21, 2014
Crisis: Greenwald, Engelhardt, Jacobsen, TYT, Harding, Personal
   "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.
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton

Prev- crisis -Next


1. On the UK’s Equating of Journalism with Terrorism
2. Documenting Darkness: How a Thug State Operates
3. Operation Nazification
4. Obama Can't Get Dems To Back Horrible Trade Deal
5. Writing The Snowden Files: 'The paragraph began to

6. Personal
About ME/CFS


This is yet another mostly ordinary crisis file. It is not optimistic, but then the crisis files rarely are, and the present one does contain some quite pessimistic details, including the reasons why. I was especially impressed by item 2, which I recommend you read all of (on Common Dreams or on TomDispatch). It is also quite convincing, I think, although it will not make you happier.

The last item is a full listing of the directories of my site that I have so far uploaded this year, which comes to more than half of the site. The problem is that the rest, especially the philosophy section, is a bit more difficult. But it will be done, and quite soon also, at least if I keep feeling as I've done the last week.

1.  On the UK’s Equating of Journalism with Terrorism

The first article is by Glenn Greenwald. I've used the version on Common Dreams, but it is also on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
As my colleague Ryan Deveraux reports, a lower U.K. court this morning, as long expected, upheld the legality of the nine-hour detention of my partner, David Miranda, at Heathrow Airport last August, even as it acknowledged that the detention was “an indirect interference with press freedom”. For good measure, the court also refused permission to appeal (though permission can still be granted by the appellate court). David was detained and interrogated under the Terrorism Act of 2000.

The UK Government expressly argued that the release of the Snowden documents (which the free world callsaward-winning journalism“) is actually tantamount to “terrorism”, the same theory now being used by the Egyptian military regime to prosecute Al Jazeera journalists as terrorists. Congratulations to the UK government on the illustrious company it is once again keeping. British officials have also repeatedly threatened criminal prosecution of everyone involved in this reporting, including Guardian journalists and editors.

Yes, indeed - and it is, it seems to me, quite shockingly insane, on the part of the British government and the British courts. To be precize, what is quite shockingly insane is the equation of journalists, who write something the government or the court do not like, with terrorists, who blow up people.

There is a rather a lot more there, which you best read yourself, and it gets summed up thus:
In sum, the U.K. Government wants to stop disclosure of its mass surveillance activities not because it fears terrorism or harm to national security but because it fears public debate, legal challenges and accountability. That is why the U.K. government considers this journalism to be “terrorism”: because it undermines the interests and power of British political officials, not the safety of the citizenry.
Yes, quite so.

2.  Documenting Darkness: How a Thug State Operates

The next article is by Tom Engelhardt. Again I've used the version on Common Dreams, but it is also (at least) on
The thug state is the nice liar Obama's present United States - and incidentally, a "thug" Wikipedia explains is "a common criminal, who treats others violently and roughly, often for hire" (and I insert this, because I had the older meaning in my head, that is more specific).

Here is a part from the beginning, after having said that the NSA claims Snowden took 1.7 million documents:
Whatever he had with him on those thumb drives when he left the agency, Edward Snowden did not take all the NSA’s classified documents.  Not by a long shot.  He only downloaded a portion of them.  We don’t have any idea what percentage, but assumedly millions of NSA secret documents did not get the Snowden treatment.
Next, Tom Engelhardt remarks, quite rightly:
Keep this in mind, however: the NSA is only one of 17 intelligence outfits in what is called the U.S. Intelligence Community.  Some of the others are as large and well funded, and all of them generate their own troves of secret documents, undoubtedly stretching into the many millions.
And these are just the intelligence agencies. There are many more mostly secret governmental agencies (all funded by tax money) and in fact:
We do know that, in 2011, the whole government reportedly classified 92,064,862 documents. If accurate and reasonably typical, that means, in the twenty-first century, the NSS has already generated hundreds of millions of documents that could not be read by an American without a security clearance.
Here "NSS" abbreviates "National Security State". Then there is this:
After all, it’s clear from the numbers alone that the urge to envelop the national security state in a blanket of secrecy, to shield its workings from the eyes of its citizens (as well as allies and enemies) has proven essentially boundless, as have the secret ambitions of those running that state.  There is no way, at present, to limit the governmental urge for secrecy even in minimal ways, certainly not via secret courts or congressional committees implicated and entangled in the processes of a secret system.
And this:

One thing is for certain, though no one thinks to say it: despite their staggering releases of insider information, when it comes to the true nature and extent of the NSS, we surely remain in the dark.  In the feeling that, thanks to Manning and Snowden, we now grasp the depths of that secret state, its secret acts, and the secret documentation that goes with it, we are undoubtedly deluded.

In a sense, valuable as they have been, Snowden’s revelations have helped promote this delusion.
Yes, I agree: We do hardly know a very small part of the hundreds of millions of secret documents and secret court orders that the secret and other bureaucratic governmental services of the U.S. have produced in the thirteen plus years of this century.

There is a lot more in the article, which I strongly recommend you read yourself - and note that I have only quoted a small part.

3.  Operation Nazification

Next, an article by David Swanson on Washington's Blog:

This starts as follows:

Annie Jacobsen’s new book is called Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America.  It isn’t terribly secret anymore, of course, and it was never very intelligent.  Jacobsen has added some details, and the U.S. government is still hiding many more.  But the basic facts have been available; they’re just left out of most U.S. history books, movies, and television programs.

After World War II, the U.S. military hired sixteen hundred former Nazi scientists and doctors, including some of Adolf Hitler’s closest collaborators, including men responsible for murder, slavery, and human experimentation, including men convicted of war crimes, men acquitted of war crimes, and men who never stood trial.
Yes, indeed. Actually, the piece is here mostly as background, and because I just realized Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn't get older than I am at present, and that Harry Truman became president because he was Roosevelt's vice-president, and he was certainly not fit for the job:
In 1947 Operation Paperclip, still rather small, was in danger of being terminated. Instead, Truman transformed the U.S. military with the National Security Act, and created the best ally that Operation Paperclip could want: the CIA. Now the program took off, intentionally and willfully, with the full knowledge and understanding of the same U.S. President who had declared as a senator that if the Russians were winning the U.S. should help the Germans, and vice versa, to ensure that the most people possible died, the same president who viciously and pointlessly dropped two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities, the same president who brought us the war on Korea, the war without declaration, the secret wars, the permanent expanded empire of bases, the military secrecy in all matters, the imperial presidency, and the military-industrial complex.  The U.S. Chemical Warfare Service took up the study of German chemical weapons at the end of the war as a means to continue in existence.  George Merck both diagnosed biological weapons threats for the military and sold the military vaccines to handle them.  War was business and business was going to be good for a long time to come.

Anyway...there is considerably more in the article.

4. Obama Can't Get Dems To Back Horrible Trade Deal

Next a video by The Young Turks, which is about the TPP, that is a secret trade deal that is intended to move most of the powers of the states to corporations, and has - of course - the full support of Obama and Kerry:

It takes 10 minutes, but it is a good explanation, and I also like it that Cenk Uygur refers to Obama as "the Republican corporatist president", simply because that is descriptively adequate: he is a corporatist, and he usually takes Republican positions, even on Obamacare (for that is in fact Mitt Romney's idea).

Back to the TPP, which is almost completely secret (which is insane, in a real democracy), but is so for a "good" reason (and this is quoted from The Huffington Post):

That is: it is secret because the public wouldn't agree, and we - the secrecy proponents - do not care for the public: we only care for business. (There is a quote in the video for this as well.)

In any case... here is the article from The Huffington Post that is Cenk Uygur's source:
In brief: it is not fair, it is secret, and it is deeply rotten and corrupt.

5.  Writing The Snowden Files: 'The paragraph began to self-delete'

an article by Luke Harding in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:

One day last summer – a short while after Edward Snowden revealed himself as the source behind the momentous leak of classified intelligence – the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger got in touch. Would I write a book on Snowden's story and that of the journalists working with him? The answer, of course, was yes. At this point Snowden was still in Hong Kong. He was in hiding. He had leaked documents that revealed the US National Security Agency (NSA) and its British equivalent GCHQ were surveilling much of the planet.

Our conversation took place not in Alan's office but in an anonymous sideroom at the Guardian's King's Cross HQ. Was Rusbridger's office bugged? Nobody knew. But given the Guardian's ongoing publication of sensitive stories based on Snowden's files this seemed a reasonable assumption. Britain's spy agencies were good at what they did. Thus the project to chronicle Snowden's story began in an atmosphere of furtiveness. And perhaps mild paranoia.

Actually, it is mainly about Harding's strange experiences with computers. Here is a bit:
By September the book was going well – 30,000 words done. A Christmas deadline loomed. I was writing a chapter on the NSA's close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley. I wrote that Snowden's revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I had just written began to self-delete. The cursor moved rapidly from the left, gobbling text. I watched my words vanish. When I tried to close my OpenOffice file the keyboard began flashing and bleeping.
However, I do not know what this is due to: there are all kinds of explanations, and I also suspect Harding is not much of a techie. Besides, he did recently write a book about Edward Snowden.

But OK: he may have been spied upon, and this file also gives some backgrounds to the writing of his book.

6.  Personal

This continues yesterday's personal item: I did yesterday evening re-upload all of the meinadam directories, that is: I did re-upload all of the following 15 directories:

Also, I should say that there is on the moment no zip in the zip-section. And I should say nearly all of this is in Dutch only.

Next, here is also a review of what I uploaded earlier this year, on January 28:
This means that all of the log directory got re-uploaded except for Quotes. Finally on January 29 I uploaded all of the aristotle directory:



I should say that only the Ethics has approximately full notes, but that there most of the notes for the first book have disappeared in 2009, and were never returned.
And the Politics Notes are halfly done: The first four books are there; the last four books still have to be done.

Anyway... this is what has gotten re-uploaded this year, so far.

[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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