Glenn Greenwald NSA The Daily Banter

Glenn Greenwald’s Partner Detained By British Security; Was Transporting Top Secret Documents

My Monday column begins like so:

Early Sunday morning, Glenn Greenwald learned that his Brazilian partner, David Miranda, was detained and interrogated for nine hours by security officials at London’s Heathrow airport. The officials also seized Miranda’s electronic devices: his phone, laptop and so forth. At first glance, if he was indeed held because of his association with Greenwald, this was a horribly tone-deaf and heavy-handed move by British officials, especially knowing that Miranda was apparently detained under the U.K.’s Terrorism Act of 2000, Schedule 7.

My initial reaction was the same as many: Why did the British government target Greenwald’s spouse? He might’ve been profiled, or he might’ve been flagged as Greenwald’s spouse. If the latter was the case, it didn’t look good. Over the years, I’ve taken a pretty harsh stance against media characters like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck who loop “noncombatants” — ordinary citizens and children — into their screeds. While not precisely the same, Miranda’s detention smacked of a similar kind of bullying against a man who didn’t deserve it, and so it stunk.

When I read The Guardian‘s article about the incident, however, more questions popped up — as with much of The Guardian‘s reporting on this topic, the publication’s tendency for coy, smoke-and-mirrors reporting invariably raises more questions than it answers. The article was credited to “Guardian staff,” for one, there weren’t any quotes from Miranda himself and the only source for the article appeared to be Greenwald, who, from my experience covering this story, tends to be incendiary and misleading.

The wailing and garment rending was underway — the predictable group freakout we’re forced to endure every time a new article is published. Greenwald himself wrote that the U.K. authorities were actually worse than the Mafia because the Mafia doesn’t target family members… [CONTINUE READING]