Friday, 8 November 2013

Corporate Terrorism is Legal; Journalism is Not

From a recent Guardian piece on the ongoing David Miranda oppression:

The detention of the partner of a former Guardian journalist has triggered fresh concerns after it emerged that a key reason cited by police for holding him under terrorism powers was the belief that he was promoting a "political or ideological cause".
Also noted in that piece is that the security services asked the Police to detain Miranda, and to make it look like a 'normal' event (whatever that means in an era when it is normal for liberal democracies to murder remote strangers on a weekly basis).

But the key element of the Police representation is that David Miranda qualifies as a terrorism suspect because he is engaged in promoting a political or ideological cause.

Now for those who've been saying for many years now that the US government and its many-tentacled agencies are the world's biggest terrorist organisation, this might come as a somewhat ironic validation, given the source and the surrounding context.

But the people who work in the State Department might also wonder what will happen to them next time they visit England ... or simply pass through on the way to elsewhere.

On that note, I recall that it was the USA that began the assault on international law & custom in this matter, unilaterally repealing the established practice which recognised that a person passing through "in transit' and not entering the country via Customs, is not actually on local soil for legal purposes and not subject to the jurisdiction of the local Police forces but remains under the jurisdiction of the captain of the aircraft.

In other words, a political refugee could not be returned to those who would persecute them simply by means of a refueling decision made in some airline head office half a world away. There was a time when our governments claimed that this was an important principle.

But, in time-honoured imperial fashion, the satellite vassal states almost immediately adopted the same practices, with most of the subsequent differences - as in the case of the UK - being only to make things worse.

However, we all know - as do, no doubt, the people who work at State - that they're not going to encounter the same problems Miranda did. As his partner Glenn Greenwald has rigorously highlighted, the law in our modern liberal democracies operates in a neo-feudal two-tiered manner; there is one law for the wealthy and powerful and those connected thereto, another for the poor, powerless and unconnected.

It is plain, too, that the Chief Executive of Nissan Motors knows this. Because here he is, without a shred of irony or indeed apparent awareness of any kind, flagrantly threatening his British employees and the entire United Kingdom, should they pursue a political course he finds distasteful:

The head of Nissan has warned the car maker would reconsider its future in the UK if a push to leave the European Union succeeds.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of the Japanese motoring company, told the BBC his company would re-evaluate its position if the UK were to leave the EU.
Before anyone asks me if I am surprised - I'm not - there's no real mystery about the utter silence and inaction of MI6 and GCHQ in response to this blatant act of international corporate terrorism. Such threats are par for the course for those with wealth, power, and the political patronage that goes with them.

But I would love to hear them try to explain exactly what the difference is.

Perhaps if there are any journalists still working at the Guardian, one of them might be persuaded to ask?

Tell you what: I won't hold my breath.

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