Prev-IndexNL-Next

Nederlog


 
July 2, 2013
Crisis: Snowden, Drake, Maher, Banerjee, Van Buren
    "Those who sacrifice liberty for
      security deserve neither."
         -- Benjamin Franklin





Prev- crisis -Next

Sections
Introduction
1.  A letter by Edward Snowden
2.  A video with Thomas Drake

3.  An interview with Bill Maher
4.  Edward Snowden isn't on the run

5.  The mindset of Snowden
About ME/CFS

Introduction:

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

Anyway. Yesterday, there was rather a lot, and today I am tired, though I did sleep 7 hours - for almost the first time in 3 weeks of 5 to 6 hours. So today there is a bit less, and I included two videos - but it is all worthwile. Also, I restored the motto, because as Thomas Drake said, that's what it is about.

In case you doubt this, start at the end.

1. A letter by Edward Snowden

First, a letter dated yesterday by Edward Snowden, that I found on Common Dreams:
There is more recent information, but that seemed a bit scrambled to me. From this, I quote the last three paragraphs:

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

For the rest of the letter, that is very good, see the last dotted link..

2. A video with Thomas Drake

I think I have put this video up, but do so again because it is a good interview, with a brave man, who speaks clearly. This is
And yes, Snowden is a whistleblower, and not a traitor. Quote:

        There is no room in a democracy for this kind of secrecy (...)


3.  An interview with Bill Maher

Then there is this, as a diversion: A good video interview of 17 minutes with Bill Maher. I give it under the title it is listed

I do not know whether that title is true - for example, I liked the longer interview with Larry King:

- and I certainly didnīt see all, but this is a good and recent interview with a man who has mind, and who is not afraid to use it.

4. Edward Snowden isn't on the run

I mentioned Subhankar Banerjee before, and do so again: The following is by him on Common Dreams, and it is good:
This starts as follows:
First came the “shock and awe”: the revelations of massive spying by the US and British governments—on the people of the world. Then came the enlightened debate: Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor? Then arrived the Hollywood-style entertainment: Where is Edward Snowden going?
The first part is mostly about a quite disappointing op-ed by Anne Appelbaum in the Washington Post, in which she "takes no sides". As Banerjee notes, quite rightly:
There is no mention (not a word or line) about the global significance of Snowden’s courageous whistle blowing.
A little later, Banerjee notes:
After everything that has been revealed since, there has been no public outrage against the government, in the US. The apathy that the people of the US are currently exhibiting is astounding—a classic attribute of “inverted totalitarianism” that political philosopher Sheldon Wolin coined in his book, Democracy Inc.: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism.
For more on Wolin, see here and here (in this years Nederlog). Banerjee a bit further on makes another good observation:
Beyond all the important things that Snowden’s leaks have revealed, there is something profound it has brought to light also—the folly of the human mind.
Yes indeed - and see the piece I wrote On ordinary men, the day before I first noted Edward Snowden, as an extra-ordinary man. It's not a popular thought, but then many true thoughts are not popular, precisely because they object to widely accepted notions that are not true.

Somewhat shockingly, in view of my onpopular
On ordinary men, the item on Stupidity was quite popular this month, and indeed it also is more kind.

In any case, one of Banerjee's last points is this:
Edward Snowden’s work has revealed that even what we thought is the most democratic invention in human history can be used successfully against people of the world by few devious minds.
And I quite agree, which also is another reason to restore the Benjamin Franklin motto: If you let this happen, you deserve the misery you will get.

Indeed, about the only hopeful piece of news that came so far, speaking for myself, is that both on the right and on the left, the more intelligent people are dismayed - and that this is one of the first times they find themselves united, on what ought to be a matter of very important principle, also.

5.
The mindset of Snowden

Finally, I will provide to a link to a piece that discusses Snowden's state of mind, mostly because it is by somebody who is also a whistleblower, and because he makes sense to me:
Besides, this is put in context on TomDispatch, where the context ends thus:
We are, in other words, in a new world where practices that once would have shocked have become the norm of news and pundit chitchat.  TomDispatch, however, refuses to consider any of this “normal.”  We have over these last years regularly focused on the way Washington’s most oppressive powers have been wildly enhanced and on people we now know as “whistleblowers,” people like Bradley Manning, who saw something truly, unnervingly different in our American world and decided they just had to do something about it. TomDispatch regular Peter Van Buren is one of them and today he considers what Snowden might be going through. Tom
After this, there is Peter van Buren's article, including a link to his whistleblowing piece - and perhaps I should notice that all of the whislteblowers I have seen or read - William Binney, Thomas Drake, Mark Klein, Russell Tice, Edward Snowden and Peter van Buren, among others - were and are not extremists or typical lefties, and all but Snowden served their country's governors quite well for several decades.

It is only with Bush and 9/11 that things fundamentally changed, and they kept that way under the non-changer (No, you can't) Obama.

So it's not so much the whistleblowers who have changed, though indeed they all were marked and harmed by their whistleblowing, but the policies of those at the top, whether Republicans or Democrats, and it is those at the top who have betrayed the Constitution, that they are paid and have sworn to serve, and not the whistleblowers.

It is important to see and stress this, especially as the public lackeys who are the majority of the present "journalists" do not want to see or discuss this - which, to repeat a link, was well explained in Congress by Alan Grayson:
---------------------------------

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)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
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)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



       home - index - summaries - mail