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Nederlog

February 25, 2015
Crisis: Assange, Greenpeace, German Revolution?, Ukraine, Bankmanagers
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
 
   -- Benjamin Franklin
   "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. Julian Assange appeals to Sweden's supreme court over
     arrest warrant

2. Spy cables: Greenpeace head targeted by intelligence
     agencies before Seoul G20

3.
Survey: More Than 60% of Germans Believe Capitalism,
     Democracy Are Mutually Exclusive

4.
Ukraine War: A Reverse Cuban Missile Crisis
5.
Making Me Pay For My Crimes Would Send “Message of
     Uncertainty to the Markets”


Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Wednesday, February 25, 2015.

This also is a crisis log - and for the few who are interested in M.E. or in orthomolecular medicine, there is an earlier file today on my M.E. (which I
have for the 37th year, while this interests very few medics) and on what
I am trying to do against it (with some success, but no cure).

The present file has 5 items with 6 dotted links: Item 1 is on Assange's plight, who appealed to Sweden's supreme court (quite justifiedly so); item 2 is on how the head of Greenpeace was spied upon; item 3 is about Germany's radical opinions, at least according to a recent opinion poll (I am a bit skeptical); item 4 is a decent article by a U.S. ex-diplomat on the Ukraine; and item 5 is about
the bankmanagers' argument why they can commit any crime and not get prosecuted, illustrated by a Spanish case.


1. Julian Assange appeals to Sweden's supreme court over arrest warrant

The first item today is an article by by David Crouch on The Guardian:

This starts as follows:

Julian Assange is taking his appeal to Sweden’s highest court in a final attempt to persuade a Swedish judge that the arrest warrant against him should be lifted.

His lawyers will ask Sweden’s supreme court on Wednesday to agree that the “severe limitations” on Assange’s freedoms since he claimed asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden are unreasonable and disproportionate to the case.

In August 2010, the WikiLeaks founder and campaigning journalist was accused by two women of rape and sexual molestation, but he has not been charged because the prosecutor insists she is unable to interview him about the allegations.

Prosecutor Marianne Ny has declined invitations by Assange to do so in London, where he has taken refuge in the embassy to avoid a perceived threat of extradition to the US for publishing military secrets. Assange denies all the charges.

I'd say that Marianne Ny is doing her very, very best to help the U.S. DoJ to get Assange: Clearly, she declines to do anything, because she hopes this will help the U.S., while it would be very easy for her to fly to London, talk to Assange, fly back, and proceed.

But she doesn't want to, and Assange is quite right to appeal to Sweden’s highest court.

There is considerably more under the last dotted link.

2. Spy cables: Greenpeace head targeted by intelligence agencies before Seoul G20

The next item is an article by Seumas Milne and Ewen MacAskill on the "renewed" Guardian (that now looks like it is 1992 - hardly any pictures, very little text, on vast colored expanses - and is far, far more difficult to use: Danke schön, Wolfgang Blau!):

This starts as follows:

The head of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, was targeted by intelligence agencies as a potential security threat ahead of a major international summit, leaked documents reveal.

Information about Naidoo, a prominent human rights activist from South Africa, was requested from South African intelligence by South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) in the runup to a meeting of G20 leaders in Seoul in 2010.

There is also this:

Greenpeace is one of the world’s best known environmental groups, combining lobbying with high-profile direct action protests. South Korean intelligence may have been concerned about possible disruption at the summit. Told this week of the approach, Naidoo described it as outrageous.

According to a document, marked confidential and written by South African intelligence, the NIS asked its South African counterpart eight months before the summit “to indicate any possible security threat against the president of South Africa during the G20 summit to be held in South Korea from 11-12 November 2010”.

And this:

Greenpeace and other environmental groups have long been the target of extensive intelligence operations, both by governments and corporations, across the world. In 1985, the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior was sunk by French intelligence agents in Auckland, New Zealand, on its way to protest against a French nuclear test, killing a photographer. The FBI, undercover British police and corporations such as Shell and BP have targeted or used private security firms to spy on Greenpeace.

There is considerably more under the last dotted link.

3. Survey: More Than 60% of Germans Believe Capitalism, Democracy Are Mutually Exclusive

The next item is an article by Donald Kaufman on Truthdig:
This starts as follows (and I found this a bit hard to believe, but I may be mistaken):

It’s been 25 years and change since the Berlin Wall came down, but as it turns out, Germans now aren’t so big on the whole capitalism thing.

A poll published Tuesday suggests that nearly a third of Germans believe capitalism is at the root of their country’s hunger and poverty problems. Although Germany’s economy has fared better recently than that of many neighboring nations, most of the respondents signaled a shared belief that real democracy cannot thrive within the current capitalistic framework. Reuters reported about the poll Tuesday:

The poll of 1,400 people found that 59 percent of Germans in the formerly communist east consider communist and socialist ideals a good idea for society. In western Germany, 37 percent said they considered communist and socialist ideals to be good.

The reasons I find this hard to believe are (i) Germany is still doing rather well, also for ordinary Germans (ii) ordinary Germans wanted in considerable majority
the present government, headed by a Christian Democrat, and (iii) I'd say most who lived in East Germany before 1989 did not like it at all, while (iv) the title speaks of  "60% of Germans", while this in fact refers to former East Germans, whereas in the former West Germany, the percentage is 37% (still rather a lot in my eyes, but not "60%").

Then again, the same survery - it seems - is being reported in this article, with a slightly different title. This is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:

A new German survey has a finding that may strike a particular chord with those in the United States.

Over 60 percent of Germans said their country did not have a true democracy because business has a bigger say than the electorate, the survey by the Emnid polling institute for the Free University of Berlin found.

The finding echoes results of a previous study in the U.S. that found a similar percentage opposed the 2010 Citizens United decision that opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending on elections, and said that the voices of the electorate were being drowned out by big-moneyed interests.

Twenty percent of the German respondents also said that improved living conditions will be achieved through revolution, not reforms, and a third of respondents said that capitalism was the root of hunger and poverty.

I say. Well, I am still not convinced, for the above reasons. And it is not that I would not want to be convinced, but that is seems fairly incredible to me, given what I know about Germany and Germans. (But I may be mistaken. Then again, if the same sort of findings were published about Holland, I simply would dismiss them as somehow false. Since I know less about Germany, I am more doubtful.)

4. Ukraine War: A Reverse Cuban Missile Crisis

The next item is an article by William R. Polk, who is an ex-diplomat who also was involved in the Cuban missile crisis (<- Wikipedia) of 1962:
This starts as follows - and I give the summary and the first two paragraphs:
Guided by an aggressive neocon “regime change” strategy, the United States has stumbled into a potential military confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, a dangerous predicament that could become a Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk explains.

By William R. Polk

In a rather ghastly Nineteenth Century experiment, a biologist by the name of Heinzmann found that if he placed a frog in boiling water, the frog immediately leapt out but that if he placed the frog in tepid water and then gradually heated it, the frog stayed put until he was scalded to death.

Are we like the frog? I see disturbing elements of that process today as we watch events unfold in the Ukraine confrontation. They profoundly frighten me and I believe they should frighten everyone. But they are so gradual that we do not see a specific moment in which we must jump or perish.

The rest is a fairly careful description of the Cuba crisis and a comparison with the Ukrainian crisis. It is here because - unlike much I have seen - this does not seem to be propaganda.

There is rather a lot more under the last dotted link, that you may read for yourself. I give just one more quotation:

Policy Prescriptions

So what to do? In a word: stop. What we are now doing and what we contemplate doing is not in our interest or in the interests of the Ukrainians and is perceived as a threat by the Russians. We cannot deliver on the policy we would encourage the Ukrainians to adopt by arming them without a war. Economic sanctions are a form of that war, but they are unlikely to accomplish what we have been proclaiming.

This is indeed part of the reason I can take Polk serious. And while I don't agree with all he says, the parallel he draws seems fair and is frightening, while his prescription, quoted above (in part) seems sound.

5. Making Me Pay For My Crimes Would Send “Message of Uncertainty to the Markets”

The last item for today is an article by Don Quijones on Wolf Street:
This starts as follows:

“It’s just a matter of time before injustice prevails…”

A Spanish judge by the name of Fernando Andreu recently violated one of the most important unwritten rules of global finance: namely, that banks and bankers are effectively immune to all laws of all lands (barring, of course, Iceland). As I reported roughly 10 days ago, Andreu had ordered Bankia, its parent company state-owned BFA, the bank’s former chairman, Rodrigo Rato, and three other former directors to pay an €800 million civil liability bond for signing off on fraudulent financial statements in the run up to the bank’s 2011 IPO.

If the defendants fail to cough up the full amount before March 13th, the authorities will embargo assets belonging to them with the equivalent market value.
I say. This is at least a bit amazing: A judge who does his duty! [1] Then again,
the judge's decision was rapidly contradicted by bankmanager Rodrigo Rato:

The first to hit back was Rodrigo Rato, the bank’s former chairman and one-time IMF president. In a 75-page notice of appeal that was leaked to the Spanish press, Rato cautioned that Judge Andreu’s “premature” decision to force the six defendants to compensate the thousands of shareholders they are accused of defrauding could end up provoking a “much greater evil” than that it is supposed to address.

In the worst case scenario, the document warns, it could send a “message of uncertainty to the markets,” which could in turn exert downward pressure (otherwise known as gravity) on the already semi-defunct bank’s share price.
He argued like Eric Holder did (for the bankmanagers, already in 1999):

Bankmanagers may do whatever they please, because they are so powerful that when they are upset, they may break the economy. And that both Eric Holder and the bankmanagers want to prevent!

It is an utterly insane schema - "I can commit any crime, for if I can't I will kill the whole economy!" - but it may well succeed. There is considerably more under the last dotted link.

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

Note

[1] I have the right to be amazed:

In Holland - the country where I was forced to live since I fell ill in 1979, because I am ill and Dutch - all judges are corrupt, it seems, for since 1987 no judge took any position on the illegal schema by which mayors illegally assign places (for an unknown sum, that I estimate to be 5%) to illegal drugsdealers to deal illegal drugs (marijuana and hashish) from. (Incidentally, this also costs some 10 lives every year, of people who get mysteriously murdered, mostly around Amsterdam, always in connection with drugs, but never solved.)

The main reason seems to be that only the sales of
marijuana and hashish in or from Holland are at least 10 billion euros a year (according to the 1996 Parliamentary Van Traa Report, that was "forgotten" after Van Traa "had a mortal accident" in 1997).

I have often wandered how much got back to the silent Dutch judges, but I don't know - I have no idea. Would none of them get any money, in spite of tolerating a gross - though extremely well-paying - felony? For 28 years in succession? I really don't know.

It is a fact, though, that I have heard of no Dutch judge in the last 28 years who had a single word of criticism about this grossly illegal schema, or who asked a single question about it.

That is also why I say they are corrupt, whether or not they got any money for shutting up: it is their duty to maintain the law or to stop being a judge, and all of them refuse to do so in the case of the - enormous - sales of illegal drugs.
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