"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
and Unbelievable Speech
2. If Obama wanted an 'open
debate' on NSA
thwart one for so long?
3. Snowden: NSA Story Needed the
'Courage' Major Media
Outlets Have Abandoned
4. Obama Appoints Documented
'Liar' to Convene NSA
The plan to translate "About terrorism"
is still on hold, for
lack of energy, and there also is little other material today - that is
interesting and good enough, at least.
But there is some, mostly continuing yesterday, and this is it:
and Unbelievable Speech
First, a TYT-item, which is a video:
It is a good analysis.
If Obama wanted an 'open debate' on NSA spying, why thwart one for so
Next, a fairly long
analysis in the Guardian - originally in Techn Dirt - by Jennifer
Hoelzer, who worked six years for senator Wyden:
From its beginning (nearly):
I think it's worth
pointing out that General Hayden's actual rhetoric is even more
inflammatory than Cushing's. Not only did the former NSA director call us "nihilists, anarchists,
activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twentysomethings who haven't talked to
the opposite sex in five or six years", he equates transparency groups
like the ACLU with al-Qaida.
Next, she analyzes president
Obama's behavior, which I skip, but which is done well, and arrives at:
I'd go even
further than that and argue that a big part of the reason the American
people are having a hard time trusting their government is that the
public's trust in government is harmed every time the American people
learn that their government is secretly doing something they not only
assumed was illegal, but that government officials specifically told
them they weren't doing.
Quite so. There's also this:
recently asked me why I think the administration won't just declassify
the legal opinion, given that the sources and methods it relates to
have already been made public. "I think that's pretty obvious", I said.
"I believe it will be much harder for the administration to claim that
these programs are legal, if people can see their legal argument."
And she ends with a quote from
Daniel Patrick Moynihan:
Secrecy – the first
refuge of incompetents – must be at a bare minimum in a democratic
society for a fully-informed public is the basis of self-government.
Those elected or appointed to positions of executive authority must
recognize that government, in a democracy, cannot be wiser than its
Which brings me to my
final point (at least for now): I think it's awfully hard for the
American people to trust the president and his administration when
their best response to the concerns Americans are raising is to
denigrate the Americans raising those concerns. Because, you see, I
have a hard time understanding why my wanting to stand up for
democratic principles makes me unpatriotic, while the ones calling
themselves patriots seem to think so little of the people and the
principles that comprise the country they purport to love.
Snowden: NSA Story Needed the 'Courage' Major Media Outlets Have
Next, from Common
Dreams, by John Queally, a piece about why Snowden chose Greenwald and
This depends on material
in the New York Times I cannot access, but here is part of something
There is considerably
more under the last dotted link.
After 9/11, many of the
most important news outlets in America abdicated their role as a check
to power — the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of
government — for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the
market during a period of heightened nationalism. From a business
perspective, this was the obvious strategy, but what benefited the
institutions ended up costing the public dearly. The major outlets are
still only beginning to recover from this cold period.
Laura and Glenn are among
the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this
4. Obama Appoints Documented 'Liar' to Convene
NSA Review Board
Last, here is another item from Common Dreams, by Sarah
Lazare, on Obama's choice of an independent mind to oversee the NSA's
Of course, the
documented liar is James Clapper, and the piece starts thus:
has appointed embattled NSA director James Clapper—who was already caught lying
under oath to Congress and the U.S. public about the scope of secret
surveillance—to establish a review board to investigate his own agency
as part of the president's so-called transparency reforms.
She also quotes various
responses, but it is clear that this appointment shows a complete
contempt of Obama for his critics and for their arguments.
 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: