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. New Zealand Prime Minister
Retracts Vow To Resign if
Mass Surveillance Is Shown
2. The CIA Campaign to
Steal Apple’s Secrets
3. HSBC: Tory MPs accused of
blocking watchdog's bid to
must not allow companies to sue EU countries for
environmental laws, say MPs
to Become a Conservative in Four Embarrassing
6. US Weapons Exporters
Lead World in War Profiteering
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday,
March 10, 2015.
This is a crisis blog. There are 6 items with 6 dotted links: Item 1 is on New Zealand and its prime minister (who
lied, lied and lied); item 2 is on the efforts of
the CIA to steal Apple's encryption keys (and is too large to decently
excerpt here, but it is interesting); item 3 is on
HSBC's former CEO, who seems to have worked - very profitably,
you - for the world's biggest drugs cartel; item 4
is about the TTIP (at long last in the main press, but not very well); item 5 is some advice on how you may become a neo-con;
and item 6 shows one of the real motives
U.S. to engage in so many wars: most profits go to U.S. companies.
Also, this NL gets uploaded a bit earlier than normal.
1. New Zealand Prime Minister Retracts Vow To
Resign if Mass Surveillance Is Shown
today is an article by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
In August, 2013,
as evidence emerged of the active participation by New
Zealand in the “Five Eyes” mass surveillance program exposed by Edward
Snowden, the country’s conservative Prime Minister, John Key,
vehemently denied that his government engages in such spying. He went
beyond mere denials, expressly
vowing to resign if it were ever proven that his government engages
in mass surveillance of New Zealanders. He issued that denial, and the
accompanying resignation vow, in order to re-assure the country over fears
provoked by a new bill he advocated to increase the surveillance
powers of that country’s spying agency, Government Communications
Security Bureau (GCSB) – a bill that passed
by one vote thanks to the Prime Minister’s guarantees that the new
law would not permit mass surveillance.
I say. And in fact, the
above is a continuous quotation: On the "(...)" there is a
photograph of The New Zealand Herald from August 20, 2013,
which has a
picture of Key, with the following text - and the GSCB is New Zealand's
GSHC i.e. its NSA:
Since then, a mountain of
evidence has been presented that indisputably proves that New Zealand
does exactly that which Prime Minister Key vehemently denied – exactly
that which he said he would resign if it were proven was done.
Minister John Key says he and the head of the GSCB would resign if the
spy agency were found to have conducted mass surveillance.
Well... PM John Key
lied, lied, and lied.
He made the comment to
reporters at Parliament in the light of assurances that the changes to
the GSCB Act 2003 would not mean mass surveillance of New Zealanders.
Asked if GSCB chief
Ian Fletcher would resign if there were mass surveillance, he said yes.
Also, in 2014 Edward Snowden wrote an article for The Intercept, in
which he said (italics in the original):
Let me be
clear: any statement that mass surveillance is not performed in New
Zealand, or that the internet communications are not comprehensively
intercepted and monitored, or that this is not intentionally and
actively abetted by the GCSB, is categorically false. . . . The
prime minister’s claim
to the public, that “there is no and there never has been any mass
surveillance” is false. The GCSB, whose operations he is responsible
for, is directly involved in the untargeted, bulk interception and
algorithmic analysis of private communications sent via internet,
satellite, radio, and phone networks.
In brief (skipping a
That the New
Zealand government engages in precisely the mass surveillance
activities Key vehemently denied is now barely in dispute. Indeed, a
former director of GCSB under Key, Sir Bruce Ferguson, while
denying any abuse of New Zealander’s communications, now
admits that the agency engages in mass surveillance.
Yes, indeed. And here is
So now that it’s
proven that New Zealand does exactly that which Prime Minister Key
vowed would cause him to resign if it were proven, is he preparing his
resignation speech? No: that’s something a political official with a
minimal amount of integrity would do.
And John Key does not
have even a minimal amount of personal integrity: He is a liar, a
cheat, a deceiver and an immoral degenerate, but indeed he shares that
with most modern Western politicians :
The history of
reporting from the Snowden archive has been one of serial dishonesty
from numerous governments: such as the way European officials at
first pretended to be outraged victims of NSA only for it to be
revealed that, in many ways, they are active collaborators in the very
system they were denouncing.
Yes, precisely - and being
Dutch, one such political liar which comes to mind is Ronald Plasterk
(who pretends being "a social democrat"), but this is an aside.
(Holland is probably nearly as provincial as New Zealand is, and also
as well known. )
Here is Glenn Greenwald's moral inference from the above:
reneging on a public pledge to resign is a new level of political
scandal. Key was just re-elected for his third term, and like any
political official who stays in power too long, he has the despot’s
mentality that he’s beyond all ethical norms and constraints.
I mostly agree, though
I'd rather say Key is a proven cheat, liar, deceiver and moral
2. The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple’s Secrets
item is an article by Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley:
This starts as follows
(bolding in the original):
RESEARCHERS WORKING with the
Central Intelligence Agency have conducted a multi-year, sustained
effort to break the security of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, according to
documents obtained by The Intercept.
I note first that this
is a long and a good article, that you should read all
of. I will quote some bits, but cannot excerpt all.
The security researchers
presented their latest tactics and achievements at a secret annual
gathering, called the “Jamboree,” where attendees discussed strategies
for exploiting security flaws in household and commercial electronics.
The conferences have spanned nearly a decade, with the first
CIA-sponsored meeting taking place a year before the first iPhone was
By targeting essential
security keys used to encrypt data stored on Apple’s devices, the
researchers have sought to thwart the company’s attempts to provide
mobile security to hundreds of millions of Apple customers across the
globe. Studying both “physical” and “non-invasive” techniques, U.S.
government-sponsored research has been aimed at discovering ways to
decrypt and ultimately penetrate Apple’s encrypted firmware. This could
enable spies to plant malicious code on Apple devices and seek out
potential vulnerabilities in other parts of the iPhone and iPad
currently masked by encryption.
Here is a cryptography expert:
“If U.S. products
are OK to target, that’s news to me,” says Matthew Green, a
cryptography expert at Johns Hopkins University’s Information Security
Institute. “Tearing apart the products of U.S. manufacturers and
potentially putting backdoors in software distributed by unknowing
developers all seems to be going a bit beyond ‘targeting bad guys.’ It
may be a means to an end, but it’s a hell of a means.”
He seems a bit naive to
me, but yes: The point of the "War on Terrorism" wasn't and isn't terrorism (the "bad guys") - the primary aim was to get total control of
every computer and every phone, and the aim behind that was to
get complete control of the population (as I have said since 2005,
indeed before knowing anything about the NSA and its mates). That is,
the threat of terrorism has been used to give state terrorism
as executed by the state's secret services the upper hand
and have its hands, in secret, on everyone.
This is about the research directed against Apple's security sytems:
The Apple research
is consistent with a much broader secret U.S. government program to
analyze “secure communications products, both foreign and domestic” in
order to “develop exploitation capabilities against the authentication
and encryption schemes,” according to the 2013 Congressional Budget
Justification. Known widely as the “Black Budget,” the top-secret CBJ
was provided to The Intercept by Snowden and gives a
sprawling overview of the U.S. intelligence community’s spending and
architecture. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
There are several
entries like the last one: "The
White House did not respond to a request for comment" - and it may be inferred from the
last statement that "the White House" does know what it does
do and does support.
There is this from a spokesperson for the ACLU:
government is prioritizing its own offensive surveillance needs over
the cybersecurity of the millions of Americans who use Apple products,”
says Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist at the American
Civil Liberties Union. “If U.S. government-funded researchers can
discover these flaws, it is quite likely that Chinese, Russian and
Israeli researchers can discover them, too. By quietly exploiting these
flaws rather than notifying Apple, the U.S. government leaves Apple’s
customers vulnerable to other sophisticated governments.”
Yes, indeed - but I
think "the U.S. government" knows that at least as well as the
ACLU, and indeed it also doesn't care: If it can control its own
population, it doesn't matter much if - say - the Chinese know as much
about U.S. citizens as the U.S. government does: The Chinese government
lords over China; the U.S. government wants to lord over the U.S. as
the Chinese government lords over China, for if it were otherwise, the
U.S. government would act other than it does.
Indeed, there is this:
One GCHQ slide
from 2010 stated that the agency’s ultimate goal was to be able to
“Exploit any phone, anywhere, any time.”
And there is this on the
efforts of the U.S./U.K.
agencies that seems quite correct to me:
(..) are part of a
vast multi-agency U.S./U.K. effort to attack commercial encryption and
security systems used on billions of devices around the world. U.S.
intelligence agencies are not just focusing on individual terrorists or
criminals — they are targeting the large corporations, such as Apple,
that produce popular mobile devices
And these secret governmental
agencies are targeting the large corporations because they want all the
power and all the knowledge they can get, and are very willing to
trample all privacy and all rights for it: They want absolute power,
and indeed may eventually get it.
Finally, I quote this:
“If I were Tim
Cook, I’d be furious,” says the ACLU’s Soghoian. “If Apple is mad at
the intelligence community, and they should be, they should put their
lawyers to work. Lawsuits speak louder than words.”
Yes. Also, I say again
that this is a long and good article that you really
should read all
of, and that I have not excerpted a lot.
Tory MPs accused of blocking watchdog's bid to question Green
item is an article by Rajeev Syal and Juliette Garside on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
To start with, here is a
link to the Wikipedia entry on Stephen
Green, from which it emerges (minus note numbers):
Conservative MPs have
been accused of blocking a parliamentary committee’s attempt to
scrutinise the former HSBC boss and minister Stephen Green over the
tax scandal at Britain’s largest bank.
A proposal put forward by
a Labour MP to call the bank’s former chief
executive, who later became a Conservative minister, before the
powerful Tory-dominated public accounts committee (PAC) has been voted
down, sources confirmed.
Lord Green, who left HSBC
to join the House of Lords as a Conservative peer and
trade minister in 2010 after three decades at the bank, has yet to be
questioned by any parliamentary committee over the scandal. Green
stepped down as a trade minister at the end of 2013 but remains a peer.
The disclosure will
prompt further accusations that the Conservatives have launched a concerted effort to stop scrutiny of Green
because of his relationship with the prime minister.
(...) that money laundering had taken place at HSBC
for several years throughout Green's tenure as Chief Executive and
chiefly for the Sinaloa Cartel.
Stephen Green earned well over 25 million pounds per year at the time.
Indeed, the links to the
and to the Sinaloa Cartel are also well worth reading
for anyone interested in this corrupt chairman of this corrupt bank.
This is quoted from Wikipedia's HSBC item, and shows the powers of Stephen Green
(quoted minus note numbers):
In February 2015
the International Consortium of
Investigative Journalists released information about the business
conduct of HSBC under the title Swiss
Leaks. The ICIJ alleges that the bank profited from doing
business with tax evaders and other clients. BBC reported
that HSBC had put pressure on media not to report about the
controversy, with British Newspaper The
Guardian claiming HSBC advertising had been put "on pause" after
The Guardian's coverage of the matter.
Peter Oborne, chief political commentator at Daily Telegraph
resigned from the paper; in an open letter he claimed the Daily
Telegraph suppressed negative stories and dropped investigations into
HSBC because of the bank's advertising.
And this is quoted from
Wikipedia's Sinaloa Cartel item (without note numbers)
Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Sinaloa or CDS)
is the world's most powerful
drug trafficking, money laundering, and
organized crime syndicate.
There is considerably
more in the article, but it is mostly about the refusals of the
Conservatives to have Green interviewed: one can see why.
The United States
Intelligence Community considers the Sinaloa Cartel "the most
powerful drug trafficking organization in the world"
and in 2011, the Los Angeles Times called it
"Mexico's most powerful organized crime group."
The Sinaloa Cartel is associated with the label "Golden Triangle",
which refers to the states of Sinaloa,
Durango, and Chihuahua. The region is a major
producer of Mexican opium and marijuana.
According to the U.S. Attorney General,
the Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for importing into the United States
and distributing nearly 200 tons of cocaine and large amounts of heroin
between 1990 and 2008.
must not allow companies to sue EU countries for environmental laws,
item is an article by Karl Mathiesen on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Well... yes and no: Yes,
this is happening, to the best of my
knowledge, but no: Mathiesen should have said that this whole
anti-democratic, anti-governmental, pro-corporate supposed "trade
partnership" is being written in secret, it seems by 600
corporate lawyers; that no one should have known about it; that
president Obama tries to move the whole "partnership" through Congress
in a fast-track procedure that virtually guarantees Congress
will not be able to read what they "approve"; and that the
so-called "trade partnership" is very much more than a a "partnership"
for "trade": it is an attack on the powers of democratically
A major free trade deal
should not allow US companies to sue European nations when they pass
environmental laws that hurt their profits, MPs said on Tuesday.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
(TTIP), which is being negotiated between the EU and US, may
contain a mechanism called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
This would allow investors and companies to sue countries when they
introduce laws that restrict their business practices.
A report by the UK’s
parliamentary environmental audit committee (EAC) said: “EU states must
retain their ‘right to regulate’, but a TTIP treaty text that enshrines such a
safeguard will be meaningless if the prospect of ISDS [investor state
dispute settlement] litigation produces a chilling effect on future
Joan Walley, the
committee’s chair, said that once the trade treaty is signed it must
include a guarantee that states could protect the environment with
There is more there, but it seems to me that the first thing a paper
like The Guardian should have demanded is that the secrecy in
this "partnership" is written and conducted must be entirely lifted.
(But maybe this is another bit of Blauite
reporting, after having taken over The Guardian's website and
nearly completely destroyed it.)
to Become a Conservative in Four Embarrassing Steps
item is an article by Paul Buchheit on Alternet:
This starts as
Not that we'd want to.
But many Americans, perplexingly, have taken that path in the last ten
years, as 27 percent of those polled now consider themselves 'mostly' or
'consistently' conservative, up from 18 percent in 2004. (Conservatives
were at 30 percent in 1994. Liberals increased from 21 to over 30
percent in the 1990s and have remained approximately the same since
The language of true conservatives often turns to denial, dismissal,
and/or belligerence, without verifiable facts of any substance. There
is also evidence for delusional thinking and a lack of empathy. Here
are four ways to be just like them.
The four ways are
these - and I quote them without the texts that explain them:
1. Ignore Facts
2. Make Up Your Own Facts
3. Display No Empathy for Others
4. Shout Down Your Opponents
Or in other terms:
neo-conservatives (I think the "neo" should be there )
are bullies who
are trying to get rich themselves by propagandizing their bullshit that
deny the rights of any of their opponents to anything and that depend
on their riches, their impertinence, and the ignorance of most they
6. US Weapons Exporters Lead World in War
There is more there, and it might also have been said otherwise, and
some other markers might have been selected, but the list is
The last item today is an
article by Sarah Lazare on Common Dreams:
This starts as
U.S. weapons exporters
lead the world in profits from the booming military arms and equipment
business, driven by rising tensions and conflict around the world,
according to a new
report from London-based analysts.
The annual study by IHS
Inc.—which looks at military markets in 65 nations, excluding small
arms, munitions, and surveillance programs—finds that the United States
is behind one-third of all equipment and weapons exports world-wide.
This is no small amount:
in 2014, global "defense" trade surpassed $64.4 billion, the report
I say. In fact, this
is less than I thought  but it still are large
numbers, and they show the real motive for much of the wars: money,
and specifically money for those making weapons.
Again I say I have not voted in any governmental or municipal
elections since 1971
(which was the last time I had to): I do not vote for
masses of incompetent liars, cheats, deceivers and moral degenerates,
which also means that, with George Carlin,
I can discuss these liars,
cheats, deceivers and moral degenerates without having any
responsibility for their lies or their policies.
O, as to "What would happen if everybody did like you do?!". First,
this is a rather impossible if. Second, if so, or indeed if
more than half do not vote (as happened repeatedly in Holland) it
simply shows that the people do not believe anymore in the
politicians and look upon them as liars and deceivers - and that
seems a quite sound position to take, and also a very sound
reason to get rid of the politicians.
 As to being "provincial": I am being
descriptive, not moral. The fact is that both Holland and New Zealand
are small countries that are rarely in the news outside those
countries. Personally, I do not think that is bad. (What I do
think is bad, but which I only know in Holland, is the
Dutch writers, Dutch artists and Dutch academics who pretend that they
are as good as - "are the equals in value of", to use the translation
of the Dutch core value - the best anywhere, which is plain
Dutch writing is awful, and Dutch artists or academics who excel the
other Dutch generally leave Holland.)
 Because there are some decent conservatives, but no
decent neo-conservatives (in my opinion, though the reasons differ:
thus, many Dutch neo-conservatives are neo-conservatives - after being
extreme leftists for twenty years - because that now is fashionable;
they are well off; and careerism was
their real motive anyway).
 Perhaps because I have now been trying
for 27 years
to raise any journalistic voice on the fact that the Dutch haven been
trading 10 billions of euros each year merely
in illegal marijuana and
hashish for thirty years now - and the sum was estimated by a 1996
Dutch Parliamentary Report, that also said that if other
were considered, the 10 billions might be 40 or 50 billions.
But since no Dutch journalist raised any question, as did no
Dutch parliamentarian, no Dutch mayor, and no Dutch
judge, I must infer that the Dutch in vast majority like their
own illegal drugstrading, that indeed is immensely
profitable, and provides all Dutchmen who want to with free and
cheap, if also quite illegal, drugs.