Prev-IndexNL-Next

Nederlog


  April
6, 2014
Crisis: NSA, Moyes, Torture, United Nations, ME/CFS
   "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 Uses Corporate News to Spread Propaganda and
     Silence Dissent

2. ‘The Fight to Save Our Democracy ... Just Got Harder’
3. Leak the CIA Report: It's the Only Way to Know the
     Whole Truth About Torture
4. UN Must Reject Mass Surveillance to Protect Global
     Privacy Rights

5. Neuroinflammation is present in widespread brain areas
     in CFS/ME patients

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of April 6. It is another crisis issue.

It is a Sunday, and I found four articles, of which the fourth one, that concerns a submission to the United Nations, is best. There also is a last article thrown in that is about medicine, and that shows that people with ME/CFS are not imagining things (or lying) - as some psychiatrists insist, wholly falsely - when they claim they are ill.

1.  NSA Uses Corporate News to Spread Propaganda and Silence Dissent

The first article today is by
Donald Kaufman on Truth Dig:
This starts as follows (and refers to an article by Glenn Greenwald):

Investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald published an expose this week detailing how the NSA has been feeding “propaganda” to various news publications, which have happily played along. The propaganda isn’t limited just to schlock networks like Fox News, but is promulgated also by widely trusted newspapers, including The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. 

The message NSA and other officials send to the public every time a whistle-blower and journalist step forward to expose an inconvenient truth is, “You’re all going to die because of these leakers and the journalists who publish their disclosures!” Greenwald writes. This encourages a fervor of fear that has led some legislators and “journalists” to openly call for the assassination of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for disclosures made through his site.
I have dealt with it on April 1, but it is good to see this taken up by others.

2.  ‘The Fight to Save Our Democracy ... Just Got Harder’ 

The next item is a brief article by Alexander Reed Kelly:

In fact, he introduces a short video by Bill Moyers (<- Wikipedia) on the McCutcheon decision. It is here because I like it:



This takes only 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and it says the right things, and counsels against despair.


3.  Leak the CIA Report: It's the Only Way to Know the Whole Truth About Torture

The next item is an article by Trevor Timm on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

In a seemingly rare win for transparency, headlines blared on Thursday that the Senate Intelligence Committee had voted to declassify key findings of its massive report on CIA torture. Unfortunately, most news articles waited until the final two paragraphs to mention the real news: the public won't see any of the document for months at minimum, and more than 90% of the investigation – characterized as "the Pentagon Papers of the CIA torture program" – will remain secret indefinitely.

In reality, only the executive summary and its conclusions – 480 out of some 6,300 pages – were even included in the vote, and they're nowhere close to being published: it now heads to the White House for "declassification review", an arduous process that will involve multiple government agencies taking a black marker to the documents, including the CIA, the same agency accused in the report of systematically torturing prisoners and lying about it for years. The spy report's subjects and suspects will now become its censors.

Note that this is quite crazy: The CIA is being investigated by the Senate, and should have no rights to use "a black marker" on the texts written by the Senate. That is a total reversion of who commands who - and under Obama it seems it is effectively the CIA who controls the Senate, rather than the reverse, as it should be.

There is also this:

As Marcy Wheeler has noted, torture advocates are allowed a free hand to go on book tours, exposing the greatness of torture, while torture critics like former FBI agent Ali Soufan are usually muzzled, or worse. Of course, no government official has ever been prosecuted for torture, but former CIA officer John Kiriakou is in jail for speaking to the press about it.

Still, the larger question remains: will the White House live up to its word and tell us the truth about torture?

President Obama has stated he wants the findings declassified in an expedient manner, but he quickly defended the CIA when it was accused of spying on the Senate, and as McClatchy reported, "the White House has been more involved than publicly acknowledged … For five years, the White House has been withholding more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the committee for its investigation, even though Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege."

See my previous remark. It ends like this:

Parts of the report are now in the hands of Senate staffers, White House officials, State Department employees, CIA sooks and soon maybe more. It would not come without great personal risk, but the American people may only be served well if someone with a conscience is brave enough to leak the full report and hold the CIA accountable for its crimes once and for all.

There is considerably more in the article, but it seems a fair conclusion:

It is quite undemocratic how the CIA behaves - and if the Senate prepared, at a cost of 40 million dollars, a long report on the CIA, that report should be fully published in a democracy, and then the CIA can formulate its criticisms, and be as scathing as it wants to be.

But it should not have the right to censor the report or stop its publication, and if it can do this means democracy has died and the free and open society has been transformed into an unfree and closed one, where the secret services rule the nation, rather than Congress.

4.  UN Must Reject Mass Surveillance to Protect Global Privacy Rights

Next, an article by Carly Nyst that I found on Common Dreams but that originated at Privacy International:

This starts as follows:
In response to a consultation being undertaken by the UN in accordance with December’s General Assembly resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age, Privacy International today called on the United Nations to recognise that mass surveillance is incompatible with human rights.

The submission to the Office of the High Commissioner to Human Rights confronts some of the biggest challenges to the right to privacy in the digital age, debunks some of the justifications put forth by the Five Eyes governments in response to the Snowden revelations, and argues that States owe human rights obligations to all individuals subject to their jurisdiction.

Privacy International - in conjunction with Access, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Article 19, the Association for Progressive Communications, Human Rights Watch and the World Wide Web Foundation - demand that the UN formally recognises that indiscriminate surveillance, such as the Prism and Tempora programmes being conducted by the NSA and GCHQ, are inherently disproportionate infringements on individual privacy, and can never be compatible with human rights.

The UN must recognise that the interception of digital communications is effected at the moment at which a communication is engaged with, and that States conducting global communications surveillance, like the US and UK, owe obligations to individuals both within and outside their borders.

Quite so! There is also this:

Governments have been quick to attempt to colour the discourse around mass surveillance by rebranding their actions as “bulk collection” of communications, asserting that such collection in itself is a benign measure that does not offend privacy rights. Collection, the US and UK governments have asserted, is not the problem; privacy is only implicated when a state agent looks at or reads the communications that are collected.

We reject this argument, and call upon the UN to make a strong statement that any measure to collect, control or take custody of communications amounts to an interception, thus constituting an interference with privacy that must be justified in accordance with international human rights law.

Again: Quite so - and I have been saying this for a long time now.

There is more that is quite good in the article, and this is definitely one of the ways to go, against the illegal, discriminatory thefts of the private data of millions of individuals who broke no law and are no terrorists.

It is recommended that you read all of it.

5. Neuroinflammation is present in widespread brain areas in CFS/ME patients 

Finally, a medical article about ME/CFS, that I have now for 36 years, and that would not be here if medicine and psychiatry worked well, which they do not:

Medicine got corrupted by pharmacology, as did psychiatry, and besides psychiatrists are crazy enough to insist that anything current medicine cannot explain, like many partially known diseases, can and indeed are explained by psychiatry, namely as "neurasthenia" (or its modern terminology, like "Somatic Stress Disorder", which is even less precisely defined).

This halted or hampered very much research into diseases, including ME.
Happily some real medical research continues, and this is a Japanese publication:
They investigated 9 patients with ME/CFS and 10 healthy controls, and found this:

RESULTS:

The BPND values of 11C-(R)-PK11195 in the cingulate cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, midbrain, and pons were 45%-199% higher in CFS/ME patients than in healthy controls. In CFS/ME patients, the BPND values of 11C-(R)-PK11195 in the amygdala, thalamus, and midbrain positively correlated with cognitive impairment score, the BPND values in the cingulate cortex and thalamus positively correlated with pain score, and the BPND value in the hippocampus positively correlated with depression score.

CONCLUSION:

Neuroinflammation is present in widespread brain areas in CFS/ME patients and was associated with the severity of neuropsychologic symptoms. Evaluation of neuroinflammation in CFS/ME patients may be essential for understanding the core pathophysiology and for developing objective diagnostic criteria and effective medical treatments.
But since 1988 professor sir Simon Wessely, psychiatrist, and faithful servant of the British military, has insisted that no, no, no: people with ME/CFS are mad, crazy, disturbed, loony and lying (his terms tend to be more circumspect, but that is definitely what he means), and besides that, there is nothing wrong with them. They should simply be sent to work and be refused illness benefits.

And that is what happened to me, for 30 years, and the only thing that prevented this being even more serious than it is, are my website and my talents to write and reason.

---------------------------------
Note
[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)

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)



       home - index - summaries - mail