The Oxford English Dictionary defines terrorism as:
The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims; (originally) such practices used by a government or ruling group (freq. through paramilitary or informal armed groups) in order to maintain its control over a population; (now usually) such practices used by a clandestine or expatriate organization as a means of furthering its aims.
When FOX News and the US State Department use the word terrorism it is understood that you, oh loyal citizen, are picturing “cells” of evildoers with rocket launchers, Qur’ans, and brown skin. Never you worry your pretty little head, citizen, that the overwhelming majority of, “violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims,” or the calling-out of armed groups, “to maintain […] control over a population,” happens in our own governments. The terrorists are over there, and we’re not them!
The British government has, once again, revealed their true stripes as a terrorist organization in unlawfully detaining David Miranda, husband of Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald. (It is believed that they are a satellite terrorist cell, acting under a larger international terrorist organization called The United States Government, but that has yet to be confirmed.)
Glenn Greenwald broke the story of Edward Snowden’s NSA leak. He showed the world that its largest and most militarized government was watching every person’s communications. Needless to say, the largest and most militarized government in the world was unhappy about this. They sent missions across the world to attempt an arrest of Edward Snowden, and now they are using their ally governments to target and harass journalists who try to further this investigation into the US National Security Agency. The British government, acting in protection of the United States government, arrested the husband of a reporter who was returning from an interview with Edward Snowden and stole his laptop, mobile phone, and USB storage drives. They did this under a law entitled Terrorism Act 2000. Read the above definition of terrorism again. Who in this scenario is using violence and intimidation? Who is detaining civilians with armed force? Who is using force to attempt to control what a population is allowed to know? Who are the terrorists here? The whistleblower, the journalist, and his husband, or the United States and British governments? The OED definition of terrorism certainly suggests it’s the latter.
Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, has been forced to destroy information related the the Snowden revelations, although copies of that data exists abroad. The Guardian insists that the section Miranda was detained under applies to transit lounges and ports, not parking structures at airports, and that, “they would have had to use a different law, with checks and balances.” They continue, “The law is conflating terrorism and journalism. Once you start doing that, you are in trouble.”
The US and British governments do not care what the actual definition of terrorism is. They have their own definition of terrorism that fits conveniently into their philosophies of law enforcement: “That which threatens our power.”
Whistleblowers, investigative journalists, and public transparency activists are the recognized “terrorists” in nations run by terrorists in denial. People who want the governed to know just how they are governed are “terrorists” in countries where secrecy is King.
David Miranda and the Guardian are poised to sue the British government, but don’t expect much from the courts. The courts are sworn to protect the same government due to be prosecuted in their courtrooms.
I eagerly await copies of the data the governments of US and Britain demanded destroyed.
Latest developments by The Guardian can be found here.