8, 2013
Crisis: Greenwald, Porter, Parry, general Clark
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

Prev- crisis -Next

1. NSA encryption story, Latin American fallout and US/UK attacks on press freedoms
2. Perhaps I'm out of step and Britons just don't think privacy is important
Congress Denied Syrian Facts, Too
4. General Wesley Clark: Wars were planned 
About ME/CFS


Today there is less than yesterday: A piece by Greenwald, and one by Porter, both in  the Guardian, and a piece by Parry for Consortium News and two videos by general Wesley Clark.

1. NSA encryption story, Latin American fallout and US/UK attacks on press freedoms

To start with here is a link to the latest by Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian, which is from yesterday:

This starts as follows:
I'm currently working on what I believe are several significant new NSA stories, to be published imminently here, as well as one very consequential story about NSA spying in Brazil that will first be broadcast Sunday night on the Brazilian television program Fantastico (because the report has worldwide implications, far beyond Brazil, it will be translated into English and then quickly published on the internet). Until then, I'm posting below the video of the 30-minute interview I did yesterday on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez about our NSA encryption story and ongoing US/UK attacks on press freedom (the transcript of that interview is .
I have linked the interview with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez yesterday.

There is - of course - more, including some links, but you should find about these yourself.

2.  Perhaps I'm out of step and Britons just don't think privacy is important

Next, a - possibly - pessimistic piece by Henry Porter, who writes for the Observer and the Guardian:
Here is the main theme of his story, that seems quite right to me, pessimistic or not:
(..) all summer I have been puzzling over the lack of reaction in Britain to the Snowden revelations about US and UK communications surveillance, a lack that at some moments has seemed even more remarkable than the revelations themselves. Today, apparently, we are at ease with a system of near total intrusion that would have horrified every adult Briton 25 years ago. Back then, western spies acknowledged the importance of freedom by honouring the survivors of those networks; now, they spy on their own people.

We have changed, that is obvious, and, to be honest, I wonder whether I, and others who care about privacy and freedom, have been left behind by societies that accept surveillance as a part of the sophisticated world we live in. Even so, the neglect of the Snowden story by the British media does seem remarkable.

I think he is right, and there is considerably more in his article, that ends thus:
(..) this is not about the much-denigrated quality of privacy, but about political power. What the Guardian-New York Times stories of last week tell us is that we are much less free than we supposed and that unrestricted surveillance will become a menace to us all. That should be a vital concern for journalists, even at the BBC. 
He also frames some hypotheses or at least questions about the reasons for this,
but I don't think he got that right. Here are my own reasons
  • most people are conformists
  • most people are ill educated
  • most people don't really understand the issues
  • most people are afraid of "the authorities"
  • most people take an optimistic view (if they are not involved): "O no, that will not happen here!"
But whatever the explanations, I agree with Henry Porter about the facts.

3.  Congress Denied Syrian Facts, Too

Next, an article by Robert Parry, who writes for Consortium News:

Here are three successive paragraphs:
Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Florida, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also said the House Intelligence Committee had to make a formal request to the administration for “the underlying intelligence reports” and he is unaware if those details have been forthcoming, suggesting that the classified report – like the unclassified version – is more a set of assertions than a presentation of evidence.

“We have reached the point where the classified information system prevents even trusted members of Congress, who have security clearances, from learning essential facts, and then inhibits them from discussing and debating what they do know,” Grayson wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times on Saturday.

“And this extends to matters of war and peace, money and blood. The ‘security state’ is drowning in its own phlegm. My position is simple: if the administration wants me to vote for war, on this occasion or on any other, then I need to know all the facts. And I’m not the only one who feels that way.”

That is to say: the US government tries to convince Congress by mere assertions without real evidence: "Trust me", says the president, and that should be enough.

4. General Wesley Clark: Wars were planned 

Finally, to help see this a bit more clearly, here are two pieces of video by general Wesley Clark, who says the wars we are seeing undertaken by the U.S. were planned, and were planned quite long ago:

Here is a brief quote from the above video, which plays in October 2001. General Wesley Clark says, and reports from October 2001:
This is a memo [from the Secretary of Defense - MM] that describes how we are going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off Iran.
He also does it in the following video, where there is more information, and that starts with Clark's saying the Bush government was "a policy coup", perpetrated by Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld and some more:

Note the above is quite clear: According to general Wesley Clark, the wars that have been initiated by the U.S. since the 1990ies all are part of a plan, that existed already in 1991. What president Obama is telling you, or indeed the U.S. Congress, are just lies that try to push it through and make it seem acceptable, and also to make it seem "no war" (which in Kerry's words requires "boots on the ground", as if that is what war means).

I think what general Clark said is far more likely to be true than anything Obama and his government assert about the war or "war" they are plotting.
P.S. Sep 9, 2013: Deleted a footnote I had left standing, without reason. 
[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)

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