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Assange Hit With Espionage Act Violations As DoJ Unveils 17 New Charges

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The worst fears of Julian Assange's legal team have just been realized.

Just as Wikileaks' editor in chief anticipated, the DoJ has revealed that a grand jury in Virginia has returned a new 18-count superseding indictment against Assange that includes violations of the Espionage Act stemming from his role in publishing the classified documents leaked by Chelsea Manning, as well as his original charge of conspiring to break into a government computer, per the New York Times.

The DOJ said with the indictment that Assange will face a maximum of 10 years for each of the 17 Espionage Act violations, plus the five-year penalty for his earlier hacking charge.

In addition to significantly raising the punishment threshold (from a maximum of 5.5 years under the previous indictment to the prospect of a death sentence for violating the Espionage Act), the new charges will raise serious first amendment issues as Assange will become the first journalist charged under the Espionage Act.
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Nope, Guccifer 2.0 Was Not a Russian Creation

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Russia did not hack the DNC. This is not an opinion. It is a conclusion that flows from one very specific claim made by the Special Counsel—i.e., Guccifer 2.0 was a fictional identity created by Russian Military Intelligence, the GRU. If Guccifer was in fact a creation or creature of the GRU, then the forensic evidence should show that this entity was operating from Russia or under the direct control of the GRU.
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US and UK Policy Toward Libya Shifts to ISIS and the Brotherhood

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“The West” is much divided over what should happen in Libya. This is particularly true for France and Italy, who each have vast oil and gas economic interests and are increasingly at odds with one another. 

While admittedly the US and UK have an eye on their potential economic interests in a future Libya, theirs is more of an anti-terrorism focus aimed at eradicating ISIS’s presence in Libya and specifically to find ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who is thought to have recently moved to Libya and set up his new HQ. 

ISIS released a few weeks ago an 18 minute video (which TV stations around the world only had access to a few minutes) of him speaking, thought to have been taped in Libya, the first such video showing al-Baghdadi, providing proof of life, to be released in five years.

In the intervening current period, the battle to take Tripoli continues by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

Also in almost tandem with the US/UK concentration on finding extremist terrorists in Libya (and elsewhere of course), views on the Muslim Brotherhood are being re-evaluated.
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Delusional Pentagon: 'We Beat Iran Without Firing A Shot!'

US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said this week that Iran's intended attack on the US or its allies in the region have been put on hold thanks to the deployment of a US carrier strike group and a handful of B-52s to the region. Details about the original threat, claimed by Bolton, Pompeo, and others, have not been revealed. We are expected to take the neocons' word for it that there actually was a threat and that they defeated it. Are the Administration propagandists starting to believe their own spin? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Revisiting Ron Paul’s 1988 Case for Drug Legalization

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Ron Paul helped many people discover libertarian ideas in his presidential campaigns. For me, during Dr. Paul’s 1988 presidential campaign, things worked the other way around. I was already familiar with libertarianism. And that familiarity led me to learn about Ron Paul.

When Dr. Paul came through San Antonio, Texas in that campaign, I went to find out more about this man who was seeking the presidency under the Libertarian Party banner. Dr. Paul, that evening, presented an informative and interesting extemporaneous exploration of current events and his approach to them rooted in libertarian ideas.

One of the things I valued most from the event was a pamphlet written by Dr. Paul that I brought home with me. That pamphlet, titled The Case for Drug Legalization, presented a strong, multifaceted argument for drug legalization that has held up well over the ensuing decades.

It was an argument that Dr. Paul was bold to present in his 1988 presidential campaign. 1988 was eight years before California voters approved Proposition 215 for legal medical marijuana that gave a big boost to rolling back marijuana prohibition across the country, a process that continues forward yet remains far from completion. 1988 was also at the end of two terms of President Ronald Reagan, an adamant drug warrior who helped expand the drug war in America with bipartisan support in Congress.
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Poll: Almost Half Of College Students Do Not Believe First Amendment Protects Hate Speech

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We have previously discussed how speech codes and regulations are changing the way students are viewing free speech. There is now a steady message for students from elementary school to college that speech must be regulated and that even people can be punished for not just hate speech but the ill-defined category of “microaggressive” speech. Past polls showed that one-third of students believed that violence is justified in dealing with some exercises of speech. Now a survey of college students found almost half do not believe that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment — a chilling indication of the collapsing support for traditional free speech values on our campuses.

The Knight Foundation conducted the survey that showed that 41 percent of college students believe hate speech should not be protected under the First Amendment. The survey also showed that the support for free speech is lower among women with 53 percent believing that hate speech should not be protected.

Of course, these polls do not press students on how should decide what speech is hateful and what speech is merely controversial. The polling shows the success of various faculty members who have been waging a war on free speech in preventing opposing views to be heard on campuses or enforcing speech codes.
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Fair Trial? US Steals Assange's Legal Papers

The treacherous government of Ecuador has opened Julian Assange's private quarters at its UK embassy up to US investigators, who have seized Assange's legal defense documents, medical records, and electronic devices. In what kind of court is the prosecution allowed to see the defendant's case before the trial? A Soviet courtroom? A kangaroo court? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Impeach Trump But Only for the Right Reason

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Notwithstanding the fact that their Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after a long detailed investigation, found no evidence that President Trump illegally conspired with Russian officials in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Democrats are still hell bent on impeaching Trump. The problem with their position, however, is that they want to impeach him for invalid reasons, reasons that do not amount to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard set forth in the Constitution.

For one thing, while “conspiring” or “colluding” to establish normal and friendly relations with Russia is considered a cardinal sin by the US national-security establishment and the Republican-Democrat political establishment, it does not constitute a “high crime or misdemeanor” under the US Constitution.

Realizing that, Democrats are falling back on the notion that President Trump engaged in “obstruction of justice” with respect to Mueller’s investigation. The problem with that charge, however, is that “obstruction of justice” is the federal government’s counterpart to local governments’ offense of “disorderly conduct.” It’s a classic example of a nebulous crime that turns on subjective interpretation, one whose purpose is to enable officials to target anyone they don’t like whenever they want.
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