from May 11, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
I have been
writing about the crisis since September
1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will
continue with it.
moment and since more than two years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
2. Crisis Files
These are five crisis files
that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from May 11, 2018
1. Jeremy Scahill: Obama Paved Way for Haspel to Head CIA
The items 1 - 5
are today's selections from the 35
sites that I look at every morning. The indented text under each link
is quoted from the link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. The U.S. Is Being Sleepwalked Into War With Iran
3. Haspel Says CIA Won’t Torture Again as Ray McGovern is
4. The Coming War Against Iran
5. 'This Is the Moment to Fight': FCC Announces Net
Officially Die on June 11
Scahill: Obama Paved Way for Haspel to Head CIA
article is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! It
starts with the following introduction:
On Capitol Hill
Wednesday, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA,
Gina Haspel, announced she would not restart the CIA’s interrogation
program. But she repeatedly refused to call the CIA’s post-9/11
treatment of prisoners “torture,” and declined to state whether she
believes torture is immoral. Haspel’s comments came in testimony to the
Senate Intelligence Committee, as she made her case to become the first
woman to head the agency. Haspel is a 33-year CIA
veteran who was responsible for running a secret CIA
black site in Thailand in 2002, where one prisoner was waterboarded and
tortured in other ways. Haspel also oversaw the destruction of
videotapes showing torture at the black site. At least two Republican
senators have come out against her—Rand Paul and John McCain, who said
her “role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing & her
refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.” But
Haspel may still be confirmed with the help of Democratic lawmakers.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has already announced
he will back Haspel. We speak with Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The
Intercept and host of the weekly podcast “Intercepted.”
Yes indeed. And here is
SHAIKH: On Capitol Hill,
President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA,
Gina Haspel, announced she would not restart the CIA’s interrogation
program. But she repeatedly refused to call the CIA’s post-9/11
treatment of prisoners torture, and declined to state whether she
believes torture is immoral.
Haspel’s comments came in
testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee as she made her case to
become the first woman to head the agency. Haspel is a 33-year CIA veteran who was responsible for running a
secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002,
where one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways. Haspel
also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black
Again quite so. And
incidentally, I think Gina Haspels was mostly lying, among other
things because torture is internationally forbidden; because
she did not say what she considers wrong with ¨the CIA´s
interrogation program¨; because she denies that waterboarding
is torture (which it was from the 17th Century onwards, at
least in Holland); and because she ¨declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral¨ (?!?!).
Here is Jeremy Schahill:
SCAHILL: Well, first of
all, I think that if we look at the fact that we’re 17 years removed
from 9/11, and we look at how this country has not come to terms with
all of the acts of torture, kidnapping, extrajudicial killing, that was
done with the veneer of legalism, put over it by very creative, albeit
creative in a sort of evil way, lawyers in the Bush administration,
what has resulted in not holding those torturers accountable is that
one of them is now ascending to the highest post in the CIA.
Yes indeed. Here is
more by Scahill:
So, the fact that—this
hearing was a farce, where, unfortunately, some of the Democrats and
all of the Republicans engaged in a collective endorsement of what is,
in my view, quite clearly, a CIA propaganda
operation. It’s a coup of sorts to have someone like Gina Haspel, who
has been involved with destroying evidence, torture, kidnapping, and
refuses—refuses—to denounce any of it. I mean, it’s incredible that 17
years after 9/11 and—and, I’m sorry, Obama plays a huge role in how
this happened. The moment Obama said, “We need to look forward, not
backward,” was the moment that Gina Haspel was able to become a viable
candidate for CIA.
Precisely. There is a lot
more in this article, which is strongly recommended. Also, I
think Kiriakou is right: ¨The USA¨ is
being manipulated into a war with Iran, after the war with Iraq, and is
being manipulated by very similar lies as was the
case in 2001 and 2002 (etc.) See item 4 below.
U.S. Is Being Sleepwalked Into War With Iran
article is by Ralph Nader on Truthdig and originally on Nader.org. It
starts as follows:
Yes indeed. Here is more:
Editor’s Note: The
following article was first published on May 3 and is being printed now
in light of the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Iran
In mid-May, super-war hawks
Donald J. Trump (worried about the Mueller investigation), John Bolton,
Trump’s new unconfirmed national security advisor, and new Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo, are likely to pull out of the Iran nuclear accord.
This would open the way for Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin
Netanyahu, and his Congressional allies to push for armed conflict with
The U.S. has Iran
militarily surrounded on its eastern, western, and southern
borders. Israel has working spies in Iran, creating secret
sabotage and mayhem. Israel, which has illegally bombed civil
war-wracked Syria (no threat to Israel) dozens of times, has recently
hit locations known to have Iranian advisors to Bashar Assad, Syria’s
ruler, while fighting ISIS, along with U.S. forces there.
Iranians have been killed in these raids.
So who is the aggressor
here? Unlike Israel’s many invasions and military incursions,
Iran, a poor country, has not invaded any country for over 250 years.
Iraq’s dictator invaded Iran in 1980, with U.S. backing, costing Iran
an estimated 500,000 lives.
Well... I agree that
the USA is an aggressor against Iran, as is Israel quite
probably, but I should add that I also do not have much
sympathy for Iran. Then again, I agree
with Nader and others it should be left in peace by the USA, while I
also think that the present USA seems to be doing similar things
to Iran as it was doing to Iraq briefly before invading it.
Here is the last bit I quote
from this article:
Yes indeed. Then again, I should
add about the last question that my own expectation is war,
not because of Iranian policies, but because of American policies. And
this is a recommended article.
For decades, Israeli
leaders and emissaries have come to the U.S. for congressional
speeches, for interviews on the Sunday network talk shows and in the
print media. Questions about Israel’s nuclear bombs have not been
juxtaposed with Israel’s desire for the U.S. to overthrow the Iranian
regime or bomb Iranian installations. Trump’s war hawk in the White
House, John Bolton, wants to go further. In the past, Bolton has urged
Israel to militarily annex the Palestinian West Bank, presumably as a
Will enough American
people, including knowledgeable retired national security and military
officials, stand up to stop this slide toward another conflagration
that will likely produce blowback in the U.S.?
Says CIA Won’t Torture Again as Ray McGovern is Dragged Out of Hearing
article is by Joe Lauria on Consortiumnews. This is from near its
personally supervised a black site in Thailand where terrorism suspects
were waterboarded. It remains unclear whether she had a direct role in
the torture. The CIA said she arrived at the black site after the
waterboarding of senior al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah had taken
place. Some CIA officials disputed that to The New York Times. The
newspaper also reported last year that Haspel ran the CIA Thai prison
in 2002 when another suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was
indeed. Here is more:
Even if she did
not have a direct hand in overseeing the torture, she certainly
acquiesced to it. And if that were not bad enough, Haspel urged the
destruction of 92 videotaped CIA “enhanced interrogations,” conducted
at the prison in Thailand, eliminating evidence in a clear-cut
obstruction of justice to cover-up her own possible crimes.
testified that the U.S. has a new legal framework that governs
detentions and interrogations forbidding what she refused to call
torture. But the U.S. already had a law on the books against it when
the Senate ratified the international Convention Against Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on October
21, 1994. Every time the U.S. “tortured some folks” after that, as
Barack Obama put, it broke U.S. law.
I quite agree. Then there is this about Ray McGovern:
about it in a folksy way, Obama was minimizing the enormity of the
crime and justifying his decision to not prosecute any American who may
have taken part in it. That includes Haspel. So instead of facing the
law she’s facing a career promotion to one of the most powerful
positions in the United States, if not the world.
McGovern, a CIA veteran of 27 years and frequent contributor to
Consortium News, stood up in the hearing room and began asking his own
questions. Capitol police were immediately ordered by the chairman,
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), to physically remove McGovern from the room.
As he continued turning towards the committee to shout his questions,
four officers hauled him out.
so, and there is considerably more about McGovern in the
article. And here is more about Frank Church:
1975, Sen. Frank Church (D-ID) conducted hearings that revealed a raft
of criminality committed by the CIA, the National Security Agency and
the Federal Bureau of Investigation over a period of thirty years from
the end of the Second World War. It has been more than 40 years since
that Senate investigation. After the release of the CIA Torture Report
by the Senate in 2014 and the revelations about the NSA by Edward
Snowden, a new Church Committee-style expansive probe into the
intelligence agencies is long overdue.
so. I have written quite a few times about Church before. Today I quote
Church´s words from August
That is 43
years ago, but it seems to me that Frank Church was quite
right, except that he did not foresee the internet, that enables
that everyone who is on it will have no real privacy whatsoever,
simply because all the world´s secret services and all the
world´s rich have the ability and the money to see everything
one does with a computer (connected to the internet):
In the need to develop a
capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States
government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to
monitor the messages that go through the air. These messages are
between ships at sea, they could be between units, military units in
the field. We have a very extensive capability of intercepting messages
wherever they may be in the airwaves. Now, that is necessary and
important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or
potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at
any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American
would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor
everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There
would be no place to hide.
If this government ever
became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the
technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the
government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be
no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine
together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it
was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the
capability of this technology.
Now why is this investigation
important? I'll tell you why: because I don't want to see this country
ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make
tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and
all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and
under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That
is the abyss from which there is no return.
One´s mails, one´s opinions, one´s face, one´s income, one´s
values, one´s photographs, one´s videos are are now all fully known (in secret)
by many of the secret services, and also
by Google, by Amazon, by Facebook, by Microsoft, by Apple etc.
And these facts seem to be true of absolutely everyone with a
computer or a cellphone connected to the internet. (Note please that it
is not only the government´s secret service that know -
and download - everything by anyone, but also the very rich who
control Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.)
I think Church was quite right, except that it is far worse
than he ever expected.
Back to the article, which ends as follows:
the Republican-controlled intelligence committee may have partisan
motives to launch such a new Church-like commission to look into the
agencies’ shenanigans in the Russia-gate fiasco, the majority of
Republicans are hawks on intelligence matters and many support torture
and want Haspel to be the next CIA director. For instance, Burr told
Haspel: “You are without a doubt the most qualified person the
president could choose to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in
the 70-year history of the agency. You have acted morally, ethically
and legally over a distinguished 30-year career.”
sorry, but I think (as a psychologist) that Richard Burr - given his
just quoted words - is a sadist who loves
sadists. And I completely agree with Lauria: The USA is very rapidly
growing worse and worse and worse. Here is more on that, albeit from
None of this
bodes well for the nation.
Coming War Against Iran
article is by John
Kiriakou on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
spent nearly 15 years in the CIA. I like to think that I learned
something there. I learned how the federal bureaucracy works. I learned
that cowboys in government – in the CIA and elsewhere around government
– can have incredible power over the creation of policy. I learned that
the CIA will push the envelope of legality until somebody in a position
of authority pushes back. I learned that the CIA can wage war without
any thought whatsoever as to how things will work out in the end.
There’s never an exit strategy.
it all of this is true, although I fail to understand why someone (who
is intelligent and honest, as I take Kiriakou is) would want to
become a member of the CIA. (Then again, my own background is probably very
different from his.)
I learned all of
that firsthand in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
Here is more by Kiriakou:
has kept up his anti-Iran rhetoric since becoming president. More
importantly, he has appointed Iran hawks to the two most important
positions in foreign policy: former CIA Director Mike Pompeo as
secretary of state and former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton as
national security advisor. The two have made clear that their preferred
policy toward Iran is “regime change,” a policy that is actually
prohibited by international law.
indeed: Precisely so. And here is Kiriakou´s inference:
Perhaps the most
troubling development, however, is the apparent de facto alliance
against Iran by Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and
Bahrain. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent
“presentation” on what he called a clandestine Iranian nuclear weapons
program was embarrassingly similar to Powell’s heavily scripted speech
before the UN Security Council 15 years earlier telling the world that
Iraq had a program. That, too, was a lie.
tell you from firsthand experience, that I’ve seen this before. Our
government is laying the groundwork for yet another war. Be on the
lookout for several things. First, Trump is going to begin shouting
about the “threat” from Iran. It will become a daily mantra. He’ll
argue that Iran is actively hostile and poses an immediate danger to
the United States. Next Pompeo will head back to the Middle East and
Europe to garner support for military action. Then US Ambassador to the
UN Nikki Haley will scream in front of the UN Security Council that the
US has no choice but to protect itself and its allies from Iran.
agree with Kiriakou: The U.S. ¨government is laying the groundwork for yet
another war¨. And this is a strongly recommended article.
Is the Moment to Fight': FCC Announces Net Neutrality Will Officially
Die on June 11
article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
advocates urged Americans to "ramp up"
pressure on their senators on Thursday after FCC chair Ajit Pai announced
in a press release that the widely popular net neutrality rules his
agency voted to repeal last December will officially die on June 11.
Yes indeed. Here is more:
The FCC's announcement
comes just a day after Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and 32 other Senate
filed a petition to restore net neutrality protections using the
Congressional Review Act (CRA).
A vote on the
petition—which has the support of every member of the Senate Democratic
caucus and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), but still requires one more
vote to pass—could
come as early as next Wednesday.
I think - but am not quite
sure - this is on Wednesday May 16, next. And here is some more (and
¨FFTF¨ = ¨Fight for the Future¨):
Yes, I think FFTF is correct
about that. Then again, my own guess is that the internet is
¨dead¨ - or, to put it in other words: the few rich have won,
and will adapt the internet to their businesses - although this
may need some more time.
While net neutrality rules
will formally be wiped off the books on June 11, FFTF offered
the important reminder that "'the internet as we know it' will not
"Nothing will happen right
away. ISP shills will immediately start saying, 'See? The sky didn't
fall, guess we never needed net neutrality in the first place," FFTF
explained. "The big ISPs aren't going to immediately start blocking
websites or rolling out harmful paid prioritization scams. Not while
Congress and the courts are still deliberating. The internet's death
will be slow."
And to extend my remarks some:
Of course, ¨the internet¨ will continue to exist, but it soon will
become more commercial. In fact, that is precisely the problem. I did
articulate around 2007, in Dutch, an idea for another internet,
Berners-Lee recently had similar ideas - see: Internet
Pioneer Tim Berners-Lee Calls for 'New Web' That
Reclaims Original Democratic
Principles, which I read
and reviewed om May 4, 2010.
I think that is the way forward, but it will be difficult to keep
commercial sites away from such a new internet.
have now been
end of 2015 that
xs4all.nl is systematically
ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds,
as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between
two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been
there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any
other Dutch provider is any better (!!).