The Cold War is over. Now we have cool war. Vladimir Putin may or may not be paid up on his dues to Amnesty International and the ACLU. But he could be forgiven a smug grin if he read about the nine-hour detention of David Miranda at London Heathrow yesterday. Mr. Miranda was held under an anti-terrorism law. He is the partner of Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist primarily responsible for breaking the Snowden NSA revelations.
So, journalism is inherently criminal and terroristic if it shines a light on issues the governments of Britain and the U.S. do not want debated and discussed?
As we approach fifty years since the March on Washington–of course there have been other marches but this one is capitalized for good reason– we might recall how important the Cold War was as a motivator to pass civil rights laws. This is a hidden and neglected part of the civil rights story, but seizing the moral high ground vs. godless Communists was just not possible unless we got past lynchings and poll taxes and segregation and vote suppression.
Maybe the Cold War was a blessing to Americans at least in that it pushed us to reform some of our shameful ways. Do we feel enough shame now about warrantless searches to push back? Is your cellphone your personal property? If the U.S. government succeeds in their effort to legitimize warrantless phone searches and you have an iPhone or Android or other smartphone, how much does the Fourth Amendment still mean? Do American political and business elites care that the encroaching surveillance state is bulldozing away the moral high ground on which we used to enjoy standing versus, say, the East Germans?
- Amnesty International condemns detention of Glenn Greenwald’s partner (theguardian.com)