2, 2014
Crisis: Brennan's lying, CIA tortured * 2, Israel, M.E. and mB12
  "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

It’s About the Lying
2. Obama admits CIA 'tortured some folks' but stands by
     Brennan over spying

3. Obama Admits U.S. “Tortured Some Folks”. Here’s WHAT

Understanding Israel’s War as Racist Is Crucial to Ending

5. M.E. and mB12 etc.

About ME/CFS


This is the Nederlog of August 2. It is a crisis log.

It also is a Saturday, and I did not find much, except about Obama & Brennan, of which there is much more than I report. I have four crisis items, of which indeed three are about Obama's admission that the CIA "tortured some folks", followed by an article about Israel, and my objection to considering this religious conflict racist.

As to the admission by Obama that he is responsible, effectively, that his CIA
"tortured some folks": '"torturing" is bad but - watch my left ear - "folks" aren't good, so - watch my right ear - it sort of cancels, don't you see?' (Or that is what I think his choice of words suggests - and I left out: 'besides, you don't know what my dear friend Brennan knows about me". For indeed I do not know, though I do know Obama is a great breaker of promises, which he also does quite charmingly.)

Finally, there also is a bit about my M.E. and the supplements I take, for I altered some, again, and will report in a week's time on the differences - if any, indeed - that I made.

1. It’s About the Lying

The first item is an article by Dan Froomkin on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:

I don’t want to understate how seriously wrong it is that the CIA searched Senate computers. Our constitutional order is seriously out of whack when the executive branch acts with that kind of impunity — to its overseers, no less.

Yes: The CIA - quite seriously, and still - sought to control the Senate's report on the CIA's misbehavior, especially with regards to torture, which does happen a lot - or so it seems - and especially in special "rendition sites", e.g. in Poland.

This continues:

But given everything else that’s been going on lately, the single biggest — and arguably most constructive — thing to focus on is how outrageously CIA Director John Brennan lied to everyone about it.

Brennan certainly lied outrageously, but I do not know why this would be the "most constructive" thing to focus on, especially as Obama seems quite happy to keep him in the job.

But OK: This continues with some examples of Brennan's outrageous lying:

“As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth,” Brennan told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell in March. “We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do.”

Yet he did hack into the Senate computers, and he certainly would do it again, I think, as long as he is head of the CIA. I agree this is beyond "the scope of reason in terms of what we do", but then Mr Brennan seems to be extending that scope so that (1) he can torture anyone without any punishment, and (2) he can control everyone, again without any punishment: he can do it, nobody blocks him, so he does it. And Obama sits in his oval office, and smilingly allows it.

Here is some on Brennan's lies and threats:

Earlier, he had castigated “some members of the Senate” for making “spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts.” He called for an end to “outbursts that do a disservice to the important relationship that needs to be maintained between intelligence officials and Congressional overseers.”

And what compelled Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein to make a dramatic floor speech in the first place, bringing everything out in the open, was that Brennan had responded to her initial concerns not by acknowledging the CIA’s misconduct — but by firing back with an allegation of criminal activity by her own staff.

Yes, indeed: Not only did Brennan lie about his CIA's spying on the Senate: he even falsely accused the Senate's staff of using criminal procedures. But Brennan may stay.

Here is Froomkin on the extent of Brennan's and the CIA's lying:
But by all accounts, the report [by the Senate, on torture - MM] not only discloses abuse that was more brutal, systematic and widespread than generally recognized, but also chronicles how the people most intimately involved in the torture regime lied to others inside the CIA, lied to Justice Department lawyers, and lied to the public; how they lied about what they were doing, they lied to make it sound like it accomplished something, and afterwards, they lied some more.
That is six-fold lying, it seems. And no, I am not amazed. Dan Froomkin says, towards the end of the piece:

When I sat down to write my last “White House Watch” column for the Washington Post, what struck me most about the Bush years were the lies. The most consequential, of course, were the lies about the war. The most telling were the lies to cover up the lies about the war. And the most grotesque were the lies about torture.

The other thing is that there were no consequences. No one got in trouble for lying.
Froomkin says that it is easy to do something about the lying: You fire everyone who lies. But what if everybody in government (beyond a certain level) lies? As seems to be the case for the Bush government? And what if Obama is forced to do what he does because the two major liars Clapper and Brennan have secrets on him? As they well may, for he was already investigated in 2007 by them.

But nobody knows. And Obama doesn't dismiss evident liars. Here is more on this:

Obama admits CIA 'tortured some folks' but stands by Brennan over spying

The next item is an article by Paul Lewis on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

President Barack Obama on Friday starkly criticised the CIA’s past treatment of terror suspects, saying he could understand why the agency rushed to use controversial interrogation techniques in the aftermath of 9/11 but conceding: “We tortured some folks.”

In some of the most expansive and blunt remarks on the CIA’s programme of rendition and detention he has made since coming to office, Obama said the country “crossed a line” as it struggled to react to the threat of further attacks by al-Qaida. However, he also said it was important “not to feel too sanctimonious”, adding that he believed intelligence officials responsible for torturing detainees were working during a period of extraordinary stress and fear.

I commented on Obama's saying “We tortured some folks” in the introduction: In my estimate the wording was carefully considered propaganda, put that way to seem to even out. ('Torture is bad, but it was of bad "folks", hence neutral: We keep looking forward, since all our crimes happened in the past.')

The second paragraph seems like Israel on Hamas: Israel wants it to appear as if Hamas engineered their own killings, much rather than that Israel under Netanyahu did the bombings and killings; Obama wants it to appear as if his torturers were themselves tortured by "
extraordinary stress and fear", so he can excuse them, and he can look forward again, since all crimes happened in the past.

There is also this:

Obama has been steadfastly supportive of the top echelons of the intelligence establishment, while occasionally criticising their methods. His remarks about torture conducted by the CIA were among his most candid to date.

While condemning the CIA’s use of torture techniques, Obama voiced sympathy for the intelligence community, saying it was placed under incredible pressure in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

“It is important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job those folks had,” he said. “A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.”

As I said: whoever criticizes the CIA's torturing people is "too sanctimonious" and also looks "in retrospect", which is a thing that the president much dislikes: he is a forward looking guy, especially since all crimes are committed in the past.

As to Obama's being "
steadfastly supportive of the top echelons of the intelligence establishment": Why would he be? He knows Clapper is a liar. He knows Brennan is a liar. He knows there surely are better people. But he keeps them in their positions, that they grossly abuse, and praises them and sympathizes with them. Why? What do they have on him? Or is he one big chunk of deception and lies from before he started? (I do not know.)

Here are the lessons learned, as far as Obama is concerned: The CIA lied, and deceived, and spied on the Senate, and falsely accused the Senate - but
"We have to as a country take responsibility for that so hopefully we don’t do it again in the future.”
"Hopefully, we don’t do it again" - go on, Mr Brennan, go on Mr Clapper: you've done well, and your president supports you.  

3. Obama Admits U.S. “Tortured Some Folks”. Here’s WHAT HE DIDN’T SAY

The next item is by Washington's Blog:

This is a long file on torture and on what Obama did indeed not mention. It starts thus:

What You Need to Know …

Obama said today:

We tortured some folks ….

We did some things that were contrary to our values.

We applaud Obama admitting to this unsavory chapter in U.S. history.  The government has denied for years that the U.S. tortures … even though we in the alternative media exposed the torture 10 years ago.

But there’s a lot that Obama didn’t say …

Initially, it wasn’t just “some folks” we tortured.  The torture was widespread and systemic.

And it wasn’t just bad guys who were tortured:

  • U.S. military files show that many Guantánamo prisoners were held on the flimsiest grounds such as wearing a Casio watch, being a  prisoner in a Taliban jail, driving cabs in certain geographic regions, or being Al Jazeera reporters

And that is just the beginning - and yes, the writer is an opponent of torture, period, which is also what I am. You will find many reasons in this quite long piece, but I agree it is long and the subject is painful (though not by far as painful as having your nails pulled).

4. Understanding Israel’s War as Racist Is Crucial to Ending Occupation

The next item is an article by Sonali Kolhatkar on Truthdig:

This starts as follows:

The nearly month-long attack by Israeli forces on Gaza has revealed that anti-Arab racism permeates many levels of Israeli society. Indeed, to acknowledge Palestinians as humans worthy of a state, a home and basic necessities such as medical care, electricity, food and water, would undermine the brutality of Operation Protective Edge.

Racism among the Israeli population is either stronger than ever, or simply more visible today thanks to social media and the proliferation of online means of expression.

Some Israelis are openly thrilled that Gaza is being leveled. A Danish reporter came upon a cheery group of people who gathered outdoors in the southern Israeli town of Sderot with folding chairs and popcorn to watch the air war, clapping each time a bomb dropped on Gaza. Other Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to celebrate the killing of Gaza’s children. They were videotaped singing a song whose words included, “In Gaza there’s no studying; No children are left there,” and calling for violence against two of the Israeli Knesset’s Arab members.

I suppose that is all true, but in my completely non-religious eyes it is not so much racism as religion that is at the root of this:

The Jews, in so far as they are religious, which the majority that lives in Israel seems to be, have a religion that assures them that they are God's chosen people, and non-Jews are not, and that Israel belongs to them, much rather than to the Palestinians, from whom they took it in 1948.

And the Palestinians, who are mostly Mohammedans, have another religion that denies the Israeli one, and insist Palestine is theirs, and was stolen from them.

I am an atheist [2] who says both are quite mistaken. But I do think that what is claimed to be racism in fact is religiously based persecution, and I would avoid the term racism, if only because both Jews and Palestinians are nearly all white semites, however much they may hate each other.

5. M.E. and mB12 etc. 

The final item is not about the crisis but about my M.E. and the supplements I take. I decided to change some. What I take now is:

metafolin: 1600 mcg:
This is the directly usable form of folate, and part of the protocol. (2 pills.)
vitamin C: 4 grams:
I think - statistics support me - this makes sense for me. (4 pills)
kalium: 800 mg:
This is part of the protocol. I do need at least 400 mg, given the rest. (4 pills)
vitamin mB12: 2000 mcg: This is again the B12 infusion, that is supposed to be the best, and I doubled the dosis. (2 pills)
vitamin aB12: 3000 mcg: Note this adenosinecobalamin. This I
use every third day. (1 pill)

magnesium: 375 mg. This is just magnesium and constitutes a daily dose. (2 pills)
vitamin E: 400 IE. This is because it has seemed to help me quite a few times the last 30 years. (1 pill)

I made three changes:

I stopped the B-supplements and the V-75 supplement, which contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, basically because both contain folic acid, and because taking this means taking a lot of B1 and B2, and I should take less.

I went back to B12 infusion, mostly because I want to see whether this makes any difference, and I also doubled the dosis, while I take a bit less aB12.

And I more than halved the magnesium I take, because I have had some incidental diarrhea, without further feeling bad. I do not know the cause, but this may be part of it.

It's all experimental, and I'll let you know next week what difference it makes, if any.

Also, I have been doing decently on what I have taken the last month: this is just an experiment to see whether I can do better.


[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.)

[2] I am an
atheist, firstly because I was raised one; secondly because I read very large amounts of philosophy, and found no convincing proof of any religious tenet of any religion; and thirdly, I am not agnostic for the simple reason that I am also not agnostic about the non-existence of elves, witches, mermaids and dragons, and because religious people also are not agnostic about their religion. See the items religion, atheism and agnosticism in my Philosophical Dictionary,
if you are interested.

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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