5, 2014
Crisis: Snowden, XKeyscore, Binney, Public Owners, Independence,  Germany
   "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. Edward Snowden should have right to legal defence in
     US, says Hillary Clinton

2. XKeyscore Story Might Mean There Is Second NSA Leaker
3. William Binney speaks plain language to German NSA
     investigation panel

4. It's time to revive public ownership and the common

5. Have We Been Misreading the Declaration of

6. Germany Detains 'Double Agent' for Spying on Spy
     Investigation: Reports

About ME/CFS


This is the Nederlog of July 5. It is an ordinary crisis log.

1. Edward Snowden should have right to legal defence in US, says Hillary Clinton

The first item is an article by Phoebe Greenwood on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:

The former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has said Edward Snowden should have the right to launch a legal and public defence of his decision to leak top-secret documents if he returns to the United States.

"If he wishes to return knowing he would be held accountable and also able to present a defence, that is his decision to make," Clinton said in a video interview with the Guardian on Friday.

Snowden, who is currently in Russia where he has been afforded temporary asylum, has been charged with three separate violations of the US Espionage Act. These charges include stealing government property and sharing classified documents with the Guardian and the Washington Post.

The broadly worded law makes no distinction between a spy and a whistleblower and affords Snowden almost no recourse to a defence.

I say. I report it, but Hillary Clinton said effectively nothing, so the reason it gets reported is that she is a Clinton and may run. Here is a comment by Ben Wizner:

Ben Wizner, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "The laws would not provide him any opportunity to say that the information never should have been withheld from the public in the first place.

"And the fact that the disclosures have led to the highest journalism rewards, have led to historic reforms in the US and around the world – all of that would be irrelevant in a prosecution under the espionage laws in the United States."

Quite so, and this also shows the Espionage Act is not very sane (besides being quite old). Also, Snowden did not spy: if he had, he would have been very rich now and no one would know anything they learned since June 10, 2013, and also no one would know his name.

2. XKeyscore Story Might Mean There Is Second NSA Leaker

The next item is an article by DSWright on Firedoglake:

This starts as follows:

Edward Snowden might not be the only former NSA worker blowing the whistle. New revelations concerning an NSA surveillance program called “XKeyscore” seem to point to another source of NSA leaks.

XKeyscore is, according to German broadcaster Das Erste who was one of the first publishers of the story, an NSA surveillance program that logs and tracks any IP address that searches online for programs to make them anonymous. “Merely searching the web for the privacy-enhancing software tools outlined in the XKeyscore rules causes the NSA to mark and track the IP address of the person doing the search.” If you’re paranoid they are definitely out to get you (also if you’re not paranoid).

Tabling for a minute the horror of yet another Constitution-crushing revelation that blows a hole in the Obama Administration’s spin about limited use of surveillance tools on the general public, the information about XKeyscore does not seem to have come from Edward Snowden. Is there a second NSA leaker?

Bruce Schneier, a security expert who worked with parts of the Snowden documents at the Guardian, says he does not believe Snowden is the source.

And, since Cory said it, I do not believe that this came from the Snowden documents. I also don’t believe the TAO catalog came from the Snowden documents. I think there’s a second leaker out there.

This is at least a bit interesting. The main problems are (1) very few people have access to all the documents Snowden took, and (2) if there is a new whistleblower, he (or she) may well want to remain quite anonymous.

I merely report this and have no opinion on it, except that it would be very nice if true: we do need more whistleblowers e.g. because of what is said in the following item:

3. William Binney speaks plain language to German NSA investigation panel

The next item is an article by Woodybox on Firedoglake:

This starts as follows - and "today" = "July 3, 2014":

Today, ex-NSA director and dissident William Binney was questioned by the German parlamentary commission to investigate the activities of the NSA. Before answering the commissioner’s questions, he dealt them a shock with his opening statement:

I’ve worked for the NSA as a technical director.
I live four miles away from NSA headquarters.
The relationship between NSA and BND is still very good and important.

The complete surveillance of the society is the biggest threat to democracy since the American Civl War.

Total Information Awareness – NSA wants every information from everybody. But they don’t understand it completely, it’s prone to errors on a high level.

The whole world is in peril.

This behavior of our government ist totalitarian. To spy on your own people is the beginning of totalitarism.

It began mid October 2001. After two weeks, I resigned. I’ve spied against the Soviet Union for thirty years, but after 9-11, it went way too far.

Your questions?

I quoted this because I quite agree with William Binney (<-Wikipedia), and indeed that also is the main reason why I write so much about the crisis, and especially about the NSA (etc. for there are the Five Eyes as well, and perhaps many European secret services also follow the NSA in practice, whatever their ministerial spokespersons may say).

Binney is right it is totalitarian; he is right that "To spy on your own people is the beginning of totalitarism"; and he is also right that "The whole world is in peril".

4. It's time to revive public ownership and the common good

The next item is an article by Anne Karpf on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

It might sound like an oxymoron, but this is a positive article about public services. So effectively has the coalition rebranded an economic crisis caused by private greed as the consequence of public ownership, that nationalisation has come to be seen as a universally discredited hangover from bad old Labour. So while current Labour is considering taking back parts of the rail network into public ownership the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, last weekend was intoning the neoliberal catechism: "I don't want to go back to the nationalisation of the 1970s."

But bringing outsourced services into public ownership isn't about looking back: it's about moving forward, and is a popular idea (66% of respondents in a poll last year supported the nationalisation of energy and rail companies, including 52% of Tories). For today, in the face of the combined bungles of G4S, Serco and Atos, not even the slickest PR-turned-politician can sustain the myth that private equals efficient.

Yet privatisation is touted as a panacea and cliches are trotted out about the evils of the "nanny state". We need to develop a new language to talk about public ownership, one that detoxifies it and taps into the wide recognition that natural resources and essential public services should not be treated as commodities.

Yes indeed: I agree. But there is a major problem: "Privatization" is a personal hobby horse from nearly all politicians from nearly all parties because they or their friends get tremendously rich that way, and therefore they lie, and lie and lie, and have been doing so in Holland from the early nineties, left, right and center, with very few abstainees.

So let me lay it out for you - and remember I have been hearing these lies for some 20 years now, from nearly all Dutch politicians, who all lied, lied, lied and deceived and are often quite rich now:
  • The terms "privatization", "liberty" and "freedom", and terms derived from these, have been quite intentionally abused by political deceivers to end or diminish the rule of law; to deny control to the people; to sell public services extremely cheaply so as to make them more expensive in private hands; and to make the most money for the rich few, which tended to include themselves.
  • Politicians who spout about "liberty" and "freedom" in the context of the blessings of "privatization" mean that they and/or their rich friends much desire the "freedom" and the "liberty" to take all the money you have: "Freedom" and "liberty" in political mouths - from left to right and back - means their freedom and their liberty to lie themselves blue in the face so as to better rob you and the great majority of the poor.
I can't make it any better or different.

But Anne Karpf wrote a good piece, and she even tells me quite a few "privatizations" - which worked out as: much money for the few; no money for the poor; and extra-ordinarily bad "service" to the public - are turned back and undone. I hope she is right, although I must say that so far I've seen very little in my own country, where I pay six times the amount in health-insurance and twice the rent I paid ten years ago, all for the same or worse "service", because "privatization" was supposed to liberate me.

Instead it made the rich few a lot richer, and made me and the millions of poor a lot poorer, and that was the whole end of the game and the lies. And no, I am not a socialist or a communist, but also not a proponent of capitalism-with-an- inhuman-face: That is only good for the rich and their very many politicians.

5. Have We Been Misreading the Declaration of Independence?

The next item is an article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:

An errant ink splotch or a genuine period? A scholar says an official transcript of the Declaration of Independence contains an error that has led many Americans to misinterpret the document for almost two centuries.

Danielle Allen, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., points to a period that appears right after the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the transcript used by the National Archives and Records Administration, but not, she maintains, on the badly faded original. She states the ink has contributed to “a routine but serious misunderstanding of the document” that lies at the heart of the contemporary debate between conservatives and liberals over the proper function of government.

I think this is interesting, and Danielle Allen may well be right. I do not think it will solve many problems, but since the Declaration of Independence is a very important document, it is good if it is rendered correctly.

In fact, here is the beginning, as it was printed on July 4, 1776 and is given on Wikipedia - and I write an "f" where stands a long "s" in the originally printed declaration:
When in the Courfe of human Events, it becomes neceffary for one People "to diffolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another," and to affume among the Powers of the Earth, the feparate and equal Station "to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,"  a decent Refpect  to the Opinions of Mankind requires  "that they  fhould declare the caufes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold thefe Truths to be felf-evident, "that all Men are created equal," "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights," "that among thefe are Life, Liberty, and the Purfuit of Happinefs -- That to fecure thefe Rights, Governments are inftituted among Men, "deriving their juft Powers from the Confent of the Governed," that whenever any Form of Government becomes deftructive of these Ends, "it is the Right of the People to alter or abolifh it, and to inftitute a new Government, laying its Foundations on fuch Principles, and organizing its Powers in fuch a Form, as to them fhall feem moft likely to effect their Safety and Happinefs.
That is how it was printed on July 4, 1776. In fact, and in modern terms, it does seem as if the second paragraph is a lot more logical if it were written as follows:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, "that all men are created equal," "that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights," "that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, "it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundations on such principles, and organizing its powers in such a form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
But I do not know whether this can be supported by the - very faint - original written declaration.

6. Germany Detains 'Double Agent' for Spying on Spy Investigation: Reports

Finally for today an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
German news outlets on Friday are reporting that a so-called "double agent" has been detained after confessing to investigators that he was paid by U.S. agents to spy on the German parliamentary panel now investigating the extent of U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance inside the country.

According to Deutsche Welle:

During questioning, the suspect reportedly told investigators that he had gathered information on an investigative committee from Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag. The panel is conducting an inquiry into NSA surveillance on German officials and citizens.

A spokesperson for the Federal Prosecutor's office declined to provide further details about the case, according to news agency AFP.

I say. Well, a little more is known: It is a 31-year old, who works for the BND and also for the NSA, for money. But that is about it.

There also this, which seems quite justified to me:

As journalist Glenn Greenwald immediately observed:

I suppose there will be more on this later - and the link Greenwald provides is a good link to a report on the case.


[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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