By Matthew Rothschild on August 18, 2013

For almost nine hours today, the government of Great Britain detained Glenn Greenwald's partner, David Miranda.

British security forces at Heathrow airport held him on suspicion of terrorism while he was en route back to Brazil, where he and Greenwald live.

"They obviously had zero suspicion that David was associated with a terrorist organization or involved in any terrorist plot," Greenwald wrote in The Guardian.

"Instead, they spent their time interrogating him about the NSA reporting which Laura Poitras, the Guardian, and I are doing, as well as the content of the electronic products he was carrying. They completely abused their own terrorism law."

According to Greenwald, they seized Miranda's "laptop, his cellphone, various video game consoles, DVDs, USB sticks, and other materials. They did not say when they would return any of it, or if they would."

This is an outrageous assault on press freedom, and every journalist and media organization in the world ought to be lodging a protest with the British government.

As Greenwald put it so well: "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 feel threatened by. But the UK puppets and their owners in the US national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples."

It is time, way past time, for all those fancy credentialed reporters and editors and pundits at The New York Times and The Washington Post, at CBS and NBC and ABC and PBS, at CNN and MSNBC and even Fox to stand up for freedom of the press and to recognize the danger that Big Brother represents and the threat to democracy that global surveillance poses.

Put aside your jealousy and all your carping about Glenn Greenwald, and come to his and his partner's defense right now.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Obama, the Pensive War Criminal.

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.

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A plea to United States citizens to work for peace

An Indian journalist globally renowned as an advocate for the poor, Palagummi Sainath detailed the detrimental...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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