Police: the Security Service wanted to retrieve Miranda’s “espionage” material

by Carl Gardner on November 5, 2013

The Metropolitan Police’s written grounds of defence in the Miranda judicial review case, published on this blog today, contain a number of significant claims about how they, in liaison with the Security Service, came to stop and question David Miranda at Heathrow airport in August this year.

Lawyers for the police say (para. 28 of the grounds) that the Security Service told the police Miranda was

likely to be involved in espionage activity

which may be a reference to the offence of spying, under section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911; and that in the Security Service’s assessment Miranda’s carrying of leaked material fell within the legal definition of terrorism.

According to the police (para. 28) they initially felt there was not enough information to authorise stopping David Miranda but finally

the justification advanced by the Security Service was accepted.

The police also say (para. 31)

it is true that the Security Service wanted to retrieve the material which it was thought that Mr Miranda might be carrying

but that they, the police,

did not unthinkingly execute a Security Service plan.

The Security Service assessment was contained in the final draft of a document called the “Ports Circulation Sheet”, a key passage from which was published in The Observer this weekend and which reads (para. 28 of the police defence):

Intelligence indicates that MIRANDA is likely to be involved in espionage activity which has the potential to act against the interests of UK national security. We therefore wish to establish the nature of MIRANDA’s activity, assess the risk that poses to UK national security and mitigate as appropriate. We are requesting that you exercise your powers to carry out a ports stop against MIRANDA.

We assess that MIRANDA is knowingly carrying material, the release of which would endanger people’s lives. Additionally the disclosure, or threat of disclosure, is designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism and as such we request that the subject is examined under Schedule 7.

The police case raises important questions about the extent to which Security Service thinking – specifically the Security Service’s wish to retrieve data from David Miranda – influenced the police’s decision to stop and question him. Miranda may succeed in his judicial review claim if the judges in the Administrative Court believe Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 was used for a purpose other than that of determining whether David Miranda was involved in terrorism.

Read the whole police document and my comments on it.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lou Gagliardi November 6, 2013 at 20:36

I hope he doesn’t win. He doesn’t deserve to. This is what he gets for dating a traitor.

2 Bob November 6, 2013 at 21:37

Lou Gagliardi, you’re a douche! ’nuff said.

3 Stephen November 6, 2013 at 22:28

Those who keep brandishing that word “traitor” around in Snowden-related matters clearly haven’t read the provision of the US Constitution (art. 3, sec. 3) which defines treason against the United States. Nor do they seem to be aware of why that crime was defined in the Constitution (of all places) in the first place, much less the irony of using that word in the fashion that they do given the history of the misuse of that word by the British against the American colonists who rose up against them. That people such as Mr Gagliardi would now use it against those whose only sin has been to shine a light on the dark places of humanity and what goes on there in itself is enlightening.

4 Lou Gagliardi November 6, 2013 at 23:29

The betrayal of one’s own country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies.

Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

“such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter or CLASSIFIED INFORMATION”.

Gee, what Snowden do?

BTW, it’s Ms. Gagliardi, thank you for the misgendering.

5 MD November 7, 2013 at 00:16

The first line in the constitution is We The People not We The Government.
When you say “country” do you mean the establishment or the people?
I pledge allegiance to the REPUBLIC with LIBERTY and JUSTICE for all.

6 Lou Gagliardi November 7, 2013 at 01:00

and by pledging that you’re pledging to the government..in a pledge written by a socialist who intended it to be done with a nazi salute.

7 MD November 7, 2013 at 02:16

The government is not mentioned in the pledge of allegiance. So you’re wrong. It’s called the Bellamy salute and it was copied by the Nazis. Keep it up, the government loves your fascist point of view.

8 Lou Gagliardi November 7, 2013 at 05:09

Interesting..it’s only fascist because it disagrees with you. BTW, friend, fascism is far right. I’m so far left I make Lenin look like John Boehner.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Says nothing of the people either. The flag and the Republic are stand ins for the government.

But it’s okay. I know some people are a little slow on symbolism.

9 Michael Carlson November 7, 2013 at 17:07

Here is what the constitution says:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
Period.
So you have to be either actively waging war against he US, or ‘adhering’ to its enemies. Publishing information about US government behaviour might well comfort, in the sense of please, an enemy but does not fit the definition of adhering to the enemy cause. Further, since the constution itself is strict on the definition of war and the power to declare it, you can argue that the definition of enemy has not been breached at all, and that multi-national criminal gangs like al-queda do not qualify.

10 Lou Gagliardi November 8, 2013 at 19:21

Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

I’ll stick to the legal definition and interpretation. “such as furnishings….or classified information.” “has any tendency to weak the power of the United States to attack…aid and comfort has been given.”

Snowden, the great terrorist, has given the ability to our enemies both domestic and foreign to attack us. He has weakened our alliances with other nations which can lead us to being attacked.

Snowden is on level with Al-Qaeda and MUST be dealt with by ANY means necessary, even death if so needed.

11 ukliberty November 8, 2013 at 20:08

Snowden, the great terrorist, has given the ability to our enemies both domestic and foreign to attack us. He has weakened our alliances with other nations which can lead us to being attacked.

Snowden is on level with Al-Qaeda and MUST be dealt with by ANY means necessary, even death if so needed.

This kind of shrill hyperbole makes you appear (a) a troll, (b) Louise Mensch and/or (c) off your trolley.

12 Lou Gagliardi November 8, 2013 at 20:36

I’m quite serious. Snowden and Greenwald are terrorists. The definitions:

1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3.a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

The threats of more leaks, the fears of retaliation, and they have resisted the government.

They fit the definition of a terrorist.

13 ukliberty November 8, 2013 at 21:03

(b) or (c), then.

14 bo November 9, 2013 at 02:51

So Lou believe’s that the government deserves privacy but its citizens do not. Keep drinking the kool aid you (a) troll.

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