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Nederlog

Jan 17, 2017
Crisis: Jeremy Corbyn, Trump & Russia, Trump & Intelligence, Stasi's Powers
Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction   

1.
Jeremy Corbyn Accused of Being Russian “Collaborator” for
     Questioning NATO Troop Build-Up on Border

2. The Real Reason Any Russian Meddling Is an Emergency
3.
Donald Trump v. the Spooks
4.
Spy Camp: Photos From East Germany's Secret Intelligence
     Files
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of January 17, 2017. It may be that there will no Nederlog tomorrow, because I have trouble with my teeth again.

This is a
crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is about an article by Glenn Greenwald on completely insane accusations of Jeremy Corbyn; item 2 is - in fact - about Trump's utter irresponsibility; item 3 is by a former member of the British secret services about Trump vs. the US secret services (and much as I dislike the latter, I dislike Trump more); while item 4 is about the Stasi (East Germany's secret service), with a comparison of the - enormous - powers of the Stasis and the powers of the NSA: These are millions or billions times greater, and extend over absolutely everyone with a computer or cellphone.

As for today: My Dutch provider xs4all went wrong again, as they or some secret service have been doing most of the last year, while the Danish one.com is OK today..

My Dutch site more or less systematically shows the wrong date, and needs reloading several times to be impelled to show the right date (of today) and the right files. (Which are always there: You and I do not get them because someone is preventing that, which I think because it went for 20 years OK, and is extremely easy to do OK: What they are doing now - whoever it is - is far more complicated then doing the right thing correctly, as they have been doing from 1996-2015.)

And incidentally: I can get rid of "December 31 2015" in Denmark (which the provider regularly shows, much rather than the current date, although it meanwhile is 2017 and I published many
megabytes since 2015, also on every day) by (i) clicking on the rightmost globe, (ii) doing this again on the new screen, and then (iii) again on any central globe (... and I am deeply sorry, but this is the level of utter idiocy that I am now reduced to, either by my providers or by supermen from some secret service(s) from somewhere).

1.
Jeremy Corbyn Accused of Being Russian “Collaborator” for Questioning NATO Troop Build-Up on Border

The first item is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:

The leader of the UK’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, called for a “de-escalation” of tensions between NATO and Russia, adding in a BBC interview on Thursday: “I want to see a de-militarisation of the border between them.” Along with the U.S., the UK has been rapidly building up its military presence in the Baltic region, including states which border Russia, and is now about to send another 800 troops to Estonia, 500 of which will be permanently based.

In response, Russia has moved its own troops within its country near those borders, causing serious military tensions to rise among multiple nuclear-armed powers. Throughout 2016, the Russian and U.S. militaries have engaged in increasingly provocative and aggressive maneuversone another. This week, the U.S. began deploying 4,000 troops to Poland, “the biggest deployment of US troops in Europe since the end of the cold war.” against

It was in this context that Corbyn said it is “unfortunate that troops have gone up to the border on both sides,” adding that “he wanted to see better relations between Russia, NATO and the EU.” The Labour leader explained that while Russia has engaged in serious human rights abuses both domestically and in Syria, there must be a “better relationships between both sides . . .  there cannot be a return to a Cold War mentality.”
This was a long introduction, but it seems this sketches both what Jeremy Corbyn said and the military background quite well.

What you may not know is this response from May's degenerate British government [1]:

The response to Corbyn’s call for better relations and de-escalation of tensions with Moscow was swift and predictable. The armed forces minister for Britain’s right-wing government, Mike Penning, accused Corbyn of being a collaborator with the Kremlin:

“These comments suggest that the Labour leader would rather collaborate with Russian aggression than mutually support Britain’s Nato allies. As with Trident, everything Labour says and does shows that they cannot be trusted with Britain’s national security.”

Is Pennings insane? Is Pennings a sick sadistic liar? I don't know, for I never met the man. But I do know that Great Britain turned degenerate [1] when it extended the powers of its secret services. I completely despise and totally distrust any secret service that secretly hoovers up everything it can find on any computer (it secretly accesses) owned by anyone.

For me, they must be seen as preparing for state terrorism, and indeed it may very well be true - God may know if he exists, and the head of the GCHQ certainly knows, but I and everybody else (except for a few British ministers, who are all unelected) do not know - that implementing state terrorism was the point of the whole "War On Terror".

Back to Greenwald. Here is his comment on Penning's comment:
This is the same propagandistic formulation that has been used for decades in the west to equate opposition to militarism with some form of disloyalty or treason: if you oppose military confrontation with a foreign adversary or advocate better relations with it, then you are accused of harboring secret sympathy and even support for those foreign leaders, and are often suspected of being an active “collaborator” with (or “stooge” for) them.
Yes and no, for I am 66 and recall the Sixties and the Seventies very well: This manner of thing may have been used for some radicals and some communists, but Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the English parliamentary opposition, and I have never seen the leader of the opposition effectively smeared as a traitor.

Here is some more background to Corbyn's concerns:

The compelling justifications for Corbyn’s concerns about NATO/Russia tensions are self-evident. The U.S. and Russia have massive arsenals of nuclear weapons. As Lawrence Krauss detailed in the New Yorker in October, the two countries have come horrendously close to full-on, earth-destroying nuclear war on several occasions in the past, and the systems they still maintain are conducive to apocalyptic error through miscommunication and misperception, let alone direct military confrontation. As Krauss noted:

“In general, during the Obama Presidency, we have only deepened our dangerous embrace of nuclear weapons. At the moment, around a thousand nuclear weapons are still on a hair-trigger alert; as they were during the Cold War, they are ready to be launched in minutes in response to a warning of imminent attack.”

Yes indeed.

2. The Real Reason Any Russian Meddling Is an Emergency

The second item is by Jon Schwarz on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
The bizarre saga of potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has created a genuine emergency in American politics. This isn’t necessarily because of Russia’s actual actions — unless the most peculiar allegations turn out to be accurate — but because of Donald Trump’s response, and what this indicates about how he’ll govern.
Yes, and I do not believe the asserted "Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election", and not at all because I believe this is beyond them, but because no rational evidence whatsoever has been given for these allegations.

Here is Schwarz's opinion:

Under these circumstances, the reaction of anyone who actually cares about the United States has to be: We must investigate this with great seriousness and impartiality and find out exactly what happened. This requires an independent commission with sufficient funding, a broad mandate and legal authority that Congress creates but then can no longer influence.

Nothing should be less controversial than this.

Yes indeed: This would be (or would have been) the rational and sensible reaction.
Then there is Trump's reaction:

Trump has not endorsed an independent investigation of any Russian actions aimed at the election, nor released the financial information that would clarify any business relationships he has with Russians or Russian banks. Moreover, he can’t even bring himself to pretend in public that any of it matters much (although it’s hard to tell whether this is because he fears we’ll find out something nefarious he did or simply because his ego can’t bear his victory being thrown into doubt).

That is: Trump also does not react rationally or sensibly, and in fact keeps everything about his connections to Russia, his supposed riches, and very much more, a secret for all Americans and everyone else.

And it is my own guess (as a psychologist) that Trump's gigantic ego - He Is The Best On Anything That Matters - that is in fact sick, plays a great role, though I do not know more that is relevant to his present position on Russia and Putin.

Here is Schwarz's conclusion:

So what’s most deeply frightening about this whole story isn’t what Russia did or didn’t do. It’s that Trump’s response and the Republican blessing of it is Trump’s most powerful demonstration that absolutely all bets are off. If he’ll do this, there’s nothing he won’t do, and nothing the GOP won’t let him get away with.

Yes, I think that is probably correct. And as I've said last year: My own relevant convictions about Trump are that he is not sane and is a neofascist, and this story
only supports my convictions.


3. Donald Trump v. the Spooks

The third item is by Annie Machon (<-Wikipedia) on Consortiumnews:

This starts as follows:

The clash between plutocratic President-elect Trump and the CIA is shaping up to be the heavyweight prize fight of the century, and Trump at least is approaching it with all the entertaining bombast of Mohammed Ali at the top of his game. Rather than following the tradition of doing dirty political deals in dark corners, more commonly known as fixing the match, Trump has come out swinging in the full glare of the media.

In that corner, we have a deal-making, billionaire “man of the people” who, to European sensibilities at least, reputedly espouses some of the madder domestic obsessions and yet has seemed to offer hope to many aggrieved Americans. But it is his professed position on building a rapprochement with Russia and cooperating with Moscow to sort out the Syrian mess that caught my attention and that of many other independent commentators internationally.

In the opposite corner, Trump’s opponents have pushed the CIA into the ring to deliver the knock-out blow, but this has yet to land.
As I have said before, I don't just think that Trump "espouses some of the madder domestic obsessions": I think he does so - in part at least - because he is a genuine megalomaniac (which is a form of insanity, in case you did not know that).

Also, I have to grant that I am on this issue with the American secret services, even though I think these are the secret forces of neofascism and are extremely dangerous to anyone who disagrees with them.

My reason is basically that I do not want to be blown up by nuclear arms because I think a nuclear war is the end of civilization and probably also of the human species (and very many other species).

Next, what about the opponents of Trump? Here is Annie Machon again:
So who are the opponents ranged behind the CIA, yelling encouragement through the ropes? The obvious culprits include the U.S. military-industrial complex, whose corporate bottom line relies on an era of unending war. As justification for extracting billions – even trillions – of dollars from American taxpayers, there was a need for frightening villains, such as Al Qaeda and even more so, the head choppers of ISIS.
That is, it seems she believes in the deep state (as I do), which indeed does include the secret services and the U.S. military-industrial complex. (I am not certain, but this seems to be the case, and indeed neither party is democratically elected or nominated, and that is also the basic problem with identifying the members of the deep state: They are unelecrted and not nominated.)

And here is Machon's conclusion about politics in the USA and the UK:

These establishment forces have also revealed to the wider world a fact long known but largely dismissed as conspiracy theory by the corporate mainstream media, that the two-party system in both the U.S. and the U.K. is a sham. In fact, we are governed by a globalized elite, working in its own interest while ignoring ours. The Democrats, openly disgruntled by Hillary Clinton’s election loss and being seen to jump into bed so quickly with the spooks and the warmongers, have laid this reality bare.
I strongly tend to agree and note that the mainstream media no longer bring the real news [2], which is a very important fact, for this means that democracy has been mostly killed, between 9/11/2001 and 2016, and has been replaced by media that lie and propagandize and deceive as if that is their main task.

Here is as the final bit that I'll quote from this article Machon's appraisal of the evidence for the assertions of the CIA, the American government, and the Democratic Party:
(...) the CIA has certainly held back no punches since Trump’s election. First the evidence-lite assertion that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC emails and leaked them to WikiLeaks: then the fake news about Russia hacking the voting computers; that then morphed into the Russians “hacked the election” itself; then they “hacked” into the U.S. electric grid via a Vermont utility.  All this without a shred of fact-based evidence provided, but Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats last month solidified this dubious reality in Americans’ minds.
There is - as yet, at least - simply no evidence, and that is one important reason to be quite frightened.

4. Spy Camp: Photos From East Germany's Secret Intelligence Files

The fourth item's is by Jeremy Lybarger on Mother Jones:

This is from near the beginning:

Simon Menner's new photobook, Top Secret: Images from the Stasi Archives, reminds us that the difference between terror and kitsch is mostly one of proximity. Per the book's subtitle, the images were culled from the vast archives of East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, which spied on, bugged, interrogated, intimidated, murdered, and otherwise bullied its citizenry for 40 years. According to Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor turned Nazi-hunter, the Stasi was "much, much worse than the Gestapo, if you consider only the oppression of its own people."

Indeed, the numbers are staggering: When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Stasi records show that it had 91,000 employees on the payroll, along with around 173,000 unofficial collaborators. Given East Germany's population of 17 million, this amounts to one informer per 6.5 citizens—or, as author John O. Koehler more viscerally puts it, "It would not have been unreasonable to assume that at least one Stasi informer was present in any party of 10 or 12 dinner guests." In Koehler's book Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police, former Stasi Colonel Rainer Wiegand estimated that the total number of informers was as high as two million.

I don't doubt it, and 2 million : 17 million = appr. 1 : 8. That is, around 1 out of 8 of the inhabitants in the German Democratic Republic spied on other inhabitants. Here is how the Stasi did its spying:

Think about what that means. Phones were tapped, mail was intercepted and read, families betrayed each other, apartment buildings and hotels crawled with informers, surveillance cameras abounded. A special division was tasked with inspecting garbage, while holes drilled into walls became the unofficial calling card of Stasi spooks. On the threshold of German reunification, approximately six million people were under surveillance.

That is, more than 1 in 3 of the citizens of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) "were under surveillance".

In fact - as many Nederlogs in the crisis series testify - the Stasi's powers (which were enormous in East Germany) were as nothing compared to the NSA's powers: The NSA now knows (almost) everything that can be found out by plundering any computer of anyone anywhere.

This means that there very probably is vastly more information available on the NSA's computers about anyone anywhere (at least 4 billion people) than the Stasi knew about its best-known and most investigated opponents (much less than 17 million).

You may think that is not important e.g. "because the NSA is controlled by a democratic government". I think that is a complete illusion, but first consider what the Stasi did (in the 1960ies, 1970ies and 1980ies) in secret:

All of this was part of a more systematic program called zersetzung
("decomposition") that wreaked psychological havoc across East Germany. The idea was to disrupt people's sense of normalcy by employing "soft torture" techniques. "Tactics included removing pictures from walls, replacing one variety of tea with another, and even sending a vibrator to a target's wife," noted the
Guardian. "Usually victims had no idea the Stasi were responsible. Many thought they were going mad; some suffered breakdowns; a few killed themselves."

Whereas this was boasted - in secret - by the English secret service, the GCHQ (that knows as much as the NSA does):

      

These are the secret powers the English secret service boasted (which, once again, knows as much as the NSA does) - and in fact no one but the chiefs of the GCHQ and some ministers know what the GCHQ is doing now in secret. [3]

Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:

Top Secret is a timely rejoinder to those who argue that the NSA is a necessary evil, and it's even more timely in light of the revelation that the NSA targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel for eavesdropping. The US is not East Germany, and the NSA is not the Stasi, but they share a common taproot of fear. While the NSA may not resort to the Stasi's cruelest methods, it lords over one of the most sophisticated and pervasive intelligence apparatuses on the planet.

Yes indeed - and let me remind you that Top Secret is basically a photobook, while I have not seen any evidence whatsoever for the statement that "the NSA may not resort to the Stasi's cruelest methods", but that I have seen plenty of evidence that testifies to the fact that the NSA knows very much more about anyone living anywhere - who nearly always is not suspected of any crime or any deviance - than even the Stasi knew about anyone.
 
---------------------------------
Notes
[1] I am writing "degenerate" here instead of "neofascistic", but in fact I think both are true. Also, neither May nor her government were even democratically elected. But the main reason for my great distaste for the present British government is its embracing the extremest state terrorism I know of, in the West: That is sick, that is degenerate, and that is extremely dangerous (and not just now, but in the future, with any future government).

[2] In case you want my assurance: I do think so now about "the Western mainstream media", though I grant there will be differences between different papers and magazines. (And this means the end of any genuine democracy, for that requires that the people know the real facts.)

But I have by now read enough of the news in the English and American papers and magazines to have seen it verified there, and I do know the same from my
experience of having read the NRC-Handelsblad from 1970-2010, which until 2008 was a good liberal paper for intellectuals, with many collaborators from the university and with quite a few well-known intellectuals.

It transformed itself from 2010 onwards (after having been sold, and after acquiring a Belgian editor in chief) to a pile of horrible shit that is completely unfit for any genuine academic or any genuinely intelligent person, without any collaborators from any university that I know, with hardly any well-known writers, but with 5 to 10 total non-entities I have never heard of, and with "news" that consists mostly of amusements fit for morons.

Again, I know because I have - still - been reading it on Fridays, but I usually read through it within 30 or 45 minutes and with ever more distaste for the levels of stupidity and dishonesty I see. (And this is totally different from how it was from 1970 till 2008, for me.)

[3]
And this is one the basic reasons I am against it and also have concluded that there is no genuine democracy if the government knows in secret everything there is to know about any of its inhabitants (and also about everybody else). And I strongly fear that having the knowledge about everyone (in principle, on a government computer) will entice the governments, (of any kind), with such enormous implicit powers over anyone, to start using the powers, again mostly in secret. (And they may very well be doing this now: Hardly anyone knows what the secret services do.)

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