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Nederlog


  July
9, 2014
Crisis: Greenwald & NSA * 4, Police, Banks, More NSA, my Dutch writings
  "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. Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have
     Been Spying On

2. Why did Greenwald agree to government plea to hold
     major NSA story but the Post didn’t?

3. The Intercept finally publishes its “finale”: Naming five US
     Muslims monitored by Bush administration

4.
NSA 'Bombshell': Agency Spied on Prominent American
     Citizens

5.
Escalating Domestic Warfare
6. Big Banks Want Power to Declare Cyber War
7. It's Confirmed, NSA Has Your X-Rated Information
8. On my Dutch writings

About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of July 9. It is mostly an ordinary crisis log.

In fact, the first four items are about Glenn Greenwald's and Murtaza Hussain's latest piece, that comes first, followed by three items about it. I find it all a bit disappointing, but that may be just me: I have been closely following the story for thirteen months now.

There are also two pieces, one on the American police, that lately got very much militarized, and one on the latest efforts of the big banks that may enable them to create war, plus a good video summary of the long article in the Washington Post.

The last item is not a crisis item: it concerns a recent finding of mine of a lot more of the text - 60 carefully typed pages, at least - of which I only published the first thirteen pages on May 21, 2013. This is really good, rather long, and quite original, but it is all in Dutch.

1. Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

The first item is an article by Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:
The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies.
There is a lot more and indeed the five individuals, who are all named, all are quite prominent American muslims or have a muslim background, and have done nothing wrong that I can see or they can see or Greenwald can see. But they have been secretly surveilled for several years, at least, as follows from Edward Snowden's materials:

The five Americans whose email accounts were monitored by the NSA and FBI have all led highly public, outwardly exemplary lives. All five vehemently deny any involvement in terrorism or espionage, and none advocates violent jihad or is known to have been implicated in any crime, despite years of intense scrutiny by the government and the press. Some have even climbed the ranks of the U.S. national security and foreign policy establishments.

“I just don’t know why,” says Gill, whose AOL and Yahoo! email accounts were monitored while he was a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates. “I’ve done everything in my life to be patriotic. I served in the Navy, served in the government, was active in my community—I’ve done everything that a good citizen, in my opinion, should do.”

As I said, there is a whole lot more under the last dotted link, and all five individuals are described and are asked and have answered questions, and also agreed that their names and pictures are being used. (Since only one of the three interviews worked on The Intercept for me, see item 4 if you want to see them all, and are similarly handicapped.)

2. Why did Greenwald agree to government plea to hold major NSA story but the Post didn’t? 

The next item is an article by Paul Carr on Pando.com (<-Wikipedia):

Note this is from July 6, before Glenn Greenwald's publishing of item 1, while Pando.com (that used to be called PandoDaily) is described on Wikipedia as "a web publication that offers technology news, analysis, and commentary, with a focus on Silicon Valley and startup companies. It billed itself at launch as "the site of record for Silicon Valley.""

I copied it because I had to find this out myself. The article starts as follows:

For months, Glenn Greenwald and his Omidyar-backed news site, The Intercept, have been trailing their biggest scoop: Details of thousands of Americans who were spied on by their own government. “This will be the finale,” Greenwald said. “A big missing piece.”

Weeks passed, though, and the details didn’t materialize. On 30th June, Greenwald finally announced his big scoop would land “at midnight,” but that deadline too came and went. According to Greenwald, the delay was caused by “last-minute claims” by the US government which had convinced him to delay publication.

It then remarks on the recent Washington Post's article that was the result of 4 months of closely studying some of Snowden's files. After that, it is asked:

So how did Greenwald get scooped by his own source, Snowden, and his former colleague, Gellman? Why did the US government’s attempts to shut down the story work on Greenwald and the Intercept but apparently not on the Post?

But it soon answers the question as follows:

It’s not clear exactly who those White House sources called to silence Greenwald and his boss — I’ve emailed Omidyar’s spokesperson, and will update if I hear back, but they have always refused to comment on Pando stories.

It seems the "exactly" might be deleted or replaced by "at all". Anyway - here is a more recent report from the same source:

3.  The Intercept finally publishes its “finale”: Naming five US Muslims monitored by Bush administration

The next item is an article by Paul Carr on Pando.com (<-Wikipedia):

This starts as follows:

Just days after the Washington Post revealed that Americans were being surveilled by the NSA and FBI, Pierre Omidyar’s The Intercept has finally published its own version — and expansion — of the story, naming five Muslim Americans who appeared on “a spreadsheet titled ‘FISA recap’ [containing] 7,485 email addresses apparently monitored between 2002 and 2008.”

It is also said (after some reporting on the article in item 1):

Intercept staffer Glenn Greenwald had previously pledged to publish the story on 30th June, describing it as  “the finale… A big missing piece.” But later said he had decided to hold it due to “last-minute claims” by the US Government. Pando asked a spokesperson for the Intercept to explain the nature of these claims but they have not returned multiple requests for comment.

I say - but not really. 

4. NSA 'Bombshell': Agency Spied on Prominent American Citizens

The next item is an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows (and is today's last item that deals with item 1):
According to new reporting published by The Intercept at midnight on Tuesday, the National Security Agency has used its massive surveillance apparatus to directly target and spy on American citizens who have absolutely no ties to criminal or terrorist activities.

In what was anticipated as a 'bombshell' revelation concerning some of the targets of NSA surveillance, journalist Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain show how the NSA and FBI "have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies."
It also says:

While Greenwald and Hussain acknowledge the "documents do not prove that the government has been systematically monitoring the communications of political dissidents," the people they interviewed, including civil liberties experts and the targets themselves, say the evidence that these individuals were monitored raises serious Constitutional questions about such practices.

Indeed, write Greenwald and Hussain,

the government’s ability to monitor such high-profile Muslim-Americans—with or without warrants—suggests that the most alarming and invasive aspects of the NSA’s surveillance occur not because the agency breaks the law, but because it is able to exploit the law’s permissive contours. “The scandal is what Congress has made legal,” says Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU deputy legal director. “The claim that the intelligence agencies are complying with the laws is just a distraction from more urgent questions relating to the breadth of the laws themselves.”

There is another reason the last dotted link is useful: It contained three working links to three interviews with three of the people in item 1, and on The Intercept I only could see one. (I do not know the reason: it is vimeo in each case, and one of the directors is Laura Poitras. Normally, my Linux box has no problems with vimeo.)

5. Escalating Domestic Warfare

The next item is an article by Brian J. Trautman on Consortiumnews:

This starts as follows:

Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a report titled “War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing,” shedding much needed light on the emergence of a militarist ethos in policing across the nation.

In a review of public records, such as incident reports, requested from more than 260 law enforcement agencies in 25 states and the District of Columbia, the ACLU found that, from the responses received, 818 SWAT operations from 20 local law enforcement agencies located in 11 states fully met their research criteria, which took geographic diversity into account, among other factors. The SWAT incidents that were analyzed fell in the time period between July 2010 and last October.

There is also this:

According to the report, the root causes of the excessive militarization of policing and its reshaping of cultural values are numerous. They include the “War on Drugs,” the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and a series of Supreme Court decisions which have eroded the rights guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment and given police unprecedented access to private homes.

And there is this:

Modern policing, which frequently treats citizens like enemies of the state, should deeply concern every American, regardless of political affiliation. Over the past two decades, the violent crime rate in the United States has decreased sharply. Innovations in computer technology have provided law enforcement with new crime prevention tools, especially in surveillance. The excessive militarization of American policing, then, is counterintuitive.

I think this is a good article, but I do not quite agree to the "counterintuitive" qualification, though indeed intuitions are personal things. And Trautman himself says in the next paragraph:

The drug war and counter-terrorism efforts may represent two of the official justifications for current trends in policing. Historically, however, nations have militarized their police to rapidly quell potential mass civil uprisings against tyranny and injustice.

Precisely: That last line is my intuition. And I agree that is quite worrying, what with the popularity of Congress (at 6 or 9%) etc.

6.  Big Banks Want Power to Declare Cyber War

The next item
is an article by Washington's Blog on his blog:
This starts as follows (coloring in the original):

Merger of Big Banks and National Security Power … What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Bloomberg reports:

Wall Street’s biggest trade group has proposed a government-industry cyber war council to stave off terrorist attacks that could trigger financial panic by temporarily wiping out account balances, according to an internal document.

The proposal by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, known as Sifma, calls for a committee of executives and deputy-level representatives from at least eight U.S. agencies including the Treasury Department, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, all led by a senior White House official.

The trade association also reveals in the document that Sifma has retained former NSA director Keith Alexander to “facilitate” the joint effort with the government. Alexander, in turn, has brought in Michael Chertoff, the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, and his firm, Chertoff Group.

I skip some and arrive at this:

Representative Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, said today he was concerned that industry members in such a joint group could improperly get involved in pre-emptive strikes against a person or state planning an assault on the U.S.

“This could in effect make the banks part of what would begin to look like a war council,” Grayson said in an e-mail. “Congress needs to keep an eye on what something like this could mean.”

Congressman Grayson tweets:

Ex-NSA chief Keith Alexander wants to form a joint WH-bank war council. So now Wall Street gets to declare war?

Actually, it seems it does or at least: it wants the power to be able to do so.
As Washington's Blog says (and I have skipped some points that are indicated by ellipsis):

There is cause for concern, given the following context:

There is considerably more under the last dotted link.

7.  It's Confirmed, NSA Has Your X-Rated Information

Finally in today's crisis items, a video by The Young Turks:

This is 10 m 58 s and it is about the Washington Post's last long article on the spying the NSA does.

It is listed here because - although it is nearly 11 minutes - this is a good summary of the Washington Post's long article, and it also clearly articulates why this is (or at least: should be) seriously worrying people.

8. On my Dutch writings

This section is merely for those interested in my old Dutch writings: I have found some of 27 years ago that seem quite interesting to me, and that may get published eventually (on my sites, at least). You may skip it if you are only interested in the crisis, for this section is not about the crisis.

Here is the story, with some explanations.

I noted repeatedly that I am now a bit less bad than I was, indeed for nearly 20 years (!!), and one of the reasons that I know this must be true is that I am still slowly unpacking boxes of papers and other stuff that got collected in 2006 and stored in one of my two rooms, and that stood there, and stood there, and stood there, for eight years waiting on a period of some - relative - health. (For I get no help whatsoever of any kind, except for minimal dole.)

Well, I am still busy, and I have unpacked at least 13 large boxes now. I threw a lot away and I kept the rest for another and final sorting on date and subject, and I also have found a number of things I lost or indeed completely forgot I ever had.

This is about an item I totally forgot: A multo ... well, first question: What is "a multo"?

In fact, it may be a Dutch invention, as I haven't seen it in England and Norway, where I've also lived. In any case, it is the outer frame of a book of 30 * 34 cm or 20 * 24 cm., that is fairly firm and usually has a plastic coating, and the inside has a set of rings (24 in the large case) in the middle, in which fit papers of the right size that have holes for where the rings fit. This means one can arrange and rearrange one's writings page by page, since each page can be fitted wherever one wants, by opening and closing the rings, which have a mechanism for that end, and fitting in the pages, which one can buy, with holes for the rings in them and all, in lots of a 100 pages. In fact, it is quite handy, although these days it seems a bit oldfashioned, since it is all paper.

I have used a lot of them, in school and in the university, and I still can buy them, but they seem much less frequent than they were before the masses also got their computers.

Anyway, now you know what a multo is - a neat container for specially ringed papers, that used to be very popular in schools, because each of the pages can be put anywhere inside it. I found a large multo with writings of 1986 and 1987 (my two last pre-computer years: I got a computer in August or September 1987) that includes a much longer version of "Over geestelijke gezondheid en gestoordheid" (yes, that is Dutch: "On mental health and disturbance" is the translation) that I copied and published in May 2013, having found photocopies of the first 13 pages: There are at least 30 more mostly carefully typed pages.

And there seem to be at least 20 to 40 more related additional fairly well typed pages there, making the total to something like at least 80 fairly clearly typed pages - and by "
fairly clearly typed" I mean: faultless with few handwritten corrections, while "carefully" means: with none or very few handwritten corrections.

It is all 27 or 28 years old, but I liked what I saw, even though it is clear this project never got really finished, probably because I could not get sufficient sleep from 1988-1992, when I had to live above illegal drugsdealers the Amsterdam mayor had given his personal permission to deal illegal drugs from the house where I lived, instead of from his own house or one of his aldermen.

In any case, I did a lot of work for it, and it is all completely original, so I may publish it, eventually, even though it is in Dutch. (It certainly is not oldfashioned.)

However, I make no promises: I have to copy the text again, and that may take quite a while - but this is probably the only thing about psychology that I wrote, apart from the booklet that I published in 1981, that is only about methodology, that really gives my views about psychology, and that does so in a fairly systematic and comprehensive way, in good Dutch, and it happens to be one of the few things I wrote (apart from my notes) that is specifically about psychology, rather than philosophy - for I have an M.A. in psychology only because I was removed from the faculty of philosophy briefly before taking my M.A. there, because I committed the crime, as an invited speaker, to only ask some questions. This turned out to be very much forbidden in the University of Amsterdam and the state of Holland, during the quasi-"marxist" years from 1971-1995, which covered all of my "studies" there.

In any case, I will try to copy it, for it is well-written and quite original, and certainly very little like it has been published by anyone else.

---------------------------------

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)



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