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Nederlog

Jan 24, 2017
Crisis: US Intelligence, TPP Dead, Protest Forbidden, Oil & Gas, Trident Failure Hidden
Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction   

1. A Living Nightmare of Intelligence Groupthink

2. The TPP Is Officially Dead. Thank the People's Movement, Not
     Trump.

3.
In Trump's America, 'Felony Riot' Charges Against
     Inauguration Protesters Signal Dangerous Wave of Repression

4.
'Hostile Takeover': Oil & Gas Industry Now In Charge of US
     Foreign Policy

5.
UK Cover-Up of Trident Missile Failure Continues Amid
     Demands for Inquiry
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of January 24, 2017. (It may be that there will be no Nederlog tomorrow, because I have troubles with my teeth again.)

Summary: This is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about the U.S.'s intelligence freaks, who are preparing the take-over of the USA by the secret services, the government, and the very rich; item 2 is about the TPP, that has been killed by Trump (which is something I enjoy); item 3 is about an extremely dangerous development in the current USA: the shutting down of all public protest, by prosecuting it with 10 years of imprisonment ("Thou Shalt Love Trump Or Be Imprisoned"); item 4 is about Tillerson's appointment; and item 5 is about the unelected government of Great Britain, that withheld all information about its failing nuclear arms from parliament (that legally speaking is supposed to control it), before deciding itself to renew its nuclear program.
As for today (January 24, 2017): I have meanwhile attached a message to the openings of both of my sites which points out that for somehing like a year now both of my sites more or less systematically, but unpredictably, show the wrong date and the wrong files, indeed going so far back as 2015, and as if I did not write anything since then.

Today - in fact to my great amazement - both of my sites worked correctly. I very much hope this continues (it was OK for 19 and 12 years, resp. and indeed doing this correctly ought to be the least difficult thing on internet) but since I have now more than a year of difficulties, I am far from certain.

More about this later.
1. A Living Nightmare of Intelligence Groupthink

The first item is by Tom Engelhardt on Truthdig and originally on Tom Dispatch:
This starts as follows:
They call themselves the U.S. “Intelligence Community,” or the IC. If you include the office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which in 2005 began as a crew of 12 people, including its director, and by 2008 had already grown to a staff of 1,750, there are 17 members (adding up to an alphabet soup of acronyms including the CIA, the NSA, and the DIA). The IC spends something like $70 billion of your taxpayer dollars annually, mostly in secret, hires staggering numbers of private contractors from various warrior corporations to lend a hand, sucks up communications of every sort across the planet, runs a drone air force, monitors satellites galore, builds its agencies multi-billion-dollar headquarters and storage facilities, and does all of this, ostensibly, to provide the president and the rest of the government with the best information imaginable on what’s happening in the world and what dangers the United States faces.
And in fact, the Intelligence Freaks (this is not a "Community" [1]) is preparing for the neofascist take over of the United States, and preparing a dictatorship, and do so, and are allowed to do so, in the deepest secret, and paid by the American taxpayers (who have no right to know anything about them, except what they say themselves).

At least, that is what I think, as I also - still - think what I thought in 2005 (and wrote up and published, albeit in Dutch: here it is):

The war with Iraq was an utter, criminal and mostly secret fraud, indeed much like the first attempt in 1990-1991, that had no relations to its utterly false official "justifi- cations": There were no Weapons Of Massdestruction in Iran, and Iran had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack.

So why would the War on Terror not be a state-organized attempt to get almost all the democratic powers destroyed, and be replaced by state terrorism where everybody who is not a leading politician and not a rich man can be seized by government forces and destroyed? (It has happened many times before, e.g. in Germany and in Russia.)

State terrorism has been THE tool of dictatorial government. State terrorism now knows more about almost everyone with a computer or a cellphone than the people know about themselves.
State terrorism has been covered, cuddled, protected, and been kept secret by the state that implemented it, in secret, from public tax money.

And American state terrorism now is headed by Trump, who wants to quell all protest against any aspect of his government, by prosecuting people for simply peacefully walking the street in some protest against some government action. Trump does so with felony charges that may put people in jail for ten years, simply for protesting, and in complete and intentional dereliction of the First Amendment (<-Wikipedia). They do so while appropriating the computers, cellphones and other personal belongings "as evidence". For the crime of walking peaceably in the street. For more, see item 3 below. [2]

Here is some background:
Since 9/11, expansion has been the name of its game, as the leading intelligence agencies gained ever more power, prestige, and the big bucks, while wrapping themselves in an unprecedented blanket of secrecy. Typically, in the final days of the Obama administration, the National Security Agency was given yet more leeway to share the warrantless data it scoops up worldwide (including from American citizens) with ever more members of the IC.
Yes. The National Security has been pimped and primed and protected for more than 15 years now, and by now they know - implicitly, i.e. it has been mechanically recorded and is available to any government that collaborates with the US government, but is mostly not read by human eyes (yet) - everything about anyone connected to the internet.

Indeed, the internet may have been designed just to steal everything from everyone, and make the very few who govern all-powerful dictators, for it was developed by DARPA (<-Wikipedia) i.e. the American military. (See here for more.)

Of course, I cannot know this, simply because nearly all information is kept secret. But given with what I do know about human badness, human egoism, human corruption, and human inclinations to totalitarianism, I think it myself still around 50/50 that - in the end, which was foreseen and predicted already in 1968 - that this was the deepest end behind DARPA, the internet, and the present face of computing, that delivers everything you do, type, think, say, and value to the secret and anonymous people of the NSA, who have the "legal" powers to arrest you and keep you locked up without trial indefinitely.

As a final quote, there is this, which I consider quite interesting:
And oh yes, in the weeks leading up to the inauguration of Donald Trump, several of those intelligence outfits found themselves in a knock-down, drag-out barroom brawl with our new tweeter-in-chief (who has begun threatening to downsize parts of the IC) over the possible Russian hacking of an American election and his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  In the process, they have received regular media plaudits for their crucial importance to all of us, our security and safety, along with tweeted curses from the then-president-elect.
Yes, but with a few precisifications:

First, there are now (at least) 17 of these deeply secret organizations that work for the American government and are paid with $70 billion each year from the American taxpayers, and that mostly work in the deepest secret (which is totally incompatible with any real democracy, especially since these secret organizations are set and programmed to steal everything from anybody, and to do so with secret leave that may be secretly enforced by a secret special court).

Second, I think it myself very unlikely that Putin was involved as the American mainstream media now insist he was. My reasons are not at all Putin's but are given by Wlliam Binney, Ray McGovern, and other real specialists on spying and security, who point out that since the NSA does know everything that is done by computer, it is extremely strange that they have given no evidence of any kind that the Russians did as the American mainstream media say they did, by computer. Here is their latest.

And third, I am myself quite interested in a major fight between the very secret and meanwhile extremely powerful intelligence organizations of the USA and president Trump.

For me, it is best if both destroy both, second best if one destroys the other, and third best if neither destroys the other, but these are just my personal values.

And I do not know what to think about this fight right now, although it is my guess that
it will end with Trump's giving in to the secret services (of course without Trump or his men willing to say so, for Trump Is The Greatest Of All Men [3]).

I will try to follow this struggle between the president and his own secret services and keep you informed in Nederlog.

To end my review of this article, I say that there is a whole lot more in it that I have read through and that I found myself extremely boring. This is not at all Tom Engelhardt's fault, but is due to the awful, dead, sickening, intentionally extremely misleading and lying "Official Report" on the intelligence services that was put out by the American government, and that was read and commented on by Engelhardt.

You are welcome to read it all through but I will not waste time on reporting complete propaganda.


2. The TPP Is Officially Dead. Thank the People's Movement, Not Trump.

The second item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams (and this is something - at long last, also, in the many
crisis reports in Nederlog  - that I positively enjoy):

This starts as follows:

President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), marking a new phase for the broad movement that sought to kill the corporate-friendly trade deal.

Progressive groups campaigned hard against the 12-nation trade agreement which they said threatened public health, environmental protections, and human rights while handing a big win to corporate interests.

Indeed, digital rights group Fight for the Future was quick to credit that movement with Monday's victory. "The victory against the TPP belongs to the people, not to Donald Trump or any other politician," said Fight for the Future campaign director Evan Greer.

I completely agree with the first two paragraphs, but I think the third paragraph is mostly propaganda. And I don't like propaganda, also not if it is put forward by a man
that I respect.

For me, who has covered considerable parts of the struggle of "[p]rogressive groups" against the TPP (and TTIP and TISA, which are not dead yet) in Nederlog, it comes down to the following:

Bernie Sanders, had he been president of the USA, would have stopped the TTP; Hillary Clinton, while as a candidate she posed as an opponent of the TTP, almost certainly would have been changed back to where she was for a long time, namely as a strong proponent of the TTP, had she become president, and would have implemented the TPP had she been president. Donald Trump stopped it.

These seem to be the basic facts, and while I do not deny that the TPP was fought by "the people", I think their main hope was to get some president willing to kill it. And they did now, though most - like me - do not like the president.

Here is some more:

"An unprecedented international movement of people and organizations from across the political spectrum came together, and lead nothing short of an uprising that stopped an outright corporate takeover of our democratic process," Greer continued. "Together we sounded the alarm and made the TPP so politically toxic that no presidential candidate who wanted to be elected could support it."

Both Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made their opposition to the deal and others like it a cornerstone of their election platforms. And Sanders on Monday said he was "glad the [TPP] is dead and gone."

I disagree again with the first paragraph, simply because I do not like propaganda by anyone: You should be able to defend the truth without lying. But I agree with Bernie Sanders.

There is this on Donald Trump:

"Donald Trump's administration is profoundly anti-worker, and his decision to pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership doesn't change that," said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC). "His administration is crammed with bankers and billionaires, and his first actions were to halt overtime pay rules and make it more expensive for middle-class families to buy homes. He may talk a big game, but his actions speak for themselves."

I agree with that. In fact, I think Donald Trump made a mistake seen from his own neofascist ideology, for I think the TPP was an economic project trying to implement economic neofascism, but killing the TPP was good from Sanders' and my point of view.

And here is a last bit on NAFTA, which was one of Bill Clinton's big deregulation projects, that cost the jobs of millions of American workers (for their jobs all could be done cheaper by non-Americans, and for the rich their own profits trump any other - moral, ethical, pragmatic, compromising etc. - considerations):

Noting that Trump has also vowed to renegotiate the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Wallach warned: "NAFTA renegotiation could be an opportunity to create a new trade model that benefits more people, but if done wrong, it could increase job offshoring, push down wages, and expand the protections NAFTA provides to the corporate interests that shaped the original deal."

I hope it will, but I fear it won't.

3. In Trump's America, 'Felony Riot' Charges Against Inauguration Protesters Signal Dangerous Wave of Repression

The third item is by Sarah Lazare on AlterNet:

This starts as follows (and is a very dangerous sign of things to come):

More than 200 people who were mass-arrested at the Washington, D.C. protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump have been hit with felony riot charges that are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Those picked up in the sweep—including legal observers and journalists—had their phones, cameras and other personal belongings confiscated as evidence, a lawyer confirmed to AlterNet.

Demonstrators warn that the crackdown signals a new wave of repression against the protesters, whose mass mobilization was met with riot police violence, National Guard and Department of Homeland Security deployments, heavy surveillance and law enforcement snipers positioned on rooftops.

I say. Simply for protesting peacefully, you now risk ten years in jail in the USA. And I think this is Trump's plan for quelling all protests: If someone dares to protest his plans - the plans (He thinks) of The Greatest Of All The Great - he will arrest them, take everything they have, and put them in jail for ten years.

I do not yet know how the courts will react, but it seems - anyway, and for quite a number of years now - as if most courts have been corrupted since a long time, and so I will not be amazed if people will get locked up for - say - five years in jail simply for protesting peacefully.

And I also think this will end most protests in the USA, if indeed this is legally kept up.

Here is some more on how those who were arrested were treated:

The vast majority of the roughly 230 people who were kettled and mass-arrested at the anti-capitalist bloc during Friday’s protests have been charged under the felony riot act, said Mark Goldstone, a National Lawyers Guild-affiliated attorney who has defended protesters in Washington, D.C. for more than 30 years. Washington, D.C. authorities put this number at 217. Goldstone confirmed to AlterNet that legal observers and journalists were among those detained in the sweep, explaining that, throughout his career in Washington, D.C., he has never seen mass charges of this kind.

I hold on to the no doubt quite correct saying by Mark Goldstone that (bolding added) "legal observers and journalists were among those detained in the sweep, explaining that, throughout his career in Washington, D.C., he has never seen mass charges of this kind".

But this is the Trumpian government. Here is some more:

Jeffrey Light, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer who provided legal support to the Disrupt J20 Collective, agreed with this assessment. “I have been representing protesters for 13 years now, and I have never seen felony rioting charges in Washington, D.C. It is not one of the standard laws that they tend to use. This is unusual. It is rare to use that charge.”

“Across the board, all phones and cameras are being held as evidence, and they are also detaining gloves and cell phone chargers as evidence,” said Light. “They are giving people their wallets back generally, but that’s it. It is extremely troubling.”

Again I hold fast to (bolding added) "It is not one of the standard laws that they tend to use. This is unusual. It is rare to use that charge."

And again I observe this is the Trumpian government, and I also infer (generalizing) that this will be the Trumpian reaction in general: Protest is forbidden; protestors are arrested, treated as felons, and put into jail for 5 to 10 years; and you are allowed to be a free American only if you support Trump. (And fuck the First Amendment.)

Finally, here is a bit about the violence used by the police:

Washington, D.C. residents say that the state violence on display this weekend extends far beyond the individuals hit with felony riot charges.

“A mother carrying her toddler was pepper sprayed in the face,” said Miller. “An elder from Standing Rock was sprayed in her face. A woman with crutches tried to intervene, and she was sprayed."

I fear this will be the standard treatment for everybody who protests Trump or his measurers, and I fear this will be upkept by Republican majorities.

4. 'Hostile Takeover': Oil & Gas Industry Now In Charge of US Foreign Policy

The fourth item is by Jon Queally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:

In a vote strictly along party lines, Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to confirm former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State on Monday.

Despite unified opposition from Democrats on the committee and a campaign by climate action and corporate accountability groups, Tillerson's confirmation now passes to the full Senate where the Republican majority is nearly certain to finalize his appointment.

Those who opposed Tillerson most aggressively responded to Monday's vote by calling Republicans "spineless" and promised that the confirmation would only serve to further unify climate activists and the broader anti-Trump movement.

Yes indeed - though I seriously question a realistic future for "climate activists and the broader anti-Trump movement" after having read the previous article, which shows that peaceful protesters have been arrested and are being threatened with 5 or 10 years of jail simply for peaceful protesting. (Whether Trump can enforce this remains to be seen, but I think he probably can, with the help of the majorities he currently has everywhere.)

Also, I should add that Tillerson belongs to the worst of the worst of the rich men who try to screw the last drop of oil out of the earth to sell it for profits for themselves, and
that he is, as such, more or less the opposite of previous secretaries of state, though indeed not of Bush Jr.'s government, that also was strongly pro oil.

There is this by opponents of Tillerson:

"Confirming Rex Tillerson over the opposition of millions of Americans will be a call to action," continued Ages. "To avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must unite and resist the hostile takeover of our government by the oil and gas industry."

May Boeve, executive director for 350.org, offered a similar response, saying, "This committee just knowingly handed our international climate diplomacy over to a rogue oil mogul. The brazen attacks on climate from Tillerson and Trump’s corrupt cabinet will be met with tremendous backfire and resistance at every turn. We will come together, relentless and stronger than ever, as we speak truth to power."

I wish them luck, but I also observe that if Trump's plans for dealing with the opposition - arrest them, take their computers and cell-phones, and lock them up for ten years for having the courage to protest Trump - will take serious effect, my guess is that Trump will succeed in stopping nearly all protests. [4]

5. UK Cover-Up of Trident Missile Failure Continues Amid Demands for Inquiry

The fifth and last item today is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

A U.S. official confirmed to CNN on Monday that the test of a British nuclear missile, conducted off the coast of Florida last June, ended in failure.

The confirmation comes after the British newspaper Sunday Times reported that the British government had covered up the failed launch, briefing Prime Minister Theresa May on the incident but keeping Parliament in the dark before ministers voted to renew the nuclear weapons system in July.

On the BBC's "Andrew Marr Show" over the weekend, May dodged questions about the test four times.

I say. And I observe that May was not elected in a fair election; I observe that both May, and Cameron, and Brown, and Blair all supported an extremely powerful totally illegal buildup of one of the most extreme, most secret of secret services anywhere; I observe that all I know secret services are good for is protecting and enhancing the powers of the very few who govern; I think that is - and was - all definitely neofascistic in my sense; and now I observe the very few who govern and were not elected also defrauded parliament by denying them any knowledge about their failing nuclear missiles, while the nuclear missiles again were voted for by the extremely few totally unelected ministers May heads.

How does this differ from neofascist practices by the English government, that is not even elected?

Here is more on the current British neofascism:

And British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon followed that up on Monday by refusing to give out "operational details" of the test while speaking to MPs, in what anti-nuclear campaigners say is another example of the post-Brexit administration's continued resistance to transparency.

Fallon would not confirm or deny to ministers that the test of an unarmed Trident II D5 ballistic missile went off course, veering toward the U.S. coast and then diverting into the ocean, which it is programmed to do when it detects an anomaly, according to CNN.

Fallon ought to be prosecuted for refusing to speak the truth to parliament. He very probably will not, but that is a sign of how much liberty has gone down in Great Britain and governmental authoritarianism has grown.

Finally, there is this from Labour:

Shadow defense secretary Nia Griffith said that for the Labour Party, "This is just not good enough."

"At the heart of this issue is a worrying lack of transparency and a prime minister who's chosen to cover up a serious incident, rather than coming clean with the British public. This House, and more importantly the British public, deserve better," Griffith said.

Another Labour MP, Mary Creagh, pointed out that CNN received confirmation before ministers, and asked why the British people were the "last to know" about the failure.

It is something, but it seems to me far too little: If you allow your own government, that you were elected to control, to mislead absolutely everyone about a nuclear test
with one of your ballistic missiles, and if you allow their lies and total refusals to speak the truth, you are allowing an authoritarian government to do as it pleases.

---------------------------------
Notes
[1] I have argued before that I will not style the sickest people who are now working in secret for the USA with the propaganda term "Community": They are not a community at all, for there are far too many of them, though most seem to be mathematicians who said goodbye to having any conscience whatsoever, for being paid something like $200,000 a year. Well... as I said: You are despicable freaks, and as long as I do not know what you are doing in secret, I think you are no better than the Gestapo who murdered my grandfather and tortured and locked up my father, for you are certainly preparing a dictatorship in the USA, whether you know it or not, and indeed also whether you succeed or not.

[2]
Here is once again the First Amendment to the Constitution (<-Wikipedia):
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I quote it because I think this very clearly forbids Trump's attacks on protesters, but I must immediately add that since the Supreme Court now has been able to interpret this amendments as if it said "protect all the rich, and allow them to invest as much as they want, in secret also, into the elections", that I think this excellent law will not be used anymore as long as Trump is president, indeed except for ramming through bullshit and lies supported by similar "interpretations" (properly: total falsifications) of this Amendment.

[3]
This may have happened to Obama, although I don't know. What I do know is that he sounded a lot more radical during the first week or ten days of his first administration, but not anymore afterward. This may also happen to Trump, and since we do not have more than three full days of Trumpian government, I'll wait and see first.

As to Trump being The Greatest Of All Men: I'm sorry, but that is what he (He, in ironical mode) does think He is.
I'm extremely sorry a man like that became president of the USA, but why should I lie about His very beloved self-image?

[4]
And for the simple and good reason that everybody who has to go jail for ten years will have his or her life's chances completely ruined, which is a risk extremely few will be willing to run. 

I wholly agree that this runs into a total opposition of the First Amendment, but since the Supreme Court has been willing in majority to interpret this as saying whatever that has nothing to do with what it does say in proper English, I fear that soon there will be no protesters anymore in the streets and parks of the USA, since being found there protesting peaceably means having to go to jail for ten years. For some more, see note [2].

Is there a next step? Yes, there is: Arresting anyone for any protest  by any means, and forbidding them to use any computer. Is this possible? Quite, for Trump is not sane and is president of the USA and he has also won all major  governmental institutions.

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