Glenn Greenwald’s Partner David Miranda Opens Up About His Detention, and the Couple’s Life in Brazil


Buzzfeed profiles Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda, who was detained in August at Heathrow airport while transporting documents related to the NSA revelations published by Greenwald in the Guardian earlier this year.

Miranda offers a revealing account of his detention:

A rotating tag team of seven agents asked Miranda questions ranging from his personal life with Greenwald to his family background to his own politics. Miranda’s request for a translator was brushed aside, and all nine hours were spent being interrogated in English.

“First they tried to pit me against Glenn,” Miranda recalls. The agents asked Miranda whom he went to the nightclubs with in Berlin. “Boyfriends,” Miranda replied, meaning male friends. Did Glenn know about these boyfriends? “No.” How would Glenn feel if he knew Miranda was out with the other men? “Fine.” They asked if Miranda had been in contact with Edward Snowden. “No.” Were his family members political? “No.” They asked about Miranda’s political views. Did he support the street protests in Brazil? “Yes.” Did he participate in the protests? “No.”

“They offered me water, but they didn’t pour it front of me,” Miranda says with a note of pride. “So I said no. I didn’t trust them for a second, I never had a drink of water while I was there, and I never got up to go the bathroom.”
Back in Brazil, Greenwald was asleep at home. “I get a phone call at 6:30 in the morning, which you know is bad news,” Greenwald says. A man who gave no name identified himself as a “security official at Heathrow Airport” and said Miranda was in detention under the Terrorism Act. He told Greenwald that Miranda had been held at that point for three hours and that they could hold him up to nine hours, at which point they could arrest him, release him, or ask a judge for additional time to interrogate.

His life with Greenwald:

If you ask Miranda about the dynamics between him and Greenwald (and the 10 stray dogs the couple have adopted), Miranda describes himself as the alpha. “I’m the pack leader,” Miranda tells me, grinning. “A son of Apollo.” Miranda tends to dominate through his moods; he’s quick to show his disdain, annoyance, or disappointment. “I’m a very emotional person,” Miranda says, putting both tan hands to his Armani-clad chest. “Like, you will always know how I’m feeling and when I’m feeling it.” Greenwald, a former champion high school debater, city council candidate, and courtroom litigator, tries to counter Miranda’s occasional brooding or temper with point-by-point arguments to the contrary.

“We yell when we fight,” Miranda admits, “but we never break up. There’s something in the universe that says we have to be together. I never met anyone like Glenn — he’s my husband and I don’t know where either of us would be without each other.”

And his determination to support Greenwald in his ongoing journalistic endeavors:

“Ultimately, as harrowing and unjust as it was, the U.K. actually did us a favor,” Greenwald says as we head toward the car. “They revealed how abusive the U.S. and U.K. can be with power, which is a major point of the reporting I’m doing; they humanized the story, and they gave a platform for my charming and admirable husband to speak out.”