David Miranda was never even given the British version of his Miranda Rights.
As a matter of fact, the legal term "Mirandized" may have just gotten a whole new meaning. Thanks to the Heathrow Airport arrest and detention yesterday of David Miranda, domestic partner of Glenn Greenwald, we now have irrefutable proof that our civil rights have eroded even faster than we thought. The whole world is a police state, and we are all deemed terrorists unless and until they decide otherwise.
The familiar Miranda Warning, the one we see on TV cop shows, says "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." It's meant to protect your right against self-incrimination, guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment.
The newest, perverted version, however, isn't even a warning. It's a fact. It's the thuggery of the state run amok. It's the extralegal pronouncement that they can stop you in a public place during the course of your travels. Any electronic gizmos you carry can and will be confiscated, and probably used against you in a secret court operating under a secret code of law enacted in a secret politburo.. The very fact that you exist in time and space now makes you a target in a USG-orchestrated campaign of suppression and intimidation. The Terror Government has extended its tentacles around the entire girth of the globe.
As Glenn Greenwald points out in his post about Miranda's ordeal, the transnational crusade against journalists who dare spill government secrets has now reached truly epic proportions:
This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It's bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It's worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by. But the UK puppets and their owners in the US national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples.
If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further. Beyond that, every time the US and UK governments show their true character to the world - when they prevent the Bolivian President's plane from flying safely home, when they threaten journalists with prosecution, when they engage in behavior like what they did today - all they do is helpfully underscore why it's so dangerous to allow them to exercise vast, unchecked spying power in the dark.David Miranda was detained under a statute called Schedule 7 of the UK Terrorism Act, allowing for an arrest lasting a maximum nine hours, pending formal charges. The law is a direct slap in the face to the original Miranda rights, given that detainees are not given the right to remain silent, not allowed access to legal counsel, and are forced into answering questions. Refusal to cooperate under Schedule 7 has itself been deemed a criminal offense. Ironically enough, Schedule 7 forbids plain old stopping and frisking of folks for race or ethnicity. I imagine the NYPD would have something to say about that. Mayor Mike Bloomberg would probably insist that the Mirandization of David Miranda was done to protect him from himself, to keep the world safe from democracy.