"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
1. Latest NSA Revelations
Debunk Obama's "No Spying on
2. Senate Insider
3. Is There Really a
4. Michael Hayden, Bob Schieffer
and the media's reverence
of national security officials
5. The Moral
Imperative of Activism
6. James Risen's Risk of Prison
Means Journalism is Being
The plan to translate "About terrorism"
is still on hold, for lack of energy, but I did find today a reasonable
amount on the crisis (the list of which still has to be
brought up till today) and in relation to Snowden's revelations.
Here it is, in the order that I found it.
1. Latest NSA Revelations Debunk Obama's
"No Spying on
This is by John Queally at Common Dream, from some days
It starts as follows:
"There is no spying on
President Obama to talkshow host Jay Leno on Tuesday night.
Though he acknowledged
the US possesses "mechanisms where we can track a phone number or an
email address that we know is connected to some sort of terrorist
threat," Obama used a calm voice to say clearly: "We don't have a
domestic spying program."
However, according to new
reporting by the Guardian based on documents released by
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the intelligence agency is, in fact,
spying directly on Americans and maintains authority to exploit a
"secret backdoor" legal loophole which allows it to search for "US
citizens' email and phone calls
without a warrant."
Indeed, there also is this,
quite rightly, in my opinion:
In reference to Obama's
comments made on Leno this week, Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier
Foundation called the president's assurances "unbelievable" and said
they reeked of "Orwellian newspeak."
And, so far as
"misleading" goes, critics charge that language from government
officials—whether intelligence chiefs like Alexander, Director of
National Intelligence James Clapper, or President Obama himself—has
itself become a critical part of the debate over the NSA spying because
they have repeatedly used vague language—though many don't hesitate to
call them "lies"—regarding these highly classified programs.
As EFF's Trimm argues,
"It is unfortunate that we have to parse through government statements
a dozen times before we actually figure out what they are meaning to
say. With all these questions that they get they are obfuscating and
deflecting and deceiving the American public."
There is more under the
link, and my reason to quote the above is that people are brazenly and
impertinently lied to by the president and the speakers for the
2. Senate Insider Speaks Out:
Next, there is an interview on Democracy Now! with a former
staffer of senator Wyden, who is quite offended about the lies the U.S.
This is from the introduction:
Edward Snowden was the only means
by which we have been able to have this debate," Hoelzer says. "We,
working for Senator Wyden, did everything to try to encourage the
administration to bring these facts to light. We're not talking about
sources and methods, we're not talking about sensitive materials, we're
talking about what they believed the law allows them to do." Meanwhile,
The Guardian newspaper has revealed the National Security Agency has a
secret backdoor into its vast databases to search for email and phone
calls of U.S. citizens without a warrant.
There is a lot more under the
a Terrorist Threat?
Now for a
question that should have been asked ten years ago, and which is now
being asked by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truth Dig:
It starts like this -
which also shows the question is fairly specific:
In any case, my own
answer is that "the terrorist threat" I have been hearing about since
9/11/2001, and the "war on terror", likewise, are both pieces of propaganda
by the U.S. government, that are being perpetrated to allow it to
satisfy its own ends, that are mostly classified, because they are
“Nothing can be said for
certain as to what prompted the State Department to close more than 20
embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa last
Sunday,” writes author Patrick Smith at Salon. “But it is no
excuse not to raise the possibility that Americans are eating a summer
salad of nonsense served to justify objectionable surveillance
practices now coming in for scrutiny.”
Are the terrorist threats
recently waved in Americans’ faces in recent days a load of hoo-hah?
We’ve seen this show before. The powers that be want to expand their
power, so we’re told that some form of revenue expenditure amounting to
an increase in security activities is necessary. The mainstream press
goes along with it and many Americans are awed. Later we learn we were
There is no realistic "terrorist threat" and there is no realistic "war
on terror", and there never was any, and my reasons are essentially
that "the enemy" is negligible in view of the weaponry and manpower of
the U.S. and always was, when one compares them with the real dangers
of the Soviet Union and China in the 1970ies and 1980ies.
I really can't make a more sympathetic interpretation.
Bob Schieffer and the media's reverence of national security officials
Then there is Glenn Greenwald, who wrote another piece in
the Guardian, about present-day "journalism" and pensioned
This starts as follows:
There is rather a lot more,
also about a "journalist" who serves Hayden as if he is his sycophantic
slave, but you can use the last dotted link to read it all.
In 2006, the New York
the Pulitzer Prize for having revealed
that the NSA was eavesdropping on Americans without warrants. The
reason that was a scandal was because it was illegal under a
30-year-old law that made it a felony,
punishable by up to 5 years in prison for each offense, to eavesdrop on
Americans without those warrants. Although both the Bush and Obama
DOJs ultimately prevented
final adjudication by raising claims of secrecy and standing, and
the "Look Forward, Not Backward (for powerful elites)" Obama DOJ
refused to prosecute the responsible officials, all three federal
judges to rule on the substance found that domestic
spying to be unconstitutional and in violation of the statute.
The person who secretly
implemented that illegal domestic spying program was retired Gen.
Michael Hayden, then Bush's NSA director. That's the
very same Michael Hayden who is now frequently presented by US
television outlets as the authority and expert on the current NSA
controversy - all without ever mentioning the central role he played in
overseeing that illegal warrantless eavesdropping program.
5. The Moral Imperative of Activism
Then there is an interesting article on Consortium News,
by "ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern", whom I have mentioned before in
This starts as follows:
There is rather a lot more,
that includes quotes by the protestant pastor Bonhoeffer and the
catholic saint Aquinas, and it is all sensible, though indeed it does
not mention the point that much activism fails - which indeed also is
no argument against it, if only because it is better to die on your
feet than live on your knees.
That America is in deep
moral and legal trouble was pretty much obvious to everyone before
Edward Snowden released official documents showing the extent to which
the U.S. government has been playing fast and loose with the Fourth
Amendment rights of Americans to be protected against unreasonable
searches and seizures.
Snowden’s revelations –
as explosive as they are – were, in one sense, merely the latest
challenge to those of us who took a solemn oath to support and defend
the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and
domestic. That has been a commitment tested repeatedly in recent years,
especially since the 9/11 attacks.
After all the many troubling
disclosures — from torture to ”extraordinary renditions” to
aggressive war under false pretenses to warrantless wiretaps
to lethal drone strikes to whistleblowers prosecutions
to the expanded “surveillance state” – it might
be time to take a moment for what the Germans call “eine
Denkpause,” a “thinking break.”
Risk of Prison Means Journalism is Being Criminalized
Finally, there is this, that I found on Common Dreams but
is originally in the Guardian and by Lindsey Bever:
This starts as follows:
Quite so! More under the last
Committing an act of
journalism could soon become an imprisonable offence.
New York Times
reporter James Risen has been ordered to testify in the criminal trial
of former Central Intelligence Agency official Jeffrey Sterling, who
has been indicted under the Espionage
Act of 1917 – for leaking
classified information to Risen for publication in his book, State of War.
Last month, the US court of appeals for the fourth circuit in Richmond,
Virginia, ruled that Risen could not claim a reporter's privilege
under the first amendment to win exemption from being compelled to
In effect, the court has
ruled that the journalist must reveal his source. That sets a dangerous
precedent now applicable in Maryland and Virginia, home to the NSA and CIA – the very states in
which national security journalism matters most. If a reporter cannot
guarantee confidentiality to an important source willing to provide
information that may be of vital public interest, the job of journalism
itself has been criminalised.
Well... this was again a good crop. I can't say I am fit,
as I am not, but if it the materials are there I will try to relay
them, if I think they are good enough.
 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: