in all the world is more dangerous, than sincere ignorance and
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
from April 15, 2019
This is a
Nederlog of Monday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
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 three 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
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from April 15, 2019:
1. Lawyer: Ecuador Is Spreading
Lies About Assange
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. Julian Assange and the
Criminalization of Journalism
3. Daniel Ellsberg on the Importance of Julian Assange
4. How McConnell is Killing the Senate
5. Bully Donald’s Firings: Why Do They Slink Away & Stay
Ecuador Is Spreading Lies About Assange
article is by Gregory Katz on Truthdig and originally on The Associated
Press. It starts as follows:
Well... I believe
Assange's lawyer. As to Assange's asserted misbehavior:
Firstly, I don't believe it without evidence (which very probably will
remain absent), and secondly, even if it were true, how can you
compare these actions with the betrayal-for-money that Moreno did?
A lawyer representing
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Sunday that Ecuador’s government
has spread lies about his behavior inside its embassy in London, where
Assange sought asylum in 2012.
Lawyer Jennifer Robinson
told British TV network Sky News the Ecuadorian government is spreading
falsehoods to divert attention from its decision to revoke his asylum
and allow his arrest at its British embassy.
“I think the first thing to
say is Ecuador has been making some pretty outrageous allegations over
the past few days to justify what was an unlawful and extraordinary act
in allowing British police to come inside an embassy,” Robinson said.
The Latin American country
has claimed Assange’s actions deteriorated before his arrest Thursday
and included putting excrement on walls, leaving soiled laundry in the
bathroom and not properly looking after his cat.
And I also have a remark about Assange's personality: I never
met him, never talked or mailed with him, and effectively
do not know him at all, indeed neither in his official life nor in
his personal life.
I think that is the same for almost everybody else
judging Assange. For me this means that while I like his actions
(in his official capacity, as leader of Wikileaks) I simply don't know
him as a person.
Back to the article:
Yes, this is all true,
though I disbelieve Moreno (who got funded with over 4 billion
US dollars, that may have been offered to him to betray
Assange, although I do not know this for a fact).
Moreno said Assange abused
Ecuador’s goodwill, mistreated embassy staff and used his perch to try
to interfere in other country’s political affairs.
Assange has had “a very
difficult time” since Moreno took office in Ecuador in 2017, Robinson
Assange, who appeared much
older when he emerged from the embassy than when before he sought
refuge there in August 2012, is in custody at Belmarsh Prison in
southeast London awaiting sentencing in Britain for skipping bail to
avoid being sent to Sweden as part of an investigation of a rape
allegation. Sweden is considering reviving the investigation.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
Yes again, and this is a
Assange has denied the rape
allegation, asserting the sex was consensual. He also has not formally
responded to the U.S. conspiracy charge. His indictment was made public
hours after his Thursday arrest, but Assange’s lawyers say he is a
legitimate journalist whose prosecution would have a chilling effect.
The extradition court in
Britain will not be judging the evidence against him, but will evaluate
whether the crime he is accused of would be a crime in Britain.
Assange’s next court
appearance is scheduled for May 2. In the meantime, he is expected to
seek prison medical care for severe shoulder pain and dental problems,
WikiLeaks has said.
Assange and the Criminalization of Journalism
article is by Marjorie Cohn on Truthdig and originally on Truthout. It
starts as follows:
After living under a
asylum in London’s Ecuadorian embassy for nearly seven years, WikiLeaks co-founder
Julian Assange was forcibly ejected and arrested by British police on
April 11. Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, accused Assange
of “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life
protocols.” After an anonymous source revealed the “INA Papers,” a
dossier that implicated Moreno in money laundering and contained
personal photos of his family, WikiLeaks tweeted
about it but denied any connection to the hacking.
Yes indeed, and in fact this
is a fairly long and good article that tries to get some of the
background of Assange and his recent arrest clarified.
As to Lenin Moreno: What he
claimed is bullshit,
while it is true that he has been accused of money laundering. I do not
know whether that is true.
Here is some more from this
Assange’s arrest comes
thanks to the Trump administration’s decision to pursue WikiLeaks.
The Obama administration refrained from indicting Assange for fear of
establishing “a precedent that could chill investigative reporting
about national security matters by treating it as a crime,” according
to Charlie Savage of The New York Times.
Obama’s government had difficulty distinguishing between what WikiLeaks did
and what traditional news media organizations like the Times “do
in soliciting and publishing information they obtain that the
government wants to keep secret,” Savage wrote. News organizations,
including the Times, published articles that drew on
documents WikiLeaks had published in 2010, including
“logs of significant combat events in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
But the Trump
administration decided to come after Assange. In 2017, then-CIA
Director Mike Pompeo said,
“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and
talks like a hostile intelligence service.”
Yes indeed, and Obama was
right in (not) doing what he did with respect to Wikileaks. Then again,
for Trump most or all of the (U.S.) press is his enemy, so
it is not very amazing that he attacks
Wikileaks, even if this might harm all of the American press.
Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
Assange’s April 11 arrest
based on two grounds: failure to appear on a British warrant in 2012,
and a warrant of extradition to face indictment in the United States.
After his arrest, Assange was taken before a British judge and pleaded
not guilty to failing to surrender to the court in 2012. District Judge
Michael Snow convicted Assange, who now faces 12 months in prison in
the U.K. for that offense. This is unrelated to the charges Assange
would face in the United States. The indictment says Manning
provided WikiLeaks with 90,000 “war-related
significant activity reports” about Afghanistan, 400,000 about Iraq,
800 Guantánamo detainee “assessment briefs” and 250,000 U.S. State
Department cables. WikiLeaks published the vast
majority in 2010 and 2011. The indictment alleges Assange helped
Manning attempt to crack a password to make it harder to identify
Manning as the source of the classified information.
Yes, this is also true, or so
it seems. And incidentally, if Wikileaks had not
reported on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is extremely
doubtful that anyone else would have reported them. And as I said, this is a fairly long and good article that
tries to get some of the background of Assange and his recent arrest
clarified, and it is strongly recommended.
Ellsberg on the Importance of Julian Assange
This article is by
Robert Scheer on Truthdig. In fact, it is a repeat of an
earlier interview with Ellsberg. I will quote two bits from the
introduction to the interview and one bit from the interview.
Yes indeed: I quite
agree. Here is more by Scheer, this time after Assange's (latest)
In a 2010 piece, Scheer
All you need to know
about Julian Assange’s value as a crusading journalist is that The New
York Times and most of the world’s other leading newspapers have led
daily with important news stories based on his WikiLeaks
releases … It is unconscionable to target Assange for publishing
documents on the Internet that mainstream media outlets have attested
had legitimate news value. As in the historic case in which Daniel
Ellsberg gave The New York Times the Pentagon Papers exposé of the
official lies justifying the Vietnam War, Assange is acting as the
reporter here, and thus his activities must be shielded by the First
Amendment’s guarantee of journalistic freedom.
… It is outrageous
for any journalist, or respecter of what every American president has
claimed is our inalienable, God-given right to a free press, not to
join in Assange’s defense on this issue, as distinct from what
increasingly appear to be trumped-up charges that led to his voluntary
arrest on Tuesday in London in a case involving his personal behavior.
Abandon Assange and you abandon the bedrock of our republic: the
public’s right to know.
Yes, I completely agree
with the above.
Writing to Truthdig
staff members as news of Assange’s arrest broke Thursday, Scheer
reiterated his unwavering position:
This is a freedom of
the press case period. Assange is being punished for courageously doing
his job as a journalist who is the subject of one of the most dangerous
witch-hunts in U.S. history precisely because he revealed information
that the American public had a compelling right and need to know
revealing U.S. government war crimes.
Here is the last bit that I quote, and this is from the interview, and
is about ordinary
people, to which I do not belong (as a child of two communists, and a
grandson of another communist, with a father and grandfather convicted
as "political terrorists" in 1941, during the Nazi occupation of
Holland, which killed my grandfather and caused my father over 3 years
and 9 months in four German concentration camps).
Here is Ellsberg's statement
I completely agree
with Ellsberg - and see my ordinary men
in my Philosophical
Dictionary - and I admit (and am proud) that my parents and
grandparents were definitely not ordinary people. And this is a
we’re all good Germans, to a very good first approximation, and second
approximation, and third approximation. That’s what “decent” means –
decent Germans, decent Americans, ordinary people will–and I put it in
terms of the government, but look at corporations. To keep their job,
to keep their career, or just more generally to keep a privileged
status, a membership. Like being white versus nonwhite, and to show,
and to keep the sense that is superior. Or to be male versus womanly
and unmanly. People will do, humans will do–almost all of them, not
quite all–but almost all of them will do anything to avoid losing that
membership and being ostracized.
4. How McConnell is
Killing the Senate
This article is by
Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows (and is not about
I think Reich is
correct about McConnell. Here is some more on him:
Congress has recessed for
two weeks without passing a desperately-needed disaster relief bill.
Why not? Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t want to
anger Donald Trump by adding money for Puerto Rico that Democrats have
sought but Trump doesn’t want.
America used to have a
Senate. But under McConnell, what was once known as the worlds greatest
deliberative body has become a partisan lap dog.
Recently McConnell used his
Republican majority to cut the time for debating Trump’s court
appointees from 30 hours to two – thereby enabling Republicans to ram
through even more Trump judges.
In truth, McConnell doesn’t
give a fig about the Senate, or about democracy. He cares only about
I also think the above is correct.
Here is some more on McConnell:
Between 2009 and 2013,
McConnell’s Senate Republicans blocked 79 Obama nominees. In the entire
history of the United States until that point, only 68 presidential
nominees had been blocked.
This unprecedented use of
the filibuster finally led Senate Democrats in 2013 to change the rules
on some presidential nominees (but not the Supreme Court) to require
In response, McConnell
fumed that “breaking the rules to change the rules is un-American.“ If
so, McConnell is about as un-American as they come. Once back in
control of the Senate he buried Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland
for the Supreme Court by refusing even to hold hearings.
I agree again, and
especially with the second paragraph. Here is the last bit that I quote
from this article:
Step by step, McConnell has
sacrificed the Senate as an institution to partisan political victories.
There is a vast difference
between winning at politics by playing according to the norms of our
democracy, and winning by subverting those norms.
Perhaps, although I hold no
opinions on how "history" will judge McConnell. And this is a
In terms of shaping the
federal courts, McConnell has played “the long game”, which,
incidentally, is the title of his 2016 memoir. Decades from now,
McConnell will still be shaping the nation through judges he rammed
through the Senate.
But McConnell’s long game
is destroying the Senate.
He is longest-serving
leader of Senate Republicans in history but Mitch McConnell is no
leader. He is the epitome of unprincipled power. History will not treat
Donald’s Firings: Why Do They Slink Away & Stay Silent?
article is by Ralph Nader on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
Yes, I think this is correct.
Here is some more:
Snarling Donald Trump,
after being selected as President by the Electoral College, brought one
undeniable quality to the office – a lifetime of bullying people below
him. During his career as a failed gambling czar and corporate welfare
king, deceitful Donald bullied his employees, (many of whom are
undocumented), consumers, and creditors (profitably jumping ship before
he bankrupted his shareholders).
He honed his bullying
skills through his television program – The Apprentice – where he
dramatically kicked participants off the show each week using his
catchphrase, “You’re fired!”
Donald has fired many of
the officials he appointed. He was, however, too cowardly and
discourteous to fire his appointees directly or privately. He would
fire them by tweets or have someone on his staff perform the deed,
while he would publicly degrade and humiliate the same people he had
I think the above is also correct,
and I note that Tillerson, Kelly and Sessions all have been
described by the mainstream - corporatist - media as persons whose
sanity and calmth would keep Trump in check.
After naming Jeff Sessions,
his first 2016 campaign supporter in the Senate, Attorney General Trump
went berserk when Sessions did the right thing and recused himself in
March 2017 from supervising the Mueller probe of Russian interference
in the 2016 elections.
Time and time again, Trump
would publicly unleash invectives about Sessions—whom he initially
showered with praise. Right after the 2018 elections, Trump sent his
Chief of Staff, former General John F. Kelly, to order Session’
resignation. Trump couldn’t muster the minimal courage to do it
himself. But then what can you expect of a gung-ho war promoter who
evaded the draft after he graduated from a military academy.
Soon it was Kelly’s turn.
Trump harangued Kelly privately and publicly for months – Kelly told
associates that he had never been treated so crudely. Trump pushed
Kelly out. Before that he pushed out his once praised Secretary of
State, Rex Tillerson, whom he later called “dumb as a rock.”
Well, whatever is true about their person, they failed. Here is
No, I don't thinks
so these people (or others who have been fired by Trump) will do so,
and the main reason why I think they will not is - as explained above - that they are ordinary people
compared with my parents and grandparents. And this is a recommended
What is remarkable is that
after most of these people are “unceremoniously expelled” and their
reputations damaged, they slink away without fighting back. (The fired
VA chief did make the rounds of TV interviews for a week making his
The fired officials are not
without their circles of significant influence. They have serious fears
about Trump’s impulsiveness, his indifference to pressing realities,
his weaknesses for flatterers and Donald Trump’s dangerous agenda for
our country. James Comey has been writing op-eds critical of Trump, but
not urging any mobilization of his establishment colleagues against
None of this should diminish the declared patriotic aversion of former
Trump administration officials to what Trump is doing to the country on
many fronts. What they can do is start a third party Republican-style
challenge to Trump and give more than a few million, reasonable, and
troubled Republicans a place to go in 2020.
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 3 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 (!!).