinine.

  341. 341
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    …this is precisely the problem with going public with such an intensely personal issue as alcoholism or other substance abuse issues: The ongoing process, pace, ups/downs, success/failure/relapse, etc. all become fodder for public comment because the person in question MADE IT SO BY GOING PUBLIC IN THE FIRST PLACE

    I disagree. The problem isn’t going public with it, the problem is that we, as a civilized society, won’t face alcoholism, drug addiction, or the underlying causes- mental health issues (I’m looking at you, Depression) and poverty.

    How and when Cole came clean is fine. How P.P. and others try to exploit that is their problem.

  342. 342
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @divF: And I am saying, as what NR is saying, is that you guys are using this as an excuse so that you don’t need to talk about the actual issues. They could be saints and you would still think they were demons. It is a shitty cop out. Are whistleblowers supposed to leak information, or are they supposed to make sure they fit whatever standards you deem important before you get behind a cause? Are you only going to care about the US surveillance state, its overreach and unconstitutionality when there is the right person to cheerlead for? Then you are a flake.

  343. 343
    Suffern ACE says:

    @fuckwit: it’s sad. But Part of me hopes he had the documents on microfiche camouflaged as a mole on his cheek.

  344. 344
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I sort of agree with you, and sort of not.

    Cole made HIS drinking problem the issue here, and how it unfolds, as opposed to society’s drinking problem as a whole.

    Hey, he can do what he wants, and I’m sure he can take whatever abuse he gets as a result. I just don’t think doing so is a wise move for one’s own sobriety, especially so early on.

  345. 345
    Maroc says:

    @hildebrand:

    The problem is that Snowden (especially) is so flawed that what good he potentially could have done is likely going to be drowned out by the way in which he is acting.

    So let’s be clear about what you’re saying here: The information Snowden brought into the public eye is important, and having the public pay attention to it and its implications is important. But the people who want to talk about all of that should just shut up, because alas, Snowden is such a terrible person that his awfulness totally overshadows the importance of what he revealed to us, so now no one will talk seriously about the information, only about Snowden and his flaws — stop talking about NSA overreach, you Obots, don’t you realize that no matter how important that is, you can’t take it seriously because Snowden? Oh dear, oh dear, this issue is so important, if only someone else who wasn’t such a distraction had told us!

    No, really, that is what you’re saying, in all its perfect circularity and insularity. And what the rest of us are saying when we refuse to do as you suggest and focus on Snowden’s alleged flaws* as a messenger is that we’re perfectly capable of thinking about policy without being distracted too much by personality. If you actually care about the issues as you say, this should be encouraging news for you. The cure for your angst is in your own hands: stop telling people that they can’t take the NSA/surveillance state abuses seriously because Edward Snowden, and you’ll find that people do in fact take those abuses seriously regardless of what you or they think of Edward Snowden.

    Voila! Problem solved. Now, wasn’t that easy?

    *Those flaws are, after all, balanced by one striking merit: He succeeded in delivering the message.

  346. 346
    divF says:

    @Mandalay: It’s not that they lack integrity, it’s that they will be ignored by the public. In this respect, a display of courage and conviction matters.

  347. 347
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @hildebrand: Snowden is doing a pretty good job of competence. He isn’t in jail, locked away. He still has info that he is leaking, it’s been a couple months now and people are still talking about this. The U.S. Government is even trying to do some kabuki on this issue. He got the ball rolling for other journalists to start investigating this. Not sure what your meaning of competence is.

  348. 348
    zombie rotten mcdonald says:

    @Yatsuno:

    I think they may be spread kinda thin theses days. Lots of GreenWaldo action spots.

  349. 349
    hildebrand says:

    @Socoolsofresh: You aren’t wrong – going up against the government is going to get you slapped with a more than just a negative label. The point is that you have to be able to withstand the pressure, you have to be able to show that you are, at the very least, not what the government is painting you to be. You also have to have the courage of your convictions.

    And this is where the problem with Snowden starts – he hasn’t shown that this is the right fight worth fighting. Its like bitching that the cops are brutally repressive and then running to the mob for protection, all the while claiming the mob is a paragon of virtue. You may be right – the cops may be brutally repressive – but who will ever listen? Your actions have rendered the accusation (even the proof) to be mere self-aggrandizing ass covering.

  350. 350
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Mandalay: Kind of speaks to the white privilege others were mentioning upthread.

  351. 351
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I tend to look at it as I looked at the “outing” movement in the gay community, in that I think it’s better to acknowledge it so as to encourage others to be more comfortable to acknowledge their own experiences…But if you want to keep it private, I’ll respect your decision. Eventually enough people will start acknowledging their experiences that the stigma will start to go away.

  352. 352
    Pogonip says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Speak for yourself. I’m 54 and white and I don’t approve at all of such goings-on.

  353. 353
    divF says:

    @Socoolsofresh: See comment 278 from me. I put before the thread a series of questions that ask, “what could be done in the current institutional environment” ? and so far I have heard nothing. I have also made some assertions as to what is needed in the way of a whistleblower to rally public opinion and have received no substantive responses.

  354. 354
    Patricia Lil says:

    Regardless of what you think about Greenwald, I am appalled at the “he had it coming” sentiments here.I will let Amnesty International speak for me.

    “It is utterly improbable that David Michael Miranda, a Brazilian national transiting through London, was detained at random, given the role his husband has played in revealing the truth about the unlawful nature of NSA surveillance,” said Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International.

    “David’s detention was unlawful and inexcusable. He was detained under a law that violates any principle of fairness and his detention shows how the law can be abused for petty vindictive reasons.”

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/news/uk-detention-guardian-employee-heathrow-unlawful-and-unwarranted-2013-08-18

  355. 355
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Socoolsofresh: yeah. I thought going to Hong Kong and Russia were actually the smartest thing he did. Yeah, he was kind of a doofus for claiming that those countries were great respecters of freedom, but he’d be better off there than most other countries.

  356. 356
    fka AWS says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    the air freshener trick

    What is the air freshener trick? serious question.

  357. 357
    hildebrand says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Running to the Chinese and then the Russians is not displaying competence. It absolutely deprives him of any kind of ability to speak honestly to the abuses perpetrated by our government. You cannot argue effectively about civil liberties or the security state while taking refuge in Russia. Likewise, starting this whole bit by trying to pat the Chinese on the back for openness and freedom was like shooting yourself in the foot with a canon.

  358. 358
    AnotherBruce says:

    @burnspbesq: Well, free traders have and cheap labor capitalists have no problem crossing borders, so you might want to re-think your ideas about border security.

  359. 359
    Yatsuno says:

    @divF: I want the PATRIOT Act to die an ignoble death and I want massive FISA reform. Now let’s get them past the teatards in the House and the pantswetters in the Senate.

  360. 360
    divF says:

    @Yatsuno: Me too, just for the record.

  361. 361
    Keith G says:

    @hildebrand:

    If we continue to think that Snowden and Greenwald are going to be taken seriously, the jig is up. The American people will tune out faster that you can imagine if they sense that Snowden is out to make himself the story (which is what he is doing).

    So many thoughts. First, in general: It’s too late to find a better dude/dudette. Seems to me that the institutions in question were caught off guard. I think further glimpses into their darkest activities just went poof.

    Second, the jig is about discovering a set of behaviors which over time are increasingly problematic – a continuing centralization and growth of power in the executive and the haze of secrecy that wards off public oversight and informed consent. There are so many centers of power that want to thwart informed consent and your arguments give them cover and sustenance.

    Third, American people will tune out as soon as season three of Honey Boo Boo starts up. Actually, it’s back to school and NFL preseason….we’ve already lost most the public. So, we are it – the high(er) information citizenry. We would be wise to step up and support those who are fighting the good fight in the media and in the bureaucracy and also in the legislatures.

  362. 362
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @fka AWS:

    Their aren’t many places in the US that don’t have “obstructed view” ordinances on the books. Cops use these ordinances to pull you over because you’ve got an air freshener hanging from your rear view mirror. Once they’ve got you pulled over, they’re peeping inside your car, running your driving license for old arrest warrants (the one I witnessed was my buddy being arrested for an old warrant for a guy with a similar name, but who was about a foot shorter and 75 lbs. lighter and at least 10-years older), etc., etc.. These ordinances are, of course, enforced at the discretion of the policeman who spots the infraction.

    The last person I know who was stopped for one of these was actually a younger white guy (the hierarchy seems to be black, then hispanic, then poor or poor-looking white people) driving an old, beat up SUV. The cop took his license back to the patrol car, but before he did he let the kid know that he wouldn’t even write a ticket for the obstructed view as long as there were no warrants. That pretty much tells you that these ordinances are on the books only to serve as Fourth Amendment workarounds.

  363. 363
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Yatsuno: Agree, but there are some here who want Obama to own this whole mess and that ain’t gonna get us where we need to be.

  364. 364
    AxelFoley says:

    HAHAHAHAHA

    Fuck Greenwald and all his supporters.

  365. 365
    hildebrand says:

    @Yatsuno: @divF: That’s unpossible! Clearly you want only cosmetic changes so that you can continue to revel in Obama’s fascist paradise – obviously you are Obot plants. It can’t possibly be that you think that both the laws regarding civil liberties need a radical reworking, and that Snowden and Greenwald are attention seeking types who are actually hurting the cause.

  366. 366
    divF says:

    @divF: Signing off, for a 3+ hour drive down the coast for home. Don’t construe my silence as indifference.

  367. 367
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @fka AWS: @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I should point out that, in both examples, the cops didn’t tell the drivers that they had to remove the air freshener. Interesting, ain’t it?

  368. 368
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Oh man, the Orwellian Doublespeak Douche Bag-ism on display by Hildebrand and divF or whatever is sort of breath taking.

    If it weren’t so transparent, I’d be worried that a significant number of people here would be taken in by it.

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate about government plants in discussion forums…always very concerned government plants, of course.

  369. 369
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @hildebrand: Why does he need to speak honestly when the information he has is authentic, and hence, honest? He isn’t really saying Russia is a great example of freedom, that is just the current situation he is in. Better that then left rotting in a jail cell, unable to leak anything more, while the U.S. government tries desperately to sweep this under the rug.

  370. 370
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @hildebrand:

    MLK sought attention.

    And committed adultery.

    What a flawed fuck he was.

  371. 371
    hildebrand says:

    @Keith G: We are in agreement on these points. So, what is the next step? I mean that sincerely. We can’t depend on the Snowden/Greenwald theatre to produce anything other than more theatre – so how do we turn this particular sow’s ear into a silk purse?

    To my thinking a direct legislative move against the Patriot Act might be the best avenue for action – but you need to get some Democrats who are willing to work diligently behind the scenes to move the ideas. I think any move that only involves the NSA will run into story fatigue – it needs to be an all-encompassing approach.

    You are definitely right about the people – if you limit this to civil liberties problems stemming from NSA abuses. It needs to be coupled with the every day civil liberties abuses that are suffered by folks who don’t happen to have significant amounts of white privilege. If this can be seen as something that impacts everyone in the regular course of their lives, in very tangible ways, then I think you can get the public behind the push.

  372. 372
    gbear says:

    Miranda was transporting stolen documents. NYT via LGF.

    Mr. Miranda was in Berlin to deliver documents related to Mr. Greenwald’s investigation into government surveillance to Ms. Poitras, Mr. Greenwald said. Ms. Poitras, in turn, gave Mr. Miranda different documents to pass to Mr. Greenwald. Those documents, which were stored on encrypted thumb drives, were confiscated by airport security, Mr. Greenwald said. All of the documents came from the trove of materials provided to the two journalists by Mr. Snowden. The British authorities seized all of his electronic media — including video games, DVDs and data storage devices — and did not return them, Mr. Greenwald said.

    He has it coming…

  373. 373
    hildebrand says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Your analogy only works if MLK had used violence.

  374. 374
    hildebrand says:

    Ah, Ted and Helen, well done good and faithful servant, you are as predictable as the day is long – if there is an argument to engage you will always be certain to steer clear of it.

  375. 375
    divF says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I am still packing to leave. If ad hominem attacks on the commentors is all you can come up with, rather than substantive responses, I will take that as an admission that you don’t have anything else.

  376. 376
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Hildebrand: We can’t talk about NSA abuses as long as people like me keep talking about Snowald, and I’m going to keep talking about Snowald so we can’t talk about NSA abuses.

    Fuck off, troll.

  377. 377
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @divF:

    Matters not a whit to me what you take as anything, freak.

    You’re a fraud.

    Your very deep concerns have been noted, now pack your bags and please to drive off a cliff.

  378. 378
    divF says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    *Laughs*. Good night, all.

  379. 379
    TriassicSands says:

    @askew:

    On an unrelated note, Bloomberg wants to fingerprint everyone who lives in public housing? How is that constitutional?

    Simple — Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas. It says nothing about “fingerprints” in the Constitution, so this is obviously OK.

  380. 380
    fka AWS says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): thanks for the explanation. I hadn’t heard of that trick before, although I carry a parking permit hanger permanently on my rearview.

  381. 381
    TriassicSands says:

    askew —

    PS. This kind of benign, constructive humiliation is actually good for poor people (just ask any Republican representative in the House). It will spur them to get off their lazy asses, borrow $50,000.00 from their parents, and start their own businesses. Those who do this will all be filthy rich in a few years, instead of just filthy (their current condition).

  382. 382
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @fka AWS:

    De nada. It’s one of those things that I tend to forget isn’t common knowledge. Not exactly a secret, but…

    (Only 118 to go for Yatsuno’s TBogg unit!)

  383. 383
    askew says:

    I just can’t with this false outrage from “liberal” white pundits anymore over Greenwald. He used his spouse as a secret document mule and Rachel Maddow and others are outraged that the UK government detained his spouse. Seriously? So, if you are reporter, you and your family are no longer subject to any laws according to those imbeciles.

  384. 384
    hildebrand says:

    @Ted & Hellen: And yet I, not so shockingly, have offered suggestions in this very thread, not all that many comments removed from your latest. But don’t let that get in the way of your usual temper tantrum. You have never really taken to facts, or really mastered this reading thing, have you?

    Shalom, brother.

  385. 385
    Stillwater says:

    @Suffern ACE: But Part of me hopes he had the documents on microfiche camouflaged as a mole on his cheek.

    Suffern ACE, you are a bright light in a predominantly dark commentariat.

  386. 386
    NR says:

    @Another Bot Splainer: The whole mess? No.

    His part in it? Fuck yes.

  387. 387
    NR says:

    @Patricia Lil: Well, clearly Amnesty International are just a bunch of firebaggers now.

  388. 388
    Yatsuno says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Tantalizingly close, but I think the poutrage is dying. Most of the howler monkeys are stuck on ad hominems, so those are usually good for a half dozen or so.

  389. 389
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Yatsuno: The horse, it be dead.

  390. 390
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Ted & Hellen: It says volumes about what kind of person “eemom” is.

  391. 391
    Yatsuno says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Sigh. I am such a big believer in theories of the Interwebs too.

  392. 392
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Well, it ain’t dyin’ for the tryin’. Will you be happy with 80% of a unit?

    @Joey Giraud:

    Please elaborate.

  393. 393
    different-church-lady says:

    As I’m sure someone has already pointed out, you seem to be unclear on the meaning of the word “national”.

  394. 394
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @askew: Miranda isn’t breaking any laws carrying these documents. Snowden broke the law in leaking them to various people not cleared for them, but none of those people have any legal obligations of any kind with respect to those documents.

    That they had to abuse anti-terrorism laws in order to detain Miranda tells you exactly how shaky their legal grounds are. Something between “contrived” and “none whatsoever.”

  395. 395
    Redshirt says:

    Heh. You should question your beliefs when you’re on the same side of an issue as good friend of John Cole, Ted & Hellen.

  396. 396
    different-church-lady says:

    @fuckwit:

    Scan them, encrypt them with PGP, and FTP them somewhere (or, for fuck’s sake, use DropBox or YouSendIt or any one of the dozens of file-sharing sites).

    Because then the NSA will be able to intercept them!

    Oh… wait…

  397. 397
    Redshirt says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    MLK sought attention.

    And committed adultery.

    What a flawed fuck he was.

    LOL. John Cole would rather have “a thousand Ted & Hellens” than the rest of you schmucks.

  398. 398
    AxelFoley says:

    @hildebrand:

    Its like bitching that the cops are brutally repressive and then running to the mob for protection, all the while claiming the mob is a paragon of virtue.

    Best comparison I’ve seen on this whole mess.

  399. 399
    Joey Giraud says:

    @hildebrand:

    Running to the Chinese and then the Russians is not displaying competence. It absolutely deprives him of any kind of ability to speak honestly to the abuses perpetrated by our government. You cannot argue effectively about civil liberties or the security state while taking refuge in Russia.

    You’re confusing a whistleblower or a leaker with a savior or a moral crusader. This isn’t about moral persuasion to get people to behave better, it’s about informing the public, who should then realize the problem and takes steps to rectify it.

  400. 400
    Yatsuno says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): We’re there now! I’m keeping the faith here!

  401. 401
    Mandalay says:

    @divF:

    It’s not that they lack integrity, it’s that they will be ignored by the public.

    You are deluded. All the proposed changes in national security legislation are entirely due to Snowden blowing the whistle. Whatever you think of him, he has been massively successful in alerting the public about his concerns.

    Even the Administration explicitly concedes the point

    Senior administration officials told reporters on background Friday that NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s unauthorized disclosures “elevated the profile on these issues” and required a response from the government that would “build public trust.” As a result, officials said the president directed his team to coordinate a response across the national security community.

    And you think Snowden is being ignored? Really?

  402. 402
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Joey Giraud: Why should the American public, surveying the situation from their comfy chair, trust information from someone who sold us out to the Chinese and Russians?

    Whether whistleblower or moral guardian, optics are still quite important.

  403. 403
    Joey Giraud says:

    It’s good that these threads go on so long,

    it takes time to exhaust the immature, jaded and lazy minded regulars. Later on the adults get to have a real conversation

  404. 404
    Yatsuno says:

    @Joey Giraud: Condescension is a great method for winning an argument. You should practise this more.

  405. 405
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Seeing that nothing Snowden’s released has shown proof of any illegal activity having occurred, I think you’ve gotta say that he- as well as Greenwald- is crusading against what he sees as the immoral existence of the intelligence community and/or the immorality of the essence of the tools used to gather intelligence. Without any proof of criminality, he sure isn’t a whistleblower.

    BTW: Are you going to elaborate on that remark you made about eemom?

  406. 406
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Joey Giraud: Well it makes sense that he would go there, if he wants to get the Chinese and Russians involved in twarting the NSA. Also, he was always going to find a more favarable popular audicence if this was a global incident and not just “OUR RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED IN SOME MINOR WAY THAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND AND HAVEN’T EVEN NOTICED” affair.

    The abuses tend to be against foreigners after all. And a lot of the NSA’s ability to scan comes from the acquiesce of some states and the weakness of others. Russia and China are neither acquiescent nor weak.

  407. 407
    Joey Giraud says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    A whistleblower’s information isn’t like eye-witness testimony. Documents are usually part of the program. And details can be correlated with other known facts.

    Optics only matter to those who judge solely on gut feel.

  408. 408
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Yatsuno: don’t need to practice. am expert already.

  409. 409
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Seeing that nothing Snowden’s released has shown proof of any illegal activity having occurred,

    Sez you.

    re eemom, it’s all here on this page. figure it out.

  410. 410
    Mandalay says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    You’re confusing a whistleblower or a leaker with a savior or a moral crusader. This isn’t about moral persuasion to get people to behave better, it’s about informing the public, who should then realize the problem and takes steps to rectify it.

    Exactly this. The Snowden detractors here know that he has been massively successful in alerting Americans to what the government has been doing, and they try to diminish his achievement by vilifying him.

    One tactic is to try to tightly link him to Russia and China, knowing that Snowden had very few options for a safe destination. Other approaches include bogus unfavorable comparisons to icons such as MLK, Gandhi and Rosa Parks, or asserting that he is a coward for not remaining here and going to prison.

    Always the aim is to smear the messenger in order to divert attention from his message.

  411. 411
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Optics only matter to those who judge solely on gut feel.

    The American people say hi.

  412. 412
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Well it makes sense that he would go there, if he wants to get the Chinese and Russians involved in twarting the NSA.

    No, that doesn’t really make sense at all. He probably went there because they were willing and able to take him, and they’re too big to care about US whining, and the US would be reluctant to send jackals to get him in either place.

    But I don’t know Snowden’s mind.

    The abuses tend to be against foreigners after all.

    Sez you. Well, the US government says so too. I’m not so sure.

  413. 413
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    No, that doesn’t really make sense at all. He probably went there because they were willing and able to take him, and they’re too big to care about US whining, and the US would be reluctant to send jackals to get him in either place.

    So the thought that he did it to sell all his secrets to Chinese and Russian intelligence hasn’t crossed your mind?

  414. 414
    Joey Giraud says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Yeah, you’re not really wrong with that.

    I suppose anyone trying to alert the American people to creeping Fascio-Authoritario-Dictatorial-Orwellio stuff these days might be considered a fool by definition.

  415. 415
    Redshirt says:

    @Joey Giraud: Too late.

    Maybe instead of hating you can help.

  416. 416
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    I suppose anyone trying to alert the American people to creeping Fascio-Authoritario-Dictatorial-Orwellio stuff these days might be considered a fool by definition.

    If the Stasi isn’t dragging people out of their houses in the middle of the night, then they’re not going to see any ‘creeping’ stuff.

  417. 417
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    So it speaks volumes about her that she agreed with T&H and me that it’s despicable to use his battle-with-the-bottle against Cole- as Pinkamena Panic did?

    Yeah, I’d say she’s pretty stand-up, too.

    Oh, wait..That isn’t what you were trying to convey, is it?

  418. 418
    Joey Giraud says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    So the thought that he sold all his secrets to Chinese and Russian intelligence hasn’t crossed your mind?

    Just to be clear, the secrets aren’t *his*, they belong to the American government.

    If selling secrets was his intent, then his actions would be improbably foolish, making all this public noise.

    And in his current situation, he doesn’t have much bargaining power.

    In other words, of *course* the thought crossed my mind, and was immediately discarded.

  419. 419
    Joey Giraud says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    I was just showing my kid an old Popular Electronics from 1957 that was discussing the possibility of mind-control by reverse EEG ( a really silly idea looking at it today. ) But the article had a tone of concern over governmental intrusion that’s almost alien today. This was pretty common when I grew up. Not so much today.

    I’m not disagreeing with you about the blindness of the average American. ( “A republic if you can keep it, madam” )

    But I prefer not to wallow in hopelessness.

  420. 420
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    If you don’t see it and/or disagree, it’s not worth it. She’s not worth it.

  421. 421
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    If selling secrets was his intent, then his actions would be improbably foolish, making all this public noise.

    I’m pretty sure Pollard and Ames thought they were smart enough to get away with it too.

    And in his current situation, he doesn’t have much bargaining power.

    So he couldn’t have bargained with them before he left for Hong Kong and Moscow?

    I think Suffren ACE brought up a good reason why he could’ve chosen Russia and China, but then he had to go with the whole ‘freedom’ thing. That’s not going to make his actions look any less suspicious, and the more suspicious he looks the more that becomes the story than the revelations.

  422. 422
    Mandalay says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Well it makes sense that he would go there, if he wants to get the Chinese and Russians involved in twarting the NSA.

    It makes even more sense that he went to Russia and Hong Kong in order to continue to get his message out, and avoid extradition back to the USA. No country that is an ally of the USA (e.g. NATO members), or has an extradition treaty with the USA, could protect Snowden. And even non-allies without extradition treaties would be placed under massive political pressure.

    What specific countries do you think Snowden could or should have gone to rather than Russia and China? And if you can’t come up with any realistic alternatives, you might want to rethink your suggestion about his motive for going to China and Russia.

  423. 423
    eemom says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Thanks.

    I must say, out of all my little collection of personal trolls (modest-sized, but cherished nonetheless), that one was the wtf-iest.

  424. 424
    Yatsuno says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Just to be clear, the secrets aren’t *his*, they belong to the American government

    So at the very least Snowden is a thief. The overclassification of US documents is a different discussion. That has implications to his credibility. And even if he just gave them away, he still took property that was not his to give to a foreign government. That is still espionage.

  425. 425
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Oh, I saw it, alright, in every color and shade in which it was presented. You, OTOH, didn’t even read what she had to say, which was:

    Totally right about that being a low blow, and not the first time. I’ve never been a Cole cheerleader, but this trend of gratuitous assholery about his drinking issue recently, epecially when it has ZERO the fuck to do with the topic of the thread, is exactly that, the lowest of the low.

    This little incident speaks volumes about you, your Manichean views and your prejudice.

  426. 426
    eemom says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    hey there, dipshit. Got, like, the remotest semblance of a pair of balls enough to engage with me directly?

    WTF are you talking about?

  427. 427
    FlipYrWhig says:

    OK, look, it is in fact possible to at the same time say that surveillance is a legitimate issue, and even that Snowden and Greenwald have done well to bring these things back up to our attention, AND ALSO find fault with the way Greenwald tells his stories and guides his audience’s reaction. And when I do that last bit, I don’t need to be meta-lectured about what’s _really_ important. It can all be important for a range of reasons.

    Consider Tawana Brawley. She told a horrendous story that didn’t hold up. It is fair to object to the way she handled that whole episode, yes? It is also fair, and right, to continue to be vigilant against racist, abusive cops, yes? Even if you believe that many cops are racist and abusive, you don’t _have_ to believe the Brawley story. Right? Q to the fucking E.D.

  428. 428
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    OK, I went back and read more closely and have to apologize. eemom was opposed to low blows and is in the right.

  429. 429
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Mandalay:

    What specific countries do you think Snowden could or should have gone to rather than Russia and China? And if you can’t come up with any realistic alternatives, you might want to rethink your suggestion about his motive for going to China and Russia.

    Ecuador. Venezuela. EFF headquarters.

  430. 430
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @eemom:

    Happy to do it. Fuck, I’ll say the same for T&H for chiming in in agreement- even if we don’t agree on every aspect of it, he got the important part right- and for being stand-up about it, too.

  431. 431
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mandalay: I actually SUPPORT his going to Russia or China and if I were in his shoes, that’s exactly where I would head. No, I don’t think there are alternatives.

  432. 432
    Joey Giraud says:

    @eemom:

    Hi sweetie pie. I’ve already had all the fun I ever want to have doing the nasty tango witcha.

    I don’t like you, don’t like what you say most all the time and really appreciate your scarcity here as of late.

    But in this case, I misread what you said.

    Bye.

  433. 433
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Thank you.

  434. 434
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Yatsuno: @Yatsuno:

    So at the very least Snowden is a thief

    I said the secrets belong to the US Government, but remember, the US Government belongs to the citizens.

    I don’t really want to explain the idea of civil disobedience or the history of unjust laws. There are books for that sort of thing.

  435. 435
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Thanks back at ya. I value that.

  436. 436
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    So that gold in Fort Knox…It’s mine for the taking?

  437. 437
    Mandalay says:

    @Yatsuno:

    And even if he just gave them away, he still took property that was not his to give to a foreign government. That is still espionage.

    Snowden has explicitly denied giving any information to any foreign government. What is the evidence that he has, or are you just engaging in “responsible” speculation?

  438. 438
    eemom says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    kinda says a lot about the cred of what you say most all the time that you managed to “misread” a single, totally unambiguous comment to the tune of about 10 responses, dunnit?

    Bye.

  439. 439
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Mandalay:

    Snowden has explicitly denied giving any information to any foreign government. What is the evidence that he has, or are you just engaging in “responsible” speculation?

    What evidence do we have that he hasn’t?

  440. 440
    Mandalay says:

    @Suffern ACE: Gotcha. On re-reading your previous post, I now realize that I misread it – my apologies. I think I have thread fatigue.

  441. 441
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Go for it… save me a brick or two.

    The idea of stealing and ownership is murky in this arena. America considers itself a free country, and the ideal of fairly open government was part of the original sell.

    “Snowden is a thief” doesn’t have much weight with me, and I’m pretty sure a lot of Americans feel the same way.

  442. 442
    Yatsuno says:

    @Mandalay:

    Snowden has explicitly denied giving any information to any foreign government.

    So the Chinese and the Russians let an American with four laptops and numerous flash drives into their countries and not once did they demand to see what was on them? Riiiiight. Are you for real?

  443. 443
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Mandalay:

    Once puts it out there in the South Asia Fishwrap he’s given it away to every government in the world. And even if the only thing that he’s put out there is that- ZOMG!- we and our allies spy on other nations and individuals in those other nations, which is a big fucking DUH, what he might be doing without knowing it is giving away methods of collection formerly unknown.

  444. 444
    Mandalay says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    What evidence do we have that he hasn’t?

    Ah…so Snowden is automatically guilty of a fabricated accusation unless he can prove his innocence? Got it.

  445. 445
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Mandalay: Snowden also has said that he made “nearly $200k” a year and that he could “wiretap anyone, even the President” and on and on. One shouldn’t take what he says at face value.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  446. 446
    Mandalay says:

    @Yatsuno: OK. So you are just asserting that Snowden must be guilty of espionage, just because you think so. You have no evidence, but you have decided he must be guilty.

    Kafka wrote some great books on that line of reasoning.

  447. 447
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Mandalay: Just as much as he’s automatically innocent because he says he is.

    You don’t know. I don’t know.

  448. 448
    Redshirt says:

    @Yatsuno: China and Russia are now the bulwarks of Freedom against tyrannical America, don’t ya know?

  449. 449
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    America considers itself a free country, and the ideal of fairly open government was part of the original sell.

    So when are we going to find out that Nathan Hale was captured by the Brits because they read the minutes of the Continental Congress, where Hale was mentioned quite openly?

    I’m sorry, but this idea of yours is right down there with the idea that the Revolution was fought in order to end taxation.

  450. 450
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Redshirt:

    There are probably quite a few Chinese and Russians who think exactly that.

    You would laugh at them, and they would laugh at you.

  451. 451
    NR says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: I say you’ve fucked a string of goats and cows from Ohio to Colorado.

    Prove you didn’t do it.

  452. 452
    Redshirt says:

    @Joey Giraud: Yeah man, it’s all somewhere in the middle.

  453. 453
    Yatsuno says:

    @Mandalay: You’re the Chinese government. You hear of an American who is bragging of possessing classified American information in a Hong Kong hotel and discussing it with the press there. Civil liberties are this quaint foreign notion to you. You think the Chinese security forces are so incompetent that they would not take that opportunity? And yes taking unauthorised information to a foreign country is espionage.

    I am also saying the PATRIOT Act needs to die and FISA needs major reform or total scrappage. I can still think this AND also think Snowden broke the law.

  454. 454
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    First off, the idea is hardly *mine*. It was once widely considered essential to a civil society that the elected officials don’t keep secrets.

    I can’t disagree that there’s a bit of dishonesty in all lofty idealism of course, but wise guys like Ben Franklin knew that American idealism could work, it would just require constant vigilance.

    And I would presume you’re not in favor of America adopting the British notion of loyalty to the crown.

  455. 455
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @NR: I say you’re far less interested in making coherent arguments than validating the failure that your life has become by extoling your special snowflake moral superiority on the internet.

    Prove me wrong.

  456. 456
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Redshirt:

    That’s not what I meant. The “truth” isn’t always “in the middle.”

    I meant that most of what we think of as “freedom” is about not being opposed to the powers dat b.

  457. 457
    Mandalay says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Just as much as he’s automatically innocent because he says he is. You don’t know. I don’t know.

    That is false. It is very specifically not “just as much” likely that he is guilty as that he is innocent.

    I have no evidence that you are a serial killer, though it is possible. However, that possibility is nowhere near as likely as the possibility that you are not.

    The conventional approach is that a person is not assumed to be at least 50% likely of being guilty without any evidence at all. Except on this thread.

  458. 458
    NR says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: Being morally superior to the Obot collective here is not exactly a high bar to cross.

    Anyway, your implicit admission that your argument in #447 was bullshit has been duly noted.

  459. 459
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    I meant that most of what we think of as “freedom” is about not being opposed to the powers dat b.

    That’s really cynical, I gotta say, and you saw me upthread.

  460. 460
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Yatsuno:

    AND also think Snowden broke the law.

    People who piss off the powerful can always be found to be lawbreakers.

    That’s what those walls of legal books are for. :)

  461. 461
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    OK. So you are just asserting that Snowden must be guilty of espionage, just because you think so. You have no evidence, but you have decided he must be guilty.

    Yes, I’m sure he provided top-secret documents to the governments of China and Russia for completely innocent reasons that he just hasn’t bothered to tell us about yet.

    Pull the other one.

  462. 462
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    First off, the idea is hardly *mine*. It was once widely considered essential to a civil society that the elected officials don’t keep secrets.

    Don’t keep secrets? At all? I don’t know if that’s ever been widespread. There haven’t been that many societies with any elected officials, period.

  463. 463
    Joey Giraud says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Being called cynical isn’t an insult to me.

    The nature of freedom has always been a un-solvable philosophical question.

  464. 464
    Cacti says:

    I’m gone for a few weeks and same old Whitey Dudebro brogressive crapola from Cole.

    See, if you’re a white libertarian’s sweetheart, you have an unassailable right to mule stolen national security information through London.

    Disagree and you’re worse than Hitler and Satan’s love child.

  465. 465
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Mandalay:

    The conventional approach is that a person is not assumed to be at least 50% likely of being guilty without any evidence at all.

    Like it or not, exhibit A is he went straight to China and Russia with laptops chock full of NSA goodies. I’m not sure what else I can say here to point out that this isn’t exactly non-suspicious behavior.

  466. 466
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Shit, man, Ben Franklin?

    FSM save me! The irony- that I’m going to be called an authoritarian again at this blog by someone who doesn’t realize that his or her libertarian heroes weren’t quite the libertarians they’d been taught about at Barry Goldwater Middle School- is going to make my head explode.

  467. 467
    Yatsuno says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Hell, I bet all the records of the Home Office are readily available to any British citizen who asks. Or every closed session of the Althing. I bet all Swiss records are searchable online including their record of all bank accounts in the country. OH WAIT…

  468. 468
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Which is hilarious because Griftwald said of the mob: “Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they feel threatened by.” So Griftwald believes that the Mafia had ethics…lol! \

    It’s drivel like this that makes it easy to dismiss rantings of that narcissistic blatherer.

  469. 469
    Mandalay says:

    @Yatsuno:

    I am also saying the PATRIOT Act needs to die and FISA needs major reform or total scrappage.

    In that case you might want to recognize that any legislative changes currently being considered are solely due to Snowden – the person you seem hellbent on vilifying. Whether you like it or not, Snowden has done more than any other American to drive the review and reform of our security laws.

    I can still think this AND also think Snowden broke the law.

    Of course you can; you can think whatever you want. But when you want to post that Snowden must have handed information over to the Chinese with zero evidence to support that assertion you can expect to get called on it.

  470. 470
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Cacti:

    I’m gone for a few weeks–

    Not long enough.

    The UK government can’t even do institutional dickishness right, because it’s just made clear that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act can be used for hissy fits, and is thus unfit for purpose.

  471. 471
    Cacti says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    “Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they feel threatened by.”

    So the mafia has never targeted anyone’s family members?

    Where does such a mafia exist, other than GG’s imagination?

  472. 472
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    But when you want to post that Snowden must have handed information over to the Chinese with zero evidence to support that assertion you can expect to get called on it.

    Yes, it’s not like the South China Morning Press published the information that Snowden gave them or anything, so it’s clearly crazy to say that the Chinese government was given that information.

    I mean, to believe that, you’d need to think that China had an authoritarian, repressive regime rather than the free and open democracy that they obviously have or Snowden wouldn’t have fled there with his information.

    To think anything else is clearly crazy.

  473. 473
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @NR: The fact is you brought up a bullshit comparison to begin with, which is duly noted but completely unsurprising.

    I’ll just be over here, grinning away while you either turn into John Banner when Hillary stands behind the NSA or you second option bias and edgy hipster jerk yourself into Standing With White Privilege- Er- Rand.

  474. 474
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Cacti:

    Hitler and Satan’s love child.

    That must be one ugly baby.

  475. 475
    Joey Giraud says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    There’s a distinction between keeping the public out of the meeting rooms so that some business can be done without continual interruption ( “too many cooks” ), and secrets in a military sense. The first isn’t really “secret,” as any decisions and findings must be made public. The second only applied in wartime, and America wasn’t supposed to be permanently on a wartime footing.

    Our permanent military state began after the Civil War, was bolstered by the Spanish War and WWI, but really came to life with WWII. And the sense that “of course our government has legitimate reason to keep a lot of secrets” became common, although there have always been a lot of cranks who thought it wasn’t what America was about.

  476. 476
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, it’s not like the South China Morning Press published the information that Snowden gave them or anything, so it’s clearly crazy to say that the Chinese government was given that information.

    So you’re saying that China doesn’t have a free and independent press, and that passing over information to the Chinese media is tantamount to passing it over to the PRC government?

    Well…you’d be absolutely right on all counts.

  477. 477
    Yatsuno says:

    @Mandalay: Snowden was passing out this information like crazy. He gave it to the Washington Post. He gave it to the Guardian. He gave it to Der Spiegel. He gave it to the South China Press. You think he suddenly grew a conscience when his Chinese and Russian hosts asked him what he had?

  478. 478
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I’m gonna go grab me one of those M1A1 tanks! Shit, if everything the government ours to grab then it must be first come, first served basis.

    No wonder Snowjob ran off with some goodies!

  479. 479
    NR says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    The fact is you brought up a bullshit comparison to begin with

    What comparison? I said that you’ve been going across the country fucking farm animals.

    You can’t prove you didn’t do it, so hey. We just don’t know.

  480. 480
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Mandalay:

    In that case you might want to recognize that any legislative changes currently being considered are solely due to Snowden – the person you seem hellbent on vilifying. Whether you like it or not, Snowden has done more than any other American to drive the review and reform of our security laws.

    You’re otherwise a quality guy, but your outward want to turn Snowden into some mythic hero instead of a flawed schmuck like the rest of us is, honestly, pretty baffling.

    EDIT: I still don’t like ‘outward want’. Don’t take it too badly, its kinda hard to describe this late at night.

  481. 481
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    And let’s be clear about this: the legislative basis for those search and detention powers are very specifically to establish whether someone “is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”

    Now, you can argue narrowly that they just had to do the full nine-hour treatment to work that one out, but c’mon. They’re not that thick.

    You can think that Assange is a creepy twat, and that Greenwald is a verbose self-promoter, and I’m certainly in that camp, but the UK government just admitted through its actions that Schedule 7 powers can and will be used to call the institutional waahmbulance.

  482. 482
    Stillwater says:

    @FlipYrWhig: OK, look, it is in fact possible to at the same time say that surveillance is a legitimate issue, and even that Snowden and Greenwald have done well to bring these things back up to our attention, AND ALSO find fault with the way Greenwald tells his stories and guides his audience’s reaction.

    Right on. Completely agreed Flip. Stylistic criticisms need to be distinguished from substantive ones. It seems they’re often confused.

  483. 483
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Uh, I’m not a “libertarian” and I didn’t call you an authoritarian ( although this site leans boot-licking for my taste so it’s possible I may conclude you are one at some point. )

    Franklin did a little spying to help the revolution ( war footing, all that, ) and then, being a guy who knew, as Roger Daltry sang, that “people forget,” made the famous “if you can keep it, madam” comment.

    Open government is part of the ideals of civil society, and Franklin opined on that too.

  484. 484
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    So you’re saying that China doesn’t have a free and independent press, and that passing over information to the Chinese media is tantamount to passing it over to the PRC government?

    Well, I can’t be saying that, because that would mean that Snowden turned information over to the Chinese government, which he totally did not, so therefore the South China Morning Press must be a free and independent newspaper. Otherwise, there’s no way Snowden is innocent of turning classified information over to a foreign government, and that’s not possible, because QED.

    Anyone else ever see Sisters? Not a great DePalma movie, but this whole Snowden debate is reminding me of the ending of that film, as the brainwashed heroine keeps repeating, “There is no body because there was no murder!”

    (No one else ever seems to notice that DePalma was basically making gialli in the vein of Bava and Argento all through the 70s, but that’s a discussion for another thread.)

  485. 485
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @NR: What a sad pathetic little creature you are.

    And the thing is? You know it too.

    Goodnight.

  486. 486
    Mandalay says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Like it or not, exhibit A is he went straight to China and Russia with laptops chock full of NSA goodies.

    Really? How do you know that? You don’t know anything about what was on the laptops. Maybe there was little or no useful information on the laptops. Maybe he put some false information on the laptops. Maybe Snowden destroyed or erased their hard drives. Maybe there was absolutely nothing worth having on the laptops. You know nothing about what was on those laptops.

    But what is known is that Snowden had handed over all documents to multiple sources before he ever went public. He did that to ensure that even if something happened to him the information he took would still be published. So Snowden really had no need to keep any volatile data on the laptops.

    But of course all these possibilities have to be ignored when the name of the game is to smear the messenger by asserting that he handed over data to the Chinese without any evidence to support the claim.

  487. 487
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Our permanent military state began after the Civil War, was bolstered by the Spanish War and WWI, but really came to life with WWII.

    Why not go further back? The 2nd US Cavalry in Texas in the 1850’s? The Seminole Wars? Who do you think built Fort McHenry?

    I find it…Interesting…That you choose the Reconstruction Era as your starting point for the US military state. That’s a very neo-Confederate spot at which to start.

  488. 488
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    But what is known is that Snowden had handed over all documents to multiple sources before he ever went public.

    And those documents were all classified documents that he obtained illegally and illegally gave to those sources.

    But, hey, if he gave Glenn Greenwald and the Chinese government the same illegal documents, then it’s no harm, no foul, amirite? It magically becomes not-a-crime to distribute classified documents as long as you give the documents to enough people.

    ETA: If he gave Greenwald and the Chinese government the same documents, that means he gave classified information to the Chinese government. Pretending that it’s A-OK as long as he gave the information to multiple parties is fucking insane.

  489. 489
    Cacti says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Could you please cite the UK, European Union, or international law that granted Mr. Miranda the right to mule purloined national security information unimpeded through Heathrow?

  490. 490
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    So let me see if I understand this correctly. The US Government, or any democracy, should only have secrets during wartime. Since spying entails keeping secrets, we can’t do that. So if the Germans are planing to bomb Pearl Harbor like they did in 1941, we should only have spying capabilities after a state of war has been declared by Congress. Oh, and everything in the government belongs to each and every one of us, so pick up what you want.

  491. 491
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    I’d like to introduce a concept to you.

  492. 492
    NR says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: Yes, run away now that your bullshit has been thoroughly refuted.

    At least you Obots are always good for a laugh. So thanks for that.

  493. 493
    Cacti says:

    Also, I might add, it’s very brave of Griftwald to send his partner into harm’s way.

    Working with/for Glenn seems to work out poorly for everyone but Glenn.

  494. 494
    Suzanne says:

    @Cacti: Welcome back. I hope you’re feeling OK.

  495. 495
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But, hey, if he gave Glenn Greenwald and the Chinese government the same illegal documents, then it’s no harm, no foul, amirite? It magically becomes not-a-crime to distribute classified documents as long as you give the documents to enough people.

    And don’t forget noble intentions. Noble intentions reduce one’s culpability under the Espionage Act.

  496. 496
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    And let’s be clear about this: the legislative basis for those search and detention powers are very specifically to establish whether someone “is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”

    That’s not what this story, which is critical of the provision, says. It says the opposite:

    Schedule 7 empowers police officers to stop and question travellers at UK ports and airports without needing reasonable suspicion to believe that the person is engaged in any acts of terrorism

  497. 497
    Cacti says:

    @Suzanne:

    Much better.

    Blood pressure’s good and I’ve dropped about 12 lbs so far.

  498. 498
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Now that’s pretty intuitive of you. You must have your nut-job detectors turned up to maximum, on the search for any clues of de crazy.

    No, I’m pretty much going off the history of the “no standing army” principle, and the growth of the American military industry. For instance, did you know that George Walker and Samuel Bush ( great-grandfather and great-uncle of Dubya ) made fortunes making weapons ( among other things, of course ) in the late nineteen century. The Spanish American war was *very* good for business.

    Of course, saying “it all started here” is a matter of taste. I can only say for certainty that open government was an American ideal early on, and that idea went totally out the window during and after WWII.

  499. 499
    Mandalay says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    but your outward want to turn Snowden into some mythic hero instead of a flawed schmuck like the rest of us is, honestly, pretty baffling.

    Snowden is no hero of mine, nor is Greenwald.

    But it is blindingly obvious that the sole reason that our existing security laws are being strongly challeged is because of Snowden. The public knows it, the Administration concedes it, and the MSM is now openly stating it.

    So I just stare in astonishment at posts that concurrently vilify Snowden, and push for law reform.

    Nobody has to like Snowden or approve of what he did. But anyone who can’t recognize that that without his revelations the Administration, Congress and the MSM would have done absolutely nothing about reviewing and reforming existing laws is clueless.

  500. 500
    Cacti says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Oh, and everything in the government belongs to each and every one of us, so pick up what you want.

    I’ll stop by Luke AFB for my F-16 tomorrow.

  501. 501
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Cacti:

    You have no idea. GG’s partner may well hold the same principles and have wanted to help.

  502. 502
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Cacti: I’m sure that’s what his attorney Glen Greenwald told him.

  503. 503
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Joey Giraud: I think one of us has an idiosyncratic idea of what “open government” means. The people who wrote the Constitution also passed the Sedition Act. There have been American spies and snoops for centuries. I don’t think there’s a long history of the idea that what makes America American is that our government doesn’t have secrets, or compile secrets on native-born people and on foreigners both.

  504. 504
    Redshirt says:

    Tbogg reached, checking back thrusters.

  505. 505
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I had no idea you felt that way about me. That’s almost too nice of you.

  506. 506
    Cacti says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    You have no idea. GG’s partner may well hold the same principles and have wanted to help.

    Uh huh, and how does that change the fact that any trouble that follows working with/for Griftwald seem’s to fall on everybody but GG?

    Manning: on his way to prison. Snowden: exiled in Russia and at their mercy. Miranda: detained in Heathrow. Glenn: in his comfy digs in Rio at all times relevant.

    Snowden pere has good instincts not to trust the guy.

  507. 507
    Steve Crickmore says:

    I don’t think many of you armchair Obots here will be threat to national security? Hardly any of you who seem so quick to criticize others for their cowardice and unwilingnesss to inconvenience their own lives, strangely use your real names, and the only people who raise and rescue stray dogs like John Cole or Glenn Greenwald, (he has 11) are censured for being egoists presumably for actually doing something personally about it, while putting most of the same previous Bush security officials feet to the fire, for not changing their spots; surprise, simply because they are in the pay of an Obama administration.

  508. 508
    Joey Giraud says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yeah, that’s all true. Can’t disagree.

    Still, ideals have reasons for being created. There are known downsides to governments keeping secrets.

  509. 509
    Yatsuno says:

    @Redshirt: WOO-HOO!!! I can ignore this mishegas now.

  510. 510
    Cacti says:

    Also too, if anyone was wondering why GG has been trying to shop access to Snowden to US media outlets:

    “The Daily News story also uncovered Greenwald’s past and present tax problems, including some $126,000 in open judgements and liens against him going back to 2000, including an active $85,000 lien against him from the IRS. “We’re negotiating over payment plans,” Greenwald said.”

    Full story at Gawker

  511. 511
    Cacti says:

    @Steve Crickmore:

    and the only people who raise and rescue stray dogs like John Cole or Glenn Greenwald, (he has 11) are censured for being egoists presumably for actually doing something personally about it

    It’s not very nice of you to lump Cole in with Griftwald.

    To my knowledge, he’s never gotten a naive dupe sent to prison or stranded in a foreign country.

  512. 512
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Joey Giraud: The principle of passing confidential information internationally? Because that’s what he was suspected of doing, and not just randomly, for cause. That seems like a wholly logical thing for an official of any government to do. Harassing an innocent spouse of a political gadfly, on the other hand, is offensive. Greenwald said it was the latter. A lot of smart people got up in arms about it. Then he told the NYT that Miranda was carrying stuff to Laura Poitras, and other stuff back to Greenwald. That doesn’t sound nearly as innocent. It sounds like something cops and border agents will want to know about, and would have wasted to know about since Tudor times. (Yes, I’m reading _Wolf Hall_ lately…)

  513. 513
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    No, I’m pretty much going off the history of the “no standing army” principle, and the growth of the American military industry.

    And every example I gave was an example of a standing army during the Antebellum. What I didn’t point out was how the military peeled itself back to, roughly, its Antebellum size as Reconstruction was still ongoing. So, again, I find the Reconstruction Era an odd place to start.

    Look, I’m not saying you’re a neo-Confederate, but the history of the US in the 19th Century that you picked up in grammar school has been largely filtered through post-Reconstruction southern historians. Those textbooks you read had to pass the Texas Board of Education test, ya know? That being the case, Reconstruction was a time of Yankee militarism, while the 1850s, with its own wars against Indians, was just Manifest Destiny, opening land in Texas and points north, keeping peaceful settlers free from Comanche terror.

  514. 514
    Cacti says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    There have been American spies and snoops for centuries.

    Liar.

    Nathan Hale was hanged for poaching the King’s deer.

  515. 515
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Cacti:

    You’re arguing a morality tale, with a Svengali and his hapless victims.

    Everyone in that list is an adult who made their own decisions.

    I am fascinated by the phenomenon of latching onto a few snippets of reporting about a public figure and developing a whole narrative based on those snippets. Then one can channel all frustration and anger against a totem figure like Greenwald or Snowden, a kind of scapegoat in the classic sense.

    The big ideals of democracy are hard to wrap one’s head around, and almost impossible to maintain when angry.

  516. 516
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Cacti:

    Ah, the Internal Revenue Service. The most effective way to “get your man.”

  517. 517
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Cacti:

    poaching the King’s deer.

    That’s funny. I prefer my *eggs* poached and my venison well done.

  518. 518
    Cacti says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Ah, the Internal Revenue Service. The most effective way to “get your man.”

    Dig deep and make your donation today for freedom, transparency, and Glenn’s tax debts.

  519. 519
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Cacti:

    I like it that Greenwald used to be in the pron business…lol! Now he’s trying to sell Snowjob spy pron to media outlets to make some extra bucks.

  520. 520
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Adam C: There was a time when the American Republic was all about the injustice of extrajudicial punishment, but now half of the commenters on a progressive-leaning blog are happy with “he had it coming”. Not just in this case, which is relatively minor, but in many others as well.

    That’s back when America was a Republic, rather than a deteriorating corporate oligarchy with a republican facade.

  521. 521
    Redshirt says:

    What if Joe Camel came to life and trolled America? Stay tuned – you’re living it!

  522. 522
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    So is Yatsuno smoking a cigarette, taking a shower or preparing himself mentally for a double-TBogg-unit-gasm?

    Get your proposition bets in now.

  523. 523
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Oh dear God, I have no energy for that. If the Devil is in the details, then get thee hence.

    Yeah, history can be a mess and nearly any generalization can be disputed.

    Still stand behind by my overall point, that open government == virtually no secrets, that the early republic had a number of people who preached and believed it ( the Sedition Act horrified the nation, it really did, and was overturned fairly quickly )

    And I know that today many Americans consider government keeping millions of secrets perfectly reasonable.

    Many, but perhaps not most. I may be a cynic, but I’m not a pessimist.

  524. 524
    Cacti says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans:

    There was a time when the American Republic was all about the injustice of extrajudicial punishment

    Really?

    I guess I must have imagined that multi-century history of lynching.

  525. 525
    Steve Crickmore says:

    @Cacti: @Cacti: You were all over John Cole for his early (and correct) assertation that the US must have applied pressure on European officials to bring down or land Morales, the Bolivia President’ s plane In Vienna, because the US thought Snowden might be on it…when that is exactly what happened! Surely, the Obama adminstration wouldn’t do that, was the general line and Cole was being outrageous. And you wonder why Snowden was in China and now in Russia. Nearly every other country would buckle under US pressure to extradite him.

  526. 526
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Cacti: Ah Cacti, the ultimate prickly cheerleader. Looks like you came up with some good names to call your favorite people to demonize! Also, love your conspiracy theory that GG is getting everyone who deals with him in trouble.

  527. 527
    Redshirt says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Is that not happening? All who work with GG burn?

  528. 528
    Steve Crickmore says:

    For example Cacti: on Cole and the Morlaes forcé down: “Haven’t you heard? France, Spain, and Austria are all US vassal states. Comparable to that hellhole Sweden that Julian Assange had to flee, because nobody gets a fair trial there.
    Hey, it’s kind of fun to just make it up as you go along”.

    As it turns out those countries, a couple of days later, all apologized to Morales for the undiplomatic and inexcusable treatment as a head of state he received, they implicitly said, because of only one reason, the heavy pressure of the US, they were under, to forcé the plane down..yes, as in your words ‘vassal states’.

  529. 529
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    The Sedition Act wasn’t overturned. It was allowed to lapse in 1801, a bit before Marbury v. Madison (1803) allowed judicial review.

    OTOH, the Espionage Act of 1917 is still in effect, with a few tweaks.

    …the early republic had a number of people who preached and believed it

    And you know they believed this how? I take a look back through history and see a lot of notable figures saying one thing then doing another. I see Thomas Jefferson preaching liberty and the immorality of slavery, but keeping his slaves. I see the Enlightenment philosophes scrawling their brand of classical liberalism with the blood of European peasants and American chattel slaves in their inkpots. Spare me the hagiography.

  530. 530
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Steve Crickmore: does make me wonder what the us threatens these countries with. We can’t exactly drop bombs on all of them. Not all of them need imf loans. There aren’t a lot of guerrilla groups we can fund. We can’t baldly put sanctions on them? Why exactly are the Europeans such patsies?

  531. 531
    patroclus says:

    As initially spun by Dear Leader Greenwald, I was somewhat sympathetic to Miranda being detained by the UK authorities without being read his Miranda rights. But upon learning that, in reality, he was instead a paid document mule rather than a mere innocent gay partner, I feel duped by the Dear Leader (as usual). Journalists shouldn’t be harassed but answering questions for a brief period about the leaks of classified information doesn’t sound all that outrageous to me. This seems like much ado about not a whole lot.

  532. 532
    Cacti says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Also, love your conspiracy theory that GG is getting everyone who deals with him in trouble.

    What conspiracy theory?

    Which Greenwald collaborator hasn’t ended up twisting in the wind?

  533. 533
    Redshirt says:

    @Suffern ACE: Sure we could drop bombs on all of them! We’ve got plenty of bombs.

  534. 534
    Cacti says:

    @patroclus:

    As initially spun by Dear Leader Greenwald, I was somewhat sympathetic to Miranda being detained by the UK authorities without being read his Miranda rights. But upon learning that, in reality, he was instead a paid document mule rather than a mere innocent gay partner, I feel duped by the Dear Leader (as usual).

    Always apply Bob Cesca’s 24-hour rule to any breathless report by GG. Usually it takes less than that for important omitted facts to come to light. Glenn has about as much standing to be upset as an inmate at county, whose baby mama got pinched for muling him meth.

  535. 535
    Uriel says:

    @Mandalay:

    Really? How do you know that? You don’t know anything about what was on the laptops. Maybe there was little or no useful information on the laptops. Maybe he put some false information on the laptops. Maybe Snowden destroyed or erased their hard drives. Maybe there was absolutely nothing worth having on the laptops. You know nothing about what was on those laptops.

    Just curious… do you realize how stupid that sounds, or are you just having us on?

  536. 536
    Uriel says:

    That should be “do you _not_ realize how stupid that sounds.” Edit seems to be borked on the ipad.

  537. 537
    Uriel says:

    That should be “do you _not_ realize how stupid that sounds.” Edit seems to be borked on the ipad.

  538. 538
    Uriel says:

    That should be “do you _not_ realize how stupid that sounds.” Edit seems to be borked on the ipad.

  539. 539
    Uriel says:

    As, apparently, is multi-posting before the screen refreshes. Sigh.

  540. 540
    Ken_L says:

    The comments threads here have become virtually indistinguishable in tone from the ones at NRO.

  541. 541
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LT: Are you dragging me into your imaginary psychodrama with other BJ frontpagers to add a little color contrast? Ball-less little chickenshit. You’re just making shit up now.

  542. 542
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Yatsuno: Glad to have been of service!

  543. 543
    Steve Crickmore says:

    @Suffern ACE: Fair question to be asked of the Europeans, especially when their national public opinions were running in favor of granting asylum to Snowden. There are all sorts of political pressures that could be applied, or it could be as low as the file that we have on each European leader, in a word blackmail, and maybe the file that is on Obama as well. (which may explain some of his actions). Has the US, with its massive spy network, just demonstrated that it now has a power greater than its nuclear arsenal: a dossier perhaps on almost every leader in the world with which it is able to blackmail even the likes of Hollande, Merkel and Putin?”

  544. 544
    Dirk says:

    @hildebrand:

    And then he runs to China and Russia? Good lord, people, how can you not see this as decidedly problematic for the cause of civil liberties?

    This Catch-22 is festooned across all these comment threads. There is a small number of countries where the US can’t blow up/snatch/imprison anyone they want, on the flimsiest of pretexts, and Snowden went to 2 of them.

    So far, it’s kept him free and alive. In itself, that is a devastating criticism of US civil liberties. Only by ignoring that can critics use it as a smear.

  545. 545
    Dirk says:

    @Seth Owen:

    Precisely. Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs seems to have forgotten the lesson his former Wingnut days should have taught him. The law that protects us ‘nice’ people needs to protect the ‘assholes’ and ‘gadflies’ too.

    Worth remembering Johnson supported and voted for McCain, no doubt with reservations, and only flipped to full-on Obama support when the new president affirmed his continuation and reinforcement of the state’s security apparatus. Johnson wants a daddy, no matter what sex or race.

  546. 546
    Li says:

    @Mnemosyne: It amazes me that you think that merely possessing classified documents is in some way a crime. It is not, unless you have been sworn into the national security state, which frankly doesn’t even apply to most Americans, let alone Brazilians. Unless our government somehow managed to have everyone in Brazil swear fealty to the US under the auspices of the National Security act in their sleep, there is no conceivable way that a Brazilian citizen carrying US documents through a UK terminal could be an illegal act.

    But the law isn’t much the point now, is it? Our international intelligence apparatus (and I am including those aspects of the European/Australian security apparatus that have been absorbed into the US system without the permission of their citizens) has decided that the law simply doesn’t apply to them, and they can do whatever they want, including murdering people, running drugs, and acting like global dictators that can apply their ‘laws’ (which aren’t really laws, as laws are definitively universal, and they have exempted themselves from all law) to the citizens of other countries arbitrarily and without recourse.

    We need to wake up and see the shape of power in this situation. If we do not do so soon, then we will be ruled by an international intelligence apparatus with no accountability, and little moral compass, even as our powerless ‘governments’ continue to decline into the role of being a taxation apparatus to support this international intelligence super-cartel.

    But yes, Julian Assange voicing support for one of the few US politicians that appears to be (from the outside) even remotely concerned about this development is the real outrage. *eye roll*

  547. 547
    Li says:

    @geg6: Funny, all of my German friends on the social networks are outraged by this NSA scandal, and perceive it as being oppressed by the Stazi all over again, except this time from across an ocean, with the collusion of their own intelligence apparatus, and with no possible accountability.

    But yes, I’m sure your many German friends are just in love with unaccountable blanket surveillance, and think that it tastes like spaetzle rather than fascism.

    Amerikaner können nicht so dumm was Faschismus ist. Und ich glaube nicht, dass sie unterstützt Faschismus in großen Stückzahlen. Sind all diese Menschen NSA Roboter?

  548. 548
  549. 549
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    That’s not what this story, which is critical of the provision, says.

    Well, I’m just quoting the actual law, not a paraphrase, so what do I know.

    The point being that Schedule 7 has a specific grounding but provides wide latitude in its implementation. You can give someone the nine-hour treatment without the usual standards of suspicion, but the intention has to be that of establishing whether someone meets the s40(1)(b) criteria of the Terrorism Act. Which makes it, like many British security laws, open to arbitrary use and abuse.

    Like I said upthread, I can’t think of any better way for the UK government to shit in its own nest than to give the nod for this.

  550. 550
    Dman says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    If they didn’t find any classified documents how can you state he was carrying some?

  551. 551
    Blinky Bill says:

    Good grief, get over it – fascism it ain’t.

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