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  November
5, 2013
Crisis: Obama * 3, Google, Snowden, NIST, British spying, Rusbridger
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
"
   -- I.F. Stone.











Sections
Introduction
  1. Obama 'Really Good At Killing People'
  2. The Obama administration may be guilty of war crimes
  3. Google chairman: NSA spying on our data centres
       'outrageous'

  4. Obama White House Sees 'No Alternative' to NSA's
       'Collect It All' Approach

  5. Edward Snowden Pens 'A Manifesto for the Truth'
  6. NIST to Review Standards After Cryptographers Cry
       Foul Over NSA Meddling

  7. Et Tu, UK? Anger Grows over British Spying in Berlin
  8. Free Press? Editor Laments 'Retrogressive' Government
      Action

About ME/CFS

Introduction

There were six articles yesterday, and there are nine today, but I have kicked out some, for various reasons, one of which is lack of time. Also, there are eight  sections devoted to the crisis, because one has two links.

1.  Obama 'Really Good At Killing People'

To begin with, another video by TYT aka The Young Turks, that is dedicated to something Obama is said to have said:

As Cenk Uygur explains, that he said so is not certain, though also not denied by the Whitehouse spokespersons, and whether or not he said it, his drones killed between 2500 and 3500 persons (rounded) in Pakistan alone, of which some 400 to 900 (again rounded) were definitely civilians.

Also, the case is handled well: It's not certain Obama said so; the one who said he said so is a well-known hack, etc.

But the fact remains that thousands were killed, without any declaration of war, of which 400 to 900 (rounded) were definitely civilians. Now consider the next article.

2. The Obama administration may be guilty of war crimes

Next, an article in the Guardian by Jeffrey Bachman:
This starts as follows:

Is President Obama a suspected war criminal?

If you have read the recent reports on drone strikes by Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, there is only one answer to this question … and it is not the answer most would want to hear. 

Clearly, also in view of the previous item, the answer is "Yes!". The article builds the case, and not in a one-sided manner, if only because Amnesty and Human Rights Watch are very careful.

Then again, the article ends thus:
Once again, the United States stands at a crossroad. Either it can immunize President Obama and members of his administration from accountability, as it did President Bush and his administration. As seen, this route exposes the hypocrisy of the administration's counter-terrorism policy to full display. Or the US can subject its leaders to the same standards it demands of others.
It seems clear to me that Obama and his administration will be immunized.

3. Google chairman: NSA spying on our data centres 'outrageous'

Next, an article by Rory Schmidt in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, has attacked the US government for apparently breaking into the connections that link the company's data centres around the world as "outrageous" and described other surveillance practices as "possibly illegal".

Then again, it is also clearly said that:

Just two months ago, Schmidt declined to "pass judgment" on the surveillance programmes.

But last week it was reported that the NSA intercepted communications links used by Google and Yahoo to move vast amounts of data between overseas data centres.

There is considerably more, but I want to pick out a quote by an anonymous NSA spokesperson, who gets quoted:

"NSA conducts all of its activities in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies – and assertions to the contrary do a grave disservice to the nation, its allies and partners, and the men and women who make up the National Security Agency."

I accept the statement until the hyphen: I think it is obviously false, but the NSA spokesperson is allowed to lie.

What upsets me is the rest: the attempt to paint a number of anonymous spies, who spy on all Americans, and most of the rest of the world, and nearly all of whose spying program seem to break the existing laws on many places as if they are considered to be of "the nation", and "its allies", and its "partners", while all these anonymous, well-paid, it seems often privately rented spooks and spies are presented, quite anonymously, as if they are heroes.

4. Obama White House Sees 'No Alternative' to NSA's 'Collect It All' Approach

Next, an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Unfortunately for those concerned about the bulk collection of private communications by the government, the Obama administration just doesn't see another way conducting its spy business.

When it came to the question of neoliberal capitalism it was former British PM Margaret Thatcher who famously declared, "There is no alternative."

Now—in the face of growing concern and criticism over the global dragnet surveillance programs run by the NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies determined to "collect it all"—it is the Obama White House saying, in effect, the same thing.

As the New York Times reports Tuesday, after six months of one revelation after another regarding the far-reaching nature of the nation's spy apparatus, "President Obama and his top advisers have concluded that there is no workable alternative to the bulk collection of huge quantities of 'metadata,' including records of all telephone calls made inside the United States."

I am not amazed anymore that Obama wants to introduce a police state, for that is what he is doing, and also is the whole point of getting everyone's data: Not to fight "Al Qaeda terrorism", but to definitely settle and start with U.S. state terrorism against its own population - as indeed is happening now with the NSA.

But OK - it still can be stopped.


5. Edward Snowden Pens 'A Manifesto for the Truth'

Next,
in fact there are two articles linked in this section. The first is by Jacob Chamberlain in Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

The ongoing revelations of the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance practices are "causing society to push for political reforms, oversight and new laws," writes whistleblower Edward Snowden in an open letter titled "A Manifesto for the Truth" in which he calls for continued international action against the worst offenders of global privacy infringement.

The article also said this was published in German in Der Spiegel, and quotes from it, but gives no link to a full English version. Well, that is here:

And it's not long, and as usual quite good.

6.
NIST to Review Standards After Cryptographers Cry Foul Over NSA Meddling

Then there is this, by Jeff Larson on Pro Publica:
I find that quite interesting, and it starts thus:

The federal institute that sets national standards for how government, private citizens and business guard the privacy of their files and communications is reviewing all of its previous recommendations.

The move comes after ProPublica, The Guardian and The New York Times disclosed that the National Security Agency had worked to secretly weaken standards to make it easier for the government to eavesdrop.

The review, announced late Friday afternoon by the National Institute for Standards and Technology, will also include an assessment of how the institute creates encryption standards.

One reason why I find this interesting is that NIST does collaborate with the NSA, that indeed also has better funding and more and better qualified personnel.

Then again, the NSA seems to have succeeded in making it easier to break into encrypted matters, which is very much against the interests of any firm whatsoever, US or non-US, that wants to keep certain things to itself, which I think is a right they should have, indeed as all private persons, with specific exceptions as outlined by the Fourth Amendment.

There is considerably more in the article.


7.
Et Tu, UK? Anger Grows over British Spying in Berlin

Next, the first of two articles in the on line edition of Der Spiegel:
This is from the beginning of the article:
The revelations about further alleged spying have rocked the political establishment in Berlin this week. The London-based Independent revealed Monday that British intelligence had established a "secret listening post" in the British Embassy like the one recently revealed by SPIEGEL to be in the US Embassy on the same large block. The British post, like the American one, is located near the German parliament, the Reichstag, and was disclosed in the trove of data leaked by American intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.
But I should add that the title is the most radical piece of the article, and it seems not very many German politicians seem to have fully grasped that all of their communications are known to the NSA and/or the GCHQ.

8. Free Press? Editor Laments 'Retrogressive' Government Action

Finally, the second article from Der Spiegel. This is a good interview by Christoph Scheuermann of Alan Rusbridger, who edits the Guardian:
This starts as follows:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Rusbridger, are you a danger to the United Kingdom?

Rusbridger: Am I a danger? No. I think the United Kingdom ought to be rather relieved to have the Guardian because this is obviously a very worrying loss for spy agencies in Great Britain and the United States. I think they are worried that they seem to keep these large bits and pieces secure. So they've lost control of a large amount of material. Luckily for them, for the last four and a half months, the Guardian has been filtering these documents in an incredibly responsible way. This is what they ought to be thankful for.

But you should realize that according to Britain's PM Alan Rusbridger is a dangerous man.

There's also this, which is the only other bit I quote, since you can all read it. This is Alan Rusbridger talking about his destroying computers under threat of law:
I don't think it's for the state to physically and under threat of law smash up your source material in order to stop you writing. I thought it was a very retrogressive thing for the government to be doing. It didn't make much difference to our reporting, which made it all the more pointless.
Yes, indeed, though it should be added that his prime minister, and president Obama seem very much bound to "very retrogressive" policies: They do want all data of everyone, and the only reason I can think of why they would want that is because they want to make government very much easier, and the population they govern to be very docile, and of course also very, very happy.

---------------------------------
P.S. Nov 6, 2013: Added some brief clarifications and several boldings.

Note

[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, thay 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 of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servant of laws.
(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)

[2] Both my father and my grandfather were arrested by the Nazis, because they were in the resistance, and at least my father was
tortured. So yes, I do have some qualifications.

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to
facilitate search machine) which is a disease that 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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