"They who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
1. Former whistleblowers: open
2. Obama Urged to Fire DNI
3. NSA chief on spying programs:
'There is no other way to
connect the dots'
4. French officials can monitor
internet users in real time
under new law
Cruel, Irresponsible and Dysfunctional Budget Deal
Why Wall Street Regulations Are A Joke
is another crisis item, that again has six items and six dotted links.
And this Nederlog has been produced a little earlier than is normal.
whistleblowers: open letter to intelligence employees after Snowden
To start with, an
article - an open letter - by Thomas Drake, Daniel Ellsberg, Katharine
Gun, Peter Kofod, Ray McGovern, Jesselyn Raddack, and Coleen Rowley
in the Guardian:
This starts as
At least since the
aftermath of September 2001, western governments and intelligence
agencies have been hard at work expanding the scope of their own power,
while eroding privacy, civil liberties and public control of policy.
What used to be viewed as paranoid, Orwellian, tin-foil hat fantasies
post-Snowden, to be not even the whole story.
Yes, quite so - and
not only have "intelligence agencies" been very busy at "expanding the
scope of their own power", they also have redesigned their own field.
They are no longer tracking spies: they are tracking everyone.
What's really remarkable
is that we've been warned for years that these things were going on:
wholesale surveillance of entire populations, militarization of the
internet, the end of privacy. All is done in the name of "national
security", which has more or less become a chant to fence off debate
and make sure governments aren't held to account – that they can't be
held to account – because everything is being done in the dark. Secret
laws, secret interpretations of secret laws by secret courts and no
effective parliamentary oversight whatsoever.
Yes indeed - and the
involvement of "national
security" is only a pretext to steal everyone's data and copy
everyone's mails and sites, for it is utter baloney hundreds of
millions of Americans are spies or are dangerous.
Next two paragraphs:
By and large the media
have paid scant attention to this, even as more and more courageous,
principled whistleblowers stepped forward. The unprecedented
persecution of truth-tellers, initiated by the Bush administration and
severely accelerated by the Obama administration, has been mostly
ignored, while record numbers of well-meaning people are charged with
serious felonies simply for letting their fellow citizens know what's
It's one of the bitter
ironies of our time that while John
Kiriakou (ex-CIA) is in prison for blowing the whistle on US
torture, the torturers and their enablers walk free.
Yes, quite so. In fact,
this is one of the most astounding things of all: Not that a set of
spies redesign their own tasks and start spying on everybody, but that
the news that they have done so is being "paid scant attention to"
by nearly all of the media.
And indeed the Kiriakou
case is bitterly ironic. Then there is this (skipping some):
Numerous ex-NSA officials have come
forward in the past decade, disclosing massive fraud, vast illegalities
and abuse of power in said agency, including Thomas Drake, William
Binney and Kirk Wiebe. The response was 100% persecution and 0%
accountability by both the NSA and the rest of government.
Since the summer of 2013, the public has witnessed a shift in debate
over these matters. The reason is that one courageous person: Edward Snowden.
He not only blew the whistle on the litany of government abuses but
made sure to supply an avalanche of supporting documents to a few
trustworthy journalists. The echoes of his actions are still heard
around the world – and there are still many revelations to come.
Yes - but this also
introduces a problem:
For every Daniel
Ellsberg, Drake, Binney, Katharine Gun, Manning or Snowden, there are
thousands of civil servants who go by their daily job of spying on
everybody and feeding cooked or even made-up information to the public
and parliament, destroying everything we as a society pretend to care
And that is a very
serious problem, because it means that almost everyone - the vast
majority - are trying to live lives of conformism, of
of lying, and do not
really take serious most or all of the ideals the society they work in
or for is based on:
Most human lying is in
fact done by the conscious non-saying of truths one does know but
rather does not give voice to in public, whether from cowardice or
self-interest. A large part of public lying - as in the tale of the
emperor's clothes - is collective collaborative public non-saying of
things, that may indeed be motivated by justified self-interest, as in
dictatorships, or common politeness, but also by conformist
(From: Lie, Philosophical
Next, they say:
Hidden away in offices of
various government departments, intelligence agencies, police forces
and armed forces are dozens and dozens of people who are very much
upset by what our societies are turning into: at the very least,
One of them is you.
● Undermining democracy
and eroding civil liberties isn't put explicitly in your job contract.
● You grew up in a democratic society and want to keep it that way
● You were taught to respect ordinary people's right to live a life in
● You don't really want a system of institutionalized strategic
surveillance that would make the dreaded Stasi green with envy – do you?
Perhaps. That is: there
probably are a few more (potential) whistleblowers - but the main
problem I see is that they are a small minority amidst armies
of comformist collaborators, who do as they are told, take
their salaries, and keep silent about the crimes they witnessed, help
perpetuate, and condone.
They conclude as follows:
There IS strength in
numbers. You won't be the first – nor the last – to follow your
conscience and let us know what's being done in our names. Truth is
coming – it can't be stopped. Crooked politicians will be held
accountable. It's in your hands to be on the right side of history and
accelerate the process.
Courage is contagious.
I hope so, but I have seen
very few truly courageous men or women in my life. 
I very much do hope there will be more Edward Snowdens, but the fact is
that Snowden is a rare man with a brain and a conscience, and
especially the latter seems to make him one of the very few in 800.000
mostly willing collaborators who said goodbye to ther consciences,
while saying hello to their paychecks for the work they do.
So... while I hope this
works, I am under no illusions about how many Snowdens or
whistleblowers there will be: Such persons are rare, and there are far
more rotters, and very far more conformists
than there are honest, forthright people of principle.
2. Obama Urged to Fire DNI Clapper
Next, an interesting
article on Consortium News, that is in fact a memorandum to president
Obama, that is prepared by VIPS i.e. Veteran Intelligence Professionals
for Sanity, that indeed comprises four of the signers to the the
previous open letter
This starts as
MEMORANDUM FOR: The
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Fire James
We wish to endorse the
call by Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Chair of the Subcommittee on
Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary,
that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be removed
and prosecuted for lying to Congress. “Lying to Congress is a federal
offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it,” the
Wisconsin Republican said in an interview with The Hill. “The only way
laws are effective is if they’re enforced.”
Sensenbrenner added, “If
it’s a criminal offense — and I believe Mr. Clapper has committed a
criminal offense — then the Justice Department ought to do its job.”
Yes, quite so. They
This brief Memorandum is
to inform you that we agree that no intelligence director should be
able to deceive Congress and suffer no consequences. No democracy that
condones such deceit at the hands of powerful, secretive intelligence
directors can long endure.
After which they
summarize the evidence, and include links to various videos, that I
leave to you.
I quite agree - but I
do not think Obama will read this, and I will be quite amazed if
Clapper is being prosecuted for his evident lying. Then again, I think
the memorandum is useful, if only to explain why the American democracy
will - probably - not endure long, given the qualities of its
government, governors, and most senators and congress-
chief on spying programs: 'There is no other way to connect the dots'
Next, an article by Spencer Ackerman in the
This starts as
Senior US officials,
fighting to forestall a push to end the bulk
collection of Americans' phone data, told a Senate panel they would
be "failing" the country if the controversial surveillance practice
ceased, and suggested that a congressional move to stop it would not be
the final word on the matter.
National Security Agency
director Keith Alexander, in an indication of the political
crisis roiling his agency, compared the bulk collection on
Wednesday to "holding a hornet's nest," but said he did not know how to
detect future domestic terrorist attacks without swooping up the phone
records of every American.
"There is no other way we
know of to connect the dots," Alexander told a nearly empty Senate
judiciary committee hearing (..)
As usual, Keith Alexander
was lying: William
Binney (<- Wikipedia) has explained, more than ten
years ago already, that "the dots" can be far better
connected if there are far less of them, and indeed left the
NSA over that disagreement.
But then again, it is not
really about "connecting dots": It is about getting information about
anyone and everyone that can be used later to control them, and it is
about a new state organization that has far more powers
and far fewer responsibilities than is the case in any open and
There is considerably more
in the article.
officials can monitor internet users in real time under new law
Next, an article by Kim
Willsher in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
And there is this:
French intelligence and
government officials will be able to spy on internet users in real time
and without authorisation, under a law passed on Wednesday.
The legislation, which
was approved almost unnoticed, will enable a wide range of public
officials including police, gendarmes, intelligence and anti-terrorist
agencies as well as several government ministries to monitor computer,
tablet and smartphone use directly.
Article 13 of the
new law will allow not just the security forces but intelligence
services from the defence, interior, economy and budget ministries to
see "electronic and digital communications" in real time to discover
who is connected to whom, what they are communicating and where they
There is considerably
more in the article, but this is the probable path Europe will go:
Everything to the authorities; nothing to the people.
A Cruel, Irresponsible and Dysfunctional Budget Deal
Next, an article by John
Nichols that originally was published in The Nation, but that I found
on Common Dreams:
I think the title says it
all, and if not there is this:
But the agreement does
not address the crises that matters. "This plan won't create jobs,
get the economy back on track, or meaningfully cut the deficit,"
explains Congressman Peter
And that's not the worst
What of the 1.3 million
jobless Americans who -- with a fully Dickensian twist -- now stand to
lose Federal unemployment benefits three days after Christmas?
These 1.3 million
people should think that since they are poor they do not deserve
support: the only ones who deserve support are the rich, the very rich,
and the bank managers, who then may be so kind as to trickle down a
little, where a few of these 1.3 million may get a little, if they are
well-behaved and polite.
There is more in the
Why Wall Street Regulations Are A Joke
Finally, a video by The Young
Turks, that have a fine sarcastic explanation of "the new rules for the
Here is a part of it:
So everything will be
quite OK, if the banks' managers are honest and forthright...
P.S. Dec 13, 2013: Added "after
the war" to note  (to clarify that during the war 95% at the very
least was not a member of the resistance, and after the war at least
95% was). Also, I'd like to say that the Dutch historical writings that
have been done on "Holland during WW II", that I heard yesterday on the
radio "is accepted by 95% of Dutchmen as politically correct" (I
quoted), is not accepted by me. It is true it is accepted by
most Dutchmen, it is also true it is "politically correct", but it is not
a true history. What is the truth? I don't know. No one knows, and much
has been falsified and lied about, such as the collaboration of the
complete Dutch Supreme Court, and of nearly all Dutch judges, that I
only learned about... last year. But I do know that the official
history was written by a guy who wasn't even in Holland during all
those war years, and who was so aggressive that no one dared to object
that he systematically wrote "aggressief" in Dutch, as he had learned
in England, where he survived WW II, while the Dutch is "agressief" for
the English "aggressive". (This is a story I've read - I think - in
Vrij Nederland, that I have not controlled, because the very many
volumes the man wrote are almost completely unreadable, and were indeed
not read by me, nor by my parents, who concluded after one volume that
"this is not how it was", and that also seem to have been fully read by
very, very few Dutchmen, though most were quite willing to declare that
this was how it had been.)
 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
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.)
 To go back to WW II: While it was
everybody's duty to resist Nazism, in Holland very few people did,
although this comprised my parents and grandparents. As a result, more
than 1% of the Dutch population was gassed, for being "of the wrong
race". In Holland, almost everybody collaborated - the judges did, the
police did, the mayors did, the aldermen did - and almost no one had
even to face a court after the war.
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.