"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
2. Did Congressional Intel
Committee Withhold Vital Spy
Info from Colleagues?
3. Google Sends Clear Message: There’s No
Privacy on Gmail
4. Top Ten Things That Don't
Make Sense About Obama's
The plan to translate "About terrorism"
is still on hold, for
lack of energy, mostly because I do not sleep enough.
America’s Upside-Down Morality
Bradley Manning spoke to the judge, after a very
unfair trial, which threatens him with 90 years in prison, and said he
was sorry. There are quite a few reactions, and I select this, from
Consortiumnews, by Robert Parry:
This starts as follows:
Having covered the U.S.
government for nearly 36 years, I am not so na´ve as to expect
perfection or even anything close. But there are times when the immoral
dimensions of Official Washington stand out in the starkest shades, not
in variations of gray but in black and white.
Such was the
gut-wrenching moment on Wednesday when Pvt. Bradley Manning, who
exposed U.S. government war crimes and other wrongdoing, made a
groveling apology for doing the right thing – when there has been next
to no accountability for the officials and their media collaborators
who did innumerable wrong things.
While no one in power seems
to expect even an apology from – let alone punishment of – former
President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and their
subordinates who facilitated acts of torture and who deceived the
American people into an unprovoked invasion of Iraq, 25-year-old
Bradley Manning finds himself having to beg for mercy to avoid what
could be a 90-year prison sentence.
Quite so, and there is
considerably more under the link.
2. Did Congressional Intel Committee Withhold
Vital Spy Info from Colleagues?
Next, from a piece by John
Queally on Common Dreams:
This is concerned with the
following possibility, that I quote from - I think - the originator,
the Guardian's Spencer Ackerman:
It is speculation, but it
would not amaze me, at all.
Amash told the Guardian
on Monday that he had confirmed with the House intelligence committee
that the committee did not make non-committee members aware of the
classified overview from 2011 of the bulk phone records collection
program first revealed by the Guardian thanks to whistleblower Edward
Snowden. The document was expressly designed to be shared with
legislators who did not serve on the panel; it appears that a
corresponding document for the Senate in 2011 was made available to all
"Nobody I've spoken to in
my legislative class remembers seeing any such document," Amash said.
Amash speculated that the
House intelligence committee withheld the document in order to ensure
the Patriot Act would win congressional reauthorization, as it
Sends Clear Message: There’s No Privacy on Gmail
Then there is this,
for which there are also several sources. It concerns a trial against
In fact here is
Google's position in Google's own words:
“Just as a sender
of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the
recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email
today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the
recipient’s [email provider] in the course of delivery. Indeed, ‘a
person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he
voluntarily turns over to third parties.”
Let me note carefully about
this bullshit that, the recipient's assistant is breaking the
existing law without having gotten permission to open the letter,
and that Google is simply abusing its position.
I do not use Google, for quite a while now, and do not want it, and I
would council that a firm that so grossly abuses rights that have stood
for centuries - the mail of a person is not to be
opened, nor read, except by the one it was addressed to - should be
abandoned. (But I do not expect a mass movement.)
4. Top Ten Things That Don't Make Sense
Last, a good piece by Juan Cole, who is a professor of
history at the University of Michigan:
He lists ten fine
points. Here is the ninth:
Does the FBI
actually have the authority to order internet companies to
let them install "eavesdropping technology [port readers] deep inside
companies' internal networks to facilitate surveillance efforts"?
And here is the tenth:
Why doesn't one of
the telecoms adopt a policy of destroying the records of where its
customers have been, and who they called, immediately after each call-
keeping only a record of how much the call cost? The government can't
demand information that a company doesn't have. Wouldn't millions of
consumers immediately switch to that carrier? Would the government
allow the company to do this? If not, what happened to our Free
Enterprise system? Ronald Reagan used to warn that if we gave the
government too much power, one day we might suddenly wake up in the
Soviet Union of America. Has this day arrived?
These and the other eight are
good questions - but I suppose the Soviet Uion of America has
arrived, if it is up to Obama, Holden, Hayden and Alexander, for that
is how they play it, also as secretively as possible.
 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: