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Nederlog

Jun 16, 2016

Crisis: Trump's "Truths", Assange, Dying Bees, Bush's Torture Program
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Introduction

1.
The ‘Truth’ According to Donald Trump
2. Julian Assange: Next Leak of Hillary Clinton Emails Will
     Be Enough to Indict Her, but ...

3. Exposed: Pesticide Industry Deployed Aggressive
     Lobby Effort to Quash Bee Protections

4. New CIA Documents Reveal More Horrors of President
     Bush's Torture Program

Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Thursday, June 16, 2016.

This is a crisis log. There are 4 items with 4 dotted links: Item 1 is about Donald Trump's insanities (I'm sorry, but I do have an excellent M.A. in psy- chology, and that is what I think, but judge for yourselves); item 2 is about Julian Assange who is going to release more of Hillary Clinton's e-mails and who suspects (probably correctly, in my guess) she will not be indicted by the FBI; item 3 is about the pesticides that kill the bees: it turns out that (probably) many more bees will be killed, because the pesticide giants now are also in the US government (like the banks); and item 4 is about how the CIA requested complete freedom from any prosecution for torturing captives from the DOJ (which they effectively have had for 15 years now).

1. The ‘Truth’ According to Donald Trump

The first item today is by Todd Gitlin on Truthdig and originally on Moyers & Company:
This starts as follows:
After the weekend’s carnage in Orlando, Donald Trump didn’t wait long before launching yet another guided missile full of insinuation. He didn’t exactly say that the massacre was the doing of an unreconstructed Mau-Mau descendant born in Kenya. Trump is craftier than that. Monday morning, he told Fox News:

Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on… [Obama] doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable. [My italics]

Later he told NBC’s Today’s Savannah Guthrie:

There are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn’t want to know about it. I happen to think that he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. He doesn’t want to see what’s really happening. And that could be. [My italics]

These insane ramblings are by the presumed presidential candidate of the Republican Party.

Well... I am sorry, but if this insane utter bullshit are "serious utterances" any totally fact-free complete trash should make any utterly ignorant idiot worthy of being wildly admired by "journalists" on the main media and made president of the USA.

And that is the first firm conclusion I draw:

It is - for now, until he becomes president - not so much Trump who is extremely dangerous, but it are the completely irresponsible main media who serve his bullshit, his trash and his insanities as if they are serious, sensible political contributions. It is utter baloney, but it is profitable, and profits are all that counts.

The second firm conclusion is by Todd Gitlin, who attempted to unravel the above quoted utter trash:

There are two intertwined strands to the Trump brand of insinuation. One is that traitors have crept into our midst. They are Muslims, Mexicans and other alien inhabitants of Trojan horses, aided and abetted by those who cover up for them, who reassure you that these sinister forces are harmless.is

The second strand is that Trump speaks for a movement of folks who get it. He’s not just the leader who glimpses the buried truth. The leader, after all, has the wisdom to channel the “people,” the stouthearted ones, the deprogrammed, those brave souls who can handle the awful truth, who all together will rise to strip the masquerade bare, to evict the aliens — along with corrupting serpents — so as to restore Edenic greatness. The truth that matters, in all fascist and para-fascist movements, is the truth that the savior-masters have unearthed.

Yes, Trump does have something like a recognizable ideology, also in spite of its many inconsistencies and unclarities, and it is simply fascistic, para-fascistic or (as I prefer) neofascistic. [1]

There is considerably more in this article, that is recommended.

2. Julian Assange: Next Leak of Hillary Clinton Emails Will Be Enough to Indict Her, but ...

This is by Emma Niles on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says his organization’s upcoming leak of more Hillary Clinton emails should be enough to indict her—but doubts the FBI will do so.

As the presidential race heats up, there has been increased attention on the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has begun to use the scandal as an offensive strategy against his Democratic opponent. Clinton is under investigation by the FBI because of her reliance on a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, breaking multiple department rules on cybersecurity.

WikiLeaks, an organization created to publish classified information, made major waves in March when it published a searchable archive of Clinton’s emails. Now, Assange is promising another leak of emails that he believes could serve as sufficient evidence for the FBI to indict her.
Yes, I think Julian Assange may well be right in his claim that "another leak of emails (..) could serve as sufficient evidence for the FBI to indict her".

Then again, I suppose he is probably also right in this qualification:
Assange said, however, that in his opinion, the FBI would choose not to indict her in hopes of gaining favor with a Clinton administration. “The FBI could push for concessions from the new Clinton government,” he said. But, he added, “there’s very strong material, both in the emails and in relation to the Clinton Foundation.”
In fact, my own expectation is that the FBI will postpone any indictment till
the presidential elections are done.

There is more in the brief article, including a link to an interview with Julian Assange. This is a recommended article.

3. Exposed: Pesticide Industry Deployed Aggressive Lobby Effort to Quash Bee Protections

This is by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:

First let me explain why I am (and have been) following the story that far more bees are dying these years than were dying before. There are two main points:

(1) If there are no more or radically fewer bees, there will be proportionally less food for (especially) human beings and the animals they keep, and many
(especially poor people) will simply starve for lack of money to buy food.
(2) After some false leads, there is a cogent scientific explanation for the fact that far more bees are dying than before: It is very probably due to some of the pesticides with which crops are sprayed.

Problem solved, in principle? Not so, for you did not take in consideration the powers of the pesticide giants, and their enormous blind, egoistic greed for more and more profits (which is the only value that seems to move the tops
of these companies).

Here is the beginning of the article that explains this complication:

Despite the abundance of scientific studies documenting the rapid and dangerous decline of pollinator populations, state and federal lawmakers have yet to pass any meaningful protections for bees.

The reason, according to the findings of a new investigation, is that pesticide giants such as Bayer, Monsanto, and Syngenta have deployed an aggressive lobbying campaign to dilute and suppress attempts to regulate their multi-billion dollar industry—with great success.

Published by environmental watchdog Friends of the Earth, the report (pdf) exposes "how the pesticide industry has weakened and delayed pesticide reforms and is shaping new pollinator 'protection' plans nationwide that do little to protect bees, but a lot to protect industry profits."

So there you are...: We can save the bees, and we can save the incredible amount of food stuffs they are essential for, but we are not allowed to, for
this would - NAFTA, TTP, TTIP, TISA !! - diminish the one thing pesticide CEOs cannot bear at all: diminishing some of their profits.

Indeed, that is not all:

With the US government moving more and more in the neofascistic direction [1] of delivering parts of its discretionary powers precisely to the people who would personally profit most from exercising these powers for the benefits of the companies they came from and will return to:

What's more, the ever-present "revolving door" between the public and private sector has allowed the pesticide industry to "infiltrate" regulatory agencies. "In hundreds of documented cases, employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency have shuffled between regulatory agencies and companies including Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto," the study notes.

There is more in the article, that is recommended.

Incidentally, what is my own expectation? I think the most likely outcome (especially in view of the neofascistic tendencies just sketched [2]) is that the
bees are far less important than the profits of the pesticide's giants
, which will be kept safe thanks to "
the ever-present "revolving door" between the public and private sector" [2], and that bees will continue dying in droves at least until people start dying in droves because of the absence of sufficient
bees to pollinate sufficient plants to produce sufficient food.

It is a cynical expectation, I grant you, but the cynicism is not mine: It is Bayer's, Monsanto's and Sygenta's, who clearly care much more for their own
profits than for sufficient food that is also payable by the poor.

4. New CIA Documents Reveal More Horrors of President Bush's Torture Program

The final article today is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:

The CIA on Tuesday released dozens of documents detailing its torture and rendition program under the Bush administration, from the horrific treatment of detainees to the agency's 2002 plan to ask the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) not to prosecute interrogators.

The heavily redacted trove of more than 50 documents was published in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the ACLU last year, which sought records referenced in the U.S. Senate's damning report on the CIA's program—commonly referred to as the torture report—released in December 2014.

I have reported a considerable amount about the many tortures the US goverment started to use - completely illegally, also - in 2001. If you are
interested, search the crisis indexes with "Torture" - and no: in spite of the fact that there is now, after many efforts, considerable evidence of these tortures, this is (by far!) not all the evidence, while also much of the evidence that does get released is "
heavily redacted" by colleagues of the torturers.

And now there is an additional complication:

Elsewhere in the files is a draft letter (pdf) prepared by a CIA official for then-Attorney General John Ashcroft that requested the DOJ agree in advance to shield officials involved in the torture program from legal action by federal prosecutors. The request concerned interrogators involved in the torture of "ghost prisoner" Abu Zubaydah, who was abducted in Pakistan and transferred to U.S. authorities in 2002 and has remained at the Guantánamo Bay military prison since 2006 without trial.

The letter reads:

Nonetheless, the interrogation team has now concluded...that the use of more aggressive methods is required to persuade Abu Zubaydah to provide critical information we need to safeguard the lives of innumerable innocent men, women, and children in the United States and abroad. These methods include certain activities that normally would appear to be prohibited [....] I respectfully request that you grant a formal declination of prosecution, in advance, for any employees of the United States, as well as any personnel acting on behalf of the United States, who may employ methods in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah that otherwise might subject those individuals to prosecution.

Note that this probably was written before the American government invented
- specious and false - "legal justifications" to torture prisoners. And note what the CIA asked from the American DOJ (boldings added):
"a formal declination of prosecution, in advance, for any employees of the United States, as well as any personnel acting on behalf of the United States, who may employ methods in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah that otherwise might subject those individuals to prosecution"
Here are some of the things they did to Abu Zubaydah (<-Wikipedia), from the Wikipedia lemma:
As reported later, many of these interrogation techniques were previously considered illegal under U.S. and international law and treaties at the time of Zubaydah's capture. For instance, the United States had prosecuted Japanese military officials after World War II and American soldiers after the Vietnam War for waterboarding. Since 1930, the United States had defined sleep deprivation as an illegal form of torture. Many other techniques developed by the CIA constitute inhuman and degrading treatment and torture under the United Nations Convention against Torture, and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
(..)

The CIA subjected Zubaydah to various forms of increasingly harsh interrogation techniques, including temperature extremes, music played at debilitating volumes, and sexual humiliation. Zubaydah was also subjected to beatings, isolation, waterboarding, long-time standing, continuous cramped confinement, and sleep deprivation.
During Zubaydah's interrogation, President Bush learned he was on painkillers for his wounds and was proving resistant. He said to the CIA director George Tenet, "Who authorized putting him on pain medication?" It was later reported that Zubaydah was denied painkillers during his interrogation.
Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:

Rights groups condemned the details found in the documents, which also included the CIA's concerns that tortured detainees should be prevented from seeing representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the rest of their lives.

"We’re seeing just how much Mitchell, Jessen, and their CIA co-conspirators knew that what they were doing was wrong and illegal. They talked about seeking a get-out-of-jail-free card for torturing people, and then discussed how to make sure their victims were silenced forever, even if they survived their torture," Ladin said.

Yes, indeed.

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

Notes

[1] This is about my imputation that the US government is moving towards neofascism and has been doing so since 2001: There will soon be an
article in Nederlog that explains the terms "fascism" and "neofascism".

I refer you to that (there will be a link here if it is on line), and meanwhile I  only observe that one of the classical reasons to call a government fascistic is that it incorporates some of the leading corporations' executives, which is the case, indeed ever since Bill Clinton was president.

[2] Again, see the above note [1] and note that ""the ever-present "revolving door" between the public and private sector"" is one of the things I mean by "neofascistic".

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