Dispatches

On the UK’s Equating of Journalism With Terrorism

By 422

(updated below)

As my colleague Ryan Devereaux reports, a lower UK court this morning, as long expected, upheld the legality of the nine-hour detention of my partner, David Miranda, at Heathrow Airport last August, even as it acknowledged that the detention was “an indirect interference with press freedom”. For good measure, the court also refused permission to appeal (though permission can still be granted by the appellate court). David was detained and interrogated under the Terrorism Act of 2000.

The UK Government expressly argued that the release of the Snowden documents (which the free world callsaward-winning journalism“) is actually tantamount to “terrorism”, the same theory now being used by the Egyptian military regime to prosecute Al Jazeera journalists as terrorists. Congratulations to the UK government on the illustrious company it is once again keeping. British officials have also repeatedly threatened criminal prosecution of everyone involved in this reporting, including Guardian journalists and editors.

Equating journalism with terrorism has a long and storied tradition. Indeed, as Jon Schwarz has documented, the U.S. Government has frequently denounced nations for doing exactly this. Just last April, Under Secretary of State Tara Sonenshine dramatically informed the public that many repressive, terrible nations actually “misuse terrorism laws to prosecute and imprison journalists.” When visiting Ethiopia in 2012, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns publicly disclosed that in meetings with that nation’s officials, the United States “express[ed] our concern that the application of anti-terrorism laws can sometimes undermine freedom of expression and independent media.” The same year, the State Department reported that Burundi was prosecuting a journalist under terrorism laws.

It should surprise nobody that the UK is not merely included in, but is one of the leaders of, this group of nations which regularly wages war on basic press freedoms. In the 1970s, British journalist Duncan Campbell was criminally prosecuted for the crime of reporting on the mere existence of the GCHQ, while fellow journalist Mark Hosenball, now of Reuters, was forced to leave the country. The monarchy has no constitutional guarantee of a free press. The UK government routinely threatens newspapers with all sorts of sanctions for national security reporting it dislikes. Its Official Secrets Act makes it incredibly easy to prosecute journalists and others for disclosing anything which political officials want to keep secret. For that reason, it was able to force the Guardian to destroy its own computers containing Snowden material precisely because the paper’s editors knew that British courts would slavishly defer to any requests made by the GCHQ to shut down the paper’s reporting.

That such repressive measures come from British political culture is to be expected. The political elite of that country cling desperately to 17th century feudal traditions. Grown adults who have been elected or appointed to nothing run around with a straight face insisting that they be called “Lord” and “Baroness” and other grandiose hereditary titles of the landed gentry. They bow and curtsey to a “Queen”, who lives in a “palace”, and they call her sons “Prince”. They embrace a wide range of conceits and rituals of a long-ago collapsed empire. The wig-wearing presiding judge who issued this morning’s ruling equating journalism with terrorism is addressed as “Lord Justice Laws”, best known for previously approving the use of evidence to detain people that had been derived from torture at Guantanamo (he can be seen here).

None of this behavior bears any relationship to actual reality: it’s as though the elite political class of an entire nation somehow got stuck in an adolescent medieval fantasy game. But the political principles of monarchy, hereditary privilege, rigid class stratification, and feudal entitlement embedded in all of this play-acting clearly shape the repressive mentality and reverence for state authority which Her Majesty’s Government produces. That journalism disliked by the state can be actually deemed not just a crime but “terrorism” seems a natural by-product of this type of warped elite mindset, as does the fact that much of the British press led the way in demanding that the Guardian’s journalism be criminalized (not unlike how many members of the American media have become the most devoted defenders of the NSA and have taken the lead in demonizing the journalistic transparency brought to that and other government agencies).

As we made clear long ago, the obvious objective of these attacks – to intimidate the journalists working on this story and deter future disclosures – will remain completely unfulfilled. Since David’s detention and the compelled destruction of the Guardian’s computers, there have been a spate of top secret GCHQ documents reported on and published around the world: many of which, to its credit, have been published by the Guardian itself.

They include detailed reports on GCHQ’s attempts to compromise basic encryption methods used to safeguard internet security, the GCHQ’s role in spying on the Brazilian oil company Petrobras, the GCHQ’s targeting of UN charities and officials, the GCHQ’s use of “dirty tricks” including “honey traps” and fake victim blog posts, the GCHQ’s attacks on “hactivists”, GCHQ’s surveillance of YouTube and Blogger activity  and related activities to covertly influence internet discourse, GCHQ’s surveillance through phone apps such as “Angry Birds”, and – just yesterday – GCHQ’s covert monitoring of visitors to the WikiLeaks website. Needless to say, there is much more GCHQ reporting to do, and nothing about today’s ruling – or anything else the UK Government can do – will stop that.

It is not difficult to apprehend the reason the UK government is so desperate to criminalize this reporting. The GCHQ itself made the reason clear in a once-secret memo previously reported by the Guardian. The British agency “has repeatedly warned it fears a ‘damaging public debate’ on the scale of its activities because it could lead to legal challenges against its mass-surveillance programmes.” Among other things, “GCHQ feared a legal challenge under the right to privacy in the Human Rights Act if evidence of its surveillance methods became admissible in court.” In particular, the spying agency feared that disclosures “could lead to damaging public debate which might lead to legal challenges against the current regime.” Privacy groups have now commenced such lawsuits against the GCHQ.

In sum, the UK Government wants to stop disclosure of its mass surveillance activities not because it fears terrorism or harm to national security but because it fears public debate, legal challenges and accountability. That is why the UK government considers this journalism to be “terrorism”: because it undermines the interests and power of British political officials, not the safety of the citizenry. I’ve spent years arguing that the word “terrorism” in the hands of western governments has been deprived of all consistent meaning other than “that which challenges our interests”, and I never imagined that we would be gifted with such a perfectly compelling example of this proposition.

As David told The Intercept this morning, he intends to appeal this ruling, and to keep appealing it, until the end if necessary – up to the highest UK court and then to the European Court of Human Rights – not because he cares what the British Government calls him, but because of the press freedoms at stake. But whatever the outcome, the reporting will continue as aggressively as ever no matter how many threats are made by the British (or American) governments to prosecute.

 

UPDATE: The court ruling, which is here, leaves no doubt that the GCHQ (and/or the NSA) was actively monitoring the communications of myself, David and/or the Guardian. Here, for instance, is paragraph 11:

Screenshot from 2014-02-19 08:04:49

 

Similarly, Paragraph 8 recounts David’s travel to Berlin to meet with Laura Poitras and his intention to carry journalistic materials back to Rio, and then Paragraph 9 quotes the pre-detention report filed by security officials:

Screenshot from 2014-02-19 08:07:37

It may be perfectly normal for a country lacking constitutional guarantees of press freedom (such as the U.K.) to have their surveillance agencies eavesdrop on the communications of journalists and their family members, but that conduct, by itself, is rather radical.

About the Author

422 Discussing
+ Add Comment
  1. If its any consolation, I was also detained by customs and immigration and refused entry to the United States, because my stupid ex husband at the NSA thought it was funny to put my name on a terror watch list. I was on vacation in Canada and sat in custody while they telephoned him at his office at the NSA, to have him explain – and they were not very happy – and they did not apologize to me either.

  2. I liked the way the court’s findings were based on the unsubstantiated allegations of known liars.

  3. It should read “has been a spate” in the fifth paragraph from the bottom. ‘Spate’ is singular, even if ‘documents’ is plural.

  4. Just wanted to say (like others) that Glenn Greenwald’s journalism is first-rate and I greatly forward to much more of it, but the denigration of the monarchy and British history is an unnecessary distraction (although funny!) and creates irrelevant division.

  5. Thanks, Mr Greenwald. I had given up reading journalism until you and Matt Taibbi came along.

    You have both paid your dues and educated me.

    It is nice to see true journalism again.

  6. Talk about journalism under attack, have you seen the Olympic coverage by MSNBC. Joseph Goebbels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels) would be proud of them the way they totally smeared Russia up one side and down the other. But for those not paying attention it was just a show about an Olympics all about how great America is and how Pathetic backward Russia is and how they are so authoritarian and controlling. The MSNBC Institute of Goebbels Propaganda puppet masters have it in for Russia and didn’t like Putin and Russia gaining a good reputation in the world for helping defuse WW III in Syria. If you look at all the events taking place world wide at the same time as the Olympics and connect the dots you will see an all out campaign to create trouble for Russia. The same people who brought you the NSA, CIA, IRS, TSA Homeland or should we say PrisionLand Security etc etc brought you the MSNBC propaganda Olympics. I hope you folks at INTERCEPT, and any other real journalists out there, look into this government sponsored attack on Russia. They want to make Russia look like a monster and the west (America and the EU) look like saviors and liberators. I hope and pray people see through this sickening illusion. The people of this planet want peace and cooperation not this endle$$ war machine bringing death, pain, suffering and slavery to all but the super elite.

    • And how about the HORRORS of Russia ‘wasting’ $50 billion for the Olympics, the most expensive ever!

      Never mind that it’s the US that has a $17 trillion national debt while Russia has a tiny fraction of that amount and we spend $50 billion for one DAY’s worth of military misadventures, every day for decades. Countries that are not similarly engaged in endless wars actually have money for infrastructure improvement. The only infrastructure we borrow and spend money on is for countries we’ve blown into the stone age, awarding contracts to campaign contributing war-profiteering corporations to rebuild so they can make the country safe enough for corporate exploitation and yet another military base. The Russian mafia has nothing on the military regime operating as the US Government.

      For their Olympics investment, Russia now has a whole new revitalized city, a new highway leading to a new ski resort, and everything in between for their $50 billion. I’d rather my tax dollars be spent that way than for another day of killing.

      Why hasn’t Mr. Peace Prize President used this Olympics opportunity to mend fences with Russia and build goodwill with the rest of the world? Because Peace, like Poverty, haven’t been part of his vocabulary since he was first elected and his political capital, like his morals, are totally bankrupt.

  7. Curious as to your reaction to Sam Harris” change of mind subsequent to his viewing twice of your “Dirty wars”.

    • Dirty Wars is Scahil’s not Greenwalds. But reading Harris’ post about his change of mind was, while an improvement, highly revealing of how absurdly trusting he ‘previously’ had been about the direction of the US gov in carrying out it’s campaign of mass murder across the globe. Harris has a hell of lot more work to do coming from a frame of reference so deluded that he had ‘Faith/Trust’ after centuries of evidence that the Faith/Trust was misplaced. Due to his lack of being willing or able to do the least bit of investigatory research, I consider him complicit in the deaths of innocents caused by the US Governments “Dirty Wars.” How could he have been so deluded? Also, the movie and The Book have been out for a year or so. Too bad Harris thought he had better things to do until just recently. I suggest he now watch Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States: http://www.sho.com/sho/oliver-stones-untold-history-of-the-united-states/home

  8. -Mona- 21 Feb 2014 at 12:14 am
    Sibel Edmonds is unhinged. AT&T/NSA whistleblower Mark Klein is disgusted: https://sites.google.com/site/markklein2009/Home/letter-to-sibel-edmonds

    Exactly. I used to follow her too. Even bragged about her over at Salon, fer chrissakes. She’s done lost her wig. I have to wipe the seething goo off my monitor every time I read her shrieking and whining.

    I have admired your whistleblowing work for some time, but this latest effort, which has turned into a virtual campaign to smear the integrity of not only Snowden but also leading journalists like Glenn Greenwald (who you call a “Mega Charlatan”), baffles me for its vacuousness and viciousness. [From Klein article courtesy of Mona]

    Sibel has really turned into Sybil and I deleted a shortcut to her cray-cray™ website.

  9. I’m sure you have much more clever protections than I could ever think of, but just for the hell of it… could you not make it so that only using a face identification works for logging in, while using a password automatically sends the stored information around the world?

    • Help is on the way. I’ve been told IT will soon be installing BrainWave® technology and you only have to think of “The Intercept” and small voltage shocks will turn you towards acceptable forms of propaganda. Let’s us make even googling ‘The Intercept’ will put you on the ‘no fly list’, ‘no live comfortably’ list, ‘why you so crazy’ list, ‘now I gotta learn’ list, ‘omfg, they’re hatin’ on Obama because he’s a black guy doin’ everything Bush did but worse’ list and the worst- ‘I might not believe what paid whores in media’ list.
      Yes, let’s all let cameras determine who’s human or not. Or terrorists. Or us.

  10. I’d like to just apologise on behalf of my country for the way your partner was treated in our country. Please know that a large proportion of our country stand on your side. Sadly, such is the way of democracy, our views are bested by the interests of those in power.

    I am truly ashamed of my country at this current point in time. Our stance on Press Freedom is shocking – calling for Guardian journalists to be imprisoned, demanding computers be destroyed and detaining Mr. Miranda on such baseless justification is disgusting to the point of laughable.

    This is before you even get to the fact that we haven’t even gone so far as to debate in Parliament, the revelations that the likes of The Guardian, Washington Post and The Intercept continue to expose. Whilst furthering the problem highlighted in this article by stating that we could start rendering people stateless if they are ‘deemed a threat to a national security’ – of course all this without the need for proof of guilt.

    We also continue to make ourselves a global laughing stock by play popular-ism politics over barely-there problems such as immigration and benefit fraud. Whilst ignoring the fraud within our own government and banks.

    Rule Britannia, eh? – Once again you have, at the very least, one British citizen’s apology

    • Once again you have, at the very least, one British citizen’s apology

      And from one really really old ‘American’ (17,000 years), I apologize for this forsaken country. Chickasaw.

  11. Seeing as the word ‘terrorist’ fits so many kinds of people these days, I would like to submit that the biggest terrorist threat to America and Britain is from within our own governments, in agencies like the nsa and gchq.

    I’m not afraid of the old kind of terrorists. They don’t spy on me 24/7/365. The terrorists that are spying on me all the time are the ones I would like to asskick on….,

    IF YOU VIOLATE MY CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED LIBERTIES, YOU ARE MY ENEMY, AND I DON’T CARE IF YOU WEAR A TURBAN ON YOUR HEAD OR CARRY AN NSA BADGE!!

    These people are worse than the G D Stasi and the G D Nazis!

    • Hi JadeP! from HuffPo. (I was Yermammy over there until they demanded my joining ‘FaceFuck™’ and I told them kiss my ass and quit). I still read the Greenwald, Snowden, NSA etc. stories there and proud to see you’re givin’ them hell over this hypocrisy- especially from ‘progressives’ who defend this president’s shocking disregard for our civil rights, yet would be raising hell if Bush Jr. did it.
      Oh how funny is that shit.
      Take care Shah of Weedostan :)

  12. And another interesting First Amendment post from the Empty Wheel.

    http://www.emptywheel.net/2014/02/20/1st-amendment-justice-delayed-is-justice-denied-for-col-morris-davis/

    “…the delay has been at the hands of an intransigent and obstreperous DOJ. If the actions of the DOJ in relation to Col. Davis are not “bad faith”, it is hard to imagine what the term stands for.” “…the legal case Col. Davis brought to correct the wrongs done to him will likely go on forever. And the going on forever part is the subject of this post.”

    Col. Davis’ case has been going on for just over 4 years and is still stuck at the starting gate. In Glenn’s case, it might be the Arrival Gate if he returns in April to launch/promote his new book, No Place to Hide, and accept the George Polk award.

  13. Vacationers, Businessmen, and people flying to have reunions with their family are subject to the same things every day or worse.

    But Journalists should be above the law. They are elite (I don’t know if it means people writing for the Guardian or Local Bloggers), but we should introduce and Elite “liberty and justice for some” I’m the partner of a journalist so can get through the airport without going through security card?

    I’m glad the crime happened, and that you and many brave and noble journalists have the proceeds of that crime.

    But if you were covering illicit drugs and it was a bag of some? Or covering financial hacking it it was 20 million credit card numbers? Or 20 million tax records of individual? Well it was encrypted stolen government documents, so that makes it allright?

    That the NSA (and the UK equivalents) were exposed lowered security. That security might be evil, but we can’t play with the definitions of words or facts to make them fit. Stealing information regarding the methods used to fight terrorism (illegal or evil or not) is itself an act of terrorism.

    Again, I’m glad it happened, but we need to change the laws labeling everything terrorism and creating “human rights free zones” in airports, not to create yet another category of elite who aren’t subject to those laws.

    • Again, I’m glad it happened, but we need to change the laws labeling everything terrorism

      Since Miranda, during nine hours of interrogation, was not asked one single question about terrorism, would you like to explain the logic – if any – in your comment?

    • I’m glad the crime happened, and that you and many brave and noble journalists have the proceeds of that crime.

      … Stealing information regarding the methods used to fight terrorism (illegal or evil or not) is itself an act of terrorism.

      There’s that magical word again.

      Broad enough to include anyone you want, narrow enough to protect your friends.

      Congress should write a law — sort of like Florida’s “stand your ground” law — in which if a person has a reasonable suspicion that someone else is a terrorist, then they can summarily execute that person. Call it Terrorist Tombsday.

      We should show zero tolerance for terrorists, right?

      They’re the ones who make this beautiful planet unlivable, who start wars, who will kill anyone anywhere anytime, who will lie to your face while plotting how to kill you.

      If only there weren’t any terrorists, we would have no need for agencies like the NSA or the CIA or even the Pentagon. People wouldn’t be xrayed, frisked, or made to remove their clothing at airports except for those terrorists who could be disguised as an infant or hiding under the moo moo of some enormously fat person or behind the elitist laws protecting journalists. What a travesty!

      Like that guy who was going to use an acetylene torch to burn down the George Washington bridge, with the “Terrorist Tombsday” law, he would have been shot by a law abiding citizen long before he could have tied up traffic between New York and New Jersey.

      When people are shot in celebrity cases, we would finally learn what the word really means. Terrorists throw popcorn in movie theaters, wear hoodies, and listen to loud music. We would also learn that heroes carry guns and sometimes badges while terrorists are unarmed and don’t have badges. What a blessing for a country built by Remington!

      Of course some might say I’m conflating the violent intent of some with the violent intent of others, but I’d say to them, what is terrorism if it doesn’t include violent intent?

    • Vacationers, Businessmen, and people flying to have reunions with their family are subject to the same things every day or worse.

      With the exception of Israel, not in Western airports they’re not. Not unless they are Muslims or look like they might be. Not pursuant to an *anti-terrorism* statute.

      • I’m not even going to lower myself to argue against this cretin. Glad you have the patience, my love.

    • “But if you were covering illicit drugs and it was a bag of some? Or covering financial hacking it it was 20 million credit card numbers? Or 20 million tax records of individual? Well it was encrypted stolen government documents, so that makes it allright?”

      Your argument is funny, in the pejorative sense.

  14. Here’s a First Amendment item in the news today.

    “Under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation’s newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public’s “critical information needs’. [snip] The initiative, known around the agency as ‘the CIN Study’ (pronounced “sin”), is a bit of a mystery even to insiders. “This has never been put to an FCC vote, it was just announced. [snip] Advocates promote the project with Obama-esque rhetoric. “This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens”‘ said FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn in 2012. Clyburn, daughter of powerful House Democratic Rep. James Clyburn.”

    To read the full piece, go to:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/new-obama-initiative-tramples-first-amendment-protections/article/2544363

  15. You need a spam filter! Lots of these comments are utter trash – it diminishes the website and the conversation around the article.

  16. Its astonishing to read and hear GovtEmploy bugling “journalism as terrorists”. To me, it’s clear GovtEmploy are journalists also. They gather news stories and report, however, it’s GovtEmploy’s version of its own journalism that qualifies them as terrorists. When I hear GovtEmploy bugle their nonsense, it seems to me they are looking in the mirror making a confession. Well Jesus take the wheel! GovtEmploy are terrorists and they reveal that clearly. Listening to them speak is almost like a cry for help. They are just confused leaving themselves out of the picture.
    Terrorism is a state of mind. Terror is the act. The War of Terror was brought to the world by GovtEmploy. The people inhabiting the halls of government calling others reporting on GovtEmploy malfeasance the terrorists is just nonsense. To me, its an absolute certainty GovtEmploy lacks the sanity to continue in any governing capacity.
    It is imperative valid journalists like those on this site get the truth out to as many people as possible in order to sway anyone and everyone from ever subscribing to the nonsensical bugling of GovtEmploy and ideally bring to a halt the journalistic terrorism of GovtEmploy.

    • I am pretty sure I got terrorism and terror turned around in definition but hopefully you get the picture.

  17. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anybody having identical RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!
    acid reflux diet http://acidreflux.adsboards.com/

  18. I wrote the following on slashdot recently: (copied over to here)

    I’ve read some of the ruling and it would seem to me that the British high court ruling is wrong.

    The British authorities seem to have a flawed understanding of what constitutes “espionage acticity”, yet has used such FOR an excuse for wanting to apprehend and then keep Miranda for questioning/interrogation for hours:
    “Intelligence indicates that MIRANDA is likely to be involved in espionage activity which has the potential to act against the interests of UK national security. We therefore wish to establish the nature of MIRANDA’s activity, assess the risk that MIRANDA poses to UK national security and mitigate as appropriate. We are requesting that you exercise your powers to carry out a ports stop against MIRANDA.” (quoted from the ruling)

    One might expect anyone claiming that someone else carrying secret documents IS, MIGHT or is LIKELY to be involved in “espionage activity”, however given the qualifying term as seen above in my quoted text with the stated notion of “espionage activity which has the potential to act against(…)”, it seem all too obvious that the initial notion of “espionage activity” is merely self referential, meaningless and probably tautological, when the notion of “espionage activity” in the quoted text appear to merely be a needed qualifier for constituting a “potential to act against”, and so the authorities appear to have been “begging the question”. A CONSTRUCTED suspicion, that with the ruling in turn are turned into a mere qualifier that simply fit the need of the authorities in approving the rationale with regard to their existing laws and regulations.

    It is not so much that the British authorities made up a particular pretext, as having made an otherwise ‘lawful’ action (questioning) fit for purpose, which really is just as damning as “having a pretext” in this context. This is so, given that the schedule 7 powers already seem to have an element of making things fit to purpose in the first place (given the lawful application of powers to see if it is relevant with questioning/interrogation), and so the notion of there being “espionage activity” is intellectually fraudulent.

    The only excuse the British authorities would have in this case, is to prove that intelligence found Miranda to be involed in espionage activity, AND NOT simply providing indications that have other people believe that Miranda is merely LIKELY to be involved in espionage activities. This is such a long stretch that it doesn’t merit the suspicion, other than making an interrogation fit for purpose, or, simply allowing a questioning end up becoming a pretext. This kind of ‘pretext’ is a notion apparently already baked in the schedule 7 powers from the little I read in the ruling, given how authorities make use of ‘powers’ and then are obliged to come up with a rationale for it, either to their superiors or to the high court.

    Since Miranda is not someone found guilty of having been involved in espionage and is not deemed to act against the interest of the UK national security, I think it should be obvious that the authorities are wrong and that the British high court is full of shit.

    The high court notion of justice is as refined as shooting suspects.

  19. It’s not “AS THOUGH the elite political class of an entire nation somehow got stuck in an adolescent medieval fantasy game.” It IS THAT “the elite political class of an entire nation somehow got stuck in an adolescent medieval fantasy game.” This is precisely the mindset of the elite classes worldwide, especially in the United States and Great Britain. They see themselves as the only true people, the only ones with any rights and privileges, and the rest of us as mere peasants. (Ever hear of ‘dead peasant insurance’? Look it up.)

  20. Call me pedantic, but I hate hearing electronic copies of documents described as “stolen”. When the owner still has the original, the offence (if there is one) is not theft. We’re used to hearing these terms misused in Hollywood propaganda about “piracy”, but here we have it in a High Court judgement ! The Snowden documents were apparently “stolen”. A balanced, impartial judgement ?

    • “We’re used to hearing these terms misused in Hollywood propaganda about “piracy”, but here we have it in a High Court judgement !”

      I suppose it follows, as the NSA-Five Guys quietly rewrote their “minimization procedures” to conflate supposed threats to life with supposed threats to property. IP/copyright is now a matter of national security. The bittorrent is a battlefield.

      • I think this is why Marcy Wheeler keeps pointing out all the references to “cybersecurity” that keep cropping up in relation to the NSA stories. How much of all of this is actually related to terrorism at all, and how much is about advancing corporate interests?

          • Yes, Glenn Greenwald, why don’t you spare more serious time & energy addressing the so valid questions of the person who describes Miranda as “playing the damsel in ditress, batting his eyelashes at the camera”, and yourself in the same sentence as “his wife”? You label you, without any basis whatsoever, an “ambulance-chasing attorney”? Who repeats the now-defunct claims you are hoarding & selling the NSA docs, despite how many times you have answered that already? Who uses the names of any whistleblower who hasn’t weighed in on the NSA scandal as authority validating her own opinions, despite how every other whitsleblower who *has* spoken out is clearly supporting Snowden as well as the journalists reporting this & their method of choice?

            … Clearly, her innocent and neutral “questions” are worthy of an umpteenth answer, and he should just read past the load of shit she flings at him every time she mentions his name. Otherwise, he’s wrong and deceptive, and she’s a hero, in all her homophobic, personal vendetta-fueled, hateful glory. -__-’

          • Damn, so many typos, I really should proof-read before hitting ‘post’. >___<

            So: distress*, who labels you*, whistleblower*.

          • Please comment on these links which I and many others find of concern:–David Jensen

            As Mona linked below, you “and many others” — most notably Sibel Edmonds – are either flat failing to “examine the details more fully” or are bald faced liars. I’ll take door number one for lazy ignorance, *and door number two for bald faced liars. Door number three is anyone’s guess.

            I wish you would cease your harmful campaign, or at least try being a little more generous in assessing peoples’ intentions. And examine the details more carefully before making glib, damaging accusations.

            Sincerely,

            Mark Klein

          • So far am seeing ad hominem comments in response to the above links.

            How about just addressing the issues she raises and show them to be false.

          • How about just addressing the issues she raises and show them to be false.–David Jensen

            If you’re so “concerned,” why don’t you make your case instead of acting like a puppy dog begging Greenwald and other commenters to feed you tidbits to allay your hunger for information that is apparently beyond your ability to ferret out for yourself?

          • So far am seeing ad hominem comments in response to the above links.

            No, you also saw me link to AT&T/NSA whistleblower Mark Klein’s smackdown of Edmonds.

            I’ll stand on that, and with Klein.

          • Klein’s missive is again merely ad hominem.
            Mark Klein is to this discussion what WWF is to sport. Smackdown indeed.
            Research William Binney, Kirk Wiebe, etc.
            Greenwald has released 1% of the files from Snowden and nothing notable re. spying beyond what has been previously released except that it has been embraced by the mainstream media.

          • Here is an example from Marcy Wheeler showing that Edmonds — and then you gleefully following her both feet in mouth lead — would do well to stop with the half baked trash heap of cheap parlor gaming. Wheeler explains how one of Edmonds’ favorite “Breaking Story!” screams about Omidyar/Paypal/Greenwald is just so much fucking nonsense.

            http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/12/13/how-fisa-dockets-appear-to-work-and-why-snowden-likely-got-few-or-no-paypal-documents/

          • Why would Greenwald partner with Omidyar whose organization actively blocks funding for wikileaks?

            “… Omidyar explains how he joined an editorial about the WikiLeaks protest (at his Honolulu newspaper), but then hits the excessive Anonymous efforts to crash and otherwise hurt PayPal. This comes as the trial of the “PayPal 14” is about to begin. Omidyar seems to argue for leniency in any sentencing of those found guilty, especially since they are standing in, one might say, for the actions of thousands of others. “Their case as well as PayPal’s actions in 2010 raise important questions about press freedoms and the nature of online protests,” he explains.

            And now WikiLeaks responds to his piece on Twitter, including: “Appreciate some of the other comments but they are undermined by the central issue of the blockade being falsely presented…. As far as we are aware the PayPal blockade of WikiLeaks has never been lifted. No direct transactions to WL. You list 3rd parties.” …”

            http://www.thenation.com/blog/177450/pierre-omidyar-paypal-blocking-wikileaks-funds-and-upcoming-anonymous-trial#

          • “…The banking blockade against WikiLeaks is one of the most sinister developments in recent years, and perhaps the most extreme example in a western democracy of extrajudicial actions aimed at stifling free speech – made all the worse by the public support of numerous people sitting in the US House of Representatives….

            …Visa, Mastercard and Paypal are none-too-choosy about who they provide payment services for. Want to use your credit card to donate to the Ku Klux Klan? Go right ahead. Prefer to support the English Defence League? Paypal will happily sort you out. Prefer to give cash to Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, who oppose the “radical homosexual agenda”? Feel free to use your Visa, Mastercard or Paypal.

            Visa and Mastercard are already inescapable. As the world becomes ever-more digital, and cash continues its journey to obsolescence, they will become still more pervasive. If they are allowed to cut off payment to lawful organisations with whom they disagree, the US’s first amendment, the European convention on human rights’ article 10, and all other legal free speech protections become irrelevant….”

            http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/oct/24/bankers-wikileaks-free-speech

        • Why would Greenwald partner with Omidyar whose organization actively blocks funding for wikileaks?

          Omidyar explains how he joined an editorial about the WikiLeaks protest (at his Honolulu newspaper), but then hits the excessive Anonymous efforts to crash and otherwise hurt PayPal. This comes as the trial of the “PayPal 14” is about to begin. Omidyar seems to argue for leniency in any sentencing of those found guilty, especially since they are standing in, one might say, for the actions of thousands of others. “Their case as well as PayPal’s actions in 2010 raise important questions about press freedoms and the nature of online protests,” he explains.

          And now WikiLeaks responds to his piece on Twitter, including: “Appreciate some of the other comments but they are undermined by the central issue of the blockade being falsely presented…. As far as we are aware the PayPal blockade of WikiLeaks has never been lifted. No direct transactions to WL. You list 3rd parties.”

          http://www.thenation.com/blog/177450/pierre-omidyar-paypal-blocking-wikileaks-funds-and-upcoming-anonymous-trial#

          • I noticed that you didn’t reply to my link to Marcy Wheeler deconstruction of some of your and Edmonds’ garbage.

            Getting tired of your horse shit, but I noticed that you posted only as much of that article as ‘You Thought’ suited your purposes. So here’s the remainder of the article:

            Also yesterday, PandoDaily, which had published the major Mark Ames critique of Greenwald and his alleged “privatizing” of and “profiteering” off the Snowden leaks (which Greenwald then rejected in his full response), http://utdocuments.blogspot.com.br/2013/12/questionsresponses-for-journalists.html posted a pro-Greenwald piece by David Sirota. http://pando.com/2013/12/03/the-journalist-who-hacked-the-old-system/ Sirota charges that a “smear campaign” against Greenwald “is, in short, an effort by those reliant on an old power structure and outdated media business models to selfishly maintain that structure and those models—journalism, facts, and democracy be damned.” And he contrasts the treatment of Greenwald with that of Bart Gellman of The Washington Post, who has also made wide use of the Snowden docs but as an “insider” has drawn much less criticism.

          • @David Jensen
            I’ve now given you at least four articles to read that directly address what you’ve pretended to ask that we or someone address. You’ve not only not responded to any of that, but you’ve continued to pretend that none of what I’ve posted was even posted. You’re establishing yourself as being one who clearly and precisely fits under the definition of an internet message board Troll.

            A Troll is one who derails a conversation by posting what are usually portions of subjects that have long been debated and debunked. The Troll follows up with comment post after comment post by either slightly or largely changing the subject when challenged, or ignores or lies about whatever rebuttals have been posted in response to the Troll posts.

  21. Can the webmaster of this site realize the fact that visually impaired readers cannot zoom into the articles to make it big enough to read. Apple developed the iPad to allow for this, so why does this site restrict this feature. Try it out, it’s impossible to soon in and read the articles. Ans stop eating up screen real estate for that top bannar.

    • Aren’t we guests here? I appreciate advocating for the needs of the poor sighted, but I think you are a bit entitled in your criticism of banners. Go eat somewhere else if you don’t like it, this is FREE!

      • Um . . . could you define “guests” please? “Fodder for ad data” might be more accurate in as much as this site uses trackers for both Google Analytics and Mixpanel, along w/ an integrated Facebook link. If you consider information about your reading habits worthless, then you might imagine the site to be “FREE.” [are those caps really necessary?] Google Analytics and Mixpanel, however, find browsing data to be an enormously lucrative commodity for which advertisers are willing to pay handsomely. True, no ads appear here yet, but NewCo (or whatever they are calling themselves this week) is definitely flogging the readership data to the highest bidder.

        One is constantly amazed to discover the masses who still believe Facebook to be free. Think, people, please! If it was free, why is the company worth so many billions of dollars, and where is it getting even more billions to buy other companies? Hello?

        It is increasingly challenging for web engineers to accommodate every possible platform (phones, tablets, laptops), operating system (iOS, Android, Windows, all the Linux variants) and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, et al) on which their site will be accessed. However, in as much as we are literally paying with our eyeballs, it is not unreasonable to request that the experience be as convenient as reasonably possible.

        No, however, abbadabba, most educated adults are familiar with the concept of “no such thing as a free lunch,” nor did Pierre Omidyar ever announce that he was donating his $250 million for your FREE (whoopee!) web surfing enjoyment. This is a business enterprise in the same way any other news site is a business, and the product on offer to the highest bidder is your eyeballs. Do hope you enjoyed your snooze, but it is long since time to wake up to reality.

        • I must agree completely with your reveal of the real costs.

          I came back to apologize to Tony because they DID take his or her advise to reduce the images on the main page and it is MUCH improved. Well appreciated, Tony!

          I guess I feel beholding to these folks because they are taking risks on behalf of the public interest. But why I thought Tony’s advise would offend them when they are tougher than nails suggest it’s my fear leaking in, not theirs. They seem very willing to take sound advise.

          I do know nothing on the net is free, but I was suggesting we were getting an awful lot of protein at this link joint without any ads. And I assume NSA knows where I’m taking the family to eat tonight as I made reservations. Hope they’re jealous.

          Nice summation of the big lie. I thought I’d choke on a rib when at her first hearing on this mess Feinstein quipped if we wanted someone else to hold the data bag, we’d have to pay for it. This surveillance system is FREE? She couldn’t fool me.

    • John. The visually impaired can turn on zoom in settings/accessibility. Then double tap with three fingers system wide. You’re welcome :)

  22. I just saw this posted somewhere as the UK law , NOTICE TO PEOPLE LIVING THERE if this is the law in the UK you are now living in a communist dictatorship and still think you are free
    UK Government definition of Terrorism: “Additionally the disclosure, or threat of disclosure, is designed to influence a government and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism…”

    • Like they’d give away their own plans…(rim shot)

      Nebel Nachting? Don’t get the door, it’s dominoes.

  23. I look forward to Jeremy Scahill’s next book and film, ‘Dirty Courtroom Wars, A Continuing Saga’, based on Glenn Greenwald’s upcoming lifetime behind bars awaiting trial, expected to be held sometime in the next century, or never, on Espionage related charges.

    So are the best parts of the Snowden files already revealed and that is why you’re ready to return to the Homeland to take on a new role in their courts? The//Intercept isn’t going to get widespread exposure anytime soon, so in the meantime we need you to carry on your multi-media crusade with the Snowden files, not be distracted and fragmented fighting for your freedom in the Homeland – almost a certainty. They’ve SABOTAGED the underpinnings of the entire legal system and you think it will still work to protect the Constitution? Fixing it using the courts is like expecting Congress to fix the money ruled political system masquerading as a democracy. They broke it accidentally on purpose.

    We have learned that Dirty Wars are dirty wars wherever this regime chooses to wage them. They fight dirty to win in whatever venue the can take the battle. Thankfully, history proves time and again that they ALWAYS lose when the opposition doesn’t operate by their rules, no matter how small or weak the opposition appears to be.

    Discretion is the better part of valor, and so is patience. There will be other journalism awards coming your way, Glenn. Pick and choose your battles. Please don’t be rushed by the first opportunity that arises. Come back when you know it’s the good ol’ USA you’re returning to, not their creepy Homeland. There’s more work to do first.

    Best wishes in all your endeavors, Glenn. How about filing to run for President? Talk about optics!

    • Glenn, I strongly believe our Government will detain or arrest you if you return. Don’t return home and allow them to silence you. I want you to continue to write and expose the secrecy and criminality of the NSA/CIA/FBI and all their spineless Congressional, Corporate, and media supporters. I want you to remain free and not in a USA jail. The Administration will go after you with every one of their self-serving laws and will make sure your trial, if there is one, is heard by the most corrupt judge and biased jury that power and money can summon.

      I think it may be useful to keep saying you might return as it will keep them in a frenzy. They wiil think that they will soon have you in their clutches and will be able to stop your truthful and embarrassing journalism. But don’t return and be treated like Chelsea Manning – an American hero treated as a traitor. Don’t.

      • Do you honestly believe you’re telling him something he doesn’t already know?

  24. How Wirthy of you, Glenn!

    Monarchy makes for poor security. At least in the US we can hold them to the LAW. That’s who’s king around this joint, excepting for the regicidal NSA. We WILL bend our Cromwells back toward justice if it takes a thousand years.

    • My uncle married Cromwell’s favorite daughter which is why there are so many Betties in my line, but Cromwell only ended monarchy and then installed law under his own personal settings. Get over yourself, UK. WRITE IT DOWN and give the pomp a rest!

      I get now why Elizabeth I chose to stand before dying. I would die standing up for the law if it was embodied in my self, but we don’t have to! We wrote it down so no one can kill it. If they try, we can get redress. You can’t kill our king!

      I still have faith in my king, but if this administration insists on trying to kill him, get ready for the Modern Army, Obama! We’ll demand that “head.”

      • OK, some of our Betties are named for Edward I’s last child. I got Plantagenet warts, too. Having had the world from both sides, now, I vastly prefer not to embody law, I prefer to READ IT!! Thanks for the major fold job, John! The only GGpa who left a damn thing to me!

        Magna Carta, don’t fold it!!

        • After witnessing the Leveson Inquiry and MP’s hearings regarding same, I was struck by the austerity of their meeting rooms. Why so Ikea when the US Capital looks like the Romans’? Can the US get anymore over the top?

          But now I get it. The UK keep it to their select selves, while in America, EVERYMAN’S a king. Unfortunately, those who represent us have built themselves a plutocratic monstrosity much like the one we thought we’d left behind and against which locked the doors.

          Just because we set them up to look like kings does NOT their fiefdoms make. Check the contract, Corpo-Reps. We can break you. Explusions, the Congressional equivalent of impeachment. Who wants I scream?

          That isn’t NSA’s Constitution, it’s ours, and the pompous representatives who think they can keep their jobs by overtaking it are skating very close to tragedy. Ask England. Kings come and go, but long live the LAW!

  25. John Swinton, chief editorial writer at The New York Times in the 1860s and a writer and editor for The New York Sun from 1875 to 1883, wrote: “There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

    • Good find, digger!

      Have you checked out The Press of the Plutocracy, a chapter of “America’s 60 Families” by Ferdinand Lundberg in 1937? There’s nuggets upon nuggets in those pages!

      Apparently, Mr. Barron couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Lundberg cited half that book out so it’s a great way to learn new dot matrices to connect. The oldtimey chapter summaries will make one drool in anticipation, and the language is hilariously high pitched with a vocabulary to match the moral outrage. I riffed it off relentlessly after the Crash.

      Out of print, but don’t fret, it’s on the net for free care of the owners.

      • The Press is best when it is scaring the shite out of the powers that be. If they’ve done nothing wrong, then they should have NOTHING to hide. That goes for both of them. I’m still following the hacking scandal and trials as I knew long ago the police were as hacky as the tabloids, and the government leaders most assuredly knew, too, or else they wouldn’t have covered it up for half a decade.

        Right, Tony Blair? Crisis Advisor to Rebekah Brooks, James and Rupert Murdoch on a just between themselves kinda contract as the News of the World stopped spinning. Why wasn’t Cameron’s email entered into evidence? No content.

        • I’m serious, all the BlackBerry would reveal was Cameron’s metadata. That’s a net trick. Have you caught the operator yet, GCHQ? Or was it YOU?

  26. For your next piece of superlative investigative journalism, perhaps you could investigate the flagrant assault on a (female) pressure group by the authorities in Mr Snowden’s adopted country:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26265230
    Being detained at the airport is a walk in the park compared with being horsewhipped by Russian thugs. But I don’t see any incisive journalism from you about repression in Russia, or China, where you might actually risk your life for a good story.

    • “For your next piece of superlative investigative journalism, perhaps you could investigate the flagrant assault on a (female) pressure group by the authorities in Mr Snowden’s adopted country:”

      You’re kidding, right? We have been buried in stories about the repression of Pussy Riot in the mainstream media. We need Glenn et al to report on stories that are not approved by the ruling elite

      • For your next piece of superlative investigative journalism, perhaps you could investigate the flagrant assault on a (female) pressure group by the authorities in Mr Snowden’s adopted country:

        In your comment, why did you ignore police corruption in Peru and corporate waste dumping in East Africa? Do you not consider those important problems? Apparently not.

        For my editorial choices, see here.

        • Possibly the following definitions may be helpful.

          Corruption: activity engaged in by foreigners that superficially resembles our own, but with base motivations.

          Journalist: a person who reports on corruption for the purpose of making us feel better about ourselves and our leaders.

          • What’s a little corruption between foreigners? FCPA!

            Men like Adelson and Murdoch are hot to weaken that stinger because it fires like a hell bent missile. My dad was commanding a AFB in Holland when the Prince got caught with his hand in that million dollar cookie jar. Dad just flew them, but the Prince profited handsomely.

            This was just the tip of the iceberg that rendered the most powerful weapon against bribery in the world. Thus the plutocracy demands THAT be abandoned and journalism be droned into the ground.

        • Good thing Glenn repeated the content he was responding to because he can misplace a submission, too. Nice to know we are all capable of missing the target. If only NSA could admit to blowing up a wedding party.

          Am I just cross eyed, or did that miss the intended?

          To be serious about truth, I take ALL I read with a grain of alcohol and then expose it to more sun, and I can still get fooled again. Remember one of GCHQ’s mindscrews if false attributions. And don’t think they aren’t hitting journalists with massive counter-intel right now. Very easy to be misled. I wouldn’t trust a new source right now which is likely fine with NSA as that’s why they do it.

          OMG, what a Recon error! Glenn was purposely evading the presumed target and only jesting with the secondary to make his point, man.

          MY BAD READ. Sorry, Glenn, I’ll leave it up as an example instead of a lecture in perception. Not accustomed to such class come backs. I hope I learned something.

    • Because we have a lot going on here that we need to worry about. We can’t change things in Russia or China, that up to the Russians and the Chinese. Let’s talk about the country Snowden left behind. It now kills more of it’s own citizens then it’s own enemies do. Makes getting detained at an airport seem like small time stuff. But then again all of this started with government seizing the powers to detain you at airports, and other places. Now they record your every move and communication in suspicion of you, and you want to see whats going on in Russia and China.

      Look, we get it, they aren’t exactly champions of human rights, but neither are we.

      And not all worthy reporting is done in a life threatening situation. Unless you believe that only life threatening situations are worthy of attention in our society. Not the theft, fraud, or lying of your leaders.

    • You haven’t been looking very hard then. Members of Pussy Riot have actually written articles published in the Guardian, which are very easy to find. Or how about you run a search on the Guardian website for ‘China, human rights’? You could spend weeks reading the amount of reports they have published into repression in China and Russia and beyond.

    • Anyone tired of NSA/GCHQ propagandists repeatedly pushing the BS position that Snowden CHOSE to live in Russia?

      Obama COULD have had him a rock skip from Gitmo, but that would have only amplified O’s impotence in this matter because he’s the one in trouble with the law and to push it will only get him impeached. How many of his uniformed goons have practiced unlawful command influence REPEATEDLY? They don’t intend to take him to trial, or they would not have played so loosely with the law, much less stranded him in Russia by yanking his passport.

      Is there NO ONE who can make a coherent argument to defend GCHQ or NSAs’ criminality? I can run circles around them defending Snowden’s and I’m hardly a lawyer. I’ve yet to hear a sound one for the signal corp absent of the unfounded terror excuse.

      • “Is there NO ONE who can make a coherent argument to defend GCHQ or NSAs’ criminality? I can run circles around them defending Snowden’s and I’m hardly a lawyer. I’ve yet to hear a sound one for the signal corp absent of the unfounded terror excuse.”

        This x1000. When I read a retrograde coldwar meathead like John Schindler, a microcosm of the “Intelligence Community”, the stupidity is honestly frightening. Better crooks please.

  27. I attended Marcellin College Randwick in Sydney Australia. It was a Catholic School for boys. Most of the pupils were descendants of Irish heritage and were very down to earth.It was not an elite private school but one with a strong working class background.
    There were two twin brothers attending my year and they were not distinguishable by any note of grace or of airs. They seemed the same as the rest of us. But in 1970, Baron Charles Latham died and my ‘class’ mate became the second Baron of Latham.
    Dominic Charles Latham was some minutes elder to his twin brother but all titles ectera went to him.
    He was entitled to sit in the house of Lords and I believe he did so.
    It all seems so silly to me, that his being a Baron caused so much attention. Peer pressure took on a new meaning at lunch time. Some of the students seemed star struck and the Lathams’ popularity soared.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Latham
    Baron Latham, of Hendon in the County of Middlesex,[1] is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1942 for the Labour politician Charles Latham. He was Leader of the London County Council from 1940 to 1947. As of 2010 the title is held by his grandson, the second Baron, who succeeded in 1970. He is the elder twin son of the Hon. Francis Charles Allman Latham (d. 1959). Lord Latham lives in Australia.
    Barons Latham (1942)

    Charles Latham, 1st Baron Latham (1888–1970)
    Dominic Charles Latham, 2nd Baron Latham (b. 1954)

  28. Journalism is meant to be as truthful and accurate as announcing the results of a sporting event, just don’t get it wrong or the entire media circus will make light of the poor unfortunate when the results are not accurately reported.

    There is no such outcry when it comes to the inaccurate reporting of current affairs, a government press release becomes copy and paste job, while news readers look away and over to another screen where they obediently (and willingly) follow the instructions from teleprompter while pulling funny faces. ( I honestly don’t know anyone who’s facial expression’s change the way that a new reader does, if anything it makes me even more sceptical of what they are trying to convey ) Sometimes I just have to watch them in order to learn which particular angle they are putting on a story and then compare it to that last bastion of freedom of speech, the web.
    Once again, while the MSM proves to be a willing tool for the Plutocracy, this presents a golden opportunity for the Independent media.
    All this spying lying and denying, isn’t it all related to something bigger, isn’t the war on terror related to installing and maintaining various puppet regimes, those same puppet regimes are soon signing the local trade agreement for their particular area, specially designed to faciltate perpetual economic growth for the plutocracy. Ah wait, that is the thing, after the trade deal is signed, it simply will not matter if there is a major move to the left, for it presents a back door in over any government via the ISDS.
    The war on terror, the trade deals, the spying, it’s a global coup d’etat for the benefit of the Plutocracy.

  29. I would recommend that persons read the Works of Thomas Paine to learn that in his case the UK power System in the 18th Century controlled already the press itself and sentenced persons to death for Jouralism they did not approve of.

    Read the book Canniabals All or Slaves Without Masters 1857 by George Fritzhugh on the English Poor Laws from Henry III to his time on how the laws were used to enslave the majority of the poor in the laws they are termed as Rouges in some cases they faced passport useage for treval or had to get a documet for local Judges to even go from County to County. In later times under Henry the VIII they faced possible death for breaking the Poor Laws.

    Read the works of Gerald Winstanely in 1649 in his great Pamphlet The Law For Freedom Platform on Christian Communism. Go my fellow Anarchists edcuate or become slaves!!

  30. And please guys – don’t turn that into a: “We are so much better than them Brits”.

    We don’t want to lose the argument altogether?

  31. It must be an additional challenge to present a case without laughing to a judge that so resembles Elton John

  32. I find it hilarious that Brits actually defend the remnants of the feudal society class structure of the 14th century still perpetuating itself in modern English society. Lord and serf was the societal equation of that era and rights to land and wealth and deference and privilege were based on nothing more than use of force to screw the common people. That that hereditary power and privilege still exists not only in preposterously pompous titles but also in the retention of vast tracts of land and wealth that were in effect stolen through force simply by hereditary right is absurd.
    “Hereditary Peers inherit their title and consists of five ranks: Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. Peerages may become extinct or fall into abeyance, but so long as there is an heir the title will continue. The House of Lords Act 1999 removed the entitlement of most of the hereditary Peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords and of the 92 hereditary Peers who retain their seat in the Lords, 75 were elected by their fellow hereditary Peers.”
    They even inherited seats in the House of Lords until recently.
    Glenn is absolutely correct in mocking these feudal remnants of the feudal era.

    And of course the US has its own plutocracy but we don’t give them hereditary titles to justify their existence.

    • “I find it hilarious that Brits actually defend the remnants of the feudal society class structure of the 14th century still perpetuating itself in modern English society.”

      You mean as hilarious as Americans defending the remnants of the feudal (racistic) society class structure of the 18th century?

      • Not sure who defends the remnants of the racist class structure of the 18th century in the US besides racists.

        • “Not sure who defends the remnants of the racist class structure of the 18th century in the US besides racists.”

          Every good and patriotic American – who likes to celebrate 1776 folklore?

          No – for sure not!

          But some Brits might think – the way Americans defend -(and celebrate) – their “racistic” founding fathers is hilarious too?

          • Rubbish. They celebrate the successful revolt against the tyranny of a big fat monarch George III whose excesses prompted the rights we enshrined in our constitution. But you keep on genuflecting to your lords and masters.

  33. I am confused as to why it was necessary to transport (purportedly) Snowden files when I assumed Greenwald and Poitras would have kept complete sets for themsleves as a hedge against theft (laptops being stolen by mysterious entities in Brazil), accidents that destroy data, being arrested, detained by unknown actors etc. I know the Guardian transported some files to NY Times, but I had assumed those were not the only copies of those files ie Greenwald and Poitras would have retained their complete set. I realize Glenn might not want to elaborate on this for good reasons but it is still somewhat perplexing.

    • They won’t talk about the contents for obvious reasons; but just as you say, we can rather safely assume the drive wasn’t just a copy of the Snowden docs. Not all of them were on it, that’s sure. Probably just whatever they were communicating about; along with *journalism stuff*, if you excuse the amazing precision of language… :<
      I guess annotations, comments, maybe drafts of articles to come, or schedules so that they don't work on the same data each in their corner… anyway, stuff they weren't comfortable communicating through phone or Internet. But most definitely not just the raw docs, that would make no sense…

    • You’re making lots of assumptions there. We don’t know what the operation is like, how the data is split, how many keys are required to reconstruct documents, and who knows the keys.

      • Also, it seems people are assuming that Miranda did in fact have Snowden files he was “transporting.” I don’t think that has ever been proved.

        For myself, it’s mystifying that there would even be a perceived need to physically “transport” such files when they exist in electronic format. Why not just email them in one of those famously-encrypted emails, if they needed to be moved somewhere? Similarly, the forced destruction of the hard drives at The Guardian was a hilarious and ludicrous farce, as nothing was actually “destroyed” except the physical drives themselves; the files still exist, presumably in many places, perhaps even still accessible to The Guardian. It’s redolent of people who still lack a basic understanding of how the networked world works.

        • Why not just email them in one of those famously-encrypted emails, if they needed to be moved somewhere?

          Last time I checked, an e-mail attachment would go through if it’s under about 10 megabytes. The Snowden documents comprise much more than this. But, they could be uploaded to any number of file share sites, in encrypted form of course! Even better, using steganography, concealed in innocent-looking music and/or photograph files.

  34. and as we all seem to be into some cultural-hysterical -sorry: “historical” – soul searching – perhaps we just need to improve Glenn Greenwalds and Mirandas image as spies?
    And the support they get -(at least from Germany) – is not effective enough?
    - and as the Brits are so damn proud of their spying tradition -(Well – yes – also about the Queen) – Who was the most exciting “villain” and one of the Bond-flics – One who would have gone free for sure – even judged by a British court?

      • More coherent trolls, please.

        If wishes were horses then we’d all have a bucket full of road apples. Or something.

        It’s unfortunate, but the troll you are addressing is one who has stuck to the bottom of Greenwald’s shoe ever since the days at Salon. On the upside, there are also lots of erudite folks who have been trundling onward with him as well. Part and parcel of the business. ;-}

        • “If wishes were horses then we’d all have a bucket full of road apples. Or something.”
          Come on – I was hired to play “the troll” -(like always) – Or you guys would be far too boring!

        • The comment reeks of bernbart: Vaguely inchoherent and non-funny self-deprecation, mixed with the smell of old farts.

  35. The British agency “has repeatedly warned it fears a ‘damaging public debate’ on the scale of its activities“..

    Redolent of the DEA’s training manual which justifies ‘parallel reconstruction’ by flatly noting “American’s don’t like it”.
    https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2014/feb/03/dea-parallel-construction-guides/

    “Activist journalism” allows consent to be consensual, as opposed to manufactured. Hence the charges of terrorism. Democracy is terrifying to feudalists.

  36. To quote The Kingston Trio (from their MTA song): “Citizens, hear me out; this, could happen, to you” (which is why every human being should find US/UK (and other) government-sponsored illegal actions objectionable – and demand accountability).

  37. On appeal would it not be possible for Miranda to take his unlawful detention and theft of his personal property in the international zone of an international airport to be a violation of the United Nations Charter? If so, could the UN General Assembly be asked to vote to censor such behaviour as a violation or human rights.

  38. I love how people love to play down the fact that they have kings, queens and princes, and pretend that it’s all “symbolic” or whatever. Has no one heard about the massive scandal with one of your princes directing gov policies?? You know, where he tells elected officials what to do and they comply?

    The money these leeches take from public coffers, the property they own, the circles they run in, and have for centuries, all of this is “symbolic”? lol maybe, in a fairytale or something. But we’re talking about real life here. In the real world, wealth, connections, titles, all of these buy political power – as specifically exposed by the Prince Charles letter scandal. But, like some of you didn’t actually read this article (he was saying that shutting down dissent comes naturally to archaic, royalty-worshipping people and cultures whose reactionary use of pretexts like terrorism and national security is no surprise) you also never bothered to check out what real influence your Queens and Lords actually have.

    Keep strong Mr. Greenwald, ignore the trolls. You have more important matters to attend to. Thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you will no doubt do in the future.

  39. A free press is the backbone of a democracy. You risk your freedom to keep the public free.

    • It’s absolutely crazy that people don’t get this simple message. Astounding, actually. Y’all better wake up, it’s here!

  40. Interesting article about press freedom and surveillance, completely let down by a spiteful and ignorant rant about the class system. Is the royal family responsible for any of this ? Of course no.

    • Oh no no no. You are the supreme reason kings have no business running jack. Yer basically a worker ant worshipping hierarchy and can’t deal with free thought. It’s not a ‘class’ system as much as a CASTE system. Now quit wigglin’ yer antennae and get back to pollenating or something useful.
      Spiteful? You got the nerve.

    • Not spiteful at all. Realistic. The Windsors, besides being personally objectionable in many of the things that they do, and the way that they live, are very much responsible.

      The monarchy institution is a crucial part of the bamboozlement apparatus keeping British common citizens trapped in this ridiculous remnant of feudalism, the uk-state. The Windsors have to be trained to be deliberately blind to the realities of what they do and what they’re for, just to be even halfway comfortable with their wretched lives in their gilded cage.

      We need them to be removed from their illusory position as pretend ‘monarchs’ (as if!) and to be obliged to become ordinary free citizens, just like the rest of us will be eventually, when we’re finally rid of the remnantary trappings of the English empire.

      Having resettled the Windsors as common citizens like the rest of us, the pretend-monarchy institution – which they support actively – needs to be abolished.

      Scotland’s eventual democratic departure from this destructive, toxic charade – starting this year, please god! – should accelerate that salutary process; and it can’t happen too soon. The sooner the uk-state entity “vanishes from the page of history”, and the old nations of The Isles struggle towards some federal or confederal collection of genuinely-democratic, glasnostic, egalitarian republics, the better.

      • The monarchy institution is a crucial part of the bamboozlement apparatus

        We’ve got it on this side of the pond as well. Here our bamboozlement apparatus (I need to steal that phrase) includes people with names like: Bush, Clinton, Kennedy and Kardashian. Not necessarily in that ordure [sic].

        • Not necessarily in that ordure

          I shall be shamelessly stealing that most excellent turn of phrase.

  41. Thanks for your excellent commentaries, Mr. Greenwald! A grateful nation thanks you. As time goes by & more people embrace consciousness & see how they’ve been deceived & manipulated, the era of big surveillance will come to a close as most people demand accountability & responsibility to international law, the US Constitution & press freedom. Keep up the good work!

  42. No one should forget that Michael Savage can’t even set foot in Great Britain because they have deemed his speech to be inflammatory. What? Can you even imagine that? I used to think a long time ago that GB was a great country. No more!

  43. Regarding British Upper “Class”: Many years ago the NYT Sunday Supplement published a lengthy article about the UK. It concluded with a quote utter by some memeber of the British Ruling Class who – without any irony or reflection – stated: “This country always was and always shall be run by and for the 5% of the population that counts”. Well, some many years later when I was for a short time employed by the sadistic
    managing director ( a prerequistie qaulification, I believe ) of a British Bank I had occasion to prepare for the visit of the bank’s Chairman Emeritus to our out-lying office in a foreign country. He was to meet with a government minister whose favor he wished to curry. in front of two of my very British colleagues I referred to the Chairman Emeritus by his Christian and surname. Immediately, with indignation both colleagues simultaneously screamed “Sir” Christian and surname. I commented that as I was not a British Subject that certain quaint practices didn’t apply and that, if they did, “Sir” Christiand and Surname could call me “Dr.” So and So. “Not the same thing came the reply amid huffing and cheek-puffing and chest-beating with thick and practiced accent. (I’ll add that one of those colleagues whose father had been an auto-mechanic had spent GBP 10,000.- to provide him with elocution lessons in “Received Pronounciation” so as to be enable him to have a chance at employment in the British financial establishment. Without the Bertie Wooster dialect he would have had none.) Well, came the day of the reception fo the great man – among whose duties was, some time later, publicly opining in the Financial Tinmes upon the merit of spending the people’s tax receipts to provide the Queen a replacement State Yacht as the “Britannia” was no longer fit or suited – and we all dutifully marched off to the foreign government ministry to meet with state dignitaries. It should be mentioned that those dignitaries had originally had no interest in meeting the Great Man and it had fallen to me – a previous employee of that
    ministry – to brow-beat old acquiantances into a grudging acquiesence. This was necessary to impress upon the Great Man that, indeed, he still was. Twenty people sat around the table with clear line-of-sight between “Sir” Bob Surname of the Barking de Gadzooks Bank. The minister of the small foreign nation had just begun the droned intonation of a formalized presentation when to my comsternation I, seated immedaitely to the right of “Sir” Bob watched in a state of surreal epiphany as he, while feigning interest in the far wall, inserted his index-finger into his nose – understand, their were 20 potential specatators in that small room – and, he thought, adroitly and clandestimely removed something large and sticky from his nostril. I know it large and sticky because i saw it and watched as he spent the next few minutes, right-hand under the fringe of the tablecloth repaetedly cocking and flipping his index finger in a not immediately successful effort to dislodge that something from adhering to his right hand.

    So much for the Chairman Emeritus and a card-carrying member “5% of the population that counts”. There’s not one word of exaggeration in this tale. Take it for what it’s worth. The minister did. Some few years later the regional office of Big Barking de Gadzooks Bank closed.

    • That was worth reading, not only for the comedy of the moment, but also because I now have an image to replace the one of them putting pants on one leg at a time, to remind me (as if my completely irreverent self needed one) that the High and Mighty are just another brand of galoot, but with better luck in the birth lottery.

  44. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Greenwald but this piece is shockingly lacking any basic understanding of the British constitutional system. Its attack on English courts and its judges is unjustified. Under the British constitution, courts do not have the power nor jurisdiction to contradict any Parliamentary legislation. Laws LJ is a progressive judge who has pushed for the English courts to protect fundamental rights even when contrary to the will of Parliament, but nonetheless it is not up to the courts to make this move.

    • Interesting to know indeed… But it hardly speaks in defense of your country’s system.
      You’re saying the Judiciary branch is not independent, and legally has to submit to the Legislative? (-which itself looks quite sumissive to the Executive, esp. on these matters…) That kind of *vindicates* Greenwald’s criticism of an archaic, imperial system with an overblown ego… (^.^;)

      • It is not my country but I do study law in the UK. I am not saying that the system is not in need of reform. Actually, there is an active debate in the UK of whether in fact Parliament (which is controlled by the Executive) should hold so much power. However, I am replying to Greenwald’s heavy criticism of Laws LJ and the English courts, as their hands are tied.

      • The Court’s function in pretty much every non-police state is to interpret the law, not to create it. I’m baffled as to why you’d think such a role means that the UK legal system is less independent than it should be. Do you want unelected judges creating laws?

        • You misunderstand me; when the judges follow what the executive say with diligence, not being given evidence to form their own appreciation but just trusting what the government (or here, secret agency) assert… there is an independence issue.
          The core of the ruling was that Laws estimated these guys claiming the docs were highly dangerous was good enough on its face to warrant the abuse of terrorist law to seize them when appropriate laws wouldn’t have been enough… Despite how this very same government has been acting since the beginning of the NSA revelations, each of their denial, dismissal, rebuttal being systematically disproven by the docs. And yet he still *rules*:
          1) that he has no reason to doubt their simple word that ‘there is more to the picture’ and ‘the docs were very very dangerous they could kill people’;
          2) that because they said so, reporting from them & helping the reporting *legally qualify as terrorism*…
          3)… therefore making it perfectly ok to use *terrorism exception laws* to plainly bypass the regular laws and rights of the target.

          Again, none of this would stand one second, if not for the unchallenged premise that the simple word of the people who have been repeteadly proven to lie to protect their interests, is good enough to criminalize journalism and all the people involved with it.
          And widen the use and purpose of what was meant to be the wildest exception laws, from “in order to prevent a bomb in the country” to “these docs are making us look bad, we goota stop them”. >___ Besides, I was answering the argument “their hands were tied” as a defense to the British judicial system. If they don’t have the freedom to actually rule upon such cases, then the system is clearly wrong, which serves Greenwald’s original point. (Just like it’s crazy when the US Supreme Court explains they just can’t judge NatSec matters, because it’s NatSec so secret so beyond their reach. The Judicial Branch accepting and enforcing that some executive activities are *beyong justice* is unbelievable…)

    • Laws LJ is a progressive judge who has pushed for the English courts to protect fundamental rights even when contrary to the will of Parliament

      (1) For instance, when he approved the use of evidence to detain people even though it had been derived by torturing people at Guantanamo?

      Is that was is considered “progressive” these days in the UK?

      (2) Part of the claim he rejected here had nothing to do with British statutes, but was that the detention of David under “terrorism” laws for doing journalism violates the guarantees of the European Convention of Human Rights.

      (3) He was incredibly hostile throughout the process, including in very petty ways. Not only did he deny the request by David’s lawyers for an appeal, but also refused to give them any time beyond a week to prepare their appeal request. He was completely pro-government in every way far beyond what could be justified by appeals to law.

      • Thank you for your response, Mr. Greenwald. I want to clarify that I do agree with you politically. However, the British legal system does not work like the American legal system, where judges, according with the U.S. Constitution, have the power to quash legislation. There is no written constitution in the UK and, despite some developments, Parliamentary sovereignty remains one of the most important elements of the British constitutional system. This means that the courts do not have the power to contradict Parliamentary legislation.

        The courts do have the power to review actions of the executive under judicial review hearings, as was done here, but even judicial review is limited to the boundaries of the law, which is determined by Parliament.

        Therefore, when I say that Laws LJ is progressive, I say so within this framework. He has advocated for higher-order laws (based on fundamental rights and other values) which would trump Parliamentary intent. He is often criticized on this point by those who believe that such a development would overextend the role of the (‘democratically unaccountable’) judiciary. Despite his outspoken belief to the effect of protecting ‘higher-order laws’, this is not the current reality in the British constitutional and legal system and Lord Justice Laws’ mandate as a judge is to remain within the law, whether or not he agrees with it normatively.

        I am not justifying the system as I do not personally agree with it, but I am giving a description of it. I do so in order to point out that I believe your attack on Laws LJ and the judiciary is misdirected. In my opinion, it would be more efficient to channel criticisms towards more political redress.

        As one last point, this judgment does address freedom of expression from the point of view of proportionality. Laws LJ accepts that there has been a violation of the right to freedom of expression. However, this right, enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights and protected in the English common law, is (legally speaking) highly qualified. Interferences can be justified for certain purposes. Justifications to these interferences are subject to a test of proportionality, which does involve consideration of statute. That is what Laws LJ was addressing in this judgment. Of course cannot speak to his ‘hostility’ throughout the process, but I would be interested to hear more.

  45. Thank you 2millionlightyearstoandromeda. Good to see ya again. I have often dwelled on the obsession of ‘civilized men’ that strut around like birds of paradise or dressed as peacocks. White wigs? Soo 80′s. I think the door is closing fast and if we don’t act now, it’s not gonna be purty.

    • Somebody has to defend the nobility of the queen and her bucket faced family of oat eaters, the dignity of the preposterously bewigged lords and lordesses and their understated, unpretentious and undeserved palaces from the sharp pen of Mr. Greenwald.

      Such self-important and unimpressive people should be not be written about in such an insultingly accurate manner.

  46. The court ruling, which is here, leaves no doubt that the GCHQ (and/or the NSA) was actively monitoring the communications of myself, David and/or the Guardian.

    Since there is no imminent threat of violence, then their intent isn’t to prevent a crime.

    It is to monitor and intimidate political dissent.

    This is the whole point of the variable term “terrorism” — to criminalize political dissent by linking it to criminal violence.

    • Hi Milton Whiltmellow. Good to see you once more. Cheers brother. Glad to see you still breathing.

      • Hey Tito, backatcha! Harmony is restored.

        Also hiya to all other familiar peeps who’ve been wandering the wilderness recently.

        (And hiya NSAbot. Am I ever read by a real human … er, not to imply anything about NSA employees though … just wondering. I’d be thrilled to be threat assessed by some of our finest overlords. Could I get some feedback if I file a FOIA request?)

      • Hey Titonwan! Glad to see you too — and all the familiar peeps back in business.

        Is this site moderated post by post?

        • Hi Milton! I’ve only heard a few little birds chirping, but they’ve said that moderating hasn’t yet begun, though there seems to be a plan for some sort of light touch. I believe that a given poster has to have their first offering “approved”, which seems to take some minimal amount of time, but I don’t know any of this for sure.

          It seems that the comment section is still under construction, my own observations from the small changes I see from time to time. That wouldn’t surprise me as they brought the forum out as quickly as possible so that Glenn and the other authors could get their writing under way.

          It’s really lovely to see so many of the old dependable crew showing up. Also very nice that there seem to be a new crop of folks popping in to comment as well.

          Plant a seed – or a bunch – and watch them grow. ;-}

          • Hi Milton! I’ve only heard a few little birds chirping, but they’ve said that moderating hasn’t yet begun, though there seems to be a plan for some sort of light touch. I believe that a given poster has to have their first offering “approved”, which seems to take some minimal amount of time, but I don’t know any of this for sure.

            Last week, The Intercept’s awesome Micah Lee said in comments that they held for approval only the first comment from any user. My thinking is that may be a way to catch commercial spam until or unless they have a registration system.

            For a few days after Micah’s explanation, it was still the case that I an many found that our comments took quite a while to appear. At least for me, that problem has ended and I behold my pearls immediately. :)

          • At least for me, that problem has ended and I behold my pearls immediately.

            Thanks for the info and I’m happy to see you both again, mona and Peinska.

            I asked because I had a post vanish. I suspect it vanished because I made a snide little aside to those at a certain state agency who might monitor this site.

            Apparently the oyster didn’t approve.

    • Jon Stewart had a great bit on the meaning of “imminent” used by the government a few weeks ago. Check it out.

      Skygall

  47. I’ve been reading for awhile now about your wanting to come to the US regardless of being called an accomplice by the PTB. My opinion, not that I was asked, is that we need you reporting more than we need you arrested or killed. No, I do not trust my government to simply arrest you.

    • Ah yes- The Sword of Damocles.
      I’m willing to go to prison over Glenn claiming his rights as a Untied States of Turmoil citizen. I will defend them that press ahead telling us just how screwed we’re getting. I will not look away. Glenn (and everyone else) is entitled to free speech. I’m done with this oppression.

    • Yes we need Glenn to continue to report, and we need more fearless journalism from other media sources too. I do not trust your Government either but the UK Government is no better. The fact that most of us on here have chosen to remain anonomous using pseudo/false names shows if we are really truthful with ourselves, that we are scared of our Governments, and that we are afraid of what they might do to us personally for expressing different views to them. There is no shame and this is their shame, our fears and concerns are real and valid. Therefore, in reality our Governments have only themselves to blame for creating what is rapidly becoming a massive Anonymous backlash movement. We are all truthfully scared that we might be branded terrorists, scared that we may be jailed, scared we may lose our jobs, scared that they may even have us killed, or thrown out of our countries. I am scared, very scared of all of this, but I am even more scared about the future, and about how Orwellian our society is becoming. We have also become scared of each other and we need to ask ourselves how did we become so fearful ? How did our minds become so manipulated ? The answer I believe is that they our Governments did this to us by showing us abuse of others, by deliberately creating a culture of fear, They have made us fearful of Government terrorism and fearful and suspicious of different culture, and even of ourselves. Fear is a great weapon to control people with, but now finally, they are becoming fearful too. They are petrified because we the people are finally waking up to their evil, greedy and hidden agendas. “For far too long far too few have had it too good”, but now this is under threat, and they fear that they might be forced to reform.. Their power of manipulation of the media is being eroded. Their control might get weakened, and their enormous wealth eroded.

      I believe that each and every person that “has had it with oppression” has a duty, and responsibility to peacefully protest in their own way. People need to stay within the law but to protest every day, and to demand reform of our Governments, and of the system. We out number them, and they cannot silence all of our voices. We can stop buying the products and services of their supporters – we are the consumers. We can all ensure that we make choices by which they will derive the minimum tax revenues. We can all use the Internet to share links, share information and articles across Social Media platforms. We can comment when we see their ghost writing, blog, organize demonstrations and organize meetings to expose Government wrong doing wherever we find it .The Internet and new technologies, and applications are available to us to, and we should use this to peacefully protest. We should make it clear that whilst we do not seek to overthrow our democratically elected Governments we do demand reform, and an immediate stop to the Watchdog deemed unlawful, mass surveillance program and its intrusion of our privacy. We should also demand an end to censorship of the media, and to any abuse of our fundamental or constitutional rights. We need to ensure that we continue to make them fear us, transferring the fear that they bestowed upon us, back to them. The revelations and recent documents which have been revealed show just how scared they really are. They are scared of the power of the masses, scared of whistleblowers, scared of investigative journalists, scared of WikiLeaks and petrified of us, the anonymous people. They fear losing their power to manipulate and to control.

      Press on Glenn, and don’t set foot in the USA until we the people have made them change, and achieved the necessary reforms. You have nothing to prove and we have already seen what they have done to others that opposed their oppression.

  48. I pin great hopes on Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept. However, I feel this opinion piece is overly shrill and mocking. My impression of Glenn so far has been that he is sober, meticulously well-informed and razor-sharp to cut through the yapping bullshit around him. As much as I understand his anger at these injustices, I fear that stooping to ridicule will reduce him in people’s eyes and make him one of the yappers. Yes, there is a lot of black humour to be had in this whole affair, but it is much more powerful if you lay the material out straight, but in such a way that readers will readily find the joke for themselves.
    I say this with greatest respect and best wishes.

  49. British and U.S. government split? Because of old pro-monarchist traditions.

    I definitively doubt that this strategy works well enough in our hightech world.

    • Because of old pro-monarchist traditions?

      I also always thought – the way the British Isle changed to a Disneyland monarchy was a sign that the whole pro monarchist tradition was toppled – but not the powerful myth of the sexy British spy.
      I mean: “Moneypenny”!
      And who doesn’t love this “licence to kill” stuff? – It’s soo exciting!

      • But who is that licensed killing for? To me, at least, it only makes sense if it is assumed to be for the Queen. So is Bond merely an inconsequential part of the Disneyland monarchy, or does he help project the remnants of that old way into the modern world? Or perhaps he serves better as the shadow that better defines the George Smileys.

        • “So is Bond merely an inconsequential part of the Disneyland monarchy, or does he help project the remnants of that old way into the modern world?”

          Bond is bigger than the Queen -(at least for the world) – because he is a major entertainment icon too – and compare him to the “image” of “the German spy” = A grey and very unsexy bureaucrat – who is only useful for art-house movies.

          That could be one of the reasons -(besides the obvious “political” ones) – why “spying” is so unpopular in Germany and Germany is the country where there is so much sympathy for Glenn Greenwald.

        • “So is Bond merely an inconsequential part of the Disneyland monarchy, or does he help project the remnants of that old way into the modern world?”

          Bond might be bigger than the Queen? -(at least from the viewpoint of the modern world) – and think about it – In Germany the stereotypical spy is a grey and very unsympathetic bureaucrat – That’s one of the reasons -(besides some “political” ones) – why spies and spying is so unpopular in the “fatherland”!

        • So is Bond merely an inconsequential part of the Disneyland monarchy, or does he help project the remnants of that old way into the modern world?

          Well, he did give Her Majesty that skydiving lesson…..so there’s that.

        • It’s been long known that Bond kills people “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

          Like John Brennan kills people for President Obama. Except Brennan does it for real.

      • Moneypenny – good idea to give women the feeling of political power without any real background. The homemade food tastes much better prepared by a happy person.

  50. “Lord Justice Laws” – how apt a name for a judge who equates journalism with terrorism. Franz Kafka would be proud if he had come up with it!.

  51. In defense of her majesty, the queen, and her entire family of bucket-faced oat eaters, it’s self evident reality that those with genes most closely aligned with equines are deserving of society’s highest reverence.

    If a mere ape-linked mortal like myself walked out into the street wearing a crown and cape demanding the courtesy and curtseys of passersby it might be considered abnormal.

    If I donned a powdered wig during court proceedings it’s possible that my mental fitness might be called into question.

    However, when these customs and clothing are practiced and presented by our lords and lordesses they should be celebrated in tribute to their earned ascendancy!

    For our society to function in accordance with natural law it’s implicit that we feces flinging monkeys default to a state of humble imperfection in the presence of our horse headed superior sovereigns!

    • It’s moments like this that I miss The Guardian‘s “Recommend” key.

    • Barring the existence of said “recommend” button, I’ll just go with, “Yeah. What TallyHo said.”

  52. It makes me sad to see so many of the commentators completely missing the point, which is made so very clearly and eloquently. Please stop this childish “yeah but what about the US this and that”-comparisons. It shows a great inability of logical thinking to turn Glenn’s criticism of Britain’s feudal system, out-dated some centuries ago, into him somehow defending the U.S.

  53. Greenwald may use Polk award to return to U.S. soon

    From Huffpo:

    Glenn Greenwald told HuffPost Live on Wednesday that there is “no question” that he will try to return to the United States soon, and that he may use his recent receipt of the prestigious Polk Award to “force the issue” of whether or not he will face legal action if he comes into America.

    “I’m going to force the issue just on principle, and I think coming back for a ceremony like the Polk Award or other forms of journalistic awards would be a really good symbolic test,” he said. “We’re still figuring out exactly how we’re going to do it and when, but there’s no question we’re going to come back to the US and test the First Amendment.”

    Oh, do I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, Glenn can’t let the U.S. government keep him from his home forever. On the other, having Glenn locked up incommunicado, not publishing, and unable to speak out, is an unacceptable thought.

    Here’s to hoping he and his advisors know what they are doing.

      • Man, I woke up grumpy today, but I will admit GG’s tirade (it’s almost as if he wants to single-handedly put the the powdered wig industry out of business #TraitorToTheCrown) and the number of familiar handles a quick scan of comments revealed has almost straightened me out. Cheers, all!

        • it’s almost as if he wants to single-handedly put the the powdered wig industry out of business

          Dat’s funee! If any one can, it’s Glenn.

    • Mr. Greenwald is making the best decision by returning to the U.S.A. Uncommon constitutional violations require challenges of uncommon courage by true patriots. This will be a galvanizing event for civil liberty advocates.

    • Well, if he has to do it, I’d feel better if he had a Brazilian passport in his pocket instead of a U.S. one. We all know how ephemeral those are. :-s

      • You go that right, kiddo. How’s the chocolate covered Raspberries? Devastating I hope :)

        • The big hit this year was the habanero pepper sauce, though the chocolate raspberry sauce was a close second. ;-}

  54. You dont have to attack the monarchy to attack the corruption of the law in this country Glenn.

    Your piece smarted of bitter revenge on the country who harassed Miranda, but it wasn’t the Queen who had anything to do with that, so why the Anti-Monarchism, you’re not even British, why do you care?

    This isn’t adversarial journalism, this is publicly bearing grudges in your writing, and the very important job of reporting of the NSA leaks shouldn’t be corrupted by your emotions. Show some composure.

    • Hannan, you got there before I did. It is understandable that GG is bitter, but resorting to scare-quotes to mock and patronise the British monarchy – totally outside the realm (sorry) of these decisions of government – reflects an eagerness to castigate with a broad brush. We Brits, whom I might add supported and applauded GG’s work at the Guardian that exposed these conditions, don’t take kindly to having our entire rich history mocked. We don’t mock the Constitution of the USA, or use scare-quotes to imply “claimed” and “so-called Senators” etc. So yes, please pull back on hating in plurals, and use a more measured tone referring to a huge constituency of supporters. This might alienate a lot of them.

    • Great dissing of obsolete toadyism Glen. When will the brits get some gonads and get rid of royal porn? – Powdered wigs to represent superior morals, gimee an effen break!
      …“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders… the grand thieves are running the country”…Howard Zinn

    • This isn’t adversarial journalism, this is publicly bearing grudges in your writing, and the very important job of reporting of the NSA leaks shouldn’t be corrupted by your emotions. Show some composure.

      Whatever one thinks of Glenn’s views re: the British monarchy, titled nobility and wigs on judges, this piece is not in the news section. It is Greenwald’s standard punditry; an opinion piece.

      He links in his column to the Intercept’s straight news story on the Miranda decision.

      • You know that’s not going to fly. Most people aren’t going to separate Glenn’s personal feelings from his “straight news” reporting, because they don’t believe that’s possible for anyone to do.

        It’s fine for people to express their opinions, as long as they understand that others might not agree with their stated basis for holding them. Glenn’s attack on the remnants of the trappings of monarchy in Britain came across to me as an explosion of resentment and anger (understandable given the circumstances), and my first thought was “this probably isn’t going to go over well with his British supporters.” We have our silly traditions here in the Colonies, too, that would probably better be discarded (why does a nation founded on the ideals of individual freedom and liberty even have a “Pledge of Allegiance?”); our judges don’t wear wigs (well, powdered ones anyway) but they do wear robes, and our leaders are still expected to wear suits, for no better reasons than symbolism and tradition. If one’s goal is to persuade a foreign audience to accept one’s interpretation of events, it’s probably not helpful to spend time sneering at their traditions; especially if they are at best only peripherally related to the events in question.

        I guess the tl;dr is, I learned long ago that it’s not a good idea to post when you’re angry. You tend to say things that aren’t helpful to you.

        • If one’s goal is to persuade a foreign audience to accept one’s interpretation of events, it’s probably not helpful to spend time sneering at their traditions;

          Glenn has never been one to tread lightly or prevaricate in order to “win over supporters.” How is this post about the absurdity of the British monarchy and their foolish cartoon like traditions any different than when he gets on the angry or hurt feelings side of fake “progressives” – or what ever the latest descriptive word is being tossed around – and Obama worshipers by telling the truth as he sees it about the Obama administration and about Obama himself?

          If Glenn had ‘toned down’ is voice at any point in his journalistic career he would have been less effective than he has been. I will even go so far to say that it was Glenn’s honesty and take no prisoners style which was partly responsible for convincing Snowden to contact him about publishing the documents.

    • “…It wasn’t the Queen…”–but it was the *Crown*. And who wears that crown? So her role was, as always nominal? But that doesn’t butter any parsnips–”nominal” means it was done *in her name*. And it is the responsibility of every person, including a monarch, to disavow any reprehensible action done in her name. Since she can scarcely be suspected of senility, by not disavowing she took responsibility.

  55. Another excellent article resplendently intertwined with attributions/citations—a hallmark of Mr. Greenwald’s splendid journalism and commentary.

  56. When is the UK and US Government going to open this up to a full public debate, and democratic vote on what we the people want? Maybe rather than just debating online we should be lobbying them, signing petitions,, doing more through Social Media, and on You Tube and most importantly peacefully demonstrating at their doors.. Anyone that has become too fearful of being classified a terrorist or of being analysed by their Orwellian cameras can wear a Guy Fawks mask.

  57. “… Our long-term mission is to produce fearless, adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues. …”

    Question Glenn: does the long term mission start now? In other words, is this news agency interested in any and all topics of adversarial journalism was we speak and if so, were might one leave a “tip” about something that might interest one of the writers here?

    On a tech note, a preview feature would be nice if that could be arranged someday.

    By the way, good luck on this endeavor.

    ~ Mark

  58. The avatars / circle things overlap the text at the beginning of each comment – and I’m using Opera browser. Super annoying!

    • I noticed the same thing in the comments section of the last story before the David Miranda decision news. Mentioned it in a post – and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one experiencing this. BTW, I’m using IE.

      I hope the tech team will be able to work on it now after this last flurry of news and comment.

  59. The point under II, 2 cuts directly to the real reason for harassment of Miranda: [em] ” . . . that Miranda is carrying items that will assist in Greenwald releasing more of the NSA and GCHQ material we judge to be in Greenwald’s possession.” [/em] In short, Miranda’s material might convey insight into what Greenwald was focusing on at that moment. This reasoning is not the same as terrorist-related, could threaten loss of lives, etc. The context is the Miranda detention took place weeks after Snowden emerged and the documents had been dispersed. Also, by then Snowden and the journalists had made clear their purposes, which included carefully vetting materials to eliminate risk to individuals and instead focus on government policies. [strong] This harassment had nothing to do with terrorism, [/strong] a mistake being made in the comments columns today in defending the Brit’s actions. A second mistake is the current popularity of the mistaken idea Snowden intended to aid Russian intel. Russia was not his preferred destination for sanctuary. Possibly somewhere in South America was. He ended up in Russia because he found no other sanctuary at that time.

    • …and because my wonderful gov’t yanked his passport before he could leave.

      • No government came forth to offer sanctuary and Moscow didn’t want him either. Then with time running out at Sheremetyeov Airport Russia granted him a year’s sanctuary, given he would do nothing further to harm the governments he had already offended. That was the situation, end of June.

        • Actually, several south american leaders offerred Snowden a safe haven. Venezuella was one. Ecuador, another. And I believe a tiny central american nation did, as well.

          Unfortunately, after the US air piracy by proxy of the Bolivian presidents plane, sane folks saw the absolute craven desperation of Obama and his thugs, that they saw fit to stay put(in). :0

        • Actually, several south american leaders offered Snowden assylum. Even a tiny central american nation offered it. But the US air-piracy-by-proxy of the Bolivian president likely encouraged Snowden to stay put(in) Russia.

  60. And who exactly gave this ‘Grimm Grimmworld’ such powers as having his own avatar? It’s almost like he might be running this crap shoot or sumpin. The NERVE, I tells ya. :)

  61. Is there any way to get rid of the damned silhouette-in-a-circle icons that obscure the beginning of every comment? Or am I just lucky?

    • We’re still livin’ in a stick house with out drywall, plumbing or electricity. I’m sure the IT people will sort it all out as time goes on. (I don’t like the nested comments, but that’s just me).

      • OK, things could be worse for me. My house (rented) was finished 50 yrs ago. Look me up next time you’re in San Francisco!

        • Err… I was talking about the condition of this website, at present. My house is perfectly unlivable due to lots of pets.

          • Gotcha. For once I shouldn’t blame myself–before your post began with “livin’” causing misinterp.

    • That occurs when using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It does not occur when I use Mozilla Firefox.

      • Thanks, but I’m using Firefox! Does give me the idea to try other browsers though…

      • It? I too have the icon overlap problem. Is that due to IE?

        Hoping site tech can improve the comment section.

        I’ve tried advice on HTML from commentators but still problems with emphasis and bold etc..

        Specific replies TO are not always clear

        An AT function would help.

      • Now I’m on Chrome and the icons have politely moved out of the way! I don’t like Google but they do some things right.

      • The Intercept IT team should be made aware that IE (8+) testing is still pretty standard in most web organizations.

  62. You’re right about a country with no explicit provision for freedom of the press (“lacking constitutional guarantees of press freedom” you put it) being more apt to pull something like this, and do appeal to the European higher court. But I would strongly urge you to take this ruling as an augury to stay home this spring. Maybe this is peculiar to the UK, but the US no doubt put them up to it. Britain may still have its lords and earls and dukes and such as you say, but the current word for their form of government is satrapy, as a vassal of the United States.

    Your moral and physical courage is a matter of record. But you’re not going to do much good while you’re sitting in the brig, incommunicado, while your appeals go up the Federal courts in the hope that the Supreme Court someday rules that the 1st Amendment clause on press freedom is valid — and that ruling could go either way.

    • It’s a quandary. Know this, oh coram of the nobis, I am a lowly gravel cruncher and listen to you intently, but showing up for the Polk Award seems like the right thing to do. I know it’s risky- but what in life isn’t? Good to see you here, my liege.

      • Hi, Titonwan, good to see you here, and I’m not criticizing Glenn. He has reasons for going, you’ve mentioned one, and yes it is risky. I don’t think it out of line to speak caution to resolve, that’s all. The fact that he would go with everybody watching him is one safeguard; the forum he’s going to (Polk) is another, since the Fourth Estate might regard his well-being as theirs. If he wants to go, then he should go forth, and fear no darkness.

  63. Just more PR & propaganda, censorship, & coverup by the Government that will continue its smear campaign against Mr. Snowden & the Press by using the following tactics as
    quoted by Joseph Goebbels during the 1930′s & 1940′s.

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will
    eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such
    time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic
    and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” AND

    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless
    one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine
    itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

    Snowden did this, blah blah blah & Snowden did that, blah blah blah, but we all must remember Snowden did nothing but expose the truth, & it was the US Government, both Republican & Democrats that did what they did to subvert the Constitution & their own records prove it ! Lets not forget this at the next election. Send them a message they cant ignore & will understand, vote for Independent candidates !

    It matters not how many POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRATS get in front of a camera & make statements until they provide proof of their accusations, they have no credibility. Don’t trust them, but verify what they have to say. Otherwise It is all part of the same smear
    campaign by the government. Just more CYA on their part !

    REMEMBER: POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRATS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON.

    He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
    Benjamin Franklin

    Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
    James Madison

    The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
    Patrick Henry

    “We the People are the rightful masters of BOTH Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution”
    Abraham Lincoln

    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
    Abraham Lincoln

    As a reminder Hermann Goering said at the Nuremberg Trials .
    “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

    NSA General Keith Alexander told lawmakers “that even if approved, the measure would not necessarily end warrant-less collection depending on judicial interpretation.”

    Time to start removing the corporate Congress from office & defunding the NSA to force them to comply with the law & impose jail time for non compliance under USC Title 18 Sec. 241 & 242

    Stop with the trying to put the lipstick on a pig approach !

    Disclaimer: Be advised it is possible, that this communication is being monitored by the National Security Agency. I neither condone or support any such policy, by any Government authority.

    • Great post!… and I hate to argue against so many illustrious thinkers…but here goes. We might question the premise: Power/money are the corruptive forces at work. The system is/has been a poorly designed system….and those who ‘lie, cheat, steal’ are those who use these ‘skills’ to lie, cheat and steal their way to the top, trampling the honest who play by the sane, reasonable rules. It has been shown (Clapper lying under oath…a late example) that the more powerful a (corrupt ) person is are the less likely to be punished for their crimes…empowering them all the more. It doesn’t follow that the power itself is the corruptive force (if this were true than every parent would be abusive to children as their power is complete)…rather that in the right conditions those with no sense of fairness, justice and empathy in power are simply ‘allowed’ to reach their peck performance and we the honest suffer at their hands. Solution? Eliminate the top (vertical power) and create horizontal power systems. (sorry if you’ve read this entire thread and hear me beating this drum. : )

      • I agree that “Power/money are the corruptive forces at work”. If I may extend your thought, I believe that this has a genetic component, and goes all the way back to hunter/ gatherer days, when small bands fighting for survival had an advantage if more cohesive than competitors. So what the Fearless Leader said was followed or else, and it was comforting to be aligned with TPTW (somebody beat me to this dangit). It is still comforting on a deep unconscious level, which I think is a major part of the reason many of us will follow plainly destructive or irrational leaders.

  64. Excuse my gushing but I am so impressed by the thoughtful and articulate commentary herein that I must praise Glenn, Laura and Jeremy once again for bringing to us the extraordinary venues that are the “First Look” and “The Intercept”. Your audience is clearly a cut above and I’m proud to participate.

    I can not help but wonder, however, how many curious souls are too legitimately paranoid to enter the forums or to even peruse these important stories. Self-censorship’s big brother: Self-readership. [I believe I've coined a phrase.]

    Using one’s real name or not (Bergeron, above) I’m sure we posters/browsers are all on a watch list now. Terrorists- each and every one of you! I’m wearing my new absurd title proudly as I visit these pages often.

    Thank you again and, Glenn, best of luck w/ Mr. Miranda’s pursuit of justice.

    • Welcome, Paul Tranby. I have noticed Glenn gets a better cut of commenters (and trolls, I might add) than most articles. It’s hard to fight against facts and reason, although there’s a few pretzel logisticians who’d disagree. Natch :) Enjoy the show.

    • Hi Paul,
      I am proud to add my name to the government watch list along with yours. I have met you and seen your name over the years in many forums dealing with our corrupt and criminal leaders. I am glad to see you are still around.

  65. I have no desire to trivialize, but this reminds me of The Bank Job, the film about what might have been the biggest bank robbery in British history.

    Never heard of it? Exactly. But I’m sure everyone has heard of D Notices.

  66. “And the Brazilian government announces that due to the threat of hooligan terrorism, the English national football team will not be allowed to enter Brazilian territory for this year’s World Cup.”

    I’d love to see that!

    • Me too, and my paternal grandfather and grandmother were born in England. My ancestral loyalty to England continues to erode because of unjust actions against World citizens like David Miranda, and its siege of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

      However, I’m sure that the NSA has put me in another of their “this guy needs watching” databases since my maternal grandfather and grandmother were born in France.

      Since my parents and I were born in the USA, I believe I’m safe from being deported, but who knows what additional US secret laws & interpretations, and secret courts may put this belief at risk. Since everything related to ?National Security? is now secret, I won’t know until it happens.

  67. As a country the US is rotting from the core, this is not natural. The powers that be control Fox, MSNBC etc. and we the audience are entertained and awed by their story lines. Wake up America and you may find you are more a part of the play than imagined.

    • Jon Rapport has a great story of that symbiotic relationship between the media and the sheeple.

    • As a country the US is rotting from the core, this is not natural.

      Not to be contrary, but history says otherwise. Power, cronyism and corruption are as natural as human nature. Jefferson was quite wise in saying we will have to fight to reset this government in every generation as politicians work all the angles to compromise the initial ideals, to their benefit. If we simplified the laws, there’d be a lot less wiggle room for corruption. Machiavellians love the loopholes and vague language. More room to tear the rules apart. See- ‘the present’.
      I have a little more hope now- thanks to Edward Snowden and the journalist brave enough to report on it.

      • You raise an interesting point. Our man-made environment changes — steam-engines, cell phones — but we don’t. Caesar would not understand our weapons, but he would soon understand our strategy.

        I think U.S. society is beginning to resemble that of the early Roman Principate. We have vast inequalities of wealth and power and we are beginning to see the rise of the patron-client paradigm. Patrons (the Koch brothers) support and control clients (politicians who need money, the Heritage and Cato foundations, AFP, ALEC) who do their bidding (favorable laws, fawning policy papers). I don’t think this model got Rome to anywhere we’d like to go.

    • TPTW (the powers that were) want you and me to believe we are inferior, less than and beholden to their great superiority and dark wisdom. But TPTW know the truth about you and me and that is that we are superior in every way than they are. These inferior TPTW have used a clever trick that has worked for thousands of years and that is to get us to doubt our God given creative genius and vast potential by slowly dumbing us down via our DNA. For some reason humanity is awakening from this induced sleep of doubt and self-denial. For whatever the reason we are regaining our belief in our divine creative higher self and have decided with focused intention to get rid of these parasitic creatures ASAP.

        • So thrilled to see so many familiar names back where they belong!

          Indeedy! Now cough up the secret password/handshake/wand-waving that got your mugshot attached to your handle and no one will have to get hurt. ;-}

          • You can “Tee” all you want. But my ears don’t stick out nearly as far as the ones on that fake avatar that everyone but Glenn is sharing. In fact, they’re pointier, and they are on top of my head. ;-}

  68. Hey, the old Salon crew is back together! Some of my best reads come from former posters at that joint (Ronald Heard, Pedinska, coram nobis, Kitt et alia). And then we got ‘piece o cake’… Oh well, welcome everybody!
    Man, I love Glenn because he actually dives into the comments and refutes the misinformation and ignorance. (I’ve actually been restricted on Democratic Underground from commenting because I’ve been a strong ally of Glenn, Laura, David and everyone else dedicated to get the truth out there. I’ve been a member of DU forever but now it’s infested with people that defend Obama but hated Bush for the very same policies (actually Obama has been worse on civil liberties). I tell them they’re hypocrites and all of a sudden I’m a Rand Paul fan! I can’t comment there or post threads until the middle of next month. (*weeping now* /sarc)

    • Hi Titonwan!

      Also making a presence here have been bystander/Tallyho, Morning’s Minion, Gator & quite a few others.

      We shall reconstitute!

      • (Cussing). Sh!t, I knew I’d forgotten you (and the others!). Good to see ya, Mona. Yer one of my favorites. Hi MM!

        • I’ve been an avid reader but rare commenter for years now and I’d like to add how great it is to see all these familiar names and witty conversations back in the comment section. My productivity is about to take a dive.

      • We shall reconstitute!

        Absolutely. The instigatin’s already underway so full reconstitution can’t be far behind.

        It’s nice to see everyone again.

        • C’mon, porninska. You know damned well we rally around our man. Glenn is a great inspiration. Even to us mountain climbers :)

  69. Just more PR & propaganda, censorship, & coverup by the Government that will continue its smear campaign against Mr. Snowden & the press by using the following tactics as quoted by Joseph Goebbels during the 1930′s & 1940′s.

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” AND

    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

    The US. & UK. Governments no longer have any credibility ! They make statements but never provide proof . Trust us, I think NOT ! Don’t trust but verify, & demand evidence of proof ! Until they do so, it’s just more lies, excuses, rationalizations, & justifications .

    It is not the Press that needs to be investigated in the UK & the US but the NSA & GCHQ & the Governments of both countries who have violated their own laws. They are the ONLEY ones responsible for this MESS !

    The NSA & GCHQ are out of control & so are both Governments ! ! They all need to be held to account !

    REMEMBER: POLITICIANS BUREAUCRATS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE
    CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON.

    Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
    Thomas Jefferson

    A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both.
    James Madison

    The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
    Patrick Henry

    As a reminder Hermann Goering said at the Nuremberg Trials .
    “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

    Disclaimer: Be advised it is possible, that this communication is being monitored by the National Security Agency.

  70. There are so many ironies here I am dizzy. The “Patriot” Act took away America’s MIRANDA rights. The Magna Carta was written, and used successfully, in the UK. It was the basis of America’s Constitution and Bill of Rights, all now simply paper trash. But they have closed the gate after the thoroughbreds have left the barn. After all, America is the only nation that was built on an idea….”…and ideas, Mr. Greedy, are bulletproof.” Oh. So sorry. Mr CREADY

  71. “None of this behavior bears any relationship to actual reality: it’s as though the elite political class of an entire nation somehow got stuck in an adolescent medieval fantasy game. But the political principles of monarchy, hereditary privilege, rigid class stratification, and feudal entitlement embedded in all of this play-acting clearly shape the repressive mentality and reverence for state authority which Her Majesty’s Government produces.”

    The best description of what’s wrong with the UK I have ever read!

  72. David and Glenn, thank you for shining light in the face of governments that are scared of losing their power. It is only from this that “The People” can have a chance at fighting back on more level ground. Stay healthy and strong.

  73. Quite frankly, I feel terrorized by the mindset of the British Government which shows less and less knowledge of or concern for the democratic wishes of most of its citizens.

  74. I entirely agree with almost all of what you say, but I think that you weaken the argument by bringing our constitutional monarchy into it. In almost every way, it is our *elected* representatives who are responsible for our loss of freedoms (aided by a very compliant press in many cases). Ironically, the hereditary peers have often been the ones who most strongly defend us – and I don’t think you’d ever find a connection between the Queen and GCHQ!
    (It’s the same in the USA: President Bush, and the Congress which passed the Patriot Act were both elected)

  75. Many average Americans tend to ‘worship’ UK Royalty more than the average British person. I support much of what Glenn writes about but I find the xenophobia a little off. I feel he needs to garner support in the UK and not be tempted to alienate those he could otherwise win over.

  76. As a US Army veteran (Vietnam era), I applaud your efforts. That you are targeted by the UK and US governments speaks to your effectiveness. Stay strong and keep at it.

    • That you are targeted by the UK and US governments speaks to your effectiveness.

      As I’ve been told by First Nation relatives- ‘you are only as great as your enemies’. As a VN vet, I totally agree. Glenn is the best.

  77. Last Paragraph of above article’s update :
    “It may be perfectly normal for a country lacking constitutional guarantees of press freedom (such as the U.K.) to have their surveillance agencies eavesdrop on the communications of journalists and their family members, but that conduct, by itself, is rather radical.”
    end
    Scandanavian countries appear to have the greatest press freedoms as a group.

    http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php#
    World press
    freedom index 2014
    Reporters Without Borders.
    Finland 1st
    Netherlands 2nd
    Norway 3rd
    New Zealand 9th
    Australia 28th
    United Kingdom 33rd
    United States 46th.

    Yes even with constitutional guarentees America is low on press freedom.
    Glenn It is good to see you away from the u s of a.
    Go to Rio
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCYxTg6svXg&feature=kp

    • From
      Reporters without borders
      http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php#
      Snip
      INFORMATION SACRIFICED TO NATIONAL SECURITY AND SURVEILLANCE
      snip
      This has been the case in the United States (46th), which fell 13 places, one of the most significant declines, amid increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks. The trial and conviction of Private Bradley Manning and the pursuit of NSA analyst Edward Snowden were warnings to all those thinking of assisting in the disclosure of sensitive information that would clearly be in the public interest.

      US journalists were stunned by the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press phone records without warning in order to identify the source of a CIA leak. It served as a reminder of the urgent need for a “shield law” to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources at the federal level. The revival of the legislative process is little consolation for James Risen of The New York Times, who is subject to a court order to testify against a former CIA employee accused of leaking classified information. And less still for Barrett Brown, a young freelance journalist facing 105 years in prison in connection with the posting of information that hackers obtained from Statfor, a private intelligence company with close ties to the federal government.

      The United Kingdom (33rd, -3) distinguished itself in the war on terror by the disgraceful pressure it put on The Guardian newspaper and by its detention of David Miranda, journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner and assistant, for nine hours. Both the US and UK authorities seem obsessed with hunting down whistleblowers instead of adopting legislation to rein in abusive surveillance practices that negate privacy, a democratic value cherished in both countries.
      Snip

        • Many of our current (former laws) were formed in the wake of the Church Committee and the exposures of surveillance in the 60′s and seventies.

          Some interesting background: The first volume of the Hearings Before the Select Committee On Assassinations. The most interesting chapters are at the end, the exhibit documents published by the ACLU paint a picture of political surveillance, interference and infiltration.

          http://www.scribd.com/doc/205849895/Hearings-Before-the-Select-Committee-on-Assassinations-of-the-House-of-Representatives-Ninety-Fifth-congress-second-session-December-11-and-12-19

          “In memory of Aaron Swartz.
          This book is being released to fill a gap in public internet archives; three of the other volumes: The Final Report of the Committee and the appendixes covering Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy are already archived on http://www.archive.org. This volume covers the first part of the hearings, the testimony of the heads of the FBI and CIA and a number of exhibits mostly dealing with surveillance, domestic and foreign, infiltration of civilian political action groups, informants, and information gathering.

          Democracy can only thrive in an atmosphere of free and unhindered access to knowledge. Even a book like this, ostensibly in the public domain, can be difficult to study: locating the resource, traveling to it, copying or scanning – which may be regulated or charged for by the institution that holds it – all these things can prove insurmountable challenges to an ordinary citizen with
          limited time and budget. Aaron wanted to bring the world of knowledge to more people, and in that spirit, we release this volume to the internet.”

    • after looking it appears they have not been around long, I was wondering what it looked like in say 1960. Point being they seem to be the only one counting but… Im not sure they are the expert

    • We’re BELOW the UK??! Now that hurts! Time for a drone strike on Reporters w/o Borders…

  78. And yet, with all our feudal systems and 16th century justice systems we are still more fair, free and honest than the US is. Once the TSA and DHS decide to get their hooks into you there taking it to court isn’t even a recourse.

    • The but, but we’re better than Nigeria! argument is painful to read. Do try better going forward.

    • Oh this is just so sad- comparing two countries racing each other to the bottom on human rights and you’re here defending drawing and quartering rather than lynching and draggin’ folks behind pick up trucks. Whoopee!

  79. Keep fighting, Glenn!

    btw, where exactly is the “free world” these days?

    Is it a particular geographical location? Or merely a state of mind?

    • Might I suggest Patagonia? Rugged, isolated, beautiful- and no place for a jet to land. And has the most difficult mountain in the world to climb- Mt. Fitz Roy (Chaltén). (now now, let’s not argue about K2):.

      First climbed in 1952 by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone, it remains among the most technically challenging mountains on Earth for mountaineers.

      That and Baintha Brakk are some skeery damned heights. (Kinda like what Glenn’s doing for journalisms!).

  80. These double standards seem to confirm the notion that those who beat the drum loudest are trying to drown out their own guilty conscience. I do not believe the schizophrenia of political networks is a relatively new affair, but I do wonder at why the blatant hypocrisy is so unabashed as days go by. I was always taught that respect must be earned, that heroic sacrifice makes the world go round. But casting heroes as scapegoats is beyond absurd, a joke with no punchline whatsoever.

  81. The British establishment that engineered this egregious ruling has a stinking colonial history in addition to being a medieval anachronism and the United States’ pimp. Both Prime Minister Cameron and his wife are descended from slave owners who were generously compnsated when slavery was abolished (the slaves got sweet FA).

    An insight into just how barbaric British colonialism was can be gleaned from this article by Guardian columnist and environmentalist George Monbiot:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/23/british-empire-crimes-ignore-atrocities

    “Elkins reveals that the British detained not 80,000 Kikuyu, as the official histories maintain, but almost the entire population of one and a half million people, in camps and fortified villages. There, thousands were beaten to death or died from malnutrition, typhoid, tuberculosis and dysentery. In some camps almost all the children died.

    The inmates were used as slave labour. Above the gates were edifying slogans, such as “Labour and freedom” and “He who helps himself will also be helped”. Loudspeakers broadcast the national anthem and patriotic exhortations. People deemed to have disobeyed the rules were killed in front of the others. The survivors were forced to dig mass graves, which were quickly filled. Unless you have a strong stomach I advise you to skip the next paragraph.

    Interrogation under torture was widespread. Many of the men were anally raped, using knives, broken bottles, rifle barrels, snakes and scorpions. A favourite technique was to hold a man upside down, his head in a bucket of water, while sand was rammed into his rectum with a stick. Women were gang-raped by the guards. People were mauled by dogs and electrocuted. The British devised a special tool which they used for first crushing and then ripping off testicles. They used pliers to mutilate women’s breasts. They cut off inmates’ ears and fingers and gouged out their eyes. They dragged people behind Land Rovers until their bodies disintegrated. Men were rolled up in barbed wire and kicked around the compound.”

    This is the nature of the beast with which you are dealing. The creatures who passed this ruling all attended the same elite private schools as the rest of the British plutocracy. These schools which were so admired by Hitler who attributed the success of the British Empire to them, generally turn out expensively educated sociopathic savages. See Monbiot’s other article on how these boarding schools brutalise their pupils at a tender age:

    “But the damage goes far beyond this skimming. British private schools create a class culture of a kind unknown in the rest of Europe. The extreme case is the boarding prep schools, which separate children from their parents at the age of eight in order to shape them into members of a detached elite. In his book The Making of Them the psychotherapist Nick Duffell shows how these artificial orphans survive the loss of their families by dissociating themselves from their feelings of love(14). Survival involves “an extreme hardening of normal human softness, a severe cutting off from emotions and sensitivity.”(15) Unable to attach themselves to people (intimate relationships with other children are discouraged by a morbid fear of homosexuality), they are encouraged instead to invest their natural loyalties in the institution.

    This made them extremely effective colonial servants: if their commander ordered it, they could organise a massacre without a moment’s hesitation (witness the detachment of the officers who oversaw the suppression of the Mau Mau, quoted in Caroline Elkins’s book, Britain’s Gulag(16)). It also meant that the lower orders at home could be put down without the least concern for the results. For many years, Britain has been governed by damaged people.”

    • Horrific account !…and supports the work of my great uncle Will Durant who wrote ‘The Story of Civilization.’ (11 volumes)
      Re: The State (Vol 1) : In permanent conquest the principle of domination tends to become concealed and almost unconscious…Time sanctifies everything; even the most arrant theft, in the hands of the robber’s grandchildren, becomes sacred and inviolable property. Every state begins in compulsion; but the habits of obedience become the content of conscience, and soon every citizen thrills with loyalty to the flag…A state which should rely upon force alone would soon fall, for through men are naturally gullible they are also naturally obstinate, and power, like taxed, succeeds best when it is invisible and indirect. Hence the state, in order to maintain itself, used and forged many instruments of indoctrination – the family, the church, the school – to build in the soul of the citizen a habit of patriotic loyalty and pride. This saved a thousand policemen, and prepared the public mind for that docile coherence which is indispensable in war. Above all, the ruling minority sought more and more to transform its forcible mastery into a body of law which, while consolidating that master, would afford a welcome security and order to the people, and would recognize the rights of the ‘subject’ (note how this word betrays the origin of the state) sufficiently to win his acceptance of the law and his adherence to the state.”

      So..my question as a designer… Why hasn’t our knowing of the game allowed us to re-design the game so the relative few who always lie, cheat and pay their way to the top are no longer the few who rule the rest? The top must be eliminated …vertical power shifts to horizontal power (now possible through technology) …. if we are to have any hope of survival as a species.

      • “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.” –Will Durant

        One of my favorite sayings and the prelude to the magnificent movie- ‘Apocalypto’.
        Yes, martha, civilizations can get ate up with their selves.

  82. With Lord Justice Laws presiding, what else could we expect? (“..best known for previously approving the use of evidence to detain people that had been derived from torture at Guantanamo…”

  83. I like this comment on the Guardian site:

    If it was that sensitive, the Security services (GCHQ) would never have allowed a foreign countries security services (NSA) access to it in the first place.

  84. The best part of all this is that less than a year prior to the detention, David Cameron was stood up in Parliament commenting on the Leveson inquiry, that had just been published. Cheered on by the same press that have suggested that the reporting of the Snowden files is tantamount to terrorism, he expressed significant doubts about changes to laws that protect journalists who deal with protected data:

    “First, he [Leveson] proposes some changes to the Data Protection Act that would reduce the special treatment that journalists are afforded when dealing with personal data. We must consider this very carefully, particularly the impact that it could have on investigative journalism. Although I have been able to make only preliminary investigations about that proposal since reading the report, I am instinctively concerned about it.” PM, David Cameron.

    After which he issues some coded literary delusion to “crossing the Rubicon”, before entertaining the gallery with this, obviously satirical nonsense:

    “We should be wary of any legislation that has the potential to infringe free speech and a free press. In this House, which has been a bulwark of democracy for centuries, we should think very, very carefully before crossing that line.” PM, David Cameron.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121129/debtext/121129-0003.htm

  85. While I share your disgust and disdain for the British “royalty,” it is a mistake to overlook the considerable holdings in land, resources and financial speculative control through the City of London. Their empire is still very much alive unfortunately. The tragic fact is that through their geopolitical machinations they have kept the dumb American giant on a short leash doing their bidding in unending “post-colonial”wars.

    • I think it alive but on life support along with the only Super power in the world the United States

    • So true!…not just a short leash but apparently it’s invisible as most people can’t see the lock step policies.

  86. As a Brit I found Glenn’s frankness about the aristocratic culture of the UK to be highly refreshing. The collective silence of the British mainstream press regarding this is astounding. Try to find a criticism of the monarchy (as an institute) on the BBC…

    • How long are you prepared to hang on to them for, then? asks a bewildered BBC stalwart Jeremy Paxman of Glenn Greenwald. If you want to see how in the can UK “journalists” are with the UK government, just watch this incredibly dumbfounding interview of Glenn Greenwald by a scared and concerned Jeremy Paxman. The guy seems to think this is all just a little side game that GCHQ got caught up in, and the mean little people, aka Real Journalists, need to stop all this nonsense and “Give Back the Documents” posthaste.
      Five minute video:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQbNlK-4Vr0

      • I suggest you watch more of Paxman, once you’ve done that I challenge you to reach any conclusion about his affiliations, political or otherwise. There is no more independent a journalist than Paxman, nor one that’s more likely to put himself on the line to get the truth. Paxman has stood the test of time, and prooved himself repeatedly. Unlike the one hit wonder that is Glen Greenwald, who is making a career out of the fear, uncertainty and doubt of others.

        • Is it not the Governments of the UK and US and their corporate partnerships that have made money from the promotion of fear to the masses ?

        • the one hit wonder that is Glen Greenwald

          Presuming the “one hit” you reference is the series of NSA/GCHQ stories that have been landing in news media all over the world, I’d have to say Greenwald packs one hella punch.

          Always interesting to watch folks who never read Glenn before the NSA stories struggle with the fact that a multitude of governments are now finding themselves on the short end of the stick with their populace, trying to explain away the fact that they now treat everyone as suspected criminals.

          It must puzzle you no end trying to figure out how the Guardian thought him worthy of hiring, you know, since he’d not produced anything worthy prior to that (according to you).

          The NSA and GCHQ are having conniption fits trying to anticipate the damage from Glenn “One Hit Wonder” Greenwald’s next story, but if it makes you feel better please feel free to put your blindfold and earplugs back on and wander about in aimless oblivion. Your surname suits you well.

        • My comment about Paxman was about his behavior in the video that I linked to. He comes off like a dimwitted buffoon in that video by asking ignorant, lame and government protective questions – some of which don’t even make any sense. If your mission is to defend Paxman’s behavior in that video you’re up one hell of a mucky , rocky creek without so much as a splintered paddle.

  87. You are on fire Glenn, this couldn’t have been written any better. You have time and time again pointed out the injustices these establishments have committed over and over to protect themselves from public scrutiny and it is so obvious! It is scary that the UK is doing such a sloppy job of it. I don’t know when the people will wake from their slumber but I have a feeling they are starting to. Anyone I talk to about the NSA, GCHQ, UK and US governments have completely lost trust in them and now see what their motivations truly are for creating these surveillance programs. It almost on a few occasions cements some of the argument some conspiracy theorists I talk to have, that 9/11 was carried out by a group within the government so that they may create an atmosphere that would tolerate these types of liberty infringing programs and in the name of security carry out their agenda unchallenged. I know that seems like a stretch but and I’m not saying that I believe that but it gets you thinking, how convenient it has been for these agencies and governments to just drop the T bomb anytime they need to justify something, “its for counter-terrorism”, “its to protect you”, I have heard this time and time again but its obvious these are hollowed words.

    • I posted this response in the comment section of Glenn’s article re: Clapper (I repost it here as support for your comment Jon) ” ‘Since 9/11 leaders of both political parties in the United States have sought to consolidate power by leaning … on the danger of a terrorist attack’…. Our capabilities in these areas help explain why we have been so successful in preventing further attacks like 9/11.”

      Quoted in Chris Hedges article… Lynne Stewart Tell ChrisHedges “Every Little bit heals”.

      “The climate in the nation’s courtrooms charged irrevocably after 9/11, she said.”

      9/11 was/is THE event that has signed, sealed and delivered us 1984. What is crucial is that this event be revisited and the case reopened to expose the inconsistencies between the official report and the work of thousands of engineers and architects. If it is revealed that 9/11 was a false flag then every right that has been stripped from us must be restored as the foundation of these unconstitutional changes crumbles…this revelation will unite a movement for justice from Americans. The fact that Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and even our most trusted progressives all of whom I love and deeply respect…. Amy Goodman, Chris Hedges, Glenn Greenwald…won’t touch this story and this causes great alarm. There is currently a campaign to educate people that building 7 was not hit by a plane but somehow went down in a free fall collapse when polls revealed that most Americans don’t even remember or realize this fact. Billboards went up in NYC/ Times Square and yet no progressive investigative journalist will cover this ongoing story of the grassroots investigation by credentialed, concerned citizens. Amy Goodman has been approached many times and she runs from the question. A poll revealed that people across the globe believe that 9/11 was an inside job…proving the importance of a new investigation in either case. There are close to 50 documentaries (top documentaryfilms.com) that have been made outlining the suspect aspects of 9/11…to ignore all of this thoughtful work and to dismiss it as ‘fringe crazy’ is to refuse to do any critical investigative journalism in this area…and that should be our biggest concern.

  88. As others have noted, Glenn, your attack on British feudal paraphernalia seems off-base or just rather scattershot. This is one of the hazards of being the editor-in-chief. Who will tell you to take this stuff out, and will you listen to them? Of course if it were my partner who was arrested and then subject to this injustice, I would scarcely be as controlled as you are. And I think that David’s arrest was deplorable and this court decision wrong-headed, for many of the reasons you mention, especially the equation of ‘terrorism’ with any actions, even symbolic ones, deemed to be ‘against the national interest.’ If, however, you really wanted to publish political theory, I think ‘The Intercept’ would be better off running a series examining how and who gets to define ‘National Interest’ in an age which is said to be post-nationalist, or b. a larger think piece on how terrorism has been used to resuscitate dumb 19th century nationalist ideologies. Either way, you’re at your best writing as a lawyer and a journalist, not as a cultural theorist.

    • The pantomime of a judge wearing an 18th century wig solemnly declaring that everything the government does is legal in the name of national security deserves some ridicule.

      These dog and pony shows are intended to impress the masses, so pointing out how silly they are is useful to help break the spell. This is not some learned legal opinion, merely performance art – and not very good performance art.

      Glenn Greenwald has a right to take this episode personally. Responding clinically to the legal points raised in the opinion might impress the lawyers, but ultimately just plays into the government’s hands by pretending this ruling is based on anything other than self interest. The emotional response in this article will have more resonance with the general reader imho.

    • This is one of the hazards of being the editor-in-chief. Who will tell you to take this stuff out, and will you listen to them?

      I’m not the editor-in-chief – I’m one of the co-equal founding editors along with Laura Poitras and jeremy Schaill. We’re in the process of hiring an editor-in-chief.

      But even when we have one, nobody is going to tell me what I can and can’t write. When it comes to column writing (as opposed to news articles), my situation here will be exactly the same as my situation at the Guardian and then at Salon before that: I write what i want and post it directly without anyone first reviewing let alone editing it.

      There’s nothing different here as compared the how I’ve written for many years.

      • Truthfully, it’s all still a little confusing with the start of a whole new effort to publish facts and opinions – First Look and The Intercept, News and Glenn Greenwald, Voices and Documents. It will all get sorted as it evolves. Some of us who have followed Glenn Greenwald for a while appreciate the difference between the reporting of facts and a trip inside his brain.

        But I disagree that “there’s nothing different here as compared to how I’ve written for many years.” There is a new focus and clarity, an energy and an amazing refinement which gets powerful thoughts expressed in a most accessible way. It results in a whole new force the planet desperately needs.

        Oh – and there’s a Polk Award. Glenn Greenwald has never before written with a Polk Award in his pocket. But now he does. And the world cheers.

      • could you not then use this to spark the process of ‘taking to the streets’. I have seen; over all these years, lots of commentary, lots of reporting but sadly, neither the US or the UK governments have had demonstrations in the street centred around the single demand: ACCOUNTABILITY. I know that a critical mass has to be attained first and I think that, around the world, this has been achieved. Now, set a date, issue the clarion call and maybe, just maybe, all these behaviours that have been perpetrated with such brazen impunity will go away.

      • All very well, but ad hominem attacks against the British monarchy or history and tradition (I repeat myself by saying they are unconnected to government actions) are a descent into the realm of journalism you so abhor. It is unnecessary and will unleash like-minded observations about your own culture.

        On the point of tradition and wigs, barrister and judges earn those ‘silks’ (robes and wigs) based upon merit – not connection as inferred in the mass-attack. Whilst you might knock it, we Brits don’t insult your penchant for dressing in mortarboards and gowns for hard-won graduation ceremonies full of pomp and brass bands. And we don’t slam your adherence to ‘silly claimed titles’ such as Senator or Representative, or the Constitution as your basis for the Republic.

        Be angry with the process, the courtroom, the post 9/11 paranoia, the spying and the wiretapping, and the breaking of laws in the name of national security. But mocking in plurals isn’t mature, and doesn’t become you.

      • As a survivor (from Berkeley, no less) of the 1960s & ’70s era of U.S. protests, I understand the urge to take to the streets. There are more effective and subversive ways to demand accountability, but we are stuck with just two political parties and a lazy citizenry easily influenced by the last political ad that crosses their television screens. We’ve spent most of the 21st century being lied to and manipulated by politicians and governments and media and, sadly, only a small minority see a problem with it. A great number still believe the untruths that started the whole post-9/11 mess we’re in now.

        I personally don’t know anyone here who thinks the British monarchy still has any connection to government policy or action. It is more a matter of the monarchy being the ultimate symbol of an entrenched system of “superiors” on so many levels . . . from money to education to handed-down power. It is difficult for most average U.S. citizens to understand either a monarchy or living with a system that has no written constitution. Most of them can’t even understand the concept of a majority government, the math behind a second-place finisher winning the election, not having mandatory elections every four years, or the absurdity of the lower legislative body being allowed every ten years to handpick their own electorate.

        As for unleashing like-minded observations about the U.S. culture – please, feel free! We’ve as many ridiculous trappings of power and perceived superiority as any other country and it never hurts to have a few holes shot through them. Not that anybody will listen. Since the day I chose to live in the U.S. I’ve joked that it will be a depressing day when someone finally notices the national anthem is but a silly litany of rhetorical questions. Forty years and I’m still waiting for a light bulb to go on.

        I understand Mr. Greenwald’s irritation with the British courts. Honestly, it is absurd to expect a government to rule any other way except in favor of itself and its own actions. Perhaps I don’t always agree with how he expresses his personal thoughts, but I appreciate that he is given the room for them here along side the related reporting of the facts about the situation.

        • As for unleashing like-minded observations about the U.S. culture – please, feel free! We’ve as many ridiculous trappings of power and perceived superiority as any other country and it never hurts to have a few holes shot through them.

          Agree. Glenn wasn’t being partial when he dissed the British Stiffs With Upper Lips. I’m sure you’re aware that he goes after the US’s Better Than Thous on a regular basis too. So it can’t hurt a damn thing for our resident British readers to give an assist. Way past time for hoi polloi to band together irrespective of the accents and lineages of those who would place themselves perpetually above the rest of us.

          Since the day I chose to live in the U.S. I’ve joked that it will be a depressing day when someone finally notices the national anthem is but a silly litany of rhetorical questions.

          That reminds me of the latest manufactured conflagration over the Coca Cola super bowl commercial. The one with all the different folks singing America The Beautiful in a wide range of different languages. The usual lizard-brained suspects, frilly ruffs on full and riotous display, sputtered ad nauseam about the sacrilege that a song of such national import was being demeaned in such a manner…….

          http://www.businessinsider.com/coke-super-bowl-america-the-beautiful-ad-2014-2

          ….fully unaware that the song was written by a lesbian feminist who had nothing in common with them and their righteous indignation:

          The lyrics were written in 1894 by the Massachusetts poet Katharine Lee Bates, an ardent feminist and lesbian who was deeply disillusioned by the greed and excess of the Gilded Age.

          Her original third verse was an expression of that anger:

          America! America!
          God shed his grace on thee
          Till selfish gain no longer stain
          The banner of the free
          !

          http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/mitt-romney-and-america-the-beautiful-when-reach-exceeds-grasp/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

  89. Though expected, this ruling is frightening, especially with the update from the court document that you have quoted. I realize that the UK has no press freedom, but to suggest that this was done in the context of national security is rubbish of course. Fascists are cracking down on people in supposedly “free” countries by using this excuse much too often. Note the recent editorial in the Chicago Tribune on the NATO 3 in attempting to convict them of terrorism: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-nato3-convict-edit-20140210,0,5540770.story

    • I actually followed that while it was happening, and never saw some of the info, I did in the end ruling. I was trying to figure out where that info came from, since it could not be found while it was happening. At the time its was said the only thing even close to a weapon found ,was some ninja like sword . I did not at the time see anything about bomb making stuff at all. “Most of the protesters were peaceful, and city officials went to great lengths to facilitate their right to assemble. But police took lots of abuse from the self-described anarchists, who curiously advocated violence as an antidote to war.” is a stone cold lie they actually would not give them a permit,and the people that put it together did it anyway, something about that first Amendment I think

  90. So they worship their Royalty and we worship our Military. Same difference in effect.

    Glenn, this only reinforces my belief that you would be making a grave mistake if you were to decide to come back home anytime soon. The ONLY good thing that could come out of it, if you can call it good at all, is that by their treatment of you (if it’s not all hidden by secrecy and gag orders), we would finally realize that we actually live under a thinly disguised military regime. But with all the military worship in this country, few would care, even if (as if) the media covered it fairly.

    It seems clear to me that you will NOT be treated as a journalist, but as an enemy non-combatant or some other special category. The fact is, you are considered dangerous by virtue of holding secrets about the (British-American) Empire in your head, and that has nothing to do with your sharing it in various media outlets. Indeed, the worst of their secrets that you know about cannot even be published because of the risk to lives and real national security. That makes you very dangerous indeed.

    The bottom line is that they need to secure those dangerous secrets (YOU) so that they (YOU) don’t ‘fall into the wrong hands’ and those secrets extracted from you. So it’s not just the secrets themselves, it’s the vehicle – You and Laura and Ed Snowden – that they need to secure, indefinitely. Indefinitely, as in the NDAA of 2012. You, Glenn, are most gutsy and have real clout, so the most dangerous to them.

    Sometimes one is too close and deeply engaged in a problem to see it clearly from another perspective. If you haven’t already, get rid of your lawyer’s spectacles and put on your night vision goggles if you intend to go into their courtrooms and jail cells, because it is mighty dark in there. The battle we need to fight is not against rigged laws in their rigged and secretive courtrooms but freely with truth in the bright light of day. Stay free – stay away.

    We’re proud of you all. Thanks for everything you do.

    • And if you prefer not to come home, there’s always a place for you in Mother Russia, along with Snowden. Only, keep quiet about the same-sex partnership. Human rights just aren’t the same over there. Kinda makes me wonder why Snowden feels it appropriate.

      • Who told you Snowden feels living in Russia is “appropriate?” He was stranded there by the U.S. government while en route to South America. His passport had been revoked, and the USGove forced Evo Morales’ plane (that had departed from Russia) down in Vienna to search the aircraft which they suspected Snowden might be on.

        So, I would suggest you can stop “kinda wondering” why Snowden is in Russia.

      • This was useful. Sigh. Do people actually go out and study illogic, irrelevance, and non-sequitur?

      • Glenn is an American citizen and his home for the past eight years has been Brazil. I visited Brazil twice and enjoyed the people, culture, climate, beaches, and good food.

        Glenn, as an American citizen, has said that he would like to travel freely about the world including visits to the USA where he was born and educated. Traveling outside Brazil, especially to the USA, many believe would Now expose him to “rendering” by the US government and imprisonment, torture, and secretive “rigged” court proceedings as was done to another American citizen, Chelsea Manning. The US would do this because Glenn, as an investigative (and now award winning) journalist, exposed the un-Constitutional,secretive, and criminal mass surveilance conducted by the NSA and others.

        Snowden was stranded in Russia because the US revoked his passport. I am pleased that he is in Russia as I believe that the US will think long and hard before trying to kidnap or kill him while he is an asylee in Russia. If he is “disappeared”, all the world will know it was at the hands of the US Government.

        I believe that Putin and the Russian people, wiil come to their senses re the equal rights of gays just like the USA is now doing. Twenty years ago the US was in the same place re gays as Russia is today.

          • A trial process that breached much of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Manual for Courts Martial. The UCMJ restates a number of rights of due process, against self-incrimination, against abuse, and so forth; at least in US military law a person doesn’t forfeit a citizen’s basic criminal rights, simply exchanges it for a different court system with similar rules on procedure and evidence.

            You might be surprised what the military appellate courts will think of this miscarriage of justice, when it goes through those levels of appeal.

      • @John Yoo – For Christ’s sake, go to troll school and take a remedial course. Then, your efforts might just bring a return of Bernbart, who was always fun to play with.

  91. Glenn I understand where your coming from and I bet thats why we kicked the fuckers out in 1776

    • “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

      • The “Brits” didn’t leave willingly. They were defeated in war.

        Continuing slavery was a pox on our government’s beginning and the Bill of Rights that proclaimed “all men are equal”. Most historians justify the continuance of slavery as saying that it was a necessary evil to gain support from the Southern colonies to fight the British and establish our Republic.

        You may recall that 80+ years later, the 1860s, we had a Civil War that abolished slavery. Today, we are still working on the “all men are created equal” goal to ensure that it encompasses all women, all gays, all colors, …

        • The Declaration of Independence proclaims that “all men are created equal”. Sometimes, being old (and forgetful) has its disadvantages.

  92. when i went to school they said the Constitution and Bill of Right ,were the Supreme Law of the land in my country. I dunno shit about the UK, but I do see my Government attempting to pull the same shit, so Im posting this for them and the NSA

    The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights.

    • And like the rest of the Bill of Rights, it becomes meaningless if the mass of citizens do not demand that it be honored, sitting idly by while the government, the courts and the courtesans to power use it to wipe their collective arse.

  93. Glenn, thanks for the work that you’re doing. I look forward to finding out what our political leadership thinks that democracy means these days.

    Am I the only one who thinks that you should have embedded the Sex Pistols “God Save The Queen” in your article? B)

  94. You can guarantee, with certainty, when a govt makes big sweeping laws that give it the super powers to be above the law when convenient (Terrorism act 2000, Patriot Act, and soon to share all of your 100% confidential medical records, etc) that they WILL abuse it. Our govts have forgotten that they were elected by us to SERVE us, hence phrase “Public Servant” not “Self Servant”.

    However, they serve themselves, their totalitarian regimes, their elites, their own “closed gated communities” to borrow a phrase.

    I’m disgusted, yet I cant take my eyes of this train wreck of a government exposing itself for what it is.

  95. Glenn,

    As a little girl living in a country run by a dictator, I remember fearing my father would be arrested only because he happened to work in a building next to the Presidential Palace. My father was a “free thinker” by his own definition and a free thinker would not fare well under any dictatorship. Had many other similar fears as thousands of people disappeared without due process let alone notification to their families. I am no longer afraid and am still deeply cognizant of how governments abuse their power with those that are committed to making these governments accountable for their actions. There is a nobility and courage with what you and some of your colleagues do – as well as with David Miranda when he was unlawfully detained at Heathrow – that is beyond anyone should ask of you which is why I am very grateful for the work you do. Thank you. Hope that David’s appeal is successful though I believe that this hunting for others for shining light on the radical actions of these surveillance states – which remind me of the dictatorships I am very familiar with – will continue until we collectively continue to speak out and vote them out. I still believe in the values inherent in a democracy as much as I have become more cynical than ever before.

  96. Great article, keep on doing your work, but consider to give Snowdens legacy to the eyes of all humans and not just to privilieged individuals.

  97. Don’t know if anyone else having this problem on this site but the avatars are covering part of the text at the beginning of the each comment. Fix?

    • It depends on which computer I’m using, it happens on the 15 inch screen but not on he 17in.

      • Check your 15″ Display’s settings (Horizontal adjustments). Worst case, your 15″ Display may be a “goner”.

    • Try a different browser. I had the same problem on Firefox and switched to Chrome, avatars behave. Someone else had this problem on Internet Explorer and switched to Firefox and that worked for them!

  98. I think it’s important to note that the U.K government has been trying for years to categorize investigative journalism and journalists in the same category as terrorism and sometimes organized crime. This was exposed by Wikileaks in 2009 when it leaked the secret JSP-440 document from the U.K Ministry of Defense[1]. (classified “RESTRICTED”, 2389 pages), is the UK military protocol for all security and counter-intelligence operations. The document includes instructions on dealing with leaks, investigative journalists, Parliamentarians, foreign agents, terrorists & criminals, sexual entrapments in Russia and China, diplomatic pouches, allies, classified documents & codewords, compromising radio and audio emissions, computer hackers—and many other related issues.

    Some examples:

    The main threats of this type are posed by investigative journalists, pressure groups, investigation agencies, criminal elements, disaffected staff, dishonest staff and computer hackers. The types of threat from these sources can be categorized in six broad groups: a. Confidentiality. Compromise of politically sensitive information. This threat is presented by: (1) Pressure groups and investigative journalists attempting to obtain sensitive information. (2) Unauthorized disclosure of official information (leaks)…”

    “The threat from subversive or terrorist organisations, investigative journalists and others must also be considered.”

    [1] https://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/UK_MoD_Manual_of_Security_Volumes_1,_2_and_3_Issue_2,_JSP-440,_RESTRICTED,_2389_pages,_2001

  99. if he is a Brazilian and was carrying “approximately 58,000 highly classified UK intelligence documents” then surely he is a spy and should be locked up somewhere? i think this goes a long way beyond press freedom (though not sure Miranda is a journo anyway) and he should consider himself lucky

    • if he is a Brazilian and was carrying “approximately 58,000 highly classified UK intelligence documents” then surely he is a spy and should be locked up somewhere?

      Totally. that he’s Brazilian is the key point. They particularly deserve it, as you suggest.

      Should the editors and reporters of the New York Times – who also possess the same 58,000 documents – be locked up, even though they’re not Brazilian?

      • Yes, if they attempt to move stolen classified documents from one country to another, its called trafficking. In the majority of cases a poor simpleton is employed as a mule so that the beneficiary is not placed in danger.

        • No — it’s called journalism and reporting. This has been happening for decades and decades and it’s never been called “trafficking”. Nice try though.

          • Tell me about it i was caught with 10 kilos of pure Colombian investigative research and no one believed me!

        • Yes, if they attempt to move stolen classified documents from one country to another, its called trafficking. In the majority of cases a poor simpleton is employed as a mule so that the beneficiary is not placed in danger.

          So, if a NYT editor in Manhattan uses encrypted means to send files of classified material to a Times correspondent in Brazil, that’s trafficking?

          What if a Guardian editor in NYC walks a few blocks to the NYT office to give a thumb drive to a NYT editor – trafficking?

        • As long as issues as the nationality of the bearer is taken into account you can´t
          talk about impartial judgment. This is what you very plainly call xenophobia.
          Also, according to the news reports, Miranda knew very well what he was about and defended himself as well as he could in the given situation.

        • Yes, if they attempt to move stolen classified documents from one country to another, its called trafficking.

          The NYT did transport them from one country to another. That’s how they got them from London to New York.

          So are you in favor of having the FBI storm into the New York Times newsroom, forcibly seize the material, and arrest all the reporters and editors involved in the reporting of this story?

          In the majority of cases a poor simpleton is employed as a mule so that the beneficiary is not placed in danger.

          Do you believe that’s what happened in this case? Is David Miranda an exploited “poor simpleton”?

          Other than his race and ethnicity, what possible grounds do you have for making that assessment? Or, as I suspect, is his race and ethnicity sufficient?

          • I judged it on the grounds that in past trafficking cases simpletons are used, and that the act of trafficking is something only a gullible person would agree to . Your analysis is wrong Glenny and your suspicions unfounded, but it is interesting that you immediately connected simpleton with ethnicity, does Dave know about your views?

    • I have no idea what the law is there but in my Country 58,000 highly classified showing illegal government spying could be called treason. Thats what I call it

      • Treason is the million-time repeated subversion of the Constitution, Amendments 1 and 4, and the carried documents were evidence o such treason. Arresting the carrier compounded the crime by an attempt at hiding proof of government treason.

      • And that’s why your ignorance will be shunned in the future. Bad laws (or contracts) are to be broken. Get a clue, please. Even the military code of justice states this.

    • The UK claims David was carrying 58,000. How do they know? By counting? By guessing? By Magic? By estimating how many of their secret documents, if revealed to the public, would embarrass them or bring criminal charges?

      I continue to be confounded by the various governmental claims on how many documents Snowden “took”, how many he gave to journalists, how many David Miranda was suspected of carrying, etc. The number of classified documents range from the 1000s to millions (Rogers recently claimed Snowden stole 1.7 million).

      Since Snowden uses strong encryption (likely 256, 512, or greater), and instructed Glenn and others to do the same, I believe that the US and UK governments have No idea how many documents Snowden “took” and provided to journalists. I strongly believe that they have no idea how many documents that David Miranda was carrying if, indeed he was carrying any of the Snowden’s documents. They likely guessed based on the file size. Really, an encrypted file size has no relation to the actual number of files stored within – it could be none or many. I have used encryption for years (PGP, TrueCrypt, …) to protect my financial and personal documents. I believe that no one can discern how many documents are stored on my TrueCrypt protected HDDs and flash drives. However, based on recent disclosures on NSA breaking encryption, I need to check to see if I need to further strengthen my encryption.

      • I’m taking the opposite approach. I don’t encrypt anything. You want to read my mail, NSA, you think I’m a terrorist sympathizer because I publicly support Glenn Greenwald, fine, f*ck you. I’m not going to jump through hoops and live my life in fear. You want to come for me, ruin my life, jail me, because I believe and state outright to all and sundry that what you’re doing is un-American and goes against every principle this nation is supposed to stand for, fine. You’ve got the power. But you’ll never have the right, and I know where I stand is right. And I know Glenn is right.

        • There is nothing in my correspondance that would get me in legal trouble – but I take the opposite approach to yours: I encrypt all I can, and encourage people around me to do the same whenever possible.

          The reason is: we might be at a relatively low risk of trouble, and even if we did the ‘damage’ would be minimal. However, the people who do need protection from spying and criminalization, be it journalists or activists, need our support or they will lose whatever resources they have left.
          Look at how easily the governments are already saying ‘Nothing to hide? Nothing to fear!’ and implying without any subtelty that people using the Tor network, or VPNs, or GPG, etc… If only the people who ‘have something to hide’ use them, it will be all the more easy for them to outlaw this altogether – because you know, children and terrorism.

          The only viable way I can see now to counter the systemic surveillance is to generalize the use of encryption. To make it automatic and ‘mainstream’, so that using protection can no longer be equated with ‘being suspicious’ in courts.

          Also, it doesn’t hurt that the more we all use these systems, the better they’ll become; when only a few hundred people around the world even know the existence of a secure protocol, the incentive to develop, strenghten and make it available to non-techies is quite low… When/if the majority of mildly motivated people make it the default, it’s a whole different story.
          Case in point: SMS and calls encryption on phones. The NSA revelations have boosted people’s interests in these solutions, and now not only do you have some simple-yet-efficient solutions (https://whispersystems.org/), but various OS & providers are now directly teaming with these developpers to incorporate the systems at core (https://www.pcworld.com/article/2099160/kpn-strikes-deal-with-silent-circle-to-offer-encrypted-phone-calls.html, https://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/whisperpush-secure-messaging-integration…).

          Tl;dr: Even if you don’t personally care about protecting your own data, using encryption and advocating it around you is helpful to those for whom it’s not optional! ;-)

  100. Whilst I dont disagree in the slightest with your comments regarding the British establishment I do have a concern that they will only create a distraction and shift the debate from the main point i.e. the UK government are trying to outlaw journalism by equating it to terrorism. The some of the comments above illistrate my point about the distraction element and will be a further gift to UK establishment and mainstream media to continue to paint you as being motivated solely by hating the UK – remember, we all love our Queen :) ! This is a shocking ruling but I fear the great British public will simply shrug it’s shoulders and accept what is being told my the UK government and it’s PR machine i.e. the mainstream media. Please keep banging the drum as it might just wake us all up to what is going on one day.

    • i don’t think its a distraction at all and goes to the heart of the matter – besides, this is just one more brick in the wall, many more to come.

  101. Peoples views on whether journalism is terrorism depends on how they deal with handling the truth. Some believe Snowden stole documents and some believe he shared documents. People who appreciate the truth believe he has shared information with them. We now know factually that government is corrupt. As long as governments around the world attack, jail and kill journalists for exposing the truth the real terrorists are winning the war on terror.

  102. Everybody should read *Discourse on Voluntary Servitude* written at 18 by a French judge Etienne De La Boétie (1530 – 1563)

    Here is an English translation: http://www.constitution.org/la_boetie/serv_vol.htm

    HARRY KURZ in his introduction writes : *… La Boétie’s essay against dictators[1] makes stirring reading. A clear analysis of how tyrants get power and maintain it, its simple assumption is that real power always lies in the hands of the people and that they can free themselves from a despot by an act of will unaccompanied by any gesture of violence. The astounding fact about this tract is that in 1948 it will be four hundred years old. One would seek hard to find any writing of current times that strips the sham from dictators more vigorously. Better than many modern political thinkers, its author not only reveals the contemptible nature of dictatorships, but he goes on to show, as is aptly stated by the exiled Borgese [2] “that all servitude is voluntary and the slave is more despicable than the tyrant is hateful.” No outraged cry from the past or present points the moral more clearly that Rome was worthy of her Nero, and by inference, Europe of her present little strutters and the agony in which they have engulfed their world. So appropriate to our day is this courageous essay that one’s amazement is aroused by the fact that a youth of eighteen really wrote it four centuries ago, with such far-sighted wisdom that his words can resound today as an ever-echoing demand for what is still dearest to mankind…*

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tienne_de_La_Bo%C3%A9tie

    • The people working together can free themselves from tyranny, but no individual can do it on their own.

  103. Glenn i’ve been reading you since you were attacked defending the Wikileaks revelations. Congratulations on your courage and the service you are rendering to the whole world. Please keep on calling it the way you see it, and I will keep on reading. I also encourage every one to go link on the wikileaks site, so that millions of us can all be tracked to keep our NSA friends busy.

    • As a reply to my own post. Why are people posting under FAKE names. Glenn is fighting for the freedom of the press for all of us and the majority of those who comment are afraid to post any comment under their real names. Why be afraid, because of the abuses that we read about. The government tactics are working and silencing the masses. Let’s stand up, all of us and be counted.

      • Have you heard of this strange little thing called ‘privacy’? It’s all about how we can choose how much of ourselves we wish to expose, and under what circumstances. If you see no reason to hide your name, and want to display it, have it your way. But we get to make the same choice, each for ourselves, thank you very much. – I don’t even have to *justify* it. I just choose what suits me.

        • Interesting that you can mistake “privacy” for ‘lack of accountability’. Cute ?

          • Yep you’re Lost alright.
            And I’ll have you know that BrainDrain is a fine old name borne by generations of proud Americans!

        • ” It’s all about how we can choose how much of ourselves we wish to expose, and under what circumstances.”

          In a light of a discussion about not having any privacy left your comment is quite hilarious.

          • On the contrary, it’s part of this very discussion. Our right to privacy is being questioned by pretty much all groups of power: governments, corporations, and now even the individuals privileged enough they can afford to expose their civil identity without worry.

            Well, I certainly won’t let any of these take away individuals’ primary protection without complaint. For the governments, I support the laws protecting this right and oppose those destroying it; for corporations, I avoid using services based on trafficking my private information, and use whatever technical means I know of to keep that info at a minimum; and when individuals try to pressure me into giving up with some misleading calls to courage, I will push back and defend my right to privacy.

            It may be “cute” and not much, but it’s all I can do from my position, so I won’t do any less.

            As for the “accountability” comment, it’s a fallacy too. If I break a law, and so need to answer for it, don’t worry the law has all the resources it needs to do that, and then some more.
            And if what you meant was “getting in trouble in my everyday life for expressing the wrong opinions online”, that’s precisely what privacy is about: this kind of “accountability” is for public figures, whose opinions bear weight. Not nameless individuals.

  104. As a Brit I approve of and agree with this astute analysis and comment about our childish and primitive ways. The whole aegis is there to keep the power and advantages of the ruling class. One day it’ll be smashed.

  105. I’ve carefully reviewed all the comments on this site; clearly what is lacking here is input from the working class majority, the UK taxpayers who were forced to underwrite a defence to this action.
    To Glen and David we say, you were caught with your pants down – what you are doing in the persuit of your own careers is morally corrupt, if not yet technically illegal. Hiding behind press immunity and constantly knocking the UK system makes you look like the very people we don’t want to share our society with.

    • And rightfully the UK should be mocked. It’s an oppressive regime abusing terrorism statutes to harass journalists. Pathetic.

    • Transporting journalistic work product, with the purpose of informing the public, is morally corrupt? Total BS.

    • Its good of you to carefully review all of our comments, and I hope that you have also run all of us through your analitical software, and that you will be putting us all on your suspected terrorist list. If I am wrong, and your not a spook or a Government ghost writer then you should try to understand that you are defending an immoral and unlawful mass survelilance program which the vast majority of working class people do not want to have as part of their society. The majority of citizens in the UK and USA don’t want Governments that want to spy on them. They don’t want Human rights to be trampled on, and they don’t want censorship of the press , Internet and of whistle blowers who reveal Government wrong doing. You need to understand that we the people are more terrorised of that than of the terrorist threats which we are reminded of daily.

  106. Typo: “As we made clear along ago” should be “As we made clear long ago”. As for the rest, well said indeed.

  107. With greatest respect to Mr Greenwald and his partner, to route Mr Miranda through Heathrow while being in possession of stolen information is just stupid.

    Both they and the Guardian must have known that the Security Services and the Metropolitan police had an interest in the goods and Mr Miranda (the information and travel plan clearly based on information that the Secret Intelligence Services and GCHQ have obtained as shown above).

    Mr Greenwald and Mr Miranda could have avoided this by not going through Heathrow and rather choose a different route, my opinion is that they decided to “poke the bear”.

    It cannot come to either of them as a surprise that the Security Service and the Met were going to act against Mr Miranda, Mr Greenwald has enough experience in journalism and with the British establishment to know better.

    In fact his fear of having actions taken against him stops him from entering the USA right now (as he recently said in an interview). He is aware that actions will be taken against him when he enters the USA, so he should have had a reasonable expectation that the Security Service is going to take action against his partner when he is traveling to the UK giving that large amounts of material are about GCHQ.

    I think that Mr Greenwald and Mr Miranda did make a calculated decision to go via Heathrow to test what is going to happen in the hopes that the UK government will not detain Mr Miranda for ever or even charge him with a crime. And if there was to be a detention for a period of time (as it was) it would give them further political campaign material including the ability to test the court system (as it’s going now).

    In total this is Mr Greenwald contributing to his point of view that he is right in publishing stolen material hoping to further his own goals. And that is fine by me but if you do something you have to live with the consequences. We all know there is no such thing as free speech, speech always has consequences both positive and negative and hence when using free speech one must be aware of the consequences.

    Mr Greenwald and his spouse have made a conscious decision and now they have to live with it.

    • The docs were not stolen. Several journalists involved in the reporting had been going through Heathrow for weeks, no one encountered any trouble, certainly not being accused of terrorism. Also, afaik it’s The Guardian that made the reservations, not Greenwald and Miranda themselves.

      Finally, the idea they had – and/or should have foreseen he would get *charged with terrorism* for transporting journalism material is nothing short of ridiculous. Because it just makes total sense, right?! Who *wouldn’t* have thought of it beforehand. Working on NSA reporting, officially labelled terrorism by government and courts. It’s just so obvious… :|

      • I’m sorry but your definition of stolen would really interest me.

        Mr Snowden joined an NSA contractor with the goal to collect information, he deployed tools to access information outside his standard work remit and than removed that information from the control of his employer without permission. He illegally removed information from their environment.

        Now we can debate if he did this for a good reason but he obtained the information illegally and hence anybody who transports that information is at risk of getting involved in the backlash of that.

        • You might want to question who became illegal first. (Hint: It wasn’t Edward Snowden).

      • “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience … Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

        Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, 1950

        (using NSA to kill people is against domestic supreme law (a.k.a. Constitution: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury … nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” as well as against norms of civilized society we once strive to be, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Right (UDHR) of 10 December 1948 in its Article 11.1: “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.”

    • With greatest respect to Mr Greenwald and his partner, to route Mr Miranda through Heathrow while being in possession of stolen information is just stupid.

      Both they and the Guardian must have known that the Security Services and the Metropolitan police had an interest in the goods and Mr Miranda (the information and travel plan clearly based on information that the Secret Intelligence Services and GCHQ have obtained as shown above).

      This view, though understandable, is ground in a combination of ignorance and the self-certainty of hindsight.

      Countless Guardian journalists who worked directly with this material had flown in and out of Heathrow countless times. Laura Poitras herself, who met with Edward Snowden and was known to possess the entire archive of documents, had flown to London only 3 weeks earlier, and then flew out again, without incident.

      Given that, why would anyone think that someone far more peripheral to these events – David – would be detained, when people far closer never were, despite repeated opportunities? The theory makes zero sense,except with the benefit of hindsight, which enables everyone to get super-smart and knowledgeable.

      I think that Mr Greenwald and Mr Miranda did make a calculated decision to go via Heathrow to test what is going to happen in the hopes that the UK government will not detain Mr Miranda for ever or even charge him with a crime. And if there was to be a detention for a period of time (as it was) it would give them further political campaign material including the ability to test the court system (as it’s going now).

      This, with all due respect, is idiot conspiracy-mongering of the lowest order.

      To begin with, it was the Guardian’s travel office that made the reservations; neither David nor I had any influence in it. They did this because they are accustomed to routing people on British Airways, and the Guardian’s travel people never thought twice about it: why would they have, given how many people had done so with no problems? The claim that we engineered a trip through London is, independent of all the other reasons, just factually false.

      Second, David could easily have been arrested under a terrorism law in a country with no press freedoms. The idea that he and I deliberately risked that for fun, or to make a point, is just painfully dumb.

      • Thank you for your clarification, I accept that I was wrong in my assumption about the travel plans, however even if others who were in possession of that material did not end up being detained, you can not assert that at no point during the planing for this trip you did not fear that this scenario would not happen, it can not have come as a total surprise for you.

        • SMS – your response makes zero sense given the detailed explanation given by Glenn. We already know the security services activities of multiple countries where transit could have taken place act in a not dissimilar way. The risk existed via *any* route. And have you really forgotten what happened to the flight of the Bolivia President??? Do you not remember how many countries connived at the USA’s request to essentially kidnap him en route back home???

      • People need to wake up to the Governments mind control and mass manipulation tactics. There is a book by Neil Sanders on this, and it will enlighten doubters on how Governments and Corporations have been able to achieve their commercial aims through this. If you follow the money trails too, you can see just how rich many politicians and Corporatations have got through making people so frightened and fearful.

    • Mr Greenwald and his spouse have made a conscious decision and now they have to live with it.

      Looks like ‘Mr. Summers’ has arrived. Arrived in full “Mr” mode and fully tooled up with The Bloviator title, and is ready to spread his self righteous, “If you do something you have to live with the consequences” language, which, if taken to it’s logical conclusion, would be that Mr. Summers has made a fool of himself in his first post. Glenn Greenwald didn’t pass up the opportunity to point that out.

      If you, Mr. SMS, are not “Mr Craig Summers” of Guardian comments infamy I have no apology for the accusation. See his comments at The Guardian. Your comment is exactly in line with The Bloviator you will find there.

    • You must not be an American, in the United States the rule of law is alway on the journalist side. That doesnt mean the Government follows the law. Either way calling it terrorism is just insane. You can say it stolen you can say whatever, but walking in an airport without some kind of weapon to do physical harm is not terrorist, unless your maybe living in Communist China. I do believe its called source material in the news business and once its out ,its fair game in an open Democratic Country. I do think it terrible that some people can not secure there own data,and let their secrets out, especially when it shows them doing illegal things.

  108. Lord Justice Laws….

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHA…HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOH….HEEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE….HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

    shades of Monte Python.. how do these morons keep a straight face.

  109. Focusing on this detention weakens the overall effect. It gives the impression that the Snowden story is near done, while many hoped it would go into a second act where the public would learn that the NSA is doing what they’ve always denied–taking it all. Actual conversations between top people is needed, not bickering over an inconvenience in an airport.

    • This “Inconvenience in an airport” is actually the criminalisation of journalism in the UK, in case you haven’t bothered reading the story. Completely on point & hardly a distraction from the central question.

      Also, given the rythm of the publications throughout all outlets, since June, an article commenting on a new development in this counts as ‘giving the impression [it's] near done’, really? You have a quite worryingly short attention span, then…

      • I’ve been following this story from the beginning, and I paid close attention to Snowden twice claiming he could tap the President, so I hoped that he had actually done it and brought it out. Because no matter what is on such recordings, their mere existence would bolster Russ Tice’s charge that the VP’s office was tapping the power elite wholesale. And that implies a takeover of government using blackmail. That should be the narrative, not an inconvenience at an airport that was actually minor compared to what tens of thousands experience during snowstorms. And yes, attacks on journalists are a concern–especially when they are killed as Michael Hastings was perhaps killed–but it isn’t the story. The story is the NSA and the people using it for their own ends.

        • The story is both the NSA and what this reporting shows of the state of journalism around the world. If you don’t want to hear about that other question, then stay clear from the articles pertaining to it… But to demand the journalists only write about your preferred topic is out of line… Or just go join the lane of those asking ‘write about Syria’, ‘how come you never write about Russia’, ‘you just don’t care about the good sides of the US’… Yeah, ‘you shouldn’t write about anything other than the NSA abuse until such a time I’m satisfied with it’ fits in just fine. :þ

          As for the tapping the president, I don’t get your point. Snowden never said he did that, he said he had the technical access to do so if he got a personal email for it. Waiting for them to dump some juicy gossip on Obama is a personal fantasy, not a reasonable expectation from what we’ve heard so far…
          Unless you mean sensitive data and not juicy gossip? In that case why would they release it at all? (Again, no one ever said they have anything like that, but hypothetically…) They’ve made a point so far to only publish what needs to be seen… They’re reporting on NSA abuse, not feeding a soap opera for the readers… :-/

          • I agree, Snowden never said he tapped the president, he only said he had the authorties to do it. But the difference between Snowden and the other whistleblowers is Snowden brought out material to back up his claims. If he says he could tap the president sitting at his desk and he has evidence for it, that is huge. Doesn’t even matter what Obama is saying, the mere fact that he–or anyone–had access to it is enough. And that is the story I was hoping we were approaching, but branching off on a personal vendetta and dressing it up as a question of press freedom is just diffusing the effect. When writing a story, everything that doesn’t contribute to the desired effect should be eliminated.

    • “while many hoped it would go into a second act where the public would learn that the NSA is doing what they’ve always denied–taking it all”

      Hahahaha. If the public hasn’t learned this yet, you certainly can’t blame Glenn Greenwald (or anyone else who’s reported on these stories).

      “Actual conversations between top people is needed”

      WTF is that supposed to mean?

      • “WTF is that supposed to mean?”

        Snowden said he could tap anyone, including the President. That’s a charge as dramatic as Russ Tice’s charge that the NSA was tapping the power elite from 2002 on, but without evidence, it will gain as little traction.

        • He clearly specified “private email”. This was never about anyone at nsa having a direct access to POTUS work and secrets… If that’s what you understood, I understand your disappointment, but that’s not what was said.
          The meaning was, the analysts could query any random email, with little or no oversight and accountability; it meant to depict the insane reach and hubris of the octopus nsa, not a glaring hole in WhiteHouse security systems… ^^”

          • This is what Snowden said in his German interview: “When you are on the inside and you go into work everyday and you sit down at the desk and you realize the power you have, you can wiretap the President of the United States, you can wiretap a Federal Judge, and, if you do it carefully no one will ever know because the only way the NSA discovers abuses are from self reporting.”

            Now I’ll grant you that Snowden never specifically defines what he means by “wiretap,” but the usual meaning is with reference to phone taps. When the NSA’s Russ Tice uses the word, for instance, he means voice conversations, and he specifically says Obama was being wiretapped.

  110. Well – that’s what happens if you try to outmaneuver “her majesty’s secret service”.
    You probably could call yourself “lucky” that “James” didn’t show up personally with his “licence to kill”?

  111. Anti-terror laws. This is now our own ‘Patriot act’ from the USA. I was stopped after getting off the tube by four Policemen. Ordered to empty my pockets and then they searched my shoes. Why am I being stopped?
    “Just a random stop,looking for drugs” Then I was given a stop & search ticket. at the bottom of the ticket, it said “under anti-terror laws” So I was lied to by the Police. Nothing new there then. The misuse of the Anti-Terror laws is rife by Police.Councils & other Gov’t bodies.

  112. It hardly seems like appropriate behavior for an “award-winning journalist” to trash an entire country’s traditions and culture just because his boyfriend got wrongly detained for a few hours.

    • It hardly seems like appropriate behavior for an “award-winning journalist” to trash an entire country’s traditions and culture just because his boyfriend got wrongly detained for a few hours.

      (1) He’s my spouse of 9 years, not my “boyfriend”.

      (2) My views of the painfully embarrassing behavior of the British political class long pre-date David’s detention.

      (3) As I explained, there is a direct connection between clinging to fantasies of aristocratic and hereditary greatness of the landed gentry, on the one hand, and the authoritarianism clearly at play in the UK political class, on the other.

      (4) I’m pretty certain that it’s not improper for a journalist to write critically about a country’s political elite; one could much more plausibly say it’s a core function of journalism.

      • If you explained the link between British cultural tradition and your partner’s (apologies) adverse court ruling, you did a poor job of it.

        Yes, British judges wear wigs. American judges wear gowns and wield gavels.

        Yes, there are people with hereditary titles like “Baroness” but they inherit no power in any arm of government and haven’t for some time.

        Yes, we have judges titled “Lord Justice”. In the US you have legislators titled “Senator”, hearkening back to an even more bygone era.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you risk arrest if you return the US? Is an “adolescent medieval fantasy game” responsible for that, too?

        Don’t misunderstand me, I think this court decision was ludicrous too. I just don’t think a bunch of cheap shots against the quirks of British tradition does anything to help your cause or the story.

        • I love British “folklore” too -(and even James Bond) – but you also have to have a heart for the “American” perspective – I mean there was a “revolution”…once…

          • I’m mostly with Mr Murphy on this.

            I don’t have any objection to people pointing and laughing at the UK’s “traditions”, they are fairly absurd even to most Brits (or ex-Brits, in my case), but Greenwald is undermining his case by claim that this has anything to do with the victimization of his partner. The claim if I understand is that British traditions are somewhat bizarre, that they’re only clung to because participants are (willing?) players of an “adolescent medieval fantasy game”, and that, therefore, the decisions that come out of it are wrong.

            This argument doesn’t even hold up to the minimum of scrutiny. A requirement that a judge be addressed by a particular title, be it “M’lud”, “Lord Justice Laws”, “Mr Judge”, or “Grand High Hamster of the Rabbit Warren” does not make a decision made by that judge right or wrong, nor does it show any insight as to how that judge made their decision if they had little or no part in deciding how they’re addressed. Lord Justice Laws is called that because Lord Justice is his title, and his name is “John Laws”. If his name was “Glenn Greenwald” then he’d be addressed in court as “Lord Justice Greenwald”.

            Does Lord Justice Laws get to pick his title? No. For the last umpteen hundred years, proposals to change the structure of the judiciary (and other parts of the UK unwritten constitution) have been made, some passed, some failed, but there is always a bias towards the status quo, and changing the names of things is generally considered a low priority given the upheaval it would cause in relation to its relative importance. So individuals get assigned their titles, and they’re stuck with them unless there’s some kind of massive public outcry that would result in it being considered worth changing everything en-mass.

            The reason the law lords ruled the way they did is that this is the law in Britain. While Britain does have some rights implied by its unwritten constitution, they’re not as simple and easy to navigate and determine as the US amendments 1-10. They face greater challenges based upon the legitimacy of a democratically elected government (rightly or wrongly.) That is the environment the judges ruled within.

            Greenwald claims he’s proven otherwise but all he’s done is made the unsubstantiated, and clearly ridiculous, assertion that because judges wear wigs, stockings, high heels, and require they be referred ti by a combination of their assigned title “Lord Justice” and their surname (by protocol, because that’s what protocol dictates) that this means they’re living in a different century.

            It’s false, and it undermines what is otherwise an excellent argument. I don’t think he’ll take it out, he’s too stubborn to do that, but I wish he would.

        • Senators in the US are elected. However much American “democracy” is a sham, at least it pays lip service to the idea, while the sundry Lords and Barons of the UK have their roots in feudalism, something decidedly undemocratic.

          These “cultural traditions” you defend only pertain to a tiny, powerful elite, for starters: the masses have to make do with the tabloid shots of their newest prince or princess. If you’re not rich and powerful, than what does it matter to you? You’re not a part of the club! You don’t get to take part anyway! There is plenty more to British culture that is not anti-democratic and offensive to human dignity than you can enjoy and defend.

          Chris Hitchens did a very amusing takedown of the system in “The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain’s Favourite Fetish”, which is well worth reading.

          • The sundry Lords and Barons are nothing to do with our justice system. “Lord Justice” is a job title, not a hereditary peerage. And since we’re talking justice, please remind us how biased the US system is against black Americans? Very, it seems.

          • Greenwald claims he’s proven otherwise but all he’s done is made the unsubstantiated, and clearly ridiculous, assertion that because judges wear wigs, stockings, high heels, and require they be referred ti by a combination of their assigned title “Lord Justice” and their surname (by protocol, because that’s what protocol dictates) that this means they’re living in a different century.

            No, that’s not my claim.

            My claim is that these traditions are derived from a feudal, highly authoritarian, class-stratified system that teaches people to know their place and revere the inherently superior elite and pronouncements of leaders, and this mentality is what produces the kinds of court decisions we see today and the general acquiescence to the war the UK Government wages on press freedoms.

          • If that’s your point Glenn then it’s still a nonsense and you’re still drifting off into the irrelevant.

            If the UK’s traditions weren’t to do with stockings, wigs, and being called “Lord Justice” rather than “Chief Justice” (or whatever), but, say, with extracting the fingernails of the accused or allowing the evidence of one set of witnesses to be considered more important than another because the former are nobles and the latter are peasants, then you’d be raising something relevant.

            But you’re not. You’re inferring this merely because some traditions largely unrelated to feudalism date back that far. You’re ignoring the fact that the UK in 2014 is not the UK of… well, not even the UK of 1954, FWIW, and you’re ignoring the fact these people are individuals.

            Again, as I said from the beginning, you otherwise have an excellent argument. Why soil it by including this absurd cultural attack?

        • Are you being serious? People who hold titles such as ‘Baroness’, ‘Baron’, ‘Dame’ etc become unelected LEGISLATORS purely as a result of sitting in the Upper House of Parliament. Please get your facts straight.

          • The (elected) Commons is the legislative body. The Lords is the body of oversight, which cannot ultimately legislate against the will of the Commons. Please get your facts straight.

          • Peers are appointed, not elected, this is correct. My point is that the position is not an hereditary one.

          • My claim is that these traditions are derived from a feudal, highly authoritarian, class-stratified system that teaches people to know their place and revere the inherently superior elite and pronouncements of leaders, and this mentality is what produces the kinds of court decisions we see today and the general acquiescence to the war the UK Government wages on press freedoms.

            If you want to be pedantic about all this, you are going to have to examine your own system; it was modelled upon the Magna Carta after all.

            The larger point, as has been clearly made, is that you have conflated the trial with an entire country’s system in order to try and prove a point, and this has backfired. Mocking a segment of society for being different is really not a good path to tread.

        • Kevin Murphy: Let me explain something to you.

          In the US, we have this little thing called the Constitution. It came into being shortly after we kicked your butts out. In it, there’s this little proviso about not allowing hereditary title. In other words, our laws don’t allow the automatic granting of title and property simply because of one’s birth — like you still do in the UK. Hence, the scoffing at the given title of “Lord”. Whether it be hereditary title or court title, we find them equally silly and outdated.

          In addition, there’s this other little thing in our Constitution called the First Amendment, which (among other things) protects press freedoms.

          Now, I know as a Brit you don’t understand these things, and that’s why you’re upset. Either way, it’s also why we booted you out a few hundred years ago — something your lot is still sore about. Pity your just a client state these days. How the mighty have fallen.

          • So with all these freedoms in your great nation, William Hicks, how come Snowden and Greenwald find so much to complain about? Incidentally we don’t understand the Second Amendment either – the one that allows US citizens to murder each other in huge numbers because they were threatened with popcorn, or just happened to be the wrong colour.

          • Even with your constitution you still ended up with Bush Jnr, they put laws in place for you to stop just that happening and yet you still messed it up!

          • William, I’m pretty certain that in the US you inherit your parents’ property when they die (will permitting). You may not have titles over there, but they’re just meaningless affectations over here.

          • John Wu violent crime in the UK over all is 4 times higher than the US
            If you want a pissing match im up for it the US also has the most powerful military in the world, We are the only world super power, we kicked you the out, we bailed out all the EU banks in 08, and you are not shit with out us. and sadly none of that matters because in 10 years China will be the new big dog. The past is the past all great nations end.

          • We know you have the constitution, but the problem in the US is the abuse arising from the Patriot Act,. These days in the US many are saying that it seems that their constitutional rights are being eroded, and that you only have to mention the constitution to be classified as a potential terrorist, or enemy of the State.

      • I think it was wonderfully appropriate, and I`m British.

        It`s not an “entire country`s traditions”, it`s just the anachronistic and absurdly vain ones associated with a grandiose power elite who think it`s still 1870 and they “rule the waves”.

        It needed to be said, and seeing as no British journalist has put it in such terms, Glenn has done this country a service.

      • As for individuals like Kevin Murphy, it amazes me how they remain oblivious to any connection between autocratic government and its pretentious aristocratic expression. How is it not common sense that such expression follows from and reinforces its original autocratic source?

        Here’s a quote to keep you steadfast on what a great job you are doing. No doubt you have heard it before, but it never hurts to keep hearing it:

        “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” – George Orwell

        By the way, I am following you on Twitter (ID as above except with an extra “_” after the “X”). You and just a handful of others are keeping my faith that journalism is still alive.

      • Maybe you feel bad about our traditions and culture, Mr Greenwald, but the politicians who make our laws are democratically elected, and the judiciary is fiercely independent, as has been shown by many cases where they have prevented the government from acting against people who are known threats. The name and attire is indicative of the separation of the judge’s role from his or her personal life. You may mock it, but who are you? We didn’t elect you. There are more fantasies being trolled by you and your supporters than in this country.
        Oh, and don’t get your spouse to do your dirty work next time.

        • Oh dear – facts out of the window again.
          Not one single member of the British Upper House of Parliament is elected.
          All legislation must pass through that House before it is enacted, and only a Budget is exempt from its blocking.
          Much legislation affecting the entire population is frequently initiated by those UNELECTED people.
          Please try and get your facts straight.

          • You are confusing “hereditary” with “appointed”. The complaint by Mr Greenwald is directed against hereditary power. This was largely removed from the House of Lords some time ago. Members of the House, who are given the title Lord, etc, include Professors of Surgical Sciences, Chemistry, Zoology; former Trades Unionists, social workers and nurses; a film producer, a crime writer, a dentist… none of whom hold their posts by “right” but because they have been appointed by elected politicians in the public interest. Furthermore, the Lords cannot overrule the Commons, it can only delay. Contrast this with the US system where elected, highly partisan politicians decided last year to stop paying millions of public workers because they had their heads too far up their own arses to see sense. I know which I prefer.

          • @John Wu. “You are confusing “hereditary” with “appointed”. The complaint by Mr Greenwald is directed against hereditary power. This was LARGELY removed from the House of Lords some time ago. ” [My emphasis - Venceremos]

            Yes, SOME Lords are appointed (life Peers) not infrequently in return for a substantia\l donation to the coffers of the ruling party. The British honours system is thoroughly corrupt. Yet there are STILL hereditary Peers (i.e. Lords) in the House of Lords. Blair sold out on his manifesto commitments and did a deal with the hereditary Lords–the most powerful of whom are still in place in the House of Lords exercising undemocratic influence over legislation.

          • John Wu and Amanda – you are both patently wrong.
            1. John Wu – The British Upper House still has 92 fully attending and participating (voting) HEREDITARY peers, and that will continue forever at least until it becomes a fully elected chamber and that isn’t happening any time soon. Those 92 also happen to be among some of the most frequent attendees.
            2. Amanda – you are simply WRONG. The British Upper House is a full legislative body. A huge amount of everyday legislation is INITIATED in the British Upper House; all legislation *must* get approval in that house before it becomes law. Indeed no legislation can get Royal Assent (!) and become law unless the Upper House passes by vote in that Chamber.
            Just so you don’t continue to remain ignorant – even in a dispute between the Houses, the Upper House must *still* approve legislation, even if it is by use of the Parliament Act to force through a Budget, or the House of Commons has remitted (defeated) a bill or amendments to a bill more than twice.
            Always best to actually *know* the British parliamentary system before you spout nonsense about it.

        • sadlty elections dont matter much these days, and at this point again sadly there is only one thing that is going to make any change, and I dont think anyone has the balls to do it, from what I have seen both countries are on an attack of freedom along with Canada and some other, The west is under attack, from our own governments,not some terrorist

        • Democratically elected they maybe but has the Governments actions been democratic. What part of the facts and evidence that Glen has presented are fantasies please tell us all ? Only the Government and the elite supporters of it live in the fantasy World with the lies they tell to increase profits and their power. Like the recent baloney told about Fracking. Now which Conservative Minister said that there is no evidence that fracking pollutes water supplies. hmmm Watch gasland and also look at the extensive US Government evidence presented on Frack Off then come prey tell all here who are the fantasists !!!

      • Glenn, I agree with the connection you make in your piece between the “fantasies of aristocratic and hereditary greatness of the landed gentry, on the one hand, and the authoritarianism clearly at play in the UK political class, on the other.” Absolutely.

        Recall that every democratic reform and every legal right had to be extracted under threat of revolt from below from a begrudging British ruling elite which has never had much time for this “democracy” nonsense:

        Trotsky summarised it eloquently in his 1924 booklet: “Where is Britain Going?”

        http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/britain/wibg/ch02.htm

        “It could be said – although this might seem paradoxical – that all Britain’s subsequent development has taken place in the train of European revolutions. We shall give here merely an overall summary of the main elements which may prove to be of some use not only to Mr. Baldwin.

        The French Revolution gave a powerful thrust to the development of democratic tendencies in Britain and above all to the labour movement, which was driven underground by the Combination Laws of 1799. [4] The war against revolutionary France was “popular” only among the governing classes; the popular masses sympathized with the French Revolution and expressed their indignation against the Pitt government. The creation of the British trade unions was to a large extent the result of the influence of the French revolution on the labouring masses of Britain. The triumph of reaction on the continent, which strengthened the position of the landlords, led in 1815 to the restoration of the Bourbons in France and the introduction of the Corn Laws in Britain.

        The July Revolution of 1830 [5] in France gave an impetus to the first electoral Reform Bill of 1831 in Britain: a bourgeois revolution on the continent produced a bourgeois reform in the British Isles.

        The radical reorganization of the administration of Canada, giving much greater autonomy, was carried out only after the rising in Canada of 1837-1838. [6]

        The revolutionary movement of Chartism led in 1844-1847 to the introduction of the ten-hour working day, and in 1846 to the repeal of the Corn Laws. The defeat of the revolutionary movement on the continent in 1848 not only meant the decline of the Chartist movement but put a brake on the democratisation of the British parliament for a long time afterwards.

        The electoral reform of 1867 [7] was preceded by the Civil War in the United States. When in 1861 war flared up in America between the North and the South, British workers demonstrated their sympathy with the Northern states, while the sympathies of the ruling classes were wholly on the side of the slave-owners. It is instructive to note that the Liberal Palmerston, the so-called “Firebrand Palmerston”, and many of his colleagues including the notorious Gladstone, were in sympathy with the South and were quick to recognize the Southern states as belligerents rather than insurgents. Warships were built for the Southerners in British yards. The North nevertheless won and this revolutionary victory on American territory gained the vote for a section of the British working class (the 1867 Act). In Britain, incidentally, the reform was accompanied by a stormy movement which led to the “July Days” of 1866, when major disorders lasted for forty-eight hours.

        The defeat of the 1848 revolution had weakened the British workers but the Russian Revolution of 1905 immediately strengthened them. As a result of the 1906 General Election the Labour Party formed for the first time a strong parliamentary group of 42 members. In this the influence of the 1905 revolution was clear!

        In 1918, even before the end of the war, a new electoral reform was passed in Britain which considerably enlarged the ranks of working class voters, and allowed women to participate in elections for the first time. Even Mr. Baldwin would probably not begin to deny that the Russian Revolution of 1917 was an important stimulus to this reform. The British bourgeois considered that a revolution could be avoided in this way. It follows that even for passing reforms, the principle of gradualness is insufficient and a real threat of revolution is necessary.

        If we look back in this way over the history of Britain for the last century and a half in the context of the general European and world development it transpires that Britain exploited other countries not only economically but also politically, by cutting its own political costs” at the cost of the civil wars of the nations of Europe and America.”

    • The UK does have a long tradition of those with privilege abusing their power (“will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”). Should this tradition be respected? Well it all depends on your value system.

    • “Award-winning journalists” routinely trash other country’s cultures, traditions, or worse. Take, for example, David Brooks. who said:

      It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.

      • One guy who should have been left on a hilltop at birth for wolf food.And he writes for a great metropolitan newspaper,sheesh.

        • Don’t count on a ” pin point precision strike” though – these drone things often miss despite that description.Then we hear the civillian casualties being justified as “collateral damage” ? As long as Glenn gives his mobile to someone else he will be okay, don’t you worry your little cotton socks.

    • Given the long and ugly history of the British monarchy and political “elite”, it’s not hard to see why a person who values liberty would despise everything they stand for. I’m from the UK myself and I value Glenn’s integrity far more than I value any kind of dysfunctional elitism masquerading as “culture”. So when you say “an entire country’s traditions and culture”, what you really mean is “the culture of the elite, plus a few braindead subjects”.

  113. Most of what is happening in the Uk has sod all to do with the monarchy or the “hereditary aristocracy” (don’t tell me the US doesn’t have an aristocracy, it does, the only difference is that titles aren’t used, but family & connections, especially those that can trace their ancestry back to the original settlers or soon after, though trumped by wealth – as in the UK – sneer at “new money” the same way). What is happening in the UK has less to do with the aristocracy and more to do with those with wealth (and, contrary to popular belief, a title & a big house don’t always equate to having a tone of disposible cash). The wealthy in all countries generally pay those in political circles to do their bidding and protect their interests. What is happening in the UK has nothing whatsoever to do with the hereditary aristocracy or the monarchy (which has no power at all other than to tell the country what it is that the Prime Minister is going to do… while technically the Queen could refuse to endorse any legislation, I don’t think it has ever, or will ever, happened).

    You want to find a target to blame, start with Senior Civil Servants, those who tell the elected Ministers of Parliament what should be done; and the MPs who pick and choose what and how it suits them and their financial backers to actually do (or campaign for if they are in a minority party and have no power).

    We are made to focus on the wrong targets over and over again. It is easy for non-Brits to look at the “archaic aristocracy” and blame that but, really, the aristocracy have no power beyond what money can buy… ie, exactly the same as anyone else in today’s western world.

    • You make some good points but from an American observer the perpetuation of titles and all that seems to me to be a re-enforcement of the idea that there are distinct classes and those better than you deserve to hold the reins of power and your job is to be a humble supplicant. There is a psychological undercurrent that is working there whether symbolic in your eyes or not. It sends a message and a retrograde one at that.

  114. Right on, Greenwald. Brilliant rhetoric, and a brilliant polemic, as ever.

  115. In fairness to the UK, the ‘prince’ and ‘princess’ thing does draw a lot of American tourists. The US does the same thing with Disneyland, although I concede they keep their fantasy better compartmentalized than in the UK.

    The fantasy exterior does indeed help disguise the true nature of the government beneath. As reported in Human Right’s Watch World Report 2014,

    Senior ministers regularly attacked the Human Rights Act and the ECtHR, and Home Secretary Teresa May stated that if re-elected in 2015 the Conservative party would scrap the Act and possibly withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.

    But a lot of people are fooled by the cute and anachronistic form the government adopts.

    • This could go on forever, but America’s lack of monarchy and hereditary positions has led to family dynasties in politics, the gilding of the presidential cage (please: no other leader in the world requires as much ‘protection’ and security, and it’s a pain in the arse to host American leaders) – not to mention the creation of your own princes and princesses from Hollywood entertainment. Without it, you’ve simply created it. I’d say that’s a far sight worse a form of desperation for idol worship.