June 28, 2013
Crisis: Varia + pictures of Statue of Liberty
Prev- crisis -Next

1.  World's Most Evil and Lawless Institution?
Why Didn’t Snowden Go through “Proper Channels”
NSA collected US email records in bulk
US ‘Semi-Official’ News Agencies
Pictures of the Statue of Liberty
About ME/CFS


It still is the case that sleeping remains quite difficult for me. This also makes my life rather difficult, at the moment.

Anyway. The following is a choice from items relating to the crisis we're in, with a link to a bit with stunning photos from the Statue of Liberty.

1. World's Most Evil and Lawless Institution?

Here are a question + answer:
The answer is by Fred Branfman, and here are two consecutive paragraphs of his foundations:
All told, U.S. Executive Branch leaders – Democrat and Republicans, conservative and liberal—have killed wounded and made homeless well over 20 million human beings in the last 50 years, mostly civilians.

U.S. leaders have never acknowledged their responsibility for ruining so many lives, let alone apologized or made proper amends to the survivors. Those responsible have not been punished, but rewarded. The memory of it has been erased from national consciousness, as U.S. leaders endlessly declare their nation’s, and their own, goodness. Millions of civilian lives swept under the rug, forgotten, as if this mass murder and maiming, the destruction of countless homes and villages, this epic violation of basic human decency—and laws protecting civilians in time of war which U.S. leaders have promised to observe—never happened.

Branfman has been a war reporter, so he knows some of the - horrifying - evidence quite well. He also gives the evidence for his statements, which makes his article long.

I will not summarize it, but pick just one piece:

In the movie The Fog of War, McNamara stated that after World War II, General Curtis Lemay, who had firebombed Tokyo killing 100,000 civilians and dropped the atomic bomb “said, `if we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals.' And I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?"
McNamara (1916-2009) is an interesting character, mainly because he did, rather a long time after the Vietnam War ended, admit he had been mistaken. Here is a clip in which he makes the point you just read. It also supports the other contentions of Branfman, in a way:
This clip is very well worth seeing and strongly supports Branfman, except that it is about the 2nd WW. But since then it just went on, if not quite on that scale.

Why Didn’t Snowden Go through “Proper Channels”

This question is discussed in a Washington's Blog piece:
The basic answer is: Because he knew from previous whistleblowers, who did try to go through the proper channels, that this would fail.

One of the people quoted is Thomas Drake:
I differed as a whistleblower to Snowden only in this respect: in accordance with the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, I took my concerns up within the chain of command, to the very highest levels at the NSA, and then to Congress and the Department of Defense. I understand why Snowden has taken his course of action, because he’s been following this for years: he’s seen what’s happened to other whistleblowers like me.
Washington's Blog also quotes other whistleblowers, who were interviewed by US Today (bolding undone, added link):

[USA Today]: Did Edward Snowden do the right thing in going public?

William Binney: We tried to stay for the better part of seven years inside the government trying to get the government to recognize the unconstitutional, illegal activity that they were doing and openly admit that and devise certain ways that would be constitutionally and legally acceptable to achieve the ends they were really after. And that just failed totally because no one in Congress or — we couldn’t get anybody in the courts, and certainly the Department of Justice and inspector general’s office didn’t pay any attention to it. And all of the efforts we made just produced no change whatsoever. All it did was continue to get worse and expand.

[USA Today]: So Snowden did the right thing?

Binney: Yes, I think he did.

[USA Today]: You three wouldn’t criticize him

J. Kirk Wiebe: Correct.
There is considerably more under the link.

3.NSA collected US email records in bulk

This is by Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian:

It begins as follows:

The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans, according to secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The documents indicate that under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata "every 90 days". A senior administration official confirmed the program, stating that it ended in 2011.

There is rather a lot more, of which I take just one point, that addresses the issue what metadata reveal

"The calls you make can reveal a lot, but now that so much of our lives are mediated by the internet, your IP [internet protocol] logs are really a real-time map of your brain: what are you reading about, what are you curious about, what personal ad are you responding to (with a dedicated email linked to that specific ad), what online discussions are you participating in, and how often?" said Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute.

For more, see the dotted link.

4. US ‘Semi-Official’ News Agencies

Next, in Consortiumnews there is an interesting piece on the major decline of the press, by Jeff Cohen:
It starts as follows
The Edward Snowden leaks have revealed a U.S. corporate media system at war with independent journalism. Many of the same outlets – especially TV news – that missed the Wall Street meltdown and cheer-led the Iraq invasion have come to resemble state-controlled media outlets in their near-total identification with the government as it pursues the now 30-year-old whistleblower.
I think it is quite good, and it includes this revealing bit
Another mainstream media star is NBC’s David Gregory (seen literally dancing with White House source Karl Rove in 2007). Since he interviewed Greenwald on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” there’s been scrutiny of Gregory’s factually-misleading question: “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you be charged with a crime?” And of Greenwald’s response: “I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies.”
One reason to quote this is the link, which I found pretty sickening to watch. (The clip is not long.)

The piece also is not long, and perhaps that is a reason it does not discuss the economical foundations of the press, which with internet have changed and mostly worsened a lot.

Then again, this is not the only reason: There are quite a few.

5. Pictures of the Statue of Liberty

Finally, there is this from Washington's Blog
I think it is because it reopens on July 4, and it has been there since 1886, but has not always been open and also has been repeatedly restored. See
for a history. In any case, it is an impressive monument, and the least I should say here is that it was designed by Bartholdi, and realized by Eiffel.

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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