There is no doubt that Edward Snowden has broken USA laws but my concern is our (UK) complicity in upholding those USA rules. It doesn't seem to me that this misguided man is a career criminal but rather a man who was concerned about civil liberties which to me is obviously in the interest of the ordinary people of any country let alone the USA. It could be argued that he was at the worst misguided, as I commented earlier, but hardly a terrorist.
I recently watched Will Smith's 'Enemy of the State' which is meat and drink to conspiracy concerned people. There is an element of that in what is a corollary to the Edward Snowden story. It was reported for the first time yesterday that a Brazilian gentleman, David Miranda partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, had been held for 9 hours by UK police under schedule 7 of the 2000 Terrorism Act. Mr. Greenwald was involved in the publishing of the Snowden stories in the Guardian newspaper. The USA authorities say that the decision to hold the partner of a journalist was a UK decision. That in itself is a can of worms! So wives and husbands are partly implicit and therefore culpable for the actions of their partners!!!!!!
In the above Steele story I develop the idea that the links between the USA and UK are unhealthily close and our hero, Patrick A Steele, attempts to drive a wedge between the countries by taking action to destabilise the 'special relationship'. The decision of the UK police to detain Mr. Miranda could never be solely a UK decision. The UK police shouldn't be investigating the Snowden case, it is not our problem, or is it? Are we equally involved in covert surveillance along with the USA? I have no facts but if you apply logic to this tale there are glaring indicators of our complicity with the USA.
Mr Miranda was travelling from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro, he wasn't even coming into the UK. All of his electronic devices, laptop, smartphone etc were confiscated as he was suspected of carrying information between Mr Greenwald and a film maker in Germany.
At this point I need to reiterate that Mr Miranda is the partner of the journalist!
Also the reporting of the story in itself is not a crime so how is the decision of the UK authorities to hold this man not a joint decision with USA agencies?
I include below information from the Guardian newspaper below which includes part of the interview with Mr Miranda after the event.
He said he had to tell them the passwords to his computer and mobile phone."They said I was obliged to answer all their questions and used the words 'prison' and 'station' all the time," he added.
And from Mr Greenwald,
Mr Greenwald said the British authorities' actions amounted to "bullying" and linked it to his writing about Mr Snowden's revelations concerning the US National Security Agency (NSA).
Mr Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, leaked details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by American intelligence services.
According to the Guardian, he passed "thousands of files" to Mr Greenwald, who has written a series of stories about surveillance by US and UK authorities.
Mr Greenwald said his partner's detention was "clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and [UK intelligence agency] GCHQ".
And from the Guardian
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has written an article about Mr Miranda's detention and what it means for journalism
He also talks about how he was contacted by a "very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister" who demanded the return or destruction of the Snowden files.
Mr Rusbridger said that after two months of meetings and the threat of court action, two security experts from GCHQ, the UK's eavesdropping centre, came to the Guardian's offices to oversee the destruction of computer hard-drives.
He said the security experts oversaw the destruction of the hard-drives "just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents".
"Whitehall was satisfied, but it felt like a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age," he said.
"We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won't do it in London."
I find the whole issue very disturbing. It seems clear to me that the films, 'Enemy of the State' and 'Conspiracy Theory', are full of grains of truth. What disturbs me more is that our government is complicit in the absorption of the UK into the USA which is fundamentally wrong. We are separate and different nations and ever should remain so.
There is a wealth of inspirational material for writing in this real situation as well as enough evidence of all manner of worrying activities by the authorities that they should be raised to the public consciousness. There is something quite eerie about the whole 'Big Brother' attitude of the USA government and our governments pathetic creeping round them to maintain the 'special relationship'.
As a footnote I am off to Canada this weekend for a couple of weeks and if I should disappear and never return I hope enough of you will have the bottle to broadcast the fact!