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Constitutional Q&A: The Legality of Stop and ID Procedures

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We are not supposed to be living in a “show me your papers” society.

Despite this, the US government has recently introduced measures allowing police and other law enforcement officials to stop individuals (citizens and noncitizens alike), demand they identify themselves, and subject them to patdowns, warrantless searches, and interrogations. These actions fly in the face of longstanding constitutional safeguards forbidding such police state tactics.

In 2017, for example, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents boarded a plane at New York’s JFK Airport and demanded that all persons on board show “documents” identifying themselves before they would be allowed to leave the plane.[2] While such a demand might be legal if made to a person trying to cross the border into the United States, it plainly violates the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures to stop and demand identification from persons who are already legally within the country.

Government agencies insist that such stop-and-ID procedures are necessary to combat illegal immigration, especially at border crossings. But border crossings are unique circumstances in which the government may legally demand that travelers identify themselves and subject them to “routine” searches of their belongings. Nevertheless, the government has opened itself up to serious legal challenges by making the dubious claim that border agents also possess the authority to demand travelers divulge the passwords for their social media accounts and electronic devices in order to search for evidence of wrongdoing, regardless of whether agents have any suspicions whatsoever. By exploiting a loophole in the Fourth Amendment for border searches, government agents are now seeking access to virtually all digital records for the purpose of conducting criminal investigations and intelligence surveillance.
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Escalation Everywhere: Will Trump's Foreign Policy Succeed?

Across the globe, there is not a single "hot spot" where the Trump Administration is not escalating conflict. Drone strikes are up over 400 percent. Civilian deaths are skyrocketing in Iraq and Syria after stepped-up US bombardment. The Pentagon says it needs thousands more troops for Afghanistan and more military participation in the horrible war on Yemen. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in South Korea that "all options are on the table" with regards to North Korea, which suggests even a first-strike nuclear weapon is "on the table." More artillery is being moved to Russia's border. By increasing US military involvement in every single area of tension is the President working to make us safer, or are we one accident away from a major, possibly world, war? A survey of US military escalation in today's Liberty Report...
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Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below

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Ominous developments in east Syria have drawn the United States and Russia into closer proximity increasing the likelihood of a violent confrontation.  The Trump administration has embarked on a dangerous plan to defeat the terrorist militia, ISIS, in Raqqa. But recent comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggest that Washington’s long-term strategy may conflict with Moscow’s goal of restoring Syria’s sovereign borders.  Something’s got to give. Either Russia ceases its clearing operations in east Syria or Washington agrees to withdraw its US-backed forces when the battle is over. If neither side gives ground, there’s going to be a collision between the two nuclear-armed adversaries.

On Wednesday, the US airlifted hundreds of mainly-Kurdish fighters to an area behind ISIS lines where they were dropped near the town of al-Tabqa. The troops– who are part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF– were accompanied by an undisclosed number of US Marines serving as advisors. Ostensibly, the deployment was intended to encircle ISIS positions and retake the area around the strategic Tabqa Dam. But the operation had the added effect of blocking the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from advancing  along the main road towards Raqqa, the so called Capital of ISIS.  While the blocking move might have been coincidental, there’s a strong possibility that Washington is in the opening phase of a broader strategy to splinter the war-torn country and prevent the reemergence of a united secular Syria.

According to Almasdar News:
“The Coalition supported the offensive with air movement and logistical support, precision airstrikes, Apache helicopters in close air support, Marine artillery, and special operations advice and assistance to SDF leadership,” the US-led coalition said in a statement.” (AMN News)
In a matter of weeks, Washington’s approach to the war in Syria has changed dramatically. While the US has reportedly ended its support for the Sunni militias that have torn the country apart and killed over 400,000 people, the US has increased its aid to the SDF that is making impressive territorial gains across the eastern corridor.
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Dick Cheney Surfaces: Claims Interfering In Elections 'An Act Of War'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney told an audience recently that Russia may have committed an "act of war" by interfering in our recent presidential election, though he also claims that Donald Trump was legitimately elected. What exactly is Russia guilty of? He doesn't say, but it begs the question: if interfering in other countries' elections is an act of war, what about the estimated 80-plus elections the US is said to have interfered in? We discuss in today's Liberty Report...
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Death at Your Door: Knock-and-Talk Police Tactics Rip a Hole in the Constitution

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It’s 1:30 a.m., a time when most people are asleep.

Your neighborhood is in darkness, except for a few street lamps. Someone—he doesn’t identify himself and the voice isn’t familiar—is pounding on your front door, demanding that you open up. Your heart begins racing. Your stomach is tied in knots. The adrenaline is pumping through you. You fear that it’s an intruder or worse. You not only fear for your life, but the lives of your loved ones.

The aggressive pounding continues, becoming more jarring with every passing second. Desperate to protect yourself and your loved ones from whatever threat awaits on the other side of that door, you scramble to lay hold of something—anything—that you might use in self-defense. It might be a flashlight, a baseball bat, or that licensed and registered gun you thought you’d never need. You brace for the confrontation, a shaky grip on your weapon, and approach the door cautiously. The pounding continues.

You open the door to find a shadowy figure aiming a gun in your direction. Immediately, you back up and retreat further into your apartment. At the same time, the intruder opens fire, sending a hail of bullets in your direction. Three of the bullets make contact. You die without ever raising your weapon or firing your gun in self-defense. In your final moments, you get a good look at your assailant: it’s the police.

This is what passes for “knock-and-talk” policing in the American police state.
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Trump’s War on Terror Has Quickly Become as Barbaric and Savage as He Promised

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From the start of his presidency, Donald Trump’s “war on terror” has entailed the seemingly indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people in the name of killing terrorists. In other words, Trump has escalated the 16-year-old core premise of America’s foreign policy — that it has the right to bomb any country in the world where people it regards as terrorists are found — and in doing so, has fulfilled the warped campaign pledges he repeatedly expressed.

The most recent atrocity was the killing of as many as 200 Iraqi civilians from US airstrikes this week in Mosul. That was preceded a few days earlier by the killing of dozens of Syrian civilians in Raqqa province when the U.S. targeted a school where people had taken refuge, which itself was preceded a week earlier by the US destruction of a mosque near Aleppo that also killed dozens. And one of Trump’s first military actions was what can only be described as a massacre carried out by Navy SEALs, in which 30 Yemenis were killed; among the children killed was an 8-year-old American girl (whose 16-year-old American brother was killed by a drone under Obama).

In sum: Although precise numbers are difficult to obtain, there seems little question that the number of civilians being killed by the US in Iraq and Syria — already quite high under Obama — has increased precipitously during the first two months of the Trump administration. Data compiled by the site Airwars tells the story: The number of civilians killed in Syria and Iraq began increasing in October under Obama but has now skyrocketed in March under Trump.
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Did the Government Spy on Trump? Of Course. It Spies on All of Us!

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There was high drama last week when Rep. Devin Nunes announced at the White House that he had seen evidence that the communications of the Donald Trump campaign people, and perhaps even Trump himself, had been “incidentally collected” by the US government.

If true, this means that someone authorized the monitoring of Trump campaign communications using Section 702 of the FISA Act. Could it have been then-President Obama? We don’t know. Could it have been other political enemies looking for something to harm the Trump campaign or presidency? It is possible.
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Macedonia to George Soros and USAID: Go Away

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Small but mighty Macedonia is the mouse that roared this year, declaring war on George Soros, 86, and his US Government handmaidens, who, incredibly, have financed a left-wing agenda to divide the nation and bring a socialist-Muslim coalition to power.

It was the kind of Obama Administration manipulation that was so routine that it passed unnoticed in 2012, when USAID/Skopje selected Soros’ Foundation Open Society Macedonia (FOSM) to manage $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars earmarked for oxymoronic “democracy building,” an amount increased to $4.8 million two years later.

As we speak, and yes, I mean currently, Macedonia’s Open Society Foundation is a USAID partner recruiting candidates for “Youth Engagement Support (YES) grants” — concept papers were due five daysafter Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. It’s some part of a $9.5 million, five-year “civic engagement” boondoggle kicked off last year, which surely would be squelched if the Tillerson State Department were running on all cylinders.

Collusion between the Hungarian-American billionaire and the US against Macedonia’s national interest is outlined on the website, StopSoros.mk, launched in late January by journalists in Skopje, the capital city and, incidentally, birthplace of Mother Teresa.
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'Has America become North Korea, where speaking to Russia is forbidden?'

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It is natural that half of Washington works as lobbyists for foreign governments: Israeli, the UK, Macedonia, Germany. It is acceptable to speak with any country aside from Russia, says Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute.

The chief of the US House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has apologized to committee members for disclosing information on surveillance relating to Donald Trump.

Nunes revealed, before telling his committee colleagues, that communications involving the Trump campaign team may have been intercepted by intelligence agencies.

RT: Why has Nunes been forced to apologize? Did he break any rules by telling the President his team was being surveilled?

Daniel McAdams: It might have been technically poor etiquette not revealing it to his fellow committee members. But look at how his fellow committee members are behaving on the Democratic side of the aisle about this whole thing. Letting the cat out of the bag early to them would have just opened him up to the kind of attacks that we are seeing right now. You reveal something that is absolutely earth-shattering if true, of Watergate proportions, that the Obama administration was spying on Trump and the transition team, and what do the Democrats say? Investigate the guy who told us this, who found this out. It is completely preposterous, so why bother telling them anyway? They are not following the proper protocol either.
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