"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
months of Snowden's Revelations
2. Today's findings
3. And now what?
Actually, there may be a few changes, though I am not sure.
For one thing, this is the first time in nearly 3 weeks, I think, that
the thermometer in the room I am forced to spend nearly all my life in
is not higher than 23.5, which is for me the limit of bearable. For
another thing, I did sleep somewhat decently last night, and feel a bit
better than I did in a long time. And for a third thing, there is today
not much news that relates to Snowden's revelations.
So I am standing back a little bit.
1. Two months of Snowden's Revelations
I started with Snowden's
revelations, although I did not know it, today two months ago, on June
That the revelations were
Snowden's work became clear to me three days later:
Since then, I have used
Nederlog mostly to discuss the further revelations and discussions
about them, and used them for little else, except for my Dutch autobiography, that is of little
interest to most, and that is indeed also in Dutch.
In fact, an earlier file of today was the
latest autobiographical addition, and the main reason to write the
present file is that I - sort of - promised an English file - except
that I can today not find much that is relevant to the revelations or
Now this may well be accidental, but in fact most of the news I
gathered the last two months, which I think I did well, related to
Let me first cite the files I did find (and yes: as is usual I am also not
There are two relevant findings, both due to Glenn
Greenwald. The first is his own file in the Guardian:
starts of as follows:
Obama today canceled
a long-scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin
in part because the US president is upset that Russia defied his personal
directive to hand over Edward Snowden.
And it continues with
quoting a number of cases where the U.S. refused to extradite people
they cover, to conclude, quite correctly, that
constantly refuses requests to extradite - even where (unlike Russia)
they have an extradition treaty with the requesting country and even
where (unlike Snowden) the request involves actual, serious crimes,
such as genocide, kidnapping, and terrorism.
Indeed, though the main
news seems to be that Obama is loosing
his cool: He doesn't have that many occasions to speak the Russian
leader, and it seems unwise to refuse to speak to him over what he
insists is a small matter (and if it is not a small matter it still is
The other item I wanted to mention is also mentioned by Greenwald and
is the following item, by professor Jay Rosen:
According to Greenwald
this is "a superb essay". I read it, but am less impressed. I will
quote the ending to show why:
First, the "unanswered
question", that indeed also was raised in the beginning of the text,
consists of two questions, and these questions are none too
clear, though they are answerable:
Let me go back to my
People who make a career in
journalism cannot pretend to neutrality on
a matter like that. If a free society needs them — and I think it does
— it needs them to stand strongly against the eclipse of informed
Can there even be an
informed public and
consent-of-the-governed for decisions about electronic
surveillance, or have we put those principles aside so that the
state can have its freedom to maneuver?
The first question, before the or, is answered by saying that (1)
clearly there is, in legal principle, and so far, except that (2) most
of the media don't do such discussions anymore.
The second question, after the or, is answered by saying that (1) it is
not that these principles have been put aside: it is that they just are
not raised, so that (2) the state does have the freedoms it
assigned to itself, even if it assigned it to itself illegally, and in
And second, while I agree with the conclusion, professor Rosen may well
have missed that, at
least these days,
most of the "[p]eople who
make a career in journalism" do not seem to be defenders of a
free society, anymore, for if they were there would be much more talk
So while I do not disagree, I am not much impressed, and indeed
professor Rosen seems to see problems where I see mostly people who
refuse to do their job as real journalists, and who get away with that
because that is the fashion, and is also much easier, and perhaps also
is a lot more remunerative.
3. And now what?
This seems a fair
question in the circumstances, especially because I still have problems
with my eyes, that also still force me to use a tweaked screen, and
because I have - mostly - tracked Snowden's revelations for two months
now, and written about few other things.
The brief answer is that I have no idea: It all depends.
 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
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
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
from is quite pertinent.)
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: