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Review: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership is Mostly About Making Jim Comey Rich

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Despite the lofty title, in A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership James Comey comes across in turns petty, smug, sanctimonious, bitter, and most of all, pandering. Comey feeds the rubes exactly what they paid the carnival sideshow barker in front at Barnes and Noble to hear: the pee tape, the jokes about small hands, the comparisons of Trump to a mob boss, and enough Obama-worship to fill a week’s worth of Maddow.
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OPCW Investigators Reportedly Found 'No Evidence' Of Chemical Weapons At Syrian Facilities Bombed By US

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While it will likely take the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons weeks or even months to issue their final report on the alleged gas attack in Douma (an attack for which journalists and other independent parties have failed to find any evidence), the organization's investigators have apparently spoken with Russian military officials after visiting the site of the Barzeh research center in Damascus - one of the three facilities targeted by the strikes.

At the time we noted Paul Craig Roberts' 'awkward question' to Washington's warmongers:
If this were true, would not a lethal cloud have been released that would have taken the lives of far more people than claimed in the alleged Syrian chemical attack on Douma?

Would not the US missile attack be identical to a chemical weapons attack and thus place the US and its vassals in the same category as Washington is attempting to place Assad and Putin?
And now, according to Sputnik, the investigators, who spoke with Russian General Staff Col. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, revealed that they had found no evidence of chemical weapons in the remains of research facilities that were supposedly integral to the Syrian Army's chemical weapons program. Of course, this shouldn't come as a surprise: After all, if the US, France and the UK really did bomb a building filled with chemical weapons, there would've been thousands - possibly tens of thousands - of bodies to show for it.
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Macron Changes Trump's Tune: 'We're Staying In Syria'

Just weeks after vowing to get US troops out of Syria "soon," a meeting with French President Macron has changed President Trump's tune. Now he is talking about a large and sustained footprint in Syria to, he claims, keep Iran from taking control of the Mediterranean. Defense Secretary Mattis added that the US must continue occupying Syrian territory until a UN peace process -- i.e. "regime change" -- can take place. We're back to 2011...but worse. Trump's endless flip-flops in today's Liberty Report...
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How Neocons Destroyed a Chance for Peace with Iran After 9/11

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While most of the headlines the Trump administration has made on foreign policy have tended to focus on Syria and North Korea, the President’s approach to Iran may end up being the most important. The appointment of infamous hawk John Bolton, whose career goal has been to spark regime change in Tehran, is understandably seen as an indicator that Trump may abandon his campaign rhetoric opposing regime change in the Middle East in the case of the Ayatollah. As does Trump’s blossoming bromancewith Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who recently said the supreme leader of Iran “makes Hitler look good.”

As the decision of whether or not the US should continue to honor the Iran Deal has re-emerged in the news, it’s worth looking back to 2001 to re-evaluate an overlooked moment of US-Iranian relations: the brief period of time where Iran became a military ally to the United States.

When criticizing the foreign policy of the United States in the age of the war on terror, Ron Paul would often discuss the concept of blowback. One of the greatest examples of this was obviously the Iranian Revolution, when secular Iranians joined with Islamic fundamentalists in rising up against the Shah regime after years of intervention by the US on behalf of the Pahlavi dynasty. In the aftermath, the secular liberals of Iran were overwhelmed by the Islamic theocrats led by Ayatollah Khomeini. The result is the Islamic Republic of Iran that exists today.
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Unintended Consequences Of Trump's Syria Attack

President Trump's recent missile attack on Syria has led the Russians to re-think its decision to put on hold a Syrian government request for the Russian S-300 missile defense system. Particularly with Russian troops still operating in Syria, Russia may well decide to deliver the system to the Assad government. The Israelis, who have conducted more than 100 bombing raids on Syria since the start of the war in 2011, threaten to destroy any missile defense system targeting Israeli planes while they are bombing Syria. Far from solving any strategic or tactical US goals in the region, the US missile attack has made the waters all the more dangerous. Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Scarier Than John Bolton? Think of Nikki Haley for President!

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The musical chairs playing out among the senior officials that make up the President Donald Trump White House team would be amusing to watch but for the genuine damage that it is doing to the United States. The lack of any coherence in policy means that the State Department now has diplomats that do not believe in diplomacy and environment agency heads that do not believe in protecting the environment. It also means that well-funded and disciplined lobbies and pressure groups are having a field day, befuddling ignorant administrators with their “fact sheets” and successfully promoting policies that benefit no one but themselves.

In the Trumpean world of all-the-time-stupid, there is, however, one individual who stands out for her complete inability to perceive anything beyond threats of unrelenting violence combined with adherence to policies that have already proven to be catastrophic. That person is our own Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who surfaced in the news lately after she unilaterally and evidently prematurely announced sanctions on Russia. When the White House suggested that she might have been “confused” she responded that “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.” This ignited a firestorm among the Trump haters, lauding Haley as a strong and self-confident woman for standing up to the White House male bullies while also suggesting that the hapless Administration had not bothered to inform one of its senior diplomats of a policy change. It also produced a flurry of Haley for higher office tweets based on what was described as her “brilliant riposte” to the president.

One over-the-top bit of effusion from a former Haley aide even suggested that her “deft rebuttal” emphasizes her qualities, enthusing that “What distinguishes her from the star-struck sycophants in the White House is that she understands the intersection of strong leadership and public service, where great things happen” and placing her on what is being promoted as the short list of future presidential candidates.
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Will Trump Tear Up Iran Deal? "No Plan B"

President Trump has vowed to never again sign the required waiver to allow US participation in the Iran JPCOA deal to continue. He last signed in January and is due to sign again or let the deal fall apart on May 12th. European leaders are desperately trying to convince him to remain in the deal. Trump is demanding new restrictions be unilaterally placed on Iran by the other partners, specifically in the area of ballistic missiles and Iran's support for militias in Syria fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda. Iran has rejected the idea that it must make new concessions and points to the fact that the US has not lifted sanctions as the deal requires. May is going to be a showdown - who will blink? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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The Mainstream Media Fueled Military Action in Syria and Reprisals against Russia over the Skripals

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The complicity of America’s Fourth Estate in the evolution of the national security warfare state is often mentioned in passing but rarely analyzed in any detail. But a recent article on Lobe Log by Adam Johnson is refreshing in that it does just that, looking at the editorials in 26 leading newspapers relating to the April 13th strike against Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons. All of the papers supported the attack in the belief that Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies had done something wrong and had to be punished. Some of the endorsements went well beyond the actual strike itself, urging the White House to do more. The article quotes the Toledo Blade’s assertion that:
Make no mistake, this was a warning to Vladimir Putin as well as Bashar al-Assad. The United States and its two longtime allies redrew the red line that had been obliterated by a failure of nerve by the US and the West generally: There will be cost for your barbarities…. But in the larger sense, the West did what it should have done a long time ago. It stood up for decency and international law. It stood up for those who are defenseless. It stood up for itself, and for simple humanity, and redeemed some self-respect.
Another recent editorial intended to stir up hysteria about perfidious Moscow appeared in theNew York Times on March 12th. It was entitled Vladimir Putin’s Toxic Reach.
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Lies and Deception in the Failed US Strike on Syria

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At 4am on April 14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom executed a strike on Syria. The Syrian Free Press reported:
US Navy warships in the Red Sea and Air Force B-1B bombers and F-15 and F-16 aircraft rained dozens of ship- and air-launched cruise missiles down on the Syrian capital of Damascus, an airbase outside the city, a so-called chemical weapons storage facility near Homs, and an equipment-storage facility and command post, also near Homs. B1-Bs are typically armed with JASSM cruise missiles, which have a 450 kg warhead and a range of 370 kms. US Navy warships launched Tomahawks, which have 450 kg warheads and an operational range of between 1,300 and 2,500 kms. The British Royal Air Force's contingent for the assault consisted of four Tornado GR4 ground-attack aircraft armed with the Storm Shadow long-range air-to-ground missile, which the UK's Defense Ministry said targeted 'chemical weapons sites' in Homs. These weapons have a range of 400 kms. Finally, France sent its Aquitaine frigate, armed with SCALP naval land-attack cruise missiles (SCALP is the French military's name for the Storm Shadow), as well as several Dassault Rafale fighters, also typically armed with SCALP or Apache cruise missiles. According to the Russian defense ministry, the B-1Bs also fired GBU-38 guided air bombs. Undoubtedly weary of the prospect of having their aircraft shot down after Israel lost one of its F-16s over Syria in February, the Western powers presumably launched their weapons from well outside the range of Syrian air defenses, with all the targets located just 70-90 kms from the Mediterranean Sea, and having to fly through Lebanon first.
Recapping the information on the strike, the US and its allies used the following assets...
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What Will Weapons Inspectors Find in Syria…And Does it Matter?

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Inspectors from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have finally arrived in Douma, Syria, to assess whether a gas attack took place earlier this month. It has taken a week for the inspectors to begin their work, as charges were thrown back and forth about who was causing the delay. Proponents of the US and UK position that Assad used gas in Douma have argued that the Syrian and Russian governments are preventing the OPCW inspectors from doing their work. That, they claim, is all the evidence needed to demonstrate that Assad and Putin have something to hide. But it seems strange that if Syria and Russia wanted to prevent an OPCW inspection of the alleged sites they would have been the ones to request the inspection in the first place.
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