Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

"This is police-state stuff"

The staid Columbia Journalism Review freaks out over the surveillance state.

"This is police-state stuff"

"This is police-state stuff." There go those crazy bloggers in the basement with their pajamas again -- except it's not. Those words come from the staid Columbia Journalism Review, and the fact that they're freaking out about the U.S., the U.K., and the out-of-control surveillance state means that we're crossing some sort of Rubicon here:

Miranda was serving as a human passenger pigeon, shuttling encrypted files on USB drives between filmmaker Laura Poitras and Greenwald because, as the whole world now knows, the Internet is fully bugged by the US and UK governments. So the UK, using an anti-terrorism statute, arrested Miranda on arrival at Heathrow, interrogated him for 9 hours, threatened to arrest him, and took his stuff. The war on whistleblowers has now escalated to disrupting journalists’ communications.

In light of Rusbridger’s disclosures, it’s even clearer that the detention of Miranda is part of an attack on American journalists authorized at the highest levels of the British government, and it’s an attack that is at the very least implicitly backed by the Obama administration.

We have the spectacle of communications between two American journalists-in-exile—reduced to passing information via courier because their government is spying on everything they do online—busted up by the US’s top ally, apparently with no protest from the Obama administration, which was given a heads-up.

On top of that, Greenwald’s paper has been threatened by its own government with prior restraint and had its hard drives smashed in its basement to make a (stupid) point.

This is police-state stuff. We need to know the American government’s role in these events—and its stance on them—sooner rather than later.

I am really getting livid about what the governments of the U.S. and our allies are doing here -- as livid as any time since we invaded Iraq without justification (so that's pretty livid). It's a strange time -- I know that some liberals AND some conservatives as just as mad about the government's spying on Americans and its war on whistleblowers as I am. But where are we going to turn? I hate to be so pessimistic, but there aren't any good options, politically, out there.

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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