“UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA’s view of drone opponents as ‘threats’ and ‘adversaries'”

Greenwald: 1531 words. Here: 290.

Baraa Shiban of the London-based legal charity Reprieve was detained and questioned at a British airport yesterday. His reluctance to discuss his human rights work and anti-drone political views earned him the threat of detainment for the maximum nine hours allowed under the British anti-terror statute, which is how long Greenwald’s partner David Miranda was held last month. Like Miranda, Shiban was far from a threat. “He visited the UK without incident earlier this summer and testified in May to a US congressional hearing on the impact of the covert drone programme in Yemen.”

America treating drone opponents as security threats not only has precedent, it is also official NSA policy, according to documents leaked by Snowden. “Drone strike” is described as a “loaded term” of “propaganda.” Examples of “adversary propaganda themes” included “that the threat of terrorism is small when compared to other threats, that drone strikes intensify rather than curb the risk of terrorism by fueling anti-American animus, and that drones kill too many civilians.” Also deemed “propaganda” is the criticism, made by the ACLU, CCR and others, that “lethal action against [Americans and European extremists] deprives them of due process.”

This mindset is consistent with the 2011 smearing, by anonymous US Officials, of investigative journalists reporting on civilian deaths by drone strikes

Outside the US, strong opposition to drone strikes is the norm.


Libyan-American rapper Khaled Ahmed, formerly lauded for his criticism of Ghadaffi, now is regularly harassed by US authorities when he travels.

Listen to Sarah Abdurrahman, an American Muslim and producer of the NPR program “On the Media,” describe her six hour detainment along with her all-American family and friends, upon crossing Canadian border into the US (20 minutes).

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