Do you like living in a free society with some degree of democracy, political accountability and press freedom? Elements within the U.S. and British governments (and doubtless others) want to take that away. This just in from Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger:

A little over two months ago I was contacted by a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister. There followed two meetings in which he demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on. The tone was steely, if cordial, but there was an implicit threat that others within government and Whitehall favoured a far more draconian approach.

The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: “You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back.” There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. “You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.”

Also, this:

Britain was facing intense pressure on Monday to give a detailed explanation of the decision to detain the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald after the White House confirmed that it was given a “heads-up” before David Miranda was taken into custody for nine hours at Heathrow. As the UK’s anti-terror legislation watchdog called for a radical overhaul of the laws that allowed police to confiscate Miranda’s electronic equipment, the US distanced itself from the action by saying that British authorities took the decision to detain him.

More here and here and here. This is like stuff communist China would do. The times are getting worse, people. Thank God we’ve got people like Edward Snowden to blow the whistle on governments that break laws, reporters like Glenn Greenwald to write about them and newspapers like the Guardian to publish it all. You can’t fight back without information.

(Oh! And the U.S. wants to put another whistleblower who released details about political and military crimes in jail for 60 years. And criminals like Dick Cheney and George Bush, who spearheaded an illegal invasion that wasted trillions and murdered hundreds of thousands, enjoy not insignificant public support and sleep on the softest sheets. They’ll never answer for their crimes.)