This starts with the following introduction:
In one of his final acts in office, President Obama shortened the
sentences of 209 prisoners and pardoned 64 individuals on Tuesday. The
list included Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who is now set to be
freed on May 17, after Obama reduced her sentence from 35 years to
seven. According to her attorneys, she is already the longest-held
whistleblower in U.S. history. Manning leaked more than 700,000
classified files and videos to WikiLeaks about the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan and U.S. foreign policy. She has been subjected to long
stretches of solitary confinement and denied medical treatment related
to her gender identity. We speak with Nancy Hollander, Manning’s
appellate attorney, and Chase Strangio of the ACLU, who represents Manning in a lawsuit against the Pentagon for denial of medical care related to her gender dysphoria.
And here is first Chase Strangio:
Well, I just—I first want to thank you and everyone who supported
Chelsea over the years. The reality is that this was a mass mobilization
effort, keeping her story alive, led by Chelsea herself and all of the
people who made sure that nobody forgot the justice that she fought for
and the incredible symbol of democratic principles and advocacy that she
really embodies. Yesterday was an incredible day for us who care about
her. As I’ve said time and time again, President Obama really had her
life in his hands. And it’s such a relief that he acted on the side of
mercy and justice here.
I say. Would this be the reason for Obama's decision? I have no idea. Here is the last bit I'll quote from this article:
AMY GOODMAN: You believe she was the longest-held whistleblower?
Yeah, absolutely. She has served seven years already. The 35-year
sentence was egregious at the time. It’s particularly egregious in
retrospect. And she has served seven years. It is absolutely
preposterous to hear people saying that there are no consequences for
her actions. She has been tortured and imprisoned, denied basic medical
care. She has suffered so much, and it is time for her to be free.
4. Trump's Fight with the CIA Is a Danger to All of Us
The fourth item is by Jefferson Morley on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
“You take on the intelligence community and they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you,” said
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer to Rachel Maddow last weekend. “So
even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being
really dumb to do this.”
Schumer’s candid comment was a rare
admission of how things really work in Washington. If a president
crosses a powerful agency, that agency’s officials may fight back with a
diverse playbook of "off-the-record" tactics. Weapons in the
interagency wars include leaks, threats of prosecution, bureaucratic
sleight of hand, and “slow-walking” urgent directives.
This is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links:
In fact, there also are stronger threats, also listed in this article.
But I should start this review with saying that I agree with the title, but that I also think that Donald Trump is a major danger as American president, because I think - as a psychologist - that he is insane.
And it pleases me to add today that not only am I - by far - not the only one with knowledge of psychology to say so (see here), but I now find Spiegel on "my" side (which is the side of the psychologically learned), for that basically agrees with the diagnosis - and see item 5 below.
Here is some more on the struggle between the CIA and the president-elect (who gets to be president tomorrow):
“The relationship is the worst of any incoming administration ever,” said Paul Pillar,
a former senior CIA official, in an interview with AlterNet. “You have
to go back to Nixon to find a president with as strong negative views
about the agency. But the agency did not get this kind of public
disparagement from Nixon.”
The increasingly naked power struggle
pits the incoming president who shows little respect for the traditions
of the CIA-White House relationship and a $15 billion-a-year agency that
depends on those traditions for its global influence and power.
Here is a question I do not know the answer to: What would happen if president Trump were to decide to cut the CIA's payments or halve them? I have no idea.
Here is Morley's expectation:
What seems certain is that the Trump-CIA struggle will continue both
publicly and privately. On Sunday, outgoing CIA director John Brennan
warned Trump about the folly of ignoring the agency’s work. Trump
responded with another Twitter blast, accusing Brennan of leaking the wholly unverified dossier claiming Russia has compromising information on the president-elect.
That is, on the assumption that Trump is not able or not willing to stop paying the CIA, about which I have no idea.
Here is Morley on leaking:
But illegal leaks are the norm for the power struggles in Washington.
(Only dissidents who seek to intervene in such power struggles from
outside Washington—think Dan Ellsberg, Ed Snowden and Chelsea
Manning—are likely to face prosecution for such violations of the law.
Independent reporters working for big news organizations—think James Risen and James Rosen—may face legal harassment but not charges.)
He is right about that. This is from near the end of the article:
Is the CIA a law-breaking agency with an undemocratic history? And: do
the president and U.S. policymakers need an intelligence service to
deliver timely and accurate information on which to base their
The answer to both questions, in my opinion, is yes.
ignorant president or a runaway CIA is the greater danger to American
democracy will be a central issue of the Trump presidency.
I agree, but I add that not only is "the CIA a law-breaking agency with an undemocratic history" but also that (in my psychologist's opinion) Trump is not sane. And as to Trump's sanity, there now is the following article in Spiegel International:
5. Mr. Me - No One Loves the 45th President Like Donald Trump
The fifth and last item in this Nederlog is by Markus Feldenkirchen,
Thomas HŘetlin, Nils Minkmar, and Gordon Repinski on Spiegel
This starts as follows (and takes two pages on Spiegel International):
To understand how the future president of the United States thinks and
acts, a look back at how he treated one of his former employees can be
I agree, but if you want to read that
particular story, click on the last dotted link: I skip it in this
review and turn to the first general conclusion about Trump in Spiegel
In fact - as readers of Montefiore's "Stalin - The Court of the Red Czar" may remember - this taste for revenge is very close to Stalin's taste for the same.  Here is some more:
In Trump's world, even just the appearance of disloyalty is an
unforgivable sin. He encourages his readers to react in such cases with
brutal vengeance. Ultimately, the woman lost her home and her husband
left her, Trump relates. "I was glad." In subsequent years, he continued
speaking poorly of her, he writes. "Now I go out of my way to make her
At the end of the chapter called "Revenge," Trump advises his
readers to constantly seek to take revenge. "Always make a list of
people who hurt you. Then sit back and wait for the appropriate time to
get revenge. When they least expect it, go after them with a vengeance.
Go for their jugular."
For months, many have been talking about Trump's lack of maturity and his insufficient dignity for one of the most powerful and honorable political offices in the world.
Yes, I agree - but I must add that, while I have been reading through 32 magazines and papers every day (in part, to be sure) for more than three years, I have not found much qualified support for these obvious fears and problems about a man who will be able to blow up everyone from tomorrow onwards.
And while I did find some, I did not find much by
psychologists or psychiatrists, which is again at least a little
strange. And that Trump is both immature and undignified is quite true,
but these are not the only problems Trump has.
But first, here is Spiegel on Trump's character:
Yes indeed - I agree. Then again, what is much worse than that is the following, with which I also agree and as a psychologist:
His reactions have become totally predictable, no matter whether he
is responding to a perceived slight from an employee, a reporter, an
actress or the intelligence community. There is no nuance in his
retribution; it is always excessive.
Trump's behavior can often be reduced to a simple question: Was
somebody nice to me or not? It usually doesn't get much more complex
Trump displays the classic worldview and behavioral patterns of
people who suffer from narcissism. Even as psychologists are generally
unwilling to offer diagnoses of people they have not met in person, many
have made an exception when it comes to Trump, in part because he
exhibits so many of the symptoms.
Howard Gardner, a professor of developmental psychology at Harvard
University, described the incoming president several years ago as
"remarkably narcissistic." Clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis
attributes to Trump a "textbook narcissistic personality disorder." His
colleague George Simon even uses videos of Trump to illustrate the
disorder in seminars.
I agree mostly, and indeed have given the same
names as evidence of a few psychologists and psychiatrists who agreed
with me, but while I agree that I am one of the psychologists who found
that Trump obviously satisfies all 9 marks of a megalomaniac , I don't quite agree on psychologists and psychiatrists, but keep my remarks in a note .
Here is what megalomaniacs (aka narcissists in psychiatry) think and want, among other things:
Experts say that the classic behaviors associated with narcissism
include: an outsized need for attention, recognition and admiration; the
inability to feel empathy; constant self-absorption; and grotesquely
exaggerated self-praise. For narcissists, the world around them is only
interesting insofar as it reflects themselves. Those suffering from the
disorder are so hypersensitive to criticism that everyone who withholds
admiration is seen as an enemy.
Extreme narcissists, research results show, are so addicted to attention
and admiration that they frequently tell lies. And they are so
convinced of their own merit that they are incapable of feeling regret:
In their eyes, the admission of error is not a sign of greatness, rather
it detracts from their grandiosity.
Yes indeed, and everything in the last two paragraphs applies to Donald Trump.
And here is a characteristic of Trump's many tweets:
Trump writes only two types of tweets: those in which he praises either
himself or people who have been nice to him; and those in which he
attacks those who have not. There is very little room for
differentiation or nuance and there are few tweets that don't have
directly to do with his favorite subject: Trump. When he recently sent
out Christmas greetings to his followers, it didn't show his family
gathered together. Rather, it was a picture of just Donald Trump, alone
in front of a decorated tree. In Trump's Twitter world, his private life
Precisely - and such a man is not sane, and an insane man capable of firing atomic weapons at everyone is a very great risk for absolutely everyone.
Here is the last bit I'll quote from this article:
If you follow him on Twitter, it quickly becomes clear that the world of
the man who has pledged to return America to greatness is rather small.
The only thing important to Trump is his dominance, or the perfect
illusion of his dominance. In order to maintain this illusion, Trump
must also display his dominance over facts that might sully this perfect
image. That's why he claims via Twitter that he has never insulted
anybody even though there are videos proving the contrary.
Yes indeed - and (to repeat myself:) such a man is not sane, and an insane man
capable of firing atomic weapons at everyone is a very great risk for