Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Miranda search not illegal.

Let's be honest here (and the hard-done-by-warrior-for-truth version from the mendacious even-more-lefties). This is not an "evil Tories thing." The legislation was enacted by those doughty warriors for human rights from New Labour.

The offence (which Miranda was suspected of committing, hence the search and it was shown subsequent to the search that the suspicion was justified) is "possession of material likely to be of use to terrorists" (s58 Terrorism Act 2000) rather than the s57 "possession of material for terrorist purposes" or the more recent s2 Terrorism Act 2006 "dissemination of terrorist materials." Nobody, apart from the Guardian and its apologists, has suggested that anybody considers that Miranda, Greenwald or Poitras are terrorists. (Ed notes: I'm sure some people consider that Snowden is and they may even be justified under the very strange and broad US laws on terrorism. Personally, I don't. The wider question is whether what Snowden did is honourable whistleblowing, treasonous leaking of critically sensitive security information or something between the two. My opinion - he's on the criminal side of 'civil disobedience' pace Chelsea Manning.)

There is very little doubt that some of the material that Snowden removed will be "likely to be of use to terrorists". There isn't much more doubt that Snowden had shared much if not all of his material with Greenwald and Poitras, relying on their journalist integrity to determine what and when would be released. As was done, in a similar context, by Astrange and his MSM collaborators. Miranda was acting as a courier between Poitras and Greenwald.

So, there we go. Now, I'm not saying that Miranda is guilty of a s58 offence. He may have a statutory defence under s58(3) - if "for the purposes of journalism" are considered "a reasonable excuse". But that is not the point. Was the search and seizure justified? Miranda, of course, is not a journalist ...

And, the point that he is Greenwald's bideyin is utterly irrelevant. Except, of course, in victimhood poker stakes.

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