David Miranda is journalist Glenn Greenwald’s boyfriend, but he’s best known for being detained under the Section 7 of the UK Terrorism Actwhile changing planes at Heathrow. The cops held Miranda for nine hours, the maximum allowed under law, without access to counsel, using powers intended to allow the detention of people suspected of connections to terrorism. But it was clear to everyone that Miranda wasn’t connected to terrorism — rather, the UK establishment was attempting to intimidate people connected to the Snowden leaks through arbitrary detention and harassment.
Now that Miranda’s lawyers are chasing down the people responsible, we’re getting a more detailed picture of the process that led up to Miranda’s detention. Before a Section 7 detention takes place, British cops have to file a form called a Port Circular Notice, and several drafts of the Notice used to detain Miranda have come to light.
The final draft argues that Miranda should be detained under terrorism law because “…the disclosure or threat of disclosure is designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism.”
In other words: thoughtcrime.
Thoughtcrime originated in the novel 1984 as “an occurance or instance of controversial or socially unacceptable thoughts.” You were in trouble not because you actually did anything but because they thought you might be thinking them.
Here we have the British legal system being brought to bear against someone who might be trying to influence the government by promoting a political cause. Or because the British legal system thought he might. That is now terrorism.
No violence is even necessary. Simply trying to influence the government can get you locked up, have your personal belongings apparently permanently confiscated, your electronic equipment searched. In fact, they can do all that simply because of what they THINK you might do, not because you actually did anything.
Such lies the end of democracy. I hope there is a huge push back against these authoritarian fascists.