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Nederlog


  March
30, 2014
Crisis: NSA * 5, Bonus Babies, War Crimes, Moving On
   "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
Sections
Introduction

1. NSA listed Merkel among leaders subject to surveillance
     – report

2. 'A' for Angela Merkel: GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private
     German Companies

3. 
NSA chief Keith Alexander avoids Snowden in retirement
     speech

4. NSA ally Mike Rogers to leave House intelligence
     committee for talk radio

5. "Bonus Babies" Make a Huge Haul
6. The NSA is burning down the web, but what if we   
     rebuilt a spy-proof internet?

7. It’s NOT Too Late to Try Bush, Cheney and Obama for
     War Crimes

8. Moving on

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of March 30. It is another crisis issue.

Although it is a Sunday, I have nine dotted links spread over eight sections.

Incidentally, here are the explanations for "
dotted links" and "sections", which hold for most of the crisis files since June 10, 2013:

What I am doing every day is checking out about 40 internet addresses to see whether these have anything interesting on the
crisis; if they do, the titles of these files, as given by their authors, become some dotted link, and also usually the title of a numbered part of Nederlog, called a section, that is dedicated to it. This section generally consists of some quotations and some comments I make on these, but this may vary a lot, from mostly quotations to mostly comments.

That's it, and I usually also copy the titles, except if these take more than two lines in the format I use, which is a small Verdana font, for then I usually shorten them. Also, occassionally I put more than one dotted link in the same section, namely if these are about the same subject.

My guess is that most of my regular readers (at least 1500 a day) have gotten this, but I wrote it out to clarify.

Here is another clarification:

I am doing this mostly because I got quite angry and much worried about the NSA's lies about their stealing everyone's personal data and everything he or she does with a computer, and about the cover these criminals get from the U.S. government, because I think privacy is a key issue for a free and open society:

There is no free and open society without real privacy for nearly all of its members, and there is no free and open society where the government or the corporations know everything about anyone, while almost no one knows even who knows everything about one, nor anything about how this is going to be (ab)used, for the government and the corporations do keep private who their spies are, and do keep secret what they do, and mostly also what they are allowed to do.

And here are two final clarifications:

I am doing this because and while I am ill, and because I can do it. But if I were not ill, I most probably would be doing quite different things, and also would not live in Holland. (But this is all very hypothetical: I am ill since 1.1.1979.)

And I do not know the outcome of the fight between the NSA and the people at all. (But I am not optimistic, and I am glad that I was born in 1950 rather than 2000: I was one of the poorest, quite possibly the poorest overall in Holland, since I never got more than minimal dole, and quite a few years less, but I lived in a rich welfare state, and I did not experience any war. Both seem to be rare conditions.)

1. NSA listed Merkel among leaders subject to surveillance – report

The first article today is by Martin Pengelly on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:

The National Security Agency appears to have included Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on a list of world leaders subject to surveillance.

The news, the latest extracted from documents supplied to media outlets including the Guardian by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, was reported on Saturday by the German magazine Der Spiegel and The Intercept, a website set up by the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald with the support of the founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar.

This is basically a survey, and also includes:

Saturday's reports also said the British spy agency, GCHQ, infiltrated servers run by German internet companies and eavesdropped on staff communications, and that in March 2013 the NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany. GCHQ and NSA surveillance of German targets has also been reported before.

Reports based on documents provided by Snowden, who was granted a year's asylum in Russia, continue to be published regularly. Last Saturday, Der Spiegel and the New York Times reported that the NSA placed “back doors” in products made by the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, a company which US politicians have criticised for allegedly aiding cyber-espionage by China.
There is more in the article.

2.  'A' for Angela Merkel: GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies 

The next item is an article by Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark on Der Spiegel (English edition):

This starts with the following bold subtitle:

Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation?

I would say: Yes, it is, though it probably will be very difficult to get all or most of the facts, since these are heavily guarded by national spy centers, that are doing everything they do in secret, with remarkably little informed control.

One top-secret GCHQ paper claims the agency sought "development of in-depth knowledge of key satellite IP service providers in Germany."

The document, which is undated, states that the goal of the effort was developing wider knowledge of Internet traffic flowing through Germany. The 26-page document explicitly names three of the German companies targeted for surveillance: Stellar, Cetel and IABG.
(...)
The document also states that company employees are targets -- particularly engineers -- saying that they should be detected and "tasked," intelligence jargon for monitoring. In the case of Stellar, the top secret GCHQ paper includes the names and email addresses of 16 employees, including CEO Christian Steffen. In addition, it also provides a list of the most-important customers and partners. Contacted by SPIEGEL, Stellar CEO Steffen said he had not been aware of any attempts by intelligence services to infiltrate or hack his company. "I am shocked," he said.

As the article explains, the same applies to Cetel. There's also this:

The documents do not provide sufficient information to precisely determine the types of data included in the order, and the NSA has said it will not comment on the matter. However, lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union believe it provides the NSA with permission to access the communications of all German citizens, regardless whether those affected are suspected of having committed an offense or not. Under the FISA Amendments Act, the NSA is permitted to conduct blanket surveillance in foreign countries without any requirement to submit individual cases for review by the court, whose deliberations and rulings are top secret.

This means fundamentally: Against non-Americans anything is permitted, without any restriction or oversight. (And mind you: I've always thought the spying was not against terrorists, in the first place, but to give the state more powers, and to give it all the knowledge it needs that others have found.)

Anyway... more in the last dotted article, which also contains a link to the following article, by Ryan Gallagher, on The Intercept:

This article starts as follows:

Secret documents newly disclosed by the German newspaper Der Spiegel on Saturday shed more light on how aggressively the National Security Agency and its British counterpart have targeted Germany for surveillance.

A series of classified files from the archive provided to reporters by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also seen by The Intercept, reveal that the NSA appears to have included Merkel in a surveillance database alongside more than 100 others foreign leaders. The documents also confirm for the first time that, in March 2013, the NSA obtained a top-secret court order against Germany as part of U.S. government efforts to monitor communications related to the country. Meanwhile, the British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters targeted three German companies in a clandestine operation that involved infiltrating the companies’ computer servers and eavesdropping on the communications of their staff.

There is a lot more in the article, that also has at least 174 discussing it, none of which I read. (I have had it with anonymous commenters: My life is not wasted on reading their prose.)

3. NSA chief Keith Alexander avoids Snowden in retirement speech 

Next, an article by Spencer Ackerman on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

With minimal reference to Edward Snowden, the former contractor who ushered in a new and unwelcome era for the National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander ended his NSA directorship and his 39-year army career on Friday.

Feted at a retirement ceremony attended by intelligence colleagues, legislators, fellow officers and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, Alexander hailed the NSA by quoting General Douglas MacArthur’s musings on patriotism, morality and service from his 1962 retirement speech at West Point, which Alexander called “especially applicable with all that has gone on in the past year”.

Well... I am glad to be rid of him, although he may try to play on from the sidelines. Also, I note his office, paid from tax money, was a copy of Startrek, and there also is this:

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, compared Alexander to James Bond.

“Can anyone guess what number he keeps on his parking spot at Fort Meade?” Dempsey said. “007."

How childish can one be as a general of the U.S.? And yes, while I think of Keith Alexander mostly as a liar and a cheat, I also think he really means the Startrek and James Bond claptrap. (I never liked any of that, but it does make him more difficult to judge for me.)

There is rather a lot more about him in the article, that also names and links Vice Admiral Michael Rogers as his replacement. For the moment I also leave that to you.

4. NSA ally Mike Rogers to leave House intelligence committee for talk radio 

Next, an article by Spencer Ackerman on The Guardian. It's the same Ackerman but a different Rogers than Michael:

This starts as follows:

The National Security Agency’s most stalwart congressional ally is abruptly retiring, part of an almost complete turnover in surveillance leadership less than a year after Edward Snowden’s revelations ushered the spy agency into a new and uncertain era.

Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan, the powerful chairman of the House intelligence committee and a former FBI agent, announced on Friday morning that he is leaving Congress at the end of his term to start a conservative talk radio show.

“It's a pretty rare opportunity. They don't come around very often,” Rogers, a Republican, told a Detroit-area radio show.

I am again glad to be rid of him. Also, the article states:

Rogers’ departure from Congress is part of a near-wholesale replacement of leadership in the NSA and its chief allies in the other branches of government.

This then is expanded by naming quite a few names and functions, which I leave to my readers.

One reason I am quite glad to be rid of Rogers is this bit:

Rogers, a constant presence on news shows, has become the NSA’s senior public proxy for character attacks on Snowden, usually without providing evidence. At a Tuesday press conference, Rogers – who largely referred to Snowden simply as “the former contractor” – issued several accusations based on his description of a secret Defense Intelligence Agency report.

“At least those analysts believe that information, some or all of it, would be in the hands of the Russian intelligence services today. The question on this is not whether he is under the influence of the Russian intelligence services today, everybody agrees on that, the question is when did that start,” Rogers said.

Rogers further alleged, also without evidence, that Snowden’s revelations of widespread NSA bulk surveillance worldwide was “deadly to our military,” although no US servicemember or any other person’s death or injury has been linked to the NSA disclosures.

That is to say: Mike Rogers is quite fit to be a conservative talk show host, because he doesn't believe in facts nor in evidence: all he is interested in is making the news.

5. "Bonus Babies" Make a Huge Haul

Next, an article by Jim Hightower on Common Dreams, that changes the subject:
Here are the main facts:

This year, even though the Wall Street bosses have presided over a 30 percent drop in their banks' profits, they've extracted a 15 percent raise in overall bonus money, totaling a ridiculous $27 billion. That averages out to $165,000 in extra pay to each Wall Street banker. But averages deceive, for thousands of lower-level bankers are given a dab, while those up in the executive suites make off with the bulk of the heist.

Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup, for example, didn't just grab a 15 percent increase in bonus pay, but nearly three times that. His total haul was $16 million. Then there's Jamie Dimon, boss of JPMorgan Chase. He had a really terrible year in 2013, forcing his shareholders to shell out some $22 billion in penalties for a long rap sheet of illegalities. Still, Jamie took a 74 percent hike in bonus money this year – a cool $18.5 million.

I say they are thieves, and they know it: Nobody is worth that amount of money, except perhaps Einstein, Von Neumann and Feynman - who earned a few tenthousands of dollars a year.

6. The NSA is burning down the web, but what if we rebuilt a spy-proof internet?

Next, an article by David Byrne, one of the founders of the Talking Heads, on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
What will life be like after the internet? Thanks to the mass surveillance undertaken by the National Security Agency and the general creepiness of companies like Google and Facebook, I've found myself considering this question. I mean, nothing lasts forever, right?
That means that it is mostly fanciful rather than factual, though there is this more or less factual bit:
We all know by now that the NSA and the UK's Government Communication Headquarters are reading our emails, listening to our phone conversations, storing our metadata and using our computers and phones to watch us. A bunch of dorky guys amassing huge collections of pictures of tits and dicks.
I leave the rest of the article to your consideration, and merely note it is rather long and rather fanciful.

7. It’s NOT Too Late to Try Bush, Cheney and Obama for War Crimes

Next, an article by Washington's Blog:
This starts as follows, with bolding and coloring from the original:

We Can Still Prosecute …

Many argue that the statute of limitations on Bush and Cheney’s crimes of lying us into the Iraq war and torture have all run … so it is too late to prosecute them.

However, the United States War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at 18 U.S.C. 2441, makes it a federal crime for any U.S. national, whether military or civilian, to violate the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment.

The statute applies not only to those who carry out the acts, but also to those who ORDER IT, know about it, or fail to take steps to stop it. The statute applies to everyone, no matter how high and mighty.

18 U.S.C. 2441 has no statute of limitations, which means that a war crimes complaint can be filed at any time.

This then is followed by a long article making the case, which I think is fair. But I do not expect any prosecution, because that needs another world, or the present world after quite a few quite improbable changes.

Even so, it is important to see that there is good evidence and that there are legal reasons to prosecute, also if this doesn't happen.

8.  Moving on

Finally, another shift, this time to a non-crisis item, by Suzy Chapman:
I should start this by saying that Suzy Chapman has soldiered on with several more clarifications of the ICD-10 and ICD-11, after saying on February 11 that:

This will be the final post on Dx Revision Watch.

As from today, I am stepping back from advocacy work and from monitoring and reporting via this site.

Dx Revision Watch will remain online for the foreseeable future as a resource. Other than updating some existing posts, no new postings or reports will be added.

This time she says the following - and I am skipping a paragraph, indicated by (...):
I am still seeing considerable confusion, misunderstanding and misreporting around what can and what cannot be determined from the public version of the ICD-11 Beta drafting platform on emerging proposals for revision of ICD-10′s Somatoform disorders.

(...)

Reiteration of misinformation and inaccurate reporting on blogs, websites and social media platforms helps no-one. It devalues patient and carer concerns; it undermines the work of advocates committed to providing accurate, referenced and timely information; it panics patients and provokes knee jerk “activism” and “slacktivism.”

It has become clear to me, down the years, that the majority of ME patients are not interested in evidence based reporting.

I am wasting my time.

For those who have listened, thank you. The site will remain online as a resource.

Suzy Chapman for Dx Revision Watch

As I said on February 12, I have come to a similar conclusion - except, perhaps, that I go a little further and insist the majority has no interest in, nor any real  understanding of, evidence based reporting, because they simply are too stupid (with or without "brain fog").

This also would not be so very bad, for thus it always was, that is, until the billions from the lower half of the IQ distribution  acquired
internet (mostly in the West) and were misled into thinking that their stupid selfs have the inalienable right to meddle into anything and everything - anonymously, impertinently, blindly, grossly and sickly, also easily scolding, and with the most idiotic arguments, in the most awful prose, but with the near  certainty that they will win in the end, because the stupid are in vast majority, and now they can fuck up any discussion without anyone being able to hit back, because they all are anonymous, and have no sites, no responsibility, no accountability, besides having no brains worth speaking of, and hardly arguments worth reading, by any  intelligent person.

Well... they have won: I do not know of any intelligent active advocate for persons with M.E. now, who is not a doctor of medicine. It's a great pity, but it is what the large majority of the stupid desire: they do not allow anyone more intelligent than they are, not even to state their case. [2]
---------------------------------
Notes

[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.)
[2] I am the more certain that this is so since I am nearly 64 and have had many of the same experiences with The Democratic Average. Well... it so happens that my IQ at 28 was high above 150, and I have acquired three academic degrees, all with excellent marks, since I fell ill at 28, while I have been frauded out of an M.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D. in psychology. But no matter: As the stupid folks on Phoenix Rising have explained me, they are all at least as good as I am, in every thing, and especially intellectually. I wish them lots of luck, for they much need it.

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)

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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