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."
tries to revive plans to share confidential
2. Snowden Documents Detail
Spying Partnership Between
US, Israel That Enables
Occupation of Palestine
3. U.S. Jewish Leader Henry
Siegman to Israel: Stop Killing
Palestinians and End the
Greenwald on Deserving an Audience and His
5. A Web
Guerrilla Breaking News From the Jungle
6. Greenwald: NSA Docs Show
'Israeli Action in Gaza has US
Fingerprints All Over It'
Highest Law of the Land REQUIRES the Government
Prosecute All of Those Who
Authorized Torture …
This is the Nederlog of
Tuesday, August 5. It is a crisis log.
This has three
articles on Glenn Greenwald, but that is only because I found them
today. It is an ordinary crisis report.
Whitehall tries to revive plans to share confidential personal data
item is an article by Rowena Mason on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
This time privacy must disappear so as
to give the supermen and superwoman who work for "government departments, local authorities,
local emergency services, police, schools" (and private contractors working for them), who know
everything, while their "clients" know nothing, including how much
these bureaucratic supermen and superwomen know ... better
possibilities to deal with "fraud".
Whitehall officials are
trying to revive plans that could allow the government to share
confidential details about people's finances, health and criminal
records across different providers of public services.
The data sharing plans
being drawn up by the Cabinet Office appear to be similar to proposals
dropped by Labour in 2009 after a backbench revolt. At the time, the plans were described
by critics as having the potential to "wipe out privacy at a stroke".
Details emerged in
minutes of a meeting held in April by the Cabinet Office's data team.
Under the most radical option, data could even be shared with "all
bodies providing public services", which might allow private
contractors to gain access to the data.
"The key bodies may
include government departments, local authorities, local emergency
services, police, schools," the document said.
There is also this, further on - and the first paragraph is quoted
because it is evident total bureaucratic bullshit, that is also very
In brief: None
of your personal and private data are safe in any sense, if you
live in the UK, and the government (and the previous Labour government)
much likes to owe the lot and indeed also sell the
lot, no doubt because they respect ordinary Englishmen so very much.
"The Cabinet Office is
leading an open policy-making process, working in partnership with
civil society and privacy organisations to develop policy proposals for
areas where we believe data sharing, as one possible option, could
significantly improve the way we currently work. This process is
ongoing and we cannot pre-empt the solutions that it may produce."
The latest move comes
months after Revenue & Customs drew up plans that could involve
selling the personal financial data of millions of taxpayers to
private firms. The move was branded dangerous by tax professionals and
as "borderline insane" by the senior Conservative MP David Davis.
Well... it probably will happen, if the British do not protest, I am
very sorry to say.
2. Snowden Documents Detail Spying Partnership
Between US, Israel That Enables Occupation of Palestine
item is an article by Kevin Gosztola on Firedoglake:
This starts as follows:
Documents provided by
National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to journalist
Glenn Greenwald reveal specific details on the close relationship
between the NSA and Israeli spy agencies and how cooperation enables
military operations, such as the assault that has been ongoing in Gaza
and has now killed over 1,800 Palestinians.
Previously, Greenwald reported in
September 2013 on a “memorandum of understanding” between the NSA and
Israeli intelligence from Snowden, which showed the NSA shared “raw
intelligence” including the data of Americans with Israel. It also
noted a document that stated, ”The survival of the state of Israel
is a paramount goal of US Middle East policy.”
There is also this, further
highlighted in Greenwald’s report show that the British spy agency,
GCHQ, and Canadian spy agency, CSEC, work with the NSA and ISNU to
collect intelligence on Palestinians. In early 2009, GCHQ on emails and
phone numbers ISNU requested the agency spy upon and ISNU “thanked” the
agency “many times over.”
And there is a lot more in
support of the title, which I will leave to you.
3. U.S. Jewish Leader Henry Siegman to Israel: Stop Killing
Palestinians and End the Occupation
item is by Amy Goodman
This starts as
In the second part of our
interview, Henry Siegman, the former head
of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America,
discusses the assault on Gaza, Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel, and how
peace could be attainable if the Obama administration reverse
decades-long support for the Israeli occupation. Born in 1930 in
Germany, Siegman fled as the Nazis came to power, eventually arriving
in the United States. His father was a leader of the European Zionist
movement pushing for the creation of a Jewish state. In New York,
Siegman studied and was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi by Yeshiva Torah
Vodaas. He now serves as president of the U.S./Middle East Project.
Commenting on the Hamas charter that calls for Israel’s destruction,
Siegman says: "The difference between Hamas and Israel is that Israel
is actually implementing [a destruction policy] — actually preventing a
Palestinian state which doesn’t exist. Millions of Palestinians live in
this subservient position without rights, without security, without
hope, and without a future." Commenting on Israeli justifications for
killing Palestinians in the name of self-defense from 1948 through
today, Siegman responds: "If you don’t want to kill Palestinians, if
that’s what pains you so much, you don’t have to kill them. You can
give them their rights, and you can end the occupation. And to put the
blame for the occupation and for the killing of innocents that we are
seeing in Gaza now on the Palestinians — why? Because they want a state
of their own? They want what Jews wanted and achieved? This is a great
The rest is a good
interview, which I recommend to you. I will only quote two bits, the
first a statement by Golda Meir that I commented on before (and my
father and grandfather were convicted
to the concentration camp for being in the communist resistance and
helping Jews, which my grandfather did not survive):
(...) Golda Meir, one of
Israel’s early leaders, which might have been said
yesterday: "We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children," she
said, "but we can never forgive them for forcing us to kill their
Here is Siegman's comment,
that starts of as a reply to Amy Goodman's "You knew Golda Meir":
Yes, I did. I wasn’t a friend of hers, but I knew her, and I heard her
when she made that statement. And I thought then, and think now, that
it is an embarrassingly hypocritical statement. This statement was made
by a woman who also said "Palestinians? There are no Palestinians! I am
a Palestinian." If you don’t want to kill Palestinians, if that’s what
pains you so much, you don’t have to kill them. You can give them their
rights, and you can end the occupation. And to put the blame for the
occupation and for the killing of innocents that we are seeing in Gaza
now on the Palestinians—why? Because they want a state of their own?
They want what Jews wanted and achieved? I find that, to put it mildly,
less than admirable. There is something deeply hypocritical about that
original statement and about repeating it on the air over here as a
great moral insight.
Yes. It is not
a "moral insight" at all: it is an immoral intentional
misrepresent- ation, that shifts the blame of the killing of children
from the killers to the killed. It is deeply irresponsible intentional propaganda,
and Siegman is quite right in saying: "If you don’t want to kill Palestinians, if
pains you so much, you don’t have to kill them."
Greenwald on Deserving an Audience and His Funder’s Beneficence
item is an article by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as
There is some more, but
not a lot, though it does refer to the next item. As to Omidyar: I
don't mind him, and he must be thanked for investing 250 million. And I
have read some about him and also some by him, and thought neither
impressive, and indeed I also know that I do not know much about him.
From his jungle abode
overrun with animals high above Rio de Janeiro, crusading journalist
Glenn Greenwald spoke with New York Times columnist David Carr about
experimenting with his new reporting enterprise, public distrust of its
money-soaked patron and the need for strong points of view in the news.
In the prickly manner
characteristic of his public persona—or so the quotation in Carr’s
article reads—Greenwald disputed growing concerns
that Pierre Omidyar, the financier of First Look Media, the
investigative news organ Greenwald co-founded, should be regarded with
suspicion as an emerging influence in public affairs.
“There’s a lot of
distrust of billionaires and the oligarchic model,” Greenwald told
Carr. “People don’t believe that you’re really going to get to be
journalistically independent. But you can’t complain that there’s not
serious investigative journalism against big corporate and governmental
outlets and then at the same time oppose every single model that lets
you have the kind of funding that you need.”
But there are two things I find slightly bothersome about The
Intercept, although I guess nothing will be done about them. First, I
had expected that The Intercept would have published more, not so much
by Greenwald, but by the other journalists they employ. Second, I
dislike the comments section that is printed under the articles.
Then again, the last reservation I have is definitely personal: I just
will not read hundreds of comments by anonymous reviewers. They are not
worth my attention, firstly because most is uninteresting or shit
anyway, and secondly because I do not know anything about the
anonymous persons who wrote them, and I tend to find it a waste of time
to try to understand the prose of persons who insist on making
themselves wholly unknown. (This holds in general, not just for The
Intercept. And I have tried, and this is the result of my
trying: I won't do it anymore. It really is a waste of my time and of
As to the first reservation: This also is based on a personal
expectation and considerable lack of real relevant knowledge.
Now to the source of Kelly's article:
5. A Web Guerrilla Breaking News From the
item is an article by David Carr on The New York Times:
This is basically the
report of an interview that Carr had with Greenwald at Greenwald's
I will only quote something I did not know:
OK... that indeed is
rather different from the original plan, and it is nice to know.
The day before, Mr. Omidyar had written
that First Look, which initially said it would build a large,
general-interest site featuring a number of digital magazines, would
instead concentrate on the two sites it has already started: The
Intercept, which includes Mr. Greenwald, the documentarian Laura
Poitras and the journalist Jeremy Scahill, along with others; and a
yet-to-be-named project led by Matt Taibbi, the former Rolling Stone
The readjustment is a recognition that web
journalism that gains traction usually emanates from lone voices with a
strong point of view. It’s a reset, but from Mr. Greenwald’s
perspective the Internet is defined by reiteration and experimentation.
Then again, although this helps some, I will have to wait and see what
comes out of this new plan.
Greenwald: NSA Docs
Show 'Israeli Action in Gaza has US Fingerprints All Over It'
item is an article by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This is basically about
an article by Glenn Greenwald I reviewed yesterday,
but is worth reading. It starts as follows:
There is considerably more,
and it ends with these penultimate paragraphs, that sketch the
situation yesterday (August 4, 2014):
A new analysis of the
intelligence and military relationship between the U.S. and Israeli
governments—bolstered by new top secret NSA documents leaked by Edward
Snowden—exposes the deep complicity of American foreign policy when it
comes to enabling Israel's continued occupation of the Palestinian
territories and its ongoing aggressive military assault on the Gaza
by The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald on Monday,
the new NSA documents show how the U.S. spy agency "has significantly
increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli
counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit
8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians."
According to Greenwald,
the "new Snowden documents illustrate a crucial fact: Israeli
aggression would be impossible without the constant,
lavish support and protection
of the U.S. government, which is anything but a neutral,
peace-brokering party in these attacks. And the relationship between
the NSA and its partners on the one hand, and the Israeli spying agency
on the other, is at the center of that enabling."
On Monday, the Ma'an
News Agency reports:
According to the
Ministry of Health, the Israeli offensive on Gaza has left over 1,822
Palestinians dead, including 398 children. Some 9,370 Palestinians have
been injured, 2,744 of them children.
Approximately 373,000 children are in need of psychological support as
a result of the trauma of the war, according to UN figures.
Over a quarter of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to leave their
homes throughout the assault.
Highest Law of the Land REQUIRES the Government Prosecute All of Those
Who Authorized Torture …
Finally, an article by Washington's Blog on his site (and I abbreviated
the four lined heading):
This starts as follows,
with the colors as in the original:
And that is just the
beginning, though this is quite convincing, for it
shows that both the Bush and the Obama government did (and do) break
the law, and quite grossly and systematically and intentionally as well.
Preface: This is not
a partisan issue. As shown below, Democrats are complicit in high
crimes as well.
The Government Is Breaking the Law By Failing to Prosecute
President Ronald Reagan
signed a treaty legally requiring the
U.S. to prosecute everyone who authorizes torture.
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment (signed
by the U.S. under Ronald Reagan) provides:
1. Each State Party
shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other
measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its
exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a
threat or war, internal political instability or any other public
emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order
from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a
justification of torture. . . .
1. Each State Party
shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its
criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit
torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.
1. The State Party in
territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed
any offence referred to in article 4 is found, shall in
the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent
authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
Each State Party shall
ensure that any statement which is established to have been
made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any
proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as
evidence that the statement was made.
This is not some
non-binding, touchy-feeley resolution … it is the law of the land.
Specifically, Article 6
of the United States Constitution dictates:
This Constitution, and
the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof;
and all treaties made, or which shall be made,
under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of
the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound
thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the
After skipping a lot, including videos in which Cheney and Bush admit
they ordered the torture (aka "enhanced interrogation"), there is this
on Obama's administration - and again I only copy the beginning:
Again there is
considerably more, which you can check out yourself. Here is the last
Democrats Are Complicit
It’s not just
Republicans … Democrats are complicit.
For example, Nancy
Pelosi, Harman and Rockefeller all knew
about – and covered up – the torture program.
And Obama and Attorney
General Holder are also complicit for failing to prosecute those who
ordered or covered up torture. As progressive writer Dan Froomkin
reported last year:
Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment … lays the blame fully
at the feet of the current administration, for
covering up what happened and stifling any sort of national
conversation on the topic — and the media, for splitting the difference
between the facts and the plainly specious argument made by torture
regime’s architects that what occurred should be defined as something
other than what it so obviously was.
The report points out,
as I have in the past, that neither Obama nor
Congress have done a thing to make sure that, the next time a perceived
emergency comes up, some other president or vice president won’t decide
to torture again.
And Obama appears
to be continuing
“extraordinary rendition” type of torture.
Which - incidentally -
also allows the torturers to do much more than they could do in the
 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: