Sunday February 19, 2017
President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex made half a century ago ring as loud and clear today. The soft coup being mounted against the Trump government by America’s "deep state" reached a new intensity this week as special interests battled for control of Washington.
The newly named national security advisor, Lt Gen Michael Flynn, was ousted by Trump over his chats with Russia’s ambassador and what he may or may not have told Vice President Pence. The defenestration of Flynn appeared engineered by our national intelligence agencies in collaboration with the mainstream media and certain Democrats.
Flynn’s crime? Talking to the wicked Russians before and after the election. Big, big deal. That’s what security advisors are supposed to do: keep an open back channel to other major powers and allies. This is also the job of our intelligence agencies.
There is no good or bad in international affairs. The childish concept of "good guys" and "bad guys" comes from the Bush era when simple-minded voters had to be convinced that America was somehow in grave danger from a bunch of angry Mideast goat herds.
Saturday February 18, 2017
The US spends more on its military than the next seven nations combined. Russian military spending is a fraction of US spending. The US spends an enormous amount on the military to maintain its empire, says Daniel McAdams, executive director, Ron Paul Peace Institute.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Friday met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference. Although both admitted the need for dialogue, the mood at the table was palpably tense.
“NATO's expansion has led to an unprecedented level of tension over the last 30 years in Europe," Lavrov told the Munich conference.
Statements made by Western politicians at the Munich Security Conference indicate that the Cold War is not over yet, he said.
“They say that all wars begin in the minds of people, and by this logic, that’s where they are supposed to come to an end. However, this hasn’t been the case with the Cold War yet, [at least] judging by some speeches of politicians in Europe and in the US, including statements that were made yesterday and today at the beginning of our conference,” the Russian Foreign Minister noted.
Meanwhile, there is also dissonance among Western leaders, including the issue of NATO expenses, as the Trump administration calls on European members to pay their bills to the 28-member defense bloc and boost defense spending.
Friday February 17, 2017
Donald Trump is obviously a smart man. One cannot build up a billion-dollar financial empire without being smart.
Unfortunately, however, Trump is not so smart when it comes to some things, like the drug war. He thinks that simply by cracking down in the drug war and becoming more ruthless than previous presidents, he’s going to be the one who finally wins the war on drugs.
It’s not going to happen. No matter how smart he is in business affairs or even politics, Donald Trump will not win the drug war. That’s because no matter how hard he tries and no matter how much support he receives from Congress and the judiciary, no one can repeal the natural laws of supply and demand.
At the top of his list of things Trump intends to do to win the drug war is his much-vaunted wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the one he thinks is going to keep out drugs (and illegal immigrants).
Here is why Trump’s wall and drug-war crackdown will never enable him to win the drug war.
At best, Trump’s measures will reduce the supply of drugs. What does that mean? Under the laws of supply and demand, that means a higher price.
Friday February 17, 2017
General Flynn's tenure in the White House was only slightly longer than that of President-elect William Henry Harrison in 1841. Actually, with just 24 days in the White House, General Flynn's tenure fell a tad short of old "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". General Harrison actually lasted 31 days before getting felled by pneumonia.
And the circumstances were considerably more benign. It seems that General Harrison had a fondness for the same "firewater" that agitated the native Americans he slaughtered at the famous battle memorialized in his campaign slogan.
Thursday February 16, 2017
A New York Times article says “The agency’s [FBI’s] investigation of Mr. Manafort began last spring as an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. It has focused on why he was in such close contact with Russian and Ukrainian intelligence officials.”
Paul Manafort chaired Trump’s campaign. The poor guy just did not realize that he couldn’t even exchange pleasantries with anybody Russian. If you are not anti-Russian, then you must be pro-Russian. That’s how the nitwits in the US intelligence agencies think. And if you’re pro-Russian, then you must be in their pockets or a spy or a dupe. You don’t deserve to be making US policy, which must remain anti-Russian until America manages to break up Russia and take it over.
You see, American citizens do not have the freedom to talk with Russians. The people they talk to may be spies, after all. My 1991 visit to Russia with my wife is next to be investigated, especially since we spent some time in Kiev. Russia is the enemy of us all. Don’t speak to any Russian or person of Russian descent. Putin deserves no respect, and Trump obviously is his puppet. Putin obviously tampered with American voting machines and secured Trump’s election. Trump must be thrown out of office immediately. Russia is imperialist and wants to take over the world. It’s aggressive. It never abandoned its Communist ambitions.
Thursday February 16, 2017
It looks like open warfare between the 60,000 member US intelligence community and their boss, President Donald Trump. According to numerous (non-sourced) articles recently, the nation's intelligence officers are not even giving their president a full briefing out of fear that sensitive material may be leaked to the Russians. Is this a spook coup against Constitutional government or is it a thin layer of highly political elites at the top of these agencies leading a rebellion together with their allies on the outside? Is the target Trump, or his Russia policy? Today's Liberty Report is joined by retired career intelligence officer Phil Giraldi who brings a valuable insider's view to these questions...
Wednesday February 15, 2017
When it comes to the drug war, the verdict is in: The big, drain-the-swamp, anti-establishment president, Donald Trump, is turning out to be just like all the other mainstream establishment politicians. He made that clear last week in a speech before a group of law-enforcement officials, where he vowed to be “ruthless” in the war on drugs. Trump told the group:
We’re going to stop the drugs from pouring in. We’re going to stop those drugs from poisoning our youth, poisoning our people. We’re going to be ruthless in that fight. We have no choice. And we’re going to take that fight to the drug cartels and work to liberate our communities from their terrible grip of violence.
Oh, great! Shades of President Richard Nixon and all of his successors! Four more years of more violence, corruption, arrests, record drug busts, prosecutions, convictions, incarcerations, and, of course, more robberies, muggings, thefts, burglaries, and homicides.
Where has Trump been? Have Americans elected some sort of Rip Van Winkle? Has he just awakened from a decades-long sleep and unaware of what federal and state law enforcement agencies have been doing ever since Nixon declared a war on drugs (to go after blacks and antiwar dissidents)?
Wednesday February 15, 2017
The neocon-dominated U.S. foreign policy establishment won an important victory in forcing the resignation of President Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn over a flimsy complaint that he had talked to the Russian ambassador during the transition.
The Washington Post, the neoconservatives’ media flagship, led the assault on Flynn, an unorthodox thinker who shared the neocons’ hostility toward Iran but broke with them in seeing no strategic reason to transform Russia into an implacable enemy.
After Flynn’s resignation on Monday evening, the Post gloated over its success in achieving the first major crack in Trump’s resistance to Official Washington’s establishment. The Post cited Flynn’s “potentially illegal contacts” with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, a reference to the Logan Act, a 1799 never-enforced law that forbids private citizens from negotiating with a country in dispute with the U.S. government.
Though no one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act, it has been cited in recent decades as an excuse to attack American citizens who disagree with U.S. government policies while traveling abroad and having contacts with foreign leaders.
Often those accusations are aimed at Americans seeking to peacefully resolve disputes when a U.S. president is eager to escalate a conflict, such as President Ronald Reagan’s denunciations of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson for visiting Cuba and House Speaker Jim Wright for exploring ways to end the Contra war in Nicaragua.
Tuesday February 14, 2017
The first public pronouncements by President Donald Trump's administration on Iran have created the widespread impression that the US will adopt a much more aggressive posture towards the Islamic Republic than under Barack Obama's presidency.
But despite the rather crude warnings to Tehran by now ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and by Trump himself, the Iran policy that has begun to take shape in the administration’s first weeks looks quite similar to Obama's.
The reason is that the Obama administration’s policy on Iran reflected the views of a national security team that adhered to an equally hardline stance as those of the Trump administration.
Flynn declared on 1 February that the Obama administration had “failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions” and suggested that things would be different under Trump. But that rhetoric was misleading, both with regard to the Obama administration’s policy toward Iran and on the options available to Trump going beyond that policy.
Tuesday February 14, 2017
Did the CIA conspire to undermine President Trump's National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, by leaking information about a phone call Gen. Flynn had with the Russian ambassador after Trump was the president-elect? The phone call was intercepted by the intelligence community and illegally leaked to the press. Why? Who benefits? What can we expect of President Trump's stated policy of better relations with Russia now that Flynn, who supported the policy, has been forced to resign? We look at the winners and losers of this early shake up in the Trump Administration in today's Liberty Report...