Leading article

The Guardian didn't care when Murdoch's journalists were arrested. So why the hysteria now?

24 August 2013

9:00 AM

24 August 2013

9:00 AM

It is good to see the Guardian suddenly rediscover its interest in the sanctity of a free press.  Just five months ago, the paper seemed to have given up on the idea, when it backed the statutory regulation of newspapers. It did not show any particular alarm when Rupert Murdoch’s journalists were hauled out of bed at 6a.m. and had their computers confiscated while police tried to identify their sources.

But when the Guardian is visited by a civil servant to discuss its possession of secret material concerning British and American intelligence and the partner of one of its journalists is questioned and then released at Heathrow airport, it reacts as if it is the victim of a constitutional outrage. The more we learn about the detention of David Miranda, partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, the more reasonable the government’s actions appear. Miranda was not apprehended simply because of his relationship with Greenwald, as originally suggested. He was part of a professional operation leaking classified information which betrayed British and American national security. That betrayal comes from a source — Edward Snowden — currently granted asylum in Moscow.

Despite initial attempts to portray Miranda as an innocent, it transpires that he was carrying encrypted files from Snowden to Greenwald. It was only after its initial outcry that the Guardian admitted that it had paid for the airline tickets on which Miranda was travelling. So are we really supposed to be outraged that the police should be interested in these goings-on?

Britain is engaged in a fight against terrorism — a fight that we are winning, thanks to the diligence and flair of our security services. They occupy the difficult territory between freedom and liberty: the British government has to strike a balance between the two. It is for ministers to decide which details ought to be in the public domain, and which ought to be kept secret so that we can better intercept terrorists. Over recent years it has been decided by sections of the media that it is in fact their role, not that of elected, accountable officials, to perform this task.

The notion that the British government has the right to keep secrets is widely accepted. Of course, journalists will seek to expose these secrets if they believe it is in the public interest. But it is not quite clear that the Guardian is doing so in this case. Greenwald certainly speaks as if he is waging a kind of information jihad against the British government. ‘I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents,’ he declared after his partner was detained. ‘I have many documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.’

This does not sound much like a journalist. Rather, it sounds like a saboteur with a very particular agenda. It shouldn’t require his source to be based in a Philby-esque hideaway for people to be alert to this.

All of which raises fresh questions about what exactly the Guardian wants to achieve. Alan Rusbridger, its editor, seems outraged that he was visited by Sir Jeremy Heywood, the cabinet secretary, who sought to underline the risk to Britain and its fight against terrorism by the disclosure of further secrets. The government chose not to raid, arrest or injunct — although it had the power to do all three. To suggest that sending Sir Jeremy was the act of an authoritarian state is not only a hysterical exaggeration. It is also a grave insult to those who do live under such regimes.

When David Cameron’s government proposed to bring back state licensing of the press, this magazine said it would boycott any such regulator no matter what the consequences. We do not remember Mr Rusbridger rushing to support us. He seems to have a rather different test for press freedom: whatever suits his newspaper the best. The Leveson report, and the notion of allowing politicians to set the parameters in which the press can operate, seemed to be quite acceptable to him: after all, it would hurt his rivals the most.

Of course, we are sure to be able to look forward to the Guardian calling for a public inquiry after the next terrorist atrocity occurs. ‘Why did the security services not know about this?’ they will ask once again. ‘Why was there no heads-up or advance warning?’  One reason will be because Messrs Assange, Snowden, Greenwald and others have done so much of late — ably assisted by the Guardian — to try to make those same intelligence services operationally incapable.

Press freedom is indeed under threat in Britain. The Guardian, for all of its proud history, has proven a rather unreliable defender of these freedoms in recent years — especially when it has spotted an opportunity to sock it to Rupert Murdoch. There is a growing case for a British Bill of Rights that would define and protect press freedom for the digital age, giving us the same protections that the Americans are afforded by the First Amendment. But there is not, and never has been, a fundamental right for newspapers to acquire and publish state secrets that weaken our national security and put the country at risk. Any ally of press freedom ought to be able to make this distinction.

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Show comments
  • Newsfox

    I agree new rights are needed but let’s have a bit of context about this problematic comparison. All of these tabloid journalists broke the law and bribed officials to write spurious, salacious stories. By all means, let them have a ‘public interest’ defence but I suspect few juries will regard the state of Kerry Katona with the same brevity as the state of America’s secret surveillance network.
    Journalists cannot have carte blanche to break any law they fancy – and whilst the police tactics have been typically ‘strongarm’, I don’t remember Sun hacks having a big issue with that when the police were oppressing football fans and strikers in the 1980s.

    • Mike

      The biggest problem today is defining if a law has been broken as the establishment wants to cherry pick for political gain when a crime is a crime.

      Most rational people believe that hacking phones is a crime and those that employ others to do the hacking are as guilty through conspiracy. As we found out, the establishment seems to be immune from being named let alone prosecuted for conspiracy to hack a person data. Similarly, that often used expression mis-selling is actually fraud but again the banks get away with those criminal acts. Predictably governments and their agents will also act illegally by riding roughshod over the laws of the land if it suits them.

      Essentially there’s one set of laws for the establishment and another draconian set for the electorate. When governments get ‘outed’ as the wikileaks disclosures show, its no good them waving that state secrets card when they can’t substantiate what harm was done by releasing tittle tattle or illegal state actions like rendition.

  • roggy1

    You look forward to the next terrorist atrocity occurring because it may give you the chance observe the Guardian as hypocrites?

    You understand what you said in writing that: look forward to the next terrorist atrocity for reasons of petty point-scoring?

    I don’t look forward to terrorist atrocities happening for any reason.

    • beirutbeat

      Strawman alert. Read the sentence again. It says: ‘Of course, we are sure to be able to look forward to the Guardian calling for a public inquiry after the next terrorist atrocity occurs.’

      The author said we could look forward to the Guardian calling for an enquiry, not look forward to the terrorist atrocity itself.

      And besides what it actually says, you know very well that ‘we can look forward to x doing y when z happens’ in this context means ‘we can reasonably expect x to do y when z happens’. It’s a figure of speech.

      So nice try but nae dice.

      • roggy1

        The Spectator know exactly what “look forward to” means. If they just mean that they can foresee the Guardian doing that then they are perfectly able to use the English language in a way which did not carry a second meaning, such as using the word “foresee”.

        That they did not means that they are either looking forward as in the way I suggested or that they are calamitously incompetent at using the English language to convey only their intended meaning. Seems I give the Spectator more credit at being able to write what they actually they mean than you do.

    • Raimo Kangasniemi

      That’s why you are not part of The Spectator’s staff. Putting petty point-scoring first before civil liberties and even human lives is The Spectator in its purest, unalduterated form.

  • Flintshire Ian

    “There is not, and never has been, a fundamental right for newspapers
    to acquire and publish state secrets that weaken our national security
    and put the country at risk.” Absolutely right.

    • realfish

      And (so far) three people find themselves able to disagree with you and this unarguable right (that we have, to be kept safe by the state).
      God only knows what planet they are on, or in their own minds what greater doctrine they have an affinity with.

      • NotYouNotSure

        What about: “kept safe FROM the state”. Why FROM and not BY ? because the total number of people who have died from state violence can be measured in the tens of millions (if not in the hundreds of millions) the number of people who have died from non state terror is measured in the thousands.

        • Raimo Kangasniemi

          Number of people who have died directly or indirectly as a result of state violence during recorded history is somewhere above one billion.

    • Raimo Kangasniemi

      Pathetic jingoism. Just shout the usual police state excuse and the useful idiots start chanting in support of repression.

      • Flintshire Ian

        And yours is the usual leftie response to opinions that you disagreee with

        • Tubby_Isaacs

          So how do you he’s a leftie then?

          Both Coalition parties campaigned against the Labour Party on civil liberties. David Davis called a by-election in their name.

    • The Guardian is trying to expose wrongdoing by the NSA. Not weaken our security.

    • rtj1211

      I”m not quite sure how the country is put at risk by revealing the fact that GCHQ, the CIA et al trawl every single email that every single person writes in search of ‘terrorists’. Far more likely is that they are searching for reasons to blackmail, so that they can continue to distort the business of state to support the goals of their far-right Godfathers.

      What needs to be discussed are punishments for security services personnel who pursue political agendas under the cover of ‘national security’ nonsense.

      They put our national culture, civilisation at risk and are far more dangerous in actuality than the odd terrorist, whose goals I most certainly do not share.

    • Mike

      I presume you’re referring to cases like the Matrix Churchill affair and rendition !

    • Vrai écossais

      The bottom line is the bottom. Some old queens gay lover being stopped for a few hours in an airport lounge as he had data of concern to the authorities and that old queen, and his employer, having a big gay hissy fit about it the very mild inconvenience.

  • Godwin The Law Maker

    The actions of The Guardian here, and the Murdoch press are not comparable. The Guardian has exposed US State Surveillance on the public. The Murdoch press (and others) engaged in illegal surveillance on the public. Are you seriously claiming that it’s OK for us to be spied on by a private company? It is wrong that so many reporters have been arrested, frankly it should be the owners and the editors, who are charged. But I suggest that in your eagerness to bash The Guardian, you are getting your priorities seriously muddled.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      I agree that the actions of the Guardian and the Murdoch press are not comparable. The Guardian is trying to endanger state security, out of spite, in a way that would have guaranteed imprisonment and execution in better days. The Murdoch press merely dialed into the voice-mails of celebrities who didn’t password protect them, in days when nobody knew that doing so was a heinous, heinous crime (because the crime was invented afterwards).

      • Raimo Kangasniemi

        What a twisted view of things.

        • Demon Teddy Bear

          Argument by adjectives and assertion … fail.

      • ” The Guardian is trying to endanger state security”

        No. The Guardian is trying to expose wrongdoing by the NSA.

        • Demon Teddy Bear

          “No. The Guardian is trying to expose wrongdoing by the NSA.”
          Nope: all those attacks on the security services have no purpose other than to make it more difficult for our people to defend this country.

          • Nope.

            The NSA has been engaged in illegality and it has tried to hide what it has been doing even from Congress.

            THAT is the issue.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            Read the story again. Particularly the threats by Grunwald (or whatever his name is).

          • The threats by Greenwald are, I agree, a bit unwarranted. But I suspect that he is doing his best not to reveal more than is necessary to get the NSA to shape up.

            This fiasco is not about undermining the country. This is about making government accountable to politicians in America.

            Nothing more.

            But the hysteria about security is being generated by those who want to keep their agencies off limits even to their own politicians.

          • Mike

            When threatened by a bullying state, you react with your own threats, I see nothing wrong in that !

          • Mike

            I think you’ll find that Bliar and his war mongering policies made the UK far more vulnerable to terrorist attacks than any whistle blowers have ever done !

        • The_greyhound

          “The Guardian is trying to endanger state security”

          It isn’t trying to. It just doesn’t know what it’s doing. The situation is about as satisfactory as letting the village idiot out with a bag of grenades.

          The only thing we know for sure about Rustbucket is that he can’t be trusted with a once important newspaper. That’s not much of a recommendation for letting him loose with the nation’s secrets.

          • Aramids

            You must have been given a bad fright by the Guardian at an early age. Your points are not so robust that they can take the accompanying hysteria.
            So what’ s with the name-calling and general abuse; don’t you realise how you demean yourself and cheapen your arguments.
            Unfortunately this is typical of the level of debate now pertaining in the Spectator; on a par with Abusive comments on football in some newspapers.

        • So why did the Guardian never expose wrongdoing, in the 1970s, 1980s and up to 1991, by the KGB then?

      • richardamullens

        www change org/en-GB/petitions/ukhomeoffice-theresa-may-review-the-use-of-schedule-7-of-terrorism-act

      • rtj1211

        You were no doubt in favour of rape within marriage, since it was not a crime either??

        I”d like to adopt you as my mentor as you are quite clearly the most sophisticated intellectual thinker since Socrates………..

    • Peter James

      Are you seriously claiming that it’s OK for all of us to be spied on by the state?
      In any case, the police investigations into various newspapers have gone far beyond arrests for spying on individuals. A lot of these arrests are about journalists who have received information from state employees. The original hacking issue has now morphed into an attempt by the state to silence whistleblowers.
      Also, the evidence indicates that far more hacking has been done by large commercial corporations, lawyers and local authorities. However, the state won’t let us know about these.
      You say that it’s wrong that so many reporters have been arrested but I don’t see your beloved Grauniad and Rubbisher up in arms about that.

      • Godwin The Law Maker

        You are putting words into my mouth. The Guardian has exposed, via Greenwald and Snowden, state surveillance, which is for the good. They have also exposed surveillance from a private company which is equally good. The public deserve protection from both forms of intrusion, whether government or private.

        • Yes, they do deserve protection.

          Which is the whole point of Snowdens mission.

          • The_greyhound


            Since when was theft a mission?

  • Walker

    Yes, of course. ‘Journalism’ which involves the wholesale hacking of private voicemail accounts and use of intrusive private detectives – just so we can be informed about celebrity tittle-tattle and the level of grief a dead girl’s family/friends is going through – is obviously comparable to the Miranda case.

  • Marchin

    A plausible but flawed attack on the Guardian.

    To compare Murdoch’s sleazy commercial operation with non-accountable spooks is disingenuous at best.

    I would prefer to live in a society where spooks operate within the laws which have been granted to them, not, as has been the case here, where incompetent, arrogant, unaccountable action has been taken by agencies who clearly believe the law of the land is irrelevant.

    • The_greyhound

      To compare the sleazy Guardian with Murdoch’s minor misdemeanours is to reveal your own flawed and skewed judgement.

      The Guardian, a disastrously unsuccessful commercial enterprise under a discredited and past-sell-by-date editor has undertaken this mad nonsense not through love of liberty, but in a desperate bid to recruit an American fruitcake readership to replace its rapidly disappearing Britsih one.

      There is no evidence of any illegal action by any British agency, and it isn’t for a failing British newspaper to adjudicate the US constitution, though the neo-colonial arrogance of the leftist epigone is a familiar enough spectacle.

      The Guardian’s irresponsibility has potentially prejudiced the security of the West. The worst of Murdoch’s misdemeanours were merely an affront to good taste.

      • Marchin

        Given the readership of this journal I am not surprised by the statement ‘there is no evidence of any illegal action by any British agency’; we shall see but I for one am not as confident as you.

        Furthermore your assertion that it is not for a British newspaper to ‘adjudicate the US constitution’ surely it has already been established GCHQ is operating hand-in-glove with the NSA and is, in part, funded by the US in which case it should be very much in the province of a British newspaper to be concerned with any abuse in their mutual activities.

        No doubt, if and when the facts are established, my ‘skewed judgement’ may be appropriately assessed.

        • The_greyhound

          No competent court or tribunal has found any that any action of any agency of the British Government was illegal. The opinion of the Guardian, or the suggestible leftish types it caters to is just that : opinion, unsupported by any demonstrable case.

          The co-operation of a British intelligence agency with an ally, in fact our principal ally, is scarcely a matter that any person at the Guardian is qualified to comment upon, and there is no case at all for suggesting that disclosing any aspect of it is in the public interest. And given the Guardian’s sorry record of cheap unthinking anti-Americanism, as a paper it’s really less qualified than most to comment. But neither the Guardian, nor any other paper, has to right to steal classified material, or disseminate it. Be clear that this legal point at least is incontestable.

          • Marchin

            ‘Mr Greyhound’ is, and i suspect will remain, at opposite ends of the spectrum with regards the ethics, legality and importance (or not) of oversight of the intelligence gathering communities in the US and UK.

            I find, in your last response, an intensification of your obvious irritation and four statements which are either inaccurate or disingenuous:

            (1) No court or tribunal has yet sat on the illegality issue.

            (2) ‘The co-operation of a British intelligence agency with an ally, in fact our principal ally, is scarcely a matter that any person at the Guardian is qualified to comment upon’ is utter hogwash. Who is to hold the Government to account if it is not to be a free press?

            (3) Much of Europe’s and (excluding the establishment) Britain’s ‘sorry record of cheap unthinking anti-Americanism’ has been brought about by the USA’s own behaviour; we are not all such unmitigated thrall to America as you, of which you must be aware.

            (4) The Guardian did not, as far as I am aware, ‘steal’ classified material and the dissemination of government wrongdoing (ie programs such as the interception of U.S. and European telephone metadata and the PRISM, XKeyscore, and Tempora Internet surveillance programs) ought to be in everybody’s interest.

          • The_greyhound

            I think you are right – we shall not agree.

            In brief.

            1. Indeed. No court or tribunal has sat. So alleging illegality is merely unsupported opinion. in this case, the opinion of the sort of people who would say that. On the other hand the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee rejected the allegation that any action of the intelligence agencies was unlawful. That carries more weight than Rusbridger’s opinions – after all the HCISC isn’t trying to sell newspapers.

            2. There is no hogwash, unless it is yours. If the co-operation between UK and US agencies is confidential, it is confidential. Both Governments have a right to classify and withhold information about any aspect of intelligence and security co-operation. It isn’t the right or duty of a mere newspaper, which has no locus standi or accountability in a democracy, to start calling the shots over intelligence and security matters. And the Guardian has no legal right to pry into classified matters – or do we now have the rule of law subject to the overriding supervision of self-appointed fellow travellers?

            3. We are not all in such unthinking and uncritical thrall to fashionable claptrap as you. Cheap anti-Americanism is a badge of honour with a certain sort of right-on conformist. It’s based on little more than a certain blinkered foolishness (remember the Guardian giving us live coverage of the exequies of the incompetent thug Chavez) and, I am sorry to say, a significant degree of paranoia. And you cannot deny that of all the national papers (unless one counts the final few numbers of the Independent) The Guardian leads the way when it comes to ranting against the US.

            4. It is clear that the Guardian was party to the theft, whether before or after. It is said that the Guardian was in contact with Snowden before he absconded, which makes the matter still more serious. Since there is no evidence that stealing the information and publishing is in the interests of the public, either in the US or the UK, your argument is strictly circular.

          • ” Since there is no evidence that stealing the information and publishing is in the interests of the public,”

            To repeat: in a recent vote of 217 to 205 Congress nearly voted to defund the NSA so concerned are they about what is being done by the NSA.

            You seem to think that everything that the NSA does is always in the public interest by virtue of the fact that the NSA is doing it.

            “It isn’t the right or duty of a mere newspaper, which has no locus standi or accountability in a democracy, to start calling the shots over intelligence and security matters.”

            Everyone has a duty to expose serious wrongdoing.

          • The_greyhound

            The usual pathetic strawman.

            I am not concerned with the US, and unlike the idiot Guardian, assume that they can govern themselves.

            No security agency in the UK has been shown to have committed any breach of the law in the UK, so we have the gratuitous, and criminal, interference by the Guardian in the security affairs of this country.

            No rational person expects any newspaper to assume that responsibility, and it therefore seems to superfluous to add that even if one did, the morons at the Guardian, Britain’s least intellectually sophisticated and honest paper, would be the last people one would choose.

          • “I am not concerned with the US”

            No. But you are concerned with the UK.

            And the implications of what the NSA might be doing – and what it is capable of doing – has huge ramifications for us in the UK.

            As just one example, it could swing our elections.

            And, almost as bad, our politicians and our prospective politicians will know this – so they will pander to the perceived wishes of the NSA.

            Or, indeed, to any other state that could, in the future, acquire such power.

            Not good.

          • Anyone can write a screenplay wherein the protagonists respond in the fashion the writer decides. Screenplays are not evidence of anything other than the authors prejudices and desires.

            In short, you are full of it.

          • S&A

            On the question of the legality of GCHQ’s operations, the only ‘revelations’ the ‘Guardian’ have come out with regarding the British SIGINT service is that (shock, horror) it’s eavesdropping on foreign governments, most notably the Russians.

            This is (1) old news and (2) does not fit the description of ‘illegal’. And I’m quite happy to see Cheltenham paying attention to what the Ivans are up to – after all, it’s not as if the FAPSI or the SVR aren’t spying on us.

            If the ‘Guardian’ reveals that GCHQ has been listening in on Amnesty International, Shami Chakrabarti, the BBC, Save the Children, Oxfam and John Pilger, that will be a different story. Till then, I am experiencing a failure to be outraged.

          • NotYouNotSure

            Some serious tone deafness going here, hello the story is about them listening to EVERYONE, not just some Russian spies Since they are listening to everyone, then yes they will be listening to those you mentioned.

          • bugalugs2

            And if you start putting technical intelligence into the public domain about how they do it and hence how to defeat it then how will you ensure that it will not stop them listening in on the bad guys as much as it will stop them listening in on the good guys, in your world? Do you really think terrorist use of the internet is technically different from anyone else’s in that way?

          • S&A

            If you think that NSA and GCHQ have the resources and the manpower to listen in on every email sent, every phone call or text made, or every tweet typed, you need to stop reading the spy novels and wake up to reality.

          • NotYouNotSure

            Yes they do, if you read the details of this story that is exactly what they are doing, there is nothing technically limiting nowadays to record every internet communication, the Prism diagrams show exactly how they do it.That warehouse in America, the yottabyte one, that is to store every voice communication. At one time nobody could believe that 1 gigabyte hard drives could exist, now everything can stored, forever.

          • ” and there is no case at all for suggesting that disclosing any aspect of it is in the public interest.”

            You are completely wrong.

            It is a matter of huge concern to Americans.

            Indeed, in a recent vote of 217 to 205 Congress nearly voted to defund the NSA so concerned are they about what is being done by the NSA.

          • The_greyhound

            I am completely right.

            What Congress does is its business – they are, after all, the finest politicians money can buy.

            No one has yet demonstrated any case for public disclosure in the United Kingdom – so all we have is an irresponsible and unaccountable cowboy like Rustbucket, indulging an end of career whim.

            Not the basis on which to conduct a democracy, nor to organise its defence.

        • Demon Teddy Bear

          “As and when the facts are established”, you can make your claims. Until then I suggest you keep quiet.

      • John Robertson

        Rubbish! Murdoch conspired with Thatcher to keep their 1981 lunch a secret for 30 years to build his monopoly. Then his monopoly defamed and destroyed the OzOne Party – to evade tax so he could unfairly outbid his commercial rivals.

        • Andy

          Cobblers. The only media organisation that has a ‘monopoly’ is the BBC with 73% of broadcast media. It should be broken up to allow for more diversity of views. Currently the BBC and Fascist Guardian are one and the same.

          • John Robertson

            The American, Rupert Murdoch, has a larger share of UK media than he should have and he has two thirds of Australian newspapers. The BBC has too much and so do B Sky B. The Guardian broke important stories.

      • “and it isn’t for a failing British newspaper to adjudicate the US constitution”

        The Guardian is not just a British newspaper. It has offices in America.

        • Andy

          The Guardian, Fascist rag that it is, happens to be a British newspaper. The fact it has an office in America has sod all to do with anything.

          • therealguyfaux

            It’s called “amenability to jurisdiction.” If you have any presence in the US, you are subject to the American law where the subject matter of the controversy involves something American.

          • I think that the guardian, like every other newspaper in the world, has every right to comment on what is going on in America. So, let’s not be silly and support this ridiculous notion that a newspaper cannot comment on the American Constitution.

        • The_greyhound

          It’s a British newspaper. A pathetic rag, but a British one, none the less.

          Though obviously such is its parlous state, it will be grateful for the support of any American loons it can pick up. Which at bottom is what this rubbish is all about.

    • Peter James

      Again, more prejudice from the Guardianistas.
      So you are saying that it’s OK to arrest journalists just because they work for Murdoch?

      • Marchin

        I am saying if the law of the land has been broken then, in an ideal world, the culprit would be brought to justice, be that an individual newspaper hack or an individual in government.

        But I concede we don’t live in an ideal world, which many of the posters on this forum seem to be quite content with.

        • Fergus Pickering

          I think an ideal world would be quite ghastly, full of lefty zealots in the saddle telling us what we could think and say and what we could not. This world is much better. At least we can tell the b*ggers to f*ck off

  • Mike

    “The notion that the British government has the right to keep secrets is widely accepted” — No it isn’t and here’s why !

    Hardly, as it depends on what those ‘secrets’ are. Did the Nazis have the right for secrecy when committing crimes against humanity under direction from the state ? I doubt ANY one would agree with that and neither did the Nuremburg trials.

    The right to protect ones secrets has to carry caveats over what is justifiable or not and the real problem is who makes that decision. Its pretty obvious to most that anyone with a self interest in maintaining secrets could be doing this purely for political motives rather than REAL state secrets and this is where it gets very murky over the wikileaks saga.

    Those with the secrets (governments) have released nothing to justify why they view released material as state secrets that will harm or have harmed that state as we’re expected to believe the line that just because they say its so, it is in fact so. So far a few diplos have resigned in what is more likely to be inappropriate behavior abroad that has come to light. Maybe it was an illicit affair with a foreign dignitary, calling a leaders wife a dog or some such insult, but all of this is pure embarrassment rather than state secrets.

    We have a long history in the west of governments withholding secrets based on purely embarrassing issues be it sex, corruption, drugs and maybe ‘rock & roll’ and the ONLY spies that really damaged the UK or the USA were those that actually came from the establishment or security services and not some lowly computer clerk.

    • GUBU

      John Vassall?

      • Mike

        My point was that government doesn’t have the ABSOLUTE right to decide what should be a state secret as they have abused the ‘D’ notice arrangement too many times. Remember the Churchill Matrix ‘cock up’ where the Thatcher government had to be forced to release secrets to avoid those directors getting imprisoned for illegal exports which weren’t in fact illegal under the ‘secret’ Tory government guidelines.

        Its only when a secret is made public that it can be seen to be justified or not. Unfortunately if its a real state secret the damage is done but if its a government stitch up like the Matrix affair, at least innocent men were exonerated.

        The problem ALWAYS comes back to the fact that you CANT trust ministers to tell the truth or do the right thing IF they themselves are compromised, and too many of them are !

        • The_greyhound

          I may not be able to trust Government ministers.

          I can never trust the Guardian, its desperate Editor, its unhinged weirdo “journalist” or any of the other sick, idiot, or dysfunctional creeps associated with it. The Guardian, whose values are repugnant to the overwhelming majority in the country, has set itself as a vigilante, not through love of liberty or truth, but because of its contempt for democracy, unthinking hatred of America, and sublime arrogance.

          Just a different perspective on the thing.

          • Mike

            I think you’ve misunderstood what I’m driving at. I can’t stand the Guardians left wing agenda either and as you put it, its contempt for democracy, unthinking hatred of America, and sublime arrogance.

            Sometimes however, exposure of government complicity in illegal acts even by wet liberal rags such as the Guardian has to be applauded. Of course we all know they do it for their own agenda but governments are no different in their contempt for democracy.

            I couldn’t really care less who exposes government abuses of power provided they are made public and even if the Yorkshire Ripper was the whistle blower, it doesn’t let him off his crimes but would still be welcome.

            My main point is that government does NOT have the right to keep secrets hidden where those secrets are against the laws of the land even if they might harm national interest.

            As I’ve pointed out before, rendition and the Matrix Churchill cases were two perfect examples from two different governments where illegal actions were carried out by the state when they tried to suppress the facts. That is why they don’t have an absolute right to secrecy as they cant be trusted.

          • The_greyhound

            The problem with your argument is that so far no illegal acts have been exposed. You might not like the fact that metadata isn’t considered privileged, but that doesn’t alter the fact that it isn’t, and it never was.

            No court or competent tribunal has ruled any activity of any UK intelligence agency unlawful. The House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee specifically said that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by GCHQ in connection with PRISM. So all we have is the foolish Guardian (propped up, needless to say, by the increasingly cretinous BBC) stealing classified information, splattering it round, and declaring that “they” are involved in some dreadful conspiracy against the public.

            Well, on the evidence, they’re not.

            So until someone can adduce positive evidence that UK Intelligence agencies have broken the law, the only people in the dock are the buffoons who produce the Guardian.

          • Mike

            When the laws of the land are interpreted by the very people who make them and break them, of course no laws have been broken.

            The security forces are exempt from disclosing every minutiae of their operations as has been seen many times before in our so called courts. On renditions they were exempted from being giving evidence and the government just paid off the litigants rather than avoid an embarrassing show trial.

            Whilst the implementation of law and order might not be in the league of say Zimbabwe, none the less, the UK has had centuries to perfect the art of lies and obfuscation when it comes to so called state secrets. Even before Henry the VIII, state secrets were used as a method of removing awkward persons whistle blowing the truth but today it still goes on but is done far more surreptitiously. Why for instance did that weapons expert who died under mysterious circumstances be denied a proper postmortem if not there was something to hide.

            On evidence of a crime, I think the matter of rendition is clear but the guilty parties wont ever be charged as the establishment protects it own just as the Mafia used to. As I said, attempts were made to bring the agents to account, but the government stopped them appearing and paid off the complainants.

          • The_greyhound

            Not a word of this has any bearing on the matter in hand, unless you suppose that the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee runs the intelligence agencies.

            It doesn’t.

            It scrutinises them.

          • NotYouNotSure

            Get with the times, the most recent story is that the NSA government read thousands of emails, not just metadata.

          • “The problem with your argument is that so far no illegal acts have been exposed”

            Not quite true.

            The NSA has been found to be engaging in a manner that breeches the American Constitution.

          • The_greyhound

            I bow to your knowledge of the US and its law. But in the United Kingdom there is no evidence of any legal breach so I stand by what I said.

          • NotYouNotSure

            All the Guardian can do is write articles I don’t like, the government can kill me and say it was for national security, which do you think should face greater scrutiny ?

          • The_greyhound

            What is the point of your posting meaningless rubbish? You have so far failed to construct any sort of rational comment.

            If you are only here to assure us that you swallow the idiot Guardian hook line and sinker, we believe you.

          • NotYouNotSure

            I repeat, the NSA READ THOUSANDS OF EMAILS, this is fact, this directly contradicts what you have stated right here. And you know what metadata is, wouldn’t expect a octogenarian fart like you to understand.

          • The_greyhound

            I never respond to insults from those with an IQ lower than 80, I’m afraid.

          • NotYouNotSure

            My IQ is 140, what is yours ?

          • The_greyhound

            Oh yeah.

            Which is why your vocabulary and sentence structure reveal at startling low reading age, and your posts an unsophisticated and simplistic approach to problems.

          • Aramids

            You should check your spelling before criticising others.
            Also I note that you have not divulged your IQ.
            What is your problem that you have to insult people so often?. I cannot imagine you delivering such insults face to face or even if you were not using a nom de plume.

    • The_greyhound

      This is twaddle.

      The matter in hand has nothing to do with Nazis, nothing to do with Nuremberg.

      In a society regulated by the rule of law, the Government’s right to hold information to be confidential is regulated by law. In the United Kingdom the law is quite clear that the Government can classify material, and disclose it only on a need to know basis. In this particular case, the Guardian Newspaper has been party to the unauthorised and unlawful acquisition of classified material, to which it has no right, legal, moral, or journalistic.

      In a society where the rule of law holds we don’t permit vigilantes to make up the rules as they go along, Yet the foolish editor of the Guardian, one of our least intellectually sophisticated, and least honest, papers, seems to think he can do as he pleases.

      The Guardian is bang out of order.

      • Mike

        OK, lets leave the Nazis out of it for now although that was certainly a case of abuse of power by the state in the extreme.

        Governments should and do have the right to classify certain information that could be deemed harmful to the state if disclosed to others. However that does NOT give them the right to use this legal maneuver to hide illegal acts carried out by the state or to hide embarrassing disclosures. This is completely analogous with the libel laws where if its true whats said, there’s no libel.

        As I’ve said elsewhere, the directors of Matrix Churchill would have gone to prison had not the Tory government been forced to either come clean about their complicity in exporting illegal products or as happened, told customs to drop the case. Then we had Miliband stating categorically that no extraordinary rendition took place on UK soil when it was later proved that was a lie.

        When governments lie and abuse their positions of power, its only right and fair that whistle blowers should be able to put the record straight. I don’t really care what their motives might be whether altruistic or just plain malevolent, but truth is the most powerful force however it gets out.

        Lets face it, our security services have hardly been that careful with their lap tops or memory sticks leaving them on a train or in a bar and if I stumbled across one, I’d fire it up to see who it belonged to, to return it. Of course, I might find unencrypted data on it which I might read and would then be left in a quandary if it showed illegal actions by the state. I’d probably pass it to the newspapers to decide what to do with it and absolve my part in the proceeding and leave it to those with more clout than I to go further. As a citizen it is my duty to report a crime and that doesn’t just include the police and as far as I might be concerned, that data is NOT a state secret.

        The problem with governments it is they who make up the rules as they go along as in the case of rendition and you would think the state should know more about the laws of the land than a left wing rag but apparently that’s not the case.

        • ButcombeMan

          Wrong again dear boy. They did not “tell Customs to drop the case”, the case fell apart when Alan Clark changed his evidence from his Witness Statement to admit (in effect) that he had given a nod and a wink

          • Mike

            Doesn’t really change the core facts that the government lied over export licenses which they gave ‘in private’ whilst allowing customs to pursue a illegal export of supposed high tech ‘missile launchers’.

            It was only a court case and media pressure that as you said forced Clark to change his position (ie – he lied before) that the case fell apart.

            I think that easily demonstrates that governments lie and can’t be trusted in these sorts of cases and whoever outs the government for whatever reason, still does the electorate a public service whatever their real motives. If you cant trust the government of the day, who can you trust !

      • jon_2000

        does the government have a right to engage in widespread snooping on our personal data? do tech companies such as Facebook and so on have the right to pass on our data to governments? are we comfortable as a society with this? why was this covered up by western governments? do you care about Big Brother style government?

        • The_greyhound

          I don’t care about your silly strawmen, that’s for sure. You fetched them out presumably because even you must acknowledge that you are on extremely weak ground.

          The Government isn’t snooping. It has collected metadata, which has no privileged legal status. You might not like it, but it is legal.

          GCHQ apparently undertakes co-operation with intelligence agencies of our principal ally. That is lawful, and only a child could have supposed they would not.

          Most of this stuff is so bleedin’ obvious that even the tinfoil hat lot are struggling to get excited.

          • jon_2000

            oh well get you. are you happy that the governments and tech companies are happily sharing private data around or is that a strawman? seems kinda important to me and clearly if it was something that the public would have taken to kindly then it wouldn’t have been covered up for so long. maybe a law change is required that is the point! similarly at the moment if a dog kills a child then the laws for owners getting punished are quite poor. this is also wrong so the government are changing it. if you are happy with your data being passed round then you are a govt stooge

          • The_greyhound

            I have answered your only substantive points. Your repeating yourself merely wastes bandwidth.

            I am afraid that it is you that is the stooge.

            Of a cynical marketing scam by an imploding newspaper.

          • NotYouNotSure

            Define metadata and please with concrete examples please.

          • Cynosarges

            Metadata is a general IT term “Data about data”. It is used to identify patterns.

            In context of GCHQ/NSA usage, concrete examples could include looking at which phones called which phones, which websites individuals visited, etc. Then they try to identify intelligence from these patterns. If, for example, a known terrorist has phoned a specific individual a number of times, you might look at the patterns of calls that individual made – this might be a terrorist cell – investigate. If a known terrorist has been identified as posting pictures on istockphoto.com, then you might suspect steganography (a method of hiding messages within images) so you look for patterns of access to the website – people downloading the picture may be receiving a message from the terrorist.

            As patterns are identified, further information may be derived. If a terrorist cell is suspected, relative timings of phone calls may suggest possible cell structures. There may well be a tree-structure – which suggests the ‘highest in the tree’ is the senior member of the cell. A sudden burst of messages in a small time period may suggest that the terrorists may be acting very soon.

            Metadata can also include the cells a mobile phone can connect to – this is widely used by phone apps for “location based services”, such as “nearest petrol station” or “nearest restaurant”, or for a parent or the police to track a young child. For GCHQ/NSA this is valuable because although terrorists (and criminals) use throwaway phones, the knowledge of where a phone calling a terrorist physically was at the time of the call may be useful – it could be matched to CCTV records and might provide photographic record of a previously unidentified terrorist.

          • NotYouNotSure

            I know what metadata is, I work with it every day. I know enough that saying its “only metadata” is pure bullshit, because as you have just explained it is basically data for everything we do. That warehouse they are building in America, that is measured in the yottabytes, I supposed you are going to pretend that is just metadata as, again pure bullshit.

          • ButcombeMan

            A model answer.

          • “The Government isn’t snooping”

            Wrong. The NSA is snooping and, worse, in conjunction with the police they have been found to be retro-fitting probable cause in crime prosecutions; so that even the judges and the prosecutors are being lied to.

            Your posts imply to me that you have no idea what the NSA has been doing in America.

          • The_greyhound

            In case it has escaped your notice, a Briton writes from a British perspective. Government means British Government, Intelligence services mean British Intelligence services.

            I reprove a British newspaper for breaking the law in Britain, betraying British classified material, and showing an evident contempt for the British constitution, British law and British public servants.

            I offer no opinion on the NSA. If it has been logging my calls, I am neither surprised nor concerned. I never considered telecommunications secure. And if the Chinese are doing the same thing, it would hardly be news – the modern network in the UK depends heavily on Huawei.

          • “I offer no opinion on the NSA. If it has been logging my calls, I am neither surprised nor concerned.”


            And I am not surprised that you are not concerned.

            But my guess is that if you knew more about the issues and the potential problems arsiing from them, then you would be concerned.

    • ButcombeMan

      You are wrong, the right for government to keep secrets is enshrined in law and Civil Or other Public Servants who may come across those secrets in their work, sign to say they understand that law.
      You are entitled to your own (flawed) opinion, not your own facts

      • Mike

        That may be so but it doesn’t make it right. That stance is no different to Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany as they had the same rights enshrined in their laws but would you say that they were right ?

        Come on now, I dare you to say that the state, any state has the absolute right either legal or moral to keep secrets including state sponsored genocide, incarceration or extermination just because it might be the laws of the land. Once you accept that state secrets are inviolable you’re on that slippery slope to a real dictator

        In reality there’s no difference between the line taken by Nazis or Stalinists and western governments about the power of the state and only a very thin line over what they practice !

  • Greenslime

    It looks like you have provoked the Guardian and BBC newsrooms into action with this article. It would be interesting to see the clumps of IP addresses for the comments so far. N1 and W1 will be heavily present, I suspect 🙂

  • The_greyhound

    Considering the incompetent and grossly irresponsible conduct of Rustbucket, the authorities have treated the Guardian with almost inappropriate lenity.

    The hysteria is part of the ongoing senile decay of the Guardian. The paper has seen a massive decline under the present editor, who by general consent has been there for ten years too long. The foolish decision to get involved with the theft of American Government intelligence has left the ineffectual Rustbucket struggling to control a situation he doesn’t understand, while some really quite disturbed and unpleasant characters go off on their own mad assaults on western democracy. Rustbucket ought to have learned from his unfortunate association with the Australian shyster, but he clearly hasn’t.

    • Andy

      Indeed. The Fascist Guardian ought to start exposing Russian or Chinese secret intelligence operations against western targets. They aren’t interested in such things of course.

      • richardamullens

        The US government has been exposed for its hypocrisy. Not so long ago they were griping about Chinese spying – but it turns out that the USA has been hacking into civilian Chinese infrastructure.

        Check out this quotation from Abraham Lincoln which remains as true now as when it was written:

    • “, while some really quite disturbed and unpleasant characters go off on their own mad assaults on western democracy.”

      That is laughable.

      The whole mission by Greenwald et al is to make governments accountable to democratic oversight.

      It is precisely because the NSA was hiding what it was doing from American politicians that Greenwald is doing what he has done.

      As such, it is you who appears not to want democracy.

      You seem to want government agencies to be able to hide what they are doing even from our elected representatives.

      • The_greyhound

        No one is laughing.

        And no one takes Greenwald’s “mission” seriously, apart from a few simpletons.

        I am content to have constitutional government and the rule of law, not the wild west intermittently moderated by some self-righteous dimwitted onanist at the Guardian.

        There isn’t a problem a problem with the operation or oversight of the intelligence services. There’s a real problem with ineffectual amateurs like Rustbucket deciding to speak on the nation’s behalf when his only mandate is 20 failed years as editor of a risible rag.

        • “And no one takes Greenwald’s “mission” seriously, apart from a few simpletons.”

          There you go again.

          Try to stop insulting people, eh?

          And, of course, you are wrong, yet again! – because, quite clearly, there are millions of people who are not simpletons who take “Greenwald’s “mission” seriously”.

          You are wrong by suggesting that only “a few” people are taking the mission seriously. And you are wrong when you suggest that only simpletons take it seriously.

          Twice wrong. In one sentence!

          In just one single sentence, you have shown yourself to be someone who makes completely, and demonstrably, untrue statements.

          And you are also very rude to people.

          Know thyself, Brother.

        • rtj1211

          As you are no doubt aware, we don’t have a Constitution in Britain, so you are the deluded idiot if you think we have constitutional government.

          If you seriously think our legal system to be just, then you have been smoking dope. It may not be as corrupt as that in other nations, but in no way does upholding the rule of law come uppermost in the minds of the UK elite. On the contrary. Protecting their own interests comes first, second and last.

          I have in the past suggested that saying that a person with Herpes should be allowed to practice unprotected sex because it’s less serious than having AIDS is no way to address matters of state. We cannot influence the Russian and Chinese governments directly, however we can influence our own.

    • richardamullens

      We now know that the USA has been paying GCHQ to spy for them.

      In other words our government is selling the secrets of the British people to the USA. One can’t get much lower than that.

      • rtj1211


        You’ll also find that they openly embrace training USA spies through ‘scholarship’ programmes at our ‘elite’ universities.

        Can’t get more disloyal than that, can you??

  • Robin Gordon-Walker

    Greyhound – you are spot on. The stench of Pecksniffian self-regarding self-serving hypocrisy from Rusbridger and the Guardinistas is overbearing!


    • Kristof

      What a chummy club of lickspittles you two make. Is there no over-reaching authority whose arse you won’t kiss?

  • HarryTheHornyHippo

    There is no case for a British bill of rights thanks very much, my rights may not be defined or restrained or determined by legislation.. my rights are whatever I want to do so long as it does no harm to others – they are beyond definition and certainly beyond the limitations of a legislative document determined by parliament: Once you define people’s rights – they no longer have any.

  • Both the tabloid hackers and the NSA were acting illegally, hence the Guardian’s position, I imagine.

    In the latter case, the implications are positively huge for the entire world.

    Of interest perhaps, Glenn Greenwald’s view is that it is the **DUTY** of a bona-fide journalist to take on the powers-that-be. And he has had this view since he worked as a lawyer.

    Any journalist who does not do this is not a ‘journalist’, according to him.

    Well, I’m not convinced that tackling the powers-that-be really is the main duty of a journalist, but he seems to believe this quite passionately.

    Just saying.

    • Mike

      The motivation and outcome behind an illegal act wouldn’t stand up in a court of law as a defence for that act. Try exposing or even killing the Bulger killers and although quite justified in my book it would not stand up as a defence.

      I’m not supporting the Guardian at all over the disclosures in any morqal sense as they do what they do for their self interest. However if their interests put government on the defence over illegal actions, that’s a benefit for all.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    Good points. I suspect that Alan Rusbridger’s outrage is merely self-important: “How dare these vulgar plods do this to ME! Don’t they know who I am!!!?”

  • TenPillocksInARoom

    I wish the avalanche of comment would go away until it is established whether David Miranda has committed a criminal offence. Obviously it’s not clear, but it’s also not totally outside the bounds of possibility.

    If he has, then the Guardian will end up looking more than a little ridiculous. Not that anyone will notice the difference.

    Incidentally, I wonder if the Guardian’s journalist Ismael Haniyeh is also to have as-if-by magic immunity from the standards of behaviour that apply to the rest of us.

    • Mike

      That’s very much the point here and I’m glad you’ve made it.

      Neither the Guardian nor Miranda have been charged with anything to do with spying or even being in possession of state secrets so its rather premature to make accusations at this point in time. Even the security services have been silent on this apart from vandalizing other peoples computers in a pointless exercise of destruction.

      Just like the Matrix Churchill affair and Rendition, I’m sure this dirty government linen will eventually crawl out from under a rock and point the finger at over reaction and abuse of power.

      • TenPillocksInARoom

        As you probably know, my point was generally aimed at the pro-Miranda bandwagon, but you are absolutely right that it cuts both ways. Until we know more facts about this, it’s quite difficult to say either that the Guardian is the innocent victim of state goonery or that Miranda was *obviously* up to something …

        • Mike

          The real problem at getting to the facts is that governments always have the option of hiding behind that state secret defense as Alan Clark did initially. When its one person against the state, the state usually wins as they have unlimited power and funds to cover their tracks whilst the individual has very little to fight them with. Clark was only forced to come clean on Matrix Churchill by the tabloids. He finally realized he would be perjuring himself in court if he persisted in the line that government wasn’t complicit in that dodgy deal. As Archer found out, perjury is a lot more serious than getting caught with a hooker and the same would be true for Clark.

          Even at a personal level and nothing to do with national security, I and many other ex-pats are currently and individually fighting the DWP over retrospective winter fuel allowance. As a result of an ECJ ruling against the government last year, they should be recompensing us but are refusing to do so. Ignoring the moral rights and wrongs of our position, you wouldn’t believe the lies, misinformation and tricks I’ve had from the DWP in blocking this payment. Firstly they claimed that the retrospective judgement didn’t apply to them but when I demanded they put that in writing, they backed down, accepted the ruling but said they wouldn’t pay anyway. I continued to pursue my case and then they created a new claim form that retrospectively blocked the claims going back several years. This form was created specifically after the event to stop payments. When I pointed out I had applied for WFA several years back and had it denied, they then claimed to have lost the claim form. Clearly this was a government department having its tail pulled by a minister (IDS) who refused to accept EU law and its judgments. My point being that if governments operate in this manner on such a trivial issue like WFA payments, anything and everything is possible outside of the law with matters of national security or sucking up to the NSA and America. Rendition only occurred because lawful means to apprehend suspects weren’t available to the governments. Whether Miranda was carrying information or not, it seems very dubious of the legality of arresting him without any charges in a transit area where as we know Snowden was/is in Moscow and outside of the laws of the land. (at least in Russia it is). Generally, all governments will do what they want including quasi illegal acts if they feel they can get away with it and that includes the UK.

          • TenPillocksInARoom

            “you wouldn’t believe the lies, misinformation and tricks I’ve had from the DWP in blocking this payment”

            To the contrary, does not surprise me in the slightest, and I very much hope you get somewhere before the hassle and expense of having to pursue a JR. (That’s irrespective of whether you should in justice get the WFP, as if the courts have already ruled in your favour, then you should be paid).

            Still, it seems that Miranda might have been doing something that was quite criminal, not only technically but morally as well. If so, that has to colour one’s view of the case, and some of the anti-government outrage must surely be a bit premature until the facts are known.

            Much of what you say about state illegality is obviously beyond any doubt, though.

          • Mike

            The problem I have with this whole scenario is the apparent re-defining
            of UK law on the fly with regard to Miranda. Did he commit a crime
            on UK soil ? Not from the facts that have been released so far and he
            was actually in transit. Did he hack into the UK from outside ? Again,
            no, seems to be the answer. Is the transit area now considered to be UK
            soil for arresting anyone on any vague suspicion ? If so, many people with something to hide wont be coming through the UK..

            To most people, the law should be simple and transparent. If Miranda
            had committed a crime, he should have been arrested and charged with an
            offense (assuming even that was legal in a transit area) or be left to
            continue his journey. I doubt we’ll ever get to the facts of this case
            as I’m sure the government will want this to blow over quickly and the
            most likely result will be an apology and maybe some payment made as a
            sop for abuse of power.

            Its almost like a temporary and benign rendition what happened here and
            that sets a uncomfortable precedent that real terrorists will take note
            of and avoid. This was a blatant fishing exercise and if that’s now
            considered to be a legal operation, the real threats to our lifestyle will
            take note and adapt to these new rules and we’re back to square one.

    • e2toe4

      Spot on ‘multiple-pillocks-co-located’ , the ‘development’ of this story has, in a way familiar to many who used to be journalists, and some who still are, swung around, as more ‘facts’ have come to light.
      But the Guardian might better aid it’s case if it wasn’t always so jaw clenchingly ‘up itself’ over everything that touches it, and just did some dis-interested old skool journalism……

  • jon_2000

    Firstly the Guardian was reporting on something that appears somewhat illegal in the widespread monitoring of social network accounts by govt agencies without our knowledge. Surely that is in the public interest? Has the Guardian actually released anything that might compromise our national interests? I don’t think so. The Murdoch journalists and investigators on the other hand are in the process of being prosecuted by the police for variously phone hacking, bribery, right up to the top level. Even News UK as they are now known are being investigated in the US and the UK. In summary – the Guardian – investigating criminality; Murdoch’s connections – being prosecuted for criminality.

    • S&A

      ‘Firstly the Guardian was reporting on something that appears somewhat illegal in the widespread monitoring of social network accounts by govt agencies without our knowledge’.

      Except that they had to backtrack on Greenwald’s initial claims about the scale and extent of PRISM. Not that they reported their correction on the front page – that got buried in IT pages:


      ‘Has the Guardian actually released anything that might compromise our national interests?’

      I would hardly suggest that its expose on GCHQ operations against the Russians was in either the national or public interest.

      • jon_2000

        to go back to my original question: do you think the widespread monitoring of personal information and data on social networks and systems is a story that might be in the public interest? do you think the public has a right to know that they are being snooped upon? who else is getting this data? I couldn’t give a fig how the government gets the information, they get access to it and I think that is wrong if we as individuals do not want to grant them that access. Why do you think that the police need a warrant to do phone taps? Because the public has a right to privacy. The expose about Russia/GCHQ cyberwarfare, may I politely suggest, is hardly a revelation to either side.

        • S&A

          The initial story from Greenwald, as conveyed by the ‘Guardian’, was that PRISM was set up to enable NSA-GCHQ – in conjunction with Facebook/Google etc – to engage in the illegal surveillance of US citizens, unaffected by FISA or any other legal restraints.

          Then it became clear that this was not the case.

          Is there a legitimate argument about the way FISA works in the States, and the legal supervision of the US and British intelligence agencies? Yes, no question.

          But is it true to say (as Greenwald and the Graun claimed) that privacy is being systematically violated? That proposition is ‘not proven’, to put it quite mildly, and as the ‘Nation’ source I linked to points out, if you embellish stories about wrong-doing in high places and they turn out to be untrue, the chances are that real abuses of power and privacy will go unchecked. It’s the ‘crying wolf’ effect.

          As for the issue about metadata, if you read David Simon’s blog you’ll see that this again is old news, because in the States law enforcement agencies could sift through phone records to gain intel on the drugs trade. But to tap a specific phone, they needed a court order and judicial approval. So all that’s changed here is the technology.

          As for the Russia angle, again this is old news, although the way it was conveyed by the Graun this was presented as a shameless violation of diplomatic processes and the personal privacy of Russia’s spooks – sorry, diplomats. No wonder even ‘Private Eye’ are ridiculing them.

    • The_greyhound

      “Appears somewhat illegal” to whom? A court? Or Rusbridger’s dwindling band of readers?

      “Surely that is of Interest to the public?” Interesting to a few members of the public, perhaps. But in the public interest? But there is absolutely no evidence that dragging this (perfectly legal) monitoring exercise is in the public interest, so Rusbridger has no better case than the News of the World – he involved himself with stolen information to sell newspapers.

      “Has the Guardian actually released anything that might compromise our national interests? I don’t think so” How would you know? How would a clapped out editor of a minor newspaper know? Or are we all now security and intelligence experts?

      “In summary – the Guardian – investigating criminality” Stealing and peddling classified material for profit actually. “Murdoch’s connections – being prosecuted for criminality.” As and when proven.

      • jon_2000

        is it of interest to the public? well this article got 4000 comments which is quite high for any newspaper article http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-top-secret-program-online-data more than this Spectator article gets. tells a story I think
        how do you know anything that’s been released is important? are you a security expert or someone with too much time on their hands?
        yeah as and when proven. looking a bit shaky for a large number of tabloid journalists I think! meanwhile David Miranda takes out an injunction quite legally from court http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23790578
        what’s the view like in Cheltenham anyway?

        • The_greyhound

          Mere incoherent rambling.

          4000 is a small number, even in relation to the small circulation of the Guardian (which itself sells fewer copies than the Daily Record). Most of the postings on that article, and plenty of others on like subjects, are sub-literate shouting rubbish. Even the Guardian can usually whistle up a few hundred inadequates as some sort rent-a-chorus.

          It was you that asserted that no damage had been done by the release of classified information. I asked how you could be so sure. I note you are unable to answer.

          What is your point about the mule? Police investigations continue. It’s already apparent he was carrying stolen classified material.

          Last, when you have saved up the bus fare, you can go to Cheltenham and let us all know your impressions of the view. Anything will be more interesting than your attempt to construct an argument, or indeed, a sentence.

      • “Appears somewhat illegal” to whom? A court? ”

        An American FISA court has already ruled that the NSA acted illegally in some of its activities.

        So, you got that wrong too.

        • The_greyhound

          American courts have no jurisdiction in the United Kingdom, so you got that one wrong too.

          • Nope.

            Your reference was in relation to “the widespread monitoring of social network accounts by govt agencies without our knowledge”

            I.E. By the NSA, not only in the UK.

  • Denis_Cooper

    From Orwell in 1941:


    “In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanized. They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought. England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British. It is questionable how much effect this had, but it certainly had some. If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they were ‘decadent’ and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible.”

    • Aramids

      When you use the term English do you mean British or UK or are you assuming they are the same?
      Apart from this the article is typical of many found in the Spectator – sweeping generalisations with no underpinning facts. It reads as if it was written by a drunk.

      • He’s quoting George Orwell.

        • therealguyfaux

          Actually, Orwell said “English” applies as “British” since, from his perspective, and demographically, hegemonically England dominates the rest of the island, and for the purposes of the point he was making the Welsh and Scots would be no different to the English vis-a-vis what the concept of “Englishness/Britishness” might be. That is, they’d feel about the English the same as the English feel about themselves, and about “British” the same as the English do.

          • Jambo25

            Not quite true.If you read Orwell’s collected letters and essays it becomes clear that he did see a distinction between the English and the British rest especially late in life when he spent some time in Scotland on Jura and in hospital down in Lanarkshire.

          • therealguyfaux

            But not within the essay quoted from, “England Your England.” That’s the context I was referring to.

    • rtj1211

      I don’t think British intellectuals hate the horse racing per se. What they probably hate is the race fixing and the greater attention paid by the ruling classes to thoroughbred equine testicles than they do to less fortunate human beings. All that moralising at school about ‘fair play’ but if you expose race fixing, you’re warned off UK Heath’s employment rota forever. Hypocrisy, I think intellectuals call it. So, remarkably enough, would Kelvin McKenzie, who would laugh at the thought of being considered thus…..

  • Andy

    Don’t be silly Speccie: the Fascist Guardian has only discovered a free press in relationship to itself. Doesn’t include you lot.

  • NotYouNotSure

    To the spectator staff, be completely honest, if the government was hounding you, raiding your offices etc, would you still be government arse lickers or would you be saying completely different things.

    • The_greyhound

      The Government didn’t hound the Guardian. In the gentlest way possible Rusbridger was required to destroy classified material which he was committing an offence by holding.

      • NotYouNotSure

        Sure holding people for 9 hours (because only on the 9th hour one you figure out what he is doing), that really is the “gentlest way possible”.

        • The_greyhound

          There was reasonable suspicion, and it is clear he was in unlawful possession of classified material.

          Or is there some special legal exemption for the Guardian’s mules?

          • Denis_Cooper

            They seem to think so.

          • NotYouNotSure

            9 hours to do what ? This was vindictive revenge, pure and simple. He broke no law, pure and simple.

          • The_greyhound

            Your posting is hysterical nonsense.

            The authorities lifted a mule, and removed material that neither he, nor anyone else at the idiot newspaper had any right to.

            Pure and simple.

          • It would help your case if you didn’t keep insulting people who disagreed with you.

          • The_greyhound

            Actually I am guilty of disagreeing with the people who have insulted me.

            If you wish to be civil, then I shall be civil, even if we don’t agree.

          • Aramids

            Why all the hysteria? Can you not comment in a reasonable manner. I suggest you seek professional psychiatric help.
            More generally the level of discussion in this magazine has deteriorated significantly over recent months and is now a joke.

          • The_greyhound

            My posts are accurately gauged to respond to the tone in which I am addressed. If someone is civil, I shall be civil. If not, the baboons get both barrels.

            I have no idea why the Guardianistas and their fellow travellers are being hysterical.

            But hysterical they are. That is the burden of the article the Spectator has published.. I don’t know whether you managed to pick that up.

          • You sure do trust your government. I’m surprised, therefore, that you are not an avid Guardian reader.

            Do you trust the Eurocrats in Brussells too?

          • The_greyhound

            I mistrust the Government, but moderately.

            I read the Guardian regularly, and mistrust it, absolutely.

            And I trust the Eurocrats only to feather their nests, show contempt for my constitution, and spend my money liberally on things I should not have chosen.

          • milliboot

            This canonisation of journalists is interesting, do they go to a Cathedral and receive holy orders from a Bishop, or what ?

        • milliboot

          How long would it have taken you to go through his computer, phone etc ?

  • Raimo Kangasniemi

    Murdoch’s journalists were arrested because they were interfering with normal police work in criminal cases, bribing police officers and hacking people’s phones for “celebrity news”.

    They committed ordinary crimes, their arrests were not result of investigative journalism into serious issues.

    Surely The Spectator can see the difference between investigative journalism into important political issues and gutter news about celebrities’ little dirty secrets?

    • The_greyhound

      Investigative journalism? You mean theft of classified material which has so far been pimped to the Chinese, the Russians, and is now being slopped up by a failing newspaper to bolster its sales? That sort of investigative journalism?

      Serious issues? What serious issues? Intelligence agencies collect intelligence, not butterflies! Bloody hell! Someone will be saying telecommunications aren’t secure next.

      Murdoch’s offences were against privacy laws, taste and decency. The idiot Guardian prejudices our security.

      Now take your self-righteous and ill-informed credulity elsewhere. The Guardian for instance. It’s absolutely desperate for readers.

      • “You mean theft of classified material which has so far been pimped to the Chinese, the Russians,”

        And your evidence for this is what?

        • The_greyhound

          Are you being deliberately obtuse, or do you still believe in the tooth fairy?

          • I will repeat my question.

            What is your evidence?

        • milliboot

          You mean Eddie has just been on a free holiday, courtesy of China and Russia, since he ran for it ?

  • Denis_Cooper


    “The court earlier heard from Steven Kovats QC, counsel for the home secretary, Theresa May, that the data included tens of thousands of classified UK intelligence documents, “disclosure of which would risk lives”. He added that May “does not accept that we are concerned here with journalistic material” and believes Miranda “is not a journalist, and stolen documents can’t be held in confidence and don’t qualify as journalistic materials”.”

    And yet these traitors still cannot see that they’ve done anything wrong:

    “A Guardian News & Media spokesperson said: “We welcome this partial victory but have grave concerns that today’s judgment allows police to examine without any legal oversight journalistic material seized from David Miranda. It remains our position that David Miranda was involved in legitimate journalistic activity.”

    • Raimo Kangasniemi

      There is something seriously wrong with a person, who thinks that the words of Theresa May&co represent The Truth which must be not questioned, but taken as granted.

      Your naivety is astounding.

      • Denis_Cooper

        Yeah, of course they’re lying.

        They stopped this bloke at random, not even knowing that he was in any way connected with another person who has since openly claimed to have secret information on our national security operations and has threatened to publish it, and now they’re just making it up that he was carrying secret information.

        It’s not your naivety which is astounding, it’s your willingness to take the side of people who openly wish our country ill.

    • milliboot

      When did journalists suddenly get elected to decide which secrets they would release and which not? the arrogance is breathtaking !

  • bugalugs2

    If it turns out that the material being carried by Miranda does fall within the definition of terrorist activity under the 2000 Act, wouldn’t buying the plane ticket, knowing it was to be used to carry that material, make the Guardian an accessory to a terrorist act?

    • The problem for Greenwald et al is that they do NOT want to undermine their country’s security. They just want the NSA to be accountable to democratically-elected politicians..

      Unfortunately, this involves them getting hold of zillions of documents to prove their case; some of which might damage security. So they have to sift through the whole enchilada to try to figure out ways of exposing wrongdoing WITHOUT huritng national security.

    • ButcombeMan

      Maybe criminal co-conspirators
      Rustbucket is probably closeted with a lawyer now. His nether regions twitching.
      If he is not, he is even more stupid than he appears.

    • Mike

      I think the bottom line here is that the governments (US & UK) along with their security agencies, know full well they’re on a sticky wicket here and are stopping short of charging papers like the Guardian or supposed couriers like Miranda of espionage as they know they’ll get crucified in the courts of public opinion if not the courts themselves.

      All they’re doing right now is trying to put the ‘frighteners’ on in an attempt to defuse the bad press from whistle blowers outing both governments over quasi illegal activities at home.

    • richardamullens

      64,608 people so far have signed a petition calling for the overhaul of schedule 7 of the terrorism act 2000.


      www change org/en-GB/petitions/ukhomeoffice-theresa-may-review-the-use-of-schedule-7-of-terrorism-act

      • Fergus Pickering

        And 60 million haven’t.

        • richardamullens

          And two people have voted up my post and one down.

          To get 66,646 people to sign a petition is no mean feat.

          The evidence from surveys, if you are interested in such a thing, is that a majority of people don’t agree with the use of the 2000 schedule 7 terror legislation in this way.

          Moreover, people who sign a petition like this are people who are prepared to stand up and be counted – which entails a small but significant risk.

  • aanpakkuh

    Can someone put the heat really onto Guardian please as to how, when and why these harddrives were demolished? The Beeb, also quite in Labour’s pocket, have come with headlines that government smashed up harddrives, while the language used in the Guardian and by its chief editor is ambiguous. It seems Guardian staff demolished the harddrives and it is not entirely clear whether they were ordered to do so and whether government officials were overlooking the process. Also quite strange chief editor says it’s a messy job to break a MacBook Pro. Not really a big harddrive on that is there?

    As an aside, in addition to its unprincipled approach to press regulation Guardian and its chief editor did not mind being paid by all the public sector job adverts Labour channeled to the paper and its site when it was in government and swelling the public sector payroll. Guardian is also very quiet about Beeb’s market share, obviously completely unrelated to Guardian editors moving into well-paid Beeb jobs and appearing on a lot of its program and getting paid for that.

  • ButcombeMan

    Well said Fraser. You echo the various comments I have made on the other thread on the stopping of Miranda.
    Rustbucket is being manipulated and his double standards are showing.
    Maybe you could produce another article about the crusade that Greenwald is on, why he is on it and the massive finance (not the impoverished Guardian by the way) which Greenwld hinted at in one interview. The information is all out there.
    What all this is about is an old fashioned leftist spying attack masquerading as false outrage and “whistleblowing”. The Guardian fell for it.
    Snowden on this basis is an old-fashioned ideoligical spy, if one checks it all out, it is clear why he sought refuge in Russia.
    For Rustbucket to give support and comfort to the whole operation he cannot (surely?) have done due -diligence on what Greenwald was about.
    Let us hope the investigation leads to criminal conspiracy charges against Miranda, Greenwald and Rustbucket.
    That will do nicely.
    You can safely ignore all the new faces trolling on this article.

    • Unfortunately for your hypotheses, millions of Americans are concerned about what has already been exposed as well as some 200 Congressmen.

      As for Snowden seeking refuge in Russia, he didn’t have much choice, did he?

  • richardamullens

    There’s more danger to the people of this country from potholes than terrorism.

  • Carol Croft

    There you go getting it wrong in the 1st sentence – the sanctity of a free press!

  • In a nutshell.

    So there you are, working for a private security company, and you see all this stuff going on which looks shady, deceitful, dangerous and unconstitutional. Even your Congressmen don’t know what is going on. And even those who might know, can’t say anything. Your own people have no oversight over all these highly-intrusive hidden ‘systems’. They are not even aware of them.

    And the trouble is this. The only real proof that you can get hold of is in the form of thousands of documents of ‘information’ to show what kind of nefarious activities are taking place. Our people and our politicians must get to know about this, you say to yourself.

    But some of this stuff might involve national security.

    So what do you do?

    Well, Snowden took it to a journalist (Greenwald) working for a newspaper (the Guardian) who would probably know best what to do.

    And so Greenwald and the Guardian have been checking very carefully to see that they only leak information that exposes wrongdoing without compromising national security. And they would have also received expert advice from lawyers and from security experts.

    And the question that people should ask themselves is this.

    Realistically, what else could Snowden have done?

    Of course, 99.99% of people in Snowden’s situation would have done nothing. They would have just accepted that they were engaged in illegal activity and that they were dutybound to help the NSA to escape democratic oversight. And they probably enjoyed the power at their fingertips – as well as the pay, and the glamour that is associated with being a spy.

    But Snowden saw a flagrant abuse of power – a truly massive abuse.

    And almost half of America seems now to agree with him.

    And it is not his fault that the only way to expose this is to take “documents” which sometimes will, and sometimes will not, be related to national security – especially when it is only bits of information within the documents that are the problem.

    And for those of you who think that Snowden did wrong, then you are accepting that it is legitimate for a department within government – consisting of people who have not been elected, and who are not subject to democratic oversight – to be able to wield huge power over all its citizens – even over the President himself and his closest advisers.

    Are you crazy?


    How many times do you have to see corruption at the highest levels before you wake up to the fact that people with power who are not monitored closely end up abusing their powers most horribly.

    MPs expenses, NHS scandals, BBC scandals, the banking crisis, WMD in Iraq, Eurocrats in Brussels. On and on it goes.

    Goodness me. What about the corruption that we haven’t seen?

    In my view, we should never, ever, ever give huge power to a group of people who cannot be monitored – especially when you see – as Snowden did – that they were ALREADY abusing their powers.

    And American politicians, at the very least, had a right to know about many of these things.

    Finally, the really strange thing is this. The people on this forum who keep calling Snowden a traitor seem mostly to be the very same people who keep complaining about the fact that we cannot trust government!

  • Major Plonquer

    Dear all, I live in a police state. And I think it’s great.

    Here in China apparently we’re all dupes living under the thumbs of the police. But just try to find a jingcha (policeman) in Beijing these days. I haven’t seen one since the Olympics. There’s very little need for them, of course, because there’s virtually no crime. This is largely because if they catch you – and they usually do – the punishment is severe. REALLY SEVERE. So people don’t do it much. I think the reason punishments are severe is because there are no Chinese Liberal Democrats even though sandals are quite popular.

    It’s the same with government. We don’t see stupid politicians on TV every night explaining why they let a million billion Cambodian plumbers in to take away the jobs of Chinese youth. Or why we should avoid the World Cup because they won’t let you marry another bloke. No. The police do their job and the government do their job. The country gets safer and we get richer every day.

    There’s also a few other things we don’t have in our police state. We don’t have an RMT union shutting down the underground every Wednesday. We don’t have the BBC or Jeremy Paxman. We don’t have George Galloway. We don’t have Google (yeah!). We do have someone who looks and sounds like Ed Miliband – but he’s not a politician, he’s the bloke who comes around to sharpen your knives every six weeks. Funny that.

    Because we don’t have to worry about all the socio-political rubbish you do, we’re free and have more time to go about the business of taking your money and keeping it for ourselves. We’ve got quite good at that and I just like to say a “big thanks for all the money”.

    Of course, the other thing we don’t have is this “looney left” you British seem to like so much. All these pretend socialists you have. And we don’t have a Guardian (what a pretentious name) promoting the theft of state secrets and idolising dickheads masturbating in Ecuadorian embassies. If a Guardian ever came into being our nice police state would shoot it in the head and we could all go back to the important stuff – making iPhones and Airbus 340s and taking more of your money.

    The food is better and taxes are lower too. I like my police state. I think I’ll keep it.

    • Baron

      You’re a star, Major, but go tell it to the pseudo-liberal fruitcakes who believe punishment is wrong, interference with family life right. Lunacy.

  • West Ham Utd

    Putin had better get Snowden on a plane. Snowden is continuing to leak information, which was part of his deal for asylum.

  • I’m not convinced the Guardian did anything wrong over Snowden, any more than the Sunday Times did over Spycatcher under a certain Andrew Neil, but I agree it is rank hypocrisy for the Guardian to cry “press freedom” just a few months after demanding press regulation. It seems to me the Guardian does not want press freedom, it wants to set the boundaries for what newspapers are allowed to do so that it is protected but its vulgar, right wing, populist rivals are not. For Rusbridger to whine about a lack of support from other newspapers is like the town collaborator complaining that no one comes to his aid when he’s taken away by the Gestapo.

  • Greybeard Chieftain

    The difference is between the media being used as a weapon to destroy our democracy through bribes and corruption, and targeting private citizens against the media being used as a shield to protect private citizens from the surveillance of the police state. The fact that you even think there is a credible story here to disparage the Guardian shows how skewered the views of the media are.

    I truly pity any nutcase who holds himself and his self-worth in such low esteem that he believes he should endeavour actively to destroy his own civil liberties and human rights. Those men deserve servitude, but they should not drag others into their pit of moral surrender.

  • Charles White

    To draw some kind of comparison between protests against the detention of Miranda and the arrest of Murdoch’s journalists, who tapped the phones of the crime victims etc, is plainly ridiculous. The Guardian or the Murdoch Press? Not much contest. Really second rate journalism, this. I can’t see any name attached to it. No one want to claim ownership?

  • Russia’s foreign ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, said in a statement on Wednesday that: “The moves taken by the UK authorities in relation with the Guardian newspaper office are discordant with the statements of the British side on their adherence to universal human rights standards, including that of the freedom of media, the rights of journalists and the protection of private life.”


  • Terence Hale

    The Guardian didn’t care when Murdoch’s journalists were arrested.
    So why the hysteria now? You must distinguish the hysteria of a
    newspaper and the of a journalist. By the way how are your hard disks?

  • george

    ‘a rather unreliable defender of these freedoms in recent years’

    i.e. when called upon to do so.

    What can we expect? It’s the Left. The motto of the Left is ‘equality above every other human good, no matter how important’.

    (Footnote to motto: Some are more equal than others and should live unmolested as plutocrats because of the great work they do in keeping wealth through capitalism suppressed for everyone else!)

  • Tubby_Isaacs

    Deary me. Do you really not understand the difference?

    1) Phonehacking- illegal. Paying police for information- illegal.
    2) Receiving a government leak- not illegal.

    The phonehackers had a good decade or so before they had their collars felt under well-established laws. Miranda had his felt under some ridiculous stretch of loosely drafted terror legislation. They had to release him.

    Perhaps you can tell me how state security has been weakened? Or how else the appalling government spying could have been revealed otherwise?

  • justejudexultionis

    O tempora! O mores!


    Putrid paper, and it’s staff, long,long overdue for oblivion.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Given the conflicting positions of the US/UK and Russia in both Syria and Iran, is not the discrediting of both the NSA and GCHQ an important step for the Russians to take? It seems credible that Snowden, wittingly or unwittingly, is now an FSB asset, and Greenwald and the Guardian the mouthpiece, who are now seeking to undermine GCHQ via public opinion. The enquiries now under way in the US [and UK to follow] into Prism etc will inevitably restrict their activities. The Independent has revealed the existence of a Middle Eastern GCHQ base – leaked by who, one wonders. So far, the UK reaction has been meek and so stupid – smashing hard drives really is cretinous – given the sensitivity of the stolen material, and the risks to vital intelligence gathering, the entire treasonous Guardian business should be closed down.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Why can’t I post the comment I want to post in the right place?

  • The article reads, “Rather, it sounds like a saboteur with a very particular agenda.”

    That’s right, and an agenda that both the mainstream media and so-called alternative media refuses to inform its readers about. And what would that be, you ask?

    Firstly, before reading this comment, when were you informed that intelligence officers such as Edward Snowden can’t simply decide to travel to Communist Hong Kong and not have their passports flagged at the departing airport? Ah, you’re in shock, huh? The media was supposed to tell you this, but they work for the government (which you already know), and the United States government’s “Snowden operation” would have been seen for what it is if you were brought up to speed on the passport flagging aspect of the story.

    Secondly, why then did the United States government send Snowden ultimately to Russia? To further embarrass the United States, give the country another black eye, by releasing information that further cements in the mind of world public opinion that the United States is a rogue state.

    Why would the United States do such harm to itself, you ask? It wouldn’t, if both political parties in the United States hadn’t been co-opted decades ago by Moscow & allies. Now you know why immediately after the fraudulent “collapse” of the USSR the United States wasn’t given Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons, including delivery vehicles, for safe keeping! Imagine that, the freed Russian people not ensuring their freedom against a Communist counter-coup with the assistance of Chinese PLA ground and air forces backing up Soviet Special Forces and Airborne Guards. If the “collapse” of the USSR had been real, then a freed Russia, for national security reasons, would have ensured that its nuclear weaponry was secured by United States military elements. That no such actions were taken proves that (1) both American political parties were co-opted by Moscow & Allies; and (2) the United States Armed Forces were not co-opted, otherwise elements of America’s armed forces would have been deployed to Russia in order to pretend to safeguard Russia’s nuclear weapons.

    What we have then concerning the “Snowden operation” is a media (Guardian/Washington Poet)/United States/USSR/China government production.

    For those unfamiliar with this subject, the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991 was a strategic ruse under the “Long-Range Policy” (LRP). What is the LRP, you ask? The LRP is the “new” strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with. The last major disinformation operation under the LRP was the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991. The next major disinformation operation under the LRP will be the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government. When that occurs, Taiwan will be stymied from not joining the mainland.

    • ftw

      You have neglected your pills lately. Please start taking them again.

      • No I took the red pill that Morpheus offered me, which enables one to recognize (1) Lenin’s head still next to the masthead of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s main paper (still called “Red Star”, 1924-2013); and (2) the Soviet era Red Star nationality emblem on Russian military aircraft and the bows of Russian naval vessels.

        I see you’re hooked up to the Matrix!