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. Islamist terror threat to
west blown out of proportion -
former MI6 chief
2. White House on the back
foot over CIA
role in German
3. Exclusive: Democracy Now!
Goes Inside Embassy
Refuge, Talks w/ Julian Assange
4. Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War
5. Hillary Clinton Flaunts Her Surveillance
7. Noam Chomsky:
America Is the World Leader at
'Supreme International Crimes'
This is the Nederlog of July
8. It is an ordinary crisis log, and that is all.
Islamist terror threat to
west blown out of proportion -
former MI6 chief
item is an article by Richard Norton-Taylor on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
I say. I am a bit amazed
at agreeing with a former chief of MI6, but this seems quite sane.
Also, it very strongly contrasts with the utterances of the Dutch
Leibniz, politician, biologist, singer, and more, "who is good at
everything he does" (I am repeating, not concurring: he is a
revolving door idiot) minister Ronald Plasterk, who was a few days ago
on the Dutch radio, to tell his audience that The Threat Of Terrorism
was Bigger Than Ever, what with all these ISIS-fighters who might
return to Holland. That is: Keep the dumbos scared!
The government and media
have blown the Islamist terrorism threat out of proportion, giving
extremists publicity that is counter-productive, a former head of
Britain's intelligence service has said.
Sir Richard Dearlove,
chief of MI6 at the time of the Iraq invasion, said that Britons
spreading "blood-curdling" messages on the internet should be ignored.
He told an audience in London on Monday there had been a fundamental
change in the nature of Islamist extremism since the Arab spring. It
had created a major political problem in the Middle East but the west,
including Britain, was only "marginally affected".
Unlike the threat posed
by al-Qaida before and in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks 13 years
ago, the west was not the main target of the radical fundamentalism
that created Isis, (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), Dearlove
Addressing the Royal
United Services Institute, the London-based security and defence
thinktank, he said the conflict was "essentially one of Muslim on
In contrast, Sir Richard Dearlove told his audience:
He made it clear
he believed the way the British government and the media were giving
the extremists the "oxygen of publicity" was counter-productive. The
media were making monsters of "misguided young men, rather pathetic
figures" who were getting coverage "more than their wildest dreams",
said Dearlove, adding: "It is surely better to ignore them."
He clearly had not
with the Dutch ministerial genius, but I agree with him that the "media were making monsters of "misguided
young men, rather pathetic figures"": that seems to be about the size of it.
ministerial genius, who spent about half his life as a biologist and
half his life as a politician, that is, when he is not imitating Bob
Dylan, or taking photographs, or singing in a choir, or sketching
(after photographs) or - a large task - being
interviewed about his own amazing excellencies, instead
about A New Model for The Terrorist Threat, in Holland, making it Very
Much More Dangerous. As
I said: Keep
the dumbos scared!
Sir Richard Dearlove told his audience:
Yes indeed - and not
through the actions of the Western secret services, that were far too
busy Collecting Everything: they just didn't have the people or the
MI5, MI6, and GCHQ
devoted a greater share of their resources to countering Islamist
fundamentalism than they did to the Soviet Union during the cExclusive:
Democracy Now! Goes Inside Embassy Refuge, Talks w/ Julian Assange
About WikiLeaks, Snowdenold war, or to Irish terrorism that had cost
the lives of more UK citizens and British soldiers than al-Qaida had
done, Dearlove noted.
A massive reaction after
the 9/11 attacks was inevitable, he said, but it was not inevitable the
2001 attacks would continue to "dominate our way of thinking about
national security". There had been a "fundamental change" in the nature
of the threat posed by Islamist extremists. Al-Qaida had largely failed
to mount the kind of attacks in the US and UK it had threatened after
But OK: I do expect to read much more on the Extreme Dangers
that Islamic Terrorism poses for All Westerners. It's nearly all
baloney in my judgment - they have no large well-trained professional
armies nor atomic bombs, as the Soviet Union did: they do not even hold
much territory, and they don't have much money - but o, how very
well it serves the plans of corrupt Western politicians, out for more
and more power for their own kind.
But it's a bit nice to read a rare voice of reason, even if it is a
former head of MI6.
House on the back foot over CIA role in German
item is an article by Dan Roberts, Spencer Ackerman and Philip
Oltermann on The Guardian:
This starts as
The White House was
forced to defend its increasingly fraught relationship with Berlin on
Monday as the Central Intelligence Agency maintained a conspicuous
silence about new allegations linking it to a spying scandal involving
a German intelligence official.
quoted two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, who
told the news agency that the CIA was involved in the alleged
recruitment of the official, a 31-year-old employee of the German
intelligence agency (BND).
The official was arrested
on Wednesday on suspicion of having sold secret documents to a contact
at the CIA.
The controversy has
threatened to upend an uneasy, monthslong diplomatic rapproachement
between the two allies after chancellor Angela Merkel revealed the
National Security Agency had monitored
her cellphone, causing widespread outrage in Germany and even on
Capitol Hill. President Barack Obama was prompted to pledge an end to
spying on the leaders of allied nations.
There is rather a lot more
under the last dotted link, but most of it is none too clear, which is
explained again by the fact that the democratic governments and their
democratic spy masters all are very carefully very silent.
I suppose more will follow
and I merely remark here and now that the total surveillance Obama is
favor of - except of course for twenty to thirty persons who now happen
to be "the
leaders of allied nations" (that
you believe him) - on everything everybody
who is not "an allied leader" does with a computer or cell
phone, (1) is both very criminal and deeply undemocratic, but indeed I
agree it also is (2) very
well fit to start an authoritarian state.
Goes Inside Embassy Refuge, Talks
w/ Julian Assange About Wikileaks, Snowden
is an article
by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:
This starts as follows (and
Amy Goodman was in Europe):
In a Democracy Now!
special, we go inside the Ecuadorian embassy in
London to interview Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. He has been holed
up there for more than two years, having received political asylum. He
faces investigations in both Sweden and the United States. In the U.S.,
a secret grand jury is investigating WikiLeaks for its role in
publishing a trove of leaked documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan
wars, as well as classified State Department cables. In Sweden, Assange
is wanted for questioning on allegations of sexual misconduct, though
no charges have been filed. Late last week, there was the first break
in the latter case in two years, when a Swedish court announced it
would hold a hearing on July 16 about a request by his lawyers for
prosecutors to hand over new evidence and withdraw the arrest warrant.
In the first of a two-part interview, Assange discusses his new legal
bid in Sweden, the ongoing grand jury probe in the United States, and
WikiLeaks’ efforts to assist National Security Agency whistleblower
In fact, this is a fairly
long interview with Julian Assange, that you can read for yourself. I
did not notice anything new in it that has not been reported here,
except for a bit in which Assange says he is sure there is another
Edward Snowden now, but without giving any evidence.
Well... actually I reported
that as well, and said I didn't know, which is still the case. But it
is a decent interview and Amy Goodman did go to the Ecuadorian Embassy
where Assange now spent two years, while it is not even known what
crime he is supposed to have committed.
in Fenway Park to the Gods of War
item is an article
by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
went to watch a baseball game. Here is the second paragraph of the
piece he wrote about it:
reverie—repeated in sports arenas throughout the United States—is used
to justify our bloated war budget and endless wars. Schools and
libraries are closing. Unemployment and underemployment are chronic.
Our infrastructure is broken and decrepit. And we will have paid a
crippling $4 trillion for the useless and futile wars we waged over the
last 13 years in the Middle East. But the military remains as
unassailable as Jesus, or, among those who have season tickets at
Fenway Park, the Red Sox. The military is the repository of our honor
and patriotism. No public official dares criticize the armed forces or
challenge their divine right to more
than half of all the nation’s discretionary spending. And although
we may be distrustful of government, the military—in the twisted logic
of the American mind—is somehow separate.
Yes, and there is a lot
more, such as this - which also holds for the Dutch, except that their
sport is soccer, while their supposed religion, that
few really believe
in, is Calvinism:
euphoria experienced in stadiums, especially among those struggling to
survive in the corporate state, gives to many anxious Americans what
they crave. They flock to the temples of sport while most places of
traditional religious worship in the United States are largely deserted
on the Sabbath. Those packed into the stadiums feel as if they and
everyone around them speak the same language. They believe those in the
crowd are one entity. And they all hate the same enemy.
Yes. One major problem
is that half of the population has an IQ that is 100 at best,
education they did get was mostly quite bad. It also is especially this
half + 1 that is the target of the politicians: Make your case so that
the half that is least intelligent will seem to get it and approve it,
and you've won.
And thus they win, de-mo-cra-tic-al-ly, since a long time. I have
solutions for this, but they are not popular and will not be adopted.
Instead, the clever crooks who are politicians will continue to mislead
the half who is neither intelligent nor learned, and thus it will go on
and on until it finally breaks. (And that also will be far from pretty.)
Anyway - Chris Hedges is right that there is a strong tie between
sports and politics, and it seems (to me) that tie is mostly due to the
great intelligence and high education of sports fans.
Clinton Flaunts Her Surveillance
item is an article
by Robert Scheer on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
My guess is that she
knew something about the systematic spying on the American people while
she was secretary of state, as indeed did Obama, but she simply did not
care, and neither did he. But I can't prove it, although I think
Who is the true patriot,
Hillary Clinton or Edward Snowden? The question comes up because
Clinton has gone all out in attacking Snowden as a means of burnishing
her hawkish credentials, eliciting Glenn Greenwald’s comment that she
is “like a neocon, practically.”
On Friday in England,
Clinton boasted that two years ago she had favored a proposal by a top
British General to train 100,000 “moderate” rebels to overthrow the
Assad regime in Syria, but Obama had turned her down. The American
Thatcher? In that same interview with the Guardian she also managed to
get in yet another shot against Snowden for taking refuge in Russia
“apparently under Putin’s protection,” unless, she taunted, “he wishes
to return knowing he would be held accountable.”
Accountable for telling
the truth that Clinton concealed during her tenure as secretary of
state in the Obama Administration? Did she approve of the systematic
spying on the American people as well as of others around the world,
including the leaders of Germany and Brazil, or did she first learn of
all this from the Snowden revelations?
I can prove that both were legally required to know.
But the short of it is: The NSA lies; Obama lies; Clinton lies, while
most Americans don't care, it seems mostly because they agree their
politicians and their government are liars, and there is hardly
anything they can do about it. And no ordinary
American has any say about who will be the presidential candidates.
O beautiful democracy!
item is an article
by Eugene Robinson on Truthdig:
This starts as
Even those who
believe the National Security Agency’s vacuum-cleaner surveillance of
electronic communications does not trample privacy rights should be
troubled by this practical implication: If you try to know everything,
you end up knowing nothing.
mock-certainty in the quotation is just a bit of propaganda, or
it is bullshit
- I don't rightly know: Does he really believe that? "If you try to know everything,
you end up knowing nothing"?
(Certainly not from his own experience, it follows logically.)
In any case, I just don't agree with Robinson, who argues a
case that seems to amount to the following: OK, the NSA can spy
all they like, but
they should do it more like Eugene Robinson thinks it should be
Witness this for example:
These NSA programs
are designed to snoop on foreigners. Snowden has expressed the view
that citizens of other countries have privacy rights, too. You don’t
have to agree with him to wonder why the personal emails of, say, a
college professor in Germany or an insurance salesman in Brazil should
not be purged once the material is determined irrelevant to any
First, these NSA
programs are grossly illegal (and if the laws are changed
that they are "legal" I say the laws are bad: Bad laws have happened
many times before). Second, the NSA spies on everyone (and the
few they -
perhaps - avoid ("wittingly") are spied on by one of the Five Eyes,
quite wittingly). Third, I do have privacy rights, by
international treaty, and I do not like being told
are "exceptional": That's just stupd flattering nonsense. Fourth, a
"college professor or an assurance salesman" should not have
their private and personal data stolen from them, period.
(Except if there is plausible proof according to an objective judge,
who does not hide in secrecy nor behind classified documents.)
Finally, Eugene Robinson is far too trustful of his NSA and
also doesn't know enough: Their job is - as they themselves say - "to
collect everything" anyone
does with a computer or says into a cell phone. And they do not collect
everything anyone does because they want to fight "terrorism", but
everything anyone does is to know all (in principle) and thereby to
control all, if only by the threat that something might be known about
one that the authorities don't like (whatever it is).
It is power politics,
just like the Stasi did in Eastern Germany -
except that the NSA knows far, far more about far, far more persons,
almost none of whom did
anything wrong or has any ties to any "terrorist".
It all happens on purpose, and in fact the whole plan to spy on everyone
dates back to 1968. Here
is Brezezinski circa 1968:
Mr Brezezinski does not expect that the Luddite
He had to wait till
2007, but then everything fell into place.
anarchy will seriously obstruct the new
'it will soon be possible to assert almost
surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-
containing even personal information
personal behaviour of the citizen, in
customary data.' Moreover it will be
and plan to meet any uprisings in the
will even be able to forecast crises before the
conscious of wanting them.
But what does Eugene Robinson know?
Chomsky: America Is the World Leader at Committing 'Supreme
item is an article
by Noam Chomsky on AlterNet:
starts as follows:
that is fair - and I also think few will pay attention. But it is
correct, and shows the United States have done very little to
heed the outcome of the Nuremberg Trials. Perhaps that was to be
expected - I mean: past law versus the reality of everyday politics -
it certainly was not what the Nuremberg Trials promised, and
indeed goes completely counter to it.
The front page
of The New York Times on June 26 featured a photo of women
mourning a murdered Iraqi.
He is one of the
innumerable victims of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria)
campaign in which the Iraqi army, armed and trained by the U.S. for
many years, quickly melted away, abandoning much of Iraq to a few
thousand militants, hardly a new experience in imperial history.
Right above the picture
is the newspaper's famous motto: "All the News That's Fit to Print."
There is a crucial
omission. The front page should display the words of the Nuremberg
judgment of prominent Nazis - words that must be repeated until they
penetrate general consciousness: Aggression is "the supreme
international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it
contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
And alongside these words
should be the admonition of the chief prosecutor for the United States,
Robert Jackson: "The record on which we judge these defendants is the
record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these
defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well."
There is considerably more under the last dotted link, that I will
leave to your interests.
 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: