‘Journalism is not terrorism’
Glenn Greenwald, the man at the center of a global storm about the detention of his partner.
THE DETENTION by UK authorities of Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda continues to reverberate around the globe.
As details emerge, it is becoming apparent senior officials in both the American and British governments were aware of plans ahead of time to detain Miranda, who has been collaborating with Greenwald in exposing the secrets leaked by Edward Snowden.
It is becoming increasingly clear this is an attempt to intimidate not only the two men, but journalists everywhere.
This is unconscionable.
Rachel Maddow said it best: “Journalism is not terrorism.”
It is a public service and journalists should not be subjected to such arbitrary, threatening and demeaning treatment.
WATCH A VIDEO BELOW THE FOLD.
IN IT’S SECOND-DAY STORY, The New York Times today focuses on the British angle in Britons Question Whether Detention of Reporter’s Partner was Terror-Related.
“Demands grew on Monday for the British government to explain why it had used antiterrorism powers to detain the partner of a journalist who has written about surveillance programs based on leaks by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden,” writes Steven Erlanger from London.
The Guardian newspaper web site is dominated this morning by its coverage of the Greenwald affair. Click image to enlarge.
Erlanger quoted from an interview with the man at the center of the storm, David Miranda, reported in The Guardian, the newspaper that has played a leading role in the Edward Snowden spying drama.
“They were threatening me all the time and saying I would be put in jail if I didn’t cooperate,” Mr. Miranda said Tuesday in an interview with The Guardian newspaper, where Mr. Greenwald is a columnist. “They treated me like I was a criminal or someone about to attack the U.K.”
Across the pond, the issue has caused a furor, especially at The Guardian. After all, it has been centrally involved in the Snowden leak of secret U.S. information about spying: it has been publishing Greenwald’s exposes, much to the ire of U.S. authorities who are stymied in their attempts to extradite Snowden from Russia.
The Guardian’s top story this morning was David Miranda’s lawyers threaten legal action over ‘unlawful’ detention
“Lawyers for the partner of the Guardian journalist who exposed mass email surveillance have written to home secretary Theresa May and the head of the Metropolitan police warning them that they are set to take legal action over what they say amounted to his “unlawful” detention at Heathrow airport under anti-terror laws,” writes Lisa O’Carroll.
“In their letter to May and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe they warn they are seeking immediate undertakings for the return David Mirand’s laptop and all other electronic equipment within seven days.”
The Independent of London, a major competitor to The Guardian, also devoted major resources on covering the Greenwald story. Click image to enlarge.
THE STORY DOMINATED the Guardian’s chief competitor, The Independent, also based in London.
Its big headline David Miranda will take legal action over his detention at Heathrow Airport appears above a photograph of Greenwald and Miranda at an airport.
“David Miranda will prepare a legal challenge over his detention at Heathrow Airport under terror legislation, the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has said,” wrote Heather Saul.
“Mr. Miranda, 28, was detained at Heathrow Airport for nine hours under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 as he changed planes on a journey from Berlin to his home in Rio de Janeiro.
“Mr Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, claimed he was detained by agents who questioned him about his “entire life” and took his “computer, video game, mobile phone, my memory card – everything.”
From Washington, Politco was much more direct: In Guardian editor: Government tried intimidation the lead comes right to the point:
“The British government intimidated The Guardian newspaper and destroyed material Edward Snowden provided on surveillance programs, editor Alan Rusbridger said Monday,” it said in a non-bylined story.
“Writing in a column on The Guardian’s website, Rusbridger said that in June he was contacted by “a very senior” U.K. government official demanding the return or destruction of the material from Snowden. A month ago the tone toughened, Rusbridger wrote, when a government official told Rusbridger “You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back.”
As so often happens with breaking news stories of this type, each publication adds more detail not available elsewhere.
Journalists consult different sources – ironically, in this case, the sources are mainly other journalists – and add to the total picture with new details.
Perhaps the best – if most polemical – discussion came on The Rachel Maddow Show on Monday evening.
Leading her one-hour prime time slot on MSNBC with the story, Ms. Maddow repeatedly said: “Journalism is not terrorism,” almost as if she was a professor trying to get the main point of the lesson across to a bunch of half-asleep students.
She is absolutely correct.
Attempts to intimidate journalists – especially one as blatant as this – are unconscionable.
The treatment of David Miranda and Glenn Greenwald is a blot on the U.K. government of David Cameron, and the complicity of the White House is nothing short of disgraceful.
Watch a CNN interview of Glenn Greenwald by Piers Morgan below.
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