Archive | 3:54 pm

Our CT Overlords Are Total Dicks

18 Aug

It’s really hard for me to devise any defense, to compensate for this abuse of power.

At 6:30 am this morning my time – 5:30 am on the East Coast of the US – I received a telephone call from someone who identified himself as a “security official at Heathrow airport.” He told me that my partner, David Miranda, had been “detained” at the London airport “under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000.”

David had spent the last week in Berlin, where he stayed with Laura Poitras, the US filmmaker who has worked with me extensively on the NSA stories. A Brazilian citizen, he was returning to our home in Rio de Janeiro this morning on British Airways, flying first to London and then on to Rio. When he arrived in London this morning, he was detained.

At the time the “security official” called me, David had been detained for 3 hours. The security official told me that they had the right to detain him for up to 9 hours in order to question him, at which point they could either arrest and charge him or ask a court to extend the question time. The official – who refused to give his name but would only identify himself by his number: 203654 – said David was not allowed to have a lawyer present, nor would they allow me to talk to him.

Whatever you think of Glenn Greenwald or of the NSA. do we as adults and citizens really want to allow bona fide fishing expeditions, to find terrorists, just for the illusion of liberty we get from the media, a group of employees that doesn’t question authority?

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Russia’s LGBT Community Is Putin’s Scapegoat

18 Aug

Time's Tyrant of the Year

Russia, according to Ian Bateson, is less a dystopian oddity than a fledgling democracy where a beleaguered leader needs a scapegoat to head off populist outrage.

The spread of anti-homosexual propaganda laws in Russia has coincided with a general tightening of freedoms and civil society, and most notably recent crackdowns on non-government organizations and opposition leaders. Asylee and photographer Alexander Kargaltsev, 28, sees it as all being interrelated. “[The new law] indulges populism to shore up popularity ratings and draw attention away from the areas where the government is failing such as education, healthcare, corruption, and reliance on natural resources.”

Judging by the standard set by the Soviet Union when homosexuality was illegal and then legalized in the Yeltsin era, that Boris the boozing buffoon Americans came to ridicule now looks positively enlightened.

 

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