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Nederlog


  A
ugust 12, 2013
Crisis: Varia on "terrorism"
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
"
   -- I.F. Stone.









Sections
Introduction
1. Latest NSA Revelations Debunk Obama's "No Spying on
     Americans" Claim

2. Senate Insider Speaks Out:
3. Is There Really a Terrorist Threat?
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
     Criminalized

7. Personal
About ME/CFS

Introduction:

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
              Americans" Claim


This is by John Queally at Common Dream, from some days ago

It starts as follows:

"There is no spying on Americans," said 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 this:

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 U.S. government.

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. government uses: This is from the introduction:
"Unfortunately 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 last link.

3.
Is There Really 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:

“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 told lies.

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 mostly illegal.

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.

4.
Michael Hayden, 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 generals:
This starts as follows:

In 2006, the New York Times won 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.

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.

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 Nederlog:
This starts as follows:

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.”
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.

6.
James Risen's 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:

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 testify.

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.
Quite so! More under the last dotted link.

7.
Personal

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.
---------------------------------
Note
[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)

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)



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