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Monday, 19 August 2013

Targeting Greenwald and Poitras shows the US is in looneyville

After I read the story of how Edward Snowden's releases of information about the US National Security Agency occurred with the help of video-maker Laura Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald, I wasn't surprised to read today that Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, was stopped and questioned by British authorities as he travelled home to Brazil from Europe.

Not surprised, but still deeply offended.

Barack Obama is turning out to be a total looney when it comes to whistleblowers, ignoring the right to free speech cemented in the US Constitution, which protects the media from unwarranted actions by government authorities. Obama's record on whistleblowers is dismal. It got worse with the court case against Bradley Manning. With whistleblower Edward Snowden, Obama's administration has hit new levels of sleaze.

From the point of view of any right-thinking citizen, the actions of Manning and Snowden can only be viewed as impressive. The US government has entered looneyville by continuing to target and harrass journalists - and even their friends - in much the same way the Chinese government targets the families of human rights campaigners and democracy proponents in that country. Truly, the US government has jumped the shark, and has ended up somewhere over on the dark side where people die in secret in dark and unhealthy conditions, far from the people they love and absent recourse to any legal assistance. This is the territory frequented by Argentinian death squads and tin-pot dictators who have flourished - often with the help of the US government - in many countries around the world over the past 40 years.

Obama risks being viewed by good citizens as a zombie-politician, someone who survives by eating the brains of careless travellers and small animals. The detention and questioning of David Miranda means that absolutely noone is safe from the predations of this megalomaniac president and his legions of spooks, whose tentacles can reach into any home and even into the pockets of friends of reporters who dare to expose the criminal activities of a government gone mad with impotent rage as the contours of the world shift inexorably following the great wave of nationalism sparked by WWII. The US is behaving like a surly teenager who throws a tantrum when people stop listening to his blatant fabrications. Obama does not see that the fourth amendment was designed to protect people from just such a leader as he is turning out to be.

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