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."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
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
4. It's time to revive public
ownership and the common
5. Have We Been Misreading the
6. Germany Detains 'Double
Agent' for Spying on Spy
This is the Nederlog of July
5. It is an ordinary crisis
1. Edward Snowden should have right to legal
defence in US, says Hillary Clinton
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
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.
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
Story Might Mean There Is Second NSA Leaker
item is an article by DSWright on Firedoglake:
This starts as
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
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
3. William Binney speaks plain language to
German NSA investigation panel
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
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.
surveillance of the society is the biggest threat to democracy since
the American Civl War.
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
This behavior of our
government ist totalitarian. To spy on your own people is the beginning
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.
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".
to revive public ownership and the common good
item is an article
by Anne Karpf on The Guardian:
This starts as
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.
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
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.
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
- 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.
I can't make it any
better or different.
- 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
lie themselves blue in the face so as to better rob you and the
majority of the poor.
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
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?
item is an article
by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
But I do not know
whether this can be supported by the - very faint - original written
6. Germany Detains 'Double Agent' for
Spying on Spy
Finally for today an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
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
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.
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.
There also this, which seems quite justified to me:
I suppose there will be
more on this later - and the link Greenwald provides is a good link to
a report on the case.
As journalist Glenn
Greenwald immediately observed:
 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
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 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
from is quite pertinent.)
(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: