Rep. Alan Grayson Asks Eric Holder If US Citizen Glenn Greenwald Will Actually Be Allowed Back Into The US Without Arrest
from the shameful-that-this-question-is-asked dept
It’s horrifying enough that this question needs to be asked, but Rep. Alan Grayson, who has been one of the most vocal members of Congress in calling out the NSA’s bad behavior has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, seeking assurance that if US citizen Glenn Greenwald were to come back into the US that he could do so without being arrested. Grayson notes that a variety of prominent people, both within and outside the government (but who have influence on the government) have called for Greenwald to be arrested and prosecuted.
Mr. Greenwald, a United States citizen currently living in Brazil, has been publicly attacked by Members of Congress such as Representative Peter King, who on multiple occasions has called for his arrest merely because of his reporting as a journalist on the NSA. The Chairs of the
Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Mike
Rogers, have appeared to echo this threat, as have prominent foreign-policy commentators such as Alan Dershowitz and Marc Thiessen.
He also highlights the infamous UK detention of Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda. And then asks the basic question of whether or not the US government will agree that Greenwald can enter his own country without arrest for the crime of “journalism the government doesn’t like.”
I regard this as regrettable, because: (1) the commission of journalism is not a crime; (2) on the contrary, it is protected explicitly under the First Amendment; and (3) Mr. Greenwald’s reports regarding these subjects have, in fact, informed me, other Members of Congress, and the general public of serious, pervasive violations of law and constitutional rights committed by agents of the government.
Bearing in mind that Mr. Greenwald is a citizen of the United States, please let me know: (1) whether the Department of Justice intends to bring charges against Mr. Greenwald, and (2) should Mr. Greenwald seek to enter the United States, whether the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, or any other office of the federal government intends to detain, question, arrest, or prosecute Mr. Greenwald, or to monitor or interfere in any way with his entry into or movement within the United States.
It’s a sad and shameful comment on the state of the US government today that this question needs to be asked, no matter what the eventual answer is. We’ve strayed very very far from the ideals that this country is supposed to embrace.