ugust 15, 2013
Crisis: Manning, Congress, Google, Obama's Security State
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

1. America’s Upside-Down Morality
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
     Security State
About ME/CFS


The plan to translate "About terrorism" is still on hold, for lack of energy, mostly because I do not sleep enough.

1. 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:

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 senators.

"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 ultimately did.

It is speculation, but it would not amaze me, at all.
Google 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 Google:
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.)

Top Ten Things That Don't Make Sense About Obama's Security State

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.
[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)

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)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

       home - index - summaries - mail