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Nederlog

Jun 21, 2016

Crisis: Guantánamo *2, Hillary, Medicine Has Grown Quite Corrupt
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Introduction

1.
Guantanamo Bay Should Be Closed Forever
2. I Have a Big Idea for Hillary
3. Mystery of a Little-Known Gitmo Prisoner
4. Shocking Report from Medical Insiders

Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

This is a crisis log. There are 4 items with 4 dotted links: Item 1 is about Kiriakou about Guantánamo: It is OK, but the shocking news is in item 3; item 2 is about an idea of Robert Reich for Hillary Clinton, that I do not believe in at all (and I give part of my reasons); item 3 is about Guantánamo and shows (i) a prisoner who had no legal representation whatsoever for nine (9) years, and (ii) shows what his (just started) lawyer can say about him: Nothing specific, for that is all forbidden (and I state a partial parallel with the German Nazis' "Nacht und Nebel" policy); while item 4 is another truly shocking report by two very prominent medical researchers: At least 50% of the present medical research is worthless (flawed or falsified, all meant to serve the profits of Big Pharma). I agree and illustrate this by listing a few things about my disease.

I also know that I promised that I would (probably) publish my essay about fascism today, but I had and have a lot to do, and did not get the time to read it all through once again. It will be here, and quite soon, for it is nearly done.

1. Guantanamo Bay Should Be Closed Forever

The first item today is by John Kiriakou on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:

With less than seven months left in his presidency, Barack Obama has failed in his plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. For more than 14 years, Guantanamo has been the symbol of everything that is wrong with the United States’ so-called war on terror. It is a living example of a fundamental disrespect for human rights, civil liberties and the Constitution of the United States.

The U.S. is supposed to be a nation of laws. But those laws are ignored at Guantanamo. We are supposed to be a nation of civil liberties. But those liberties are denied at Guantanamo. We are supposed to be a nation that has a living, breathing Constitution that protects the rights of all of us—not just American citizens, but anybody under U.S. jurisdiction. But that Constitution means nothing at Guantanamo. Instead, it is a “secret” prison, in that almost nobody is allowed to see its inner workings. It’s a place where people who have never been formally accused of a crime, let alone convicted of one, are held incommunicado and indefinitely.

Yes, indeed - and in case you want some details that support the last paragraph see item 3.

In part, Guantánamo is kept open because of Congress. Here is something Congress misses or doesn't admit:

These same members of Congress also ignore the well-documented fact that Guantanamo is one of the best recruiting tools for extremist groups abroad. Indeed, an al-Qaida fighter in Iraq told Arizona Sen. John McCain that the U.S. use of torture and the continued operation of Guantanamo helped to fuel the insurgency there. It continues to be a rallying point for our enemies.

Here is Kiriakou's sum-up:

But how can we, with a straight face, tell other countries what they can and cannot do when we maintain an extrajudicial and extraconstitutional prison like Guantanamo, when we have tortured prisoners, when we have run a system of secret prisons around the world, when we have sent prisoners to Third World countries to be tortured?

Just before the 2008 presidential election, McCain said, “What is the moral superiority of the United States of America if we torture prisoners?” He was right. We lack any moral authority to criticize other countries so long as Guantanamo remains open. Obama has said similar things. Yet Guantanamo remains open.

Part of the answer to the question in the first paragraph is that there is no such "we"; part of the answer is that most speakers for the US government lie and propagandize with straight faces and no moral qualms whatever; and part of the answer is the secrecy about much that happens in Guantánamo - and for more on the last partial answer see item 3 below (that is or ought to be shocking).

As to McCain's question: Of course he was right to ask the question, and my own answer is that the USA doesn't have any moral superiority, though indeed
I also deny the same lack of moral superiority to their opponents.

2. I Have a Big Idea for Hillary

The second item is by Robert Reich on Truthdig and originally on Reich's website:

To the best of my knowledge, Robert Reich knows Hillary Clinton fairly well and since a long time. The big idea Reich speaks about is this:
She needs a big idea that gives her candidacy a purpose and rationale – and, if she’s elected president, a mandate to get something hugely important done.
(..)
The big idea I’m talking about is democracy.

Everyone knows our democracy is drowning under big money. Confidence in politics has plummeted, and big money as the major culprit.

I say. So Reich wants the woman who, together with her husband, raked in around $120 million dollars (more or less: this is one of the many things kept secret) by - secret - speeches to bankmanagers, and whose husband has loosened and thrown away most of the regulations that kept the banks more or less controled by politicians, to restore democracy?!

I am sorry, but it sounds like utter bullshit to me. My reasons are in part these about husband Bill, quoted from yesterday:

Bill Clinton:

betrayed working men and women with the North American Free Trade Agreement, destroyed the welfare system, nearly doubled the prison population, slashed social service programs, turned the airwaves over to a handful of corporations by deregulating the Federal Communications Commission, ripped down the firewalls between commercial and investment banks that led to a global financial crash and prolonged recession, and begun a war on our civil liberties that has left us the most monitored, eavesdropped, photographed and profiled population in human history.

So Robert Reich wants to say now that Bill Clinton's wife should restore democracy?! C'mon!

I grant that the following is true (and I paid attention to it in Nederlog, namely here and here):

A study published in the fall of 2014 by Princeton professor Martin Gilens and Professor Benjamin Page of Northwestern shows that big money has almost entirely disenfranchised Americans. Gilens and Page took a close look at 1,799 policy issues, determining the relative influence on them of economic elites, business groups, and average citizens.

Their conclusion: “The preferences of average Americans appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Instead, lawmakers respond to the policy demands of wealthy individuals and big business.

But Hillary Clinton heads these "lawmakers" (on the Democratic side) who "respond to the policy demands of wealthy individuals and big business".

I agree that

The best way to ensure everyday Americans get a fair deal is to make our democracy work again.

I deny that can be done by Hillary Clinton and I deny that will be done by Hillary Clinton. And I say so while I also insist that from the choice between
Clinton or Trump for president she is the far less worse choice than Trump.

But no, democracy will not be restored by this faithful servant of the rich
bankmanagers, who already have paid her so well, and who were set free
by her husband to plunder everyone "because they are too big to fail" (as
Eric Holder said already in 1999).

3. Mystery of a Little-Known Gitmo Prisoner

The third item is by Dennis J Bernstein on Consortiumnews:
This starts as follows:
There has long been a Kafkaesque quality to the plight of some Guantanamo Bay detainees who faced indefinite incarceration without charge or a chance to defend themselves at trial, but one of the most mysterious cases involves Haroon al-Afghani, who has been locked up since 2007 without a trial or legal representation.
This is here mainly because my grandfather was murdered in a German concentration-camp and my father spent 3 years, 9 months and 15 days
in four German concentration-camps
as a "political terrorist". (In fact, both were in the communist resistance, and arrested in June 1941. My father
eventually was knighted, as 1
of only 2 communists to which this happened.)

Therefore I know rather a lot more about nazism, fascism and concentration- camps than most do.

That someone can be locked up for nine years without getting any legal representation is shocking enough, but there is much more. First, here is
the lawyer who represents Haroon al-Afghani since a week (!):

Sullivan-Bennis said, “very little is known to the world about Haroon, and Guantánamo’s secrecy laws currently ban me from filling in the blanks. … I can say that the bright-eyed, chatty young man I met … is not allowed to meet me alone for more than ten minutes before government representatives forcibly remove him from the room.”

I spoke with Sullivan-Bennis in a Flashpoints radio interview on June 15, after al-Afghani’s first appearance in nine years
before the PRB. What she didn’t say in this context is definitely as important, if not more important, than what she was allowed to say in public or before the PRB.
First, let me say this in favor of the American concentration camp Guantánamo: It doesn't work its prisoners to death, and it doesn't starve its prisoners to death, but otherwise it seems rather a lot as if it is being run by the Gestapo or the SS.

Here is evidence for that proposition:

DB: What was his treatment like at Guantánamo?

SSB: That is something I can’t speak to but I hope to be able to in the next couple weeks.
(..)

DB: So he hasn’t been able to speak to you about his treatment or you can’t talk publicly based on secrecy law?

SSB: The latter.

She is forbidden to speak about his treatment.

DB: The latter. So, you know how he was treated but you can’t talk to us about it yet?

SSB: Exactly.

DB: Can you say if it was good or bad?

SSB: I can’t. I’ll tell you one thing from my understanding: no one who has lived the life of these men, held captive here for all these years, would ever describe their treatment as good.

She is forbidden to evaluate his treatment (except in extremely general terms that do not mention him or his situation at all).

DB: Was he ever fasting or a hunger striker or force fed? Or you can’t say?

SSB: That’s another thing I can’t say.

DB: And these are all based on secrecy laws?

SSB: Right, secrecy laws that apply strictly to those in Guantánamo, and not to other detainees around the United States.
(...)
She is forbidden to say he fasted or took part in a hunger strike or has been force fed.

DB: The censors…so how does that work? You have to give over all your notes and they search them for possible national security breaches?

SSB: Yeah, […] I think they would term it classification review. So they essentially get to read everything that my client and I talk about privately.
(...)
She has none of a lawyer's (legally assured!) privacy: The military must know everything.

DB: So he was just snatched and for years they didn’t know where he was?

SSB: Yep.
(..)

DB: Do you know, can you say whether he was […] interrogated, water boarded, anything like that?

SSB: I can’t say any of that.

DB: You know but you can’t say, right?

SSB: Right.
She is forbidden to say anything about his being tortured (or not).

DB: Does he understand why he was captured and imprisoned?

SSB: It’s hard to really say that any of us understands that. I think the U.S. government has a different take on how they should handle these matters, and others. I can tell you that from everyone that I’ve spoken to, all of my clients, none of them think that the way to handle a national security investigation is to illegally kidnap, render and torture a person, and bring them to their country, keep them captive for 14 years, without charge or trial.

DB: Is that what happened to him?

SSB: It is our professional opinion that everyone who was brought to Guantánamo was illegally captured, rendered, tortured and brought here without due process. Yes.

DB: So, it might be safe to assume he was brutalized and tortured, although you can’t say that he was, based on…even if you know that from talking with him.

SSB: Yes.

So probably he was illegally captured, rendered to Guantánamo, and tortured, but she is forbidden to say anything specifically about him.

Meanwhile, he has been locked up without any charge or any trial for nine years. Others have been
locked up without any charge or any trial for fourteen years (which is longer than the 12 years Hitler's regime lasted).

And here is the beginning of the Nacht und Nebel lemma on Wikipedia:

Nacht und Nebel (..) (German for "Night and Fog") was a directive (German: Erlass) from Adolf Hitler on 7 December 1941 targeting political activists and resistance "helpers" that was originally intended to winnow out "anyone endangering German security" (die deutsche Sicherheit gefährden) throughout Nazi Germany's occupied territories. Its name was a direct reference to a Tarnhelm spell, from Wagner's Das Rheingold.

Three months later Armed Forces High Command Feldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel expanded it to include all persons in occupied countries who had been taken into custody; if they were still alive eight days later, they were to be handed over to the Gestapo.The decree was meant to intimidate local populations into submission, by denying friends and families of seized persons any knowledge of their whereabouts or their fate. The prisoners were secretly transported to Germany, and vanished without a trace. In 1945, the abandoned Sicherheitsdienst (SD) records were found to include merely names and the initials "NN" (Nacht und Nebel); even the sites of graves were unrecorded. The Nazis even coined a new term for those who "vanished" in accordance with this decree; they were vernebelt - "transformed into mist". To this day, it is not known how many thousands of people disappeared as a result of this order.

The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg held that the disappearances committed as part of the Nacht und Nebel program were war crimes which violated both the Hague Conventions and customary international law.

I granted already that the Americans are less cruel than the Nazis. I do suggest that Guantánamo does look a lot like a German concentration camp, though without some of the cruelties practised there, and I do suppose the "Nacht und Nebel" approach may have inspired the shocking lack of moral or legal rules (other than: Lawyers are forbidden to say anything, and are forbidden to know anything that the military doesn't know).

4. Shocking Report from Medical Insiders

The fourth item is by F. William Engdahl on NEO:
First a statement on why this is here: I am ill since 1.i.1979 (37 years now) with a serious illness that is not admitted and that gets no help at all from most medics. [1]

It has ruined my life and my chances, which could and would have been quite good, for I have one of the best M.A.s in psychology, which I got after being denied the right to take an excellent M.A. in philosophy briefly before taking that, because I had told the truth about my teachers to their faces, in an invited public speech. (All of this was done while I was ill; all of this was done
without hearing any lectures.)

Instead of helping me or doing good medical research into the causes of my illness (that has some 17 million patients worldwide) I am blackened, discriminated and denied any help by the insistence that, since the disease
is unknown, it doesn't exist
(psychiatric argument); since the disease doesn't exist and I keep complaining about lack of energy and muscle aches, I must be insane (psychiatric argument); and since I am insane I have no right on any help of any medical doctor (medical and psychiatric argument).

That is how it went for 37 years, except that I have had the extreme good fortune of having had one good GP from 1986-1999 (who very probably saved my life). [2]

Next, my ex fell ill 9 days after I fell ill, and also is still ill (to the best of my knowledge: she was still ill in 1999, but I haven't heard from her since), and
we both got ill in the first year of our university studies on study loans.
We both managed to get excellent M.A.s, without hearing any lectures, but
indeed the reason is that we were both highly gifted. [3]

But none of that does matter to most medics I have seen: We were not judged on the basis of our personal situation, we were judged in a completely politicallty correct identity-politics: Everyone with an unknown disease gets treated as stated above, as a matter of course by almost any medic. You
are not a person; you are not an individual; you have no rights (because you
are insane, which you are because you have an unknown disease, which doesn't exist according to the psychiatrists).

Next, about medicine:

In 2009 there was proposed an explanation for the disease I have that initially looked quite hopeful, but since has been completely refuted. It did move me to
check out medicine and psychiatry, both of which turned out to have changed very much since 1980, and both of which turned out to have changed from sciences practised to help ill people to pseudosciences practised to help medical doctors to get rich. (A Dutch doctor gets 20 times or more than I get in income. Those who studied from 1980 onwards spent half as much time on their studies as those who studied before 1980.)

I have written out some of the results of my investigations in Nederlog and in a subseries in it about the DSMs - and as I said: I am a philosopher of science and a psychologist, and not merely an ill person without degrees or intellectual qualifications.

These concord with the following, which is the best statement on the enormous corruptions in medical science that I have read so far, mostly because they are by two leading medical persons:

A shocking admission by the editor of the world’s most respected medical journal, The Lancet, has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-chief of the Lancet recently published a statement declaring that a shocking amount of published research is unreliable at best, if not completely false, as in, fraudulent.

Horton declared, “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps37 years of constant discrimination by 95% of the medics I turned to half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

To state the point in other words, Horton states bluntly that major pharmaceutical companies falsify or manipulate tests on the health, safety and effectiveness of their various drugs by taking samples too small to be statistically meaningful or hiring test labs or scientists where the lab or scientist has blatant conflicts of interest such as pleasing the drug company to get further grants. At least half of all such tests are worthless or worse he claims. As the drugs have a major effect on the health of millions of consumers, the manipulation amounts to criminal dereliction and malfeasance.

I completely agree - and have not only the degrees I have to back me up, but 37 years of constant discrimination by 95% of the medics I turned to for help for myself or my ill ex.

And as to the fact that Horton's statement "has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media": The mainstream media ceased publishing and mostly ceased investigating the truth. This is completely independent from the massive growth in medical corruption, but it is another fact that needs to be mentioned, also because it makes the situation a lot worse than it would have been were it otherwise.

Next, the editor of The Lancet is not the only prominent medic who complains. Here is dr. Marcia Angell who was a long time chief editor of the NEMJ:

Dr. Marcia Angell is a physician and was longtime Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), considered to be another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. Angell stated,

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.”

Again I completely agree, and I also have several times reviewed articles by dr. Angell in Nederlog (e.g. here and here).

The article ends as follows:

Corruption of the medical industry worldwide is a huge issue, perhaps more dangerous than the threat of all wars combined. Do we have such hypnosis and blind faith in our doctors simply because of their white coats that we believe they are infallible? And, in turn, do they have such blind faith in the medical journals recommending a given new wonder medicine or vaccine that they rush to give the drugs or vaccines without considering these deeper issues?

I don't think medical corruption is "more dangerous than the threat of all wars combined", but I think it is extremely dangerous that medical morality seems to have caved in almost everywhere, and has caved in for money, that is by corruption, and mostly through Big Pharma.

As to the last two questions:

Yes, I think the utter medical, scientific, methodological and psychological incompetence of almost every patient of almost any doctor, coupled to a widespread extreme regard for white coats and stethoscopes, does play a large role.

Medical people can get away with almost anything, simply because they are medical people.

But no: I don't think most medical doctors have a "
blind faith in the medical journals recommending a given new wonder medicine". I think most know that they are corrupt; most know most of their colleagues are corrupt; all know that almost no one will contradict or doubt a medical person; all know almost all medical colleagues will support them simply because they are colleagues; and therefore they can continue to prescribe expensive patented medicines on which they get a percentage, and therefore they do.

What is my advice? I don't know, because I don't know your intelligence nor your education. As for me: I have learned to distrust all medical doctors, because I have learned they are in vast majority far more interested in getting 20, 30 or more times as much money as I receive, and because they are willing to state almost anything to confuse and mislead their patients, also if this damages the health, the chances or the (human) rights of their patients.

And no, I have no hope for any cure within the medical system as it now functions. It is almost totally broken; it has been broken by intentional corruptions started by Big Pharma; and the corruptions are far too widespread and far too well-paying.

Medicine has been mostly destroyed, by the combination of Big Pharma and the ease with which medical people accept money. And I am glad that Horton and Angell spoke up (as did quite a few more, like dr. Nardo and dr. Healy), but I have seen nothing like a strong shared voice against corrupt money from Big Pharma, that so much increases the incomes of so many medical people.

It is very sad, but medicine has been mostly destroyed, just like democracy and the once somewhat decent main media. And in each case, the main causes were the corruptions handed out by the rich, together with the corruptability of the many, whether medical doctors, politicians, or journalists.

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

Notes

[1] I have M.E. since 1.i.1979. My ex has M.E. since 10.i.1979. (It started for both of us with Epstein-Barr, which is the most common cause of M.E.)
We both also had IQs over 140, which allowed us to finish our studies (albeit it much later than most, because we were ill all the time and could not attend any lectures).

We also have seen around 30 medical doctors between 1979 and 1982. None could find anything and - although M.E. was first medically reported in 1965, and also quite well - none knew anything about it, in spite of the fact that most of the 30 were "medical specialists".

This was - after the fact - quite important, because if at least one had known about M.E. we would have been helped, for until around 1988 it was admitted
to be a serious disease. (From 1988 the psychiatrists interfered, and told everyone that all unknown diseases are known diseases: patients are insane).

Here is my - very informed - judgement on psychiatry.

[2] This was dr. Helen van Proosdij-Fertigova, who originally was not Dutch but Chech, and who fled in 1968 to Holland where she studied medicine.

Of the many medical doctors I have met she was by far the most sensible. I have met a few more who seemed like good doctors to me (who also didn't find anything, but who didn't conclude that because they could not find anything I or my ex must be either insane or liars), but something like 95%
of the medical doctors I met were incompetent, and besides: most also were
arrogant, rich role-players in white coats with a stethoscope around their necks.

And no, I did not think so before I had met 30 doctors who did not know anything about my illness (while most of them should at least have known the name, which was medically rather well-known since 1965), but who also did not want to admit it - and yes, I am very intelligent with two excellent academic degrees.

What I said simply states the - very sad - truth, so far as I am concerned.

[3] I am sorry, for I know that, at least in Holland, everyone who is not quite like the majority gets discriminated, but it is a fact, just as it is a fact
that I am taller than most (at 1 m 94 cm). You may disagree if your IQ is over 140 and you got an M.A. with an average of 9 out of 10. I did, and I would not
have gotten as far without my intelligence and some help.


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