Thou shalt not...
... embarrass the Government...
... for they are petty and full of malice...
Filmmaker Laura Poitras, who won an Oscar for the Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour, is suing the US government to find out why she spent six years being repeatedly harassed by border security guards. "I'm filing this lawsuit because the government uses the US border to bypass the rule of law," said Poitras. "This simply …
This has nothing to do with embarassing the US Government. Look at Obama , Joe Biden and John Kerry, they are truly embarrassments yet you don't see the TSA harassing them. Then there's Donald Trump. Truly an embarrassment to this country as well. Again the TSA isn't harassing him either.
Could it be that she's a known associate of a wanted criminal... (Has the US officially charged him with espionage yet? ) And yes Virginia, regardless of the WH and TSA allegedly harassing you. The fact that you hung out w Snowden got you a legitimate place on the list.
Yeah, sure, paybacks and all that. But seriously... you meet and interview known terrorists and criminals... you're going to get harassed at the borders. It goes with the job and good luck with the law suit. 10:1 odds its the basis of her next film.
@Ian Michael Gumby
Could it be that she's a known associate of a wanted criminal...
Wanted man would be a better expression as Ed Snowden has not been convicted of anything as far as I am aware.
But yes, I would suspect that it is exactly because of the Snowden thing that she is being subjected to additional measures; And I suspect that deep down inside she knows this too. If we're going to be objective about this, you can't embarrass a national government and expect them to roll out the red carpet for you when you visit.
However far at odds this may be with the rest of the world, if the government view the Snowden leaks as "a bad thing", and it seems they do, then they are unlikely to want to accord unfettered passage for those involved, lest they be working on a follow up project.
It may not be right, but it was wholly predictable.
"I would suspect that it is exactly because of the Snowden thing that she is being subjected to additional measures; And I suspect that deep down inside she knows this too."
It's a blatant abuse of power. We know. She knows. They know.
By picking away at the process by which it came about, she might discover, for example, whether the abuse was legally sanctioned or not. If it was, what were the holes in the law that allowed this to happen? If it wasn't, who was complicit? If she's blocked at every step of the way of her investigation, then that in itself is tacit evidence that an illegal abuse of power took place, and of who might be involved.
She's a journalist, and she's tenacious. I wouldn't want to be on her shit-list, that's for sure.
Snowden admitted to his acts.
Those actions are criminal and he should be charged.
Here's the sad fact that many who view Snowden, Manning and Ass-anage as heroes ... the world is less of a safe place today that it was before their damage and criminal acts. (Hint: Did Assange merely post the docs, or did he coerce and assist with the theft itself? Review the Article 32 hearing docs... ;-)
Look at the countries where Arab Spring took place. How many dead since Arab Spring? How stable are those governments? Egypt is the most stable and that's because the Army retook control to keep the peace.
You can down vote me, but please get your head out of the sand and learn the truth.
Here's the sad fact that many who view Snowden, Manning and Ass-anage as heroes ...
My view is that Assange is a morally bankrupt, talentless, and possibly rapey publicity whore, and Manning is another of his victims. Equating Snowden with Assange is deeply unfair.
Snowden has not been charged with anything (I appreciate that may be difficult), and laws may be broken without conviction in certain circumstances. Does he have a case to answer? Yes, but that does not imply guilt. A trial would require an impartial jury, and at the current time, I'm not sure that could be assembled with confidence.
You'll probably take the above to mean I view Snowden as a hero and his actions as just. I don't view him as a hero. Publicity has not prevented any of the techniques employed or data being gathered from continuing, but it has exposed us to the risk that terrorists and foreign spies will now take greater precautions and be harder to protect society against. The level of risk is debateable, but that there is a risk is not. I'm unclear what has been achieved, either positive or not.
I do, however, firmly believe that Snowden took his actions with the best of intentions, acting in good faith, and inspite of the obvious personal consequences. In my view that makes him a good man, and the worst charge I could currently level at him would be that he MAY have been misguided: Your view on that will be determined by which side of the security/privacy debate you currently stand. Did he commit treason? Possibly, possbly not - only a fair trial could determine that.
I maintain then, that he is not a criminal, but a wanted man. Not a hero, but then heroes are the stuff of youth, and I'm well beyond that.
"Poitras has been subject to monitoring by the U.S. Government, which she speculates is because of a wire transfer she sent in 2006 to Iraqi doctor Riyadh al-Adhadh, a suspected Sunni insurgent. After completing My Country, My Country, Poitras claims, "I've been placed on the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) watch list" and have been notified by airport security "that my 'threat rating' was the highest the Department of Homeland Security assigns"."
She's been singled out to make an example of by a Western world that sets no limits on it's military industrial complex. Thankfully, the Russian and Chinese Governments are in control of their military, unlike here in the West, where the rather fat, overstuffed military tail very definitely wags the dog.
Do you think that she was really just singled out?
The truth? No. She's just one who knows how to get the publicity and is willing to sue the US Government. Many people are placed on the No-Fly list or on a watch list. You just don't hear about it.
Is this an abuse of power? Most likely not. Sure it makes great PR for her next movie, but the truth is that she's acted in such a way that she got herself placed on the list.
You donate money to a known terrorist organization, you get put on the list. You routinely call family back in Afghanistan or Pakistan? Have been known to be critical of western governments? You get placed on the watch list. There's more, but you get the idea.
She may feel that the US Government is being vindictive, and those in the WH surely can be vindictive, yet she's given them the legal cover to do so and claim otherwise.
Think about it.
Suppose the US Government went to El Reg and demanded to know who you are.
Or they just hack El Reg.
Now your name is on the Watch list which is shared by the Western Security forces. Just simply for making an anonymous comment.
That would be Extrajudicial punishment for exercising your right to free speech.
However, she made a film. Transferred monies to known terrorist organizations... Associated with a wanted criminal who admittedly committed espionage.... That's enough to legitimately get you put on a watch list.
She can sue all she wants. Makes great PR and she can spin it in to another Oscar gold, but she'll lose in court(s) every day, all day long.
That's the sad truth.
The claimed harassment had nothing at all to do with Edward Snowden, as all of it occurred well before any of us, including Ms. Poitras, had heard of him. The runaround on the FOIA requests might relate to that, however, or it might relate to a combination of incompetence and intransigence on the part of some of the agencies in handling such requests. ODNI appears likely to have given Ms. Poitras a standard response to any FOIA request for material that is either sensitive or potentially embarrassing: they denied it on the basis that the fact of its existence or nonexistence was classified as related to intelligence sources and methods. The DoJ, on the other hand, denied release of the 6 pages they or the FBI admitted having found as a matter involving grand jury secrecy. Other agencies seem at most to have gone through the motions minimally and hoped the FOIA requests would go away.
"By spurning Poitras' FOIA requests, the government leaves the impression that her detentions were a form of retaliation and harassment of a journalist whose work has focused on U.S. policy in the post-9/11 world." ®
Kafka would be proud altho he lived in equivalent surreal times.
And then you can watch the wealthy in-crowd bypass screening. I'm sure that all of this is how we want to demonstrate the American Way to the rest of the world. Bravo!
Maybe the data was kept in HRC's emails... the ones that they couldn't get?
Or just maybe there's some truth to the fact that they can't respond due to national security reasons?
Sorry, but lets get real.
Obama and the crew in the WH are petty and would probably stoop low enough to harass a poor journalist who poked the hornet's nest. Valarie Jarret... yeah, you get the idea. That's the democratic party for you... including Harry Reid and Hillary R Clinton.
Too bad she gave them a legitimate excuse for the TSA hassles.
There had been NO bigger embarrassment to the US then the war criminal that occupied the WH from 2001 - 2009, as well as his puppet master "simon bar sinister".
This was initiated by that group of people in 2006 or can't you read. If you want to spill your vitriol at this WH, at least get your facts straight. Now I also believe this start well before the Snowden revelations, so it may have something to do with it continuing, but not why it started.
I can attest to this.
A friend as a Bruneian used to get stopped everywhere (something about seeing Arabic on a passport from a country no one's heard of...</sarcasm>) but he's moved up in the world and tends to fly private or first class. Last time he got checked, he received an official apology (to be fair he could have caused a diplomatic incident over it and Brunei does have alot of oil).
She publicly embarrassed the Government of the USA.
What more reason does she need to understand why they are treating her like this?
By the way, this would be Jeh Johnson, the darling of the Obama administration; who has put her on "the List".
The Obama administration do not answer any questions they don't like, or from people they don't like. They don't follow laws they don't like either. Fat luck ever getting an answer until there is a Republican in office.
She publicly embarrassed the Government of the USA.
Don't you mean she publicly embarrassed Barack Obama?
Obama has issued at least two executive orders on Snowden. The last one specifically blocks and bans anyone who attempts to help Snowden, allowing the government to confiscate equipment and detain anyone who violates this prohibition. Poitras is designated SSSS because Obama wants her that way, and the authorities are carrying out his orders.
So suing the U.S. government is a colossal waste of time unless she takes on the unconstitutionality of Obama's Executive Order.
I took it as a Repub. is more likely to out O's secrets than Hillary is.
Actually, Hillary is eager to out all of O's secrets. The two are on different sides of the party, Kennedy Democrats and Clinton Democrats. That fractionization is why Congress got so little done during O's first two years in office. Even though the Dem's had majorities in both houses that literately locked the Repubs out of the room, the Dems fought so much against each other the only thing they agreed on was spending $3 Trillion on pork that only made the U.S. economy worse.
My comment about getting a straight answer from a Republican administration was that THEY will be the only ones who give answers, the Obama or potential Hillary Demoncrat administration sure doesn't.
Since the statute of limitations won't be over by the time we get a new administration, there will be LOTS of interesting info and revelation's to look over if there is a Republican President.
That is if the Demoncrats don't destroy all the evidence first. Hillary already has destroyed evidence and lied about it.
We already know they both lie like a rug!
Had you read the article instead of taking an opportunity to blame Obama(tm) you would note that her harassment began in 2006, when President
Cheney Bush, one of the republicans you think would save the day, was running things.
The only candidates likely to make significant changes in these sorts of policies are Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, neither of whom are likely to win.
And you are complete partisan, socialist ASS who has no idea of the USA, it's politics or laws!
This blacklist carried through ALL of Obama's Presidency and HE is the one who put Jeh Johnson as the head of Homeland Insecurity, IE the only person who could take her OFF the dreaded list.
I imagine that making a film about Ed Snowden in 2014 didn't help her position with Jeh Johnson or the US Government.
OBVIOUSLY, if she gave financial resources to a known enemy participant via a wire transfer and was traipsing all over the Middle East working for the Guardian and other alternate press (as noted in the comments) had "nothing" to do with her justifiably being put on the "List" by the Bush admin. Being an enemy sympathizer could have something to do with it. Talk about being an ignorant person for a "journalism" career.
I'm actually a libertarian, but I guess you tar anyone who doesn't agree with the republican morons you worship with the socialist brush. I remember back in the 80s guys like you called everyone communists, but I guess the days of the red scare is over so you've moved on.
Maybe someday you'll grow up and realize that the two parties are effectively in cahoots, trying to emphasize the differences between them to desperately hide the many many places they both agree and are both dangerously wrong for our country. All they care about is perpetuating their party's power and hitting the revolving door to cash in for themselves with cushy lobbying or defense/security industry jobs once their time is up. They need to keep fools like you cowering in fear from the boogeyman terrorists and believing true patriots like Snowden are traitors.
"The Repblicans are no different - they just answer without actually providing an answer, unlike the Democrats who develop hard of hearing syndrome when asked anything."
They are different. The Dems can afford to ignore embarrassing issues, 'cause their friends in the big media will cover for them. Reps know that everything they say will be examined for any possible angle that can be construed as evil. Under those circumstances, what Rep would want to be forthright about any touchy subject, knowing the media dogpile they would face, while the Dems, safe on the sidelines, jeer as the victims are harried to their political demise.
I didn't notice any special media probing of the $1T the DOD couldn't account for announced on 8/11, why Bush's handlers didn't move him to a safe location on 9/11 when the US was under attack, the war against Afghanistan, the redacted or non-investigated parts of 9/11, the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Abu Ghraib or the Patriot Act under a Republican president. It was hands on hearts and with us or against us! US media ownership, like much of the free west, is concentrated in a few wealthy corporations who know how the game is played. Issues, right thought, consensus and fitting in or belonging are sold to you like any other product. The liberal bias is as bogus as the two party democracy or the illusion of choice. It translates in the political sphere to scratch my back and I won't scratch yours.
"Fat luck ever getting an answer until there is a Republican in office."
Daw, isn't he cute! He thinks there is a difference between the two controlling parties other than their press releases.
Pro tip: they're called controlling parties for a reason; They are in control of the US, and will wreck Heaven and Earth to keep it that way.
The powers of the US border authorities extend 150 miles inside the Canadian and Mexican borders, and from every point along the coastline ... Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf. It's estimated that two-thirds of the US population live within this zone. Totally at the discretion of the federal authorities, the same harrassment extended to Ms. Poitras at travel points could be extended to her anywhere inside that zone. Frightening, but true. Border Patrol agents routinely set up roadblocks to 'screen' travellers in certain border regions far from the border. The only restraint comes from the obvious need to refrain from enraging a greater percentage of the population.
I can tell you as a resident in the Southwest who often travels between the adjacent states it is annoying hitting border patrol checkpoints all time even if you don't come with in 60 miles of the border itself. Especially since the drug and human traffickers know how to avoid them.
Welll....... you could always argue that she hasn't ticked every box correctly, and burrowrats are pretty good at catching that sort of thing.
We need to ask much deeper questions:
Who is the real enemy of the state?
Those who point out it's deficiencies?
Those who attack its foundations?
Which category does Ms Poitras fall into exactly?
Questions, questions ....
Bring it on.....
Well, I do not know if she drinks champagne or if she is a socialist. I would not particularly care if she was a drooling champagne socialist, or a drooling whiskey-swilling teabagger. The situation just seems to be a (so far) milder version of the McCarthy era, where innuendo and secret information rule. If the government has evidence of a crime, then she should be arrested. If not, she should have the right to know the reasons for this apparent harassment.
Vociferous criticism of government is one of the best features of democracy, is open to all, and is not treasonous. Having rich parents is definitely an asset when taking on the government, but hey, she was born that way. I've seen worse rich kids.
".....where innuendo and secret information rule...." Hardly. By her own admission (breathlessly repeated in such rags as The Guardian), she was instrumental in not only distributing the documents Snowden stole (that makes her an accessory to the act under the Espionage Act) but has a previous record of associating with terrorists (good enough to go on a watchlist and an actual crime in the UK), and also of funding at least one terror group. Oh, and she's not actually a proper journalist and has no journalistic accreditations, so cannot hide behind the freedom-of-the-press claim.
It appears that you have swallowed the innuendo -
"by her own admission"
"cannot hide behind"-
and spit up libel- "also of funding at least one terror group" - to go along with your puerile insults. By chance, are you auditioning for Fox News?
I bet she's funding the sueball with more money from her rich parents.
Assuming you're right, how does that invalidate her legal case or diminish what she's experiencing? Parental fiscal status should be irrelevant.
I might add that I don't know if she actually has a legal case or not, as it may be that the TSA/Border guards are acting within their authority and applicable laws. I would hope and expect that she has taken appropriate legal advice.
> Unlike you I do not need sock puppets.
I await your evidence that I have *EVER* used a sock puppet account with... well, I was going to say "bated breath", but actually I won't be holding my breath because there is no such evidence.
"....I might add that I don't know if she actually has a legal case or not...." Try a little background reading then. She has admitted to assisting if not planning in the distribution of Snowden's pilfered documents, a fact that makes it frankly amazing that she is still allowed to enter the US without arrest.
Try a little background reading then. She has admitted to assisting if not planning in the distribution of Snowden's pilfered documents, a fact that makes it frankly amazing that she is still allowed to enter the US without arrest.
Whether she has a legal case will possibly not stem from why she is on a list. It may be predicated on whether whomever put her on the list had legal authority to do so, and whether or not the border guards exceeded their authority in detaining and searching her. Was correct process followed on each occasion will be central to any case, as opposed to why was she originally placed on the list.
I've not seen any impartial or factual information with regard to the above and as such my mind remains open, which led me to write "I don't know if she actually has a legal case or not". You seem to have prejudged the issue due to the identity of those involved, which is not how I understand the law is supposed to work.
No one is surprised that she gets TSA's attention, ugly as this circus undoubtedly is. It does seem way beyond mere SSSS though.
I have not caused nearly as much trouble to the USofA as Laura Poitras. Strike that: I have not caused any trouble at all that I can think of. Really, none whatsoever. I am not American, I lived there for a relatively short while 20 years ago or so, since then I just visit. Always on business, but I see my friends when I am on their side of the pond.
Whenever I go to the US - not much in recent years, but I used to go there several times a year during the noughties - I visit several locations and can take several internal flights in addition to the international ones in and out. My boarding passes are marked SSSS every single time. Each time I am told, "You have been randomly selected for additional screening." I don't hold a grudge against TSA rank and file for doing what they are paid to do, but "randomly" is just a gratuitous insult to intelligence. I have never been detained, nothing has ever been confiscated, no unusually unpleasant questions have ever been asked. They just go through my luggage with their gloved hands and let me through.
I asked questions (very politely) about those SSSS marks. No one has ever given any answers beyond the script. I was once told that it is enough to buy your tickets (for internal flights?) outside of the US to get SSSSed. I have no idea if it is true, but IIRC Poitras lives in Germany.
Again, I am not surprised Poitras is on every US security black list (this is not saying she should be). But I doubt extensive "interviews" and confiscations can be attributed to SSSS which really seems rather routine to me.
Last time I was in the US (on holiday), I bought internal flight tickets whilst still in the UK. I don't remember any hassles with security, though TSA did open our case (and damage it in the process) on the way out of the US (at SEA or ORD). Previously I've been to the US countless times, mostly on business, with no hassle. I can imagine though that a SSSS notification on your record could be more or less impossible to remove once you acquire it with the current institutional paranoia level.
FOIA, that's the issue that I see. If the government can't come clean with its reasons for TSA surveillance, then I feel secure in feeling the surveillance is illegal harassment. The pap I've read above excusing the government from its abuses because of anything that Poitras did misses the point: The government is supposed to be a shining light on the hill of honesty.
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