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JFK, the CIA, and Secrecy

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Today marks the 54th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who famously said,
The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings…
Isn’t that the ultimate of ironies, given that the “investigation” into his assassination was shrouded in secrecy and continues to be shrouded in secrecy?

It’s been that way since the day of the assassination. Everything was said to involve “national security,” which were (and are) the two most important words in the American political lexicon. Most of the proceedings of the Warren Commission, which was charged with pinning the assassination on Lee Harvey Oswald, were conducted in secret. The commission ordered that records relating to its proceedings be kept secret from the American people … for 75 years! When Warren was asked if Americans would ever be permitted to see the records, he responded, “Yes, there will come a time. But it might not be in your lifetime….”

Immediately upon JFK’s death, a team of Secret Service agents, following orders from new President Lyndon Johnson, forced their way out of Parkland Hospital, where the president had died. Brandishing guns and screaming profanities, they made it clear to Dallas Medical Examiner Earl Rose that they had absolutely no intention of complying with Texas law, which required that Rose conduct an autopsy.
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Abolish The TSA As Soon As Possible. With Guest Jim Bovard

The Transportation Safety Administration gets away with what would be prosecuted as sexual assault if any of the rest of us did it. Yet Americans put up with the groping and downright punching of private parts because they still believe the TSA keeps them safe. And when the TSA's own Inspector General tests how "safe" they keep us? Mock bombs get through 80-95 percent of the time. And when their miserable job performance becomes public? They demand even more money. In today's Liberty Report -- on the busiest travel day of the year -- we demand the end of the anti-American TSA and a return to the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution!
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Who’s A ‘Foreign Agent’?

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You know life’s become a joke when the US Department of Justice starts requiring foreign media to register as foreign agents. Will the BBC be forced to issue a disclaimer with every broadcast and web posting: “Proceed with caution – British propaganda ahead”? Don’t bet the ranch on it.

Such distinctions are reserved for the current bogeyman of the moment, i.e. typically some marginal outlet with a small-to-minuscule audience, in this case RT, formerly Russia Today, and its companion web site Sputnik. Banned from advertising on Twitter, and the subject of an official investigation by both houses of Congress and a special counsel, these two relatively minor state-sponsored outlets are nonetheless credited with nearly single-handedly putting Donald Trump in the White House.

It didn’t take much to create the kind of atmosphere in which a direct assault on the First Amendment goes largely unnoticed and even implicitly supported. A mysterious Russian “troll farm” amplifying the perfidious “divisiveness” of RT/Sputnik “disinformation,” a few hundred thousand bucks in Facebook ads (mostly placed after the election), and the “expert” testimony of professional hysterics who traffic in the mythology of the new cold war. Such are the ingredients that go into the making of a new industry, or rather a revived one: Kremlinology.

Compared to the “experts” of yesteryear, today’s Kremlinologists are a crankish lot. Bereft of any real knowledge of either Russian politics or the language, their elaborate conspiracy theories are unanchored by observable facts. Instead, we are treated to a series of mysterious “links,” and seemingly ambiguous meetings, which add up to a monumental nothing. Twitter accounts that may or may not be real human beings retweet “fake news” generated and centrally directed by Vladimir Putin, and this – so they tell us – was a meaningful and even a decisive factor in the 2016 presidential election. Yes, this nonsense is now the conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., where the foreign lobbies that matter, the ones with real power, rule the roost.
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Saudi Purges Explained, With Marwa Osman Live From Lebanon

To understand what's really going on in the Middle East, the worst place to turn is the US mainstream media. Geopolitical analyst and Ph.D. candidate Marwa Osman joins today's Liberty Report live from Beirut, Lebanon to tell us why the MSM refuses to explain what's really behind the tragedy in Yemen. What's behind the recent purges in Saudi Arabia? Is a new war between Israel and Lebanon about to break out? You might be surprised at some of her answers. Tune in...
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Did the US Allow ISIS to Escape to Keep the Fighting Going?

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Americans have been living in a country that has not known peace since 9/11, when President George W. Bush and his posse of neoconservatives delivered the message to the world that “you are either with us or against us.” The threat was coupled with flurry of hastily conceived legislation that opened the door to the unconstitutional “war on terror” carried out at the whim of the Chief Executive, a conflict which was from the start conceived of as a global military engagement without end.

Bush and his handlers might not have realized it at the time but they were initiating a completely new type of warfare. To be sure, there would be fighting on the ground worldwide against an ideologically driven enemy somewhat reminiscent of communism, but there would also be included “regime change” of governments in countries that were not completely on board with the direction coming out of Washington. Instead of invading and occupying a country in the old-fashioned way, so the thinking went, far better to just knock off the top levels and let the natives sort things out while acting under direction from the pros in Washington.

Even though “regime change” in Iraq and Afghanistan did not work out very well, Bush saw himself as a triumphant war leader with his vainglorious “Mission Accomplished,” and he later dubbed himself the “decider.” He insisted that his reelection in 2004 when running against a weak John Kerry was a validation of his policies by the American people, but one has to wonder how many voters really understood that they were signing on for perpetual war that would of necessity also diminish their most cherished liberties.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and US President Barack Obama followed Bush and made it clear that there would be no stepping back from a policy of proactively “protecting” the American people. Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton destroyed Libya, a disaster that is still playing out, increased involvement in Syria, and introduced death by drone for both American citizens who have transgressed and random foreigners who fit a profile. And to eliminate any pushback to what he was doing, Obama relied on invoking the state secrets privilege to block legal challenges more times than all his predecessors in office combined.
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DOD Conference Bill Passed...Yet We're Less Safe & Poorer

Ron Paul breaks down the massive DoD spending bill Conference Report that has just passed Congress. More money for Ukraine? Israel's missile defense? Lots of welfare for the military industrial complex? More money for the failed F-35? Lots of money for other countries to buy our weapons, to keep the military industrial complex rich while working Americans see their real income decline. How our militarism is strangling us...in today's Liberty Report...
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Why Are We Helping Saudi Arabia Destroy Yemen?

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It’s remarkable that whenever you read an article about Yemen in the mainstream media, the central role of Saudi Arabia and the United States in the tragedy is glossed over or completely ignored. A recent Washington Post article purporting to tell us “how things got so bad” explains to us that, “it's a complicated story” involving “warring regional superpowers, terrorism, oil, and an impending climate catastrophe.”
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Thanksgiving Travel: Trump's Holiday Gift is More Invasive Airport Security

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On the campaign trail last year, Donald Trump derided the Transportation Security Administration as a “total disaster.” But his administration is making TSA more intrusive and abusive while its 42,000 screeners remain as incompetent as ever. New TSA screening guidelines will likely make Thanksgiving travel a disaster for legions of Americans — and the worst is yet to come.
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Attack on RT Is Another Step Towards Sovietization of American Media

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This week the US Department of Justice Criminal Division forced the Russian-funded television network RT (formerly Russia Today) to register as a “foreign agent” under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Failure to comply would have risked arrest of RT’s management and seizure of its assets. The move comes on the heels of Senators’ recent demands that terrified tech giants Twitter, Facebook, and Google act as ideological filters.

With no discernable defenders among America’s media establishment, RT rightly denounced the selective FARA mandate as an attack on media freedom – which it is. But more ominous is what the move against RT says about America’s rulers’ further intention to limit the sources of information available to its subjects.

As Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute writes: "RT America is a news organization operating in the United States that is funded at least partly by a foreign government. So is the BBC. So is Deutsche Welle, France24, Al-Jazeera, and numerous other foreign media organizations. It is assumed that they all to a degree reflect the editorial interests of those who pay the bills."
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Secretary Mattis Is Off Base: US Military Presence in Syria Has No Legal Grounds

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Although the US has many times stated that its target is IS only, it appears that its intentions may go beyond the stated objective. In fact, Washington is seeking to retain post-conflict zones of influence within the country, where the American presence is illegal.

Asked at a press-conference on Nov. 13 if the US military will stay or leave Syria, US Defense Secretary James Mattis stated, “We're not just going to walk away right now before the Geneva process has cracked.” He stressed the importance of the Geneva settlement process held under the auspices of the UN, saying “we got to get the UN-brokered effort in Geneva to take this thing forward.” Answering a question about the legal grounds for the US presence in the country, the secretary explained “You know, the UN said that ISIS — basically we can go after ISIS. And we're there to take them out.”

The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a firm warning to the US and other foreign forces in Syria on Nov. 14. According to it, “The presence of US forces or any foreign military presence in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government constitutes an act of aggression and an attack on the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as a gross violation of the charter and principles of the United Nations." In September, Deputy Foreign Minister of Syria Faisal Mekdad stated that the US "should withdraw its military; otherwise the Syrian army will consider them as a hostile force."
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