Police State Tries to Intimidate Greenwald

Police State Tries to Intimidate Greenwald August 20, 2013

Fails.  It was the Brits acting as lackeys, but have no doubt this is orchestrated by the Obama Administration.

Note well how “terrorism” was used as the transparently phony excuse for this act of intimidation.

This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by. But the UK puppets and their owners in the US national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples.

If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further. Beyond that, every time the US and UK governments show their true character to the world – when they prevent the Bolivian President’s plane from flying safely home, when they threaten journalists with prosecution, when they engage in behavior like what they did today – all they do is helpfully underscore why it’s so dangerous to allow them to exercise vast, unchecked spying power in the dark.

We still retain the freedom to resist this.

Or we can go on being suckers.

Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, 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 peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. – Hermann Goering

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  • HornOrSilk

    I think you, as with many others, are looking at this in the same light many look at Putin as some sort of “good guy” if he is against Obama.

    First, what Snowden “revealed” was not anything new. That is the real shocker: the people who supported this kind of spying under Bush are acting all surprised and upset because Obama is in power. Now, to be sure, some people have reversed and those upset with Bush are now ok with it when Obama is in power. Both sides here are wrong, to a point (the reason why I say to a point is that there is some level of “spying” which is needed and acceptable, as police in general, for centuries, do “spying” as well — what needs to be discussed is what level is acceptable and what level is now).

    Second, Snowden is no hero. Just because he has led to a discussion of what was an already known problem does not make him a hero, just like Putin criticizing something bad about the US does not make Putin a hero. Snowden went in to spy. Let’s get this clear: he and Greenwald sent Snowden in to spy. That is all. They were orchestrating this before Snowden got the job. So, we have an internal contradiction already: spying is bad, unless I do it. Can we see the irony here? He reveals the reason why some spying is necessary to reject spying. But it is worse than this, because it is clear, Snowden and Greenwald are being used to help dismantle legitimate means and goals as well as illegitimate ones. This is where things become quite troublesome, especially since it is clear this was pre-planned.

    Third, Greenwald’s “partner” was in on it and working with them. Again, orchestrating espionage and using such espionage for blackmail and attacks will get you in trouble. Don’t cry when you are taken in. Even if you expose wrong-doing, your own wrong-doing is still wrong. Think about what has been wrong with so-called pro-life advocates lying on video to expose the abortion industry — we have already discussed how such a means, even if the intentions and ends are good, are still wrong and must be treated as wrong. The same applies here. If you engage in lies and spying, don’t be surprised that you will have to face the consequences of your actions, even if (in theory) you have good intentions (which I don’t feel is the case here, as per Snowden’s world tour and where he went).

    Thus, to make it all about “police state” and “intimidation” is wrong in this case. There are real threats to liberty going on. Let’s not, however, go so far as to ignore the wrong which was also done by those opposed to the police state and let it go. We are not consequentialists, are we?

    • Evan

      First of all, the US government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. Therefore the people (of which Snowden is one) can and should make sure that the government (which works FOR them) is doing its job properly.

      There is no proof that Greenwald’s partner was involved with them. Even though he probably knew about it, that does not mean he was working with them, and detaining him was an act of fascism with ethics below that of the Mafia (as Greenwald said.)

      Investigate journalism is a legitimate means of exposing corruption in a government. It is not necessary to lie in order to achieve it, which is why I’m still not convinced Snowden did anything wrong.

      Even if Snowden and Greenwald were breaking laws, detaining Greenwald’s partner without evidence is still wrong and an act of fascist intimidation. It would be consequentialism to defend a government fighting crime with even worse crime, which would be the case in this scenario IF Greenwald was breaking the law (which I don’t think he is.)

      • HornOrSilk

        The whole thing of being a representative government means that aspects of the government will not be in the actual hands of the people. We are not a direct democracy.

        And we will note, from the beginning, there have always been “secrets” which the people do not know, and cannot know. This is not new. The idea that Snowden has a right to do what he did because it is “for the people, by the people” is absurd, just as much as it would be for me to go into a police office and demand all the secret files and if not steal them.

        • D.T. McCameron

          “the government will not be in the actual hands of the people. We are not a direct democracy.”

          Oligarchy, then.

          “there have always been “secrets” which the people do not know, and cannot know. ”


          • Resident

            No, it’s democracy because one individual or even a random mass of people are not “the people”. Thinking one guy is “the people” is basically denying democracy.

            And yes, there have to be secrets. No Heston-film-gifs can change that.

            • D.T. McCameron

              Well, it’s less of a democracy because it’s something more of a republic.

              But something less than that in reality, as the secrets kept are decided upon not by representatives (duly elected) but on a cadre of officials (appointed) who keep the secrets even from the representatives.

              What secrets must there be? Black sites? Torture?
              Perhaps forcibly infecting people with syphilis? Illegally spying on the American people? Warrantless killing of citizens?

              Just how much are you willing to sacrifice on the altar of security? Or you rather not know how much, and just let them decide what freedoms are in need of snipping?

        • Who gives a s*** if Snowden did or did not have the “right” to do what he did? Snowden is not the important thing here. The important thing is a nation that either is or is not losing its civil liberties to a bunch of powerful, shadowy bureaucrats with SWAT teams and no accountability.

    • Marthe Lépine

      Do you have any proof of what you are allegating about Snowden and Greenwald planning this in advance? It is the first I hear of it. It may be clear to you, but what were the facts?

      • HornOrSilk

        Yes. It was shown from the beginning: if you look at the date Snowden met with Greenwald, it was before he had a job. It was a set up.


        For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media.

        “My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he told the Post on June 12. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”

        He admitted it there; however, when people looked closely at his dates with meeting Greenwald and his dates of work, it was clear he was with Greenwald before work. It was a set up and I think Greenwald is in big trouble.

        http://www.boozallen.com/media-center/press-releases/48399320/statement-reports-leaked-information-060913 shows Booz Allen pointing out it was less than three months of time he worked with them.

        Now look to when Greenwald admits to working with him: since February. BEFORE he got the job:


        Yep. That’s right. It was a set up.

        I also find it interesting Snowden went to China. Now, people thought it was a joke about selling out state secrets. But think this through: Greenwald admits to his socialism.


        Now connect the dots. It’s not difficult. This is a full time spy operation imo.

        • But think this through: Greenwald admits to his socialism.

          I don’t understand what this has to do with anything. I also don’t understand how Snowden’s illegal activities in any way invalidates the truth of what he found.

          It seems to me the pertinent questions are:
          1. Is our government engaged in illegal spying?
          2. If so, should we make this spying legal, or just continue to let them do whatever they want without rule of law?

  • Michaelus

    Soon when they make movies about George Washington they will have scenes in which uniformed sheriffs stop travelers, review their identification and search them. Alexander Hamilton will be shown in a giant office scanning other people’s mail for signs of sedition. Continental soldiers will routinely break into homes, drag out people and search for contraband whiskey and illegal prescriptions. Homosexual grenadier couples will somehow acquire little boys and live in beautiful loving homes. Jefferson will be presented as the fiery leader of the local teacher’s union and author of the first Patriot Act to save America from the Barbary al-Qaeda Terrorists.

    There is nothing to resist – it has always been this way.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Mark Shea, you are off the wall on this topic. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    You have no idea why the search and interrogation took place, what was found, what was seized, and why this person was released.

    I am embarrassed for you.

    • D.T. McCameron

      So why did it take place/what was found?

      • Greenwald gave it away when he said that he was now going to release what he has on UK secrets. The UK had ample reason to do this on its own, no need for puppet work by the US for this to happen.

        • HornOrSilk

          Exactly. And it is often one’s “significant other” (boyfriend, spouse, whatever) is used as a mule for such documents. There is also indication something was on him. So yes, it seems valid.

          • Greenwald’s partner is explicitly a professional partner. He works with Greenwald on these things.

            • Newp Ort

              Glenn Greenwald is gay. David Miranda is his civil partner.

              • Actually, he’s both but I didn’t want to really get into the man’s sex life. For some things, that’s utterly irrelevant so I was just passing on that aspect silently.


                • Newp Ort

                  uh, ooooookaay.

                  so were you lying when you “corrected” hornorsilk or just now when you said “i knew that”?

                  and how do you know he’s a professional partner at all, instead of just (egads!) a GAY one?

                  • In both cases we know from Greenwald and what he said. Until this episode I didn’t know he was gay (I don’t inquire after people’s sex lives as a rule). When I can possibly avoid going there in good conscience, I do so. Sometimes going there becomes unavoidable.

                    When a man has a professional collaborator and bed mate in one package, getting detained and grilled over a journalistic story is normally considered a consequence of the first role, not the second. I may have been unclear about what I was aiming at. Has this made things clearer?

                    • Newp Ort

                      As mud.

                      first you were “correcting” others with misinformation, then you said you avoided getting into his sex life, now you say you didn’t know he was gay.

                      and how is knowing he has a same sex partner knowing anything about his sex life, other than the mere fact that he’s gay? do you know anything more about his sex life than your parents? every time you meet a couple do you construct a mental image of them doing it? is this why conservatives always say “why even bring it up I don’t wanna know!!!” about gay people?

                      and in fact having a same sex partner who ISN’T a professional collaborator is a major part of the story, why this is such an outrage. he said they are going after family and loved ones, that even the mafia leaves them out of it.

                    • Paul

                      Greenwald’s partner is his collaborator in storing and transporting data. Given this fact, that he is also his sexual partner is hardly relevant.

                    • Newp Ort

                      It might make things clearer to YOU (since the whole GAY thing seems to have jarred you a bit) if you were to imagine Greenwald is straight and is talking about his wife, and re-read the whole story.

                    • Jarred? Perhaps. Is it relevant?

                      I didn’t imagine Greenwald as gay or straight. I imagined him as Greenwald. It just wasn’t a necessary piece of the puzzle up to when his partner was stopped for espionage so I just didn’t care to invest one second in finding out or retaining the information. The partner was a background character. I don’t follow Greenwald that closely, though I have heard of him.

                    • Guest

                      Having one’s loved-ones/partners/spouses/family detained and grilled should not be a consequence of journalism if a free society.

                    • I agree that it shouldn’t be that way. I do not see a way to get from where we are to that happy reality in my time on this planet. If it’s just a missed flight, some nerves, and a ruined schedule for the day, it’s better than average in this fallen world.

          • D.T. McCameron

            Something connected to terrorism? That is what their (vaguely draconian) law is for, after all.

  • Pavel Chichikov
  • meunke

    It seems a good time to post this and this.

    A little rough language in one.

  • I have to add my voice to those criticizing you for going unnecessarily conspiratorial. UK/US intelligence cooperation is widespread and long known. That Snowden might have released UK secrets has been confirmed by Greenwald in the aftermath of this idiocy so while the US might have done this, there is ample reason for the UK to act on its own.

    Securing our liberties in the modern age is a noble goal and one that I am with you on. Go overboard and you damage the cause.

  • Zeke

    Wow Mark, your hatred of Obama over this imagined “war on the Church” has taken your blog to new lows. The great irony is that there is no force on earth that has done more to shame, terrorize, and intimidate homosexuals like Greenwald and his partner than your own Church.

    • chezami

      No. No. No. You don’t understand. I actually hate Republicans and secretly love Obama. You haven’t been paying attention. And you are aware, aren’t you, that it is Greenwald himself who points out that Obama is behind this.

    • enness

      Hey guys, did you hear something? Must have just been a puff of hot air blowing by.

  • I love how all this attention is being focused on complete irrelevancies. Snowden could be the Zodiac killer for all I care. Are we being illegally spied on by people with zero accountability? If we are, would someone tell me why this is okay?

    • HornOrSilk

      You show concern with the problem by saying you don’t care about immorality. That means whatever solution you create will only be a part of another problem, often worse (as the French, Russian, Chinese, Iraqi, Egyptian, et. al. revolutions demonstrate). Without a moral core, you cannot criticize; to not care whether or not the leaders of the revolt are the Zodiac Killer or not shows you do not really care for a solution, but only complaints. This is what leads to true tyranny. So many complaining about tyranny in the US have no clue what REAL tyranny is like, and they don’t get how their own complaints without proper moral application lead to such absolute tyrants.

      • *sigh* If you cannot recognize hyperbolic rhetoric when you see it, you need not to read this blog (or the gospels, for that matter).

        I want to know:

        Are we being illegally spied on by people with zero accountability?

        If we are, would someone please tell me why this is okay?

        • Newp Ort

          We are being spied on LEGALLY by people with zero accountability. And that’s the rub.