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MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Intelligence on Shoot-Down of Malaysian Plane

31 July 2014read on...

Stop! Thief! Stop! — The Looting of Ukraine
Kiev’s hastily assembled, post-coup coalitions couldn’t hold, and Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk threw in the towel last Thursday. On his way out, news stories said, the PM expressed his “disappointment with Ukrainian parliament’s decision to reject a bill that allows the government to hand over up to 49 percent of the country’s gas transport system to investors from the European Union and the United States.”

30 July 2014read on...

On Dominoes, WMDs And Putin’s 'Aggression': Imperial Washington Is Intoxicated By Another Big Lie
Imperial Washington is truly running amuck in its insensible confrontation with Vladimir Putin. The round of new sanctions is a counter-productive joke. Apparently, more of Vlad’s posse will be put on double probation, thereby reducing demand for Harry Macklowe’s swell new $60 million apartment units on Park Avenue. Likewise, American exporters of high tech oilfield equipment will be shot in the foot with an embargo; and debt-saturated Russian state companies will be denied the opportunity to bury themselves even deeper in dollar debt by borrowing on the New York bond market. Some real wet noodles, these!

29 July 2014read on...

In Foreign Affairs, Not Doing Anything Is The Thing To Do
The heartbreaking violence in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere carries many messages, but here’s one Americans shouldn’t miss: The United States — no matter who the president is — cannot manage world conflict. The corollary is that when a president tries to manage it, things will usually get worse. Foresight is always defective, and tragic unintended consequences will prevail.

29 July 2014read on...

The Absurd, Bureaucratic Hell That Is the American Police State
Whether it’s the working mother arrested for letting her 9-year-old play unsupervised at a playground, the teenager forced to have his genitals photographed by police, the underage burglar sentenced to 23 years for shooting a retired police dog, or the 43-year-old man who died of a heart attack after being put in a chokehold by NYPD officers allegedly over the sale of untaxed cigarettes, the theater of the absurd that passes for life in the American police state grows more tragic and incomprehensible by the day.

28 July 2014read on...

End Torture, Shut Down the CIA!
Remember back in April, 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on 60 Minutes, angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it was not true because we had already seen the photos of Iraqis tortured at Abu Ghraib prison four years earlier.

27 July 2014read on...

Israel's 155mm Cure For ‘Terrorism’ In 1956, Britain and France were convinced that Egypt’s charismatic nationalist leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, was threatening what was left of their Mideast and African colonial empires. London branded Nasser, “Hitler on the Nile.”

27 July 2014read on...

Another 'Saigon': US Evacuates From Libya
One month ago today, President Obama was congratulating Libya on a "milestone" election -- even though the disintegration of the country after the 2011 US invasion was ongoing.

26 July 2014read on...

What Does the U.S. Support When It Supports Israel?
According to the Congressional Budget Office, “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $121 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance.”

26 July 2014read on...

Featured Articles

Nice Job, Conservatives


Republicans

When Barack Obama was elected president, the chickens came home to roost above the sordid nest that conservatives made for us after the 9/11 attacks. It was after those attacks that conservatives, quivering and quaking in their shoes over the thought that the terrorists were coming to get us, traded away the freedom of the American people to the federal government in the hope of gaining safety and security from the terrorists.

What were the terms of that fateful trade? They surrendered to President Bush omnipotent powers, powers that are inherent to any totalitarian regime and that are antithetical to the principles of freedom, due process of law, and limited government in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Such totalitarian powers included the following:

1. The power to take people into military custody as suspected terrorists, holding them for as long as the military wants, torture them, and even execute them, perhaps after some sort of kangaroo trial before a military tribunal, all without trial by jury and due process of law. While Americans were initially led to believe that such powers encompassed only foreigners, they soon learned that they also included American citizens. That’s what the Jose Padilla case was all about, a case in which the federal courts deferred to the president and upheld his new presidential powers.

2. The power to spy on people, delve into their telephone records, monitor their telephone calls, read their emails, and who knows what else. That includes not just foreigners but also Americans.  That’s what the illegal contracts that Bush and his people made with the telecoms were all about. It’s also what the Edward Snowden revelations about the NSA are all about.

3. The power to assassinate people, including American citizens. That power is confirmed by the ongoing assassinations of countless foreigners as well as the assassinations of American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman. No judicial warrants. No trials to determine guilt or innocence. No due process of law. Just plain, simple, and efficient assassination, without anyone having to answer, justify, or explain the assassinations.

There is no way to reconcile these powers with the principles of a free society. They are inherent to totalitarian regimes. They are precisely the powers that our ancestors did their best to prevent the federal government from exercising. That’s what the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments are all about.

It also doesn’t make any difference how much Americans might still consider themselves a free people. False realities are only delusions. They don’t create a new reality. People who live under any regime that wields these types of totalitarian powers are not a free people, pure and simple.

But conservatives thought that it was a good trade because their man — George W. Bush — was the president. He’s a compassionate conservative, they cried. He can be trusted with these omnipotent powers, they said. He’ll take care of us and keep us safe from the terrorists.

We libertarians kept emphasizing: Don’t relinquish these powers to anyone. Imagine the person who you would consider your worst nightmare being elected president. Would you want him to wield these powers? Don’t trade away our freedom, we libertarians said, no matter how afraid you are and no matter how much trust you have in President Bush.

But conservatives wouldn’t listen. They were too afraid. They wanted safety and security. Nothing else mattered. They traded away our freedom in the hope that Bush and his army and CIA would keep them safe from the terrorists.

And then seven years later Democrat Barack Obama was elected president. He now wielded the totalitarian powers that conservatives had relinquished to President Bush.

And that’s not the end of it. Now we are facing the distinct prospect that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be elected president in 2016. She’s leading the polls by far in the Democrat Party. The Republicans have no frontrunner and are expected to field some 15 or more candidates.

That’s what conservatives have done to us with their fateful trade back in 2001. Time will tell, but there is now a very real possibility that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be wielding the totalitarian powers that conservatives relinquished to George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. The powers to arrest Americans (and foreigners) and detain them indefinitely in military custody, to torture them, to spy on them, and to assassinate them. All very possibly wielded by Bill Clinton’s wife, Hillary.

Nice job, conservatives! Thanks a lot for trading away our freedom for the sake of security. You lost us both our freedom and our security.

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.

Flickr/SpeakerBoehner


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