Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – In other words, ladies and gentlemen, this is a very naked attempt to preempt the next round of shocking revelations about the NSA. That’s what this is. This guy may have it on his person. It may be on his computer. If we can detain him and get access to it, we might find out about someone that is about to go public with this stuff and we might be able to intervene. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let’s just think about this for a moment. This is August 19th today. The Snowden revelations came about mid-June or so. The second or third week in June is when that story broke. Two years ago it was Julian Assange and WikiLeaks had similar postings of some of the chicanery that the American federal government was undertaking and performing. In those two years, ask yourself the question: Has Congress intervened and slowed down or stopped the madness? The answer to the question is an unequivocal no, they have not. They haven’t even been successful in slowing it down.
There’s been but one attempt to do so, and it was the Amash amendment about three weeks ago that was going to be attached to a defense authorization bill. That couldn’t even get out of the House of Representin’, with a “conservative” majority in that formerly most august body. Even with what we know, even with a free press, it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s just another indication, ladies and gentlemen, of how large and out of control and unresponsive the monster has become. It is so large and so cumbersome and now so powerful that it doesn’t even think, and those that purport to run it don’t even think that it should be responsive to the public.
There is another side to this that I’ll briefly get into, that is [mocking] “If you don’t have anything to hide, what are you worried about? They’re keeping us safe from madmen, marauding terrorist nutjobs. Come on, Mike, give ‘em a break.” So there’s the other side of it, [mocking] “Live and let live. What are you guys so worried about this for? Why do you obsess over this?” Much ado about nothing here is the way this is characterized by some. My response to that is: Much ado about nothing? Why are we worried about this? Again, I feel like I have to continually remind the audience, or maybe just for my own sanity think that I need to remind the audience, when the government has this kind of access to the kind of information that they’re purporting to have some kind of carte blanche to, they can do things with the information that those that don’t have the power of the State behind them, they can do things with that info that others cannot.
They can deprive you of life or liberty. That’s what the State does. They can deprive you of possessions. They can deprive you of access to economic success. They can deprive you of your actual property. Even if they’re not successful in prosecuting you or bringing a case against you, let’s just say they harass and antagonize you and follow you to the ends of the Earth even if they’re not successful, because they have access to OPM (other people’s money) in order to prosecute you. You do not. When you have to defend yourself against the tyrannical acts of the State, you have to pay for it yourself in most instances. Can you afford batteries and battalions of lawyers to go head to head with these clowns? Probably not. What do you do then? Are you then underrepresented? Probably. That’s why this is dangerous. Think of the press as at least partially your defense attorney or a public defense attorney. That’s why it must be free. That’s why it must always be in a never-ending, relentless pursuit for the truth, although I’m not so sure that we have that in as robust of a manner in which we should.
Mike Church Show Transcript – The American Injustice System And Edward Snowden – Guilty Until Proven Innocent
That’s why this stuff is dangerous and that’s why it does matter, even if they haven’t gotten to you or they haven’t gotten to me or Evan or any listeners out there yet. Keep that in mind. Here’s the way Greenwald describes what happened yesterday….
For the rest of today’s transcript please sign up for a Founders Pass or if you’re already a member, make sure you are logged in!
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 . . .
Mike: What is this, an early George Lucas film, THX? I doubt you’ve seen this, have you, young Evan? Have you ever seen Lucas’ first movie THX?
Evan: I have not. I’ll check the exact name for you.
Mike: Donald Pleasence is the actor who played THX in some kind of futuristic prison camp of some sorts. You learn it’s not really a prison camp. Anyway, so this official’s number was 203654. Isn’t that nice? Does that mean that there are 203,653 more just like him? I’m just ruminating on this. That’s an awful lot of officials and agents, isn’t it?
. . . said David was not allowed to have a lawyer present, nor would they allow me to talk to him. [Mike: A Brazilian citizen had traveled to Berlin to go check in on a film that was being made, spend some time in that part of Europe, and then return home to Brazil. He is now being detained as a suspect in a terrorism investigation because of his affiliation with someone who writes about the chicanery of the American and British and other assorted spyfare agencies.]
I immediately contacted the Guardian, which sent lawyers to the airport, as well various Brazilian officials I know. Within the hour, several senior Brazilian officials were engaged and expressing indignation over what was being done.
Despite all that, five more hours went by and neither the Guardian’s lawyers nor Brazilian officials, including the Ambassador to the UK in London, were able to obtain any information about David. We spent most of that time contemplating the charges he would likely face once the 9-hour period elapsed.
According to a document published by the UK government about Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, “fewer than 3 people in every 10,000 are examined as they pass through UK borders”
Mike: Don’t forget, folks, I was one of the 10,000 that passed through that system back in June when I went to Scotland. I actually have been through this. I found that the British version of the TSA was far more polite. I was just dealing with the rank and file officers, but I found they were far more polite and courteous than the American TSA, which is usually belligerent, foul-mouthed, and not courteous or polite whatsoever, arrogant I would say.
The stated purpose of this law, as the name suggests, is to question people about terrorism. The detention power, claims the UK government, is used “to determine whether that person is or has been involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”
But they obviously had zero suspicion that David was associated with a terrorist organization or involved in any terrorist plot. Instead, they spent their time interrogating him about the NSA reporting which Laura Poitras, the Guardian and I are doing, as well the content of the electronic products he was carrying. They completely abused their own terrorism law for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism: a potent reminder of how often governments lie when they claim that they need powers to stop “the terrorists”, [Mike: They use this excuse all the time: We gotta protect against the terrorists. What terrorists? You’ve got a Brazilian guy detained at an airport in London. Which terrorist are you talking about?] and how dangerous it is to vest unchecked power with political officials in its name.
Worse, they kept David detained right up until the last minute: for the full 9 hours, something they very rarely do. Only at the last minute did they finally release him. We spent all day – as every hour passed – worried that he would be arrested and charged under a terrorism statute. This was obviously designed to send a message of intimidation to those of us working journalistically on reporting on the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ.
Before letting him go, they seized numerous possessions of his, including his laptop, his cellphone, various video game consoles, DVDs, USB sticks, and other materials. They did not say when they would return any of it, or if they would.
Mike: You know what they’re going to find on here, don’t you? They’re going to find any contact that Miranda had with Greenwald via email. What they’re going to do is they’re going to look to see if Greenwald forwarded Miranda — this is what I think anyway. They’re going to look to see whether Greenwald had forwarded Miranda any information about Snowden or any Snowden-like characters that have yet to blow the whistle. In other words, ladies and gentlemen, this is a very naked attempt to preempt the next round of shocking revelations about the NSA. That’s what this is. This guy may have it on his person. It may be on his computer. If we can detain him and get access to it, we might find out about someone that is about to go public with this stuff and we might be able to intervene.
What is it that these people are trying to hide? Ask yourself that question. What is it that is being disguised here? There’s another part to this as well. When you detain someone like this and it becomes this public, it is not a far stretch of the imagination, and if you’re really doing this to curtail terrorism and what have you, aren’t you then tallying and showing the “terrorists” how it is that they might be detained, how it is that they might be corralled at an airport, how it is that they may be searched, how it is that your security system works, what it is they’re looking for?
Mike Church Show Transcript – Does Anyone Really Care That The NSA Is Spying On Absolutely Everyone?
If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively [Mike: Glenn, I don’t think that’s what they’re after, buddy. I firmly believe that’s why they kept your partner’s laptop. They are hoping there is evidence on it of future reporting.] on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further. Beyond that, every time the US and UK governments show their true character to the world – when they prevent the Bolivian President’s plane from flying safely home, when they threaten journalists with prosecution, when they engage in behavior like what they did today – all they do is helpfully underscore why it’s so dangerous to allow them to exercise vast, unchecked spying power in the dark.
End Mike Church Show Transcript