New Yorker staff writer and CNN legal pundit Jeffrey Toobin has not been shy about his distaste for the actions of NSA leaker/"grandiose narcissist" Edward Snowden, and that goes for Snowden's associates as well. In conversation last night with Anderson Cooper over the detention of reporter Glenn Greenwald's boyfriend David Miranda, who was traveling with documents related to the NSA leaks, Toobin said, "I don't want to be unkind, but he was a mule."
"He was given something — he didn't know what it was — from one person to pass to another at the other end of an airport," said Toobin. "Our prisons are full of drug mules."
Cooper didn't quite buy it: "They knew who he was, they know he's not connected to some terrorist group," he said. Toobin responded, "If terrorists know how we surveil their cell phone call, how we surveil their texts, that could be useful to terrorists." Cooper, again, futilely: "But couldn't any information published by journalists be used by journalists in some way, and can't that excuse be used to detain journalists?"
"He wasn't sent to the gulag," Toobin added later. (On Twitter, Greenwald chimed in, "Most amazing feat of US Govt is to get journalists to take the lead in demanding the criminalization of journalism.")
Meanwhile, Miranda, a native of Brazil, told the BBC that he was threatened with jail time, beyond the nine hours he was held, if he did not divulge the passwords to his e-mail and social media accounts. "I am very angry," he said. "This feeling of invasion. It's like I'm naked in front of a crowd."