Will State Department Condemn The UK For Using Terror Laws To Stifle Journalism?

from the it's-done-so-with-others dept

We wrote earlier about the incredible situation in the UK, in which the government there is making the ridiculous argument that it was appropriate to detain Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda at Heathrow under an anti-terrorism law because his journalistic activities qualify as terrorism because they might "influence a government." It seems fairly obvious to most rational observers, that the UK is redefining anti-terrorism laws to stifle journalism it doesn't like.

Trevor Timm, over at the Freedom of the Press Foundation wonders if the US State Department will condemn the UK for this activity, noting a long history of the State Department condemning countries who use anti-terror laws to stifle journalism.

For example, in January 2012, in response to Ethiopia jailing award-winning journalist Eskinder Nega, the State Department expressed “concern that the application of anti-terrorism laws can sometimes undermine freedom of expression and independent media.” Again in June State Department released a statement saying the US “The Ethiopian government has used the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to jail journalists and opposition party members for peacefully exercising their freedoms of expression and association.”

The 2012 State Department human rights report on Turkey criticizes the country for imprisoning “scores of journalists…most charged under antiterror laws or for connections to an illegal organization.”

In April 2013, the State Department cited Burundi for imprisoning radio journalist Hassan Ruvakuki and three of his colleagues for “acts of terrorism.”

Just last month, in response to respected Moroccan journalist Ali Anouzla being arrested under an anti-terror law for linking to a Youtube video, the State Department said, “We are concerned with the government of Morocco’s decision to charge Mr. Anouzla. We support freedom of expression and of the press, as we say all the time, universal rights that are an indispensable part of any society.”

So now when a close ally is doing exactly the same thing -- but it's in an effort to stifle journalism the US probably doesn't much like either -- will the State Department react the same way? A reporter for The Guardian, Dan Roberts, apparently asked the White House that question, and White House spokesperson Jay Carney gave one of those "I'll have to get back to you" kind of answers, which suggests no intention of actually answering the question. Hopefully Roberts and other reporters will continue asking the question until an actual answer is given.


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  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 4th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Magic 8-ball says 'Not a chance'

    Given the leaks cover both British and US spying, and the NSA and it's defenders have done everything they can to destroy the credibility of Snowden and any other group/person involved with the leaks, up to and including accusation or implications that they are terrorists for their actions, I'd say the State Department is likely to stay completely silent on this one.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2013 @ 3:06pm

    Will State Department Condemn The UK For Using Terror Laws To Stifle Journalism?

    Will State Department Condemn The UK For Using Terror Laws To Stifle Journalism?

    No.

    Next question, please!

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 4th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    Disambiguation needed:

    "but it's in an effort to stifle journalism the US probably doesn't much like either" -- Can be read as either the "effort to stifle journalism", or the journalism itself, which is what I assume you meant to convey.

    The freedoms you take for granted today were death penalty treason in 1776. Don't let the Inherited Rich restore feudalism. Pull them down with high taxes on unearned income -- and ZERO taxes on wages, they HATE that!

    11:17:37[m-290-1]

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    No way they bathe in Hypocrisy and corruption. It sustains them..

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2013 @ 3:31pm

    my brain hurts.

     

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  6.  
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    br3n (profile), Nov 4th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    freed of press?

    should greenwald be even more wary of even brazilian government? we dont know how far the usa might go to get their way to stop the leaks coming out?
    br3n

     

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  7.  
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    wto605 (profile), Nov 4th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

    I wish!

    It could go something like this:

    "On 9/11/01 19 terrorists killed 2,977 people in an unprecedented attack on the US. On 7/7/05 4 terrorists killed 52 people in the first deadly attack on the UK since the Belfast Agreement. To use this label for purpose of persecuting the partner of a journalist is disrespectful to the memory of no fewer than 3,000 people."

     

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  8.  
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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Nov 4th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    The state department won't condemn the U.K. because that's what the Obama Administration has been doing/trying to do to journalists. After all, they're already doing that whistleblowers.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2013 @ 9:46pm

    Re: Disambiguation needed:

    So you want to tax the poor? Unearned Income is disability benefits, welfare and retirement income.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Nov 5th, 2013 @ 4:25am

    Hmm... Anybody seen Adam Kokesh lately.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 5th, 2013 @ 4:50am

    Yeah, right!

    Trevor Timm, over at the Freedom of the Press Foundation wonders if the US State Department will condemn the UK for this activity, noting a long history of the State Department condemning countries who use anti-terror laws to stifle journalism and haven't been giving the US all the illegally obtained intelligence they are using the terror laws to cover up.
    ...thought I should complete the sentence...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2013 @ 7:13am

    Sovereignty

    Let's not forget about 'sovereignty' people. A nation has to have the power and authority to protect its national security interest, no matter what it may look like on the surface. That may be the very reason most of us can sit securely in our office chairs and blog about all the shit that matters to us most.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Ninja (profile), Nov 5th, 2013 @ 7:49am

    Not if they can get away with the hypocrisy ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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