1. Democrats’ War on Due
Process and Terrorist
Fearmongering Long Predate
2. FBI Wants to Exempt Its Biometric Data
3. Sotomayor's Blistering SCOTUS Dissent Warns
Is Turning Into a Prison State
4. How the European Union Turned Into a
5. Propaganda & Engineering Consent for
Mark Crispin Miller
This is a Nederlog of Wednesday, June 22, 2016.
is a crisis log. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about an article by Glenn Greenwald on "potential terrorism" and the
Orwellian attitudes of the NSA (and much of the public); item 2 is about the FBI's desire to get all Americans' biometric data made available to them; item 3
is about how the Supreme Court took yet another step to make the
U.S. into "a carceral state" much rather than a real democracy (according to
a dissenting judge of the Supreme Court (!)); item 4 is
about how the European Union in fact is neoliberal, with my addition
that "neoliberal" is in fact a propaganda term for neofascism (and I
explain myself, briefly); and item 5 is a fine video about
propaganda as the engineering of consent: This I recommend everyone to
see, because it is good about propaganda (which most people see and
read more of than of almost anything else, generally without realizing
1. Democrats’ War on Due Process and Terrorist Fearmongering
Long Predate Orlando
first item today is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Before the bodies were removed from the
Pulse nightclub in Orlando last week, Democrats began eagerly
exploiting that atrocity to demand a new, secret “terrorist watchlist”:
something that was once the
domestic centerpiece of the Bush/Cheney war-on-terror mentality.
Led by their propaganda outlet, Center for American Progress
(CAP), Democrats now want to empower the Justice
Department — without any judicial adjudication — to unilaterally bar
citizens who have not been charged with (let alone convicted of) any
crime from purchasing guns.
Worse than the measure itself is the
rancid rhetoric they are using. To justify this new list, Democrats, in
unison, are actually arguing that the U.S. government must constrain people whom they are
now calling “potential terrorists.” Just spend a moment
pondering how creepy and Orwellian that phrase is in the context of government designations.
I think I should start with a few
First, I have been
saying since 2005 (or before) that the "war on terrorism" is basically a
pretext for getting everything from everyone in
some secret database of the NSA and other secret services. In
other words, it was propaganda
from the very start, with a very different aim than the one
publicly declared: Much rather than "protecting everyone", the
point was to get everything on anyone anywhere, and all in secret, so that
the secret services and/or the police and/or the government were fully
informed about everything. I still think that is THE central point of the propaganda "war on
terror": People are frightened with terrorism, to make them give up all
their privacies, and hand these over to the NSA and other secret services. 
Next, in the USA almost everyone is free
to buy guns of very many kinds, unlike in Europe, were almost
everywhere everyone is forbidden to buy guns
of any kind, except if this is lifted (as may be the case for sporting
and hunting). 
Third, I think Glenn Greenwald is quite
right in insisting that the Democrats are (almost) as bad as the
Republicans in assisting (and also in formulating) the propaganda of
which the real aim is to get as extensive a secret
dossier on absolutely everyone as possible (inside and
outside the USA!), and I quite agree with him that this is an
Orwellian project with Orwellian methods.
But something depends on the definition of
"potential terrorist". Here is the next bit of Glenn Greenwald:
My own answer to the question
(different from Glenn Greenwald's) is that it is about as ridiculous to
say that "everyone is a potential terrorist" as it is to say that
"everyone is a potential milionaire": It may happen, but it is quite
rare, even though very many more people are trying to
become a millionaire than are trying to become a terrorist.
What is a “potential terrorist”? Isn’t
everyone that? And who wants the U.S. government empowered to
unilaterally restrict what citizens can do based on predictions
or guesses about what they might become or do
in the future? Does anyone have any doubt that this will fall
disproportionately on certain
groups and types of people?
But that indeed is not the answer of the U.S. government. What
they mean by "potential" is vague, and what they mean by "terrorist" is
possibly even vaguer (and "opponent of the government" seems to come close (!)).
Here is the program as described by Greenwald:
Yes, indeed: At least for the government and
those who believe in it (bolding added) "“government
accusations of terrorism” were synonymous with “proof of guilt.”"
For eight years, this mentality was the
driving force behind the worst Bush/Cheney war-on-terror abuses. No
matter what the extremist policy was — indefinite detention,
warrantless eavesdropping, torture, no-fly lists, Guantánamo,
rendition, CIA black sites — Republicans would justify it by saying it
was merely being done to “terrorists” and would accuse their due
process-advocating critics of wanting to “protect terrorists.” What
they actually meant was that all of this was being done to people accused
by the U.S. government of involvement in terrorism. But in their mind,
“government accusations of terrorism” were synonymous with “proof of
That is exactly the warped,
Orwellian formulation Democrats embrace: As is extremely obvious,
the Democrats’ definition of “terrorist” is “anyone whom the
U.S. government suspects of being a terrorist.”
There is a considerably more in the article, which is recommended, and
ends with the statement that the Fourth
Amendment clarified all that is
necessary and justified in a decent democracy. I agree.
2. FBI Wants to Exempt Its
Biometric Data From Privacy Rules
The second item is by Thor Benson on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
The FBI maintains a large database of
biometric information called the Next
Generation Identification (NGI) system, which includes
fingerprints, iris patterns, photos for facial recognition and other
data about millions of Americans. The agency recently sought to have
this database exempted from rules laid out by the Privacy Act of
1974, rules intended to protect citizens from privacy violations
and give them tools for finding out whether their records are included
in the NGI system. This exclusionary bid by the intelligence agency has
many civil rights groups concerned.
“The biggest issue here is that the database will contain an enormous
amount of biometric data about individuals who are not even suspected
of wrongdoing, which will be searched hundreds or thousands of times a
day by law enforcement looking for leads,” Gabe Rottman, deputy
director of the Freedom, Security and Technology Project at the Center
for Democracy and Technology, told Truthdig. “Even a small number of
false positives would be an extreme threat to civil liberties.”
I agree, though I do not
think this will succeed: See above on terrorism.
The article is recommended.
Sotomayor's Blistering SCOTUS Dissent Warns America Is Turning Into a
The third item is by Travis Getty on
AlterNet and originally on Raw Score:
This starts as
Supreme Court Justice Sonia
Sotomayor strongly disagreed with the majority as she
passionately denounced a ruling on unreasonable search and seizures.
A 5-3 majority ruled that
prosecutors may present evidence unlawfully collected by police
officers to reverse a Utah Supreme Court decision, and Justice Clarence
Thomas, who wrote the majority opinion, argued that “the costs of
exclusion outweighs its deterrent benefits.”
All decent judges disagreed for a very long
time: Evidence that has not been lawfully collected (which is
to say that it was illegally collected) may not be used
as evidence in a court.
This is no longer true if you are stopped by a policeman in the United
States. Here is Sotomayor's reasoning:
Quite so. This is a recommended article.
“Although many Americans have been
stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realize how degrading a
stop can be when the officer is looking for more,” wrote Sotomayor.
“This Court has allowed an officer to stop you for whatever reason he
wants—so long as he can point to a pretextual justification after the
Sotomayor said the court’s ruling had
essentially classified all Americans as inmates in the
“By legitimizing the conduct that
produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and
black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal
status at any time,” Sotomayor wrote. “It says that your body is
subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights.
It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of
a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.”
How the European Union Turned Into a
The fourth item is by Enrico Tortolano on AlterNet and originally on
This starts as
follows (and is too long to be reasonably excerpted):
Voting to leave the EU is a
no-brainer for the Left. The European Union is remote, racist,
imperialist, anti-worker and anti-democratic: It is run by, of, and for
the super-rich and their corporations. A future outside austerity and
other economic blunders rests on winning the struggle to exit the EU,
removing us from its neoliberal politics and institutions. Corporate
bureaucrats in Brussels working as agents of the big banks and
transnationals’ now exert control over every aspect of our lives.
Neoliberal policies and practices dominate the European Commission,
European Parliament, European Central Bank, European Court of Justice
and a compliant media legitimises the whole conquest. This has left the
EU constitution as the only one in the world that enshrines neoliberal
economics into its text. Therefore the EU is not—and never can
be—either socialist or a democracy.
Yes, but this does need a few
First, "the Left" is a very vague term in Europe as well, and
most parties that have been traditionally called "leftish" like
the "social democrats" were and are strong proponents
of the EU (for example: in
Holland, Germany, and France).
Second, for me these "leftish" indeed are no longer leftists
except in name, and by being politically
correct, and often for a totalitarian identity politics. Besides,
many "social democrats" - Wim Kok, in Holland, for example - were
"Third Way" quasi-socialists with in fact a neoliberal program.
And third, for me the neoliberal policies - which I agree "dominate the European Commission, European Parliament,
European Central Bank, European Court of Justice and a compliant media"
- are a kind of neofascism: They are not liberal, they are not free
market, they are pro rich, pro austerity for everyone who is not
rich, pro deregulations, pro giving as much freedom to the rich as
these want, and most of their published plans are propaganda only, that
mostly consists of lies and deceptions. For some more, see below. 
Here is some of the propaganda compared with some of the facts:
Against the left’s strategic case
for exit is relentless blither and blather from the elitist liberal
commentariat: the EU is a social-democratic haven that protects us from
the nasty Tories is their litany and verse. This is an absurd fantasy:
by design the EU is a corporatist, pro-capitalist establishment.
Therefore, it strains credulity that the bulk of the Parliamentary
Labour Party and a rump of the trade union movement believe in the myth
of Social Europe.
I agree that "by
design the EU is a corporatist, pro-capitalist establishment", but I need to do some interpreting:
The "left’s strategic case
for exit" (in Great Britain?) is neither clear about which exit is
meant, nor clear about the meaning of "the left", simply because
the largest "leftish" parties these days are the social democrats, and
most of these have transformed themselves, already in the 1990ies, into
neoliberal anti-socialist Third Way parties, whose only "leftism" were political
correctness and a great fondness for totalitarian identity-politics.
Also, what the leading "social democrats" (in fact: neoliberals) meant
by their thesis that "the EU is a
social-democratic haven" seems to be
they, as political leaders
"of the left" were quite pleased to meet so many other political leaders "of the left" who likewise were rightist in their policies
but "leftish" in their talks.
Here is a final bit, on neoliberalism and "social democracy" as it is
styled now by the Third Way, that was initiated by Bill Clinton, who
managed to do the following during his presidency (quoted from June 20,
written by Chris Hedges): 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.
That is what the Third Way and neoliberalism
meant in practice in the USA, and it is the same with the leading
lights of the "social democrats" (between quotes because it is a
propaganda lie) in Europe.
Here is Tortolano on what the neoliberal "social democratic haven", that is
the EU, brought to its ordinary people:
The major EU policy initiatives
such as the Single Market Strategy, European competition policy,
Economic and Monetary Integration and the Growth and Stability Pact
have put “free” trade and “free” capital mobility, fiscal restraint and
business-austerity before the collective interest. In other words the
1% always come before the 99%: the employers always come before the
workers. Only in Pinochet’s Chile—where democracy was also absent—have
we seen such an embedded programme of neoliberalism. It ruined Chile’s
Precisely as in the USA. And speaking of
neoliberalism and Pinochet's Chile: That was a neofascist state in
which real neoliberalism was practised and led by Milton Friedman: it was
neofascism, it was terrorism, it was murder, it was degeneracy.
But that is the real face of "neoliberalism" - as can be seen in the
present USA and in the present EU. It is true that neither the USA nor
the EU have fallen as deep as Pinochet's Chile, but it would be very stupid to insist that it
can't happen in either the USA or the EU, for the rich have succeeded
in deregulating nearly all laws
that protected the 90% from their depradations, cruelty and degeneracies. 
5. Propaganda & Engineering Consent for Empire with
Mark Crispin Miller
The fifth item is a video by Abby Martin (<- Wikipedia) that is mostly about Edward Bernays
(<- Wikipedia), who is the father of the modern system of propaganda
and lies that is falsely called "public relations":
This is an interview with Mark Crispin
Miller (<-Wikipedia) which is quite good and takes 26 m 24 s.
Here is Miller quoted:
I think we live in a moment when
propaganda has never been so pervasive, has
never been so influential, has never been so dangerous.And here is Bernays quoted (and the link is to my
site, which has "Propaganda" on line, because I think it is quite
We are governed, our minds are
molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have
never heard of.
These men you have never heard of comprise
people like Bernays. And here is finally what Bernays set out to do, in
his own words:
That is: The secret engineering of the stupid masses with the end of
getting their agreement and support, without them knowing they
did not find their
ideas and values themselves, but that these were all provided by the
engineers of their minds, that almost everyone "never heard of".
This is an important and good video, and is strongly recommended.
 I still think so, and with considerably
better justification than in 2005: There is the fact that terrorism
kills very few; there is the fact that these days all attitudes of
ordinary people are dependent on and informed by propaganda; and there
is Edward Snowden, who revealed in 2013 how extremely much information is collected in secret by the NSA, the GCHQ and very many other secret services, to be used against persons whenever
any future government (of any political color (!)) thinks this is useful.
It so happens - I have been altogether 7 years been threatened with
murder by resp. a completely insane person and two illegal drugsdealers
who were protected come what may by Amsterdam's mayors, Amsterdam's
bureaucrats and Amsterdam's City Police that I have grown into someone
thinks guns ought to be easier available in Europe than they are now: I
need to be able to defend myself against insane people and illegal
criminals if the police and the officials simply refuse to do so.
If you are a European, you will probably differ, but then you also have not lived next to an insane person, nor above an illegal drugsshop that was defended by the City Police, the bureaucracy, the mayor and all aldermen.
 If you disagree: There is first the radical difference between the propaganda that nearly all politicians resort to in public, and their real policies, that are often quite different; and there also is a similar radical difference between the propaganda of the neoliberals ("Freedom!", "Freedom!", "Free Markets!", "Free Trade!", "No Taxes!", "No Governments!") and the actual content of neoliberalism (deregulations, much less taxes for the rich, much more freedoms and much more money for the rich at the cost of much more unfreedoms for the poor). Neoliberalism isn't liberal. It is deeply conservative and pro rich.
 Yes indeed - and the important thing is that the rich have mostly succeeded in getting what they wanted for 35 years now, in which also most formerly leftish parties were transformed to rightist parties with a limited "leftist" propaganda that turned around political correctness, "equality", and identity politics - none of which have much or anything to do with real leftism
as it existed until ca. 1980.
 A personal note: I saw I uploaded Bernays' "Propaganda" in the first half of 2012. I then did have the plan to write extensive comments on it, but
did not do it since then mostly because of my eyes, that have been really bad
and painful since June of 2012, and that only got considerably less painful in January/February of 2016. I am sorry. I still have the plan.