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Just Who Is The War Party?

As many neocons shift over to support Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, there are appearing a few bumps in the road. Last night at the convention, for example, former CIA director and defense secretary Leon Panetta found himself drowned out by chants of "no more war!" as he touted Hillary's hawkishness. There are insurgent antiwar factions in both major parties but the establishment is trying to minimize their power and influence. How long can the center hold? More today in the Liberty Report...
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The Secret Rules That Allow the FBI to Spy on Journalists

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The bones of our democracy — the core elements that separate that way of life from others — lie in the First Amendment to the Constitution, specifically the rights to free speech and a free press.

Without the ability to speak freely, and to have things about our government reported equally freely to us, most of the rest of the concept of what was laid out on July 4, 1776 and later falls away. Thomas Jefferson himself stated that an “informed citizenry” was the key to everything.

So it is with more than a little anxiety that we learned secret rules allow the FBI to spy on journalists with such ease that the restraints are really nothing more than a bit of paperwork. As always, the ostensible justifications for another deep step into Post Constitutional America are terrorism, security, protecting the homeland. And, as always, the outcome seems to be much more about stomping out whistleblowers than anything else.

As revealed by an anonymous whistleblower to The Intercept (the government refused to release the information), secret rules allow FBI agents to obtain journalists’ phone records with approval from only two internal officials. No warrant needed. No outside oversight. No courts, no judges, no hearings, no public records.
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Trump: Siberian Candidate?

Has Vladimir Putin taken over the US electoral process? That has been the media mantra over the past 24 hours or so, since a Wikileaks data dump revealed a deeply flawed presidential selection in the Democratic Party. Rather than address how Democratic National Committee employees colluded with the media to push their preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, the Democrats and the media have claimed that the whole release was engineered by Russian president Vladimir Putin. They claim Putin is seeking to get Trump elected. RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams appears on RT's flagship political debate program Crosstalk to discuss...
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Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin: Potential Partners – Not Allies or Even Friends

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Reporters and pundits covering the presidential campaign of Donald Trump have been torn between two conflicting narratives: The first is that Trump is a reckless amateur and, as president with his finger on the nuclear button, he would bring the world to the brink of catastrophe. The second is that Trump is a cat’s paw for Russian President Vladimir Putin and, as president, he would, advertently or inadvertently, work to implement Moscow’s agenda for world domination.

The first narrative is a familiar one. Past Republican presidential candidates—Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan—have all had to fight off accusations that, if elected, they would waste no time before launching World War III. The second narrative however is somewhat unusual. It is not often that Republicans are accused of acting as witting or unwitting tools of the Kremlin—at least not by so-called liberals.

For it is liberal media outlets that are the most enthusiastic purveyors of this tale of Putin, the manipulative mastermind, and Trump, his would-be hand puppet. Most of these stories depict Trump as a buffoonish narcissist, easily susceptible to the empty flattery doled out by a predatory Putin. In a story titled “Putin’s Puppet,” Franklin Foer in Slate claimed that Putin “has a plan for destroying the West—and that plan looks a lot like Donald Trump.”
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Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid, America: Political Fiction in an Age of Televised Lies

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Politics is entertainment
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It is a heavily scripted, tightly choreographed, star-studded, ratings-driven, mass-marketed, costly exercise in how to sell a product—in this case, a presidential candidate—to dazzled consumers who will choose image over substance almost every time.

This year’s presidential election, much like every other election in recent years, is what historian Daniel Boorstin referred to as a “pseudo-event”: manufactured, contrived, confected and devoid of any intrinsic value save the value of being advertised. It is the end result of a culture that is moving away from substance toward sensationalism in an era of mass media.

As author Noam Chomsky rightly observed, “It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.” In other words, we’re being sold a carefully crafted product by a monied elite who are masters in the art of making the public believe that they need exactly what is being sold to them, whether it’s the latest high-tech gadget, the hottest toy, or the most charismatic politician.
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A Tipping Point for Liberty

How many of us does it take to move the US in a direction toward a more peaceful foreign policy and the restoration of civil liberties at home? Not as many as people might think. But what is critical is that we educate ourselves and then do our best to help educate others. Some of the drug decriminalization we are seeing today would be unheard of just a few years ago. People's opinion begins changing until a tipping point is reached, and then policy changes. RPI Senior Fellow Adam Dick joins the Liberty Report to discuss his new book, "A Tipping Point for Liberty," which points us in the right direction...
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Clinton, Wasserman Schultz and the Wheezing Corpse of the Democratic Process Revealed

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Wikileaks over the last few days dumped tens of thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server.

The disclosures of dirty tricks directed against Bernie Sanders contained in those emails are startling, and only add to the whirlpool of corruption and sleaze surrounding Hillary Clinton and the wheezing corpse of the democratic process.

There's a lot to unpack here:

-- The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server, which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months including during trips to China and Russia and which contained Top Secret national security data, was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians.

-- Many in Camp Clinton and the media labeled Bernie Sanders' supporters are paranoid when they made claims during the primaries that the DNC was working against them. The hacked emails confirm the DNC was working against them, including suggestions that the DNC find ways to suggest Sanders was an atheist to discredit him in religious areas.
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Can Bombs Win War on ISIS?

The US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq has dropped its 50,000th bomb recently, yet the end of the two-year effort is nowhere in sight. Meanwhile civilians are being killed by the hundreds by US bombs on Syria. Is that not also a form of terrorism and is it not generating blowback against Europe and the US? Both major presidential candidates talk of escalating the bombing campaigns in Iraq and Syria, but if that approach is not producing the desired result how will doing more of it result in a different outcome? We need an entirely new approach to the war on ISIS. Tune in to today's Liberty Report for our take...
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New From RPI: A Tipping Point for Liberty

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Ron Paul Institute Senior Fellow Adam Dick’s new book A Tipping Point for Liberty: Exposing and Defeating Leviathan Government was published this week. Dick’s new book frankly explores the battle between overbearing government, both at home and abroad, and individuals’ aspirations for liberty. In A Tipping Point for Liberty, Dick describes in detail the dangers from leviathan government and presents reasons for optimism.

Before joining RPI, Dick worked in the United States House of Representatives office of Rep. Ron Paul for nearly ten years. There, Dick concentrated on matters including the drug war, free speech, and gun rights that are focuses of A Tipping Point for Liberty. Dick’s book, drawn from his hundreds of RPI articles, explores in detail several other aspects of the modern America as well, including militarism, police misconduct, and mass surveillance.

Dick, whose experience includes managing one of the most successful Libertarian Party governor campaigns, also delivers in A Tipping Point for Liberty well-informed insights on libertarianism and Paul’s unique place in the liberty movement.
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Defeating Islamic Terrorism. Here’s How…

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As terrorism struck again in Nice and Germany and… Donald Trump outlined his policy against Islamic State: as president, he will seek a full declaration of war from Congress, the first such formal invocation since Pearl Harbor.

Trump was short on specifics but very clear he would take the strategies of the post-9/11 era into a presidency. Clinton, for her part, intends on “intensifying the current air campaign [and] stepping up support for local forces on the ground.” Their French counterpart, President Francois Hollande, declared “We will continue striking those who attack us on our own soil.”

The problem is that none of that will work. While perhaps necessary at times, military force is far from sufficient in defeating Islamic terrorism.

Post-Germany, Post-Nice, post-Brussels, post-Turkey, post-Paris… it is clear the last 15 years of the war on terror in general, and the last two against Islamic State in particular, have not worked. No society can defend itself fully when any truck can be turned into a weapon. No amount of curating social media will prevent disenfranchised people from becoming radicalized. Ramadi fell, Fallujah fell, Mosul will likely fall, and Nice still happened.

“The effect that’s going to happen now is like stepping on a ball of mercury,” stated one American intelligence analyst. “You step on a ball of mercury, all the pieces break up and spread around the world.”
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