The disgraceful judges of Britain’s High Court – who have gone along with torture, extraordinary rendition, every single argument for mass surveillance and hiding information from the public, and even secret courts – have ruled that it was lawful for the Home Office to detain David Miranda, a journalist as information he was carrying might in some undefined way, and if communicated to them, aid “terrorists”.
Despite the entire industry, both private and governmental, devoted to whipping up fear, it is plain to pretty well everyone by now that terrorism is about the most unlikely way for you to die. A car accident is many hundreds of times more likely. Even drowning in your own bath is more likely. Where is the massive industry of suppression against baths?
I had dinner inside the Ecuadorian Embassy on Sunday with Julian Assange, who I am happy to say is as fit and well as possible in circumstances of confinement. Amongst those present was Jesselyn Radack, attorney for, among others, Edward Snowden. Last week on entering the UK she was pulled over by immigration and interrogated about her clients. The supposed “immigration officer” already knew who are Jesselyn Radack’s clients. He insisted aggressively on referring repeatedly to Chelsea Manning as a criminal, to which Jesselyn quietly replied that he was a political prisoner. But even were we to accept the “immigration officer’s” assertion, the fact that an attorney defends those facing criminal charges is neither new nor until now considered reprehensible and illegitimate.
As various states slide towards totalitarianism, a defining factor is that their populations really don’t notice. Well, I have noticed. Have you?