Glenn Greenwald says partner’s detainment at London airport “a failed attempt at intimidation”

Glenn Greenwald's Twitter profile photoGlenn Greenwald reported in The Guardian UK that his partner, David Miranda, had been detained for a full 9 hours at London’s Airport under a “Terrorism Act” and that Miranda’s phone, computer and storage devices had been seized.

“At 6:30 am this morning my time – 5:30 am on the East Coast of the US – I received a telephone call from someone who identified himself as a “security official at Heathrow airport.” He told me that my partner, David Miranda, had been “detained” at the London airport “under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000.”

Greenwald has been publicly criticized by U.S. politicians and scrutinized in the media for his June interview with Eric Snowden, the “NSA whistleblower” who shared intelligence secrets with Greenwald including allegations of the U.S. government collecting data about American citizens’ communications.

Of his partner’s detainment and equipment seizure, Greenwald wrote:

“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…. 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.”

Greenwald later told CBS News:

“The law is called the Terrorism Act of 2000. It says right in the law that it’s for the purpose of investigating people who are associated with terrorist organizations or involved in terrorist plots, which obviously had nothing with what caused them to detain him or what they asked him about. Secondly, it’s incredibly menacing for governments to not only target journalists who are publishing stories they dislike, but the family members and spouses of journalists. It’s designed to be bullying and intimidating.”

You can read more about Greenwald and Miranda’s relationship in Out magazine’s 2011 interview. It’s reported that the couple currently lives in Brazil.

UPDATE #1: A Whitehouse spokesman stated that they had been provided with a “heads up” by the British government, but claimed that the “United States was not involved in that decision or that action.”

UPDATE #2: Monday night, on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow detailed the detainment of David Miranda and another woman, Laura Poitras, an investigative filmmaker also connected to Glenn Greenwald.

JD Uy has been a Metro Weekly webmaster, distribution manager, blogger and videographer since 2002.