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They Still Don’t Get It

Charlie Pierce comments on Jeffrey Toobin, and his defense of the detention of David Miranda.

Mr Toobin is another graduate of Havard Law School who has something of an odd conception of Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. Mr Pierce is correct in noting that Toobin obviously doesn’t understand the meaning of the ‘Nuremberg Defense’ [“I was just following orders”] that Edward Snowden referenced, and if he thinks it doesn’t apply in the US, he needs to talk to those soldiers who were convicted of their actions while guards at Abu Ghraib prison.

Julian Borger reports in The Guardian that in addition to detaining Miranda the UK government forced the destruction of computer equipment at The Guardian headquarters.

Update: The BBC reports that destruction was the result of orders from the Prime Minister:

Meanwhile, it has emerged Prime Minister David Cameron ordered Britain’s top civil servant, Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, to contact the Guardian about material it had obtained from Mr Snowden.

The discussions resulted in the newspaper destroying a number of computer hard drives in July, under the supervision of intelligence experts from GCHQ.

Alan Rusbridger, Editor-In-Chief of The Guardian wrote about this and the pressure that was being applied to the paper over this story. He views it as an attack on the press using terrorism as the excuse.

It isn’t just the ‘traditional’ press that is being affected. The BBC reports that the Groklaw news website abandoned over US surveillance:

An award-winning legal news website has stopped work, saying it cannot operate under current US surveillance policies.

Pamela Jones, Groklaw’s founder, cited the alleged US practice of screening emails from abroad and storing messages “enciphered or otherwise thought to contain secret meaning” for five years.

Groklaw had promised its sources anonymity, but said it could not now ensure contributors would stay secret.

Apparently only the government is allowed to have secrets anymore.

August 20, 2013   Comments Off on They Still Don’t Get It