ugust 6, 2013
Crisis: Obama as McCarthy; DEA and NSA; NSA Surveillance; Hale
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

1. Obama's abuse of the Espionage Act is modern-day

2. Glenn Greenwald on How Secretive DEA Unit Illegally
     Spies On Americans, Covers Up Actions

3. Top 10 Things That Don’t Make Sense About NSA
     Surveillance, Drones and Al-Qaida

4. More American Stasi: US Drug Agency Fabricates Cover   
     Stories for Data Collection (..)

5. I Only Regret I Have But One Life to Give For My
    Country: Yours

6. Personal
About ME/CFS


Today's file starts with a brave post by John Kiriakou, and gets followed by two pieces on the DEA's help that so far has not been "justified", and a list of 10 points that do not make sense about the NSA surveillance, and a piece by Tom Engelhardt, who contrasts the spies from 1776 and from 2013.

1. Obama's abuse of the Espionage Act is modern-day McCarthyism

This is by the only (former) CIA-agent who was imprisoned in the home of the brave, the country of the free, John Kiriakou, namely for revealing the CIA tortured its prisoners. It is from the Guardian:
This starts as follows:

The conviction of Bradley Manning under the 1917 Espionage Act, and the US Justice Department's decision to file espionage charges against NSAEdward Snowden under the same act, are yet further examples of the Obama administration's policy of using an iron fist against human rights and civil liberties activists. whistleblower

President Obama has been unprecedented in his use of the Espionage Act to prosecute those whose whistleblowing he wants to curtail. The purpose of an Espionage Act prosecution, however, is not to punish a person for spying for the enemy, selling secrets for personal gain, or trying to undermine our way of life. It is to ruin the whistleblower personally, professionally and financially. It is meant to send a message to anybody else considering speaking truth to power: challenge us and we will destroy you.

Only ten people in American history have been charged with espionage for leaking classified information, seven of them under Barack Obama.
There is rather a lot more, by a brave man, since he is in a U.S. prison. He ends as follows:

The press also has a role to play, one that, so far, it has largely ignored. That role is to report on and investigate the whistleblower's revelations of illegality, not on the kind of car he drives, the brand of eyeglasses he wears, where he went to college, or what his nextdoor neighbor has to say about their childhood.

The attacks on our civil liberties that the whistleblower reports are far too important to move off-message into trivialities. After all, the government is spying on all of us. That should be the story.

He is quite right and deserves to be read.

2. Glenn Greenwald on How Secretive DEA Unit Illegally Spies On
            Americans, Covers Up Actions

Next, from Democracy Now! a piece by Glenn Greenwald, with a link to a video in the linked file:
Greenwald says, among other things:

So they're prosecuting people and putting people in prison for using evidence that they've acquired illegally, which they're then covering up and lying about and deceiving courts into believing was actually acquired constitutionally. It's a full-frontal assault on the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and on the integrity of the judicial process, because they're deceiving everyone involved in criminal prosecutions about how this information has been obtained.

Yes, indeed. But as I suggested yesterday, the incomparable president Obama will probably put this "right", namely by legalizing it all, quite possibly by secret decisions.

Top 10 Things That Don’t Make Sense About NSA Surveillance, Drones and Al-Qaida

Then there is this on Truth Dig, by Juan Cole, who did indeed think:

I generally do not like listings of "x things that" and tend to avoid them, but this is a good list.

4. More American Stasi: US Drug Agency Fabricates Cover Stories for
            Data Collection, Including from “Intelligence Intercepts”

Following up yesterday's item on the DEA abusing the riches of information the NSA collects on everyone, here is Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism:

This starts as follows (and "NC" = "Naked Capitalism")

NC readers are presumably a jaded lot. But if you harbored any doubts as to the operation of the rule of law in this country, this post and its predecessor, on how police can and in many states do grab personal property based more or less on their own say-so, should disabuse you of any lingering doubts on that front.

In a weird but more disturbing analogue to chain of title abuses, where banks would forge signatures and fabricate documents to remedy the failure to transfer assets properly to securitization trusts, Reuters reported today that the Drug Enforcement Agency would doctor up where it got evidence from so it could use it in court. Now why would the DEA bother to go to all that trouble? Chorus: Because if a decent defense lawyer found out where it came from, it would in most cases be inadmissible.

There is considerably more, but as before, I take it this will be "righted" soon by that great liberator - "Yes we scan!" - president Obama.

5. I Only Regret I Have But One Life to Give For My Country: Yours

Finally, Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch uses a (supposed) quotation of Nathan Hale, with the addition of one word, namely "Yours", as distinction for the spies of the NSA:

He has, among other things, this to say, with which I agree:

If Edward Snowden’s documents reveal anything, it’s that the frenzy of construction -- from new headquarters to new data centers -- that has been the mark of the intelligence world since 9/11 has been matched by a similar frenzy of construction in the world of online and telephonic communications.  We undoubtedly don’t know the full scope of it yet, but it’s already obvious that from PRISM to XKeyscore the U.S. Intelligence Community has been creating a labyrinth of redundant surveillance mechanisms that mimics the vast growth and redundancy of the intelligence world itself, of the 17 organizations and agencies in that “community” and all the little outfits or offices not even counted in that staggering figure. 

The truth is that, thanks to our “spies,” we know a great deal more about how our American world, our government, really works, but we still don’t know what this thing that's being built really is.  Even its creators may be at sea when it comes to what exactly they are in the process of constructing.  They want us to trust them, but we the people shouldn’t put our trust in the generals, high-level bureaucrats, and spooks who don’t even blink when they lie to our representatives, pay no price for doing so, and are creating a world that is, and is meant to be, beyond our control.  We lack words for what is happening to us.  We still have to name it.

6. Personal

This was it for today. It's a bit longer because I slept a bit better and it's a bit cooler, but neither kind of progress was vast.
[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, that the governors do not rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)

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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