History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.

– Abba Eban

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear they say.  Once again our draconian anti-terror laws are being abused in ways that we all foresaw and the government of the time promised would not happen.  I note with interest the Labour politicans scrambling to make the most of this, how quickly they forget this was only made possible by legislation they passed.  It was clear then that the powers they were granting were open for abuse like this, and only a fool would think they didn't know this at the time.

British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport

This measure is without justification since it involves an individual against whom there are no charges that can legitimate the use of that legislation. The Brazilian government expects that incidents such as the one that happened to the Brazilian citizen today are not repeated.

– Statement from the government of Brazil


David's detention was unlawful and inexcusable. He was detained under a law that violates any principle of fairness and his detention shows how the law can be abused for petty, vindictive reasons.

There is simply no basis for believing that David Michael Miranda presents any threat whatsoever to the UK government. The only possible intent behind this detention was to harass him and his partner, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, for his role in analysing the data released by Edward Snowden.

– Widney Brown, Amnesty International's senior director of international law and policy

You do have to admire the brass balls on the home office spokesperson who came out all guns blazing in defense of the government's actions.

The government and the police have a duty to protect the public and our national security. If the police believe that an individual is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism, then they should act and the law provides them with a framework to do that. Those who oppose this sort of action need to think about what they are condoning. This is an ongoing police inquiry so will not comment on the specifics.

We're condoing ordinary people having the courage to stand up to a corrupt system that most of us aren't brave enough to challenge & whom we tolerate in the knowledge that as long as we don't give them any reason to take a dislike to us, we won't end up like poor Bradley Manning.

For nine months, Manning has been confined to his cell for twenty-three hours a day. During his one remaining hour, he can walk in circles in another room, with no other prisoners present. He is not allowed to doze off or relax during the day, but must answer the question “Are you OK?” verbally and in the affirmative every five minutes.

At night, he is awakened to be asked again “Are you OK?” every time he turns his back to the cell door or covers his head with a blanket so that the guards cannot see his face.

During the past week he was forced to sleep naked and stand naked for inspection in front of his cell, and for the indefinite future must remove his clothes and wear a “smock” under claims of risk to himself that he disputes.”

– Top US law scholars: Manning’s detention violates 5th and 8th amendments

Completely unrelated of course, but Manning has since confessed his crimes and says "I'm sorry my actions hurt the United States".  It's amazing how 9 months of torture can change one's perspective.  

If there were more people in this world with the principles & courage of the likes of Manning and Snowdon then it would be a much better place.  Only a fool would say the same of our politicians.