UK government claims it is right to hassle the press

The UK’s government claims it is doing the right thing hassling the press by holding their family hostage.

In a statement, the British government defended its moves to use anti-terrorism powers to lock up David Miranda at a London airport. Miranda is the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who is threatening to provide scoops from the cache of Edward Snowden.

Home Secretary Theresa May said Miranda was held to prevent stolen data aiding terrorists.

Talking to Reuters, May claimed that it was “absolutely right” that if the police believe somebody is in possession of highly sensitive, stolen information that could help terrorists, that could risk lives, lead to a potential loss of life, the police are able to act – and that’s what the law lets them do.

In a statement of the utterly obvious, she admitted that an independent reviewer was looking into the police conduct but said that she knew all about the decision to lock up Miranda.

The United States said Britain gave it a “heads up” but it did not ask for Miranda to be questioned.

The other weak point about May’s comments is that if Miranda was arrested because the police were worried about terrorism, they forgot to actually ask him any questions about it.

Miranda said the officers who questioned him didn’t ask him one question that could be linked to terrorism.

Yesterday it was reported that the UK government had entered the Guardian’s offices and destroyed hard drives containing Snowden material. 

The British action even surprised the White House, with spokesman John Earnest hinting that it was a little extreme.

He could not see US authorities invading a newspaper and destroying hard drives to protect national security, like the British had done.

“That’s very difficult to imagine a scenario in which that would be appropriate,” Earnest told reporters.

So May should know that she is on hiding to nowhere when her actions are being dubbed by right wing nutjobs in the US as a tad extreme.