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How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets (nytimes.com)
105 points by arman0 on Aug 13, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments

"On one occasion, Poitras says, they did seize her computers and cellphones and kept them for weeks. She was also told that her refusal to answer questions was itself a suspicious act. Because the interrogations took place at international boarding crossings, where the government contends that ordinary constitutional rights do not apply, she was not permitted to have a lawyer present."

The most amazing thing about this is that the government asserts that the "constitutional-rights-free-zone" at the border extends 100 miles away.


I don't get why they don't just do away with the constitution altogether. It's clear that those in power have no belief in it and work to circumvent or strip away its protections every chance they can. Why even keep up with the pretense?

I'm sure they would _absolutely_ love to. But the Constitution came with conditions to prevent this very thing.

But don't worry: sooner or later they'll figure out a "threat" big enough to get rid of it, while people are busy worrying about who'll be the next American Idol and whether to join Team Jacob or Team Edward.

Why would you break the masquerade? Velvet gloves are useful.

Now that is scary. So almost 200 million people in this country are technically in a constitutional-free zone...

Actually, 313.9 million. All it takes for the government to suspend constitutional rights is an accusation of terrorism. They don't like you? Bam, you are a terrorist...pull out the drones!

There is probably somewhere in the world right now an aspiring plutocrat screaming into a mirror "Release the drones!", you know so they can really nail it when the time comes...

I always wondered how these "interviews" run in real life. All "we" usually see are fictional renderings in movie forms. But what do they do when you just cross your arms and repeat the "I have nothing to say" phrase? How intense comes the physical pressure? Would love to get there some insights and on strategies to withstand the pressure.

They won't let you in. They'll just put you on a flight back.

Sometimes, they won't even let you board. See this latest example: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-0629-no...

By law, a US citizen cannot be deported from a US port of entry.


Someone posted this on reddit, thought I would repost here as its timely:

From a jail interview with Hermann Göring during the Nuremberg Trials:

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

No new information (and personally I'd prefer not to see this on Hacker News) but...this is a really remarkable article. It reads like a spy thriller in a way none of the short form reporting has.

It also introduces a new protagonist that is much more appealing than Snowden or Greenwald. Poitras seems like a truly remarkable woman. I cannot wait to see her final product.

This is the type of article that would make my parents - lifelong Democrats who refuse to consider that Obama could be wrong and a pesky computer geek be right - finally come around on Snowden.

This page is fixed size on my android meaning I cannot adjust the text size. When I rub to scroll it sits still for a moment and then jumps before scrolling properly. Does anyone else get the same bugs and maybe know the cause or workarounds?

It's a shame when someone asking for a workaround gets downvoted on hackernews.

readability? It's the usual workaround but I haven't tried it on android.

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