Heathrow Isn't an Incident. It's a Principle
In case you missed it, yesterday for nine hours at Heathrow Airport the UK authorities detained David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, under an anti-terrorism law, and have confiscated all Miranda's electronic gear, including games and a watch. No explanation was given; no news about when or even whether Miranda's property will be returned to him. This is the kind of thing the US likes to criticize when it's China or Iran doing it.
Maybe you don't like Greenwald -- his personality, his reporting, what he stands for, whatever. Maybe on a gut level you find Miranda's detainment pleasing, and so you'll support it. If so, remember that you're not supporting an incident, you're supporting a principle -- the principle that governments can harass the family members of journalists they don't like, or anyone else. The principle that governments can detain you and confiscate your property without any due process or even a word of explanation. That's the principle at issue here. The government fully understands this. Do we?
Some related reading:
Juan Cole, Ten steps to dictatorship
Andrew Sullivan, How the UK government's behavior proves Greenwald right