Spartacus the mule

Spartacus the mule

by digby

This report from Buzzfeed says the New York Times is going to be collaborating on some new NSA reporting with The Guardian.

The Times’s involvement in the story also brings into sharp relief a second question: Whether carrying classified documents across national borders can be an act of journalism. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin recently compared David Miranda, Greenwald’s partner, to a “drug mule” for having sought to bring a thumb drive with classified documents from Brazil into the United Kingdom; British officials detained Miranda and confiscated data he was carrying.

Now the Times or an agent for the paper, too, appears to have carried digital files from the United Kingdom across international lines into the United States. Discussions of how to partner on the documents were carried out in person between top Guardian editors and Times executive editor Jill Abramson, all of whom declined to comment on the movement of documents. But it appears likely that someone at one of the two papers physically carried a drive with Snowden’s GCHQ leaks from London to New York or Washington — exactly what Miranda was stopped at Heathrow for doing.

Abramson declined, in a brief telephone interview from Boston, to “comment on any of that,” and stressed that she would not discuss the subject on her mobile telephone because “my cellphone is not a secure line.

That last says it all.

With the exception of certain Toobinesque authoritarian types, journalism in general may be recognizing its responsibility (or perhaps its self-preservation) at last. Can they all be traitors?

I think the bylines should all be "Spartacus" from now on.